A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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Cornerstones

When, when wasn’t she ever lost?
Feet firmly on the ground,
Words that flooded senses,
Eyes that sought to go beyond
Lines, gridlines of being.

She had a context
She had them connections…
But she still sought…
She knew there was more, much more.

That, that was all that kept her momentum.

To have loved-
And then to lose.
But , did she lose?
Or was it mere perception,
A sense of something beyond
Comprehension…

A notion that found its way
Back, right around, to her?

When she miscarried, she cried.
The vacuum. It consumed her.

Then she met them, who could see way beyond…
Past her hurting soul…
She saw her, her baby. Again.
And found a cornerstone of faith.

Them. Those misfits. Aliens, almost.
Who spoke much more than
Her limited words could perceive…
And yet, and yet, they gave her
Her Buddha moment.

Yes, so much was possible.
If you opened your eyes.
And saw beyond words.
Knew, intrinsically, life was anything
But linear…

There were no beginnings and endings.

Only a cycle of life.

Because, long after she thought
He had left…

She could still say:

I forgot how it felt to be held by you.

And believed it to be true.

She had never really lost anything.
She had never really lost anything.

13 April, 2017
Day#13 of #Napowrimo, 2017 – National Poetry Writing Month 2017

13 April, 2017

Notes:

This evening, I was stuck by a blankness, not knowing what to write, yet having two haiku, written earlier to fall back on, which, incidentally are untraceable 🙂

However, as all beautiful moments unfold, here, I was requested to write something on a movie that I loved watching. I tried. The above is the end result, that pleased, the young person who did request it. An empathetic cinephile, a dear dear young friend. That he was able to unravel this ramble, is all to the credit of his open mind, and his large-heartedness. This rambler is blessed. And this write, is dedicated to him, Achyuth Sankar.

The movie? I’ll simply share this picture, and its attendant caption . I’ll leave out the name of the picture though. For those who have not seen it, to pique their interest. 🙂 All handful of them that might visit here 🙂 😛

The absolutely gorgeous language of the heptapods that Ian describes so:

“Like their ship or their bodies,their written language has no forward or backward direction. Linguists call this non-linear orthography, which raises the question, is this how they think?”

And Dr. Louise Banks’ take on language 🙂

“Language is the foundation of civilization.It is the glue that holds a people together. It is the first weapon drawn in a conflict.””

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Pularum Iniyum Naalegal

പുലരും ഇനിയും നാളെകൾ , a film by Shilpa Krishnan Shukla, that was screened at the 12th International Film Festival of Thrissur. Thrissur being Shilpa’s and quite a few of the main members’ home town as well 🙂

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There is always tomorrow, would be a rough translation, according to the film, by this name, Shilpa Krishnan Shukla’s film. Shilpa has featured on this blog here (LINK)

Disclaimer: This is what I call a Non review 🙂 The note next to the blog on the right side with tell you there are only non-reviews here 🙂 So is this, of this charming film, just over an hour long, written, directed and produced by Shilpa.

The film is set in Abu Dhabi, the events of a day, in the accidental meeting of long lost friends, Antony and Durga, who decide to spend a day together, with Durga self appointed as a guide to show Antony the city, while catching up on the intervening 8 years since they last met, and in the process talking of their fears, their dreams, their changing identities.

They meet, Antony and Durga, at the coffee shop of the hotel where he is, or rather he recognizes her voice as she speaks on her cellphone, turns to see her, and slowly recognition dawns on her face too. That moment unfolded so beautifully, hauntingly, almost. I loved how the camera tenderly dealt with that moment, and the actors lent such a tangible feeling to the emotion welling up in them. Awkward, happy, relieved, guilty… all of these.

They get to talking, till Antony finally asks if he could ask her a frank question. She replies in the affirmative, saying she knows what it was going to be. Why she did not turn up, those 8 years ago as he waited at the railway station for her, to elope, as their parents were against their plans to marry. The reasons she gives may not be palatable to all, but there is that assurance, the certain ring of honesty in her words, a self deprecating evaluation of herself, the notions she carries, they carry.

They’ve moved on, both of them, into marriages they are happy in, each of them parent to a child too. Fantastical? Unreal? But then fiction is easy to believe, while reality is far more fictional sometimes right? So with this. The witty repartee, most often, bringing smiles to our faces, carries on through the film. A day long conversation between one time best friends, amiable, sharing of themselves, their wishes, their spouses, their children, where they seemed to be moving.

Antony is settled in Australia, in Sydney ( I loved that 😛 ) and Durga is in Muscat, having come to Abu Dhabi for a marraige. Serendipity that they should meet. Talk, and then at the end of the day… At the end of that lovely day, they have to part again, right? I’ll let you find out, when you watch 🙂

What struck me was how it reminded me of Before Sunset (part 2 of the trilogy ), the day long walk, drive, talking between the friends, nine years after they met. Of course, this one isn’t like that, but I was delighted to be reminded of that movie. There is, as I was telling a friend, a Linklateresque feel to it (yep!coined the word 😛 ). The music, how it began at just that apt moment in the conversation. The camera work, how it loved the passing scenery, the actors faces, the editing (errr… what little I know of the techniques, I’m trying to put down like I know everything 😀 ), and yes, the acting, the acting – quite quite , not acting. Balaraman Kunduvara and Gayathri Gopal have been wonderful.

Shilpa’s writing could never be faulted, all those 1000 days of Chronicling, I’ve never read anything that sounded off. And so too the scripting, a mixture of Malayalam and English, with subtitling that was so easy on the eye and did not take anything away from the screen, but added to it 🙂

Pularum Iniyum Naalegal has been part of different Film Festivals, all over, and brought in critical acclaim and awards too. I hope I shall be excused for not researching enough to tell you which ones, and I do hope Shilpa will fill us in, in the comments section 🙂

My generation might find “messages” in it, about how young people in love ought to be, but I think even that was handled in a sensitive yet practical manner. Something for everyone, and yet the story takes a stand. Well, you got to watch to understand. No spoilers here 🙂

The best part? How a gang of us teachers and former students, Shilpa’s batch, from Bhavan’s Poochatty, turned up to watch 🙂 Such a proud proud moment for us!

Did I say? I loved it. I shall definitely be watching it again 🙂

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Mandatory Pic with the Star, for us, Shilpa 🙂

Shilpa, take a bow! We are wowed. Yet again! Waiting for the next one now 🙂

Edited to add: Here is the list of awards and screenings that Pularum Iniyum Naalegal has had 🙂 Research done 😛

http://shilpakrishnanshukla.com/latest-film-festival-news-for-pularum-iniyum-naalekal/

4 February, 2017


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Bhag Milkha Bhag – The Raftaar of Dreams

 Alert: Long, sometimes rambling read ahead. Reader discretion advised; the course might meander, and your interest waver; however, steadfast I remain… the words won’t let me be 😀

As I have, before, let me place my lack of credentials in doing any sort of review, either of book or movie (please refer to the sidebar that has the disclaimer in place 😀 ). This here is one more example from those here (link); I am here simply to share my experience of it. You won’t find technicalities, and references and names ( I know, I know, Movie buff that I profess to be, I ought to do more of that!) – for me, movies are magic. They take me out of myself, let me get into the screen that plays out almost every imaginable fantasy and mood. And sometimes leaves me breathless for having been part of it all 🙂 I could wax eloquent on this, but I’m sure you’re not in the mood 😆

The title of the post came with a (non)-review I thought of for Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. I did not do it, because I had not watched the first ten minutes (late 😦 ), and would you believe (you’ll probably want to pelt me with bricks for this!) we missed THE song. Madhuri Dixit’s! *ducks to avoid the missiles flying everywhere* My penance, and your gift? I did not write that review. 😀

However, the title was in place, and an empty post page went into a draft. Till now. Till I realized what a perfect title it made, for the ONE movie that has quite captured my heart, and injected, no, imbued me with such inspiration, that I never knew was possible, and that too, for a movie. I’m of course, talking of Bhag Milkha Bhag. There. The dream, and the relentless pursuit of it, not knowing a dream was indeed unfolding. No airy fantasy dream, too. This time it was life. A dream. Life. And, suddenly, where the film is concerned, it is interchangeable. But, I get ahead of myself! And by now the few faithfuls here know how I love to meander 😀

Bhaag-Milkha-Bhaag-posterWe’ve all admired and endlessly sung paeans to Milkha Singh, the real one. Pushed around a few jokes too, about the ‘relaxing’ and the ‘Milkha Singh’ variety. Suddenly, I’m ashamed, I did, too, in the past. All I had was a ringside view, through a short extract from his book, once. Now, the story, fact, fictionalized perhaps to an extent, and its attendant emotions make me feel all the smaller, for having done that once upon a sometime. That’s what this film did to me. We knew that it wasn’t just luck, but deep and persevering commitment to doing what he did, to make that wonder of a season of medals happen, and yet, years on, it was simply taken for granted, his success, and brushed aside, just as easily.

Bhag Milkha Bhag jolts you out of that jaded almost indifferent attitude you have for Sport in India. It shows you. It makes you feel. And it makes you wish, hope, and dream that someday, someone will then become a Milkha again. Sigh. Almost 500 plus words and nothing on the film yet. 😆 Typical, ain’t it?

m2The movie opens on the one moment Milkha Singh, and indeed every Indian back then even now, would find unforgivable. His loss, if one can term it that way, at the 1960 Rome Olympics. So, it’s done, the lead up to the finale of a great career. He lost, and so where does the film go? Forward, by going backward. But this time, the traditional flashback, from the early days, chronologically proceeding to its fated conclusion is not the manner of this plot. I liked that tremendously. Of course, it goes without saying, I am biased. 😀

The story moves further, to his refusal to go to Pakistan, to participate in a friendly competition with them, and lead the team. We learn, in a slow unfolding of his story, from different persons, especially his first coach, and a younger Milkha making a counter-point, adding one more pieces to the bigger picture. His younger days in Multan in undivided India. The horrors of the partition. His deep love for his sister who took care of him. His foray into being a rebellious juvenile delinquent. (His biography does speak of time spent in jail, though the other activities of the juvenile may have more fiction than fact 🙂 ) I’m being chronological here, though it does not necessarily follow this order in the film. The movement, back and forth, from present moment to the time in the past, is very well edited, and quite seamless in its progress. It unfolds mainly through the eyes, and the heart of his first coach, Gurdev Singh, ably portrayed by Pavan Malhotra, who is trying to explain to Pandit Nehru’s aide why Milkha has refused to go to Pakistan for the friendly games. Bit by bit, each bit complete and steadfast to Milkha is this tribute to the inner demon that drove him; while paradoxically, the innocence of the sportsman shines through. Throughout.

ms-msboy milkhaFarhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh is exceptional. Brilliant. Awesome. In the true sense of each of these words. Truly. He carries the movie almost single-handedly, though one must give credit to each of his co-actors, even Sonam Kapoor. 😛 . Farhan is Milkha. You can’t not believe otherwise. He’s been described as ‘phenomenal’, ‘brilliant’, ‘inspirational’… by his own colleagues in the industry, in this film. True. Fact. The young actor who portrayed Milkha’s boyhood days, Japtej Singh (read about him here ) is almost on par with Farhan Akhtar. It’s the eyes that mesmerize. That show that innocence, the dream. Their faces mirror life, each at the point in life they are in. In each case, the actor and the character mesh in a way that one does not feel there is a mask. There is none. Farhan is Milkha. You’ve got to see him light up the screen to believe. A finer metaphor to have evolved, I do not think I have seen, in recent times.

And the voiceover of ‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’. At different points in the story there is a reason it rings out loud, that you do not need any other background sound. Be it desperation, encouragement, rage, and on occasion, a heartbroken plea – each at its particular moment rang clear, releasing a flood of emotion for the onscreen Milkha and the almost always us.

But the innocence of the man. His dream. His burning desire. His shame, at the Melbourne Olympics. And his determination to undo it. Amazing. Just amazing.

What did I forget? The music. The MUSIC! It has been playing on loop in our car, and the remote is stilled when it plays on whichever channel it is at. Shankar-Loy-Ehsaan have done a beautiful job. The screen play is fantastic. The editing too, superb. The dialogues witty, even though there is a lot of Punjabi. And Milkha’s ‘haau‘, meaning ‘YES’. For me, there isn’t even one wrong note in this symphony to that great Athlete.  Not one. The scene where he re-visits his home in Pakistan is a goosebumpy one. We were in a multiplex where most of the crowd were young college students. During that scene, where a heartbroken Milkha sobs uncontrollably, unknowingly your heart stops. I expected to hear jeers, and boos from  the active audience we had. Not a murmur. You should have been there. Not one single murmur. It was as if we were collectively reliving that moment with the character. How many films make us do that?

Farhan Akhtar, Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, Prasoon Joshi, take a bow. Along with each person who was involved in this film.

Would I recommend this movie? Duh!

Or as Milkha would say, in the film (and probably in real life too) – Haau

Milkha Singh. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Sir!

16, 17th July, 2013

Link recommened for reading: Milkha’s biography on wiki
Pictures, courtesy, Google Images.

P.S. I’m not really satisfied with this non review. Sigh. There is so much more I could have said differently. But, at one thousand three hundred fifty plus words, I must stop. 😀


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Now You See Me …and…

… hold your breath; Now You Do. 🙂 Okay, I got you thinking it was going to be a movie review, right? Right. It is. 😛 Except this is what I’d call the usual Non Review I do. The disclaimer I usually add too, should be in place. But since it’s exhausting, for you (and me :D), not to mention boring (for you, definitely 😛 ), to read it with each of those movie/book posts I do, appearing to cringe for my lack of knowledge of technicalities, and doing the right-brain leave-logic-out-of-it thingy, I shall add it to my sidebar. Soon. Till then, you’ll have to refer to the disclaimer from this link, from my previous “review post” (link).

0920 Hrs, on a workday, there I was with Neeti and Kiran, watching, for the very first time in my life, the first day first show of a film. Now You See Me.

Now You See Me is one movie I thoroughly enjoyed. There. In a nutshell, my review is done 🙂 But then, the child in me, that was entertained wants to tell you more, and even the spoiler, of the twist in the tale, in the tail 😀 (But, of course, I won’t ) And that’s what you get with Magicians, Illusionists, a dark history, a cult that appeals to the trickster, Detectives, Interpol, and of course, let us not forget, the Money from Bank Heists showering down upon an unsuspecting audience 🙂

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Reviews in newspapers and IMBD would perhaps deflect your attention toward cliches reworked and non-existent storyline, and the usual yada yada… 🙂 I’ve never gone with reviews, thankfully, perhaps because the movie-goer that I am is basically a child, a wide-eyed child, who still has a bit of wonder left. So, the next question forming in your mind is whether I like ALL the films I see. I don’t. But I’m fascinated nonetheless, with each effort. Not very discriminating, right? Right, again. You still want to read? 😆

“The closer you look, the less you’ll see”, is the tagline. And, for most part, you try to delve too deeply, and double guess, I guess you’ll be rather disappointed. I was taken for a ride, and I enjoyed it very much, thank you. Yes, I’ve already said that. But the bonanza of some marvellous special effects that help to create the magic, and the fast paced dialogues add to the charm. Let your imagination take over.

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The Four Horsemen, as the individual Magicians call themselves, after they form a sort of show, with Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) as their backer, have different skill sets, and are as different from each other as is possible. Three men and one woman. A card specialist (Jessie Eisenberg, of the Social Network fame), a Mentalist (Woody Harrelson, who I thought of only as a villain, 😛 ),the Lady Houdini ( Isla Fisher 🙂 )  and the one with the fastest hand (Dave Franco) – these people are brought together by a hooded watcher who delivers tarot cards, a time, and a location for them to meet. The Tarot Cards show ‘Love’, ‘ The Hermit’, ‘The High Priestess’ and ‘Death’.

A year later, they have an act. And the first (?) of them involves a heist, at a French Bank; the money of which showers down on an unsuspecting audience. In the ensuing scramble, and the discovery of the robbery, daylight, public robbery, the police get involved, and also a charming French Detective. Dylan Hobbs (Mark Ruffalo – Hulk, from The Avengers 😀  How I loved him!!! 😀 ), and Alma Vargas (Melanie Laurent -the young Shoshana from ‘Inglorious Bastards’ ) are investigating; also, constantly hovering is Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) , the one man who wants to expose these Illusionists for what they are. That’s his speciality. (Thank you Google, for giving me the cast, and the characters’ names :D)

The four are investigated, and interrogated, of course, and this forms a really witty part of the film. Not having any evidence of their involvement in what happened a continent away, they are free to go. But followed and watched, all the time! Obvio!! 😛 (that’s the YJHD effect 😛 )

Cut to a brief glimpse of Thaddeus’ oeuvre – how he has built himself up as the one man who will show the public what a lot of fools they are to believe in what they see. But then, Ah! The Closer you look, the less you see!’ Irony strikes here. We’re told of a certain Lionel Shirke who tried to comeback, after being exposed by Thaddeus, but sadly was never seen again, after being lowered into the river in a safe in which he locked himself, from which he was to emerge, unscathed. It’s moment we come back to time and again, for now we know that the Four Horsemen have a Fifth, and we wonder, and we wonder, at who it could be.

The second show they put up, reveals more. The police are ready to arrest them in case of any attempt to break the law, rob, whachumacallit. And they do. In style. In front of the whole jingbanglot. 😀 Cool.

Now, of course, they’re wanted, hunted, and… on the run. Obvio. 😛 So who gets who? And how are they caught? The Fifth Horseman? Is that an Illusion too?

For a fun evening, when you willingly suspend disbelief, go and watch this. I liked the racy pace, and found the cult-thing a bit confusing; but what I liked the most was that even though some tricks were explained, most of the inferring of the whodunnit, and whowasitreally is left to us. 😀 I remember talking of it, way way into our drive home from Q Cinemas, with Neeti and Kiran.

What you have to believe is what happened next. 😀

The same day, we went for the next film. Another first. Watching two movies, back to back 😀 This time, it was ‘After Earth’. Manoj Night Shyamalan’s. Will Smith’s. Jaden Smith’s.  And we wondered, and wondered, long after, why the heck we had to watch it on the same day as the Magical Movie. 😀

Still ‘After Earth’ has its moments. There were actually times when I almost jumped out of my seat. The suspense pans well, on occasion. Will Smith is grim. Jaden Smith could act. He doesn’t really, in this film. 😛 But the locales are breathtaking. And the tagline is catchy. ‘Danger is Real. Fear is a Choice’ Plus a few other lines. It’s still a well made Sci Fi Film, about 1000 years after Earth has been abandoned, and all the creatures on Earth being now evolved into being that want to hurt humans.

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Will Smith and Jaden are father and son in the film as well. (Obvio 😛 ) It’s about improving their relationship, while trying, at the same time, to learn to deal with fear. The sub-plots, I mean. I won’t spoil it further, with any more details. 🙂

But, just don’t see this on a day you’ve seen something really entertaining. 🙂

Till the next Non Review then.

My Recommendation? “Now You See Me” Definitely. “After Earth”, if you’re a Smiths’ Fan, and want to pass time 🙂

10 June, 2013
Pictures courtesy the innumerable ones on Google Search 😀


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Neram – More than Time-Pass :)

Disclaimer: Nothing in this non-review does justice to the film :D! Go, see it 🙂

Ever since I saw the ‘Pistah‘ song go viral on youtube, via Facebook, and ever since Sandeep Varma told me about it having his brother, and himself in it, I’ve been waiting to see it. The rave reviews, most of them, that came by, especially Govind’s (a favourite film critic :D) clinched it. I had to see it! NERAM! (Malayalam/ Tamil bilingual movie)

Neram means time. What is funny is that I finally understood why Neram was written the way it was when the opening credits came in 🙂 You might understand better, when you see this 🙂 (Did you?)

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Time, while it might mean eternity, and endless, having no beginning or any foreseeable close, you would think, well, where is this going to take you, in the limited time you have, a couple of hours, at the most? (It IS a Malayalam movie, after all 😀 ) You bought Time, paid the tickets, and you expect the time to pass without your having known it did. Well, if you can understand Malayalam well, and Tamil, (though sub-titling is there) ‘Neram’ is the movie for you.

The opening line of the credits, before the Credits itself, well… that actually says it all, though you’d be hard put to find the evidence, per se 😀 The director Alphonse Putharen quotes from Tarantino:

“I steal from every movie ever made.”

The film unfolds quickly enough, all the way from the U S of A, in graphics to the Hero’s predicament of having been given the pink slip. Having to take care of the expenses for his sister’s wedding soon leads him to borrow from the nefarious notorious bad bad bad man Vatti Raja. He’s been given enough time to repay the money, which of course, he cannot… BUT, fates smile on him and he manages to get the money in TIME. However, a sleight of the hand, of time itself, and his whole world spins out of control! It IS a moment quite quite out of step with time, which he has nothing left of. He has his girlfriend to run away with, money to pay Vatti Raja, money to pay his brother-in-law, and … no money, no time left. So what happens?

It’s all happening, in each frame. There are no maudlin, senti senti scenes, nothing to take the pace off your pulse, no stops to marshall your forces, or to breathe in between the all the running, that even you do with the characters. It’s amazing, the pace, the race, following the ball that was set in motion! All in the space of one day.

I went to this movie, for the first paragraph reasons, yes, but more so for Nivin Pauly. And he did not disappoint at all! He’s the guy-next-door, who’s in love with a childhood sweetheart, Nazriya, and they were to have been married, except for the fact that he lost his job, and her father, Lalu Alex, decided he could not, since he was jobless. Cliche, perhaps, but the whole thing is treated in the most natural way. Yes, you might have seen this somewhere, (Where? Where? Where? You don’t have time to spend on that, because the next chase is happening!)

The poster I’ve shared at the beginning does not include the young female lead, who is pretty and can act. I mean really. Not just a pretty face. Nazriya. They looked good together, Nivin and Nazriya. And even the romancing was quite fresh 🙂

nivin and nazriya

The BGM was great 🙂  The editing was superb. I found the “Vantage Point”-like touch extremely appropriate 🙂 This here is a non-review, because I am not familiar with names, and people who inhabit the world of entertainment. I shall leave all of that to the serious film  critics. This here is my experience of having watched a most entertaining film. One I would certainly recommend. Eminently watchable.

I do enjoy a GOOD MOVIE. That, this is.

14 May, 2013
Online
After getting home through Traffic snarls, which were quite worth it because of the movie.
After sitting in the very first row of the Theatre, right under the screen, in front of a crowd that would not stop cheering, but did at the right places…
After enjoying a film so very much, I had to. 🙂 Write. This.
Pictures, courtesy Google Image Search 😀