Monday, January 26, 2009

Gajini - a 100% Aamir movie!

After 'Dashavataaram', a Kamal movie (I have written about it, in my blog!), I went to the theatre and watched Aamir in ACTION in 'Gajini'! I have seen his 'Sarfarosh' 'Rangeela' and most of his other GOOD movies! He reminds me of our Kamal Haasan of 'Gunaa' and 'Mahanadhi' in this movie. He has got a very good sense of humour also which shows that he is a true actor. He can express any emotion in his face and his body language is superb. I am a Kamal fan, as you know and Aamir fan too!

In this movie, his character, after an accident in his head, remembers himself only for 15 minutes and forgets everything later. Becomes violent at that time. Aamir's expression when he goes and comes out of this '15 mts.' is unbelievable, which shows, that he is a gifted actor.

I read a lot about the heroine of this film, Asin. Aamir himself praised her a lot in many interviews. She is superb. The whole theatre is laughing when Asin and Aamir are together in this film. They are portrayed so nicely that we are able to understand why Aamir gets wild at the name of the villain Gajini. The director, Murugadoss, has done his job very well (which Aamir mentioned in so many interviews). The cinematography (the renowned Ravi K.Chandran who is praised by everyone nowadays, even I remember his name!) and the stunts are very very good. The sound effects for the stunt action also is too real. We have to see this type of good movies in good theatres like the Sathyam multiplex(Chennai). The sound effect was to the correct decibels. Makes us shudder when we see Aamir hitting people. I liked some songs also which were melodious (A.R.Rahmaan). Jiah Khan is in the film!

I saw repeat crowd which was repeating the dialogues. The original 'Gajini' was in Tamil in which Surya and Asin had starred. Surya had acted in the Tamil version very well, I am told. So I was amazed to see so much repeat crowds (tamil crowd too) who must have seen the tamil 'Gajini' too. I have not seen the tamil movie. I will watch it now, when it comes in the TV! Now, the director, Murugadoss has become famous in the Hindi filmdom too. I read somewhere that Shah Rukh is impressed with this movie and wants to do Murugadoss directed movie 'Ramanaa', (which is a very good movie - the story is too good) but the director for the Hindi version will be from Bollywood!

I don't mind watching it again for Aamir and Asin in action. I will remember to watch Asin's movies, hereafter!

Hats off to Aamir, Asin and Murugadoss!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Welcome to Sajjanpur - a must see movie!

This movie 'Welcome to Sajjanpur' is a must see movie, by veteran director, Shyam Benegal. You can laugh heartily at some scenes and feel heavy in your heart at some places. Acting by all the characters, is superb, esp. Shreyas Talpade (the hero of 'Iqbal' movie). Ila Arun is there in an unforgettable character!

Benegal IS Benegal! Watch it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama - the most talked about American President (from today!)

Somehow I liked Obama from the beginning - maybe I liked the sincerity in his voice when he was speaking or because I never liked Bush - from the beginning! I know Bush helped Indians more than any other American President, but no, I don't like him, period! I liked Al Gore, better (courtesy:Oprah Winfrey show!).

I would like to keep these bits of news about Obama for my own future reference - to see how he is seen after 5 years, with this background!

  • He collects SPIDER-MAN and CONAN, THE BARBARIAN comics.
  • He was known as "O'bomber" at high school for his skill at basketball.
  • His name means "One who is blessed" in Swahili.
  • He is left-handed - the 6th post-war President to be left-handed.
  • He has read every HARRY POTTER book.
  • He owns a set of red boxing gloves, autographed by Muhammed Ali.
  • He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager and now can't stand ice cream.
  • His favourite snacks are CHOCOLATE-PEANUT PROTEIN bars.
  • He promised his wife Michelle, he would quit smoking before running for President - he didn't!
  • He kept a pet ape called Tata, while in Indonesia.
  • He carries a tiny Madonna and Child statue and a bracelet, belonging to a soldier in Iraq for good luck.
  • He applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar, while at Harvard, but was rejected by the all-female committee!
  • His favourite films are CASABLANCA and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST.
  • As a teenager, he took to drugs, including marijuana and cocaine.
  • His favourite music includes MILES DAVIS, BOB DYLAN, BACH and THE FUGEES.
  • He enjoys SCRABBLE and POKER.
  • He hates the youth trend for trousers, which sag beneath the backside!
  • He repaid his student loan, only four years ago, after signing his book deal!
  • Daughter Malia's godmother is Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita.
  • He says his worst habit is constantly checking his Black berry!
  • He owns four identical pairs of black size 11 shoes.
  • He was given the code name "RENEGADE", by his Secret Service handlers.
  • He plans to install a basket ball court in the White House grounds.

Obama's first book, "Dreams From My Father", (which surely stands as the most evocative lyrical and candid autobiography written by a future President), suggests that throughout his life, he has turned to books as a way of acquiring insights and information from others - as a means of breaking out of the bubble of self-hood and more recently, the bubble of power and fame.

READING LIST THAT SHAPED THE PRESIDENT:

  • The Bible.
  • "Parting the Waters" by Taylor Branch.
  • "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Gandhi's autobiography.
  • "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
  • "The Golden Notebook" by Doris Lessing.
  • Lincoln's collected writings.
  • "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville.
  • "Song of Solomon" by Toni Morrison.
  • Works of Reinhold Niebuhr.
  • "Gillead" by Marilynne Robinson.
  • Shakespeare's tragedies.

He seems to be very close to his wife and his two daughters. Whether we like it or not, the performance of the American President will affect our country and the world - hopefully for more peace in the future.

If I am still blogging after 5 years, I will do a write-up, with the title "Barack O(h)bama"!

Courtesy: Times of India

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Omar Abdullah - the new CM of Jammu and Kashmir

Omar Abdullah! I liked the way he spoke in the Lok Sabha:

"I am a Muslim and I am an Indian, and I see no distinction between the two. I don’t know why should I fear the nuclear deal. It is a deal between two countries which, I hope, will become two equals in the future. The enemies of Indian Muslims are not America or deals like these. The enemies are the same as the enemies of all those who are poor — poverty, hunger, lack of development and the absence of a voice….”
- Omar Abdullah, July 22nd, 2008, Lok Sabha. [13]

Now, he is the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir! Good. He was very sincere when he spoke in the Lok Sabha. When manyother leaders were shouting to just get the attention or to stop others from speaking, Omar spoke clearly and sincerely, whole heartedly, meaning what he said.

He is just 38 years old and well educated. Earlier, he was known as Farooq Abdullah's son and Sheik Abdullah's grandson. Now he will be recognised as the CM of Jammu and Kashmir. It is not going to be easy for him to manage Kashmir.

We had been to Amarnath 4 years back. It was very cold over there and drizzling. But everyone helped us throughout the way - the local police and our armymen. On the way back, we visited Kashmir also. When we were at the Jammu railway station, waiting for the train, an announcement came saying that all the trains to Delhi were cancelled. Then, we heard some shootouts, outside the station. All of us were scared. But we came out after sometime and caught a taxi. The driver was a local muslim. The highway was pitch dark. But he drove without headlights, for fear of terrorists' attack. We reached Delhi without any problem, thanks to him.

Hope Omar Abdullah will be safe from terrorists and bring normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and protect its people.

Best of luck to him!

Slumdog Millionaire - A beautiful bollywoody film!

I saw this movie, 'Slumdog Millionaire', a couple of weeks back and was talking about it to everyone, asking them to watch it. Now it is getting so famous and I thought I should express my feelings in writing - say..for my own record! I have got this habit of forgetting the stories of the movies, I watch, very fast. If someone asks about it, a month or so later, I go blank. But this movie is going to stay in my memory, like 'A Few Good Men', 'Rain Man', 'Finding Forrester', etc., at least, the first 3/4th part of the movie!

The movie's main story is about an 18 year old boy - a muslim and an orphan, who grew up in the Mumbai slum and wins Two Crore rupees in the 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' show. After he answers correctly for all the questions, but one, which will get him the prize money, the anchor of the show, Anil Kapoor, who is in place of our Amitabh Bachchan, gets uneasy about this boy and thinks, he is stealing his show without proper credentials. He arranges with the police to check the boy - in the police way - if he is a cheat or has got microchips (!) in his body! Irfan Khan who is the police officer, does his job thoroughly. The boy tells him how he knew the answers for the questions. They show his life in flashback. Every stage of his life, from childhood, taught him the answers to the questions, he says.

I was engrossed thoroughly in the story, with a heavy heart. The boy, Dev Patel has acted very well. His expressions are very good. The younger Patel also has acted very well. Sanchita Chouwdary, who acts as his mother, looks beautiful, though in a small role. The life of the people in the Dharavi slum, was never shown so truthfully, in anyother earlier film. It is difficult for me to write about them in detail, though I know these things happen in reality. The director of the movie, Danny Boyle makes us feel ashamed of ourselves for knowingly letting the goondas and politicians (feel both are alike!) rule the underprivileged people and churn out more characters like themselves for the future to ruin our country.

One thing, I was unable to digest is, the actors speak flauless English. They show the mother of the hero, makes sure, her two sons go to the local school, when they were small. They were in uniform also. Later on, the hero works for sometime, in a call centre in place of his friend. Is that enough for the accentless English?

The movie is directed so well, that we need a brave heart to watch. But suddenly, the director must have thought that an Indian story should have a PROPER CLIMAX and added some songs in the end. The heroine joins and hero and dances in the railway platform! The song which we hear, when the credits are rolling, is good. A.R. Rahman is nominated for the 'Golden Globe' award for the music for this film. This film is nominated for 3 more categories of this award.

Though the impact of the story dies after the dance scene, the movie will definitely remain in our minds, for a long time. A well made bollywoody film, by an English Director!

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