Wednesday, December 23, 2009

AVATAR – My Take

With all the hype that AVATAR 3D has created, it wasn’t surprising that Vish and I were more than eager to catch up with this latest James Cameroon offering.

AVATAR surpasses almost all sci-fi, apocalyptic and epic war movies of our times in its sheer cinematographic brilliance and technical excellence. The detailed landscaping of the fictional planet of Pandora and the panning of the camera as the avatar of Jake Sully explores the dangerously rich and marvelously magnificent flora and fauna of the world of the Na’vis, delivers a powerful impact, which is wonderfully enhanced with the 3-D effect, thus offering a rare and most-engaging visual experience, especially in a “decent-movie deprived” year that 2009 has been.

Having said all this, I would stop at a 3.75 on 5 for AVATAR. The movie remains wanting of a more original, never-seen-before storyline. The Na’vis and their traditions would remind most of us Indians of the folklore we have grown up on – the potent supremacy of the souls of our ancestors that continue to watch over us, guide us and bless us; the belief that every living object is connected to each other, almost in a supernatural kind of a way; the disassociation of the body with the soul or the spirit; the blind faith in rituals and the superstitions – an extended Star Trek version of our indigenous Jataka tales and stories from the Panchatantra.

The novelty of the phantasmal Pandorian world begins to wear off post the half-time popcorn break, and what resumes is a sluggishly paced war of epic proportions between the humans and the navis. This conflict between unabashed and selfish scientific technology and the ecological balance of nature serves as an apt allegory for what us human beings in general, and men in particular (pardon the sexist slur, I really mean it though :)), have been guilty of since times immemorial – futile wars, frightening carbon print, mutilation of our natural resources, nuclear pileup, the greed to control and the need to have it all!

The ending is quite prolonged (I genuinely feel the movie could have been cut short by atleast 30 minutes), and clich├ęd, and predictable. The obvious side that is good and right and utopian wins and the humans are packed to where they belong … and ultimately the true “AVATAR” is born.

Monday, December 21, 2009

World War III of Love

Just when I was thinking that TV watching was getting mundane, and reality shows becoming increasingly monotonous if not totally incongruous, MTV comes to my rescue with Splitsvilla 3, “where love is war”.

Well, for the uninitiated, this show is not about love; it is about a bunch of desperate youngsters craving for publicity on national TV in the vain hope that one day they will be transformed into a la Nikhil Chinappa or Purab Kohli, or get a breakthrough in one of the numerous saas-bahu sagas, or land up a modeling assignment, or, stretching imagination a little too far, even get to star in a bollywood flick.
Couples and singles in a villa bonding, rebonding, fighting, clawing, abusing and getting dumped – that in a nutshell, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Splitsvilla for you.

But, my criticism of the show ends right here. This reality show offers mega entertainment value. I could hands down give it a top slot in the most asinine yet highly amusing TV serials of all times. It’s a complete package encapsulating the gamut of human emotions – there is looove (supposedly, yes), hatred, anger, jealousy, cat fights, crocodile tears, failed attempts to woo the king and queen and pride and vanity, and the list goes on.
The highlights are ofcourse the RSRs (road side romeos) with the funny and unmistakable North-Indian accents who, had it not been for MTV, would most likely meet you down the road and propose to you “descent fraandship”; The “babes” with little clothes and lesser common sense – crude and crass, yet the fake British accent – even when they speak in Hindi or Punjabi. (To be fair, there are some exceptions, but not noteworthy :)).

What entertains me? All this.
A hectic work week, a lazy Saturday, boring soaps, movies with too many ads – who would mind unintelligent humor at the cost of desperadoes who are at their “real” best, with the channel extracting every idiosyncrasy (I swear I don’t blame them one bit) to create an hour of hysterically laughable moments.
There is still sometime for this show to reach the “dumping zone”!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Consolatory?

The state of sorrow is much complex;
Vivid, vibrant, and enigmatic,
Multi-layered, acute and profound;
If anything can be absolute,
It is anguish, distress and sadness.

Joy pales in comparison;
A superficial moment captured
With an agitated vulnerability;
Happiness is ephemeral, destructible.

Despair is eternal;
It enhances the charm
Of the subject it affects;
Adding strength to the character,
Are the tears held back
And not the smiles flashed.

No poet can do justice
To human emotion if he
Does not talk of
Aching hearts and bruised souls.
There is more to talk about
Dead winters and falling leaves
Than green summers and delightful springs.

What worth is the life that has not
Cried for love, nor lost a dear possession;
If you have not fallen off a swing,
Or been hurt by someone near;
If you have not failed a test that mattered
Nor cherished an unfulfilled dream
You still have miles to go…

In a perverse way, that joy does not,
Sorrow completes our existence.
It consummates the cycle of life -
Satiating the deep gorges
That beatitude leaves behind…

Friday, December 4, 2009

After a long long time...

The last 4 to 6 weeks have been maddening. A jam-packed work schedule left very little time to indulge in aspects of Life that interest me and are very dear to me - apart from ofcourse documenting applications that die out on you when you need to validate interface specifications, writing down boring UNIX based installation commands, sitting in endless planning and review meetings, and getting nightmares about packaging help instructions :p.

Well, thankfully, gears are shifting back to normal and I am in the process of catching up with myself - blissfully long hours of sleep, culinary gratification, retail therapy, a rejuvenating massage - yes, the order has been precisely this so far. And finally, today I did some sketching as well. (*clapping hands in glee*)

For details on how the artist bug bit me sometime mid of this year, see the following blog posts:
And here's presenting to you, after a very very long time, some determined Saturday morning work. Yes, yes, I am getting scratchy again - Practice, darling, practice I shall...


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