Jun 28, 2010

கண்ணனுக்கே அழகூட்டிய ஒரு பாடல்!


Jun 27, 2010

The best part of this video is at 7:30 when Rahman removes the Oscar statuettes from his potti, carefully wrapped around with a vellai thundu.


Jun 24, 2010

Thiru Krishnan, Thiru Muthu avaragalai medaiku vandhu thanga chain matrum thanga modhiram petrukollumaaru azhaikirom! Thiru Krishnan, Thiru Muthae!


Jun 19, 2010

Raavanan aanda enna, Rahman aanda enna..aaga motham padam mokkai

Ok, the movie sucked. Really. Neither was the Direction good nor was the screenplay coherent. There is no point in narrating the story because the movie was so blatantly lifted off from Ramayana I really got bored after a while and could predict what would happen next. For me such adaptations doesn't reflect the prowess of the Director at all. It was a very run of the mill kind of story/screenplay which was tailored to reflect a well known epic. Maybe the audience are supposed to shriek in ecstasy when they relate to characters resembling Hanuman and Vibheeshanan, but I most certainly was put off by that. There was no elaborate build up to the story. The movie begins with Veeraiya (Vikram) kidnapping Ragini (Aishwarya Rai) and her husband Dev played by PrithviRaj prepares to mount an all out attack on Veera. BGMs sucked because there were no true BGMs. The bits and pieces from the songs were just rehashed to form the BGM. What happened to the good old days of our Ilayaraja when people actually spent as much time on BGMs as they did on songs?

The first half moves slowly. I mean so slowly that it feels more stagnant than all of Aishwarya's facial expressions can muster. The Director is only focused on portraying the love sprouting in Vikram's heart for Ragini. It is not a bad concept if it had been handled well but he had gone overboard with the Screenplay part. The scenes were too jumpy; in the sense there was no smooth flow. Yet the same scenario was being shown for one hour; Ragini falling down the cliff for some five times in Vikram's mind. There is actually no good characterization in the first half except for Vikram's. Suhasini has written the Dialogues for the movie and I couldn't help but laugh during those 'typical' one liner exchanges in the first half when Dev was told his wife was kidnapped. It went something like this:
Hemanth: siiirrr, river la oru accident
Dev: Eppo
H: Ippodhan sirrr
Dev: Enna aachu
H: sirrr, inoru boat idichu....adhula vandhu...
D: enna?
H: unga wife...
D: solunga Hemanth..
It reminded me of that classic spoof in Thamizh Padam of that 'Thalabadhi' scene where Mammooty visits his injured henchman in a hospital.

Karthik gets totally wasted by ManiRatnam. I felt great pity for such a talented actor reduced to doing buffoonery just because one of his 'mentors' asked him to act in the movie. His intro scene when he does some 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'isque jumping around of trees looked so bad and made no sense. Later, in the movie Kartihk gets to be the Hanuman of the story and if those initial tree jumping scenes were intended to give the audience a clue about that, then I am sorry to say ManiRatnam but Perarasu would have done a better job of it. If his role was intended to be that of a comic relief with his monkey acts, then somebody like Vivek etc. would have done a much better job of it. Same is the case with Prabu. The continued references to the epic was also irritating. People should have been left feeling a resemblance to the epic. Instead, ManiRatnam makes sure that the audience have no doubts whatsoever. Somebody should count the number of times references are made to the numbers 10 and 14 in that movie! We all know Raavanan had ten heads, Sir. Please. No need to remind us again and again. Also, we all know that Ramar went to vanavaasam for 14 years. No need to give not so subtle hints such as 'she will die in 14 hours', 'she was supposed to be held for 14hours but now she should be held for 14 days' etc. Maybe you were making this movie for an 'international' audience who have no idea what Ramayanam is about and probably you would give a quick guide to Ramayanam along with the movie tickets to those audience so that they can croon in delight when they see those cross references making sense.

Amidst all this drudgery, there are two things in the movie that is spectacular. Firstly, the Cinematography. It is just indescribable. It was not just one or two scenes but the entire movie that was shot in vivid colors and some breathtaking camera angles. Some do stick to the mind: Vikram's standing on the cliff edge and doing a 'will he jump or won't he' kind of thing, the scene where the officers cut through the dense forest and the camera focuses on a dragon fly perched on the branch and slowly pans out to the bunch of people (the dragonfly looked totally like a toy though), the waterfalls, the final scene in which Vikram is shot and falls down in a SloMo. Breathtaking is the only word that justifies all this.

Secondly, Vikram. The story was not just centered around his character but his performance in the movie is so towering that all the other flaws seem more magnified because of that. Seeing Aishwarya's banality of expressions and PrithviRaj's stonyfaced reactions (thanks to ManiRatnam's idea of a steel nerved Police I believe) Vikram seemed to really possess ten times the prowess of the other actors! If Vikram hadn't captivated the audience enough till the end of the movie then he definitely delivers the sucker punch in the climax when he realizes the trap he has fallen in. Even his expressions as he falls to his death lingers in the mind. As a friend of mine said, his performance in this movie is like watching Sachin score a century in a losing cause!

If I see this movie again it would be for the Cinematography and Vikram. And I hope this refocuses his immense acting abilities and makes him a better chooser of movies in the future!

P.S.: It feels so good to say, I told you so!


Jun 13, 2010

Adraa Sakka

I saw two videos well after midnight and I still have trouble sleeping because of them. First one was this. The way she imitates the Singh, the Patel and the Italian and her emphasis on Vasantha was awesomely funny.

The second video was this - Our very own TR. Earlier in the day I was seeing some of the videos of the internet sensation Wilbur Sargunaraj and read about how he had become popular in the US as well (with well known movie critic Roger Ebert mentioning this video in one of his twitter message). I was wondering if this is guy really like this? I mean, does he have a secret identity which is his real life that is hid behind this character? Surely there has to be. Having said that it is really hard to believe when someone actually are just the way they appear to be - like our TR. Whaat a maaannn (as Abbas says in Padayappa). Not only does he have the gumption to render his version of an African beat for more than a minute but he also says it would become an internet sensation. And the way he ends the call - "Ellaa pugazhum iraivanuke, inshah allah".

Ada Raama....


Jun 6, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Nothing beats seeing a good movie in a awesome theater. Except, of course, if you get to see an awesome movie in an awesome theater! I saw Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and I thoroughly enjoyed it enough to think about going for a second time!

The movie is about the famous Prince who most of us would have known when trying to take him to the Princess through the dungeons with the help of 4 keyboard buttons. Later, came the gaming consoles etc. that popularized the franchise enough to merit a movie out of it. But unlike ventures that were made into poorly made cheesy movies (ala Tomb Raider), PoP is a perfectly served blend of action, magical forces and stunning visuals.

Prince Dastan, the protagonist, is played by Jake Gyllenhaal. I had some serious doubts on the credibility of the movie once I saw the trailers: the trailer was more of a select scenes of action without much insight into the story itself and moreover Jake seemed a total misfit for the role. Strongly lingering images of Jake playing the young guy trying to escape the snow in the Day After Tomorrow & the boyish ranch hand in the Brokeback Mountain made him a suspect for this role, in my opinion (Jake is the younger brother of Maggie Gyllenhall, in case you din't know it!). But to his credit, at the end of the movie I could not think of a better person for the role.

Dastan is an orphan who gets adopted by the King of Persia after showing courage in the face of adversity. This makes him the youngest of the three Princes in the line to the throne - Tus & Garsiv. When the King is away from the city, news reaches the Princes about the treachery by the sacred city of Alamut which is selling weapons to the enemies of the Persian empire. The two Princes decide to invade the city aided by the counsel of their uncle Nizam, against the suggestion of Dastan. This leads to a trail of events during which the King, on his return to the city, gets killed and Jake is blamed for his death. Jake escapes with Princess Tamina (played by Gemma Arterton, and she is Hot!)of Alamut. Tamina is the guardian of the Dagger of Time which she safeguards from falling into the hands of evil men. The rest of the story is about how Dastan proves his innocence and also helps Tamina in returning the Dagger to safety. The strength of the movie is the realization by the Director that a story like this would abound with cliches during movie making: the culture of Persia has to be showcased in a way that everyone identifies with but yet must not be too banal, the hero has to be agile and fight many kinds of enemies yet there must be no poorly placed wise quips etc. The Director has walked this fine line and never let the movie drift away. The focus and packaging keeps the audience riveted. He has cleverly avoided pitfalls of loud mouthed villains (if you see The Mummy movies, you know what I am talking about), unnecessary number of mushy scenes with the female lead, sidekicks etc.

The film editing is by a trio that includes the legendary Michael Kahn who is one of my all time favorite and he has done a fabulous job in this movie. The movie has some stunning visuals that includes panoramic scenery and intelligent graphics. Soundtrack is a big plus for the movie too. I am a big sucker for multi-channel audio tracks and a movie with a storyline like PoP provides ample opportunities for it and the way it is has been smartly interspersed and employed, I just fell head over heels for it.

One of those movies that I would probably end up seeing many times over.


Jun 1, 2010

Minute by Minute Commentary

Friend: Why are you not updating anything on Facebook?
Me: I don't know. What is there to update anyway?
Friend: So many things! Like that trip you went on 2 weeks back, India's T20 matches etc. You have to let people know what you are thinking by writing on your wall.
Me: Why would I write on my wall? I always like my walls to be clean and white! In fact, I am going to see if I can prevent others from scribbling on my neat wall as well..
Friend: Loosu..seri leave it. At least you can twitter, no?
Me: What am I? A sparrow?
Friend: But everybody twitters now. This is how people share their thoughts and opinions.
Me: But I already write a blog for that. If I want to force my opinion on people who refuse to read it then I will call them and let them know what I think. Who is going to be interested in where I ate lunch, which place I went to last night and how I "Juz feel lazy to go 2 work 2day". If Sachin tweets "I should have blocked instead of trying to drive that ball", it is worth reading. Who would be interested in knowing what a nobody like me feels looking at the sunset on a lovely summer night!
Friend: &*$#%@


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