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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The skewed lure of 'Dexter'

Just through with watching the first five seasons of the television series 'Dexter' on Star World.
It is one of the most gripping tele-serials in recent times and has been a huge hit all over the world, and it is impossible to stay indifferent to its charm.
American crime-drama series forms the staple diet of most of the television viewers across the world because, besides being well-produced, well-scripted & well-acted, these tap on the universal craving for an exploration of the darker recesses of human psyche. 'Dexter' goes one step ahead and toys with the saint-sinner tagging and has as the eponymous protagonist a forensic bloodstain pattern analyst for the Miami Metro police department who moonlights as a serial-killer.

In America, the series had debuted in 2006. But here, in India, we have been shown it this year, all the five seasons, back to back, on week-nights, with repeats on weekends. However, most viewers who got hooked to it have made sure that they catch the episodes online, as scenes and dialogues had to filtered for the telecast in the sub-continent, owing to excessive violence and profanity. In fact, the content and the violent images have been the bone of contention for the purists, and for many a social-analyst, not just in these parts of the world but in the West as well.

The first season was largely based on the novel 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter' by Jeff Lindsay, the fisrt of his series of Dexter novels. The subsequent seasons have largely evolved in an independent manner. The key scripting was done by James Manos, Jr. The principal cast features Micahel C. Hall (in the title role), Jennifer Carpenter, James Remar, Lauren Velaz, David Zayas, C. S. Lee, Julie Benz, Erik King, and Desmond Harrington. Also, Margo Martindale, Christian Camargo, Anne Ramsay, Valerie Cruz, Jonny Lee Miller, Jimmy Smits, Keith Carradine, Julia Stiles and John Lithgow are some of the big draws who have had supporting roles or guest appearances.

It is pointless to introduce the plot-line to those who are unaware of this phenomenal series. Yet, here it is, the germ of it all: Dexter is orphaned at the age of three due to the murder of his mother in front of his eyes, and is then adopted by Miami police officer Harry Morgan. After discovering that the young boy has been killing a multitude of neighborhood pets, Harry tells Dexter that he believes the need to kill got into him, and that he believes Dexter's need to kill will only grow. To keep Dexter from killing innocent people and winding up in an electric chair, Harry begins teaching Dexter The Code, whereby his victims must be killers themselves who have killed someone without justifiable cause and will likely do so again. Flashbacks throughout the series show Harry, who died several years before, instructing Dexter on how to fake human behavior, how to cover his tracks after a kill. Dexter has followed The Code religiously to satisfy his Dark Passenger - the name he has assigned to his urge to kill. Like many serial killers, he keeps trophies - before dispatching a wrongdoer, he makes a small incision on their right cheek with a scalpel and collects a blood sample, which he preserves on a blood slide & stores in a box concealed inside his air conditioner. Dexter has a skewed logic that he is in denial of and it is this logic or rationale that actually makes us question what's justified and what's not. Dexter's private life, his being lovelorn, his secrets tumbling out - make interesting viewing, as do his exploits, his kills.

Friday, May 20, 2011

'Delhi Belly'

A film that dares to be irreverent & funny..........

Aamir Khan's Delhi Belly is all set for worldwide release on July 1st, 2011.
And, already, there's a huge interest about the film among the critics as well as his fans.
The theatrical teaser promo of Delhi Belly premiered on January 21st, accompanying the screenings of "Dhobi Ghat - Mumbai Diaries", which too was Aamir's home production, and was directed by his wife, Kiran Rao.
With the release date approaching momentum has gathered on the makers' part as well. The film's first look, poster and music have already captured our imagination in the last few days. Delhi Belly is directed by Abhinay Deo, and has been scripted by Akshat Verma. The film has in its cast Imran Khan, Vir Das, Poorna Jagannathan, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Shenaz Treasurywala, Vijay Raaz, and Rahul Pendkalkar.
The music for the film has been scored by Ram Sampat and the lyrics have been penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya.
The cast and the crew have been rather tight-lipped about the film while the filming was on, and post-production work on it continued. Speculations were rife on the content, believed to be catering to the adult audience instead of the conventional family audience.
Originally, the film was supposed to be directed by the Swedish director Robert Nylund, but things didn't quite work out, and then entered Abhinay Deo, who has been associated with numerous ads of repute. Ranbir Kapoor was pencilled in at first, but that too did not work out, and Imran, Aamir's nephew was shortlisted as a cast member.
The film is till date the boldest one that has been produced by Aamir Khan, and Imran himself has said that his character is quite 'colorful' and he'll be seen diving his attention between Poorna Jagannathan and Shehnaz Treasurywala.
It is an irreverent comedy indeed, but Aamir Khan has refuted the claims made by some sections of the media that Delhi Belly is a sex comedy.
In fact, the character played by Imran does not only indulge in two-timing, but his teenage fanbase might be shocked to know that he swears, drinks, has several addictions and is totally lewd and despicable.

The grunge-rock song 'Bhaag D. K. Bose' from the soundtrack of the film has already become a sensation of sorts.

It has caught on with the youth as the latest anthem of rebellion & irreverence.

The song is surely has surely catchy, plus it has weirdly and cleverly twisted a common Bengali name into an expletive. Quite a stunt, I must say!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Message

My message to the world,
and to someone in particular.

Be Happy.
Happiness is indeed a strange concoction.
We confuse happiness with so many things.
Happiness or contentment? Which is more desired?
Which carries more weight?
Sometimes, we lie to ourselves, and say
we are happy when we are not.
We fail to be happy, wholesomely.
I would like to quote Carl Sandburg
who, in his poem Snatch of Sliphorn Jazz, asks:
'Are you happy?'

And, then, asserts:

'It's the only
way to be, kid.
Yes, be happy, it's a good nice
way to be.
But not happy-happy, kid, don't
be too doubled-up doggone happy.
It's the doubled-up doggone happy-
happy people . . . bust hard . . . they
do bust hard . . . when they bust.
Be happy, kid, go to it, but not too
doggone happy.'

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sinful Surrender

My sinful surrender..... my weakness.

Pizzas tempt me endlessly, and I surrender sinfully.....

There's nothing like giving in to the temptation of lip-smacking pizzas....

Served hot and served rich, with fresh cream, or extra cheese....

Enriched by the chicken slices, or a delicious topping of tomatoes and onions...

The golden corn, the mushroom and capsicum and paneer or pepperoni combo.

Remember, pizza tastes best when there's more than just a pair of hands picking up the slices...... and fighting for the last one.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger's Back!

Finally..... Blogger's back!

It was excruciating for millions of bloggers and blogophiles that Blogger was kept out of access by the site administrators citing maintenance reasons, and hence there could not be any new posts.
Blogging is no longer just a pastime, for hordes of people it is s surefire sign of survival itself.
Old blog-posts could be read of course, but it feels really bothersome when one is prevented from airing one's feelings, views, opinions or insights and sharing them with others here in blogosphere. The delay in fixing their problems was unexpected, and uncalled for. Hence this post is just a celebratory post for the restoration of services on Blogger [blogger.com], their efforts to restore the posts are still on, and normalcy has been promised by the weekend.