Posted in AR Rahman, Movies - General

127 Hours

What is more challenging – To direct a movie based on a one-liner that goes like this.. ‘a person gets stuck under the rock and he stays there for 5 days before realizing that the only way to get out is to cut his arm out of the rock” or To write a screenplay for the same one-liner ?

I don’t know the answer but Danny Boyle had done both of the above with a product which seems to be generating reactions ranging from ‘brilliant’ to ‘outstanding’. The problem with watching a movie that has generated so much positive reviews in the critics circle is that your mid is already tuned. As much I tried not to get carried away by the reviews, I have to admit that I was – before watching the movie.

Fox Searchlight has done the biggest disservice to this film’s award season chances by engaging in this limited release gimmick, which after the first 2 weeks seemed annoying. Now it is not only annoying but seems to be hurting the  movie’s chances of winning some decent awards. I am not saying this movie was the best ever movie to be made in 2010 – And that’s not how awards work too. But given all the positive things surrounding this movie, they may have lost the momentum they could have otherwise, to capitalize on the buzz.

The movie was a great 2 hour ride. It didn’t quite feel that painful except a few minutes when the sound engineer and AR Rahman make sure you have the most ‘unexplainable’ surreal experience (yes, I am talking about that scene). But overall, Danny Boyle made sure he and Simon Beaufoy wrote a script that would bring more lightness and energy on screen, than gloominess and pain. They succeeded very well in that effort. In way of building characters, there was very little room for Danny Boyle to be imaginative. So they used a few voice messages from Aaron’s mon & sister and a camera panning across his apartment catching minor details like what is in the refrigerator, what he packs for his day hike, etc. to capture Aaron’s background while the first few minutes of his drive to point A before he starts his hike to Blue John Canyon were enough to build the basic strength and grit of Aaron’s character & what drives him. Brilliant Direction!

There were not many parts in the movie that made me ask “why”. That in itself is a success for the scriptwriter and the director because they managed to sell their script so convincingly to the audience. Even though the script was based on a real life story and was endorsed by Aaron himself, to narrate a story with not so many twists and turns, is a daunting task.

James Franco all the way. I won’t elaborate on it other than just saying that he couldn’t have played that part better.

Music – For a Hollywood movie, the movie is truly path-breaking. SdM was path-breaing too but it was not a Hollywood movie – so in many ways, Danny and AR Rahman deserve more credit for doing what they did in this movie. Who can pull off “Acid Darbari” in a movie like this? To me, hearing this piece being played on the screen to stunning visuals of the Utah Canyons, brought some goosebumps. Very innovative and Very haunting.

This is a movie that I would like to watch again and again – not because of the entertainment value but to learn a thing or two about movie making. You don’t need a complicated storyline with twists, turns and suspense to make a good movie. The movie teaches you – Heck! You can  make a good movie with a real life story everyone knows about and with a plot as straight as a freeway running through Nebraska.

Posted in Humor - General, Miscellaneous

Gates and Leaks – Leakage 2

Read Leakage 1 here before you start this :

What would you do when someone steals your diary and publishes every single page of it on a public domain (a.k.a on internet)? I know most of your diary pages may be of Wimpy Kid nature, but still there could be a page or two that could offer some ideas for an HBO or Showtime late night series…(if you are of the serious diary writing type)? Or let us say, someone publishes a record of your phone bill with details of every single call you made (which number and the recipient’s name, etc..)

Now take that scenario and compare it with another what if scenario. How would you like to read someone else’s diary as procured and published as above? or their phone bill? I bet your reaction is different in both the above scenarios. I am not talking about righteousness or lack of it. I am just talking about the most natural human reaction.

When you extend the second scenario above to a situation which involves a criminal – a murderer or something, what is your reaction? Now throw in a few questions such as righteousness to do so and all that. Let us say you are in the middle of deciding to publish the data procured through this murderer’s diary and his phone bills. Will you publish every single page and every single data or will you make a more analytical call on what to publish and what not to? For example, assuming there are a few pages in the diary that are neither related to the murder already committed nor the murder being planned, but instead are focusing on petty neighborhood politics where details of how each person hates another (including snippy comments and name calling details), what would you do?

Ok. Now this is where I was stuck and this exactly is and was my dilemma when the #Cablegate broke out. I have to admit I still do not approve of this set of leaks that this Australian decided to publish. I was aghast and extremely supportive of the Iraq/Afghani war related leaks. But diplomacy leaks – hmm..not sure. Anyways, when I started the original post, things were a little different. Now with Paypal, Master Card and possibly Visa & Amazon buckling under the pressure of a certain big brother, all I can do is worry about the current state of fake democracy we are living in. I don’t know how different this fake and convenient (convenient only because you do it when it suits you but change to a dictatorship mode when it doesn’t suit you) democracy is from a not so pretentious Chinese dictatorship. So with freedom of speech at stake, the whole issue of Gates and Leaks has taken on a different color and significance. Now, where does it go next and what other dangerous dimensions is it going to add to its skin, is anyone’s guess. But I am pretty sure that the big brother is hoping that, with the Ozzie behind the bars and with Interpol dancing to their tune all the time, it may just be a case of letting time take care of making people forget this issue  – Just like that.

(Leakage stops here for now…)

Posted in Humor - General, Miscellaneous

Gates and Leaks – Leakage 1

Come to think of it, leaks have been around forever. So what makes the latest one so interesting that the Web 2.0 world is buzzing with it? Well. I happened to pose a rhetoric question, in case you didn’t notice it. “The fact that this is happening right now in the Web 2.0 world” is the right answer. Please give yourselves 11 points for getting it right.

Jokes aside, We have had Whistleblowers in the past too. We will never know how many such whistleblowers’ words never got out to the public domain because someone decided not to publish them & managed successfully to suppress the source(s).

But then, now we are in a crazily (sometimes annoyingly) wired world. The biggest strength of this social network dominated 21st century era is probably it’s no. 1 weakness too. That it gives a sense of power to all.

I mean everyone who is connected wants to participate in the debate. I think that’s great.

Everyone wants to think he/she has the power to change things. I think this is also a great sense that this new age brings…

But the problem I see is that “everyone thinks he/she has the power to change everything in the world”..No matter what issue is being dealt with.

This problem may be too acute & prevalent with extremists. Certain kind of extremists. The extremists who are way too far in the left. Of course, I am no Jon Stewart to make that kind of mistake – at least the perceivable one. As perceived by those in the extreme left. That somehow Jon clubbed the left wing extremists together with the right wing extremists. Sort of like saying “KO and BO should just shut the &*^ up!”. You know who I am referring to. Which unfortunately was how Jon stated it, but the intellect in me (wink-wink!!) didn’t interpret it that way – both within the context or out of context.  He was making a larger point which unfortunately got trashed by both extremes. Anyway, why talk about Jon Stewart? He is no world savior…(wink-wink!!)

Digression. Back to the leaks…The way the social networks seemed to have given a false sense of power to individuals who are no experts in certain issues to strongly think that the others are stupid not to listen to their ideas, is sort of amusing.  Which brings me to the main reason for this post.

The concept of leaking confidential information – And the reaction to such.

The latest set of leaks popularly referred to in the Web 2.0 world as #barkhagate and #cablegate, have ordinary people (you and me) slapping their biceps and twisting their mind muscles with so much vigor, that it is heartening to see the guilty (those caught on the leaks) squirm in their pants and run for shelter.  Although the common man is absolutely justified to feel this way – “After all there is hope for truth to be heard and justice to prevail” and there is no denying that fact, I personally am of the opinion it is is not as simple as that. Hence one shouldn’t mix up the sneaky emotion one gets when he/she gets a voyeuristic freedom to listen to what others said and did, specially when it concerns political power game, innocent people being killed and swindling of bundles – with that of a false sense of power to save the world that such voyeuristic adventure may lead one to. You get my point? May be not. Because I see you are lost.

I just realized what I want to say may actually take a long time to type.


(To be continued…)