War Aplenty

The problem with Dunkirk was the same problem I had with Inception. But worse, as I realized it even before watching. Inception was one of the awesomest theatre experience but coming back home and seeing it being compared to Space Odyssey spoiled all the joy. It was worse here because, even before watching the movie, I got to hear all kinds of greatest-war-movie-ever-made tag everywhere.

Dunkirk.png

Well the problems doesn’t end there. Nolan seems to be so hell bent in having three different timelines. Like Interstellar, it meant no purpose here. It would have been the same, if it had been made in any different way. And there is absolutely no lead characters, the tempo music, typical ones he uses to build up the scene got started right from the first scene where they take a boy in stretcher.

Absolutely no time to settle in and no time to get involved with any characters. The Civilian boat story could have been great because all three in the boat looked to be promising characters but thanks to the rapidness of the film, we never get to spend time with them. Similarly ‘The Mole’ could have been explored a lot more with French and English men, the differences, unity, inside story etc. but nothing of that sort happens. ‘The Air’ seemed to be the reasonable story out of the three but even that had too much of drama but fighter planes would automatically pull us into that phase so it was okay.

Calling it the greatest war movie ever is abysmal. Ok leave aside my favorite Apocalypse Now, which is more about psychology than war. It’s nowhere close to Saving Private Ryan, a Platoon or even a Black Hawk Down. Throughout the movie I was only contemplating what am I missing which so many people have liked. I’m not a person who is no against commercial movies. And I’m not that much an anti-Nolan fan too. All his other movies were entertaining but even the entertainment factor here was missing. Everything looked like something we had already seen. British Naval officer waiting for French, the three storylines, the climax where the Tom Hardy lands the plane. The last one somehow reminded me of the Dark Knight Rises climax. What worked brilliantly in the totem scene has become a signature of his and has gotten boring with time.

Even though not a fan of war movies, one good thing about watching a war movie is the knowledge one would get while researching about it. Having known nothing about Dunkirk, this gives me a chance to know about it and various interesting stories associated with it.

This movie is sure to get Oscar for sound editing but other than that I’m not sure why even the visuals are so hyped. It doesn’t do anything which looked impossible.

Great trips start with greater purposes

– Of course it’s me

Day 0 – The Usual

8/11/2017

As usual the best part is the start. To go check in Chennai Central and mention the point of travel. Even though I’m annoyed by the number of times that I’ve to go to Bangalore as a rendezvous just for the sake of catching next bus or train. I can’t help it.

IMG_0750.jpg

It was the regular routine. I could copy paste any first paragraphs from my previous visits to Karnataka treks. Only this time it was more of a leisure trek rather than a proper trek. It was with my regular trek mates with Rajesh being the extra man and John from my office. Soma, who was supposed to join had to miss the trek due to some health conditions.

We boarded the 13:30 train. This time the weather was awesome with overcast and drizzles all around. It’s always good to catch up with old school gossips. This time more from Rajesh. Only after talking for a while, got to know that there was some ideology match between both of us. The general discussions on life, money, marriage etc. was the topic of discussion. Then various leelai’s of Seena did he explain. Just before getting down it started to pour. First time I had come without trek bag and rain coat and this happens but thankfully the rains lessened and we got to a restaurant and ordered meals, curd rice and dosa. It was average.

We then hurried to the bus stand and asked Balaji to hurry as well. All hurry burry led to nowhere as the bus took its own sweet time to come. The 22:15 bus came at 00:15. Bad that it didn’t beat the previous record of 00:30.

There were two things I was most expecting out of the trip. It’s not the beach trail. I knew how it was going to be. It was Airavat and Namaste Café. Latter I’ll talk later. Former was a disappointment right from the word go. Airavat was so hyped but it was just another AC semi sleeper bus with no comfort at all. Of Seater, Semi sleeper and Sleeper, Semi sleeper is the worst. It’s neither here, nor there. Every time they put breaks, you dig in some earth and come back. Though it didn’t spoil my sleep, I had to take all different positions to continue it.

Day 1 – Aandavan Irukan

8/12/2017

John who was coming from Alwaye reached our resort at 7 AM, the time we were supposed to reach Gokarna. But we were at Shimoga that time. So once I sent the photo of the hotel voucher, he checked in. It was told in reception that the other rooms would be available only by 1 PM. In a way good that we didn’t reach on time.

IMG_0664.jpg

From Shimoga to Gokarna the ride was pleasant with all greeneries and back waters. En route to Gokarna where I got down to loo I saw my friend Smitha’s doppelganger. I almost thought it was her and went to say ‘hi’ but decided against it at the last moment. Just that we wished the journey was not that long. Anyways nothing much to complain. So once we reached Gokarna around noon we took an auto to Namaste Café. It’s a standard rate for each beaches. Kudle – 100 rupees, Om – 150 rupees etc.

We took a couple of autos and John was waiting there at the gate for us. After some formal introduction to rest of the folks we checked in our room. The ambience of the resort was great but the rooms were average, definitely not worth the six thousand rupees we paid. Rooms had two one liter water bottles + towel and soaps. No room service and even for water we had to pay extra. Now, that’s atrocious. Will tell more in coming paragraphs.

We quickly got ready and decided that we’ll have lunch in Gokarna as anyways we’d have in Namaste in the next few days. Lunch at Pai’s restaurant was decent. Meals, Fried Rice, Onion Pakoda, Gobi Manchurian etc. Fried Rice was worst but rest was decent. Coffee was good too. In Gokarna you can see that majority of the places women seem to be working. It was the same in the case of Mizoram too. Don’t know whether its welcome change but something you’d notice immediately if you go to Gokarna. In lieu of that, Pai’s kitchen was totally handled by ladies.

Post lunch we took a long walk to explore places (mostly temples) nearby. We first went to Venkatramana Temple near to the restaurant, a no non sense temple with priests uttering chants. We followed it with Sri Bhadrakali temple, which was my favorite temple of all. The deity looked beautiful. We were the first to visit it in post lunch session.

IMG_0669.jpg

While retracing we took few photos and had Gudbud, a Gokarna special local ice cream. A falooda kind of thing, only that it was not a falooda. It was amazing. We then walked through streets which reminded me a lot of Jaisalmer, we went to Kotitheertha, a pond near Mahabaleshwar Temple were many were performing rituals. It was not crowded and the place looked awesome for photography. Also the other major attraction was the fishes there. One was so huge, I had never seen such a big fish in temple pond before.

IMG_0680.jpg

After sitting there for a while we went to Sri Maha Ganapathi temple, the distinct feature about the temple is the standing Ganesha which was cute. I find Ganesha to be the naughtiest of all gods, having the typical charm of fat people.

IMG_0679.jpg

Finally we went to the much awaited Mahabaleshwar Temple which had a huge queue, all of them admiring the giant cow en route to deity. It was humongous. Seems Mahabaleshwar Temple is the only one with Athmalinga. It had a unique way of worshiping. Each one, during their turn puts the hand in the hole at the centre of the Linga and take the water or whatever material is there inside and put it outside. In one way its great way to clean the idol as well. Throughout the day Abhishekam keeps on happening. And the crowd gets more and more. I found this ritual interesting as well as intelligent.

Inside the Mahabaleshwar temple there is also Tamra Gauri Temple where the style was similar to Bhadrakali temple. To see the deity one has to go inside, take a turn and see. As the idol is facing against the door.

With the temple tour done we set off to beach, sat in wet sand, made our shorts wet, walked to nearby lane and ate everything that we could. Almost everything tasted horrible but nevertheless we wanted to taste everything. In spite of that we wanted to have an official dinner so we had it in another Pai restaurants. Almost all the restaurants in Gokarna are named as Pai, don’t know why. John bought some dress. Even I liked few but wasn’t in a mood. I generally can’t buy before the trek as it’d keep running in my mind.

Post our dinner we took a couple of autos and retired to the room. I went to another room to give instructions were Balaji had told ditto of what I’d be telling. The conversation went like this…

Seena: Cards vilayadlama da? (Shall we play cards?)

Me: Onum Vena (Not needed)

Laughs all round.

Me: Mooditu thoongunga da (Shut the fuck up and sleep.)

Higher laughter.

Seena: Balaji sona moonu vishaythula rendu solitae da. (You told two of the three things that Balaji told you’ll say)

Me: Inonu enadhu? (What’s the other thing?)

Seena: Nalaki kalaila 5 maniku ezunthirikanum. (You’ve to get up at 5 AM tomorrow)

I said the same, asked them to be ready by 6 AM and the day ended with higher laughters. Not before Jana called and invited me for marriage and there was some marriage talks along with that with John.

Even the people who visit holy places wouldn’t have visited so many temples but I somehow get to visit them all before or after the trek and that too with free food.

Day 2 – Beach Please!

8/13/2017

We started the day as planned at 6 AM. I was having mild headache and slight cold. Everyone had gotten ready by 6:40 for so. We started from our café at 7 AM. There was nothing available in the restaurant so we took whatever snacks we had and started walking.

Om Beach

The beach is called so because it’s in the shape of Om. It looked awesome when we started walking down from the stairs. We took some photos, in fact a lot of photos. As the trek was easy I wasn’t forcing the other ones to make haste and as it was the start of the trek, everyone was excitedly clicking.

IMG_0725.jpg

It felt like the largest of the beaches. While walking to the end of it we spotted fresh catches. But most of it were small fishes. It was exciting to enter the jungle. Within few minutes there was drizzle and most of them picked their rain coats. I wrapped by camera. But it lasted only for few minutes. It stopped before I got to the Half Moon Beach.

Half Moon Beach

The group which had gone before us were there in the beach. They looked like an elderly group. As soon as we set foot, we tagged the place and uploaded the photos. Apart from us two groups there weren’t anyone in the beach. The beach was small with rocks and all.

IMG_0727.jpg

Paradise Beach

Last of the beaches and considered to be the best of the lot, in fact it was the best of the lot. And before the beach we got an awesome spot to take photos. Post that when we walked to Paradise beach there was a group there already pitching tents, smoking up and cooking chicken. I guess that was the group which went in front of us.

IMG_0752.jpg

Only after reaching there we understood that they in fact were a hot group. The place looked happening with few paintings, broken walls, chic girls etc. It’d have been nice to stay but many blogs warned of police menace so I didn’t plan for that.

When asked about what’s next place each one said their own story but thankfully a group which were coming from the opposite side gave us a clear picture. We ventured into the jungle again, this time there was no sound of waves so it was even more fun to know whether we’ve gotten lost or not.

Belakan Beach

People don’t go generally beyond Paradise but we did. There was a small water crossing where I had to remove shoes and Balaji fell into it much to the laughter of locals. Again selfies, pictures and tagging. We got water to drink from locals and ate few snacks. We got to know that there is a local bus which comes there.

IMG_0760.jpg

There was a beach opposite to our shore. None were there. That reminded me of Heaven’s Mouth from Y Tu Mamá También. It’d have been awesome to have set up a tent with some foreign chick up there. Also we missed the Light House. It was closed alright but locals were saying it’d have been possible to go by bribing at 5 PM which didn’t happen. You’ll know why in the future paragraphs.

There is no pleasure more than going in bus while on trek. It has happened to us almost at all times. This time too we got the bus stop for ourselves. I was telling it to John, and Prasanna stated the same after a while.

Loved the bus journey from Belakan to Gokarna.

Gokarna Beach

We had some tea and Balaji ‘n’ number of ice creams from Gokarna bus stand, my headache was getting worsened. We walked to the beach and started our trek. There was a temple from where the view was amazing but my headache was not letting me enjoy anything. Took few photos and left from that place.

IMG_0763.jpg

It was getting humid like hell, we went on wrong route, returned back and took the suggested route. The walk to Kudle through grassland was pretty easy.

Kudle Beach

We had lunch at Café 1987 which was cool and Hippie. Food took a good one hour to come. But parathas were awesome. Not so with respect to rest. Anyways it was a nice experience.

IMG_0767.jpg

We set foot on Kudle beach in next few minutes. Now my head was splitting, all I wanted to do was end the trek. It was just a couple of kilometers for Om Beach from there. Others were taking a lot of time to come so I was cruising and as soon as I hit the resort, I took bath and slept.

Post this is a sad story. I developed high fever, not able to sleep, I was struggling to even get up and walk to the café. I didn’t go to cafe all the while thinking that post completion of trek I could drink celebratory beers, overlooking the beach from Café. It had an excellent ambience. But all I ate was plain rice with pickle, just so that I can eat tables. Namaste Café didn’t have room service and neither great rooms. So 6K for all these, better try to avoid.

Worst is when I got to know that they charged even for hot water. They don’t even give plain water in the table. That’s one thing I can’t digest at all.

Rest of the days – Sick of sickness!

8/14/2017

There is no point writing anything post that. It’d just be waking up, eating, taking tablets and in turn getting feared of all the future trips. What would happen if the same happens again? So the sense of insecurities continued. Met an interesting doctor in Gokarna who gave hope, ate somewhere, took train, watched Tamasha, went to Bangalore, kept on eating, all the drinks stacked up there were just a showpiece, ate again, watched GOT in TV, rains, watched videos in OLA cab, ate again, took train, slept, came to office and same old story.

Devil’s Advocate

Nanna nanna nanna naa, nanna nanna nanna naa. If you know what I mean. I’m still humming the song. I’ve been humming the sequence ever since I came out of the theatre, such was its impact. When I thought that no movie could touch Bahubali’s experience this year, this movie broke it. Between the two may be Bahubali might win it for its simplicity but Vikram Vedha is nowhere next to it. But because of few complication, the awesomeness gets a bit less. It’s not all happy faces who come out of the theatre.

Vikram Vedha.jpg

I didn’t think that this movie would be half as awesome as what I experienced. The best part about the directors were, they didn’t try too much to say hidden stories using the title Vikram Vedha. The opening animation out rightly tells that there is going to be a Vikram, there is going to be a Vedhalam. And all the Vikram Vedhalam stories were superbly etched. All the escapades of Vijay Sethupathi were from emotional angle rather than dumb heroism. The first time Madhavan gets into the story for a second, then a minute and then almost till Vedha knocks him out and only in the final scene he does get hold of Vedha in complete confidence. That was the scene where both were in there full powers.

I was thinking this to be another movie like Managaram where they both unite to fight. There is some pleasure when the heroes who fought with each other unite. I thought this is going to be in the lines of that after Agni Natchathiram and Managaram. The last few minutes where they unite and fight were awesome. But the directors took it one notch higher by making it a Mexican standoff. And it was a true Mexican standoff unlike something made just the sake of it.

My favorite part of the movie would be the husband and wife angle of Madhavan and Shraddha Srinath. The independent nature of modern woman and men’s nature of men were superbly done. Much better than what Katru Veliyidai tried to achieve. It was so subtle and sexy. I think Pushkar and Gayathri put all their personal life experience to get a superb matured angle of this relationship. The fact the Shraddha was given a slutty look added to the sexiness of the relationship. Much like how Madhavan does, she’s the kind of girl one wishes to hug tight after a tough fight, what she’d be liking too.

Vijay Sethupathi wins here hands down, this movie is written for Vijay Sethupathi. Madhavan of course does a brilliant job but most of the mass scenes were for Vijay Sethupathi. Also he adds his signature humor to the scenes and makes it even more appreciable. More than all these it’s his subtleness which works brilliantly. In the first interrogation scene he discusses with Madhavan about number of killings he had done. When Madhavan says that he is the lead including the last encounter. Look how he lets out so many emotions. His first emotion is the sadness that his brother was killed, second is he had thought it was Simon who had executed and third, more than the anger it’s disappointment that he has towards Vikram because he hadn’t thought that Vikram would kill an innocent. Even the scene where he escapes from Simon is superbly made. His chemistry generally rocks with his co starts, more than the heroines. The walk after being pushed out of the car tells you all the stories. It feels so good to see an actor who knows what needs to be done. Madhavan gets his due in the Bullet scene. That was built up superbly too, right from the first, giving us a glimpse of Irudhi Sutru feel.

Coming to technical aspect of the film. Music, needless to say was awesome, both in BGM and songs. Picturization too rocked. That Giftu scene where we hear the BGM emerge as song was one of the massest moment of the movie. But special mention has to be given to editing, it was great idea to use top angle shots of the housing board flats to edit scenes, looked like maps of Project IGI. So many movies have been shot in North Madras but nothing used that angle. That gave the necessary classy feel to the movie, much like Departed.

It feels so good to see Pushkar and Gayathri getting their due. For they were the ones who indeed started the Tamil New Wave with Oram Po and Va Quarter Cutting. But it took all these years for them to give such a big hit. It’s no way a film made out of compromise. It’s an intelligent film made in an interesting way. Thinking back its actually confusing who killed whom, which generally doesn’t happen in Tamil cinema. Even if it happens it would be due to loopholes but not due to intelligence. That would be their biggest success of all.

Special Mention: Nalli Curry

When i took an EL

Posted: August 3, 2017 in Just Like That
Tags:

There is some pain which has been troubling me on my right chest, right from throat to stomach. Google said it’s not heart attack. I wanted to confirm as I have been telling everyone that I’d die at 29 and I’d die of heart attack. Two different statements which I wanted to make sure isn’t combining. I had this pain throughout the night the previous day. When I woke up, it took me a guilty few minutes to decide that I’d take leave and I took leave.

The first thought in the morning was what if this condition could be something serious and I have only one more year to live. I’ll turn 29 next year. I have so many plans. Have to trek EBC, complete one more grade in guitar, run 15 km/hr in 15 minutes, and run 5 KM in 20 minutes. All these are my part of agenda for next one year. What if this is a serious ailment and I could not do any of these or even one of these. The idea of quitting job looks to be the only good thing that could happen if I fall sick but rest, it’s scary. I am a person who romanticizes death, much like Woody Allen does. Even though he says that he doesn’t like getting old and that he’s scared of death, you find a sense of elation. It was the same with me too. But to really think what would happen if you’ve been given a timeline to your death, then it’s really scary.

I can’t remember the last time I took an EL just like that. Only seven years prior when I had to exhaust 5.5 days of leave by financial year end, I took leaves without reason, that’s the best thing to do. To get up and decide that you are not going to go to office, feels greater than any achievement. After a guilty few minutes even today I felt the same.

Started off with a tea and took morning walk with Dad, I couldn’t walk as fast as him, asked him to slow down, we went across the street and saw a person selling Cow’s milk which I wanted to buy for a long time. We continued walking straight through the road, I thought of asking him to take the path towards beach but without my telling he somehow went that way, thanks to the greens that we had to buy. While walking in the road to Thiruvanmiyur Beach you can’t see the sand first, only waves and today there was a boat on it and waves were quite high. Sun wasn’t harsh, weather was pleasant. The first glimpse of morning sunlight on water couldn’t have been more pleasant. My heart beat rose. I could have just sat there and watched the waves for a long time but I didn’t insist on it because I had done far too many things within the first few moments of the day, that my parents usually don’t associate with me. I told that I’ll be taking leave, join my dad for morning walk, beach entry. They’d have seriously though that something was wrong if I had wanted to get into the beach as well.

There were so many things running on my mind. Could this pain be due to hypertension, will the doctor ask me to quit my job? Would I be talking to a Psychiatrist? Would it be an awesome guilt free session where I wouldn’t be constantly thinking about money being spent on him?

But all these activities culminated into a wonderful morning. This is how mornings had to be spent, outside, breathing fresh air, not sleepily walking to office bus. Without my knowledge I was walking fast, my dad was falling behind. I felt better.

Coming home I read newspaper (no pleasurable feeling than reading newspaper in the morning), updated blogs, shagged, drank tea, drank cow’ milk, checked if I have Tamasha in my hard disk (which I didn’t), I don’t know what I’ll do for the rest of the day. I’ll be less disciplined, go to doctor and hope it’s nothing serious, play guitar, write review, get guitar mark sheet, want to watch Dunkirk in IMAX and don’t know what. May be brood about how things would get normal tomorrow.

Bloody Mary

Probably the one movie which makes everyone go gasping when asked about. Considered the most unwatchable movie my most, Antichrist was on top priority for quite a long time. I was savoring for the right moment to watch it. But unfortunately watched in mobile. The impact of this movie would have been manifold if I had watched it on big screen, which I know is not possible but at least on a big television.

Antichrist.jpg

Ok so first things first, the opening or the prologue of the movie sets up the movie beautifully, in fact that would be my favorite part. But I didn’t like the scene where Charlotte Gainsburg sees her kid falling from the window at a later part. That was deus ex machina. It should have been either shown or camouflaged. Or was it camouflaged so well that I didn’t notice? I don’t have the habit of going back to the scene and checking what’s right and wrong. That’s not the right thing to do. That’s against my movie watching ethics. The scene where the toddler sees his parents having sex, turns back and smiles should be one of the greatest scenes of mischief. Such brilliance.

William Dafoe was a poor soul. Much like Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut. But he does his job well even though it’s more about Charlotte Gainsburg. Trier’s initial choice seems to have been Eva Green, oh how wonderful it’d have been to have her do this role. Her eyes! The charm in Dreamers and the Sauvé in Casino Royale still is there in my eyes. But the problem would have been that I wouldn’t have been able to hate her as much as I hated Gainsburg. The success of the movie is the brief moment where you sympathize with Gainsburg even after all the torture she does to Dafoe, when she says “don’t leave me”

Rightly named Depression trilogy. This movie fairly does its job. I don’t account it to have pushed me so deep in depression like how Requiem for a dream or Wrekmeister Harmonies or Satan’s Tango or Taste of Cherry did. I felt the jump cuts when they both initially have conversation after their children’s death to be still ambitious.

Ode to Tarkovsky is understandable. There are times he overcomes Tarkovsky’s brilliance but the consistence of a Tarkovskian art is not there. For example consider Stalker, whatever happens in the film happens in the Tarkovskian world, here the transgression is quite evident. The mix of both worlds doesn’t quite match.

There are moments, of course there are, mostly the violent moment works, my favorite would be the disembowelment of fox. That was quite a shocker. Put me aback when I was so keenly watching. But any reference to animals worked in general. Out of sex and violence, I’d rate violence to be classier in this film. I’d rate Betrolucci higher than Trier when it comes to sexual exploration. Kubrick too tried a bit with his Eyes Wide Shut but it was a little too obvious.

Holy Cow

Being a fan of violence on screen, I’ve seen ‘n’ number of violent films and some not so violent films too having violent opening sequences. But the way the opening scene of Cow sets you aback by its cruelty couldn’t be matched to any of the violences in films. The closes that comes is ‘Wild Bunch’, but with Wild Bunch I was able to enjoy the sequence. Here I was completely taken aback.

The Cow.jpg

Cow is not the film that you generally associate with Iranian cinema. It doesn’t get you teary eyed like how a Children of Heaven or a White Balloon does but the shock it gives leaves you with a profound impact. Of course it’s a sad movie but the sadness is not immediate as half the time you’d be left wondering how to react for a particular sequence.

There are movies which deals with specific characters. Here too the characterization happens but it happens to the entire village, the entire mankind. Let’s look at the first scene I talked about. There is a mentally retarded guy to whom the local mischievous kid and the other children tie to a tree and harass. As much as blinding his eyes with fire. All the while the villagers look at it and laugh but post that scene they complain about the mischievous kid and the nature of people who come from city. Being judgmental at its best.

The same folks would go to any lengths to protect Hassan and again finally laugh at it. Unfortunately we’re one of them too and nothing is going change. And just before the laughs, the best scene of the movie happens. “Move, you animal, move” Irony is Hassan is the only person who doesn’t laugh at the retarded person.

I loved the transition of Hassan from a person to cow. The best part about it is the angle where he loves Hassan by being a cow. I didn’t think of it. We should have seen it coming right from the first, with his dearness to cow. In the very first scene he bathes the cow, he bathes her first and only then pours water over his head. Followed by drying the cow first and using the same towel to wipe himself. Even in the cowshed he eats the grass, seeing cow eating the same. That’s where the doubt arises first and then as expected things happened.

 

Sweet!

For every South Park fan! But I’d have preferred it to be a non-musical. Too many songs were irritating. You can’t really complain though, they have their own way of making films. The film sets the tone within minutes, after a super absurd typical South Parkish song.

South Park Bigger, Longer &  Uncut.jpg

As usual the boys land into some trouble because of their mischief and as usual Kenny dies, only this time he doesn’t really die but resides in hell. Don’t know whether to be happy or sad about it. Kenny dying is pure evil fun so it was when he died here too. Even though a bit sad that I would not able to see him again, it was fun. But when he appeared in hell along with Saddam Hussein and Gandhi and Satan I was disappointed. But the makers did a good use of this ‘Kenny dying’ template.

Being a big fan of Cartman, I expected a better show from him too. He wasn’t as evil as I thought and neither were his deeds. Almost every famous instance in the movie were made into a song including m’kay by professor Mackey. But my favorite was the first song in theatres by Terrance and Philip.

I don’t know why the makers wanted to get a MPAA rating for this one. South Park is known for its R rating. It’s as important as the title cards itself. Good that they didn’t get one.

I don’t have much to write about the movie. I’m not sure how non fans could watch this movie. For some reason I feel like rating this film. I’d give a 3.5/5 for this one.

Better than the Best

The greatest story ever told, War of the Worlds and numerous other headlines came to my mind, because all I could think of while writing about Mahabharatam is how much of adjectives I’m going to use. It’s been two days since I finished but the climax and how Mahabharatam is such an anti-war agenda still doesn’t go out of my mind. One can’t really write a review of Mahabharatam, none can.

mahabaratham.jpg

Even though an abridged version, first time I feel the clichéd saying of ‘books better than movies’ to be cent percent true. And reading it in Tamil has its own advantage. All I saw in serials and all I knew about Mahabharatam was war and only war. May be a bit of drama too. But only after reading the book, I could understand that how much of life stories are in it. If you read Mahabharatam you’ve got the purpose of your life. It tells about various aspects of life, highs, lows, romance, lust, vengeance etc. etc. An art work can make you feel happy, sad or induce any type of emotions but Mahabharatam is one book which will make you come in acceptance with your life. That’s the most important aspect out of all.

The start of the book had various stories, before the actual Pandavas Vs Gowravars story started. Abridged version is not really the way to read the pre stories or the start of Mahabharatam because the characters don’t get etched in your mind, only the stories do. It was same for me too. I remember the stories more than who were involved in it.

The second phase, the war phase, when I started reading, I thought what could differently happen over eighteen days. It’s going to be the same flesh and blood story. In a way it was, but in lot many ways it was not. We all know about Krishna’s Leelai in the war but a lot many things too happen apart from it. For me the most depressing event was when Dharaman was made to lie about Ashwathaman’s death. One couldn’t get sadder than the moment one loses their passion. For Dharman, honesty is his trademark and he was asked to forgo it. What worse could happen?

Dharman’s character is what affected the most. When Pandava’s children die in the end and he laments about how needless the war was, how unnecessary the throne would look like etc. It really makes you understand how rotten everything is in the world and you are going to be disappointed no matter what.

Icing in the cake was when each of them go to heaven with Dharman being the last with a dog accompanying him. Karma telling how a ‘dharmam vellum’ through dog was epic. I’m not a pet person but that one sequence got me respect for dogs.

P.S: The re(view) was for Rajaji’s Mahabharatam

 

High on Life

“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

Trainspotting (1996)

There are movies and then there is Trainspotting. Anyone who has slightest amount of inclination towards anything illegal would love the movie to the core. And mind it, it’s not a cheap movie. There are a lot of other movies which guarantee fun. American Pie, Handover etc. They are epic in their own terms but this one is of different league all together. The purposelessness of trainspotting has to be rewritten only by God.

Like the initial quote I can keep on quoting the whole movie and publish it as review but my most favourite would be, “We took morphine, diamorphine, cyclizine, codeine, temazepam, nitrazepam, phenobarbitone, sodium amytal, dextropropoxyphene, methadone, nalbuphine, pethidine, pentazocine, buprenorphine, dextromoramide, chlormethiazole. The streets are awash with drugs you can have for unhappiness and pain, and we took them all. Fuck it, we would have injected vitamin C if only they’d made it illegal.”

The strength of the movie lies in its nonchalance. The pointlessness of the characters. You see a baby stoned to death in one scene. That’s the most horrific moment of the movie, may be one of the most horrific movie scenes ever made but they you see the Sick-Boy getting ready for his next shot and in turn shooting the child’s mom with another one. That’s how you think as a stoner. Generally the drugs do the thinking and coffee does the writing they say. Here both the thinking and writing were done by drugs it seems.

Like the say in poster ‘Hollywood come in… your time is up”. That’s one more added point to like the movie. It’s Brit and it’s awesome. Some of the shite dialogues they talk couldn’t be written by us even if we go for Veta English class for 10 years. That scene especially where they get off the train and prepare for walk. That ‘lowest of lowest’ dialogue. That’s where the movie stands apart. Anyone who had got high and got restless to get high the next time could identify with that scene.

Life isn’t a melody

Art has no limits. Look how all, movies could be made. When thinking whether a movie could be made within a van for the entire duration, it looks impossible. Even though it happens in a specific place, it’s much different than courtroom drama. Thanks to the familiarity, courtroom dramas are easily conceivable. We know the structure and format, so it could be designed accordingly but a film like Eshtebak isn’t like this. You need to have both firsthand information and reasonable level of artistry within you. That’s why it interests you right from the first frame.

Clash.jpeg

The film starts with a couple of journalists being arrested during a procession. A sequence of events unfolds and we get to see what all happens within the circumstances.

Having not watched Egyptian movies much, this movie was both interesting and enlightening. What’s best is it would have worked for any other region as well, as it depicts human lives more than Egyptian lives. The way humans will be humans gets proved at every point.

When a foreigner is inside police van, they pelt stones. When a Muslim demonstrates outside, they curse. When a lady wants to go to loo, everyone units for her. When someone takes videos, they all protest. When they are in distress, they all laugh for a joke and also let the same people take video. And all end up being consumed by people who become zombies in the end. In this process, makes us to exhibit all type of emotions.

The film had a number of standout scenes. Everything I said above would be included in that. But if I had to point out one, it would be the scene where they all try to get some air. Even the most organized of groups wouldn’t do it this perfect. But a group which includes foreigners, brothers and others do it with such precision that you ought to take a bow. That bow is for execution. For the idea, let’s not even talk about it. Poocho math.

The film had a curious making. There was a reporting voice which was overlapping what was said in the movie. Don’t know whether it was a mistake or that’s how the movie was made. That voice over didn’t have any subs. That’s why the doubt. Anyways it was fun.