Thursday, December 30, 2004

Fragility of human life. Prayer for the departed souls...

The fragility of human life has never hit me as hard as it has in these past few days as i follow the Tsunami disaster coverage.

It's extremely painful to see so many innocent lives lost...the unfairness, randomness of all this is even more agonising. One can't even begin to imagine how it must have been for the victims...innocent children, tourists, people whose lives were cut short in a matter of moments!! How does one explain the justice in all this?!! We say that god is there for the powerless, do we explain this? My heart goes out to all the people who have lost everything, their loved ones, their life-savings, a whole part of their lives...

What is even more perplexing is when the information of an earthquake and possible disturbances in the ocean was known to scientists elsewhere, why wasn't it relayed to the countries in the region? To say that these countries did not have the relevant alert systems installed is not good enough...why weren't international news networks like CNN, BBC involved to warn countries in the region. We say that the whole world is networked then surely something could have been done to avert such a huge tragedy.

And then i read somewhere that some religious organisations in india claimed this as divine retribution against the Shankaracharya's arrest!!!! What kind of a ailing regressive mind can come up with such justification!! Nothing can be more horrific than a fellow human beings insensitivity to such human suffering...All these people who died such meaningless deaths were innocent.If this is what religion teaches then i would rather be a non-believer...

As the New Year approaches, there will be countless parties and celebrations in india and elsewhere. I just hope that all those who celebrate the arrival of the New Year take a moment and pray for the departed souls and the countless sufferers and do whatever they can in terms of donations in kind or otherwise.

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Bride & Prejudice - without prejudice!

I believe that all kind of cinema should exist. Good, bad, ugly, ridiculous, dumb, horrible, dirty...everything should exist...we are all capable of handling all this and more! Thinking otherwise would be underestimating human capacity to endure!

But that doesn’t stop me from analysing and criticising movies...and this brings me to the subject of this post. I watched Bride and Prejudice the other day and i swear i watched it without any prejudice (which was difficult after being subjected to tons of not-so-flattering reviews). I am sure i am not half as gifted in film making as Gurinder Chadhdha, but that doesn't stop me from criticising or ripping it apart (gives me some kind of perverse thrill - i am the audience after all!).

On a serious note - i loved Bend it like Beckham...and like many Indians living away from their country and riding high on the bollywood-gone-international wave, i couldn't stop talking about how awesome this movie is to all and sundry. But alas i can't really say the same about Bride... this movie works in bits and pieces. There are glimpses of Gurnider's spark which was so much a part of Bend it... Having said that i shall refrain from ripping it apart either.

To be honest Bride is generally a likable film, without any pretensions of carrying any lofty messages, ideas etc. This honesty itself makes it endearing to me personally. You see i am not a snob, i enjoy the mindless – dumb (as some people would like to believe) - song and dance routines as much as i relish the serious so called parallel cinema.

Coming back to the movie, i thought the actors did a decent job. Aishwarya was as usual beautiful and has done a good job, Martin Henderson is a dish-he has amazing startling blue eyes, Nadira Babbar is exceptional and Anupam Kher, Naveen Andrews and Namrata Shirodhkar do a decent job as well...but if you ask me Indira Verma and Nikhil Ganatra took the cake as far as histrionics are concerned! The problem I thought was with the direction and screenplay…the movie seemed scattered, patchy and disjointed.

As far as music is concerned, we have seen better work from Anu Mallik (although i liked Ashanti's take on item numbers – quite a danceable number I must say!)....

But what I found torturous was all these firangs with surfboards running down slopes hands outstretched singing 'ooooo' while MartinH is happy running his hands over Ash's arms (that’s about how intimate they get in the movie - Shahrukh and Kajol shared more chemistry!).

To be fair We have been subjected to worse bollywood fare before and one look at some Hollywood trash will make one believe that bollywood is not all that bad either! Like I said earlier, Bride is a likeable movie – just have to watch it without prejudice!

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