Dec 30, 2008
Dec 23, 2008
Some of the Indian movies that I watched recently , viz., Rab ne bana di jodi, Poo and Mounam pesiyathey, had one thought-provoking thing in common - they had at least one scene where the parent(s) decide about the wedding of a main character. Indian parents, traditionally, have been considering the marriage of their son/daughter as their main responsibility. So, it is not surprising that the mere mention of 'love' meets with resistance - sometimes strong and sometimes weak, depending on how 'different' the lover is, in terms of religion, caste, social status, family background, and appearance. This post is not to support or oppose arranged marriage, but my analysis from a sociological point of view.
Dec 18, 2008
Lemme try to review it the way Suhasini would do.. ;)
The director of this film, Aditya Chopra, rewrote the trend in Hindi films in 1995 with his blockbuster 'DDLJ' which is still running in Mumbai. He brought life back to a precariously placed Yash Raj films which is continuing to make 3-4 films a year. DDLJ was the first among a series of films with an NRI as the protagonist. Aditya followed DDLJ with 'Mohabbatein' 5 years later. Romance was the backbone for that movie too, but it wasnt even half as good as DDLJ. While the movie had good songs and an impressive star-cast, its story was very weak, and its scope pathetic. He took a long hiatus from directing movies and now is back with his favorite hero and a newcomer Anushka Sharma as the heroine.
The story first. Surinder (a geeky SRK with shirt, pant and specs), who works for 'Punjab Power' in Amritsar gets to marry Taani (Anushka) whose fiance dies on their wedding day due to an accident. Taani is very unhappy with the marriage and hence they both live separately in the same house. Taani joins a dance class and prepares for a competition. The introverted Suri wants to somehow win her love and undergoes a total change in his make-over, personality and everything, which make him totally opposite to what defines Suri. When Taani meets him in the dance class, she is unable to identify him as her husband. Afraid that he might not get a chance to spend time with her, he introduces himself as Raj to her and reverts back to his normal appearance at home.
Taani and Raj are assigned as dance partners. She slowly starts to like the vivacious Raj. He starts flirting with her, which meets with her resistance at first. Gradually, as they have to spend time together practicing their dance, she begins to like him. Her behavior is bittersweet to Raj, since he knows that she likes not her husband but the bubbly Raj. He goes to the extent of proposing to her and she agrees to elope with him. The movie ends with the events surrounding the final of the dance competition.
Rab ne.. walks on the edge of a sharp knife for the most part, without trying to compromise on the Indian culture and values. Though the climax is somewhat predictable, I wanted to see the way the events lead to it. After already having starred in a controversial movie like KANK, it is a risk for Shahrukh to enact a similar role. Can't say that his role comes out unscathed. His Raj character crosses the limit in 'testing' Taani by alluring and wooing her. Her anger in the climax is ridiculous, to say the least and is stereotypical of an Indian woman.
The movie suffers from huge lack of logic, which is its next major problem. First is the inability of Taani to distinguish between Suri and Raj, especially since they are the only two people with whom she interacts in Amritsar. Suri's total change in character resembles a multiple-personality disorder, only that in his case, both the personalities are very much aware of each other. Suri's reasoning for creating and sustaining Raj character is very weak, especially since he doesn't do anything to express his abundant love to Taani. 'Seeing God' in a loved one is all too much. This kind of story would have been apt for the era of previous generation only.
'Dance pe chance' has some nice lyrics and good dance; 'Phir milenge' is interesting, but the novelty in OSO's 'Om Shanti om' is missing. Shahrukh's body language is funny and entertaining in places. Anushka is just little more than a pretty doll. Her costumes - both the traditional Punjabi and dance suits are the only ones which add color to the movie. Overall, the movie is a yawn-fest most of the time; better luck, Shahrukh for the next 'My name is Khan'.
Dec 11, 2008
You can google and get loads of impressive info on this 27-year old; I was totally taken aback by his talent on this week's show. And then I came to know that he has already been an integral part of a similar talent-hunt show in the Malayalam channel 'Amrita', called Superstar Global, searching about which I came across this singer Roopa Revathi, who would put the super singer contestants into shame. Watch especially for this video below wherein she sang 'SingAra vElanE' song, with Stephen playing the piano, in front of S. Janaki, no less.
I became a huge fan of Stephen, the major reason for which is the performance below. No wonder he is the best Asian student ever at the famous London Trinity college of music.
I have noticed in the recent months that the new talent in Kerala is amazing. Considering the legends like Balamurali Krishna, KJY, Janaki,Chitra, Sujatha and Jency, I should have known sooner. I first saw some shows of Idea star singer,the first Malayalam singer-hunt show which is currently running in Asianet. Several of the contestants sing tamil songs, that too very well, with near-perfect diction. Looking at this kind of abundant talent in TN and Kerala, I wonder how there can be a place for someone like Madhusree in Tamil cine music.
Dec 6, 2008
Dec 3, 2008
The term 'Designer babies' has been largely used by the popular media (mostly in a derisive way) to define the babies who are genetically tailored in the zygotic phase in order to eliminate the risk of known genetically transmitted diseases and to increase the capacity for certain skills/straits when the child grows up. The U.S. populace is divided over the concept because of the conservative belief of 'playing the God' and socio-ethical issues. My stand on this issue is a policy-based support for the genetically-bettered babies.
Firstly, it is the responsibility of the parents to do the best for their children. One moral/bioethical question that is being asked about designing babies is that it is like violating the rights of a human being and fiddling with his/her rights without permission. I consider that, from the moment a man and woman decide to have a baby, they are interfering with the right of another human being, which is of course not present. By choosing a partner of their own liking, by eating food of their choice during pregnancy, by consuming medicines that would keep the baby free of certain infectious diseases, by choosing a medical facility based on their liking for the pregnancy treatment and child delivery, and by opting for natural or caesarian method for delivery, the parents decide what is best for their child. The society accepts all of that, even though many of such practices have been constantly evolving over the past several decades.
I presume there will be some opponents to this concept, as there are for other controversial concepts such as abortion. It is important for one to be able to defend their decision to the opponents who might very well be relatives, coworkers and/or friends. My defense would be along the following lines: The society doesn’t question if a bankrupt or extremely poor couple decides to conceive a child; no squabbles if a jailbird wants to become a parent; also, the society allows the parents of a newborn or a young child to separate upon divorce; it even permits homosexuals to adopt a child. The future of the child or the consent of the child is never considered, because for the society, the parents are those who become more important than the tender mind of the child.
If one argues that, by genetically doctoring a child, we are tinkering with the child’s freedom of life, I would say that so do all the cases mentioned above. Can we argue that, since a mother and father are required for the conception of a child, the child deserves to have both of them together at home, until he/she reaches a certain age? Can the society ban divorce of parented couple unless the child consents? Can the child sue the divorced or poor or homosexual parents for not providing him/her an ideal and peaceful environment at home? After all, the children didn’t plead the parents to give birth to/adopt them, did they? Under the terms ‘parental responsibility’, ‘parental freedom’ and ‘reproductive/biological urge’, we allow the parents to choose what they want.
Similarly, in a competitive society, the responsibility to give birth a fittest possible child also comes under the responsibility of the parents. Granted, it is a game that can be played only by rich people; I wouldn’t know how much it would be possible for me to be able to spend for the genetic design of my child, but I would do my best to ensure that there is a somewhat level-playing field for my child. In that regard, I would like my child to be born without any physical and mental disabilities and with good intelligence. As long as the purpose of altering the natural genetics of a child is for the child’s betterment, I would support it and go for it. Other attributes such as gender, height, and other physical attributes are the qualities which are governed by me and my partner so I wouldn’t want that to be altered at all. Beauty and physical attributes are left out of the ‘betterment’ criterion, because I consider that beauty lies in the eyes of a beholder, and, what appears to be a positive attribute for one person need not be so for another. So, I would let nature take its own course in deciding those features for my child.
Another concern raised by the opponents of this concept is, they feel that it would take away the excitement of watching children grow to their individual personality, and that it would negate the disease-fighting and adapting tendency of a person if he/she is largely disease-free. I correlate such resistances to the voices raised by the so-called ‘purist lovers’ of sports when technology was brought in to sort-out some on-field decisions, the verdict of which depended only on the referee/umpire’s decision. A famous English cricketer, WG Grace once mentioned to an umpire who had just given a bad decision, “People have come to see me bat, not to see you umpire”. Common sense prevailed, several sports have assimilated technology, and the quality of the sports has become better since then. Similarly, every caring parent will want the best possible life for their children; seeing the children struggle against a disease which could have been prevented, or not being able to excel in life because of limited intelligence would be akin to child abuse.
Such advancements would mean that the level and intensity of competition among the members of the future generation will be quite difficult from what we see in our times. Youngsters and adults, devoid of worries about major acquired diseases and armed with better intelligence will constantly be thriving to excel one another. That doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing. One such scientist endowed with super-intelligence might invent a drug for HIV; another physician might invent quick and complete cure for brain tumor; a nanotechnologist might design cheap and highly efficient solar cells or motor vehicles which would save our planet from burning of fossil fuels.
Also, intellectuals along the same league as Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Sigmund Freud, Richard Feynman, Leonardo Da Vinci, Beethoven, and Isaac Newton may be born. The possibilities are endless. Is it something to be worried? Such people have made the world a better place to live, so why can’t we have more of them in the future? It doesn’t mean that we can expect all these and more such breakthroughs happen by default or in a jiffy. The emphasis would still be on good education, parental care, responsible upbringing, inculcation of moral values and respect for fellow humans.
There might be some developments such as extra-fast athleticism, super-durable sportsmen, and extra-strong anti-social elements. In addition, there is a possibility that, those who cannot afford to have the genetically modified babies will continue to produce the ‘normal’ ones, leading to a divided society based on some new factor. But these are some of the issues that the politicians and sociologists need to consider and work about. American history suggests that, when the cars were introduced for the first time, only the rich could afford it initially; but the society as a whole started working very hard with a goal-driven desire to own a car. This led to the industrial revolution and the U.S. has never looked back since then. Such a phenomenon is highly likely to recur, since the stakes are quite high this time around. And America being a free society is always more welcoming to new developments in science and technology than dwell over the negative repercussions.
I think it is human nature to be circumspect when an extraordinary breakthrough is just around the corner. It is more so the case with conservatives and those who place religion above everything else. The numerous medical advancements that the genetic engineering promises must allow its opponents to let the scientists do their job under the watchful eyes of the Government and eminent scholars.
Nov 26, 2008
Another quick and unjustifiably crude translation of a recent song which has captivated my heart.
M: ஹாய் மாலினி!
நான் இதை சொல்லியே ஆகணும்;
நீ அவ்ளோ அழகு!
எவனும் இவ்ளோ அழகா ஒரு ......
இவ்ளோ அழகைப் பார்த்திருக்க மாட்டாங்க
and I am in love with you....
After introducing himself, he says that no one would have seen such a beautiful.... (pause and a chuckle) such a beauty. What a way to say that she is the most beautiful (not just woman, but in the) whole world. Considering that this is their first meeting, that is a very powerful statement (albeit praising her external beauty) to flatter her.
முன்தினம் பார்த்தேனே பார்த்ததும் தோற்றேனே
சல்லடைக் கண்ணாக நெஞ்சமும் புண்ணானதே
I saw you yesterday and as soon as I saw, I lost (to you).
My heart was wounded like the eyes of a sieve.
Traditionally, the sight of a woman is compared to the arrow; so, it is as if so many of such arrows attacked his heart and wounded him, that his heart has thousands of such tiny holes.
இத்தனை நாளாக உன்னை நான் பாராமல்
எங்குதான் போனேனோ நாட்களும் வீணானதே
All these days, without seeing you
where (the hell) did I go? Oh, all (my) days have been a waste..
When a person meets someone and falls in love, he/she wishes that they spent all their goneby days with that person. It is not only the happiness of the present, and a dream for the future, but a frustration for the past too.
வானத்தில் நீ வெண்ணிலா ஏக்கத்தில் நான் தேய்வதா
இப்போழ்தே என்னோடு வந்தாலென்ன
ஊர் பார்க்க ஒன்றாக சென்றாலென்ன
You are like a moon on the sky; I wane due to longing (for you)
What if you come with me now?
What if we go out, with the world watching (or what if we go sight-seeing)?
Yeah, the last line can be taken in both the ways. The first one is about the Hindu tradition of going on a procession after the marriage, so that the neighborhood can see who has got married. The latter is about the wish of a person to roam around the world with his lover.
துலாத்தட்டில் உன்னை வைத்து
நிகர் செய்யப் பொன்னை வைத்தால்
துலாபாரம் தோற்காதோ பேரழகே?
After placing you on a weighing balance,
if gold is placed to equalize with you,
wont the balance lose, my beauty?
He is not talking about the shape of his girl (pun unintended); he compares the beauty of her with the beauty of gold. He says that she is so beautiful that, a balance designed to weigh human-like fairly large objects will still be too small to accomodate the enormous gold required to compensate for her beauty. Considering the density differences between gold and human, this is a huge claim indeed.. ;), and his girl is such a beauty.
F: முகம் பார்த்துப் பேசும் உன்னை
முதல் காதல் சிந்தும் கண்ணை
அணைக்காமல் போவேனோ ஆருயிரே
How will I not hug you, who looks at my face and talks
and from whose eyes the first love is oozing out?
Women respect and like men who look at their face and talk, bcos a large chunk of the men have been notorious in that aspect. Also, the girl's instant appeal with someone who is giving his heart for the first time to a woman is given importance. Also, this is the first response of the woman after hearing what the man has said. She just reciprocates to his feelins saying that she likes to hug him.
M: ஓ... நிழல் போல விடாமல் உன்னைத் தொடர்வேனடி
புகை போலப் படாமல் பட்டு நகர்வேனடி
வினா நூறு கனாவும் நூறு.. விடை சொல்லடி
I will follow you like (your) shadow; I will touch you delicately and move away from you as how the smoke does. (I have) hundreds of questions, and hundreds of dreams; pl. give (me) an answer.
The desperation of the hero is very much evident from these lines. He is already dreaming of her and a life with her. All he wants is the answer.. Of course he wants 'yes' to be that answer. One can compare this Q&A to the western culture of the woman answering the man 'yes' when he proposes, and during the wedding when she says 'yes, I do!'.
F: கடல் நீலம் மங்கும் நேரம்
அலை வந்து தீண்டும் தூரம்
மனம் சென்று மூழ்காதோ ஈரத்திலேWhen the blueness of the sea dims,
the waves touch the far end (of the shore).
Wont the heart immerse (itself) in the wetness (of love)?
M:தலை சாய்க்கத் தோளும் தந்தாய்
விரல் கோர்த்துப் பக்கம் வந்தாய்
இதழ் மட்டும் இன்னும் ஏன் தூரத்திலே
You gave (me your) shoulder (for me) to put (my) head on..
You came near me holding my hands..
why are your lips still far away?
F:பகல் நேரம் கனாக்கள் கண்டேன் உறங்காமலே
உயிர் ரெண்டு உராயக் கண்டேன் நெருங்காமலே
உனை அன்றி எனக்கு ஏது எதிர்காலமே
I had day-dreams without sleeping
I saw two souls frictioning (against each other), without coming closeby
What is my future without you?
Only in the ultimate line of the charanam, she opens out her heart and gives the real answer that he wants to hear. By saying that there is no future for her without him, all the ambiguities of dating and courting relationship are removed and the love now reaches the mutually agreed state.
Nov 20, 2008
Nov 15, 2008
Story: Life of Surya (Surya), with his dad Krishnan’s (Surya) influence in each phase of his life.
I liked: The performances of all, mostly. Initially, Surya’s falling in love with Meghna (Sameera Reddy) is a little too mushy-mushy; but I think the emotional and romantic males can correlate to Surya’s feelings, and his ways of showing his love. The picturization of most songs was superb, except my fav ‘Nenjukkul’.
‘Mundhinam’ was superbly done, except for Simran’s appearance. The props used for the song gave the required retro feeling. In ‘Yethi yethi’, Surya appearing in some avatar’s of Kamal’s old movies was good and believable, considering the teenagers’ wish to emulate their icon.
I totally disliked:Most of the dialog. Though sometimes one can convey a lot by simple phrases like ‘I am in love with u’, or ‘I miss(ed) you’ and like, when it is shown in a movie, we expect a different touch to it when it is repeated. Gautham managed to show the difference in Kamal’s love with the two women in VV quite well, but in 'Vaaranam Ayiram', except for Surya’s exuberance, it lacks the novelty. There is a distinct Mani Ratnam touch in the dialog, which is not wrong by itself; but overdoing it makes us to feel like excommunicating Gautham.
This movie shows us that something we take for granted, like the good dialog, can explicitly show its absence, thus spoiling the script. First of all, the family communicating mostly in English, considering the family’s background, is definitely odd. The only word that sticks to our memory when we come out of the movie is ‘Daddy’; I heard a comment from a nearby woman saying her hubby that she is gonna ban her son from calling him ‘daddy’. Such was the irritation it creates, unfortunately. If it wasn't for tax exemption, Gautham would have surely named the movie 'Daddy'. ;) Gautham’s down-to-earth dialogues in ‘Kakha kakha’ were appreciated that time, since they were fresh; but now, that style is stale; we don’t want extravagant poetical/cinematic dialogues but not of the kind conversed in this movie.
Screenplay. Many times we feel that the movie is simply stagnating; especially Gautham’s ploy of showing Surya’s family and Krishnan’s death at the beginning of the movie badly backfires, since we can easily predict much of the movie. Also, the military scenes appear to be totally unnecessary and don’t blend with the overall mood of the movie. Though Gautham wanted to show an ideal dad through Krishnan, the latter’s approach and solutions to Surya’s problems seem somewhat too simple, and so they don’t get our appreciation. True, in several families, the dad doesn’t show much emotions and love towards his children and Krishnan is quite caring; but, unlike in ‘Thavamai Thavamirundhu’, his character development with his children is not shown, if that was what was supposed to be the crust of the movie. So, it oscillates between Surya’s love and his dad; so, when he dies, we don’t feel for him.
Direction. This is a classic case of talented actors showing superb performances not gelling to a memorable movie due to the lack of the glue which the direction provides. The director has paid great attention to peripheral issues like the appearance of Surya at different stages, Krishnan and Malini (Simran) in 60’s, film-making in different parts of the world, and song picturization; but has miserably failed to weave them all in a beautiful fabric of his 3 departments – screenplay, dialog and direction. If he wants to show a real urban middle-class family, in which of such family is the elder brother happily married with children, when his sister is not married?
Gautham likes to show his characters to be the creamy layer. We heard Maya of KK say ‘MSc Maths, from IIT Madras’ evoking laughter in the theater, and now it is ‘Comp Sci from REC Trichy and 99% score, plus MS from Berkeley’. If Surya’s efforts to find Meghna were lame, his zeroing-in on Prithviraj during the child abduction in a city like Delhi, that too within days, is too much stretching of imagination.
Initially when I heard the rumors that it would be a remake of ‘Forrest Gump’, I didn’t like the idea; but now I feel that it would have been far better if it was a remake.
Nov 2, 2008
First, plz read a recent article on how blogging is good for one's health. :)
I usually get a lot of thoughts and opinion about the things that have interested me, but couldnt always find the right friends with whom to share them all. After coming to US, the interaction with fellow like-minded Indians reduced even more drastically. Within less than a year of landing here, I came across blogging, and it immediately appealed to me, since it provided my own platform to pen my views, and have a discussion going. Also, from my childhood, I have always liked to write (and talk) a lot too.. ;)
When someone starts blogging, he/she knows few or hardly any friends who also blog. By commenting in others' blogs, and also receiving comments in one's posts, people slowly open up their mind on various topics. As I mentioned in the earlier post, some prefer to be anonymous, simply because they dont know what to expect in this new and unclear world; there is no way to judge a person purely from his/her posts; and so on. Still, most open out their minds to the strangers, because with some, they find better connectivity than with fellow bloggers than with their spouses/siblings/parents/friends. Also, when one can't share some issues with the people surrounding them, they tend to look out for doing so with somebody; through blogs, they find some people with whom they can share, and that makes them feel better.
I have heard some comparisons between blogging and online chatting in chat rooms. Though the commonality between them is in the introduction to strangers in the cyberspace, blogging is far more reliable, for, it helps understand the stranger in a better way, from his/her postings and responses to comments, and also from the comments in others' blogs. As I wrote in the previous post, reading someone's posts for a considerable time (which would vary, depending on if and how that person is circumventing from his/her original personality in the posts and comments) would help map the personality of someone to a considerable extent.
This bring to the important question of whether bloggers reveal their true traits, or hide it to deceive others. This arises due to the presence of such characters in the internet chat rooms, where even the gender of the person can be doubted unless a verbal communication is setup. So far, I havent felt such a deception in the blogworld. Well, everyone has secrets, and a considerable chunk of the population has another side that is hardly known even to the spouse; so, in that same scale, certain characteristics of the bloggers, due to self-imposed constraints or whatever, may not be known.
Thus, having deciphered the personality map of some bloggers, people decide about how much of their mind to share with a particular blogger. I have written some stories on "Blogger Love", which, I felt, and still feel, would be more meaningful and sensible than 'Chatroom love'. I am not suggesting or recommending anything, but such is the power of the blogging that I have felt so far, which has made me to remark so. Blogs are almost like mirrors, reflecting one's personality. It is because I believe that 'one can fool someone for sometime, but not all the time'. Add one more famous saying 'Man is a social animal', and it will become clear that, when a new vista of social interaction arrives, it is embraced quite cheerfully, thus helping further shrink the world.
Oct 31, 2008
The movie was a hit, making the director add the movie's name before his name as 'Yaar' Kannan. It was a well-crafted movie, with a decent star cast of Arjun, Nalini, Jaishankar, Senthil, 'NizhalgaL' Ravi, (I think his was the first name the horror moviemaker would pen when deciding the star cast.. One can see him in pretty much all the movies... He would have just missed being called 'Pei' Ravi, ;) )among others. Even the comedy segment, involving was Senthil was quite freaky, especially the demise of Prof. Senthil. One unforgettable scene which scared the hell out of me is where Jayachitra encounters her 'different' son, thinking of which I still get the hair at the back of the neck raising.
2) 13-aam number veedu:
There is the same spookiness in this movie too, with lots of boorish moments. It followed the same trend of people in a house dying one after the other.
3) My dear Lisa:
It has the classical horror motive of revenge behind it. Some of the modus operandi for murder is inspired from 'Evil dead'.
4) Idhudhan arambam:
Produced and directed by 'Raj Bharath' of early 80's movie 'Uchakkattam', this involved a lot of scary scenes, but this was a movie with a twist in the end.
5) Jenma natchathiram:
Heavily inspired from 'The Oman', this movie, produed by 'ThakkAli' Srinivasan had a child as the '666' evil. The climax was quite heart-breaking and made me think about what would have happened after the movie ended.
6) Vaa Arugil Vaa:
Actually a nice movie. It had a decent storyline, heart-wrenching senti scenes, good suspense-building moments, and an entertaining second half. The horrifying figure was inspired the 'Chucky' character, but the Tamil version was quite cute. This movie, along with 'Yaar' and 'Idhudhan arambam' is one of the only three Tamil horror movies that I have watched twice.
A movie with 'Mike' Mohan as the main character, but a unique one.. His voice and hairstyle were horrible; and the horror-inducing scenes were quite creepy. For those of us who associate Mike Mohan with soft, romantic roles, and singing in front of mikes, this movie is undigestible.
Remake of Hindi 'Bhoot', this film scared only in parts. The most scariest creature was the hair-chewing, eye-rolling Kalairaani, who for your kind information, was not possessed. It was quite different from the usual horror movies in the sense that it is based in an urban setting, a Chennai apartment.
A recent one; again based in an urban setting of college, library and normal city house. Despite having the advantage of using good technology, it wasnt that different in the fear-inducing scenes. It has got some twists too; the last scene/frame of the movie is quite shocking.
BTW, one doubt: Why do Indian women close their mouths with their hands when they scream? ;)
Oct 26, 2008
Oct 19, 2008
1) Starting from the oldest, I had written this post 3 years ago about harvesting of human power in gym. From one comment that I got last year, I was happy to know that the idea is getting implemented by some gyms in Hong Kong.
2) I had this list of my favorite top 10 villains in Tamil cinema. Some good ones were missed, as some readers had mentioned and as I Had acknowledged. Check out this recent list by Behindwoods and watch out for overlaps.
3) I like most reality shows involving talent-hunt, be it dance, music, singing or humor. I had posted about one of my fav shows - Nach Baliye, the Season 2 of which was just over when I wrote the post. This Friday, the Season 4 has kick-started. Season 2 was a huge success, with good judges and cute couples. Season 3 was a forgettable one, though I havent watched most of the episodes. It even ended controversially, with court cases and allegations of favoritism/bias. Season 4 looks very promising, with great judges - Farah Khan, Arjun Rampal and Karishma Kapoor (South ex-heroines must have a look at her.. Looks like time has stopped moving forward in her life alone.. she looks almost the same as in 'Dil To Pagal Hai' or 'Fiza'). Among the participants, Jaspal Bhatti is a surprise choice... Hope he caters well to the Bhangra audience. Thee are a few known and newfaces from soap operas, but at least 6 couples look promising. Let it rock!!
4) Another important addition to 'Science in song lyrics' post: "Moongil kAdugalE" from Samurai. I came across this song only recently, and when I heard that it is Vikram's fav song, I can understand. Superbly sung by Hariharsn and brilliantly penned by Vairamthu, the following lines have some wonderful references to scientific events, linking them with philosophy and humanity..
In the second stanza, he goes:
"Uppu kadalOram mEgam uRpathi AnAlum
upputhaNNeerai mEgam oru pOdhum sindhAdhu
i.e., Even though clouds originate from salty sea, it never rains salt water)
Malaiyil veezhndhAlum sooriyan marithu povathilllai
nilavukku oLiootti thannai neettithukkolgirathu"
(Though the sun disappears behind the hill, it doesnt die; it enlightens the moon and extends its longevity)
Then, he says
"Jananam maraNam aRiyA vaNNam nAnum mazhaithuLi AvEnO"
(Will I become like rain which has no birth or death?)
The first part beautifully talks about the natural process of distillation. For the question of why salt doesnt evaporate alongwith water is bcos the vapor pressure of salt is very low. Thus, the evaporation of water from sea separates pure water from saline sea.
In the second part, the process of reflection of sunlight by moon is poetically described. Vairamuthu says that it elongates the life of sun.
In the last part, the fundamental chemical theory about conservation of molecular structure upon physical changes is narrated. Water, or any chemical for that matter, can neither be created nor be destroyed due to the physical processes that take place around or with them. For that, chemistry is required. Vairamuthu compares that law to the hero's wish of living forever without a knowledge about life or death. If his wis was granted, he would be like 'Hancock'.
5) In an earlier quiz, I had asked about the uniqueness of Harris Jeyaraj. Now, what is unique about our Gaptun Vijayakanth, Surya and Vikram, which separates them from others such as Sivaji, Rajni, Kamal, Satyaraj, Karthik, Prabhu, Vijay, Ajith, Sarathkumar and 'Mike' Mohan? Since I havent enabled comment moderation, you might find the answers from others' comments.
PS: Oru sudden doubt.. I have some friends who were raised by their grandmothers. As there are so many songs praising mother in Tamil cinema, why is there not a single song praising her in a senti way? (Pl. ignore "Paatti sollai thattAdhey").
Oct 13, 2008
I wanted to publish this post on the 10th itself, when I felt soooo romantic. This movie is set in the most romantic city of the world, Paris.. and I wished I knew French, to fully understand all the dialogue. May be I will learn it in the future and watch the movie umpteenth time... ;)
Please note: A few spoilers about this move and its prequel, 'Before Sunrise' will be found in this review. Both the movies are availabe in youtube.. Before sunrise - in 10 parts. Before sunset is available in 8 parts. I strongly recommend the romantic lovers among you to watch these 2 movie. Definitely worth 3 hours of your life.
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are two of my all-time favorite movies and certainly the most favorite pair in the ‘Sequel’ category. In this post, I focus mainly on ‘Before Sunset’ and describe what a great sequel it is – not only in terms of the story or other technical aspects but in the aspects that make it an excellent pair with its prequel.
The way the first part ended was rather ambiguous (open-ended). As the male protagonist Jesse (Ethan Hawke) reveals in the sequel, it is totally left to the reader to imagine what really happened after the climax. A romantic would think that the he and Celine (Julie Delpy, in an awe-inspiring performance), the girl he met and spent a day in Vienna, met again and a cynic would think they didn’t. Now, the time for the imagination is over and the viewer is going to know the answer, but it wouldn’t come soon. So, during the course of the movie, the viewer has to read between the lines and try to guess the answer correctly. Thus, from being a romantic or cynic, the viewer has to change to being an observer or a wild-guesser.
In the book-meeting scene, he talks of the idea for his next story, where he remembers his ex-girlfriend when his daughter is dancing to the tunes of a song he listened with his ex-girlfriend. This was indicative of the director giving us clues about his life. His first book was based on his real-life incident of meeting his ex-girlfriend; moreover, the very first dialogue in the movie begins with one of the journalists asking the writer if the story is autobiographic, to which he answers that every writer’s work is inspired from his/her life experiences, and being the writer of a romantic story, his too is real. These two events suggest us that he probably has an offspring, probably a daughter and that he still thinks often about his ex-girlfriend. He further says that he wanted to be a great lover, an adventurer and an explorer of the world; but instead he was depressed despite having a great job and a beautiful wife.
When Celine comes to meet him at the bookstore, we see that he is quite surprised seeing her, and within minutes of their conversation it is apparent that they couldn’t meet again as they planned, in Vienna. Now, the next question arises about their individual lives. Her bare fingers reveal that she is single, but his situation is left to guess. When asked how long it took to write the novel, he says 3-4 years, which is the first major clue given by the director that it has indeed been at least 4 years since their earlier meeting. He further remarks that his life nosedived after Dec 16, 1995, when he was waiting for her in Vienna in vain and his life turned miserable. Though he says that he only joked, one can sense that the director is giving hints about his troubled marriage.
Their conversation is quite different from the one they had during their first meet. While much of it was about what youngsters would be thinking and talking about, such as, partners, childhood memories, and career goals, now their conversation revolves around more serious and global issues such as global warming, politics of the modern world, and environmental pollution. This difference also suggests of their increased maturity over the years, hinting us that they have got quite older and wiser.
Unlike in the first movie where there was quite a bit of physical interaction between them after the first few hours, such as holding hands together and kissing, we don’t see any such thing here, despite them meeting after a few years. This also suggests of some barrier between them, which we don’t know is because of the awkwardness of the situation or due to something else. We get the answer a little later.
While talking at the café, he talks of his problems getting deeper and deeper, but when she asks him what his problems are, he sighs and says he doesn’t have any problems and that, at that moment, he is very happy being there. From the conversations, it becomes clear that both have been thinking about each other and we also get the feeling that they have indeed been searching the other within their limits. Then, when he reveals the exact time that passed between the meetings, it is quite shocking. Now, the viewer is made to guess about what would have happened in each of their life in that period, and most importantly, if both of them are still single and available for each other.
Later when they talk about the details of their past meet, Celine behaves as if she has forgotten much of the way they spent their first day together in Vienna. It comes as a shock to him, because he says that he remembers that night much more than he remembers his entire living years. Considering that, and the fact that it was only he who showed up at Vienna for the elusive reunion, it arises a doubt about whether she cherishes their first meet as much as he does. When he asks her if it was a bitter experience and hence she wanted to forget it, she says no. As the conversation evolves, and when she is shown to remember even their zodiacs after all these years, it slowly becomes apparent that he really meant something to her.
During all this time, it is clear that we are observing every conversation between them and every place there go. By this, I mean that the editing has been such that we witness everything they do. Thus, there is no scope to guess whether or not they have talked about their lives in the intermittant time. But I felt that there is a nice catch. Being an author of a bestselling author, it is most probable that his short biography is there at the back-cover of his book, making her aware of his marital and social status (which is usually briefly mentioned in the biography). But he has no clue about her life, neither are we aware of her feelings about what she has learnt about him. The director makes us wait for the story to unfold.
When she eventually asks him about his family, we know about his marital status and also that she is aware of that. When she later reveals that she is not yet married and that she is unable to maintain a long-term relationship with anyone because of his memories, we understand how strongly she has been in love with him, after spending just a few hours with him the first time around. The difference between the release of the two movies is actually the same what director has decided to use as the break. I think it is a smart ploy, because both Jesse and Celine have aged quite considerably and the director needed to just show their older faces to make us realize that it is indeed a long time since the prequel.
The reason for me mentioning their first interaction which is shown in just a few frames at the beginning of the movie is that, someone who watches this movie without having watched its prequel will definitely be tempted to find out how their first meet would have been. That doesn’t mean that it is a prerequisite to have watched Before Sunrise for watching this movie. Before Sunset is a great movie by itself, perhaps better in the lead roles’ performances than the prequel, especially during the emotional outburst shown beautifully in a long shot during their limo journey. There, each of them loves to console the emotionally charged other by trying to touch their hair, but they restrain doing so, probably because of the realization that his marital status prevents such a contact.It is such a wonderful scene, and is easily the best in the movie.
The director decides to end Before Sunset too open-ended, with a clever dialog in which Celine tells Jesse that he is going to miss the plane, for which he replies “I know”. The movie ends right after that, and the director re-invokes the romantic vs cynic argument in us. I concluded that Jesse would deliberately miss the flight to stay with her for awhile before divorcing his wife, thus ending the unhappy marriage and unite with Celine. I loved both the movies because of the terrific conversations the pair had in both the versions, around which they gradually share their life and express their love. In short, I would say that Before Sunset is a perfect sequel to Before Sunrise in every sense. Listen to a beautiful waltz that Celine wrote for Jesse..