the unsaid

Dileep was born a hindu. He converts to Islam, bags an academy award and says glory be to god.

Resul is a muslim. Talks about the significance of ‘OM’ in his acceptance speech and says on TV that his award is a ‘Mahashivarathiri’ gift to all malayalees.
Jai Ho, India 😉

why I cannot stop talking about this….

I dont believe I am actually writing a post, showing off a movie ticket I bought! but its true…scrambled my way to possibly the last two tickets available for this weekend….yeah its 3:00 AM…but hey, what better time to watch “The Dark Knight”?

3 reasons why I cannot wait for the sun to set (and it has barely dawned!):

a. Growing up, vacations and comic books always went together. Thankfully, me and sis had this pretty simple but effective system to split the piles of Amar Chitra Katha and the few DC comics that were around the house – She got to take what she wanted and the leftovers were all mine!!! Thankfully, she was not a massive super hero fan. Small mercies! and for some reason, I was always drawn to the dark, hooded, masked men – Phantom and Batman. I think it was the lack of ‘inevitability’ of those stories, which fascinated me. And ofcourse the Villains!

b. Christian Bale. Easily the most talented actor in Hollywood at the moment. Unfortunately, he is largely unknown for some of his best work, like the ‘Machinist’ for example. It is the most shocking transformation anybody ever went through for a role. Check out his pics below from ‘Machinist’ and ‘Batman Begins’, the two movies he did back to back – in that order.

3. Nolan! I was so intrigued by Memento, that after seeing it, I immediately downloaded the film and tried to re-cut it in the reverse to see how it turned out….but naah, it was too much work ;( …will probably take it up as a post-retirement project!! I digress….the reason I love Nolan is because he is one of the few writers out there who makes his film work mostly by ‘out thinking’ the audience…’The Prestige’ is a fine example. If there is one thing you can be sure of in a Nolan film, it is that you definitely would have had the rug pulled from undernneath, by the time you exit the theatre…..and its probably the only time in life, when its an amazing feeling!

Colleagues

Was reading this piece on rediff and got reminded of the day I saw Pyaasa, many years back. The movie hit me like a brick truck and the hangover lasted many many weeks. But then, it wasnt just me. I think the effect was universal for anybody who saw it.

I wonder sometimes what it must have been like to have colleagues like this: Abrar Alvi, SD Burman, VK Murthy, Rafi, Sahir Ludhianvi, Kaifi Azmi, Johnie Walker, Waheeda Rehman and the head of the pack – Mr. Dutt himself. What it must have felt like for these guys to go to work everyday with one another – each, easily the best of his / her breed! And what it must have felt like when it all just ended abruptly one night. No wonder their best work happened only when they were together.

And talking of Best work, I think VK Murthy is among the least sung heroes, when it comes to Cinema in our country. The man who shot Pyaasa, Kagaz ke Phool, Sahib Biwi our Ghulam, Bharat Ek Khoj and Tamas! Howz this for lighting in 1959??!!!

PS: watch without audio once, so SD does not get to hijack the Murthy show 😉

finally…!!!

“…A week before its opening, Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight is shaping up as the movie event of the year, if not the millennium!….Already, theaters have scheduled midnight Thursday screenings – to begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, so as not to violate film’s contracted July 18 opening. There’s talk of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. screenings Friday, to meet the advance-sales demand….”

Different Worlds – 25 years or 250 Kilometers away

I think I would trade Orthopaedic injury for any other illness ANY DAY. Why?
a. you can eat and drink anything
b. theres no nausea
c. you can eat and drink anything
d. dont have to pop a pill
e. you can eat and drink anything
Thats why!

My uninterrupted showtime is continuing for a “3rd successful week”. Last week, I watched 2 films which are not set in the World I live in.

‘Children of Men’ is in my opinion, the most important film made in 2007 (I have not seen ‘Eastern Promises’ yet and so I will reconfirm shortly!) – and I am not saying this in any temporary, post-movie hangover. It has actually been about 10 days since I saw it. Alfonso Cuaron – the guy who made the fun-but-profound ‘Y tu mama tambien‘ has written and directed the film.

It is set 25 years from now, when the human race loses its ability to reproduce (a.k.a its mojo!). That world is not ‘AI’ or ‘Minority Report’ish, but a darker one. One without hope. The first thing that hits you about the film is the art and production design that reflects this mood beautifully. The cars are ‘futurish’, but jaded; The city landscape dark – with uncleared garbage, and greying buildings – almost screaming at you with despair. It is not all about the facade. The detailing is equally stunning. In the shot below, the news papers on the wall carry fictional news of destruction of the times. Award winning stuff 😉

…and the long shots…wow!….7-8 minutes shots….not just dialogue, but action sequences. Beautifully choreographed….and no green screen! these are real time shots!!…..Now, I have never been a fan of film makers who employ visual effects simply because they can…but I dont think it is the case here……the visual language of this film is very distinct and is consistent from the start till the end credits……really, some of these shots make you pause and rewind…..not only becuase you loved it, but also because you cant believe they actually pulled it off!!

and the script….a philosopher’ delight…..the audience’s delight too! The way spirituality and politics of the land have been handled is very very interesting. Overall, the kind of film that you want to rip immediately and add to your private illegal collection…..the kind of film that will make you feel dissapointed if it din’t win the ‘picture of the year’…..and the kind of film that you want to force into the hands of the next person you see and say ‘go watch’!

…and then i watched another film from a different world…..no, not 25 years from now, but 250 KMs from chennai….’Achuvinte Amma’

How can a state that is a 2 hour bus ride from Coimbatore be so different from the rest of south India? how is it that milions of people in Kerala go to the theatre and watch ‘Achuvinte Amma’, when the movie does not have any sex; nobody is raped in the climax; no guns; no stunt sequences with earth shattering music; no dumb and deaf heroine; no lip synced songs; no close ups of navels; no songs shot in new zealand or greece; no crane or dolly shots ending in a close up of the hero mouthing a punch dialogue; not even a comedy track! what changes when you travel 250 KMS westwards from Chennai? If it is communism, then lets have a revolution ASAP….

I know I am not the first to ask these questions and I wont be the last.

‘Achuvinte Amma’ is a Sathyan Anthikad film that won a state award last year, along with Lal and Blessy’s Thanmatra. The protagonists are Urvasi and Meera Jasmine – two of the best actresses in the country, in my opinion. It is a tale of a mother and a daughter. A mother and daughter that we have all met in a bus, visited, lived next to or even have in our family! A simple yet poignant tale. I dont think they even rented a dolly for the film! But I totally loved the film.

The thing about Achu that glues you to the seat are the performances. I mean, obviously! Its Urvasi and Meera! I am a self-proclaimed Meera fanatic. There is something very peaceful about seeing her on screen….and boy, what a talent!! Loved her in Perumazhakaalam. Saw ‘Sandaikozhi’ only because she was in it….but this is probably my most fav Meera film yet (will reconfirm after seeing Rasathanthram)…why she will act in a SJ Surya film is beyond me…..;(

The World According to Bhansali

http://youtube.com/v/stmKeMVN804

I am a big SLB fan. Yes, I know that he has not done an original work since Khamoshi. And Black was a frame-by-frame remake of Miracle Worker (something he refuses to acknowledge at all). That sucks, but still doesnt make me a lesser fan coz it is not his writing that I am crazy about. It is his mindless, crazy, beautiful and stunning vision. You can pause Khamoshi and Devdas in any frame and it could look like a painting. Try this trailer if you dont believe me 😉

PS: When I was in school, there was this trivia floating around (I think it was also a ‘Landmark Quiz’ question once) . Who directed the song ‘Ek ladki ko dheka hai’ from 1942 A Love Story. The correct answer was not Vidhu Vinod Chopra, but his crazy, lunatic, bearded assistant director!

Latest & Greatest from Kamal

This is amazing. A website of the ‘most recent’ from kamal’s world. The content is awesome. They actually have an article written by Sujatha in 1976, when the writer visited him during the shooting of a Tier 2 malayalam film. One of the posts actually apologizes for being a few days late on a ‘dasavatharam’ update…wow….and I thought I was the lone crazy fan in this world!

http://www.allthingskamal.info/blog/

and by the way…..these are the ‘official’ stills of the film!!!!!!