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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! 'The Vampire Diaries'

Let me admit, this is a special Halloween post.
Today is Halloween, and I seek to celebrate the ghouls and the ghoulish,
and all things supernatural, as they fascinate me since childhood,
for purposes of entertainment, nothing else though......
no serious spooky business here,
but just doffing my hat to the television series which I've been hooked to, of late:
The Vampire Diaries.
Frankly speaking, the series did not quite grab my eyeballs when the First Season was aired.
I thought it catered more to the sensibilities and tastes of the teenagers, and that too mostly the girls, who can't have enough of the love-related complexities along the soap-fodder lines.
I did skip most of the episodes therein. However, as the Second Season started airing (the deferred telecast in India, on Zee Cafe), I had to revise my initial reservations on the content.

I am not going to delve into the details of the storyline or the numerous sub-plots, because I expect this post to be read and appreciated only by the afficionados of the series. For the uninitiated: It's a supernatural series which primarily is about a high school girl who's loved by two vampire brothers, who are about 150 years old.

The characters go through more than the usual share of thrills and chills that are expected in a tale of this genre. The complications in love take a backseat in the Second Season, thankfully, as it concentrates more on the digressions and the twists & counter twists that involve the heroine's doppelganger and her machinations, and also reveals, purportedly, the main villain.

Elena - the heroine - as well as Katherine, the doppelganger, are played by Nina Dobrev. While the vampire brothers Damon and Stefan are played by Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley respectively. Jeremy, Elena's brother, is played by Steven R. McQueen. Some of the other interesting members of the cast are: Michael Trevino, Zach Roerig, Kat Graham, Matt Davis and Taylor Kinney.

The actors have become hugely popular, endeared by millions of fans worldwide.

Expectedly so, as that is exactly how television makes people famous overnight.
Anyways, today, I'd like to say a few words just about my favorite character from the series: Mason Lockwood, played by Taylor Kinney. In fact, I started watching the series (later I caught up with the earlier episodes online though) because of him.
Mason's character isn't even a pivotal one, though he plays an integral role in the progression & turn of events. Taylor Kinney had, in fact, just a string of guest appearances. Yet, I loved the depth in the character, the potential that had probably been unleashed by the actor and not so much by the script.
When Mason dies in the series, I felt shattered. Well, almost. A case of suspension of pure disbelief, I guess. 
Mason was Tyler's uncle (Tyler being the high school football jock and Elena's friend). He has been described as Tyler's 'cool' uncle; sexy, athletic and with an easygoing charm.
He returns to Mystic Falls (where Elena and his friends live) after seven years. He reveals to Tyler the Lockwood curse, which had been kept a secret from him; he does so after a dramatic confrontation.
Mason flips in an instant if crossed; it struck me as an interesting character trait.
He is in love with Katherine; eager to do anything for her......
.......yet he does not trust her in a blindly. He's torn by his own demons.
Mason genuinely shows concern for his nephew, Tyler.......
.......but he has his own agenda too, which he's focused on.
Truth be told: Mason's a werewolf!
Mason finds himself vulnerable and insecure because of his cursed identity.
He finds in Damon, his biggest enemy...... his nemesis.
After all, vampires and werewolves can't expected to be friends!!!!
A bite from a werewolf can be fatal for a vampire, hence the persecution.
It is Damon who finally captures him and kills him by ripping his heart out.
Surprise, suprise: Mason returns as a ghost in Season Three (it shows how Taylor Kinney cannot be ousted from the series, his fans won't take it lying down..... hahaha) and he is determined to make Damon pay for killing him.
And, spoiler alert for the ones who are yet to catch the goings on in Season Three,
Mason tortures Damon much in a way that he himself had been tortured but he lets him live.
Mason reveals that, among the Lockwood family's dark secrets, was a way to kill an Original vampire. Mason and Damon head to the Lockwood cellar where they break into a hidden part of it. Damon still refuses to trust Mason but when Mason saves him from the vervain spikes that pierce Damon, he tells him that he doesn't care about revenge: he wants redemption and he wants to help Tyler.
Happy Halloween!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

'Rockstar' is coming to rock us!

ROCKSTAR is going to be Ranbir Kapoor's next release.
It's releasing on the 11th of November.
The music from the soundtrack is a rage already.
The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Aditi Rao Hyadri and many others.

Directed by Imtiaz Ali, it's the most awaited film of the year.

And Ranbir seems to be banking on it in a big way.

The film boasts of brilliant visuals & A.R.Rahman's fusion score.

The story is supposed to be an emotional-cum-musical journey.

Since August, the promos have been making us expectant in a big way.

I sincerely hope that the film becomes a rewarding experience for all.

Major portions have been shot in Kashmir, at various scenic locations.

The city of Delhi features in a big way too.

The sequence at Nizamuddin Dargah is supposedly an awe-inspiring one.

Many of the costumes worn in the film have been designed by Aki Narula.

The attention to details is likely to contribute majorly to the narrative.

Ranbir too has spared no efforts to become the character.

Nargis Fakhri plays the role of a Kashmiri Pandit girl.

Ranbir himself has admitted that the presence of Nargis in the film is very special.

Mohit Chauhan has lent his voice to several songs of the film.

The soulful lyrics have been penned by Irshad Kamil.

People would want to watch it for all kinds of reasons.

A personal reason for me: Late Shammi Kapoor's final screen appearance.

Can't wait to catch this scene Ron has with the legend.

I wish all the best to the cast & crew of the film. Can't wait to watch it now!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting Slushied

Getting slushied is commonplace for the members of the Glee club, in the popular tele-series 'Glee'. Many might find it irritating how shakes and slushies are randomly thrown at on the Glee guys and girls in the first and the second seasons of the series, but it is indeed a fun way to represent the bullying stereotypes that almost all of us commonly experience in life, in some form or the other.
Bullying is, in fact, a problem all over. Schools are the breeding grounds and the practice is continued with gusto by the bullies in colleges too, and it gets diversified further, and becomes multi-pronged, multi-dimensional and even multi-participative.
I think, 'Glee' raises a fundamental issue and colors it & exaggerates with fun and banter, and packages it with all the ingredients of mass appeal, but the underlying message is never lost.
In the storyline, the Glee club is shown as the most unpopular group, for having dared to go against the grain, by embracing song & dance, and it is largely the alpha-male student population which targets the club with its extreme bullying antics. The slushying sequences, later, have become nothing short of a trademark for the show and have added spunk to its theme of celebrating one's true self by rising above petty opposition, and by winning over the brute forces through a display of sheer talent & histrionics, getting noticed, and gaining acceptance.

Here, Artie, perceived as the 'dork' in the wheelchair, gets slushied badly.......

.....and, yet, he strongly empathizes with the faith: Be Who You Are, Be Proud!