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Lost in Translation

How long do I keep migrating stuff from my blogger address. It is time that I had a dedicated wordpress blog!

Need to think of something soon.

Here we go Again

The great man whom I greatly hate-my Father-has decided that come what may he will continue to drink himself to death.  All medication suggested by doctors will not be taken. He feels that a great injustice has been meted out to him. Two sets of sleeping pills prescribed by the doctor are rotting in their strips untouched by him.

The fights continue at home. I am losing my sanity and returning home has become a dreaded prospect.  I am seriously contemplating some drastic step and just do not know what to do! Perhaps I will be forced to admit my father to an alcohol de-adiction centre. That remains the only option now.

God give me strength in times of darkness and suffering!

Taxi Driver-Movie Review

taxi-driver

So after years of hearing praises about Taxidriver. I finally got to see it.

Martin Scorcese’s classic that catapulted Robert de Niro to fame. A movie that is relevant even today.  Travis Bickle[De Niro] is a taxi driver. He drives the taxi in the streets of New York. He is a lonely man who suffers from insomnia. He drives the cab all through the night but he can’t sleep. He visits 24 hour porn theatres but he still can’t sleep. He is disgusted with the city and its people.

He is attracted to Betsy who works in the campaign office of a Presidential candidate-Senator Pallantine. He asks her out on a date. He takes her to a movie-confoundedly to a porn movie. I still don’t get it. Why would a man on his first date take the girl to a porn movie? Is Bickle naive/sex-maniac/crazy? As the movie progresses we realize his frustrations coupled by his service in Vietnam. The movie moves aimlessly till we get to see Iris a twelve-year old prostitute[Jodie Foster].

Travis becomes emotionally attached to the girl and all his suppressed anger erupts when he finds out how Sport uses the naive girl Iris as a prostitute by making her a cocaine-addict. Travis buys a lot of guns and a knife and decides to become the vigilante-one man army and decides to clean New York of its filth and scum.

He shaves his head[mohawk style] and decides to start by assassinating the Presidential candidate. His uneasiness is spotted by the Secret Service agents-and Travis flees the scene. The climax is bloody and violent as Travis goes on a shooting/killing spree and shoots Sport and other runners of the prostitution racket. He is also injured in the shooting spree.

The next scene shows the wall of Bickle’s room full of newspaper clippings proclaiming him to be the hero. We also listen to the contents of a letter from Iris’s father to Bickle. He thanks Bickle for his heroism.

The movie ends with Bickle dropping Betsy home and refusing to accept the fare. The movie is an intense study of the psyche of the American male. Times of war and unstable economic conditions, drug-use the tough seventies, black-white conflict, prostitution-many facets of American life that have been touched upon in the movie. We sympathise with Bickle and secretly wish that he finds true love in Betsy. But in our minds we know that Bickle is a drifter and he can never find calm and inner peace or true love.

Robert de Niro and Jodie Foster shine in this movie. The back ground music is haunting and cinematography simple and effective.

Iconic lines-“You talking to me….” “Flush it out.”[To clean New York]

A powerful movie that leaves a bitter taste in our mouths and a long-lasting impression on our minds.

The biggest upset was when Rocky won the Oscar for best movie in 1977.

Another Theme

A constant process of evolution.

A new theme-Misty Look designed by Sadish.

I have a feeling this theme will last longer!

Nan Kadavul-Movie Review

Movie-Nan Kadavul.

Director-Bala.

Cast-Arya, Pooja and others.

Music-Ilayaraja.

Year of Release-2009.

Genre-Drama. Bala is one director whose movies mix the commercialism and realism in the right proportions. His three previous movies have been box-office hits but this time I believe Bala might be lucky if the movie recovers its production costs. The problem being it took more than 3 years to make with several heroines being cast and then replaced. The movie presents a stark portrayal of the organized beggary in India, specially in Tamil Nadu. If you thought Slumdog had difficult scenes, then this movie will shock you. Bala presents a coterie of real life beggars-Eunuchs, midgets, deformed people, physically challenged people, blind people. The attention to detail is indeed detailed. A man visits Kashi/Benaras to find his son Rudra-whom he had abandoned 14 years ago in the holy city based on the advice of an astrologer. The beginning is flawed and a bit unbelievable when the man spots an aghori-Arya and faints. He realises that Arya is his son Rudra in just one glance. The story shifts to Malaikottai in Tamil Nadu, where a tall bald man is a kingpin running the beggar-mafia. Pooja is introduced as a blind girl singing in the train and getting alms. Pooja is inducted into the bald man’s group and is made to sing at a temple atop a hill. Arya stays there smoking ganja and uttering mantras once in a while. A Keralite businessman comes to the bald man and pays money and takes beggars to Kerala. He comes again with an offer of Rs 10 lakhs to buy Pooja as a companion for a man whose face is deformed. When his goons come to kidnap Pooja, Arya bashes the group and kills the businessman. Then a court case scene follows. A bit of forced humour perhaps! A final confrontation with the bald-headed villain follows with Arya killing the villain. Then comes the twist-an expected one-Bala killed the heroes in his earlier movies-here he kills Pooja. Pooja pleads with Arya to save her from the pains of the world. The next scene shows her lying in a pool of blood. So we assume that Arya kills her to guide her to her salvation. A role worthy of an award by Pooja. Arya has worked reallly hard for his role and deserves applause for his physical makeover. Music is great. We can only sympathise with Bala and pray that his next venture has a strong script. How about a crime thriller Mr Bala or an urban college romance?

The Reader

 

 

Well Kate Winslet is as ravishing as usual. But if you tend to overlook the fact that the lady is practically naked for most of the movie, one realizes that it is a powerful role that she has enacted.

Ralph Fiennes is a succesful lawyer who recounts his past. His affair with a ticket-checker Kate, when he is just a 14-year old boy. They make love on the sly and Kate forces the boy to read works by folks like Shakespeare and Marx.

She is convicted of persecuting Jews and commits suicide in jail. There are too many loose end s and the big secret that Kate is illiterate and the other secret which you figure out by watching the movie.

The movie is likely to be seriously censored and folks preparing to salivate in the theatre better go buy a dvd and watch the movie.

This could have been a movie on a totally different plane and explore the anguish and helplessness of the young boy and the tortured Kate but somehow peters down into a well cinematographed piece of soft-porn with mainstream actors, a decent background score and a story that tries to recreate Germany during the Second World War.

The chap David Kross (young Fiennes) would have enjoyed the most I feel. Jokes apart the movie covers a wide range of topics-sexual awakening, forbidden relationships, persecution of Jews, war crimes tribunal, wrong judgements, guilt, emotional self-punishment, etc……

Somehow I felt that the movie was an attempt at winning an award and not a genuine effort from the director Stephen Daldry.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

The movie is an adaptation of a short story of the same name written by J Scott Fitzgerald. The movie stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. The story starts in a hospital where a lady on her death-bed asks her daughter to read from a diary. The diary narrates the life and times of Benjamin Button.

Brad Pitt is Benjamin Button. When he is born he is born with the features of an aged person who is about to die. He is abandoned by his rich father and left at the door-step of an old-age home run by an Afro-American couple. The lady takes great care of him and treats him like her son. He mingles with the other aged people in the building who treat him as an old man. They do not know that he is a child. He makes friends with Daisy the grand-daughter of a rich widow. The widow teaches Benjamin to play the piano.

A fascinating transition takes place as Benjamin grows younger with each passing day. He joins a shipping trawlwer, fights in the Second World War, has his romantic misadventures. He sends postcards to Daisy from all the cities that he visits.

Benjamin returns to the old-age home were his father meets him and tells him the truth-‘Benjamin I am your father-Thomas Button.” He continues running the family business of manufacturing buttons, is attracted to Daisy who has become a ballet dancer in New York.

Their paths cross again and after a series of incidents get married. They buy a house have a daughter and seem to enjoy life. Benjamin keeps worrying and says-” I want my daughter to have a father not a playmate.”

He keeps growing younger and sells his company and creates an account/trust for his wife and daughter and leaves his home. He returns many years later as a teenager. His wife in the meanwhile has married another man and runs a dance-school. She is shocked to see Benjamin!

He once again goes. Then one day Daisy receives a phone call and goes to a child-welfare centre. A boy who is extremely incoherent and whose bag contains a letter addressed to her has been found. Daisy realises that this is Benjamin, Benjamin no longer remembers who she is!-“Excuse me, do I know you?”

Daisy takes care of the small boy as her son. She leaves the city and travels to another city as the boy grows younger and younger finally an infant. This is a really touching scene when Daisy realizes the infant has died.

When the girl reaches this part of the story in true cinematic style Daisy[the old lady] if you have not figured that out dies!

The movie is brilliant. Make-up(simply superb).Acting is top-notch and I have a feling Brad Pitt might win the coveted Oscar for Best Actor this year. The sets chronicling the changes in America across three generations is portrayed brilliantly. As usual David Fincher continues to mystify satisfy the audience with his works.

Go watch this movie. Deserves every bit of praise being showered on it and much-much better than the disillusioned, myopic, and Westernised opinion of Slumdog Millionaire.