Friday, January 21, 2011

Peepli Live - Anusha Rizvi

Was a decent watch. I think the decks were loaded against it because I'd heard and read so much about it, that I had too many preconceived notions .. At any rate, the first one third of the movie was spent getting rid of the preconceived notions, and then thinking afresh about what the movie is all about.

A farmer finds himself in the middle of a media circus, and an unwitting pawn in the political battle ongoing at various levels, after he blurts out his intention to 'commit suicide'. The blurting having been well mechanised by other factors. There's virtually no story as such, just a coverage of the circus.

Although the whole thing is ludicrous, but then I find all of prime time news ludicrous anyway. I've found it ludicrous ever since i saw all the channels milling around a village for ages, covering live the little boy who fell down a hole. That was pretty much the watershed moment for me, as I remember flipping 8 news channels in a row, and not a single one of them showing anything except a big crowd milling around nowhere, doing nothing.

Of course subsequent high - profile 'stories' made me think of all the things that peepli live takes pot -shots at. The stupid questions to tangential people, the opinion polls, the sensationalism, the extra-polation of every action,  And the movie makes you laugh at the circus. But beyond that there are no answers.. this is the world we live in. For those who say that the movie is a "satire", I'd say its not. Its actually a documenary. Show me one part of it which seems unrealistic, and I'll show you 10 new stories which have done just that and more.

As a movie, its good, but not brilliant. I'm just surprised that this was an Aamir Khan production, usually he's smart enough to add the populism that these things need ( think lagaan, mangal pandey, rdb etc) . This one doesn't actually prettify much. I guess that explains why Anusha and Aamir might not be working again together. I'm with Anusha on that one, my love affair with Aamir is long over.

Monday, January 10, 2011

thought for the day..

had planned to write something nice and cheerful, but came upon this.. and just felt that it echoed my own cynical attitude so perfectly.. its not about your job, or your boss, or about the saaptware industry, or the desi attitude. Its just the way it is.. everywhere.

That’s really the great mystery about bureaucracies. Why is it so often that the best people are stuck in the middle and the people who are running things—the leaders—are the mediocrities? Because excellence isn’t usually what gets you up the greasy pole. What gets you up is a talent for maneuvering. Kissing up to the people above you, kicking down to the people below you. Pleasing your teachers, pleasing your superiors, picking a powerful mentor and riding his coattails until it’s time to stab him in the back. Jumping through hoops. Getting along by going along. Being whatever other people want you to be, so that it finally comes to seem that, like the manager of the Central Station, you have nothing inside you at all. Not taking stupid risks like trying to change how things are done or question why they’re done. Just keeping the routine going..

Monday, January 03, 2011

Seven Samurai - Akira Kurosawa

Quite liked it, certainly more in the league of High and Low than like Red Beard.

A village is repeatedly attacked and stripped by bandits, until they decide to hire samurai and fight back. The first samurai is found, and in turn a team of 7 is built. The defense is planned and there are a few surprises on the way.

Overall rather longish for the modern day viewer I suppose, but still interesting.