Sunday, 20 February 2011
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
I used to be a keen believer of the permanent age theory; having nicely settled into the late 20s for long. Turns out, it was a myth. Ceaseless erosion has caused the brain to lose a few wrinkles (only to reappear under the eyes). The attrition has had less to do with declining intelligence, rather lesser fuck-giving.
Gone are the days when I can incessantly argue on a point I rightly or wrongly believe in. The transition from ‘I believe, so should you’ to ‘I don’t give a damn’ happened pretty swift. The willingness and ability to continuously pursue a redundant objective has past its fountainhead, and is now on its weighty journey back down the parabola.
A few passions comatose’d on the way too. There was a time when I could rattle out band members, song names, the album from which the song was, its track number and what not. Today, ask me not a single song from any Top 100 charts.
Reading, exploring, the pleasure of learning something new – everything has given way to a meek surrender to the Maslow’s triangle. Instead of the Discovery Channels and NatGeos, I now gorge on dinner slouching on the couch and devouring Big Boss. Bring out the bloody pop corn.
It probably isn’t bad as it sounds. Maybe I’m mistaking focus for abrasion. But the deviancy was much more fun. Probably. Maybe regular updating of the blog isn’t as significant to life as buying diapers for the baby; or not as life-altering as forgetting to pay the power bill.
The thing with cerebral wear-and-tear is that I can't comprehend the difference, or even acknowledge its futility. Damn you friction.
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Long down the untrodden road, at a point of no return, the fallacy dawned. Turns out, what you thought was your world was but a Truman show. A cage controlled by puppet masters with no strings attached. There was never a lead role. There was never a war.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
It’s become fashionable to deride reality shows. And, going by what little I see of them on screen, I’d say mostly deservingly so. Until, amidst the entire melee, I chance upon the actual performances.
Seriously. Take out the obnoxious judges, the scripted fights, the melodramatic tears, and the annoying hosts – and you’ll get to see the kind of singers or dancers that could give most of the big players a run. Mostly coming from small towns, these participants are just relishing their proverbial 15 days of fame. Let them. They are making a fair bunch of bucks along the way too, I would guess. I have seen kids old enough for diapers, reaching pitches you could only dream of in your scorpion-infested dreams.
These are folks who can catch a quarter note on the synth, or do a backflip wearing an outrageous costume. And on stage, too. Any of us, who are neither talented to reach the scales, or know anything about music/art to be even armchair critics, should really be stuffing our mouths shut, ideally with feet.
All talent we managed to get was to write codes, or copy, or legal letters or whatever. Some of us can even roll our tongues sideways. Really? Here’s your trophy.
Even the non-talent based shows have participants who, I am again guessing, are earning more than what most of us get in the year. Getting that much to play dumb in front of the nation? Not a bad deal of a job. Let’s face it, it’s what we all do for a living. Just not on air, and for much less money.
So the next time you are sneering at that ugly Swayamwar contestant, or that sobbing Idol contest, take this into account. They have relevant/non-relevant talent. They are being paid big. And they are on television. While all you/your family is doing is feeding the channel’s TRP. It’s a win-win situation for all. EXCEPT YOU.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Monday, 15 February 2010
This post is about movies; fairly recent ones. Spoilers will be thrown around. All of the four and half people who read my blog are hence forewarned.
If a pre-historic John Wayne had a one-night-stand with B-movie’d Steven Seagal, you’d get one of the hottest contenders at this year’s Academy. Yeah, that’s right. Jeremy Renner, he of cigarette chewing bravado and cowboy swagger. You have been hailed as one of the performances of the year in The Hurt Locker. And I have an issue with the movie, not so much about the lead actor.
It’s a good-ish movie, yes. The first Iraq war movie of any substance. Seemingly realistic. Well shot. A couple of cool blasts. But that’s about it. There’s no character arc, no one you care for. I don’t want Transformers-like explosions or cleavages every nano second, no. But Locker becomes pretentious after a point. Renner’s James just walks into a bomb disposal scene, takes off his bomb suit, lits a cigarette and wades his way through wires to finally figure out the stereotypical blue v/s red one. You almost expect the brown onlookers to clap. He does this about half a dozen times in the movie. Along the way also helping a bunch of British mercenaries kill the bad guys with long-range rifles. (That’s another ridiculous set piece – who would stay in the same position in a gun fight where a minute earlier, someone has been killed by enemy bullets).
If this was just an under-hyped war movie with a decent one look, I’d be okay watching it. But the buzz it’s getting is far too much. It’s just not that great a movie. And please, don’t even get started about how it’s a woman director (that too Cameron’s ex wife) who has redefined feminism in camouflage. That is incidental. And also, don’t get started about the whole “so realistic” thing. There have been far better realistic war movies that don’t have cowboy heroes. And have much better stories to tell. And are more effective. Saving Private Ryan obviously comes to mind. Black Hawk Down too. No heroes.
Making a whole movie to justify your opening quote about war being addictive is a bit of an overkill Ms. Bigelow/Boal. It defeats me why this movie has so unanimously scored with critics everywhere.
My favourite realistic movie this year is about aliens. (I was dying to put “realistic” and “aliens” in the same sentence.) Ladies and gentlemen, I give you District 9. Or how Neil Blomkamp has blown brains with his debut feature. It’s more realistic than Locker. More effectively allegorical than Avatar. And has the coolest special effects; shot in documentary style. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie. That’s how sci-fi movies should be made. It has a story and a character you warm up to. No, really, no spoilers here. Just watch this gem from South Africa. Sharlto Copley is the most unlikeliest of heroes. And he’s not even a proper actor.
I also have a grouse with Up. It is a heartwarming story, obviously beautifully animated and rendered. But the story takes an unnecessary turn in the third act. And it's all stupid from there on. Talking dogs, a hero turned villain for no apparent reason, and a tree-hugging message. Wall-E without any dialogue, had more heart. Too bad none of the other contenders come even close to Up in the best animation category. (Though I'll be rooting for the fantastic Fantastic Mr. Fox).
Having vented out enough, here’s my predictive list of who should and who will win this year at Oscars.
The only “no-contests” this time are Cristoph Waltz ("Bingo") for best Supporting Actor and UP for best animated movie.
Should: District 9 (Very wishful thinking. We all know who'll win this)
Should: Quentin Tarantino (Oh, yes)
Will: Katherine Bigelow (shudder)
Should: QT (Who else loved Landa's rat analogy?)
Should: Jason Reitman (listen to the baggage speech)
Will: Jason Reitman
Should: George Clooney (Even though he "almost" plays himself again, but this time it works)
Will: Jeff Bridges (sentimental favourite. This year's Rourkee)