Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

Summer Flicks in India

Monday, March 30, 2009

I just saw ‘Revolutionary Road’ last night. It was really sad, and by that I mean very heartbreaking. But Beautiful. Also Depressing. Great performances by actors who seem to change into different people each time I see them on screen. It also was the type of story where you really need to be drawn into the characters lives, or else it’s really hard to find a message or a moral. I saw ‘The Reader’ last week which was a similar case; all thinky-emotional types. But in all this I realised that I had enough of all the drama and really wanted to see an action film, and an Indian action film, that (here are the key words) DOES NOT DISAPPOINT, and man is it hard to find one of those.

So everyone knows that the only place in the nothern hemisphere that has its summer a couple of months early is the sub-continent. And though the heat had started pouring on our heads since Feb, our summer is now: April, May and part of June. So I decided to look up some of India’s upcoming summer flicks. I think of the past few years I’ve become really attached to our Indian Film Industry and genuinly interested in the movies that we churn out. I want them to succeed; I can’t belong to the sect of people who are too damn snobbish to watch an Indian film because they are too bloody prejudiced against it. “
Yeah dude hindi movies suck man, whatever”. I have no problem in going for a Hindi movie, realise it sucks, and THEN criticise the shit out of it, and god knows we have enough of those. In the recent past ‘Race’, ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Drona’ have all proven to be big disasters. But it just makes the good ones all the more sweeter, and understand this, that I compare movies in India to movies from India, and not hollywood, because that’s what everyone does and then they proceed to become conceited and stuck up noone wants to watch them anymore.

Which is balls, but I digress.

The first bunch of films for the summer that I missed were apparently worth missing (I listen to critics, not idiots). Funnily enough many films this summer have a sci-fi element that has to do with either seeing the future or past! I think sci-fi in india is a long-freakin-overdue subject and personally I’m glad they’re taking a step into the fray.

13B: For most part this got trashed for being an all horror film about a television set that tells the main character what his future will be. Why? Because once again they managed to squeeze in two songs, in what people called a long, and ineffective movie. Interestingly though, foreign press have given it decent reviews.

Aa Dekhen Zara: Neil Nithin Mukesh and Bipasha Basu star in a movie where the lead character inherits a camera that takes pictures of the future! A daring attempt in storytelling by debut director Jehangir Surti, but apparently ultimately a loose, inconsistent screenplay wins the day. Again that's what others said.

The movie I am really looking forward to this summer is ‘
8x10 Tasveer’. Stars Akshay Kumar (who IS a hardworking, awesome presence on screen) in another time-bending plot. I know, I know, the plots are all repetitive but here’s why this has the best chance out of the three: first of all the trailer (Apart from the 'I have a secret' bit) is lookin pretty A, man. Secondly, its directed by Nagesh Kukunoor who has previously made Hyderabad Blues, Dor and Iqbal; all of them being good movies with solid plots. Also to note that Kukunoor is also one of the few people who writes all his movies himself. It’s so rare when you can judge how good a movie will be, by the past credentials of its crew, because writers just seem to up and leave, never to be seen again. That’s the industry, I guess. And thirdly, man, its time we got a good sci-fi movie here; we DESERVE it. Yes there is a 'rap' song for the promos, Yes the plot is probably wafer-thin, and Yes Indian movies tend to over-exaggerate and and over-state the obvious in a lame kinda way, but know that I will be very liberal with the review for this movie, just because someone had the stones to actually make an interesting sci-fi paranormal flick, and if it is even half-decent; flaws, lame-ness and all, I will be satisfied.

Here’s the trailer:

Next week:
Incredible Love – The first movie in history to pair Stallone and Schwarzenneger will be…A Bollywood Rom-Com?!

P.S. Pray for this movie to be good! and for
Michael Sullivan. Also I like this poster better.

So, yes, weeks after it’s worldwide release, India finally has Watchmen playing in a theatre near you. Well not really, you, just anyone who lives near the handful of theatres where they’re showing it.
Tejas and I have been baffled at how ridiculous it is to launch easily the most anticipated film of the first quartile of the year three weeks late, when the same theatres screened Iron Man a day before the rest of the world. Credit to the censor board though, who saw fit to censor a bite and a penis, but not the fully nude and semi nude sex scenes.
Anyway, It came, and I watched it and before we get any deeper into this pseudo review, I need to establish a few things. Firstly, neither Kyra nor Tejas have seen the film yet so there won’t be any spoilers in this. The proper review will come in a few days when Tejas gets a chance to watch it. On this blog no one deserves the honor more.
Secondly, we could waffle on and on about how the film is good to the readers and bad to those who haven’t read it, or how the film is the greatest cinematic achievement since Speed Racer, but in this post here I’m not getting into that too much. I’ve read the novel and I fucking loved it. I saw the film and I fucking loved it. End of story.
Before going into the movie, I was suddenly struck by an appreciation for Alan Moore’s decision to withdraw his name from it. For those of you who have read any of his work, you’d understand that his style of writing and executing ideas is like no one else. His transitions between scenes, his visual puns, his symbolism and the amazing wit and weight attached to every letter and punctuation he uses, are so superbly sequenced, you can’t help but scratch your head wondering ‘Who the fuck IS this guy?’
So when some big Hollywood hot shot shows up saying ‘Hey let’s make this comic into a flick’ you can get the frustration. As a writer, Moore is like a director, a producer, a script writer and an assistant director. The construction of a graphic novel, then can be seen as the production of a movie. If someone showed up and changed all that up so they could squeeze it into a two and a half hour film which thousands will watch saying shit like ‘Dude this guy looks homo!’ or ‘Shit, what’s he saying yaar?’ (Please note: the morons who said these things were sitting right behind me) then I can appreciate Moore’s frustration at the adaptation.
Having said that, I must say, props to Zack Snyder and the amazing team who worked on this film. Not only have they stayed true to what Dave Gibbons felt should be depicted, but in certain key areas they’ve actually gone ahead and interpreted things in their own way, buffing up the cinematic experience. The kind of visual cleverness Moore is known for can’t really be translated on to screen, but Snyder’s gone right ahead and thrown in some really awesome camera movements and ideas himself.
I remember one of the criticisms leveled against Sam Dunne for Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey was that the whole thing was one sided and from a fan’s point of view. Several people have said the same thing about Snyder's adaptation, and in part they’re probably right, but you know what, I cannot imagine a greater homage to easily the best piece of fiction I’ve ever read.
Which brings me to my next point. After watching the film yesterday, I came home and Knocked Up a Seth Rogen film was on. As it ended, a Bob Dylan song started playing over the credits and I was suddenly hit with a huge appreciation of the impact of that one little Hobo singer. Is there anything or anyone Bob Dylan has not freaking touched?
If you’re going into the movie hoping it lives up to the graphic novel, or if you’re going in expecting it not to, then you should stop right there. After seeing this movie, the conflict between mediums that Moore is so critical of, has become hugely evident to me.
When you read the book, enjoy yourself. When you watch the film, enjoy yourself. When you’re done with it all, sit down in a dark corner wondering why your foundations are suddenly so shaky and remember this- Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and (for some) Zack Snyder did this to you, and to quote Jay and Silent Bob- "Reco'naize!"

The rights to those tights...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ello all,

So I read this Empire blog's list of potential Captain Americas and it got me thinking about all the existing super hero actors and all of the ones in the apparent pipeline. (Is that the phrase? Pipeline...?) This post was originally a stream of conscious type thing, but Tejas nudged me towards a far detailed list.

1. Spiderman

Yeah, Tobey Maguire was quite shit wasn't he? He was good and everything, but he didn't have the awesome Peter Parker-ness. He was a great geek turned super hero, but I don't know, there's an awesome edginess to Peter Parker which just seemed so forced everytime Maguire's chubby cheeks yelled out 'Yeeeeaah' flying through the streets.

On the other hand, Emile Hirsch would, in my opinion be pretty awesome. He's the right build and after I saw him in 'Into the Wild' I am certain he could put in an awesome performance, being not just the geeky nerd with new powers, but also the really confused hormonal teenager dealing with morality issues way past his syllabus.

It's a tricky one, but I'm certain he'd pull off the punch lines and sylloliques far better than Tobey 'Oh look I had too much morphine and I'm slurring hope I can finish the line before I zzzzzz...' Maguire.

And by the way, the only real connection him and Kirsten Dunst had throughout the film was that they both had lazy eyes and gave you the sense you were interrupting an afternoon nap.


I know it's a long shot, but does anyone else think Michael J Fox would be totally perfect for the role if he were the same age he was for Back to the Future?

2. Black Widow

She's dark, she's sexy, she's russian and she wears a black leather body suit. Marvel's casting call read '20s, beautiful, speaks several languages fluently and is equally proficient in martial arts...' So who could fit the part? Apparently, Scarlett Johannson.

I have to admit, I like her as an actress, but I'm antsy about her for the part. They'd spoken to Emily Blunt, then Eliza Dushku, then apparently Hilary Swank, but it seems Johannson has signed the deal and is set to go ahead and do it. Chubby cheeks on Natasha Romanoff? Really, I don't quite see it. No doubt this was swayed by her role in the Black Dahlia, which just makes it all the more confusing.


Personally, I'm amazed that they didn't take someone thinner and taller. Emily Blunt being the first choice indicates they wanted that but I don't know, what about Megan fox, or Jessica Biel? Hell even Angelina Jolie would've given a darker sexier option. The only bright side is, of all the options Johannson is by far the best actress, very capable of surprising all of us. Let's hope she does.

Incidentally: Mickey freaking Rourke is going to play a combination of Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo! I'm psyched!

3. Wonder Woman

Ah, now here's a tough one. She needs to be tough, a bit voluptuous (Princess of a feminist nation can't be anorexic), preferably brunette, and more than anything else, she needs to be a power house. There's very few actresses I can think of, who can pull off a part like this, for the same reason no actor's ever really pulled off Superman (I'm not even getting into this one). To some extent, I have a weird feeling a younger Julia Roberts would've been pretty awesome for the part solely because of her performance as Erin Brokovich. I can't stress just how weird that feeling is.

There's a whole host of hot women who could do a job, but man, this is a feminist freaking icon. She is the alpha female. You need someone as intense as Christian Bale's Batman, and as awesome as Christopher Reeves' Superman. So I'm going to have to lean, kind of awkwardly, towards Carla Gugino. The reason I wouldn't stake too much on this one, is that Gugino's now 38 years old. Which seems like the right maturity for her, but phsyically, would she pull it off? Not so sure.

Apparently Joss Whedon's involvement in the script meant Sarah Michelle Gellar may be considered but I'm pretty certain that would never happen. Keri Russell did the voice for her in the animated feature but in person I'm sorry, I don't see that working out.


Wait for it...Angelina Jolie! Although I'm not too convinced it'd be the best plan. Otherwise I dunno, Maybe Penelope Cruz...accent might even work for her. I don't know though. Then there's Jennifer Connelly. She can act and she is pretty gorgeous. Only issue is, will anyone remember her from the first Hulk movie? Ahahahaha! But seriously, she's an accomplished actor with the right build. Is she too soft though?

4. Green Lantern

Okay, here's a fucking awesome character, with an awesome personality asset- will power. In the animated film they used the voice of David Boreanaz. Angel from Buffy for those don't recognise. Before we go further, we need to realise, that the Green Lantern is a huge, huge character, who comes with a whole universe behind him. Superman has Krypton which is fine and dandy, but the Green Lantern's roots are inextricably linked to the entire universe. It'll be hard to get it all on film, but that's the kind of weight that this character has, so regardless of whether they shoot scenes in outer galaxies, it's integral to the way the guy functions. Not to mention the sequels.

Mark Wahlberg's name's been touted and he could do it, but because of the humour quotient, maybe a Matt Damon could pull it off better? Both of them are old and this is a part that needs the guy to be as fit as possible.

They're starting shooting this September and rumour has it Ryan Gosling and Emile Hersch passed on the role, which leaves Anton Yelchin. Yeah, I've never heard of him either. Slightly more farcical rumours see Eric Dane (McDreamy) and Nathan Fillion (Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible's sing-along blog) in the running.

Although, Chris Pine, the guy from Princess Diaries 2, could have set himself up for this after a superb performance in Smokin' Aces.


Now, I've thought this through, and I will lay it on gently, the man I feel could really do justice to Hal Jordan is...Guy Pearce! I just saw him play Houdini and man, he would not only have the grit and cool guy-ness to pull it off, he'd look pretty awesome in the suit. Not to mention his part in Memento. But then again he is 42, so how many films can he do? At the rate at which the first one's going can he do even one?

Incidentally, there were rumours they'd make a comedic version starring Jack Black!

5. Captain America

Aaron Eckhart. Please. With a cherry on top! He IS Captain America, admit it, you thought so too! But seriously, he's got the looks, the build, the acting ability to yell "Does the A on my head stand for FRANCE?!" Otherwise, there is that random dark horse, who unfortunately fits the bill quite perfectly, Will Smith. I have a weird feeling after his 'jumping- heart beat' scene from Hancock he could really do Steve Rogers justice.


Tom Cruise maybe, I don't know. Just shooting in the dark now. Maybe Brad Pitt. Neither are convincing though. This is a far better list though.

6. The Flash

Let's first clarify, the script that seems to have been accepted will feature both Wally AND Barry Allen. But then that script may not be the one. Or it might be. Noone seems to know. Unfortunately and ironically, the whole project is moving regressively slowly, and while Ryan Reynolds was initially touted for the part, his involvement with Marvel as Deadpool could rule him out. Which really blows, because he's so perfect for the part.

That leaves us with Neil Patrick Harris and Scott Porter. NPH is awesome and he gave the voice, but honestly, I don't think the character would be taken seriously enough if he played it. Scott Porter though, (Rex Racer from Speed Racer) does look like a seriously cool contender.


Ryan Phillipe perhaps, but I'd be really weary if it did happen. Adam Brody always makes me cringe but he might just do a decent job. He's popular too. Oooooh! Might as well just take Sean William Scott...!

7. Dr. Strange

This is going to sound bizarre, but every time I've seen Dr. Strange drawn, I've always, quite inexplicably, seen him as George Hamilton in a cape. The doctors are doing what they can to help me.

Seriously though, Richard Gere. Aahahahaha!

No really, I think hands down, no questions asked, no looking back- Hugo freaking Weaving. The fact that he's Brit just serves this up with a side dish of fries. Not for the accent, but for the kind of intensity his generation of brit actors bring to their roles.

On the other hand, Tejas insists on Liam Neeson, who, to be fair, is in there with a shout. My only concern is his accent.


Tim Robbins could really do justice to the part. He's an awesome actor and he's the right age. Bryce Johnson did the voice but honestly he's more likely to play The Flash. He's far too young.

8. Luke Cage

Barack Obama! Denzel Washington! Mike Tyson! Wait. That might work...I'm presently leaning towards Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible 1 and 2- played Luther the hacker...) but I don't know if he can give the character the depth he deserves. Tyrese Gibson seems to have been signed but it's all really fuzzy and honestly, I don't think he can make the character anything more than an angry black guy stereotype.


Will Smith? Or is that a bit unfair? I'm never sure with him. As an actor, he really can do pretty much everything. Jamie Foxx? Or is he too little? Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson maybe...

9. Black Panther

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keira Knightley's husband from Love Actually, is apparently the front runner to play the Wakandan King, but I don't quite see it. I've not seen enough of him to judge him yet.

Seriously though, I find it hard to argue with Djimon Hounsou for the part. He's big, he's impassioned and he can pull off a regal air. He's a stunning actor as well. Seriously, I don't know who else would fit better. Let's just hope they actually make the film though.

Anyway, that's about all I could think of. Told you it'd be random and a bit aimless so there you go. I had two categories for Namor and Aquaman as well, but it's a bit too up in the air right now. Vincent Chase seems like the only real option and well, he's fictional so there you go. Here's a thought- Keanu Reeves for Namor?

If there's anyone you think would be better, or if there's any super hero I may have left out, please mention in the comments. I'd just like to say, that the current Marvel selection, barring Maguire (Sony's fault as much as anyone's really) has been quite impeccable. I had issues with Jessica Alba but then she wasn't a total disaster either.

Here's to some great adaptations, and some even better sequels.

And also, According to Jim- worst sitcom EVER!

The Top 10 Famous Bearded Men

Friday, March 13, 2009

The other day, it suddenly occurs to me, that there are a whole bunch of famous people who have beards. So I decided, why not have a go at making a list of the Top 10. This is what I came up with.
The list was decided using three factors- Significance of beard, Significance of person, and of course, whether or not I like the person. This list is NOT objective and is based on nothing really. I can only hope it'll spawn a series of comments and many more pointless Top 10s on the blog.
Right then.

10. Mel Gibson
Here's a man who's been openly homophobic, anti- semitic and on many occasions- openly wasted. And how can you argue with the guy? He's William freaking Wallace!
The Aussie American has had his fair of controversies and bust ups, but then which Australian actor hasn't right? He just makes it into the list over Joaquin Phoenix because honestly, I don't think I've seen a harder fucker.

Top Quote: "I'll apologise when hell freezes over. They can fuck off!" when asked to apologise to GLAAD for homophobic comments.
9. Socrates

Now I should clarify, the next three on the list probably belong higher on an objective list, but this isn't an objective list and if you've been dead for over 50 years and it was 'cool' to be the bearded guy in your time, then you're not getting much higher than this. Now, the real Socrates is still a mystery because back then people didn't feel the need to write shit down. Socratic irony anyone? Anyway based on Plato's notes, this man was pretty fucking intense. Not only did he teach one of the greatest men the world ever got (Plato) he also developed the most fundamental of ideas- logic. I don't care how long your beard is, you impact epistemology and you're on the list!
Top Quote: "I know that I know nothing." Do. Not. Mess.
8. Charles Darwin
So there's all these people completely convinced the human race and everything around it just popped up out of nowhere, like "Let there be light" meant "Hit the switches, bitches", and in comes our good friend Mr. Charlie Darwin saying "'Ang on a bit! That don't sound right..."
The theory of evolution! The idea that we all evolved from single celled organisms and of course my all time favorite- survival of the fittest- all came from this man and his beard. There was never any doubt he'd make it.
Top quote: "I think." written on top of his first diagram of 'The evolutionary tree.'
7. Che Guevara
I must point out how unbearably painful it is for me to allow this fucker on the list. I used to believe. I used to look upto him. But then I found out the truth. Humberto Fontova's chilling depiction of the real Che shook me to my core and like a pain stricken ex lover I hate the fucker.
The only reason he makes it here, is because he murdered thousands, was a dreadful strategist, a sexist, racist bigot and was generally a real fuck head, but somehow got millions of people to not only love him and wear T shirts of him, but even get him tattooed on them. Now that's what I call Marketting!
Top Quote: "Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men — how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?" Of course it never stopped him from mass executions and racist comments. Asshole.
6. Karl Marx
Of course. I can't say I agree with or even like most of what he proposed but the fact remains, capitalism will never have a sterner critic. As long as there are economies there will be a tiny group of Marxists screaming 'What about the little people?' except they won't be squeaky and pouting, they'll be loud and possibly armed. Hm.
When everyone was sure they could go about saying the administration was right and nobody'd argue, up came young Karl saying 'Ah! Then I'll be the Left!" Always listen to the man in the beard...
Top Quote: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways- the point is to change it" BUUURRN!
5. Willie Nelson
I know a lot of music lovers and most of them hate country music. But then I'll ask them about Willie Nelson and the usual reaction is to the effect of 'well OBVIOUSLY, I like him but otherwise it's shit...'
Whether or not that statement is true, Willie Nelson has inspired and moved millions with some of the most beautiful love songs and some of the smoothest pickings of his acoustic guitar 'Trigger'.
Top Quote: "I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?" So true. So very true.
4. Steven Speilberg
Horror. Comedy. Thriller. Action. Futuristic/Fantasy. Romance. There is NOTHING this man has not done, and there is nothing he's done without his beard. 45 years of directing, producing and occasionally acting in films. The way he has adapted and grown year in and year out to create some of the greatest films of all time, right from Schindler's list to Jaws, is nothing short of inspiring. Is there any movie watcher who doesn't rate atleast one Speilberg film as one of his/her all time favorites?
Top Quote: "All of us every single year, we're a different person. I don't think we're the same person all our lives."

3. ZZ Top
For the first time on the list I think the beard tipped the scales. Well, in this case it's beardS.
Arguably the Sultans of 'Cool', the Blues trio have provided millions with some of the coolest guitar riffs and blues howls. With some killer innuendo and the wind in their hair, I don't think I've seen many cooler sites than these guys rocking out at the Crossroads festival. Their selection may be influenced by the fact that La Grange is currently my wake up music but whatever. But with their signature guitars and signature wheels, there is very little you can take away from these guys.
Top Quote: “We've been coming out with you for a long time, ... And it's the same three guys playing the same three chords right here.” Got to love self deprecation!
2. Chuck Norris
He CAN eat just one Lay's chip. He doesn't read- he stares down books and they tell him all. His tears cure cancer- but he never cries. There's no life on Mars- for He has been there.
He sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, he roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The boogeyman looks under his bed for Chuck Norris. He wears no watch- he DECIDES time. He can kill two stones with one bird. He's 1/8th Cherokee- this has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a fucking Indian.
There are no lesbians- only those who have not seen Chuck Norris.
Top Quote: "Say Please..." when God said 'Let there be Light.'
1. Alan Moore
The anarchist writer who wrote some of the greatest graphic novels including Watchmen, V for Vendetta and The Killing Joke, he is, to me, the only person to fully utilise the medium of graphic novels. The often volatile author who dropped out of school at 17 for selling LSD, is known for his hatred of film adaptations of comics. He tops the list because, not only is he one of the most immense personalities in the world with one of the most amazing minds, he also has in my opinion the most awesome defence of his beard- "the laziness that has enabled my beard to get to this length is not a habit that I'm going to shake now."
Top Quote: "To paint comic books as childish and illiterate is lazy. A lot of comic books are very literate - unlike most films."

And with that we come to the end. I do hope I haven't pissed anyone off with the list. Inputs are definitely welcome, please chip in with other nominees.
I must go now. Chuck Norris is here and he's pissed he's only second on the list. It's been nice knowing you all. Farewell.
P.S. Someone warn Alan Moore, he has about 3 minutes before Chuck Norris flies down to England to dropkick his ass.

Liking the Algebra

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

While I spent most of high school trying to pass the wretched subject, The Algebra of Infinite Justice by Arundhati Roy was a book I’d been looking for over a year. It’s sad that only her fictional The God of Small Things will haunt shelves, while most of India is ignorant to the fact that this lyrical author is one of the greatest political revolutionaries we have today. And no, I’m sorry. Im sure Salman Rushdie is a wonderful writer, but minus Midnight’s Children, the man is the greatest alternative to sleeping pills. So, in my book, while he might have a brilliantly heightened political opinion, it isn’t one I can wade through.

Arundhati Roy has conversations with her readers. You forget you’re holding a moderately heavy paperback and listen and converse with a writer who really knows her politics. A student of architecture, Roy’s words have a beautiful symmetry. Roy took the best possible thing from her prestigious Booker: supreme confidence to write whatever she damn well pleases. Of course, Im sure the money and autographs didn’t hurt, but confidence and a sense of self can take you to pinnacles of risk and help you survive. Her scathing poetry rips America’s mission of “Infinite Justice” to shreds – a mission where the most powerful country in the world is slowly and steadily transforming the world’s poorest into dust. If that isn’t infinite justice, what is?

However, someone in the Pentagon must have felt some misgivings. “This doesn’t sound right”, he must have thought. “Where’s the justice in this whole operation?”, he must have thought. Sadly, he didn’t think any of these things, for the operation was renamed “Enduring Freedom”. Basically, as Roy points out, the US has put these two words together without the slightest awareness of the human effort of struggle. In a reality far from US cruelty, “Enduring Freedom” actually means that the Afghanistan population is enduring what the White House and the Pentagon call freedom. How infinitely just, no?

Arundhati Roy doesn’t say “we should do so and so”. She says. “this is how it is, this is how I feel, now you have facts and an opinion. Come up with your own opinion and do what is right”. She makes her readers face intolerance and make sense of global confusion. She makes them understand what it means to be completely alive and fully awake in the world, and “getting close to and listening to those for whom this world has become intolerable”.

A year ago, one of my best friends told me what being fully alive meant. After reading Roy, I understood where she got it from. It’s the focal point of the whole book, and when put alongside the infinite justice of the US, the beauty of Roy makes you cringe. Roy puts forth that “the only dream worth having is to live while you’re alive and die when you’re dead”


“To love. To be love. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never complicate what is simple or simplify what is complicated. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget”

Okay, I’ll admit, I ditched most of the show when it was broadcast to see Delhi-6 a second time (good movie), which left me to see only about 25 to 30 minutes of the show, but that was enough. I did check the list of ‘winners’ and by god…you think I’m gonna say I was shocked, but I wasn’t. Infact I sat there knowing exactly what was going to happen, and the expression on my face was ‘…Newman’.

Let’s get to the crux shall we?
The Filmfare awards are the Indian Film Industry’s most prestigious awards function, that brings together all of who’s who of India’s movie circuit minus Aamir Khan(He never shows up). The problem I have with these awards is actually quite simple, however its venomous clutch threatens to erode the quality of Indian cinema. To demonstrate lets take the example of the ‘Best Actor’ category. The Best Actor is a pretty heavy title if you think about it. That means that in a whole year of movies the actor has given arguably the greatest performance out of all the other actors that were in contention for the award.

Another issue that should be addressed is obviously the standard of movies that have been released and sent in for selection. Last year Kareena Kapoor won the best actress award not only for a decent performance in ‘Jab we met’ but also because of the lack of performances to nominate. Thus her receiving the award was almost a given, and get she did.

The Best Actor category (which should be renamed ‘Most Popular’ actor category) this year was once again dominated by the Khans, Hrithik Roshan and the one man I was rooting for so bad: Naseerudin Shah.

A Wednesday was probably the only politically relevant, AWESOME movie of last year, with excellent performances to match. From Anumpam Kher to Jimmy Shergill (in that one brilliant, gun-cocking moment of genius) and especially Naseerudin Shah, who played the regular everyman to such emotional perfection, the category was almost a no-brainer.

Hrithik Roshan won the award. He won for an average performance in a tediously long, below-average film. Jodhaa Akbar won the awards for best director and film as well.

So here’s what I dislike. The ‘jury’ nominates these sub-standard performances, and then they win because they’re big names, and not because they’re especially good. The hype builds and builds and everyone is finally satisfied that these movies ‘set the standard’ of quality movie making in India. THEY DO NOT. And then it starts all over again. The really awesome Indie films (I’ll blog about this later) get ignored and year after year run of the mill performances from Shah Rukh and the like are commended. I have nothing against Shah Rukh Khan and the other actors, and I guess it’s not really their fault that it happens, but they sure as shit do nothing about it and neither do the filmfare ‘jury’. Then in their guilt they give out ‘Special Jury Awards’ to deserving actors and movies, which unfortunately feel very forced. A Wednesday won almost nothing, with the saving grace of ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ winning a handful of critics’ awards. But, all in all, a pretty bad 25 to 30 minutes.

Things that were annoying:
1. Akshay Kumar got a nomination for his ‘work’ in 'Singh is Kinng
2. When I googled the winners list for the show, Filmfare didn’t even show up in the first page, I had to get it from a website called, which then promptly forwarded me to AdultFriendFinder. No thanks; I’m not looking for SEX IN BOMBAY TONIGHT.

Things I appreciated:
1. Shah Rukh and the Slumdog gang.
2. The precious times when Filmfare actually got it right.
3. Priyanka Chopra was smokin’ hot.

We the...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hello dear reader,
It's very likely you don't know who we are and so, before we get into it, we'd like to introduce ourselves. In case you do know who we are, stop reading now and do a little dance.
All three contributors to this blog are college students studying in India. We've all spent significant parts of our childhoods growing up in the UAE as well, and whether or not that has anything to do with it, we all love to watch movies, read books and listen to music. This blog however is a result of the fact that we also love to give our opinions about everything.
So what should you expect from this blog? Expect rants exhalting or berating anything from the latest Apple gadget to the latest piss poor excuse for cinema in this country.
So without any further ado, I give you the contributors:

Tejas: An Arts student in Pune, he is an avid musician constantly writing and experimenting with new styles and genres. He's also a part time film maker with a penchant for word play. He's also the funniest guy we know so you can look forward to some interesting takes on the latest developments in art and technology.

Kyra: A graduating media student in Mumbai, she's a writer who's done everything from painting to acting. She's also written a book and is by far the most accomplished writer of the three of us, so we fully understand if the majority of the hits are when she posts!

Harry: A media student in Mumbai, he's struggling to complete his graphic novel and loves complaining about anything he sees or hears. He is an accomplished artist and has a keen eye for detail. We expect most of the criticism to come from his side.
That's the lot of us, who knows we may have a few guest writers once in a way, but for the most part it'll be us talking about the things we've been doing.
We do hope you come back to read more.
Till then.

The All of us.

The All of us.