Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Life of Pi...

11 academy award nominations…to a film featuring just an Indian skinny vegetarian boy and a CGI animated royal Bengal tiger, for almost the entire length of the movie. It made it to the screens here with little hype but garnered surprising responses in the long run. What made “Life of Pi” appeal to the local masses..? The Indian connection..?  The 3D factor..? Or was it the way in which a story of survival and hope was visualised amazingly lifelike on screen?? Maybe all the three if I could guess it right!

The story

A middle aged Pi Patel (Irfann Khan) narrates his survival story to an on-the-lookout writer (Rafe Spall), hoping to revive the latter’s spirits and restore his faith in God.  

In this narrative, Pondicherry-based adolescent Pi (Suraj Sharma) leaves for Canada with his family (and animals from his dad’s zoo) in a Japanese cargo ship. A storm leaves the ship wrecked and his family dies along with the rest of the crew, leaving behind Pi and the tiger Richard Parker as the lone survivors, adrift on a life boat. Hunger, seasickness and storms threaten their few chances of reaching the shore alive. How Pi and his man-eater companion survive each other and the near impossible journey forms the rest of the story.

Technical brilliance could be noted in every scene, every frame it the flying fish, the Carnivorous island or most undoubtedly Richard Parker (the fact that he is animated and not real is forgotten for most part of the movie). The rich and the graphic detailing does steal the spotlight from the premise and the story. So the second narrative told to the Japanese officials (meant to be a twist in the tale) draws flak.

Director Ang Lee whose repertoire includes movies touching various genres like ‘Sense and Sensiblity’, ’Crouching tiger, Hidden dragon’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ hits a new high with this fantasy and philosophical marvel.  Adding to the ‘Indian’ness of the movie is the cast with Tabu, Adil Hussain among others.

In the words of author Yann Martel (whose book the movie is based on), “….Ang Lee doesn’t use 3D as a gimmick... He uses the effect with great subtlety to give depth and translucence to the ocean and sky. It’s not just eye candy.” One can’t agree more. The spectacular visuals will stay with you long after you’ve left the theatre. Watching ‘Life of Pi’ is an experience of its own. It takes a while to get to know Pi. Once it’s done, be prepared to relive his life though this 127 minute, $100 million epic of a movie!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lost in Laments....

Silence beckons me
Stillness absolves my every thought
Darkness engulfs me like an endless sea,
I feel my soul - lifeless and taut.

Follow my eyes; they lead nowhere
Nothing opaque seems to strike my glance
No I’m not stoned, nor sick - I swear
I better not ask myself, ‘is this all a trance?’

Thoughts throng my skull like birds caged
Wrecking my every nerve and every vein
I strive to set them free: but raged
For my every attempt ends in vain.

My fingers quiver as I write
Longing to fold themselves in prayer
With all my strength, I mouth ‘at the end of the tunnel there’s light’
I am my very own soothsayer.

‘Breathe!’ my mind bellows beneath
I obey; a surge of calmness takes over,
The tempest subdued but not done with
With effort, I finally ease my soul and let it hover.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Geekculture- what's trending now...

Ever wondered what the scrawly comic strips and the “lol” photos that seemed to be on everyone’s  Facebook wall were?  I bet not all of us would have thought that those comical, badly drawn caricatures would really have a name and a strong web community dedicated to it, creating hundreds of them each day!  Memes, derps, lolcats, rage faces…..the list is endless. These simple yet humorous posts have taken social networking by a storm. If you know everything about these terms already, welcome to the immensely populated (internet) cult that practically worships and breathes the tech culture or rather the “geek culture”!

Programmers and technocrats were how the “geeks” were called a few years back. Today, not any engineer can be termed a geek even if he /she has a vast command over hard-core technology or coding. To qualify as a technical geek (on non-professional grounds) one has to perceive tech culture as a way of life. Technical bloggers, hacking experts, reviewers of the latest gizmos etc.., who do it solely out of interest can be generally regarded thus. 

Right from understanding how everyday gadgets work to creating endless apps for Facebook, tech culture covers them all.  For some, it’s an obsession and some are lucky enough to have it as their profession. An internet phenomenon is never complete without such people. Tech-geeks are the first ones to notice a video go viral on YouTube (remember “why this kolaveri di?”), to lend their voices to an online campaign or better, they turn entrepreneurs through low investment start-ups and end up on the high end of the ladder if their efforts prove successful as in the case of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc. .

To join the elite club of the tech-cultured, all it takes for a person is to gradually develop a deep sense of curiosity in all matters related to the tech world and continue working on it till he/she is naturally imbibed into this part of the universe—where every occurrence is prized and experienced to its last (technical) detail!

It’s never too late to get going but once you start feeling the “geekiness” within you, caution- you might soon find yourself addicted to it (for all the right reasons of course!)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Knight Rises..and how!

               All superhero movies defy logic.  Batman outdoes them all…but with a difference. A stale looking Bale in an incredibly “batty” clearly my most favourite superhero of all time…..thanks to a tight screenplay and an amazing soundtrack. A fitting end to the most believable series ever. We’ve had enough of the movies where the- guy-with-super-awesome-powers-kills-off-the-bad-guy-and-rescues-his-hostage-girlfriend-in-every-damn-movie-making-it-fricking-boring-all-the-time (read spiderman). Pity it’s a trilogy. Can’t they all go the ‘Shrek’ or the ‘Die hard ‘or even the ‘Harry Potter’ way? Three (sigh!) hugely commendable movies..move over James Cameron….Nolan’s intelligence is notable in every scene, every second. “The Dark Knight Rises” and soars high..way too high!   Sorry, I just can’t stop raving about this film. And what a movie it was!

           My friends did try to spoil the fun..revealing some bits of the movie before I got to watch it. But even if you read every single word of the screenplay in  Wikipedia (drats!),  it doesn’t give away anything…nothing compared to watching it in IMAX with a screaming bunch of kids who go gaga over every single move “the(EE)” Batman makes!

What happens when too many things are thrown in the storyline? It does turn overwhelming. That was the case with Nolan’s “Inception” but definitely not with DKR. All the many-many characters synced beautifully. Anne Hatheway wasn’t the kind of catwoman that Halle Berry portrayed in a non-batman movie (thankfully), her outfits weren’t outlandish and she played the “good-bad” accomplice part to a T! Thomas Hardy as Bane is totally convincing-pure evil and menacing. Marion Cotillard plays Miranda Tate-  innocence and cunningness personified in equal measures! And my ever favourite Liam Neeson making a cameo as Ra’s Al Ghul…whoa! What more could you ask for!

Ra's al Ghul: Did you not think I would return, Bruce? I told you I was immortal.
Bruce Wayne/Batman: I watched you die.
Ra's al Ghul: There are many forms of immortality.

I thoroughly loved the dialogues .Bane’s quotes were more enjoyable than Batman’s. But the ones that engaged me the most were that of Lucius Fox’s and Wayne’s. Fox (Morgan Freeman again) shows him the beast of a machine (the "uber coolest" bat toy as of date) and …

Lucius Fox: I call it... The Bat and yes Mr. Wayne, it does come in black.
Bruce Wayne/Batman: Now you're just showing off.

Simply awesome right!

            I’d definitely like to watch the movie over and over again-for Christian Bale (..too) Though his batman suit does most of the talking, he plays the runaway-hero-making-a-comeback-of-sorts-role convincingly. Wonder what the suit must’ve felt like for Bale and the mask for Hardy. Superhero-villain outfits are getting less garish but increasingly inconvenient, I must say.

            So many surprises define DKR. Most of it are totally nerve-wracking. DO WATCH this movie! What a refreshing difference from those earlier batman movies like the dumb “Batman and Robin” and the disappointing “Batman forever”! Nolan, with his trilogy, has given the character a whole new dimension….breath-taking alright!!

Seriously don’t know when I’ll get over this batman frenzy!!

Deshi Basara….Basara…..!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

So what "interests" you...?

A director by profession….one of the best known in the planet.  After making the biggest money raking movie of all time, the man made news again and how..? James Cameron is passionate about the movies he makes. This time around, he made it a point to prove the world he was equally moved by a fascinating, endearing but a rather dangerous vocation -Underwater Exploration...! This March, on 26th , he undertook a solo diving expedition to one of the deepest points on earth – The Mariana Trench (whoa! It’s depth is far greater than the Everest’s height) Considering the fact he’s nearly 60 years old, this is no mean feat!!
Deep Sea Challenger - Cameron's sub

We’ve come across people dabbling in all sorts of things. An actor who paints (Salman Khan, or so he claims), a painter who writes ( unknown facet of MF Hussain), a writer who’s a cricket enthusiast (Ramachandra Guha), a cricketer who likes to cook (Matthew Hayden), a cook who used to play football (Gordon Ramsay, no wonder), a footballer who loves karaoke (Ronaldinho, groovy alright!), a singer who plays golf ( Celine Dion), a golfer who’s into spear fishing (Tiger Woods, I guess it’s better to leave his “other” interests out) and the list is endless….

We wonder how people manage to juggle between their profession and interests. Some are lucky, they have their sole interest as their career. Some have so many interests that they don’t know how to prioritize things and some people dedicate their time to one interest at a time and those seem to have the cake and eat it too.

Ask a person what his/her interest is…If you have a good EQ, you could probably guess the person’s other interests too depending on his/her answer. It is highly possible that a girl who likes reading might like writing; a guy who watches movies all the time likes to be a critic; a lady who is passionate about cooking loves spending time with her family; a man who is a foodie might love to travel too….It’s all interconnected, probably. There are of course several instances when a person has interests totally unrelated to each other, especially if it is as different as designing automobiles and tarot card reading (and you’ve got to trust Johnny Depp when he says he likes playing with dolls!)

I know…the more the number of interests, the more it sounds good on your resumé.  But what if you find yourself wanting a hobby?  

Grab a pen and paper. Think your head out on what you really like to do and note them down. Start acting on it (one at a time) the very next minute! This one worked for me.

PS- To all those who have ‘people watching’ in their list, don’t get bogged down by people who think otherwise, for it has nothing to do with “sighting”! I’m a people watcher too :) and it’s one of the most interesting things to do in a crowded restaurant or a gathering (I don’t do it at college since I really don’t want to be nicknamed ‘the perpetual starer’!!)

Have an “interest”ing week ahead everyone!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Broken Friendship...

This wonderful piece was written by my pal Harshini...... Thanks a ton dudette! :)

Who said BF stands only for Best Friend?
It can also mean


Friendship never cheats nor hurts...
It is either true or dead…

You didn’t stab me, you didn’t hurt me…
You are dead, our friendship is dead…

I will let go off your death and remember your life…
I can’t see you in my future…

I can only feel you in my heart,
Coz you are nothing more than a memory…

That keeps me strong…
Till I am gone…

I extend my gratitude towards you, for…
Abandoning me in solitude…

I bid good-bye forever…
Don’t forget to forget me…

Love you my friend…

                   -Always dr 4 u


Sunday, January 29, 2012

On campus/compassion grounds..

College- a place synonymous with friends, fun, frolic, endless gossiping, love affairs, boring lectures, bunking classes and flunking tests (sigh!) So it’s indeed incredible to see that social service has been added lately to this list.

At an age when everyone is trying to “up” their coolness quotient, it’s refreshing to see youngsters develop a selfless spirit to help the disabled and the underprivileged. 

Every event or program being held for a social cause has several college students volunteering themselves for it, be it a drive to plant a million saplings or a walkathon to create awareness on sexual abuse.

I’m amazed at how well my peers handle the preparation that goes with the social work. Their agility and maturity, when it comes to collecting funds and organizing shows for charity, is something to marvel at.

 At my college, a day is all it takes to collect money if a fellow student meets with an accident or when a student needs money to fund her cancer ridden mother’s operation, thanks to students with an eager mind and able body to help.

The best fact is that no one considers it below the belt to serve the diseased and the mentally challenged. “Status“ doesn’t have a say here. 

It’s really heartwarming to see more and more student folk coming together in the guise of service organizations. I’d be worried if several new pro-radical groups crop up or when a lousy actor gets more fan clubs in the state, but I’m totally cool with whomsoever may come out with howmuchever social service groups. Kudos to the students community!