Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ghajini - The second invasion

What will you do if given a second chance to start over your greatest success? You try to do it better. And that is what AR Murugadass has tried to do in Ghajini, a remake of his 2005 Tamil film which was based on the Great "Memento" Hollywood movie directed by "The Dark Knight" fame Christopher Nolan. As discussing about the Tamil version might cause sour discussions as I personally did not like the troubled revenge part of the movie, I will just compare the two attempts made with on the romance plus revenge flick.

Tamil: Surya - Perfected himself for the role of a troubled person as well as the charming rich lover boy, Surya shined all over the movie and got positive feedback from everyone.
Hindi: Aamir Khan - The master of dedication has done it once again. He has matched the terrific performance done by Surya and was not surprising as it was very much expected from him. A trivial feature common between the two heroes is their height. Or should I say shortness in height? Ha ha. But while Surya was made to appear taller in the original, Aamir's height is so apparent when he fights the goons or sings along with Asin.

Tamil & Hindi: Asin. Asin. There was no need to question considering her performance in the Original; she is apt and chosen rightly for the remake too. And she shines with her charm both in comedy and expressions in both the movies. Heartbreaking is the scene during her last moments before she gets killed. But somehow, I found her not great in the songs. Not sure if it is due to difference in the post production activities or something else.
Speaking of actresses, it is better to mention about the other female lead (should be read as drop). Nayantara in Tamil and Jiah Khan in Hindi. The pathetic feature of Nayantara was bettered by Jiah Khan though the role is still ugly and did not make any good impression.

Tamil: The movie was a toned and mixed up masala version of Memento. The important word to be noted in the previous sentence is "Masala". So you should expect more heroic action sequences and mindless scenes made up just for the heroine and unwanted damsel in distress plots to add glamour and entrance sequences for the hero. Though the flashbacks were brilliant are keep you relaxed in your seat, the actual revenge plot suffers from unwanted ideas like twin villains, a police officer on the trail just to read the first half of the flashback and then he dies.
Hindi: It might not be God's intervention. But good to think it might be Aamir's intervention, that few plots were changed to keep the movie engaged. Starting from bringing sense to the movie title by keeping Ghajini as the name of the villain and the trick by the villain to overpower the hero using his drawback of short-term memory loss makes the Hindi one a better one in terms of plot.

Tamil: Harris Jayaraj brought life to the songs in the Tamil version. Almost all the songs are top of the charts and proved essential for the success of the much hyped movie.
Hindi: This could have been not only a challenge but a chance for Rehman to prove that he is still the best. And listening to the background score, he is definitely better than Harris. But did his "Guzarish" match Harris's "Suttum Vizhi" song is a question that needs time before it can be answered.

Tamil: Peter Hain did his usual of super powered hero who can smash the villains in a single blow. People loved it. Surya looked terrific in the action sequences.
Hindi: A bettered positioning of cameras made action sequences much more violent and hard and were more believable. But will such violent hand fights please the Bollywood crowd is a big question. Actions more suited for the Hindi audience could have been a welcome. But who knows this might create a strange liking too.

The Remake is definitely better than the original in all the aspects but still remains a movie that could have been the best 2008 if the revenge plots were revisited and made much more sensible. Ghajini needs more chances to win the game. But he is back with great improvements and is worth watching more than once.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A child Prodigy

A small wonder on the news again. This time it is 9 year old M. Lavinashree from Madurai who passed MCSE while still studying her 4th standard. Looks like the child prodigy have done wonders before including reciting all the 1300 kurals at the age of 3.

All my mind recalls is the first prize I got in Thirukural competition for writing 100 kurals during my 7th or 8th standard and 1 day preparation I took for writing the Teradata Basics certification exam last week. Truly an outstanding achievement. Isn't it? I meant the child Prodigy M. Lavinashree.

More about this news at

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vaaranam Aayiram - Tusks broken

The-songs-were-good. I-thought-that-the-movie-will-also-be-good. Lot-of-expectations. Lot-of-hype. Good-director. Good-actor. Stunning-actresses. It-should-be-a-good-movie. That-is-what-I-thought. Everyone-thought. Was-it-correct?-I-don't-know. It-was-good. Sometimes. It-was-bad. Many-times. Overall? I-don't-know. One-thing-for-sure. It-made-me-speak. It-made-me-speak-in-broken-sentences. No-emotion. No-modulation. Simply-reading-the-words. No-emotion. No-modulation. Just-talk-from-the-script. It-was-a-different-experience.

Kakabukka Karbur brshsbtrhs grerrerh brrrrrr

Phew! I am back talking normal. What a relief! The movie almost killed me with that monotonous dialogue all the time. Now let’s talk like normal people. The movie starts with a depressing state of showing older Surya vomiting blood and becoming grave ill. As I had to watch the scenes while having my lunch, I was unable to appreciate the Surya's acting. And I doubt if many others would have appreciated owing to most of the conversations that were in English. Goutham Menon wants to show how modern families have moved to conversing in English rather than their mother tongues. But he forgot that the majority of his audience does not fall under that category. 
Then the movie moves to show the younger hero in a military helicopter receiving the news of his father's demise. It’s a sad moment. 
But as I said before, no emotions were shown in the movie and Surya says ok like it was news about his broken iPod. And that is how the movie starts. The rest of the movie is shown in Flash backs narrated by the younger Surya and his younger life. 
As it more of a biography, you get to see every part of a son's life under the care of his open minded and inspiring father. Surya as both father and son had done the best in acting minus the emotions in the dialogue. Many a times, I could not relate myself in the son's life, so I was unable to appreciate them. And few scenes in which you would get involved into the movie, the emotionless speech puts you out. It was like Night Shyamalan directing a love story.

Now the best parts of the 2hrs 40 mins biography:
1. Sameera Reddy - The sparkling part of the movie was the love story of Sameera Reddy and Surya. Right from the first meet in the train till the last scene in the car, you will love her. The scene in the train though might appear crazy, the craziness Surya depicts appears how mad he is about the girl. Love brings madness in you was proved (in a lighter way). But she is also the reason I hated watching the movie for they kill her in the middle of the movie.
2. Surya's search for new life - After the tragic turn, what "Autograph" conveys in a song was shown in 30 mins of Vaaranam Aayiram. And for Surya who lost all his hope in life, his trip towards Himalayas and the encounter with the kidnappers reminds you of Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" and it was beautifully done. The renewed Surya comes back to put inside your mind, "Life must go on no matter what!"
3. Three love proposals - There are three love proposals in the movie, considering that there are three female leads, it sums up right. Surya proposes twice and Divya proposes once. All three are beautifully told. And Sameera's moment of accepting it is though not the biggest moment is pretty neat.
4. Adiyae Kolluthae - If there is one song that lives up to your expectation, it is "Adiyae Kolluthae". The visualization matches the Guitar strings, refreshing lyrics, city surroundings and a perfect matching pair.

So what made the movie less favorite?
1. You don’t start the movie with the death of the hero. It puts the audience off.
2. We know that English has become a normal medium in the daily talks of a modern educated family. But still it’s uncommon for the common audience. So most of the best scenes are lost in translation.
3. Krishnan's flashback - Simran says "unga appa evalavu azhaga irupaaru theriyuma!" (How beautiful your father used to be!). And then they show Surya in 70s with a big power glass. Even for the greatest fan of Surya, it would mean an insult. Not to forget how the best song of the movie, "Mundhinam Paarthenae" made me scream "Naan yen etha partheno" as it was killed by the retro look.
4. Even the father telling his son to go to US to find his love could be dismissed as a contrasting character incomparable to the typical father who wouldn’t agree spending money for was
ting bike fuel for your girl friend, the stringent VISA department wishing well to Surya for finding his love in US not only shocks you but makes you hit your head on the wall and makes you cry thinking back the rejections you saw during the US VISA interview.
5. Why do bad things always happen right after the happiest moments of the movie? How much needed it was for the story, I foresaw that Meghna is going to be killed when she admits her love
 for Surya. So when Surya tells that he will meet her by travelling in the bus while she flies to Oklahoma, I screamed "No you won’t idiot. She is going to die." 
Needless to say, I walked out for the next 15 minutes of the movie.
6. Songs visualization. If the lengthy movie was at least satisfying as a biography, you have to nod away your head with the not-even-close relation between the tune and the dance moves in the songs. Neither the retro look in the first song nor Surya's dance in painter’s costume for "Shanthi Shanthi" song is anyway sensible.
7. If all the above points doesn't affect you and your liking for Surya still makes you watch the movie, the monotonous delivery of the dialogues by the entire cast for the whole movie right from the start till the last scene would doze you off very much in the middle of this yet another could-have-been-made-better flick.

Friday, December 12, 2008

There is always a wrong time

It is always on the wrong times you try to do the right things. And it is always the insignificant and the most immaterial tasks that get in your mind when the whole world is waiting for you to press the launch button. For example, consider this. I had been idle in the blogging world for about a month when so many things happened around me that deserve lot more reasons to speak out but I went on to be silent not even showing a sign of my presence. And here I am writing a post when I have nothing to say. Is this a defect inside my brain that always restricts me from being useful? Is it a special character of me that whenever I find something important and urgent to be taken care of, my mind becomes agitated and works hard to find something irrelevant and irresponsible that can wait forever but would flip the priority plugs in my brain to take up the unimportant one. Even when I want to change myself and do something useful, my thoughts points me to find reasons why I am not doing what I wanted to do in the first place and thereby makes me lose the precious time and I end up thinking of things I could have thought but not thought because of the thought I was thinking. I think I am still thinking of the same thought.
So to make anything fruitful to get out of this post, I will list down the thoughts that never got penned down or never got completed to enter my blog.

  1. “I am a Mac and a PC” – True to Apple’s ads, the practical proof that installing windows in a Macbook is a cakewalk. Equipped with my roommate’s new Macbook, I installed Microsoft XP Professional as a secondary operating system in 2 hours. “Windows in Mac?” you might ask. And guess what? I even saw the blue installation screen of windows on the cute Macbook. It was an odd experience.
  2. Mumbai under attack – The most terrifying event that shook the country for three days and left 180 dead and several injured. Not to forget the horrifying thought of 10 terrorists armed with automatic submachine guns and a huge backpack full of ammo and grenades could enter the country through the sea so easily and no intelligence agency had a clue of the terrorist strike. While saluting the bravery of the Indian Police and Army Commandoes who fought and many of those who gave their lives to save thousands in the fight, it was shameful and questionable on the preparedness of India against terror attacks which it has seen many times in the near past. 10 hours delay for the army to reach the spot leaving the Police with Lee Enfield rifles and pistols battle the terrorists firing with AK-47 and three days for the army commandos and ATS unit to end the battle angers and question the efficiency of the Indian civil and military protection forces.
  3. Mission XOV – Ironic it might seem, it is hundred times difficult to install XP as a secondary operating system over VISTA than installing XP over Mac OS X. When I was able to achieve the latter in simple steps, the thought of installing XP in Vista-invaded Gateway Laptop sprang in my mind and the mission XP Over Vista(XOV) went over 4 days trying to find the XP drivers for all components to keep my laptop usable. Even with the help of similar minded people who had gone through the same exercise in the past, the mission ending successfully but the objective remained unclear as the laptop gets overheated fast and was hanging very often. You can learn more from my tweets are
  4. Rolling the cubicle dice – The last few months at work deserves a long post owing to the varied experiences on the new development project from handling the pesky offshore to the overriding manager who doesn’t understand the root cause of the problems but believes the wrong answer to be the right solution and talking with the political peer putting you in struggle for words and always demands carefully crafted sentences to avoid getting blames on things that are not really your fault. With all the tough tasks and adding my laziness and craziness there was no surprise but shock and despair that this year’s appraisal was a disaster.
  5. Shopping on Thanksgiving – The festival of gratitude turned out to be a shopper’s arena as usual and for the first time, I became part of it. With the economy digging deep towards the earth’s core, the stores of the whole US Nation stood up and struggled to make money with the biggest sale event of the year. Still not effective due to the slump sales on the Thanksgiving Day, the single day sale got extended for a week with attractive prices in everything that you can imagine. Though I could not stand out with the crowd in the night, I was lucky enough to steal some deals online including $400 off of a Sony laptop, a hard disk and few more computer accessories and clothes that thinned my credit cards by at least $1500. There is still Christmas coming up and the retail stores are trying their best to make some sales. Never to be feared when I am here.
Lot more to come but I have to stop it here as it is starting to make sense and my mind doesn’t like it at all.