Monday, March 30, 2015

WMW - Enakkul Oruvan - review

Psychological thrillers in tamil are hardly a handful. Pizza was the most memorable one in a long long time. Soodhu kavvum and Jigarthanda started as one and went off into a totally different genre altogether. But one healthy aspect to note is, those movies definitely stand out amidst all the rut that is being produced in heaps and bulks. "Enakkul Oruvan" is another glorious exception which deserves a proud place of its own.

Theme and story of the movie have been done to dust in so many reviews that I saw online. How will a person have dreams if he cant even sleep? To solve this issue comes The tablet, Lucia, which is basically a sleeping pill plus it gives hallucinations making dreams so real that you can create your own life in your dreams. Prolonged usage leads to yearning over the near perfect life of our dreams to the unrealized real world lifestyle. Thematically, this is something that everyone wants right? We all have our dreams, from childhood till adult and at times, our subconscious plays a trick or two, where we don't realize its just another dream, till we wake up. What if its something that is not accidental and can be induced through drugs? What happens when you are so impressed with your dream life that, real life sucks and you want to live in your dream? The movie has so many interwoven view points.

The movie star wants to live like a theater usher and there is a brilliant reason for the same. While one role always have to survive in public limelight and glare of flashbulbs, the usher's face is never known even to the person who is shown the seat by him. Since its his dream, except for his character which has a contradiction in its aspiration, rest of the cast have similar wants and wishes, both in their real and reel lives. That was another master stroke in the script. The fact that both are insomniacs are shown in a creative way. While the usher is shown doing multiple jobs like night watchmen to chef in a night stall, movie star is shown casually roaming around the city during night time.

I felt Siddarth's characterization of the movie star, could've caused the movie to flop. While he shines brighter than the torch he carries as the theater usher, he looks uninterested and dull in his other characterization. Almost as if, he is desperately trying to be aloof to bring about difference in both characters. Had he been his normal real self, with amount of histrionics inherent to the usher role, it would have been a crowning glory of a performance. The amount of effort that has gone into the deglam makeup for the usher look shows how good looking Sid is in his real life. The way he talks, his body language are over the top in many scenes, especially the song with the foreign ladies, where he imitates "Perazhagan" surya, as if he carries a hump. Looking dark (I wont use the word ugly) or unfashionable, doesn't mean that the person has a handicap. While the movie star carries way too much attitude, its totally devoid as the usher.

Probably they wanted Samantha's dates for the heroine role and like Sallu bhai of Bollywood, who, whenever any heroine rejects to act with him, hunts for a similar looking one, Deepa Sannidhi is dead ringer for Samantha in many scenes. She doesn't have much to do in her aspiring movie star role and has a good scope to perform as waitress in Pizza shop, which she doesn't do full justice to. Rest of the cast, be it the drug peddler, inspector, "Office" serial MD guy, theater owner every one of them are awesome in their roles. The beauty of the script being such that, every single one of them have dual role - one in real life, which interestingly is shown in color tone and other in reel which is in black and white. There is an intelligent twist in the end which justifies the reason and it twists the story 360 degree round. I relished that portion and the way the twist is depicted. It felt like, right out of a Jeffrey Archer short story, where in the last line of the story, he would turn the entire content upside down. Songs were awesome. "Yendi ippadi enakku" song has been a chartbuster for many months now, due to the delayed release. My other favourite being "Poo avizhum bozhuthu". Lovely lyrics and pleasant tune. There were no comic scenes in this very serious movie.

Gils verdict - must watch for those who enjoy movies with intelligent scripts. I feel you cant watch it on tv or theater. Better buy a DVD and spend some time with the movie :) Avlo vettia iruntha thaan puriyum :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review

After a long time a review post :)
Have been on a movie watching binge since year beginning. Not many merited a review.

"Ai" was a huge disappointment. "Ennai arinthaal" was ok sorts with too much similarity with "Kaakha Kaakha". "Isai" ranged from intriguing to an irritatingly stupid end. "Kaaviya thalaivan" was more of "Keviya thalaivan" with everyone crying their hearts out. Decent attempt. But bad story telling. "Khaki Sattai" brings brand Sivakarthikeyan down to earth, if not any lower. Its neither action oriented nor comic. Anirudh suffers from law of averages with only 3 of thes songs making the cut, unlike his previous album level chartbusters. "Enakkul oruvan" sounds promising. Planning to watch it soon.

"Tamizhukku Enn ondrai azhuthavum" had a hollywoodish premise, with solar storm knocking off cellphone signals and how two events get tied to the savant heroes attempt to revive cellphone network in that area. The screenplay was sloppy to say the least. No sense of urgency for a thriller subject. Bindhu Madhavi looked so uninterested that her role and dubbing felt as if mixed from some other movie's shots. Except for one song, rest were pathetic. Despite all this, just for the sake of a novel premise, the movie merits a watch. Hope they remake it in other languages with better screenplay.

If there had been ever an audio, that has set the curiosity level right up there for the movie, that would be Uttama Villain. Pity that the audio launch turned out to be yet another Kamal worship event with Ghibran hardly finding a mention. There was a big confusion on who is the director of the movie till Ramesh Arvind picked the mike. Everyone were going overboard on how great Kamal was, is and will remain. Coming back to the reason for the event - the audio. What stands out in that playlist is that, except for 2 songs which have direct lyrics and are "normal" movie songs, rest are all situation based and story based. Meaning, at the time of recording, i really doubt if those scenes were even shot and the composer has to literally imagine the situations and do the song. And the best part is, they are literally stories and not sraight forward lyrics. To make matters even difficult, they are told in typical "VilluPaattu" style. Your options couldnt be more restricted as a composer. Yet, Ghibran does a neat job of it.

"Iraniyan kathai" has typically kamal lyrics. They are more of alliterating prose than poetry, yet they definitely strike a chord, literally and figuratively. Guess this song might carry the famous "Thayyam" makeup which is publicized on the promos. My pick of the lot is "Uthaman kathai". The story is way to intriguing and interesting and hope the song/situation make a compelling watch to do justice to the music. "Mutharasan kathai" sounds like a continuation of "Uthaman kathai" and almost has a Vikram betal story kind of a concept. Very curious to watch its picturization.

Friends recommended "Tamarind city" -  a book about Chennai. For a non-chennaiite it may not mean much. But its a treasure for anyone who is born and brought up in the city. Amazingly simple language and has a easy connect. Been reading "Monsoon" by Wilbur Smith. Almost a 1000 page big and till halfway through its fairly engaging a novel. Typical masala one, but good timepass.

Ippothaikku avlothaango :) Appalikka comings.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

700

It all started ten years to this date 22nd March. 700 posts!!! Yosichi paakavay weirda irukku :) When I started wasn't even sure if this concept of blogging will remain for 10 years. Like many new start up ideas thought it will fade out and either way wanted to record my "precious" mokkais in written form. Sila pala pazhiya postslaam padikarachay, in the course of it, I loose track of who even wrote it!! Avlo difference in thinking between now and then. Ippo matured irukena..illa is it happening in reverse I wouldn't know :) From a machine like routine of a post every 5 days..it has boiled down to a slow now.
Hope I can push the number for few more posts :) Like everything else, this too shall pass :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

A lesson for life

I had applied for a post in a different account, wanting a change in my job related activities. Since every client account in my org was run like a separate company in itself, I was asked to take an interview with that account manager. My current manager accompanied me, as he had referred me to that account and also give a moral support. He was more of my friend than a manager and was always a well wisher. So he insisted on him being present. At least, this was my initial thought that, him accompanying me was all for personal reason. Later I realized, it was just to make sure I don't sothappify by me being myself!! I was reminded of that F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode when Chandler goes for an interview and before the call, Phoebe does a mock round with him, where she tones him down asking him not to be the way he usually is, if he really wanted that job.

As we waited for the lift, my manager looked at me from top to bottom and let loose a sigh.
"At least for today couldn't you come in proper clothes?"
 "???!!! What's wrong with these? Its Eddie Bauer tee shirt and John Players Cargoes"
"You are not going for a party my friend" Before he could continue further, the lift came to my rescue. I've always hated the concept of dress code. Never felt comfortable with any rule that dictated my attire. Not that I roam around like a hippie. But I felt more at ease with my sartorial sense, than one being forced. Later I realized how wrong I was.
As we entered the discussion room, he gave me tips on what I should speak and what I shouldn't.
The account manager was already waiting for us and after shook hands and the brief intro, he was convinced even with the intro that I would fit into his account and didn't even bother with the interview. As he and my manager were chatting around, I was surveying that room and was happily swaying on my seat playing candy crush.

After we came out of the room, my manager was silent till we reached the lift. This time also the lift came but not to rescue, more to trap. The moment we stepped in till we reached our building, he was blasting me in full flow and the tirade went on for half hour. I was perplexed as to why he was so angry for I had cleared the interview. He only said one thing.

"Even before I sent your profile to him, I knew yours would be cleared. He also knew that by reading the profile. Yet the reason why the in person interview was arranged for evaluating the person behind the profile."
"Ok..i get that. But what did I do wrong?" I asked still in confusion and with anger slowly rising.
"What wrong?? are you nuts? Did you realize what you were doing there?"
"You mean the game I was playing on phone?"
"Not just that. Your entire attitude and your body language during the meeting. It was pathetic. It was oozing with casualness. Do you realize why people are asked to dress formally? It gives a different appeal to their body language. It gives a different perception than from one that you get by wearing flashy casual dress. Leave alone the dress, you were swaying like a school kid sitting on that rolling chair, looking at the room as if you've entered a zoo. You never bothered to listen to what he was telling me. It reeked arrogance"
I couldn't hear anything else that he was saying. I felt as if he slapped me with his words. I've been anything but arrogant in my mind and I was so scared that such a kind of opinion had been formed about me.
"I..Didn't realize that..."
"Yeah. I knew. That's what is angering me. How can you be so callous? that too in a job interview? I've known about you. So I can understand about you. What about the person who is meeting you for the first time? How would you've seen yourself had you been the person on the other side?"

"How would I see myself?" it resonated so many times in mind that all thoughts went blank.
I've always been critical and judgmental about peoples actions and never had I realized that I can do the same on myself. The moment he said that, I could visualize myself interviewing me and to be honest, never liked what I saw. For anyone stranger to me, they would've considered my action as either arrogant or casual at the lenient.

The words kept ringing in my ears and it took a whole week for me to face him normally. After transitioning to the new account and months after settling into it, the words still resonate. That is something I wouldn't forget in a hurry and wouldn't want to forget as well.

No one can be your best critic but for your own self. If we ourselves don't like what we see in us, nothing else can be a cue for changing, for the better of course.

After that incident, every single time, be it in a meeting or any form of communication I've with any other person, known or stranger, my entire approach has changed totally. Or at least, that's what I hope :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ordinary world

In search of a life less ordinary has always been THE quest of many.
Does ever they take a pause to ask why not an ordinary life?
Read somewhere that, if every kid is bred to grow as engineer and doctor who will clean the streets? If all are trained for captain, who will be their crew?
Is it that parents want their kid to aim high so that, even if they falter they wouldn't fall apart?
Every year millions of kids appear for board exams. Several hundred thousands of them appear for colleges.
Those who take up engineering courses, does every one of them plan to become a civil engineer and construct dams or apartments?
Those who take up medical courses, does every one of them really become a specialty surgeon?
Those who take up commerce and arts group, does every one end up an economist or a professor?
As a society, we never even bother about those who come second, leave alone those who are much farther behind.
With majority of them being moderate to mediocre what happens to that crowd? That whole lot of faceless "under achievers", on whose sanity rests the security of the world of super achievers.
Who will clap for those who stand away from the podium and not on it?
Even in movies, the main villain is described in detail. His henchmen are restricted to just killing the enemies or getting beaten or killed by hero. What about their life? When the main villain gives them an order to kill someone, what will go through the mind of  those mercenaries? No one bothers. For they are neither good enough to be a hero, nor bad enough to be a villain.
A famous statistical quote says, 98% of the world uses what the remaining 2% invent and innovate. If the mediocre, rather "ordinary" majority, continue to dwell in their ordinary existence, not paying any heed to the brainy developments of the toppers, will their achievements still be cherished as much?
The most pressurizing quote I've ever read is that, everyone has their own hidden talent which they need to tap. What if there is no talent in me? Can not having any talent be my specialty??

The post was at first without a title. As if right on cue, this song by Duran Duran played on mind and hence the title and here are the lyrics :)


Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly.
I turned on the lights, the TV and the radio
Still I can't escape the ghost of you

What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some'd say,
Where is the life that I recognize?

But I won't cry for yesterday, there's an ordinary world,
Somehow I have to find.
And as I try to make my way, to the ordinary world
I will learn to survive.

Every world, is my world
I will learn to survive
Any world, is my world
I will learn to survive

 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bachelor boy

Bramacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, Sanyasa..

Takkunu padikka edho Femina miss india models name mathiri irunthaalum..oru kaalathula, hindu ashrama muraipadi, ipadi thaan stages of a man's life nu pririchiruthaangalaam.
Baasha rajini, eight eighta lifea pirichikka sonnathu kooda intha segregationoda subset pola. Aana ithula first stagelenthu second stage pogarathukulla namma pasanga padra paadu, directa 4th stageku poidlaamnu veruthu poidra palar undu. Kamalhaasanukkena..aruvathu vayasanaalum aala ushaar pannindu jammnu irukara kushila, naam vaantha vaazhviruku saandravathu innoru uyirthaanadi nu paaditrukaaru. Inga ponnu kedaikaama padre thindaattam kamalukenga theria poguthu.

Offlate, for whatever reason, I see many of my friends are pushing the limits for "age of eligible bachelor" tag and struggle to find their spouse. If there is a parameter listing like, good family, good looking, decent salary and steady career are the benchmarks, they would get more ticks than a read Whatsapp conversation on each of the checkbox. Not sure if horoscope is the only reason for this dilemma for some of them are from communities where they don't even have one!! The curiosity factor that, with all thing positive, how come they are still single, arising in everyone, it literally drives those guys nuts, having to explain every nosy mausi and mokka maama. Immediately people go into judgment mode, branding them as having over expectation. At least one of them could be heard saying "Aishvarya rai thaaan venuma..antha rangeku erangi vara maateengalaakum?" They would query the poor guy as if he has umpteen conditions ala "manal kayiru" S.Ve. Sekar. Antha paiyan paavam ponnunu onnu kedaicha podhumngara nelamaikku palakaalam munnaye vanthirupaan. Next level torture would be the uchhakattam one. Kadavul ennamo thoon thurumbu, ellathulayum irukaarngarathu ok. Illainu sonna ummachi kanna kuthirum. Adhukaga pincode kooda illatha edama paathu, anga irukkara oru kovilla, watch dial area kulla varaatha oru timea paathu, anga poittu parigaaramngara perla paada paduthi, antha pasangala oru vazhi panra gang neria aadichu naatula ippo.

Irukakra 9 planet (ninea.. eighta?? pluto jaathagathula varuma varaatha?? kaavalan vadivelu maathiri..paavam avaray kanfuse aaitaarunu povendi thaan) and saga asteroid, comets ellam sethu antha sila pala kattamsa match panni, ponnu select panna, appo thaan ponnoda parents, age differencenu oru gunda thooki poduvanga. Officelaam aal edukarachay, fresher resume kudutha experience aalu venum solvanga. Experience kudutha, overa irukku. Cost effective venum kepaanga. Apdiye oru 3- 6 years rangela profile kudutha, domain knowledge ila solli reject pannuvanga. Mudiva edhukumay tally aagama benchla irukara oru pathar vanthu maatikkum antha positionuku. Same logic applies to matrimony also I believe. Pathu porutham pathinanju profilenu paathu kadisila yaar sikraangalo avangalta maatikara mathiri thaan mudiyuthu.

Finala...oru song dedication to all those single makkas - http://lyrics.wikia.com/Cliff_Richard:Bachelor_Boy

Monday, March 09, 2015

The long of the short one

I have often wondered what makes a good literature. is it the characterization? or the story line? or the dialogues? or the vocabulary used? Or is it a combination of all these? When people go ga-ga over great literary works, I am often stumped as to why I don't find them interesting and more importantly what made those stories such a big hit amongst those critics. Some of them are so boring that I couldn't quite crawl beyond few chapters. Irrespective of the number of characters, I loose track of the story line amidst all those adjectives and phrases and themes that they try to explain in their narration. Probably literature students my find it easier, for they've to think through all the metaphors and come up with their own version of what the author could've meant. But is that what stories are supposed to be?? I guess the folk tales or our grandma stories survived through ages mainly because of their simplicity in narration. Even the best seller novels like Dan Browns, Crichtons, Haileys have less recollect value. God father and specific few being a glorious exceptions wherein people recall punch dialogues in them as quotes. Take the case of Vairamuthu's short stories appearing in Kumudham for example. It rambles on to several pages. While the actual story might be just about a pages worth, the rest are all fillers whose absence wouldn't have hurt the story I felt. But probably, it showcases his ability to detail out simpler things. Maybe this is how screenplays are written, minuting everything to the detail possible. But as a quick read enthusiast, it really dampens the flow.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Fault in our stars

Nirbaya is back with vengeance. Pen paavam pollathathu nu summava sollirukaanga. The entire news media, that were after the World cup, will have field day for weeks to come. Watch out for those sadhvis and maulvis grasping for their share in the sun. Tongues will be let loose with all possible crap comments ruling the air.

Should the docu be banned or not has been the universal topic. So oru post poda vasathia me the also choosing the same.

My 2 cents. I don't understand the purpose of the docu at all !! Other than giving the rapist an opportunity to paint a sad story about himself, which him being an ass screwed up big time, I couldn't figure out any other plausible reason. It also aired specific comments by those sadistic people which would spice up the content. To make matters worse, they let out the name of that poor girl!! Probably, the government deciding the ban it only made matters worse.

The reason why BBC chose the Nirbaya incident to showcase the mentality of Indian men begs many a question. The only justification I could think of is the gruesomeness of it and the media attention and public outcry it generated. Other than that, its just a shameful attempt by BBC to make quick fame out of stirring up the controversy. By taking this docu, they've diluted the topic from finding a solution to address this social stigma and have only succeeded in sensationalizing it. I seriously think, had he had any sense, he could've churned up a sob story of potential child abuse and how his past changed his life blah blah blah..the opinion about the incident could've taken a different tone as well !!

I will quote an example as to why I consider this docu a waste. When the travel advisory for my org was released, I was shocked to see the content for India. They had warned foreign women against taking tours alone or even walking out alone after dark and also warned of possible molesters!!! It was so shameful to read the mail. When we travel abroad, our folks also warn us to be careful. But when it comes as a corporate communication, it only goes to show the kind of image MNC's have about our country. And with all those tourists getting abused and killed making headlines its definitely not helping our country.

One question posed to the convict is what we all should ask ourselves. What caused the incident? If I hear one more person commenting on the dress code for women as a reason, kooli padaiya evi vittachum avangala poattu thalliduven. What causes such incidents begs a deeper introspection. Is it lack of education? doesn't look like. These incidents shockingly abound schools. Is it money? Don't think so. Both elite and ezhai apart, they've been party to these gruesome acts. Is it sheer hormonal urge? Castration could be the solution here. If dogs deserved it, these people are no better. Considering that one of the rapists was a juvenile, its even more worrying. Is it where our society is heading to?

The last question raises lot of alarms in me. In times when we've less women to men ratio, with survey after survey stating how majority of men folks of marriageable age are not finding spouses, with women taking huge strides on what were considered to be male bastions, could the male ego on the run be a possible cause? Looks more like it. I strongly believe, our movies reflect the current society's scenario be at any given point of time. One look at the number of crass sexist songs and the responses that they generate on theaters would cause a conscious cringe. The stories encourage the youth of today to drink and molest women. TASMAC has become an all important character in any tamil movie. In no way I am passing the blame to cinema alone. But such acts are daily affairs in real life which emboldens people to commit these heinous crimes.

To protect another girl from becoming Nirbaya, these kind of incidents have to be condemended, criticized, attacked and punished at every avenue possible. Be it on media or on real life, irrespective of the age/gender/societal status. Else, this would be just another media hyped news which will die away into dust at the sight another sensational news.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

So what?

So what if Mufti makes a mockery of the central government of India?
So what if Mother Theresa was actually concentrating on conversion and helped people as part time?
So what if Amma bhakths make a mockery of worship and devotion and sully places of worship?
So what if kalaignar tv declares hindu religious occasions as "just" holidays and not by their name?
So what if Aameer's PK or Ulaganayagan mocks your beliefs unapologetically?
So what if Ajith Kumar's second baby's birth is front page news in Times of India?

Keep calm and watch world cup.
Adha vida mukkiyamaana vishyam naatula edhuvum illa.
We won't give it back and we won't give a damn for anything else.