Monthly Archives: March 2008

A more perfect union

Very few people can speak this well.

Advertisements

Raghuvaran: A personal tribute

raghuvaran200.jpg

Raghuvaran is perhaps the first major actor to die that I grew up watching. I was hardly 15 when Anjali was released. Even then it was fascinating to see the tall, lanky actor with a gravelly voice perform. Raghuvaran was intense in a way few actors were. Next to him, Revathi – no mean actress of her own – struggled to keep up. Raghuvaran’s pauses and intonations in dialogue delivery were sometimes nothing short of bizarre. He dragged words out and gave them new meaning.

In Anjali, Raghuvaran plays the understanding dad of a mentally-challenged girl. He may have been out of place in that space song, but in scenes that mattered he delivered. There is a scene in which Janagaraj, the mental watchman, is mocked at by Raghuvaran’s kids. He quickly slaps one of them, and when questioned by his wife is unable to explain that he has their kid hidden away. It was remarkable how much Raghuvaran could show through his haunted eyes. Continue reading

Search is over

The search for a good online to-do list is over. I discovered mojonote.com yesterday. Pretty simple and good site.

Reviewing for Rediff

It began not so spectacularly on September 10, 2007. I have done 10 reviews so far. Here are the movies: The first one was Seena Thaana 001. I travelled all the way to Mayajaal outside the city to review this movie. Wasn’t worth it. Actor Prasanna was to have a much better year in 2008.

I actually liked Satham Podathey. Not many people did. The movie flopped. Vague questions about my reviewing skills popped into my head and really tore me apart after I watched Thavam. I did not know what to write after watching a movie so depressing. For once, I had writer’s block.

ATM is one of those movies which is really bad, but is still fun to watch. Fans preparing to scream were so put off, I heard groans and yawns all through this movie. Kept me awake. The final monologue by Shreya on karpu was a new low for Tamil cinema last year.

Kannamoochi Enada was the only movie I did not pay to watch. Meaning, I saw it in a preview theatre. Was so elated that I gave it a big thumbs up. Became a sleeper hit in multiplexes but flopped elsewhere.

I did like Oram Po. Pretty good effort, but lacked focus.

Billa sucked to me. But I tempered my review so that Ajith fans don’t call me names like Vijay fans had for ATM. But still name calling is a big past time for many online commentators.

Pirivom Sandhippom was a fairly good effort, if it had been a documentary. Realism is often more dramatic and magical than melodrama. Though the director kept the movie real, it was a turn off as nothing dramatic ever happened.

Anjathe was probably the best of the movies I reviewed. Apart from a few scenes, which I am ready to forgive Mysskin for, the movie was fantastic. But too long.

Thotta was the worst movie and came close to Thavam in its ability to depress. I crawled out and typed off the top of my head.

5 years back, if anyone told me that a big website would pay me to watch movies and write my opinion about them, I would have scoffed at them. That’s exactly what is happened today.

The best part about writing online is you have no word limit. And a career which should have begun with Kireedam (I fell ill that day), is blossoming today. I hope to give it a quite burial soon.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann

Of a Jodhaa Akbar review

Guru writes what he think of Jodhaa Akbar and then hesitates to call it a review. He called it a movie opinion, which felt awkward to me, and so I suggest he change it to the more normal movie review.

He points me to this post from Sudhish.

I am kinda freaking out here. Can’t we let simple things be simple? How many hoops does a dog jump before it is called a dog? What sheer display of intellectuality and vocabulary does a movie reviewer display before he is acknowledged as one. That is why we have the words good and bad.  We don’t eliminate the word review itself.