Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Monday, November 28, 2011
I stand on my terrace and look across to the terrace diagonally opposite to me and there's my neighbour playing with his dogs there. He's got two lovely daughters and a wife laughing away as the dogs chew on the ball and on each other. I stand there staring at them enjoying a normal sunday afternoon. It looks like a perfect picture of happiness, everything a man could ask for. Everything i should be envious of. But i wasn't.And that makes me wonder what is happiness after all. Why is that one man's idea of happiness is not exactly the same for the other!
My friends take vacations abroad. My friends are getting new hobbies and newer kicks in their life. Somebody's learning guitar, someone's learning to dance, to trek, making films, updating their FB profile with most awesome status messages. Things that make them happy, things they want to do. I'm doing none of it. Not that i want to do any of it. I'm sitting here writing this purposeless post.
Most of my friends have already bought a house. Some are planning their first baby. Some are contemplating buying their second car. Most of them have their life figured out. Or at least some goals, short term and otherwise, set. I don't exactly envy them.
Coming from where i am coming from, i should be thankful for what i got. For where i stand. But i am not. I don't know what i want from life. I dont know if i am given another chance, i'd do anything any better, any different. i don't even know if i know any better. I try to envy people who read self help book and find the meaning of their life. Who attend healing seminars and find peace. Who read Rumi and Rajnish and find the purpose of life. The Karma and Chakra of life et al. But i don't .
I'm such an ungrateful bastard when i say i don't exactly care for any of it. I wish i could turn to people who care for me and tell them, i don't care if i am a let down to you. You guys invested in a wrong guy. !'d much rather have a switch off button and escape. That i'd much rather look at this circus from the distance. Or maybe i woudn't even care to watch.
I am forever told that i think too much. And that i talk a lot more than that. That i could've been more hands on, at home and at work. Maybe you guys chose a wrong person to do the job. I know i tricked you into believing otherwise. But how long will this con job go on! It's a matter of time before you will be frustrated of me and show me the door, for i can't find the escape button myself.
I wish i was living in some jungle, where even the airplanes woudn't fly overhead. Where i wouldn't know there's other world out there. I wish there was nothing more to know than your immediate sorrounding. No pressure to be intelligent. To know stuff. I can't even tell you that there are 100 times more films i haven't watched than i have. That i barely read. I have never made a painting. I have never composed a tune. I have nothing which is my own. I, like most of my generation, am nothing more than a wikipedia intelligent.
I can't write poetry. I don't have any stories to tell. I don't have epiphanies. I can't cull out instances from life and relate them to people in a way that intrigues them, engages them. I don't have the ability to suck anybody into my belief. And I know people who have ability to do that. And i don't. I wish i could.
Monday, October 3, 2011
From the moment the background score kicked in, i knew i am going to love Drive more than any of my expectations. I'm a big fan of violence on the screen. Not the Final Destination and Fast & the Furious kind of choreographed candy-floss violence but real unflinching human violence. Drive is all that and more. Danish film maker Nicolas Winding Refn bursts into Hollywood with sheer brilliance, blood, gore and all. i've only seen two of his previous 7 films but drive is the best i like. In this time and age of mega budget crappy franchise films, funnily enough this is one film where the studios have scaled down a proposed big budget film starring Hugh Jackman into an indie project. Ryan Gosling brilliantly plays a quiet young man who's 'Hollywood stunt driver by the day' and a 'heist getaway car driver by night'. A man without a name and no history. Ryan gosling's on a roll, he's in every other films lately but then who's complaining. And we're certainly not complaining about the budding bromance between Refn and Gosling. I hope this relationship, 'marriage' as Refn calls it, only keeps growing.
Freshly original and immensly passionate about his craft, Refn is a delight to listen to.
A very unconventional film on a conventional premise, Drive is probably the best film of the year. its a genre bending film. There are car chases alright but it's more of cat and mouse play between the cops and the driver than the usual mindless rubber burning hollywood car chases. Typically these chases are accompanied by bombastic high octane music, what you get instead here is 80s style pop. Even the font of the film's title is girly and retro. Most people don't know about Drive or don't care. We watched the film in a near empty hall. Most of the people were there expecting a typical 'action packed' film which they i believe didn't get and every 5 minutes or so, some beefed-up pussy would leave the hall clutching his girlfriend's hand.
Lately Hollywood is drawing a lot from European films and making Hollywood rehash of successful swedish films. Let the right one in directed by Tomas Alfredson and the Millenium Trilogy directed by Niels Arden Oplev have been re done in Hollywood. And then there’s refn with his brilliance. Move over mr. Tarantino, the Vikings are coming.
Do yourself a favour and go watch the film before it's replaced in cinema by some mindless stupid assembly line Hollywood production. It's a film Hollywood would be proud of. It's a film you'd love to watch if you already haven't. As a critic wrote, 'Drive is a film you have seen before but you have never seen it like this'. Enough said.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The idea of trinity is a world in itself. It’s the politics of life on earth. it's how every story unfolds, like every story has a beginning, the middle and the end. Everybody's got to play their part in this play, and play it right. So, according to Hindu trinity - Brahma is associated with creation or beginning, Vishnu is associated with life and it's maintenance and finally Shiv is associated with end or destruction.
They say god created man in his own image. I absolutely agree with that. So if you thing about it, nothing much has changed over millions of years. Men are still the image of trinity. If you want and if you please, you can pretty much categories most men of the world into these three categories. And you can pretty much categories the women who go for these men as lakshmi, parvati and saraswati.
Ok yeah, you'd say saraswati was supposed to be Brahma's daughter so we cannot call them a couple and yadayadayada, but then again, legend has it that he was so enamored by her that he supposedly grew heads on all sides to be able see her wherever she went. The dude had to lose his fifth head when he tried looking up. I swear to god, i'm not making this up. Check your mythology on Brahma and you’ll know what I’m talking about. So yeah, they were forever together. One of the earliest example of older professor-young student admiration club thingy, i guess. The world has a huge respect for brahma character and rightly so. He's the Creator dude. The scientists, the scholars, the intellectuals, the artists, the nerds and all. Dudes who start a thing, maybe turn it into a movement and then rule the world. And they got the babes! And money, a lot of it, if you happen to be a jewish nerd.
Then of course there's the Vishnu. The Maintenance guy. The metrosexual. The MBA. The corporate lawyer. And an occasional advertising guy. The squeaky clean guy who every girl wants to take home to mama. The man with all the boxes ticked right. The smartass who runs the show smoothly. the man of the world. And all the lakshmis love him. He’s such a MAN, you know!
Shiv gets the worst deal. I mean, it's not funny when you're reduced to a destroyer, or worse still, to a dick! The good for nothing, lazy, uncompetitive, loner guy. The destroyer. Some guys don't like to work, they like to smoke up and while away their time (read meditate) but you guys wouldn't have it other ways till you try and make a vishnu of that guy. 'He's so passionate, he's such a good lover, such a good boyfriend material, sister...but he's SO irresponsible. I doubt if he'll ever become a good husband and a good father. For all you know he will chop off my son's head and try to replace it with an elephant's. I love him , but i am so scared he's wasting away his life.' you get a life, sister! boo you!
So yeah, you Brahmas and the vishnus, agree that you rule the world. but you know what, you need this shiv guy to validate your existence. . You could be the makers and the rules but you're nothing without a guy who's ever threatening to destroy what you got. You need the bad ass to make you look good. You can't do without him so let's get on with it.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Let me begin by saying that I am the biggest Vishal Bhardwaj fan that there is. I forever have been. Even before Vishal Bhardwaj became a fashionable music director, I’ve been in love with his work. And then when he directed his second film Maqbool, it blew me away. I have waited for each one of his films. I of course watched Saat Khoon Maaf and came out more disappointed than I thought I would be. There are no Saat Khoon Maaf spoilers here. It’s again the ranting of a fan who feels betrayed. I somewhere didn’t have a good feeling about this film…something didn’t feel right. But then even a half decent film by Vishal bhardwaj is a million light years ahead than many other directors. But I didn’t find it even a half decent film, and it’s heart breaking. It feels like a huge sense of loss. Like somebody my own made an unpardonable mistake and put all us believers into a crying shame.
Saat Khoon Maaf is as clueless as it can get. Susanna is one woman on a killing spree of her 6 husbands, but for no apparent reason. There’s hardly any back story to why she’s the way she is. No human angle to whether in the whole process of defeating the evil, she herself embodies it( a film subject, South Koreans have masterfully handled). She’s got no moral dilemmas, no human conflict. If a comedy is what Vishal bhardwaj intended to make, then he successfully did so. Because people laughed along even in the supposed serious scenes.
I wonder why he’s doing what he’s doing. He is one of the most powerful men in the Indian film industry. He has the ability to change the kind of films people would go watch in cinema halls. But instead, he is constantly compromising on his craft. Directors like Dibakar banerjee( who again I have huge respect for as a film maker) and Anurag Kashyap (who I think is very derivative…his direct lifts from the films of Fateh Akin and such directors is quite blatant, but still a fearless film maker) have been doing some amazing job. They are taking up different subjects and are casting apt people. Somebody like Dibakar Banerjee, who after two successful films could have picked any big subject and made a film on it. But instead, he chose to make a film with hand held camera with no established actors. That shows the arrogance and belief of a director in his craft.
Though it’s his second film, Bhardwaj truly burst into the scene with Maqbool in 2004 and it still remains the best Indian film I have watched in the last 10 years. It was such an amazing film with brilliant human drama, an all consuming theme of greed, passion and deceit. Brilliantly casted and even brilliantly directed, it is a masterpiece. The pride of having a film maker like him in our era is immeasurable. Sadly it has only waned after that.
But then, Vishal Bhardwaj has been very meticulously working towards it. He has been constantly compromising on his cinema. The crack started appearing from his second film Omkara onwards. Taking stars over actors, giving precedence to style over substance. And I repeat, that his half decent films also have more soul than a lot of films by other film makers. It’s just that after a Maqbool, he’s set his own standards so high, that it is a huge task to live up to. But a die hard fan like me would forever want that from him.
The sad part is that Vishal Bhardwaj insists that Priyanka Chopra with her limited range of acting skills is a great actor and that she should get the National Award for her role. And she will. Because when it comes to acting, we are quite happy with doling out big awards to non-actor stars over really talented actors. How else would you justify Arjun Rampal getting a National Award for Rock On and Priyanka Chopra getting it for Fashion last year.
With his short film on AIDS, Blood Brothers included, Vishal has already made 7 films. The next projects he’s supposedly making are a musical with Priyanka Chopda and then there’s another film in line with Shahrukh Khan. God only knows what to expect out of them.