I finally watched ‘Highway’ over the weekend. I loved the movie, the locations, everything. The underlying message of the movie was so subtle yet so strong. I love how they treated something as scary as sexual abuse with such a delicate hand. It wasn’t got through hurriedly. Apart from just entertainment, this is what movies are supposed to. They are supposed to open our eyes and help us discuss issues which we’d rather not talk about because its not polite.

Silencing victims of sexual abuse is probably the most cowardly thing to do. Imagine going through life with no one to actually hear what you are saying, subconsciously pressing the mute button when your insides are raging and screaming.

Opening up to someone about the abuse us definitely not easy. Opening up is reliving it, it is digging up stories that were safely buried. If someone comes to you wanting to talk about this, listen to them. They trusted you out of all the other people in their life. They trusted you would understand, that you would help them and that you’d realize why they are who they are.

Everyone deserves a voice. And everyone deserves to be heard.

Moke = Movie + Coke

I saw Vishwaroopam today. It was only okay. My all time favourite Kamal movie will always be Michael Madan Kamarajan. There was no big story line in the movie. Kamal Haasan looks very obviously old. So his make up artist has done a decent job of hiding the wrinkles and filling the circles under his eyes. Kamal plays a Muslim Indian Army soldier. There, I gave away the story. The lady who plays his wife ties at first place with Annoying Asin from Dasavatharam. Andrea Jeremiah had approximately three one line dialogues. She just followed Kamal wherever he went. Rahul Bose took acting classes from The Godfather.

Also, what is with American theaters not having an ‘intermission’? My bladder is accustomed to being relieved after the first hour of watching the movie. I found it hard initially but then I found a solution : DO NOT DRINK A BIG TANK OF COKE. It helps with my sugar high too.

Movie Night

I almost forgot to write a post today. I made pepper chicken today. It didn’t turn out like my mothers chicken but it was close enough. We watched Karan Johar’s Student of the Year movie while having dinner. My thoughts :

1) The two main guys in the movie looked exactly alike.

2) Alia Bhatt can’t act or emote. But she can always look like she just came from chopping a sack of onions.

3) Alia Bhatt always forgets to wear her pants.

4) Tomboy girl has serious hair issues.

5) Hi-fi English speaking school has only like fifty students.

6) None of the kids in the aforementioned high school look like they study.

7) All the male high school students look like they’re on steroids.

8) I should have known better than to watch this movie.

The Great Dictator (1940)

Today, as I was flipping through the telly I stopped at UTV World Movies. The channels’ normal fare consists of spooky, creepy Korean movies, French movies that are almost always about love, lust and so on and rugged looking Arab/Middle Eastern movies. But today was different. They were playing ‘The Great Dictator’ starring Charlie Chaplin. I had heard about this but never had a chance to see it.

Charlie (Charles) Chaplin was always known for his slapstick humor. He was the epitome of comedy and personified funny like nobody ever can. But I was pleasantly surprised with ‘The Great Dictator’. Chaplin plays a double role of the dictator Hynkel and a Jewish barber. Chaplin was greatly criticized for disrespecting the Jews and the Nazis alike as the movie was a satire on Hitler and Mussolini.

During Hitler’s reign the movie banned in Germany and in all Nazi occupied territories. But Hitler did see this movie. Twice. Unfortunately history never recorded what he thought of the movie.

‘The Great Dictator’ is probably one of the bravest movies ever made considering the circumstances of its release. It was released in a time where Hitler’s actions were not fully known. Chaplin however manages to draw a fine line between the guilt of the persecution and the concentration camps and the actual humor.

Although this movie is a satire, it teaches us a lesson. The final scene where Chaplin gives a speech is five minutes long and has to be one of the most excellent dialogs in cinema, the likes of which cannot be found today. The speech became so popular that Chaplin was invited to do a live radio broadcast.

This speech is something we can relate to in this day and age. It is amazing how something that was filmed seventy one years ago is extremely relevant today –

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite! Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hannah! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness into the light! We are coming into a new world; a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow! Into the light of hope, into the future! The glorious future, that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up, Hannah. Look up!”

Special mention has to be given to Billy Gilbert, one of the finest actors I’ve seen. For those who don’t know him, well,he was the voice of Sneezy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

Picture courtesy http://www.thisguyoverhere.com


I saw Inception today. I will not review it nor will I give away anything about the story here. No one should ruin your experience of watching it for the first time. I cannot stop thinking about it.
Please watch Inception.
For me atleast.

But I will say this –

1. Dicaprio may be old but he still has not lost his awesome-ness.
2. Joseph Gordon Levitt, I have been watching you since your ‘Third Rock from The Sun’ days. You have grown to become this wonderfully, for the lack of a better word, smokin’ person who fills out a suit nicely.
3. Nolan, I love you.

Star Wars Episode 4 – A New Hope

There are some movies that, no matter how old they are, find an almost eternal place in pop culture. Star Wars is one such movie. I have heard a million times over about the awesome-ness that is Star Wars through a cousin and also through references in various TV series and movies.

Case in point:

1. F.R.I.E.N.D.S : The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy.
2. How I Met Your Mother : Barney’s Storm Trooper, Ted Moseby’s frequent OD’ing on Star Wars trivia.
3. That 70s Show : Eric Foreman: “I feel like I’m Luke Skywalker, you know”.
Eric Foreman : “I’m here to rescue you!”
And of course, his frequent Luke Skywalker moments.

So I took the task upon myself and decided to watch Star Wars from the beginning. There are many different ways of watching the movies. The top two being in chronological order or episode wise.

I decided to watch it in chronological order.

STAR WARS (1977)
Director : George Lucas

Star Wars is a typical case of good vs evil. In the context of this particular galaxy, far far away, its the dark side vs the umm bright side? Yes. So what I understand from the movie is that Darth Vader and his evil buddies want to take over the galaxy and destroy the revolution that is out to kill them. Through some chance of luck, the fate of the galaxy lies in the hands of Luke Skywalker, an almost pre-pubescent looking Jedi wannabe.

Luke Skywalker lives and works with his uncle Owen who lies to him about his father’s death and this Obi-Wan Kenobi person. Instead, he could have told Luke the truth and saved himself from being murdered by the Storm Troopers. But I guess he wanted Luke to slog in his farm more.
Stupid uncle Owen.

So, as of now Luke’s relatives are dead and all he is left with is Obi-Wan Kenobi, this golden robot whose name I do not know and R2 which is another mini robot that reminds me of Wall-e. Now Princess Leia, before being captured by Darth Vader’s minions fed some super secret design blah blah Death Star blah blah into the chip of R2. Now since the the R2 hangs out with Luke, the Storm Troopers are after him and he has to go destroy the Death Star. Coming to think of it, it sounds a bit like Frodo Baggins and the ring and how the task of destroying the ring in Mount Doom is upon him.
Rip off!
Okay, too soon to judge.

Now this Obi Wan Kenobi is kind of like what Gandalf was to Frodo. You know, mentor, guide, faith restorer, etc etc. So now Obi Wan needs to get Luke into a space ship type of thing so he gets in touch with Han Solo, a very young Harrison Ford with a lot of chest hair. Han Solo’s best bud is Chewbacca, which is a weird bear like animal that keeps howling. Actually its something like a cross between a bear and King Kong. So now everybody is aboard the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo’s ship. Personally, I think the Millennium Falcon is such a cool name.

As they are flying in outer space, Darth Vader’s space station, Death Star has some kind of magnetic field that attracts the Millennium Falcon and it ends up right inside Darth Vader’s lair. Somehow they escape without being seen and Obi Wan goes to deactivate the magnetic field thing. Meanwhile, Luke, who has a huge crush on Leia finds that she is in the dungeons and sets out with Solo to bust her out. It is a disappointment that in the fights that followed Luke uses the Storm Trooper’s gun instead on the Lightsaber. So Luke goes to Leia’s prison cell and is all, “I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you!” (I just have to say, Eric Foreman says this line way better).

Note: Princess Leia’s one of a kind hair style and Harrison Ford’s trademark emotion.

Anyways, as Luke and his entourage are running to the Millennium Falcon to escape he sees Darth Vader in a duel with Obi Wan. It looks like Obi Wan is killed but he isn’t, he just disappears. Again, this is somewhat similar to the part in Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Rings where at the bridge of Moria we think Gandalf is killed by a Balrog but he returns in The Two Towers. I believe Obi Wan will return in The Empire Strikes Back.

Luke and his friends now return back to what I assume is Princess Leia’s planet because she is very well received there. The design blah blah of the Death Star is studied and all the Jedi Knights including Luke, who has successfully made it, prepare to blow up Darth Vader’s home sweet home.

Around six ships are sent in and obviously all the pilots get killed except Luke. Duh. Darth Vader escapes from the Death Star and Luke manages to blow it up. He returns back super happy and super sweaty. The Princess awards both Luke and Han Solo what I think are medals for bravery. Although Luke has a crush on Leia I think Han Solo might have a thing for her too.
Chewbacca howls.
Credits roll.
The End.

This movie exceeded my expectations. I though it would be really boring and mind numbing but it was fun and it kinda sticks to you even if you don’t love it all that much. One thing I really do love is the music when the essay type thing rolls in space.

And Ooooh! Lightsabers!! I would become a Jedi Knight in a jiffy if I could have one of those bad boys.

Favorite Quotes:

Darth Vader: Obi-wan *is* here. The Force is with him.

Darth Vader: I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master.
Obi-Wan: Only a master of evil, Darth.

Princess Leia: Someone has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, fly boy.

Obi-Wan: Use the Force, Luke.

Bright Star


Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priest like task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

John Keats

I just finished watching this movie called Bright Star and I have to say, this has to be the best romantic movie I have ever seen. The subtlety of the entire movie was amazing. Each character was etched out so beautifully. The movie is based on the last few years of in the life of John Keats, the renowned poet and his relationship with Fanny Brawne. Unfortunately it ends due to the untimely death of Keats at a very young age.

This is one movie I have seen that had no flairs or even fancy costumes given that its a period film. The locations were breath taking. There was so much drama between the two main characters without being overly dramatic.

This is such a wonderful movie. The dialogues are perfect. And the mild touch of humor makes what might seem another period drama easier to digest.

Overall this is such a beautiful movie. I am just so taken in by it I really have no words to say now.. *sigh*

3 Idiots, idiot..

Finally I got to see 3 Idiots. After all the controversy with Chetan Bhagat I wanted to see it real bad. I wanted to see for myself if the movie was based on Five Point Someone or not. It wasn’t. Not entirely at least.

The movie is basically about 99% of all students entering Engineering colleges in India. I’m proud to say that I also fall into that category. But my ‘Five Point Someone’ is reserved for another day. There were many things in the movie that students could relate to and I guess that’s the reason the movie is quite a big hit. Boman Irani was amazing as always. Somehow he manages to out do himself every time. Kareena Kapoor looks absolutely stunning. And her wedding ghaghra is so beautiful. Damn you Manish Malhotra for making clothes I can’t afford!!

The entire movie was done very tastefully and quirkily. The songs were such a bore though. Everybody were raving about the rain song but it was not what I expected at all. The third idiot in the movie, that dude from RDB is so cute! I don’t know his name but he is one actor whose potential Aamir Khan refuses to acknowledge in the movie for the fear that cute dude might totally upstage him. Madhavan is super cute as always. Thank God he has reduced his ponch, else the bathroom dancing sequence would have been unsightly.

Now coming to Aamir Khan, he is a great actor and everything but somehow he manages to push himself into almost every frame in the movie. He hogs most of the dialogues and is apparentely this wonderful do gooder who has a sad story of his own.
Come now!

How many times have we seen Indian movies with that kind of storyline! Like Sharukh in Kal Ho Na Ho where he brings ‘joy’ into everyones lives while he has a heart condition. How stale!

The movie might not be ENTIRELY based on Five Point Someone but it is easily seen that it was an inspiration for the movie. The plot may not be the same but so many instances have been lifted off the book. Three dudes in an Engineering college, falling in love with the Principal’s daughter, a brother who committed suicide, stealing the paper from the Principal’s office. Its all really obvious. The writing of the script supposedly took three years. Yes, three years it took them to twist the story and to make it look like it was not taken from the book. How hard will it be to just acknowledge the writer? But no, people just want to hog the limelight.

Now I might not know exactly what happened between Aamir Khan and Chetan Bhagat or even how they made up but I can see that the movie was so easily inspired from the book and it wouldn’t have killed the producers to admit it. Whatever said and done my loyalty lies with Chetan Bhaght just because he writes simple, truthful stories that are so funny and so honest that ordinary people can relate to them so easily.

But one weird thing I observed at Sathyam was that most of the people who came for the movie were :
a) Middle aged women
b) Girls
c) Really old people



A conversation with my brother last night :

Brother: See how I good I am I respect our father.
Me: Whatever..
Brother: I’m not like you. You don’t respect him or anyone.
Me: Whatever..
Bother: You know what is Vijaykanth’s new movie called? Mariyadhai. Go and see it. At least learn something from him.
Me: ??!!!

I have to go see Mariyadhai to learn about respect?


Mouna Raagam

So finally yesterday i got down to watching Mouna Ragaam. I had heard a lot about the movie and have been wanting to watch it. So the oher day when i was in Landmark I found this really cool DVD from Bayshore for Rs.95 and it had 4 of Mani Ratnam’s greatest- Mouna Raagam, Thalapadhi, Nayagan and Agni Natchatiram.

The one thing i reaaaly love in the movie is Mohan’s house in Delhi. OMG. It was soo amazing. Revathi was absolutely adorable. From the beginning to the end she literally stole the show. The movie is’nt your typical Indian movie run-of-the-mill romance. It shows Revathi as a modern woman not willing to spend the rest of her life with a stranger. And for once there is no mush. At all.

When Mohan comes to her house to ponnu pathify Revathi disses them and does not return home till late. When she does arrive she is su
rprised to see him still waiting and tells him all the bad things about herself to put him off. Obviously he falls in love with her after this.

Buth the best ponnu pathifying scene according to me in Tamil cinema is from another of Mani Ratnam’s movies – Alaipayuthe. When the groom’s people come to see Shalini’s sister her parents force her to check out the groom’s brother. And the part where she hesitatingly says “yenekku ekneve kalyanam ayichu. appa amma ku theriyadu”. Oh Lord, how i love that scene!

And also..
-“yenekk age ennavenalum seyvia?”
-“train le endu gudipiya?”