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November 21, 2014

Interstellar

Hats off to Christopher Nolan, not for his latest flick 'Interstellar', but for his sheer guts to portray interstellar travel as nothing more than a cake walk. I wouldn't suggest you to watch this movie if you are just hoping for a visual fascination, it would be worth watching if you are in the theater with an open mind not only to appreciate what you see on-screen, but to appreciate the determination of a man to bring onscreen what usually is associated with a nerd physicist's cup of tea. Whatever be the critics verdict, I would give a thumbs up for 'INTERSTELLAR' even though the movie comes with flaws.

The movie begins with the camera panning over burning fields somewhere in United States. The crops seem to fail one after the other due to ... (I am actually not sure what is the reason). There is dust storms everywhere around. The director has tried to portray a gray picture of earth that is wanting to be perished. The generation of the protagonist is termed as mere 'caretakers' of the world which is running short of its  resources. Meanwhile our protagonist is an ex- astronaut, engineer and a successful farmer who has a daughter whom he loves a lot. Before you catch up with whats happening, you see the hero is suited for his space adventure. But you really cant blame Nolan for any of these because he has lot of things to show you and he has time restrictions, so does his characters.

The concepts of time, black holes, relativity, gravity, space-time fabric, quantum mechanics, time dilation, worm holes are all covered and it would be very difficult to comprehend everything unless you have an idea about these things. But then again, you don't always need to know swimming to enjoy the beach. This movie possibly could be the first of its kind in terms of a realistic effort in bringing into screens what has remained within the books authored by astro-physicists or CERN labs. Nolan tries to let people know what time dilation actually is. He dares people to dream of a future where we will be capable enough to transcend galaxies in search of new home.

The visual extravaganza of Interstellar is not as rich as that of Gravity, but this has a holistic purpose in the the theme which Gravity didn't. Nolan has cleverly avoided mentioning the era the story is taking place. It was fascinating to see how gracefully the concept of multiple dimensions and the time warp has been captured. Even though I couldn't find the 'bookshelf in a black hole' convincing, I would still give it to him for there  couldn't be a better way of visualizing a scenario when you consider time as a physical dimension. The best thing about the movie  is the precision with which he has knitted intense emotional psych of the characters  into what would otherwise ended as another soulless sci-fi movie.

At the end , I can only say I saw a sincere attempt being made to show me something which I found only in  complex equations and incomprehensible definitions .

November 5, 2014

Gone Girl

Gone Girl is an absolute watch beyond doubt. But please don't take your kids to this movie.

David Fincher is one guy whom you can certainly term 'Mr Dependable'. You wont sob over the money you spend to watch his creation. 'Fight Club' was an absolute cult, a master class; 'The Social Network' was good, so was "The Girl with Dragon Tattoo' (Though the Swedish version of the same was stand out). Be rest assured, "Gone Girl" wont disappoint you.


Ben Affleck plays the lead role and Rosamund Pike portrays the role of missing wife. I saw her last as a typical Bond girl in 'Die Another Day' where she flaunted her curves more than her acting skills. But believe me , she is a damn good actress and 'Gone Girl' is all about her. The movie begins with Ben Affleck having a drink with his sister at their bar. When he returns to his home, he finds his wife missing. He reports at the nearby police station and the plot develops with more complex ingredients being added at every moment. The movie gets interesting with each passing moment and maintains the suspense and intensity throughout.

The movie is a dark one. It, certainly doesn't have a sad ending, but can you call it a happy ending?, you certainly cant. Actually you would certainly come out of the cinema with a mixed feeling and its neither happiness nor sadness, its more of a fear, more of an empathy, more of an inexorable agony . You would  never want to live a life you saw on the screen . I probably think at least one Oscar would go to the movie and I wont be surprised if Rosamund Pike grabs it. As I came out of the cinema,  I felt, "Of all the demons you can think of, nothing can be more dreadful or torturous than your unfathomable fear/ agony.

October 12, 2014

Vellimoonga (Silver Owl)

Vellimoonga (Silver Owl)  is a recently released Malayalam movie which doesn't have a huge star cast to boast about, but its worth every cent you would pay for. The movie would blend in to your imagination in the most smoothest way and you would leave the screen with a smile and a satisfaction that you have indeed watched a sensible entertainer.



As I already mentioned, sensible is the tag I would associate with the movie. Biju Menon is the central character of the movie who portrays "Maamachchan', a typical politician and Aju Varghese as his trusted lieutenant does justice to his role. The good thing about the movie is it is very realistic, the  'hero' is not essayed as the most eligible bachelor in the town, but is crooked, cunning and gets way with things and people in clearly a ruffian way. Tiny Tom as 'Jose', Maamachchan's arch-rival plays a fine part in the movie and so do the others. The sequences are well knit and you don't feel let down or bored at any point.

The movie is a very pragmatic portrayal of the current political and social fabric told with a  wonderful humour touch that keeps you engrossed throughout. The only drawback being (that you wouldn't bother much) that the entire cast using a 'Kottayam/ Pala' slang for conversation even though the story is supposedly set in the lavishly green hilly areas of Kannur. Bottom line is this is the movie that you don't wanna miss. No IDI , no VEDI, no POGA and hence not at all a KATTAPOGA. Go give it a try, you would love watching it.

September 21, 2014

The Three Calamities

And after a long long time, I thought I will post something. A hell lot of events and drama unfolded in about an year that kept me away from this space. Many a time I sat in front of my laptop trying to carve out something onto this canvas, but nothing got realised. Today, in this cool pleasant evening, I thought its time I should write something. Not that I have run out of topics, in fact there's a lot of to talk about, I thought I will just share a few thoughts on few things. Even though I have titled my post as my take on some calamities, certainly for sure, all the incidents that I have bothered to poke on necessarily aren't calamities as such :).

Since decades, Kashmir and kashmiris   have been on the receiving end in the  political and social fronts and the valley has undergone gruel some test of time. If human misdoings weren't enough, now nature has thrust its fury upon the helpless to pile upon the misery. But a lot of interesting things came into forefront. The so called symapthesizers never turned in to wipe the tears of the needy, in fact they seemed to have vanished. The much 'hated' and 'savage' Indian armed forces pitched in for help. It was not only army, but localities as well as others too pitched on to do their bit. There is nothing new about the handicapped infrastructure or never existing preventive mechanisms that always fail us in these scenarios, but what startled me was initially it was solely Indian army who was involved in search and rescue operations. Nobody said no when army pitched in for evacuation operations  but to follow, there were bunch of critics who found armed forces' operations insufficient and inefficient at times. I don't know what exactly is the ground truth, but I certainly feel something is better than nothing. Till date I have not seen or heard from any symapthesizers  regarding the plight of the people of Kashmir owing to the devastating floods. Probably the logic may be the bodies drowned by floods is nothing sensational compared to the ones downed by bullets.

Well the next news is I got married. Not heeding ears to the sincere requests and warnings from my friends who are already encaged, I decided I will join the bandwagon. As of now the ride seems smooth, and I do expects bumps and gutters in the way forward. Hope I would be able to handle them well and move forward with conviction. The days seem to be running away and time seems to be always a step ahead of me. Early days into the new stage of life and I hope things will settle down with time.

Peruchaazhi is the latest malayalam movie of the legendary actor Mohanlal. I don't feel like reviewing the movie here but would touch open my feelings about the same. The intro was good, Mohanlal was at his usual best, so were the others. The movie had some wonderful moments , some ordinary moments and towards the end some embarrassing moments. I can't say it was bad, but I just felt numb at times thinking how immature the film maker expects the audience to be. I do understand the movie had a statutory warning requesting the audience to switch off their logic, but I felt they should have replaced the word 'logic' with 'sense'  in the warning. Another sequence from the movie which held me pondering was when the hero lavishly drapes an American flag as dhoti and unleashes his martial skills. I wondered what would have been the scenario had it been Tom Cruise draped in Indian tri color in a Hollywood movie. Our media houses would have celebrated it at least for a month. I am neither criticising nor vindicating anyone regarding this matter ( couldn't find a better statement to be on the safer side :) )

That's all for the day, just a few thoughts that I thought I would share. Awaiting new adventures in the seas as my ship has embarked on a new journey.

October 13, 2013

Gravity

It feels like a long long time since my last post. Basically, the laziness had me convinced that I was running on a hard patch of writers' block. It needed a intense dose of push and luckily, I did have one, I watched the movie GRAVITY.

The movie begins, the titles run on the screen and then there is darkness on the screen with a dead silence, "Welcome to the space folks!!". From the very first frame to the last, there is not a single shot I found draggy or meaningless. Even Schindler's List bored me in between, but a movie with virtually no background score and very few dialogues, I just didn't know how ninety minutes passed by. This movie tells about an out of the world event without any "out of the world" sequences. There couldn't be any  movie realistic than this one in its genre. I believed science fiction movies always pulls out the charm with ballistics,smoke and fire , but this one had none and still you just sit engrossed to your seats. You hardly see not more than three faces in the movie, but do you really care. Emotional scenes are captured with the very serenity it demands. Its not always about brawling and crying, I felt people became more humane outside the boundaries of the world. The scene when the tear drops of the protagonist comes floating to you is just one of the marvelous shots of the movie.

This is the first movie in which I just couldn't find any shortcomings. I felt what it is to be in space and probably would watch the movie again on an IMAX screen. I would find it hard to rate the movie as such, but if insisted I would say GRAVITY  > day light... >  any other movie.

June 9, 2013

8

When I think with a rather sane frame of mind, Rafael Nadal winning French open for the 8th time shouldn't be something I should be taking too much pride on coz he is neither my brother nor my best friend. But his victory today takes a very special place in my heart. I am a self confessed Rafa fan, but not the one, who shaves my head or tattoos Rafa's name on my hand. I admire him, but not obsessed with him and I believe there is a clear difference between the two. I am not a fan who would run for his autographs or Tees signed by him, but he is a role model for me in multiple facets of life.


I respect Roger Federer because he is the most talented person the sport of tennis has ever seen. I wasn't amused even when he amassed all those grand-slams because he was born to play tennis. I respected the man who would hit an unbelievable fore hand and stay at that stance for the phtotgraphers, but I started admiring a man who would run, run and run like he is running for his life and then return the shot with impeccable power and precision. There has been countless instances where Nadal pulls out the most impossible forehands and the opposition stands watching. Even Federer would have wondered, "How does he do it". Nadal defeated Federer when he was at the prime of his form. He didn't have the fear that he is playing against the World's greatest player, nor did he ever back off from chasing a  seemingly impossible shot.


I admire him for how he has grown to become a legend. The relentless conquistador who still doesn't know what it means to give up. I haven't seen any other guy who would run the court's length to take a ball when he is 0-40 down. His incorruptible spirit has always been an inspiration to me, never to give up anything in life; just as someone said, "Pain is temporary, quitting is permanent". Seven months of time outside court battling injury wouldn't have been a great time for him. I still remember those  reports that said Nadal would probably bid adieu to the game like Bjon Borg did. Even I feared it that way, But I just loved the way he does it, everytime when people writes him off, he comes back, fights back and wins back as an unstoppable force, always resilient, relentless and consistent. And now , there his is, at the best time of his career in terms of win percentage since his injury. He is far away from the class he is, but still he fights to regain what he is known for.


It must be an irony that when tomorrow, new rankings come up, Nadal would be pushed to 5th and Ferrer would be 4th. But thats what Nadal is made for, he is that human being who just keeps pushing the frontiers of  human capabilities to nature defying levels. He would fight and win back whatever he has lost and keeprewriting history books.


Ferrer during the presentation ceremony said, "He is the greatest to have played in clay" and how true he is. Hats off to the greatest player to have graced the surface of clay.

February 6, 2013

I Fear To Write

I fear to write
For, my pen is no longer the sword
that had the fire of justice in every word;
My words appear framed,
Something that cant be tamed.

I fear to speak
For, it no longer represents the masses' voice;
And I have no choice,
But to sit lame and dump.

I fear to paint
For, what comes out in canvas
is no longer a beautiful flower in the vase;
It could burn down a town
And so I remain, pinned  down.

I fear to dance
For, its no longer an art;
I would be banished as a concubine
The one who strips near the table where you dine and wine.

I fear to live
For, with every passing day, I feel more in pain;
I see myself tied up in chain;
But I can't die,
coz, Big Brother is watching
Big Brother is watching.


Dedicated to those who had to put off their spark of creativity out of fear 

December 30, 2012

"Coffee with Destiny": My entry for the Get Published Contest

The Idea :
The story is about a chance encounter with my ex-girlfriend when I was having a cup of coffee at a restaurant with my wife. I was having a splendid evening at my favourite coffee shop with my wife when my ex-girlfriend, along with her family comes to the coffee shop and occupies the adjacent table.  Memories gush on to my head, but I maintain my composure. I manage to stay calm and after sometime she leaves with her family. We shared some glances, but never talked to each other and my wife never knew what was going on. The story treads through those delicate moments and emotions between three souls and how the whole situation passes off  visibly unnoticed.

What makes this story real? :
This story  is certainly a  page in everyone's life. It wouldn't be difficult for anyone to relate to this story and they would find it quite theirs'.

Extract :

My obsession with coffee at “Dine” is well known among the staff in the restaurant, but is an obnoxious fact for my better half. I still cant figure out, her irrevocable deterrence of coffee, but more surprisingly my unjustifiable but determined effort to give her a piece of my obsession. Through the seemingly non existent large glass pane, the diminishing rays from the sun seemed to uncover the tint of tacit dissatisfaction on her face which she was trying to hide. Even though she dislikes coffee as much as my obsession for it, she prefers to gulp it without hesitation . One reason could be the fact that we have been together for just over 6 months now. A feud over coffee is presumably too early in what is planned to be a long career together.

Endnote: This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

November 1, 2012

SkyFall

After 50 years of spying and messing around, now Bond does a bit of house keeping ; I don't know if that's what you wanted from Bond, but that is definitely the thing on offer. Believe me and DO believe me, Bond can cry and you would utter with a sigh,"Oh s**t, he is human". Well about his house keeping part, he seemed to have cleaned it up too well.

There are two classes of Bond patrons (Well if you didn't know, i just made it up :) ), one who would always prefer him to be the cold blooded naughty agent who finds the same thrill in mutilation and fornication, one who is more a humanoid than human, the synonym of "flirting with danger". There is another set of people who craved for a human "Bond", the one in blood and bones, the one who isn't burdened with  the magnanimous volume of arrogance and a  too racy character. The movie might appear a bit disappointing for the first clan, but for the second group, you are in for a show guys. If you are expecting a bond flirting with bombs and babes, a tad disappointment on your face would not be a misnomer.

October 26, 2012

The Epic Fall of a Legend: Lance Armstrong

At the very outset, let me tell you,I am too confused and perplexed if I am right about the title that I have chosen for this post. I have no doubts about the "Epic Fall", but I am quite bewildered about the word "legend" and its appropriateness when woven along with Lance Armstrong. Its not about a sportsman being kicked out on account of doping, its about the disgrace and defacing of a persona who has been the face of a sport for a long time.

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