Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Women are from Venus

Happy Onam….. Don’t try to reach me hereafter….somehow I and my boyfriend feel that our friendship might not turn out to be for good….So goodbye!
I stared at the screen in wonder.

Female species have continued to baffle and petrify me. I am positive that I wouldn’t be the only man in the world to come up with this opinion. I stand in the league of world’s greatest philosophers and thinkers.
‘She’ is a personality whom I haven’t met (at least not in reality). Here is a few online conversations we shared.

(We were chatting about a family function at her home)
Me: So what all food are going to be there for the occasion?
She: why are you so concerned about that?
Me: I wanted to know how you guys do your functions
She: Please do not show any concern on me? I am already engaged to another person.
Me: Huh?
(We were chatting about a sly manager)
Me: I will crush his balls
She: Balls?
Me: Uh-huh.. It’s nothing
She: Please tell me…. What balls are you talking about?
Me: Something related with male anatomy.
Me: (concerned) You there?
She: How dare you talk filth to me?
Me: Filth?
She: Balls
Me: Ball isn’t a bad word!
(We were chatting about her Mr. Cool )
She: You know I am worried about him.
Me: Why?
She: He drives his car so fast and does so much adventure.
Me: No worries…ambulance services are very fast in UK. They even use helicopters.
Me: What is your guy’s name?
She: No girl is supposed to tell her guy’s name.
Me: Then what am I supposed to call him
She: You can call him ‘breeze’
Me: How can I do that? ‘Breeze’ is a ladies inner wear manufacturing company.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Movie of the week- Raging Bull

Do you know what differentiates the great directors from the good ones? Their ability to weave out their dreams and fantasies on the celluloid. The whims and fancies of audience and critics no longer matter.

I had the chance to watch the masterpiece of Scorsese recently. I always wanted to see the ‘Raging Bull’. It’s a movie that has been there in the all time top 100 classics.
The great directors are always known for sticking to a set of actor/crew. They build a group and put their faith in them. Essentially film-making is a community process. Scorsese has casted De Niro in many of his classics and De Niro walked away with Oscar for his performance in Raging Bull.

As the name indicates De plays a boxer in the movie. He dreams of attaining the world middle weight championship. He works with an animal like passion towards that and he is nicknamed ‘Bronx Bull’. He bashes down anything that gets into his way. In addition to his opponents in the ring he has to fight those outside it. During that time the boxing world was controlled by the powerful Italian Mafia. But he is not at all bothered to make a compromise with them. He develops his own set of ‘rights’ and he works in that way.

The story is based on a real life character- Jake La Motta. The events happen in US around the 50’s and 60’s. More than his life in the ring, his life outside and the characters that revolves around makes the crux of the film. His bullish nature spills outside the box. He gets into the bad book of mafia. Jake has sentenced himself to absistence during his title quest. As a result he starts doubting the fidelity of his wife. His relationship with his wife and brother suffers. Thus he breaks away with his brother (and reunites years later).

The film opens with an old Jake practicing a speech and we wonder ’why?’. Then his youth is unscrolled. There are poignant moments like Jake breaking down after failing a ‘fixed’ match, reuniting with his brother. The physical transformation of De Niro after the retirement is amazing. It highlights the commitment level of the actor.

The whole movie is shot in black and white (like ‘Sin City’). But the boxing scene and blood spraying around is shot in a different style and short angle to give it a gory look. There is a particular sequence where Jake bashes the nose of a good looking challenger. Then the bookie says, ’He ain’t pretty any more!’
Just can’t get enough of the film!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Freedom Day

63 years and we are fast becoming a ‘too-independent’ nation. One by one we have been breaking the age old customs and taboos and enslaving ourselves to the chains of freedom.

Tell me your thoughts on the following subjects:

Have we become too free to choose the life and death of unborn babies? Because we are not ready enough or because life is young enough! Besides babies are uncool- diapers, feeding, baby fat, sleepless nights, missed parties…Don’t we call this freedom to live?

Have we become too free to fill our television, films and music with stuff that has no regard to moral and social ethos? Our kids are become a moving encyclopedia on sex even before they attain their puberty. Our actress show off all the god-given and surgeon implanted assets. We enjoy the jokes and lyrics with dual meaning (along with our children). We fill our screen with mindless violence and eulogize heroes with negative traits…. Don’t we call this freedom of expression?

We covet what rightfully belongs to others. It can be positions, wives, husbands, water, air, grades etc. Then we adorn it with a beautiful name- ‘Ambition’.

We cut down trees for road widening. We fill in the natural water bodies. We adorn even the most scenic places with vulgar concrete structures. A family of four will have four vehicles. We clog the traffic and waste the fuel. We call this- ‘development’.

We indulge in any form of sex- homo, hetero, bi. Moreover we proudly display our variety of tastes. We have removed the age, sex, relationship restrictions to copulate. Today porn is one of the thriving industries in India. This is freedom to enjoy.

And last but not the least our media is free to fill in anything they want. They no longer play any role in nation building. As long as it’s eye-catchy, anything is good to go. So the wrong people, the wrong ideologies attain the prime space. This is called freedom for media.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Bus Ride

I jump on into the bus. The conductor impatiently strikes the ‘double-bell’, signaling the take-off. The bus is already filled and there is standing room only.

An old man had also got in with me. He seems visibly tired. He tells the conductor in low voice.

‘I am physically challenged’.

There are two seats reserved for the ‘challenged’. There are two unchallenged already in the seat. The two remains seated..... unmoved.

The conductor requests one of them to move out for the old man. The two looks here and there to see if anyone else is kind enough for the gesture. The old man asks again, this time in a loud voice.

The imploring goes on and on. Still no one in the bus is ready to forsake their comforts.

Is corruption exclusive for the political class? Don’t we see corruption in every sphere of life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What is wrong?

‘Malarvadi Arts Club’ was released in Malayalam with much hype. It was a directorial debut starring new comers. So it was supposed to bring with it a whiff of fresh air.

Contrary to what I expected there was no fresh air. Just the old, stale story in a new package.

So have you ever wondered, even after being such a big country filled with movie goers, we end up making pathetic films.

Across the nation only a handful of films become a commercial success- be it K-wood, T-wood, M-wood or B-wood. Strangely the reasons are almost the same

1. Weak Scripting: I always believe script is the life of a movie. But we end up seeing almost huge gaps in a script. The sickening part is the issue is seen even in an experienced director’s film.

What could be the reason? One reason could be compromise on the script for commercial success.

Moreover the reason is inexperienced writers in the industry.

Strangely we have brought in young blood to the industry. But script writing needs someone who has seen life. Inexperienced writers rely on the popular, foreign language films for ‘inspiration’ when they run short of ideas. We thus miss any kind of originality or clarity.

2. Poor Casting: Casting is an irony in India. The protagonists will be the son/daughter/friend of some big gun. They may be good in self marketing but sadly rotten in the talent department. In short the cinema has to run on the shoulders of supporting cast.

But there are guys like Abishek who developed with experience. There may be guys like Ranbir who may grow up.

Take a copy of Filmfare, you will find article after article convincing us that the New-Gen are sexy and talented. I couldn’t help but laugh when I see people like Ranbir, Sonam who aren’t half as good as Filmfare believe them to be. Now I hear that Anil Kapoor has produced a 21 year old producer too. Who are these trying to fool?

Bollywood, unlike the other Indian film industries, has a strong talent in the supporting cast department.

3. The Tamil film industry is notorious for the way they choose their female leads. A few years back it was purely based on the flatness of tummy and bust size. Things have changes a bit now. They prefer lean actress. But the chubby ones like Namitha (ooooh…) is still in demand.

Along the southern side of country there are very few films that have a female protagonist. But I believe things are changing in B-wood.

By female oriented movie, I don’t necessarily mean the ones in which the women are exploited. Amelia would be a great example.

4. It seems we Indians have forgotten clean humor. Our films are stuffed with toilet jokes(so is our mobile). Our leads are too serious to joke. B-wood does strange things like putting a fat Punjabi to crack Sardar jokes in typical Punjabi style.

I dare not speak of Tamil, Telugu or Malayalam. Overall, we have just the slap comedies in our films. We do not have place for any other brand of humor.

5. Our audience are too impatient. They prefer a fast and furious movie. So the biggest challenge a script writer has today is to cram in a whole film in two hours. Even then people say ‘Shorter the better’.

6. The marketing strategies of films baffle me. A film is declared a hot or flop from the first response. So we try to get in the maximum number of people by giving them the wrong idea. So a melodramatic movie will be depicted as Action movie of the century. Even sexuality is not spared. Thus the wrong audience comes in. They go out and say the movie is bad.

It ends up with the tag of ‘hyped’.