Friday, March 28, 2014

Highway - Imtiaz Ali

I quite liked it.

A rich girl gets kidnapped by a gang of ruffians. While on the run on the highway, we see a fragile connection develop between the talkative girl and the taciturn kidnapper.

While seeing the promos and the song, I had initially dismissed the movie as yet another silly love story, where the rich girl and the poor but golden hearted kidnapper would sing duets, while I spent my time and money on something more realistic. But a couple of interesting reviews piqued my curiosity, and I am glad we went to watch it.

For one, it isn't a typical 'love story'. One of my pet peeves has been the straightjacketing of relationships into neat slots in most hindi movies. Lovers, siblings, parents, friends, but never erase those boundaries. I really loved the way the relationship in this movie between the girl and the man, avoids easy labels.

Also liked the general staying in character of the two, specially the ruffian kidnapper. Hooda is completely awesome there, and full marks to the script for avoiding magical long speeches and incongruent sweet nothings from a man given to silence and monosyllables. Alia as the girl was much better than I expected, although a couple of her early monologues were a bit grating, both in script and execution.

The confrontation scene towards the end was a let down though.

Still, definitely worth a watch. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ship of Theseus - Anand Gandhi

In the end, it all came together and I loved it!

A blind photographer gets an eye transplant, how does that change her? And change her art ? A swetambar monk tries to come to terms with his beliefs and his condition. Are there fixed answers, or will it always be a fluid debate? Where does the mind and reason begin and end? And lastly, a marwari businessman, who has mostly been content to live as a 'good person' in his relatively insular and inward looking world, might find himself challenged. Where does the individual begin and end in the society?

It is a very 'slow' moving film, and there isn't a lot to the 'story', which is perhaps easily guessed. To be honest I almost gave up towards the end of the first segment, finding the long silences, the dilemma and even the beautifully framed shots somewhat boring. I am glad I didn't give up though, because its towards the end when it all comes together, that you realize why the first part was building as it did. Its the sort of philosophical movie that leaves you with much to mull over, and a second viewing might be in order.  Some of the dialogues are really really thought-provoking, specially loved the contrast of the second and third stories as the level shifts from the intellectual masturbation, to the almost banal, and still maintains much depth when viewed in context of the full movie.

The opening lines:

'As the planks of Theseus' ship needed repair, it was replaced part by part, unto a point where not a single part from the original ship remained in it, anymore. Is it, then, still the same ship?

If all the discarded parts were used to build another ship, which of the two, if either, is the real Ship of Theseus? '



Friday, March 14, 2014

Minority Report.

Probably been the longest break on this blog.. and of course this is while I have plenty of time on hand. Time not just to post, but also to read, watch movies, do crafts, or pretty much indulge myself in any way I want. But I haven't been doing any of those. Haven't felt like it. Have waitlisted books, lying untouched. Have movies that I waited for, for months, lying unwatched.  I really don't have an answer these days, when people ask me, 'what have you been doing'. I think I sulk and I brood. And when longsuffering nn, or my friends try to cheer me up, I mostly crib, and sometimes try to lie and say I am fine, and feel even angrier at that.

But mostly the fact of the matter is, this has been the most miserable 6 months of life ever. By a long shot. Jaundice was a walk in the park. The occasional high fever, cough, cold episodes don't even register. Discussions of it , veer into other areas very rapidly. Comparisons with other people. Your own attitude. How there must be something wrong with me, since my experience does not mimic either the majority's or the popular narrative.

But heck I am just too pissed off today. I HATE this. I can't wait for it to get over. It has to be the worst experience of my life. There is no joy in it. Maybe you get a few kicks out of it, but thats it. The endless soul destroying exhaustion, the nausea, the headaches, the constant painful infections, the puking, the interrupted sleep, the constipation which makes you almost pass out, and most of all, the mental changes, I am sorry but they don't in the least make for a beautiful experience, and don't showcase the amazing grace of god or nature. When I hear beautiful, amazing and wonderful, I barf and snort.

Its only reminders of evolution and the much more bizarre things out there, which occasionally give me some perspective. Just reminds you of what a trial and error thing this whole process is. Yes it could be worse in many many ways, but just for once I want to rant without looking at the positive side. It sucks. Period.