Monday, June 19, 2006

Book Review - Or the day seizes you

Failures arise mainly because of refusing or not having the capability to capitalize on opportunities provided. When you fail to sieze the day or act prudently on provided opportunities, the day ends up ruling you :-). Pretty much the same logic as wag the dog... if the tail is smarter than the dog, the Tail Wags the Dog.

Nilu, the hero of this novel is a lonely guy. He is not very intelligent. In denial and does not even want to accept the reason for his wife to leave him. Is of brittle moral fibre and has a family history of corruption. He is also completely apathetic towards his life and his wife, as only a guy of such character can be. Things happen TO him... he rarely makes thing happen (hence the title), and I am reminded of one article by Prem Panicker. he describes one character called the Serial Chiller. Someone who calls himself a railway platform. People come, embark, influence and leave leaving me behind... Nilu has pretty much the same persona.

I tended to concentrate a lot on the reasons for which his wife had left him, but the last few chapters shed no new light on it. I had to be satisfied with just his apathy and his fear for real life situations. The wife cheats on him. She needs more from life... some more attention and loads of respect. Well guys need acceptance and women need attention. Give them that and they are always on their best behaviours. This relationship lacked both. So it crumbles.

One of the most important passages in the book attempts to divulge what could be said of the talk that Meena had with Nilu that explained the reasons why she left him inspite of him having forgiven her (do not take it in the literal sense). She had mentioned two separate anecdotes, both of which involve Raj running away from the incident. He shows his initial involvement. Both show his lack of any courage to continue and both make him come out in poor standing. He proves in both instances that he is completely untrustworthy.

Just like in the Royal Tenenbaums, Gene hackman tells Angelica Houston on realizing why she chose Danny Glover, "He is everything I am not", Nilu realizes something. He realizes that no amount of sacrifice is ever going to make both of them change enough to have a happy life together. (Gene Hackman is able to take comfort in the fact that he atleast had had SOME effect on Angelica's life for her to chose someone who is exactly his opposite, Likewise Niladri too takes some comfort)

The story moves on. At one point of time I realize it is no longer a story but just anecdotes strung together. There can never be an 'ending' to this... The book is more about what you feel than what the author has to say. Saying that I felt i liked the way it ended. Very open and leaves a lot to ones imagination. I would most certainly buy the next Rajorshi Chakraborthy book.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Movie Review - Underworld - 2

This is the second movie of this sort that I had watched. The first one was "Kallarai manithan", this being "Naraga Ulagam". I Both of the movies had Kate Beckinsale and I did not know any of the other characters in the movie. What i liked were once again the terminologies and the fact that every movie that has Kate Beckinsale also gets dubbed in Thamizh :-).

See if you can make sense of this story. There are two major evil clans. The Rathakaateris and the Lyncargal. The hero is a Rathakaateri girl who had killed her chief for colluding with the Lyncargal in 'BloodRayne'... the first part of this POS. Now she teams up with one pulluruvi fellow who has both genes. RKs and Lync's. They wear black rubber tights and fight everyone in sight.. (almost poetry.. you know.. what I just said)... always during the night killing all those who bite... (there is no controlling me... :-) )... oh what a pile of SHITE.

Yenyvay coming back to the movie... they are battled by one more demon, one of twins, one who became a RK and the other a Lynkar... and who was killed a few gazillion years back (around 2300 a bird mentions in the movie... ) So this guy was originally a RK and some Lynkar blood flows into his grave? and now suddenly he breaks open the ground, comes out and goes for some key who people wearing tights have... These guys just fly about... and fight... and they kill each other a couple of times and then they come back to life... ( I dont see the point in this... but then my mind was addled enough to not look for reason...) Hey and blood transfusion is done by sucking and reverse sucking... apparently vampires can extract AND inject blood directly into veins and arteries.

So there is obviously this castle... (There always HAS to be a castle in such movies), where there is a showdown of ginormous proportions. Vampires can fly and werewolves jump.. but they prefer to talk at length about the recent book review they read before killing their sworn enemy... kind of think they might have some Hindi villain gene streak in them... Oh I keep going off on tangents while reviewing this movie.. and BTW i was reading a book while watching this movie...

Ok once again coming back to the review, that pulluruvi fellow comes back to life for I think some 4th time in the movie and bashes all and sundry up. guns, bombs, scimtars, teeth, tongue, brain, viscerals, all fly about in random fasion. The two.. the firl and the guy survive.... and yes there is going to be a sequel to this.

There were not too many dialogues... so the purpose of watching this movie in thamizh was defeated... if you want the DVD dont ask me, I burnt mine, and buried the ashes it 10 feet under.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Movie Review - V for Vendetta

This movie is based on a book that most reviewers would ideally call ‘seminal’. Such words are now being used so arbitrarily that it could be used even to describe the latest edition of Amar Chitra Katha. I really don’t know what COULD be seminal about the book that is a rip-off off George Orwell’s 1984… played out by cartoon-like characters.

This movie is a juvenile fantasy of one man battling a Big Brother-like evil dictator who keeps England under a permanent threat of war. The warrior befriends Natalie Portman, a courier and he sees in her ‘theological’ awakening, his own past emancipation from a brutal concentration camp. Why he needs her to get his revenge is never dealt with, and the story meanders on with arbitrary killings and the occasional decent quip. The characters are so sketchy and the script so disjoint that it fails to keep your attention after around 83.2 seconds (you get it? Don’t we need to be accurate up-to one decimal place?). I watched the movie anyway because I had nothing else to do.

According to the movie, fear psychosis, state of permanent war with an unknown enemy, totalitarian command, the criticism of which is automatically charged as conspiracy, characterizes England in 2020. The tedium of such a world, which has already been seen and read about in 1984 did not really interest me. Though there could be a lot of parallels that could be drawn to the current state of affairs in the USA, the movie fails to impress.

The movie has an all burnt out guy in a Guy Fawke’s mask on a crusade against the tyranny of Big Brother. He has had his family killed and himself burnt in the Nazi style concentration camp. Once he escapes, he starts out on the mission (well of-course only after eating 3 idlis and getti chutney at home), to educate 3 people in Britain about the atrocities committed by BB by…

  1. Painting a red V and a circle on a few city walls
  2. Making one very explosive, incomprehensible 3 minute speech on television
  3. Setting off a few bombs under government buildings and TV transmission towers at night
  4. Distributing Guy Fawkes masks and capes to people
  5. These people then walk on streets, take off their masks and watch fireworks.
  6. Hence revolution achieved. Regurgitation too

Don’t watch this movie. Don’t even go near the shop that sells this DVD.The movie, though, has quite a lot of interesting trivia about music.

1. Da da da Dum (. . . _ which is Morse code for V) is the opening notes of the fifth of Beethoven. V as the terrorist is called is actually the Roman numeral V… the number of the ‘room’’ where the mutated freak was raised.

2. V plays Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture when he blows up the Big Ben. Incidentally, Tchaikovsky used original cannons to get those 11 explosions during the allegro of the piece