Monday, September 26, 2011

Movie Review - Annie Hall ( English )

Rather than attempting a review it would be best suited to attempt in bringing out what Woody Allen tried doing. 'Relationships' has been something disseminated and analyzed by thinkers for a long time. It might have been probably because this complex entity is present only in humankind. Allen tries to probe this complex equation his own light hearted way.

Allen plays a stand up comedian, Alvy Singer. Diane Keaton plays Annie Hall. Both the protagonists have their own problems and issues from childhood, family and relationships. The treatment is light hearted and humorous. Woody is in no hurry to offer any solution and he doesn't seek any easy way out.

Alvy and Annie have troubles of their own in respective relationships. They meet each other and things start off very well. There is a hope of  fruition. But slowly the weaknesses comes to the fore. Still they carry on despite the inherent weaknesses. Ultimately the relationship wilts away inspite of pretension and dullness.

Overall this is a beautiful movie which deals with so many complex terms in its own simple way. The movie ends up with a story from Allen

A man goes to a psychiatrist, ' Doctor, my brother is crazy. He thinks he is a goose'
'Then bring him to me'
'Wait, let me get his eggs first'

Relations are something like that. No matter how absurd and insipid it is we want its eggs!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A post mortem on Onam

The star studded program was half underway when the mayor arose to speak. 'Onam signifies the continous struggle between good and evil. It's the hope and longing for a society embedded in equality'. The festive crowd were in no mood for a long speech. They booed her down. In short, the.significance of the festival is it no longer conveys any significance.

In past couple of decades the per capita spending of Kerala shot up to highest in the country. This despite the fact that the state doesn't contribute much to production. Some if the big names in retail have come down to reap profits out of blatant consumerism.

As people realised they could afford living alone, the joint family system started disintegrating. More and more units of consumer came up. Once upon a time credits were akin to shame and dishonor. Today people cannot do without credit. Private lenders did reap huge rewards out of this.

Thiruonam wasn't spared out of the plunge. The festival has become the best arena to do brisk business. Months prior to the festival big names get ready with huge cut outs and attractive discounts.
People starts streaming in. The trickle grows into huge crowd.

There was an instance when a clothing mall 'Jayalekshmi' had to close down the shutter every 30 minutes to clear out people at the cash register. Reliance trends were filled with some of the worst outfits but still there were no dearth to the crowd. The boys there clearly needed some good rest. I was told that they weren't able to close down at night.

The traditional banquet was an opportunity for the family to gather and cook. But its clearly out of fashion today. The big hotels advertises for 'Sadhya' and charges hefty fees. Still booking has to be made months in advance clearly knowing the food is going to be the worst.

Every simple aspect of Onam has given away to costly stuff. The real beneficiaries being the merchants.  The Onam, once a noble and holy festival, is today a market vulgarity.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Movie Review- A certified copy (Italian)

I have been watching much movies recently. Sadly I haven't been able to put down any. And thus came to decision that until I put down two of them I won't be watching anymore.

'A certified copy' was recommended by a movie buff friend of mine. Directed by Abbas Khiorstami, I thought this was going to be Iranian. I kept eagerly awaiting for the flrst 10 minutes for any hint of Iranian but found out otherwise. The film is basically in Italian with international star cast. Now why did the director go for Italian would be an interesting question and I guess it might have something to do with the theme.

Abbas' has a great ability to piece together a story from numerous jigsaw puzzles. The end product would invariably be a thriller which rivets you to your seat inspite of a slow pace The movie starts off with the protagonist giving a lecture on the influence of 'orginal' and 'inspired' work in the world of art. Then walks in the heorine and the movie starts.

The movie revolves around the conversation the protagonists share and the background. As they walk, talk and have coffee a new twist in the relationship evolves. We are forced to make a shift in our perception frequently. The conversation even forces us to question ourselves on our perception on relationship.

Does people change with time? Does the relationship evolve along with people? Are we naive when we expect romance even after decades? The protagonists try to find an answer as they attempt to cure an ailing relationship. As I said earlier the movie is so much related with art and architecture. Hence Italy would have been the ideal location. There is powerful performance from Julia Binochette and Michael. The actors who appear on sideline also deliver. The camera concentrates on the central figures and their actions.

FOOTNOTE: A brilliant movie. But not best of Abbas and slightly on the slower side.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Movie Review- Pranayam (Malayalam)

I came back from the movie ‘Pranayam’ and went straight to my writing desk. Putting it in simple words- here is a movie waiting to be born, not just because men wanted it, it was waiting for its time.

I was there for a few days in Fort Kochi when we heard of a shooting going on. But never realized this was the one.

‘Pranayam’ stands for romance. Blessy transcends all norms and formulae to tread in his own path. A rather dangerous journey when the movie is made for a mass audience.

Blessy is the disciple of erstwhile maestro- Padmarajan. He borrows it a plenty from his master. The character and traits of a Padmarajan movie is obviously visible throughout the movie.

Blessy takes extreme care not to fall into any stereotypes or clich├ęs. The romance is set into three characters who are into their twilight years. Although there was plenty of scope for pitfalls, Blessy cleverly avoids them. He uses some of the most good looking and sensuous female cast. A cue he has taken from his master. Padmarajan movies always had supple cleavage. That even earned him some negative and unfortunate feedback among the ‘decent’ class. Here the women show off their well shaped figures. Then there is a scene of the woman dressing while phoning her husband. A very natural scene but sensuous enough for the imagination. Even the old Jayaprada gives us a glimpse of the feminine beauty.

Pappan integrated the ‘physical’ element into love, graciously. Here Blessy even makes an obvious reference by ‘The man who experienced you both physically and mentally’. He even dwells on the emphasis of physical expression in romance by the new generation. Thankfully no long winding speeches are made even when there is scope to do so.

The story revolves around the lives of three elderly protagonists. Kher meets the love of his life whom he divorced years ago. He discovers that she is married to a professor on philosophy and has a family. We can say the ‘hero’ of the film is the woman Jayaprada. How she discovers another dimension of love when he meets her long lost man and son. There is selfishness, forgiveness, tender romance, passion and compassion in the love between the three. As the film says the self discovery gives theageing protagonists a second chance.

The director uses a lot of beautiful imageries and philosophy to convey the messages. As a result long windy dialogues are avoided. Director uses close up frames which suits the power house performance. But as a result the classic beauty of Fort Kochi is given a miss. Music is perfect and so is even the opening credits rolling in. Mohan Lal is at his vintage best. Padmarajan gave him some of the best films once, now Blessy is his life line. The best scene I would pick up is the one in which he defines dignity with a lot of passion. He did the role of a romantic paralyzed with absolute panache. So is Anupam Kher and his zest for life. I haven’t forgotten Anoop Menon too, one of the best ‘thinking’ actor in Malayalam.

Blessy is still far away from making a film with absolute perfection. There were a lot of bad frames, poor dialogues. Some of the non acting cast and turdy dialogues too doesn’t help him. A bit more home work was missing. I still haven't digested Anoop Menon shifting slangs constantly. That is all about the little elements missing out.

Bottom Line- The LOVE, which we forgot in the modern, fast paced, ruthless world. Don't expect any chocolate romcoms. Sit, watch and feel the love.

PS I don't write the story and call it a review. It's your job to watch it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A better gift- concluded

There comes a point in life when you come to believe that you have met with your destiny. Years ago, it was my turn when I thought I had met the love of my life. It a;; happened thanks to a bundle of books she carried along. I decided this was the girl I am going to spend rest of my life with.

She was well read, a good movie enthusiast, decently principled. And she was very good looking with a slim figure and decent curves. Would I have fallen for her otherwise?

It was relatively the first time for me in life. I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. I remember fondly the amount of time, I spent to pick a gift. I didn’t exempt the cheap stuff too from the list of gifts. Then I phoned, texted and even chivalrously gave her a company on the way home.

I know, this sounds high school stuff. But then you realize only when you are out of it. It took me some months to get out of that. One day I tactically asked her if she was seeing someone. Thankfully she replied in negative. That was a welcome green signal for me. Even then I wasn’t sure of when to pop up the question.

My blogs became the only mode of retribution. Then a mutual friend, whom I had met through her, pinged me. He asked me if there was any chance we would meet. We met over a lemon tea. It was then he told me they both were seeing each other when I was busy thinking about gifts. How nice!! The first thought that went over my mind was the perfume. But then the burden lifted off my chest. I am free again. Life is tough and is a gamble. You cast the dice and you win or lose. Bu then you expect some level of trust.
Last day she called me up for her wedding. The mind was totally free of any bitter feelings. I would have gone, if not for the long travel. I haven’t thought from her shoes. So it would be quite unfair to do a single sided bashing.

Signing off by wishing her a great life.

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.