Friday, September 18, 2015

Thani Oruvan - review

Thani Oruvan - After a long time a movie that impressed.
Director of the movie is well known for his penchant for remaking telugu hits in tamil. This being his first ever original script and the kind of reception for it must be encouraging for him. Supposedly four years in making, it goes on to prove that be it Holly Bolly or Tolly, whatever be the wood, the script is always the king. 
The movie has a slightly different plot. The hero and villain are no way linked like other movies. They dont have a vengeance angle, family feud or any other previously seen story lines where their paths meet. The honest cop of a hero "selects" a villain of his match by implicitly using 80:20 principle. By negating the core evil he would address 80% of the problems and remaining 20 can be addressed on priority. He prepares charts and burns midnight oil, literally, to track the villain with slight similarities to Gajini movie. The villain is not your every movie, sickle weilding paan chewing masala don. He is pretty suave and probably the smartest ever to don the screen in a long time. He matches wit for wit with the hero and is quite honest and unapologetically ruthless. The best punchlines of the movie are reserved for him. Somehow, more than the hero, the punches are really felt when mouthed by villains. 
A pleasant plus for the movie is Nayanthara. She is all beauty with brains and provides comic yet coy relief in the otherwise serious movie. She looks much better and younger than ever and the song picturization to justify her presence also are cleverly placed not to hinder the movie flow. Jayam Ravi does a neat job as honest and upright officer. He seems to fit this role well in his previous movies as well, be it Peraanmai or Nimirnthu Nil.
People go gaga over Arvindh swamy's villain act. One thing that is worrying is, while Jeyam Ravi's character oozes with positiveness and is the embodiment of sacrifice and goodness, not a soul speaks of that character. Is it just because of him being outperformed by swamy or are the movie watching public really turning towards negative characters more than positive ones?? Same feeling i had when people whistled and laughed at Siddarth, when he asks for a break to charge his battery while filming Bobby Simha and his men torturing people in Jigarthanda and when they hooted for Karunakaran in "Soodhu Kavvum" while his earnest and honest dad was treated like a clown. Atleast that was the very premise of the movie. But similar reaction for a mainstream commercial movie like Thani Oruvan is really worrying signs for our society.
Gils verdict : A pretty decent movie with a racy second half. No wonder its a blockbuster already.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Genesis of future

Read an article last week that a factory in China has totally replaced their manpower with robots. While it was a 1:10 replacement ratio between manual workers and robots, the productivity increased in indirect proportion. The news was right out of a Hollywood sci-fi movie. It was just a footnote on the local newspaper, yet its significance couldn't be lost for the burgeoning human populace.

Whenever robots replacing manual workers concept is thrown is, predominantly its the auto industry which comes into focus. For they are always R&D heavy and any "cutting" new technology makes it appearance on their work floor before visiting anywhere else.

How far has technology caught up in other domains?

Nowadays, sitting in one continent and remotely performing surgery on a patient are becoming a regular feature. Will robots give doctor a run for their medical money? Will the patients prefer a human face gauging their illness and providing a scribbled note for prescription or a machine that can pinpoint and even predict their illness, based on their historical data and dietary lifestyle? We trust machines more than humans when it comes to deciphering data. Will we trust a machine to review our health based on previous medical reports and follow its inference or will we still long for the proverbial human touch?

Amazon is trying out drones for couriering parcels. Will we soon face the day when drones out fly birds? Will one prefer on time delivery/receipt of his parcel via a flying machine or fight with a delayed courier guy, yet offer them water on a hot sunny day?

Venezuleans are rioting and resorting to armed robberies for stealing food. Yes. You read that right. For food. Supposedly the Saudi of South America is reeling under due to reduced oil rates. On one hand everyone is cribbing about the amount of food wasted by Americans and the tonnes of grains lying rotten in our own Warehouses. Yet there are scores of people dying every minute of hunger. Its such a shame that while nations out do each other on their military spend, the very own citizens whom they strive to protect wouldnt give a damn as to who would lord them as long they get a square meal. Are the defence forces mean to protect the interest of the high and mighty? If so why the common has to bear the expenses of their security while he is rotting for food. What use are all those nukes which can never be fired yet at the cost of so many innocent lives!! What use are all those so called strategic locations to protect which billions are spent, yet those very people who are supposed to be protected are anyways dying of hunger!! We need tht age old weapon for the mass destructor called hunger, which is the biggest weapon of them all - compassion towards fellow humans.

Nothing in nature is metallic. The periodic table of elements that once adorned charts like hunters trophies have climbed down from their colored boxes and are out to conquer the natural world. The rarest of all those elements is not from the periodic table and i really doubt if you have to dig for them. Its called love for fellow beings. Supposedly the cheapest of all of the elements that make a human. May be thats the reason why its at a premium in present world. Probably when some day if it comes with a price tag maybe the world has a chance to survive into the next millenia.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Tongue tied

I have always wanted to learn multiple foreign languages with Japanese, Spanish, French and German taking the top slots as favourites. Somehow i could never think of the local Indian languages be it southern or those spoken up above the Vindhyas as foreign, even though they are as alien. Jai ho to the concept of linguistic divide and diversified unity.

When i think back as to the reason why, the first thing that comes to mind is the pride and respect that one can command by knowing so many languages. Being the lazybones that i am, i couldn't drag myself beyond a few classes i had enrolled, for i realized my want was much more than learning a few syllables here and there and a know-how to pass a casual comment now and then. A cousin of mine managed to make a career out of her linguistic skills and is now a successful editor for many a Japanese text. I never had such inhibitions as well.

To me learning a language is a much more complicated task. Languages are not just a set of characters with grammar formula. They are the window to the culture of the speakers. By just knowing how to read or write one cannot be called an expert, for its akin to learning the syntax of writing a code. To really know a language one has to mingle with the natives, understand their prose and poetry and way of living. Mere mugging up of few syllables would never quite do justice.

Its from this background that i view the biased approach by the government in promoting selective languages. There is hardly any logical justification to their programs. Take for example, the reservation charts that are pasted on each train compartments. They are either in english or hindi. For a localite from TN with no knowledge of either of those languages, he would be hard pressed to travel even within his own state!! In a linguistically bordered nation, no state government will undertake such suicidal note, to promote any language other than its own. How much ever its sugar coated, the central government will be wasting good money after bad in trying to create the infrastructure for promoting the language of its choice. Instead of insisting or force feeding the states into submission by adopting rigid stance, one should encourage the pluralism that is India. We are defined as the land of multiple languages and cultures and heritage. As it is there are so many dialects that have vanished without patronage. Such a brazen act of foolishness would only distort the ever singing fabric of unity in this great country.

Learning multiple tongues is like wearing fancy hats. Its a fashion statement at the best that advertises ones potential to learn. But mother tongue is that head on which rests the other languages. You can't trade your head for a hat. Doesnt make sense ever.