January 29, 2007

Guru


Spoiler: Plot details maybe revealed.

So finally I saw Guru. After all the hype surrounding it and everything. Ofcourse most of you know that most parts of the movie are loosely based on Dhirubhai Ambani's life. For you Manirathnam fans (like me!), this wasn't a typical Mani movie. It had an unexpected 'alls well that ends well' theme for one.

It has a fully loaded star cast and the show stealer ofcourse is Abhishek Bachchan as Gurukant Desai. He has delivered a wonderfully genuine performance though in the end, in a couple of scenes when he is supposed to be paralyzed, he seems to have forgotten how he needed to have portrayed that and ends up more than just twitching the eye of that side. A few slips but overall a laudable performance. Ash doesn't have sooo much of a role but to her credit has done pretty well and is very believable as the 'gawar' wife. The 'romance' between the two is surreal and very typical of olden married couples (I suppose!). Ofcourse the start of it was that he married her purely for the dowry he would get which would complete the intial amount he required to setup his business. Mithun da... was a well-kept secret I must say. Till a couple of days back, I didnt even know he was in the movie, let alone that he gave a pretty decent, not-overactive performance and looked very good rather than the ugly 'looks' that he has been given in some of his preceding movies. Vidya Balan as usual is a show-stealer and is making a mark in the Industry. She is not just beautiful but immensely talented as well and I look forward to seeing her in 'Eklavya' also. Madhavan is subtle and bearable in the movie. However his Hindi diction leaves a lot to be desired.

The story is probably pretty well-known by now - the rise of a BIG businessman to state it short. But the rise from chotu bijinessman to the baap of all companies bore likeness to many Rajnikant movies where everything happens within the timeframe of a song. So, about 40% of the movie covers Guru's life from a high school dropout to this big man. The rest of the movie is how with money comes power comes corruption comes trouble. Somehow, Mani has actually left some lose ends hanging. For example, it was never clarified as to what happened later between Guru and his brother-in-law when a huge feud crops up between them. The ending is surprisingly good and everything ends well for Guru.

The songs are alright... a couple are really catchy but the cinematography and the choreography left a lot to be desired. And Mallika Sherwat fades into oblivion.

All in all, definitely worth a watch for some powerful performances.

January 25, 2007

I'm not kidding

I'm really not kidding when I say I got this email from one of the gazillion orkut (mis)users: Verbatim..

hello jaya
hawar u
u very smart deyar
i like to photo
'u like friend shipe
i friend u
i am a mazherfrom jabal puri
wiat uur massege

Whats with all these losers anyways? I usually ignore all this but this one was a classic I had to post... If they paid me a buck for every random request I got, my name's be up there with Bill Gates on the Forbes Fortune List. These guys honestly need to get a life! Gosh!

January 23, 2007

KBC 3 with SRK


I had the (mis) fortune of catching the show online. And as usual, my sharp tongue represented by my quick fingers have some smart comments to make. The show was overall not really entertaining. SRK clearly lacks the presence that the Big B commanded. And it seems that he is totally following on his footsteps which sort of makes you think that SRK is Big B's shell without the brain... the latter takes the decisions and paths that they both will follow at different times.

SRK is also lesser intimidating than the Big B. It wouldnt be too comical if the Big B made the kind of seedy, "I'm-not-so-big-a-star" jokes a la SRK. And the "Computerji lock kiya jaye" has also undergone a facedrop. Its now localized to the origin of the participant and ranges from "Computer Da freeze kiya jaye" or "Compaq Da freeze kiya jaye" (label-wise advertisement harvest) for a Bengali to "Computer Garu" - "Compaq Garu" for a Telugu-ite. It was hilarious to hear SRK speak Telmil (the new fashioned Telugu-Tamil hybrid) - "Ye mandi jaragandi...Saapadriya.. Rendu plate idli".

The show seems to have been cut in size and increased in frequency with as many ad breaks as ever. It also drove me nuts that SRK was trying too hard to be pally-pally with the contestants and gave them everything from high-fives to hugs. He also egged them on to the right decisions helping them win the questions and in one case quit with enough money to ward any guilt off. All said and done, it is not entirely fair for me to surmise about SRK in just one episode. It is to be seen if he retains any charisma that was once associated with the show at all.. We'll wait n watch!

January 18, 2007

A Farewell...

Farewell is a word,
So simple, so dour
Saying what started
but did not endure.

Farewell is a feeling
of something that’s gone
Farewell is a memory
that stays for too long

Farewell is everything
that’s been left unsaid
Farewell is the last message
Of someone who's left to surge ahead.

By Peter Rhodes

Good Luck Vaish...

January 15, 2007

Entrapment

Its a long weekend. And this is the third long weekend (after X'Mas n New Year) that I am not going anywhere. And slowly but surely the feeling of being trapped in this timeless place has crept in. And its getting claustrophobic! With my OPT starting soon, the feeling that I am bonded to this country is also closing in on me. And yes, I have been here for exactly a year at a stretch since my last India trip.. but the fact that you are on OPT and not in the liberty of leaving is shutting out the air around me.

My thesis would've been long done if my lab wasn't a paper-churning factory, reducing my advisor to an English Professor, correcting formats and sentences, rather than do what he is supposed to -- help his students graduate! Thats just ONE example. Suddenly, everything important in my life seems to have reached a complete stand still. I know when actually the ball sets rolling, everything's going to cascade one over the other and wrap me into a turmoil of activity.

But when the weekend comes, when the house sets into a lull, when there's nothing to do... when all the walks lead you on paths that have held interest in the past and have nothing to offer now... thats when I can't help hoping that my whirlwind isnt far away! For now, the monotony is killing!!

January 8, 2007

The Prestige


Warning: There are some spoilers ahead


Ah, I am back to my movie reviews and I feel at home again... The Prestige is one of those movies that comes once in many many years and when it does, it shouldnt be missed. I was very late to catch the movie after all the rave reviews from peers but finally I did and am I glad or what...

I have always been fascinated by magic. As kids, my bro and I unknowingly stumbled across a tape of The Magic of David Copperfield and that began a love story with magic and it surpassed everything I ever imagined. We saw all these amazing tricks including the "Statue of Liberty" caper. But I am not talking about David here. I am going to talk about The Prestige and the base holding the movie together was magic. And Christian Bale (Batman Begins) and Hugh Jackman, the 2 magicians are out of this world. But the real winner in this movie is the plot itself. It did open the door to disclosing the trick behind some of the illusions, some shocking, nevertheless. But the way the 2 magicians try to foil one another's tricks is amazing and keeps the audience guessing at every juncture.

And on it goes as each tries to better the other in the ultimate magical game, building one unbelievable trick after another before finally both of them stand to lose everything that they have. Over the movies that I have seen, I have realized that I have a special soft-corner for Scarlett Johansson, who shines in this movie as well, as the mistress of both magicians. In a highly fast-paced and strongly gripping plot, one magician finally gets the better of another.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who needs some food for his intellect after having seen a whole bunch of particularly brainless movies in multiple languages. Bale and Jackman have done commendable jobs with the role and I cant imagine a better person for looking the part of magician than Jackman (except my David maybe :)) This is honestly one of the better movies I ave ever scene and I highly recommend it! If u havent already seen it, you should be seeing it RIGHT AWAY!

January 4, 2007

J'apprends le français


How long is it since you learned a language? For most of us, the languages we know were the ones we learned way back in primary school. So if you're like me, you won't even remember how it felt to learn a language. The grammar, the prose, the verbs, the sentence constructions etc are sooo trivial that we don't even notice the way we use it. If you know Hindi, you'd realize like many foreign languages, even our good own Hindi has "gender" for things. Aam ka ped, neend ki goli - ok you get it. Its sooo imbibed in us, we dont realize that its monumental for someone who doesn't know the language.

So, I started learning French out of pure boredom by myself a couple of weeks ago before the brainwave that I could actually "sit through" a French 101 course at school struck me. However I kept at the self-learning and built a cute little vocabulary. Ofcourse anyone who knows French knows that NOTHING is pronounced the way its written or vice versa. The only saving grace is that the sentence construction is pretty similar to English and once you build your vocab collection of verbs, you will be failr good with practice. Ofcourse learning the language and practicing in front of your computer is one thing and speaking it with a native is a whole another thing.

Today was the first French 101 class. The instructor was a Frenchman, a PhD student was a sweet guy who spoke English with the easiest-to-distinguish French accent (sorry to disappoint you - he was NOT cute looking!) And so after a couple of sentences from him, we were all to introduce ourselves in French (if we knew it) or atleast try. When my turn came, I took a deep breath and started out "Je m'apelle Jaya" and so on. And to my own surprise I did fairly well. Except that though I knew my age in French, I was shy to pronounce it! Overall it was a good first class. It gave me that flutter which I hadn't felt in sooo long.. The feeling of knowing absolutely NOTHING while you sit in the first class. That too its a romance language... how bad can it be? With no crediting to worry about, this one should be a breeze. In all my excitement, I bought my first textbook in the US for this class!

On the "downside", I donno how long I expect to stick around here to do justice to this class.. But for what its worth, from the "Je ne comprends pas", its slowly becoming "Je comprends" :-)

Until later,
Au revoir!