Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ironman 3

Than muyarchiyil satrum manam thalaraatha Gils, went movie watching again this weekend. This is that time of the year when superheroes throng the Hollywood story stables. And Marvel comics has been the leading the way for the past decade. Its the third and (Spoiler alert) probably the last instalment of Ironman. Certain people are made for certain roles or is it the other way round, we would never know. Like Munnabhai for Sanjay dutt, Krissh for Hrithik, Dhoom for Abishek its Ironman for Robert Downey Junior. I know...kanraavi comparison...just to drive home the point :) I am sure the scriptwriters would've wracked their minds to make Tony Starc as close to the original comic character in the first instalment and after seeing RDJ rock the screen they wud've changed tack and made Ironman as close to RDJ's wacko personality in the next two instalments. Such is the man's onscreen persona that, he makes Tony Starc the most charismatic, macho, egoistic and megalomaniac of all the alter egos of all superheroes combined. Infact that's what makes Ironman the most amazing of all superheroes, which otherwise is just a geeky techie billionaire inside an iron suit. Unlike other heroines, Gwenneth Paltrow is no dumb blonde sidekick who squeals in distress and bates eyelids. She is the brain and calming "Pepper" to the otherwise uncontrollable Tony. In this part of the series, she gets to do some daredevil stunts of her own and in the climax even saves the superhero, with her own forced upon superpower. I think all the scriptwriters have gone overboard in projecting the powers of the femme fatale. Be it Batman (in Dark knight rises) or Spiderman (Amazing spiderman) its the ladies who come to the rescue. With Man of Steel looming large next, hope the original superhero bucks the trend :) Story wise, to be honest, I couldn't quite follow. Maybe katha purinjiruntha wud've liked it more!! But felt dull and drab. Till now couldn't figure out why the natural limb growing medicine makes one a weapon by superheating them. And how come the villain alone gets to regenerated a zillion times, only to die by getting beaten with a uruttukattai from semma kattai heroine and not the rest of the adiyaals. And what is the link to "Mandarin" Ben Kingsley, who, another spoiler alert, is not the villain, but one comedy piece. BUT...But..the paisa vassool moment is the climax. Oru Ironman vanthaalay pattaya kelappum, when RDJ and the army major gets surrounded by villains, an army of Ironman comes to rescue them. Enthiranla athanai Rajani vanthapo theaterla whistle parakara mathiri imagine pannikunga. The stunt sequences were the real life saver in the movie. There is a scene when he is tied to one frame. He asks villains adiyaal how far is Florida from that place. They taunt him and breaks his Dora watch. He threatens the person who breaks the watch that he would kill him first and when he struggles like Manohara Sivaji to break the shackles they laugh at him only to be stunned to see the armour flying to EDJ. Appo theaterla vantha whistles paakanumay!!! Felt like pakka masala action movie in tamil. And it was scintillating too. Apart from few wisecracks here and there and awesome stunt sequences, there is nothing more to write about. Final scenela RDJ destroys all the ironman suits and even undergoes operation to get his heart treated. Ithoda subamnu poattraanga. Adutha seriesku probably it will take several more years and a much younger hero maybe. The action sequences on the disaster portions are getting so realistic and awesome with each movie. Wonder what is in store when the Man of Steel lights up the screen :) Hope Superman doesnt disappoints like Ironman :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013


"Yaam arintha mozhigalilay" nu dhilla solla Bharathiyar mathiri i dunno that many languages. But of the three that i knew, i love Tamil. Its THE best language and most structured one i've ever learnt. It does have a few alphabets missing :) but it sure makes up for it with its rich literature. If at all i could ever fall in love with any other language, a close second would be Telugu. Its one language i abuse the most :) all in jest though. Being a language moron, i find it tough to understand the nuances of other languages. But somehow, even without knowing the meaning, i find it easier to follow telugu. It has a sweetness and cuteness to it that is almost palpable in most of the telugu movies. Especially the ones by Sekar Kammula. All his movies have standard set of strengths and similar weaknesses. Strengths being, Music - almost all the songs will be blockbusters and the melody tracks would linger long after the movie finishes, Female leads - there would be an earthy beautiness to all of them. Cute, independent, strong and lovely at the same time. Weakness being the syurpy storyline. Its sweet to an extent but beyond a stage it starts to thegattify. I am pretty choosy when it comes to watching movies in other languages and Godavari was in waitlist for past sevaral years. Have heard rave reviews about the movie from almost all my friends who've seen the movie and have urged me to watch it many times. Was awaiting a good print with english subtitles and happened to hit upon one recently. By this time i've already seen some of Kammula's other works like Happy days and Life is beautiful and've formed a decent opinion about him. With great eagerness started watching the movie and i am glad to say i wasnt disappointed one bit. People like and hate Ramayana for lot many reasons and everyone have their own favorite characters and reasons for liking them. To me, whenever i think of Lord Ram, i always imagine him to be a shy or atleast reserved kind of a person, strong but silent and almost goofy to the point of being good. And Sita would be a short girl, bubbly, condifent and specifically will have bright and beautiful eyes. When Kamalini mukerji lights up the screen with her picture perfect smile and shiny eyes, even before she could tell "Sita Mahalakshmi" you can makeout what her role is going to be. The movie is set on a boat ride on river Godavari, where a struggling entrepreneur of a heroine, who sets on a trip to participate in seetha kalyaanam, having been rejected by a prospective groom and a wannabe politician of a hero, who is rejected by his uncle for not having a stable job and looses his childhood sweetheart of muraiponnu (Neetu "cuteu" chandra) to a uptight police guy. The marriage party also comes on the same boat ride along with the heroine and how love blossoms between them is told a sweet and mushy way. Its Kamalini's show all the way. She drives the movie from frame one scene one and is the energy engine. Be it in saree or tees and trousers, with specs, without specs, free hair or braided, she looks cute and chirpy and WOW!! Couldnt quit believe that she is not a manavadu and her lip syncs are better than the hero and she fits right into the role. Hero, in the name of underplaying is so feeble that at times, in a crowd scene, its his desinger costume that saves him from being one amongst the extras. Neetu chandra is 'neatu' chandra as the materialistic muraiponnu who has a slight change of heart towards the climax to create a confusion knot only to get back into her materialistic ways and clear the route for the lead pair. Wonder whats the reason behind all those dogs and birds talking in human voices and those needless CG's. Songs are awesome and my favourite of the lot is the one where they sing about Goddess Sita applying henna on her hand. Masterpiece. With a strong setup of a boat ride, along the mighty Godavari river, with beautiful natural setup as background and pleasant re-recording and soothing camerawork, the movie is a 2.5 hour long advertisement for AP and especially the river. Heart craves for a boat ride to Badrachala and enjoy the show all the way.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Chinna kannan has grown :)

Few years back I had mentioned about one sweet lil devil..infact two of cousin's kids. It was about their "criminal" escapades. Whenever I meet them, they are at various sizes and shapes, literally and figuratively. I first saw them on the day of their birth. Tiny, puny and having born few weeks in advance bit pale too. Next visit was when they were talking and my god they could talk. You can read about them on these posts
post 1 , post 2 , post 3 Each time I will have some memorable incidents with those sweet rascals and this time was no exception either. One of the deadly duo has a pronunciation problem and can't say "sa" it comes as "aa". Instead of calling "Chithappa" he will say "athappa" and he started realising much before that we are making fun of his "spello" and would try to escape. This time when I was teasing him, my aunt, who is his grandma by the way, told me that it runs in the family and I am no less than those guys. Then only I realised I still call her "Mumummaa"  and my uncle as "Papppappa" :D:D I couldn't make out the word "Periamma" or "Periappa" as a kid and ended up calling them like that and I still do till this date :)
Back to the plot. It so happens that in their school, the kids had been given "voluntary" home work (!)whatever that means and for each assignment that they finish they will be given a star. These guys do these stuff with relish and everyday they get a badge. The day I went my manni was asking them to show their badges to me and I found one missing for the previous day.

"Daai..where is the badge for yesterday"
"Tholanju poachu" he replied (that it got lost)
" should've been more careful..see you lost the star"
"athunaala enna athappa...doing homework is important.. star naalikum kedaikum"

!!! I was stunned for a moment. What a profound thought. It could've been something totally innocent and he is too small a kid for having realised the significance of what he said, but it felt so happy that his thoughts are in the right direction. I could see a sense of satisfaction on manni's face at his reply :)
Way to go kutti paiyaa :) You're on the right track.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Inheritance of loss

Last week was a deadly one.

It was an ordinary Monday. The alarm rang as usual at 7.40 in the morning and mom threw the phone at me, for me to get up (in her version) and for me to switch it off and go to sleep (on my version).  Curiously I saw a message on my phone. It was from my colleague cum friend and the news was not good. His mom had not been keeping well for a while and the news of her passing away was my wake up call for that Monday. I immediately called my fellow colleagues and within next hour we were all set to leave for vellore where the funeral was taking place. We stayed till the end and came back pretty late into the night. My friend was a real dynamite of a person and is as active as a red ant after food on normal days. It was sad to see him stand dejected and forlorn.

The next day was even more troubling one. While going to office got a message saying that one of our team mates had been killed on an road accident. He had been to kerala for some friends wedding and on the way back their van had met with a tragic accident. He had been the sole bread winner of his family. And he was pretty famous within the team for his volleyball exploits as well. It was a really uncomfortable 2 minutes of silence when the mail came from HR with his photo.

The third day of the week was even more shocking. My colleague for past 8 years, father 2 lovely small kids, a wonderful project manager and an excellent friend, he collapsed with respiratory problem while taking bath and even before they could take him to hospital he passed away.  I was responding to his FB post that morning and when I reached office to this news I thought someone was pulling a nasty prank. It was so shocking that no one believed it till the mail came from HR. He was part of the corporate musical team and was involved in so many charitable activities. It was a shocker that sent us reeling.

There were 2 more deaths to conclude the week, the number which by that time had become a statistic. It left us all scarred emotionally and the usual chirpiness at the corridors and lunch halls went missing.

Everyone tries to define love and life and there are a zillion versions of it floating around. But when it comes to death, its hardly definitive. First of all its morbid and depressing and has gloom written all over it. But it brings with it maturity, whether you want it or not is a different story. Maturity is something that is always accompanied by closure, be it insurance or mutual fund or even life for that matter. In loss, we gain wisdom at times and even courage to carry on. Loss teaches us to re look at life and makes us stop on our tracks, to take a break and to start afresh. Loss maybe irreplaceable and might break us into a million pieces mentally and emotionally and leave us stranded on a no man's land with no one to help or support. Its at these times, these terrible times, that really tests one character and how we shape ourselves from the loss is what makes or breaks a person. We have been collecting funds for our colleagues whose untimely demise had left their families in a difficult situation. But money alone hardly makes up for their loss. I hope we remember them on our prayers  and our collective appeal to god might bring some much needed solace to those aggrieved souls.