Friday, February 8, 2013

Vishwaroopam Review

             And finally after much hiatus Vishwaroopam opened in Tamil Nadu on 7th of Feb, 2013 and thanks to my buddies, I got a chance to see this on the same day. So as I headed to the movie I had this mental checklist of what to expect out of a Kamal movie and sort of put a tick against each of those as and when I experienced it.
  • Kamal the protogonist - Checked (obvious)
  • Kamal singing songs - Checked
  • Kamal the lyricist - Checked
  • Kamal and new heroine - Checked
  • Lots of characters, though many may less screen presence - Checked
  • A typical Kamal praising song - Checked
  • A punchline from a past Kamal movie - Checked
  • A share of  'let the audience figure out how' content - Checked
  • A role Kamal hasn't donned before - Checked
  • Experiment or bring on something new to local cinema- Checked 
  • Controversy involved - Checked (becoming obvious too)
  • Costing a fortune to the producer - Checked (Home production in this case)
  • Attention to detail (in all aspects) - Checked
    Now some things that did not feature in the checklist but impressed me.
  • The idea of choosing a story that would appeal to global audience than just the local or national ones.
  • No fancy & disconnected between-the-scenes dream songs.
  • In the world ample with showcasing the terror humans, this has something to offer about humane terrorists for a change.
   And those that failed to impress me
  • Probably my expectation of a performance on par or bettering சலங்கை ஒளி made me feel disappointed in this Kathak piece.
  • Flash back and forth placements.
  • The extent of 'let the audience figure out how' quotient.
  • Is that all needed to, not just get inducted into Al-Qaeda team but be looked upon as trustworthy as well, or did Kamal leave it to the audience to fathom themselves on how that could be possible?
  • I would have taken lesser notice of the logical flaws in first fight sequence had it not been played again in slow motion, well sorry Kamal my bar is certainly very high for a perfectionist.
  • Understandably a high budget one for an Indian movie, however still the movie couldn't seamlessly superimpose the different layers of real footage and surreal CG, imperfect still.
  • Most fans as well as fanatics play the "I've never seen an Indian movie so good before, only Kamal can do" card. Well it implies that the fan is either an English movie frequent and hence is able to compare the finesse or a normal guy unexposed to worldly cinema and is all awe by this never seen before visuals. Come on guys stop the apples and oranges comparison.
   Lastly, on the controversial protests and cuts
  • If muting / cutting those little scenes has upheld the sanctity of the religion then looks like we're heading to old-age future (in terms of freedom of speech and expression)
  • The instances of jabbing at Hinduism or a specific caste and no protests or censor cuts has raised interesting questions.
    • Are those belonging to it understood that it does not affect what they are or where they belong to?
    • As it has been proved time and again across various movies 'these' people could be taken for a ride, for whatever reasons?

               Vishwaroopam is a high budget Kamal roopam and may NOT go into the book of movie classics for Indian Cinema, to those with the love for cinema its watchable once, to the cheque and MO sending ones nothing needs to be said & the maddening history repeats itself.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Top 5 Qualities that Defines Most Indians

      Sparing an opening note for the first timers and for the record, India is a land of diverse elements, be it the climatic variances across the lengths and breadths of the sub-continent to the language localization within the country. In-spite of this plethora of diversities there still exists certain characteristics that uniquely identifies a true Indian be it (sampled) from any part of the globe. There were quite a lot of inputs (though mostly derogatory), the following are my compilation of the top 5 qualities that defines most Indians, in no specific order.
  • Judgmental & Blamer
              For non-Indians these might be two totally different characteristics a person might possess but for an Indian these go hand in hand just like politics and corruption. When you find a person who talks to you, say for a few minutes and if you're sure he's an Indian then most likely that he has already judged you. Few instances to give a hang of the lovely judgmental qualities we Indians possess and use in conversations....
    • A bearded guy has failed in love (excluding the ones who have it for religious reasons).
    • All flashy dressed women are allegedly hookers.
    • Those who 'obey' parents are the best kids on earth.
    • All those who study abroad are exceptionally brilliant.
Coming to the blamer quality, its deeply embossed in the DNA of all of us. The last thing on earth we can do is to accept our fault without throwing the blame on others. The fact that the present day reality shows having taken the western world concept to the next level is one stamping proof. Here again a few instances to show case the typical blame-games...
    • At road accidents be it small or big, we are always right and the others involved are always wrong.
    • When it comes to punctuality be it at work or even for meet up with friends or family, the whole world is at mistake for our miss and mess up of the timeline.
    • Even our clothes & shoes take the blame for getting 'smaller' rather attributing to the fact of us becoming 'bigger'.
  • Spice Foodie
            This part of the world has people whose spice levels in their food could touch alarming levels (according to a non-Indian) and still remain fit and healthy. As the saying goes 'Variety is the spice of life' we Indians have a variety of spices to heat up our lively taste buds and its diversity can only be experienced by travelling across to different parts of our '!ncredible !ndia'
  • God Fearing
               If there is something that defies the law (Indian Penal Code, Constitution etc...) and procreates a belief that is widely accepted and nurtured as the law of the land then it is the belief in God or the Almighty or in whichever term the wide-spread religious establishments across the country call it. As much to the delight of countless Indians on earth, there exists equally countless ways, situations, opportunities etc for the implementation of these God-Fearing beliefs cutting across regions, religions & languages. Also comes truck loads of superstitions as a freebie with this trait. 
  • Coitus as sex               
               Being a country that is one of the top on the table in terms of population or in terms of the number affected by STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) & for historical reasons too (Kamasutra), our country is ample with theory of Coitus in its artistic illustrations which are looked up and held in high esteem by the outsiders as an art. However ironically most in this country don't even know the term by its former name and refer it as the latter and mold it to the extent that compels kids to believe that any form of even knowledge-based exposure or discussion based on it elevates one to a 'bad' societal status. Hence it results in the obvious inquisitive trait (in secrecy) and the internet boom, crimes, fetishes and what not, the rest is history. Due to this genetic degeneration of coitus what is left is just the physical eroticism, population explosion and growth of porn industry as a grey shade.
  • Nomadic or Adjustable 
                It's a grounding fact that a major chuck of earning Indians are salaried, which in simple layman terms translates to "I shall be ready to do anything that my boss orders me to, and remain grumbling behind their backs forever". We're probably the largest class of people in the world to be proud to trade our families for lucrative donkey jobs anywhere on the globe. We learn the global business language (English), foreign languages and most importantly unlearn our local language to not become literary experts or for the love of the language but just to earn money. If the 'brain-drainers' are so, the locals aren't amateurs either. Its just the economics of it, the locals do the same adjustments in their lives for up to 5 digit salaries while the NRIs do for a 7 digit onward perk.

Some of the qualities that almost made it

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