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Saturday, March 23, 2013

'On the Road': The Road Odyssey

Finally, the much-awaited, much-touted road odyssey is here!
The film was long due. The talks about the film had started to assume historic proportions of their own. The book had come out in the Fifties and since then people had been keenly anticipating a film version. No that the film is here, and have been seen my most of us privileged ones, it is time to present a take on the same.
I had read the book just as I had stepped into college. A dear friend of mine had given me the initiation on Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The latter's poems had formed the motif in many a work of fiction in Bangla as well. The author Buddhadev Guha for example had referred to the philosophy behind Ginsberg's works. The poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay too had referred to the Beat Generation and the influence that they had on the youth of their times. I would often wonder what it would be like to see them in flesh and blood, to be catapulted to the heady life that they lived. Reading the book, a biographical novel, open my the vistas of my mind, although I have to admit that it took a lot of effort on my part to learn and admire the nuances, the signposts, largely ignorant that I was about American history of that period.
As I saw the film, the memories of reading the book, my introduction to a whole new world, came alive. Such personal associations are cherished by any individual, I'm sure. The book borrowed from the American Library had to be renewed twice so that I could afford to have a blast with the characters: Sal, Dean, Marylou, and Carlo Marx. The film has cast a whole gamut of talented actors in the key roles and has tried to recapture the late Forties brilliantly. But, I rue the fact that people who haven't read the book or are familiar with the backdrop cannot fathom the dramatic intensity or the historic significance by merely watching the film. The road odyssey is visually brilliant, sometimes stunning, but the 'trippy' yet exuberant trip remains a stilted and somewhat flawed documentation and some of the characters too fail to come alive as they do on the pages of the book.
Garrett Hedlund, as Dean Moriarty, steals the show. Sam Riley plays Sal, and Kristen Stewart plays Marylou, both of whom I found to be earnest, quite so. Also in the cast are Viggo Mortensen, Tom Sturridge, Amy Adams, Alice Braga, Elisabeth Moss, Kirsten Dunst, Terence Howard, and Steve Buscemi.
Éric Gautier is the director of cinematography, Gustavo Santaolalla has provided with the musical score, and the film has been directed by Walter Salles.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

'The Master'

I had been lamenting recently that the films that I had seen this year as part of the Oscar-cache were not as exciting as I wanted them to be...... and then I came upon 'The Master' which I have to say was the best of the lot. Rather unintentionally, the best had been saved for the last. It is certainly not an easy film to watch. It's disturbing, and some may also be annoyed by the fact that it appears vague, distant and incomprehensible at times. But, if one scrapes the surface, one is certain to establish a connect that is deep and stirring. The performances are all top notch and Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman are showcased at their very best by the material, vastly talented as they both are, as actors. Even the likes of Amy Adams, Rami Malik, Laura Dern and Joshua Close garner attention. The musical score by Jonny Greenwood is haunting, and is an asset indeed, the other major asset being the stunning cinematography provided by Mihai Mălaimare, Jr.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

India's Biggest Feminist

Happy Birthday, Aamir Khan!
He turns 48, but he is a living proof of the adage that age is just a number.
He is evergreen, and his spirit is ever-buoyant.
Incidentally, just a few days back, he has acquired
yet another tag..... Femina has featured him on
the cover of its special Women's Day issue,
calling him India's Biggest Feminist!
We are not surprised.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

An ode to the superheroes.....

(......and the superheroines as well!)

And such an ode was long over-due, many would say.
Well, this post is just for them, and none else.
To be honest, I have often wondered if I am actually some superhero....... one who is yet to realize what his superpowers were....... one who is still hibernating for all practical purposes....... one who is cursed, and hence robbed of all superpowers!!!

So, today, I took this quiz that a good friend of mine made me take.
It is to help one understand which superhero one is......
I mean, not to be taken seriously, but just an interesting aspect about one's personality that one can find about. The quest is definitely for the one is a superhero buff, as is the friend in question, more so than me.

I took the test, goaded by the fact that this world of ours is filled with superhero fanatics.
They come, as they say, in all shapes and sizes........ hahaha.
The cyberspace is filled with their kind. One plays out one's superhero fantasies at times in the open, undaunted by the jibes of the phobics and the skeptics.
We all want to unleash the superhero spirit lurking deep within our soul,
whatever be the degree of our madness, whatever be the extent of our faith.

The quiz referred to above, 'Which Superhero Are You?' made me answer a whole lot of questions...... ranging from 'Do you like to fly?' and 'Do you like hi-tech gadgets?' to 'Do you wear thongs?' and 'Do you wear a push-up bra?' - unbelievable, no?
Well, to amuse my readers here are some of the other questions I had to answer (there were a series of circles between the two extremes of Yes and No which one had to click in) and find out who I really was (inside, eh?). Sample these:

Are you very virtuous?
Are you a persistent do-gooder?
Are you somewhat reserved and easy going?
Are you an intelligent geek?
Are you accident prone?
Are you a hopeless romantic?
Do you have a good sense of humor?
Did you have a bad childhood?
Do you have long hair?
Are you VERY comfortable with your body?
Do you value independence and privacy?
Are you good at reading people?
Do you like to be in the limelight?
Are you young at heart?
Are you a little naive?
Are you easily angered?
Are you a loner?
Do you often hurt people without realizing it?
Do you move a lot?
Have you ever stolen anything?
Do you use people to get your way?
Do you like bad boys (or girls)?
Are you much of a drinker?
Are you obviously powerful?
Are you a show off?
Do you like to build things?
Have you achieved a lot from hard work?

Well, if you have come to the bottom of the post, laughing, smiling, cringing or squirming, here is the answer.......
the answer is: I am Green Lantern!