Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Must see

Absolutely, no holds bar must see...

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Happening

I watched M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening this weekend. I watched it on the top floor of a suburban shopping mall near where I live. I came out of the theatre, came to the ledge across from the concession stand and happened to look down. There was a clear drop to the basement, may be 80 feet. I wanted to throw myself down it. May be the movie is kind of like an Escher painting, and the people in it are killing themselves because they just watched the movie themselves. May be.

And I was expecting to like the movie. I am a simple minded person when it comes to movies. I am easily pleased. I liked Om Shanti Om, for crying out loud! And I like Mr. Shyamalan. I have not seen “Praying with Anger”, his first film. But I saw “Wide Awake”, a movie in the exact same format of the “Sixth Sense”, a kind of precursor to the things to come. Of course, like most of the rest of humanity, I watched and was blown away by the Sixth Sense. And then came “Unbreakable”. I liked the John Mclane styled Bruce Willis and the comic book styled message that Nature is usually such that it produces both extremes of any parameter space. Nothing to be blown way by, but I was happy.

Then came the Shyamalan movie that I like best, “Signs”. The thing in the movie about two possible world views, a) everything is just a sequence of random events versus b) everything is part of a grand preordained plan, resonated with me. And the way the dilemma was resolved for Mel Gibson was beautiful. I don’t agree with the conclusion, but I liked it. And of course Joaquin Phoenix and the little Ms Sunshine Abigail Breslin were so good in it.

And then started the plummet down. “The Village” was alright I think. I remember not being bored during the movie. But that’s about it. I can’t remember anything else, apart from facts like “The Happy Days”-kid-turned-director-of-beautiful-mind’s daughter was the heroine or some such trivia. Unmemorable but not bad, for my unsophisticated tastes. But Lady in the Water? What the heck was that about? It left me irritated. And now this, The Happening leaving me with the feeling that I should kill myself for having spent 7 dollars and 2 hours of my life on it. May be its time Mr. Shyamalan stopped making movies. Or may be its time I stopped watching them. May be.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hindi movie synopsis : Netflix IShtyle

I recently saw Sanjay Leela Bansali’s “Black” again as my mother had not seen it and I used it as a way to keep her engaged (do you know how hard a task that is? No no, not watching black but rather keeping my mother engaged. I don’t want to crib about it for if I start I cannot stop). I myself had actually seen the movie whenever it came out back in Florida, back in grad-school, back in a different place in life somehow. This was the synopsis that the netflix DVD sleeve carried (parenthetic comments are mine):

“Michelle McNally is a deaf and blind young girl who's trying to survive in an often harsh world while hoping to determine why she was dealt such a cruel hand (she was deaf and blind and did not yet know what words were, but yeah she was contemplating ). When jaded and stubborn teacher Debraj Sahai enters Michelle's life, it's for entirely selfish reasons on his part (huh?). Unexpectedly, however, the two end up forging a lasting bond, as Debraj works tirelessly to bring light and knowledge (can we get more bombastic) into Michelle's wounded but boundless heart.”

(and no mention of the one useful statement that could have been made – scene by scene line by line the screen adaptation of the Miracle Worker that came out in 1962 + SJB’s imagination leading to additions of a) the bull shit sign (if you do not remember what that was, you can watch it here, about 12 minutes into the video), b) Michele falling in love with Debraj c) life comes a full circle d) loads and loads of melodrama)

I just cannot help but say WTF? And this is pretty standard when they write synopsis for foreign movies. Don’t you think? Here are a couple of more examples that I found on the site while browsing for Hindi movies to rent for my mother. I am sure you know what the movies are:

  1. “In this drama based on a real-life incident, Roja (Madhoo), a girl from a small Indian village, meets and falls in love with computer expert Rishi (Arvind Swamy). Soon after they marry, Rishi and Roja travel to Kashmir and are kidnapped by terrorists en route. As the couple struggles to escape the terrorists' clutches, their love grows deeper. Rishi is then abducted and held for ransom by a group of militants seeking an independent Kashmir.”
  2. “Shahrukh Khan and Kajol sparkle in a film that redefined romance for young Indians. Raj (Khan) is blessed with charm, good looks and money, but when he meets Kajol on a European train, he's instantly smitten. She feels the same, but can they surmount the wishes of their respective families, who have already arranged their marriages … to different spouses?”

I think I almost found a new source of amusement! Or may be a job opportunity for a desi movie buff like me?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Frying our brains apparently

Unless cell phones emit some particular frequency that is in resonance with some crucial mode in the corn, I think this is BS. Do watch and tell me what you think. And if you google, there are a whole number of people doing this experiment apparently.