Friday, November 17, 2017

Delhi - Smo(kin)g Kills

What is going on with the chalta-hai (it's ok) attitude being the default mindset of India and Indians?

It seems like everytime there is a crisis our backbone shivers in terror and ties itself in knots like a collapsible thread.

Delhi has become a defacto Gas Chamber. That's a term that shouldn't be used lightly, but there is no alternative here. Delhities have been putting up with smog and polluted air for so long that it has become a fact of life rather than a abberation it should be. An average day in Delhi is like smoking  44 cigarettes.

Talk about passive smoking!!! Even chimney's spew less smoke...

India already has a pleathora of problems like overcrowding, infrastructure mess, disease and hunger affecting it without it adding Delhi's air crisis to it every year during the winter.

We aspire to be world leaders, but it is not an easy task if our own backyard is dirty and filthy. Where is the spine? Where is the work on War footing to fix our own messes? Governments and politicians have been long treating people as disposable vote banks to be used during the election season and then forgotten about them for the next 5 years.

Citizens of India, people of Delhi especially its time to say enough and start finding solutions instead of people to blame for the mess. It's our country, our land if we the people of the country won't get involved in fixing this then there is no hope for the country at all.

Enough!! Lets adopt the badalta hai attitude instead of Chalta Hai, its high time.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

OST - LOTR Trilogy

Title: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy OST
Artist: Howard Shore
Movies: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of The King
Buy: Amazon
Listen: YouTube Link

This ensemble song collection is composed by artist Howard Shore. It encompasses varied motifs from Hobbits, Orcs, Elfs, Dwarfs to battle, loss, victory and honor. A magnum opus of sound that will just inspire or sooth you on its day.

Music and More

This sub-section of my blog is being used to list the OSTs and background music that I am particularly fond of. You will find music from all genre here, I have a varied taste and I am open to listening to most of the genres.

Most of the music listed here is from YouTube. I listen from the site as much as possible. I have also included link to buy the music if you like it from Amazon Website. Please note that I am not an Amazon affiliate and stand to make no money from this.

This is only for enjoying and sharing music that touches souls. Keep listening & keep swaying....

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thor - Ragnarok - A DeadPoolish Reboot

Image Courtesy - IMDB

Movie Name: Thor Ragnarok
Starring: Chris Hemsworth,
Tom Hiddleston,
Cate Blanchett,
Idris Elba,
Jeff Goldblum,
Tessa Thompson,
Karl Urban,
Mark Ruffalo, & Anthony Hopkins.
Special Appearance: Benedict Cumberbatch


The Thor movies have really been a sore point in the almost dream like run that Marvel movies have enjoyed over the past decade. The genre was just not that inspiring to people other than the rabid Thor fans out there. Hence Thor Ragnarok seems almost like the entire was rebooted in terms of imagery, scale, action, music and plot compared to the previous two movies.

Thor Ragnarok sets itself off different to the Thor franchise almost immediately by making Thor displaying an almost DeadPoolish sense of humor right off the bat rather than the archaic, stoic Thor seen in the previous two movies. He gives as good as he gets in his interactions with Loki and the camaraderie with Banner/Hulk is awesome. The movie looks and feels like an intergalactic road trip or coming of age journey for the Asgardian as he gets his butt kicked by Hela, loses his hammer Mjolnir - again to Hela and gets stranded on a planet where he has to fight and defeat his buddy Hulk to get out.

The movie introduces quite a few new characters in addition to bringing back the Hulk. Comic book fans will get excited at seeing favorites like: Valkyrie, Korg, the GrandMaster, Topaz to name a few in addition to seeing Asgardians like Skurge and the Warrior Three back.

We finally know what happened to Hulk and why he was missing from the Captain America: Civil War fracas. Poor Banner imagine being stuck for 2 years with just fight, rest, eat, repeat cycle. The Hulk finally has a meaty enough role rather than the few scenes here and there in every Avenger smashing things. In Thor Ragnarok the starring role is played by the Hulk who is the more prominent one rather than Banner. The interactions between the Hulk and Valkyrie is playful and the Hulk is shown to be a big man child who just wants to play rather than the green rage monster who destroys everything.

The scenes of the contest between the Hulk and Thor, Hulk and Fenris and finally Hulk going toe to toe with Surtur is the highlight in the movie. We get the wackiness of the director Taika Waititi beautifully in the interactions between all the characters in the movie.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki is back to doing what he does best, making mischief and taking advantage of every opportunity good or bad to push his own agenda forward. Dr. Strange make a surprising but effective cameo at the start of the movie and basically for the Dr. Strange continuity it shows that his powers are growing by leaps and bounds over the period of time that he has spent off screen since becoming the Sorceror Supreme of the earth. He is now comfortable in his skin and also able to wield his powers and the Eye of Agamotto with great panache.

Marvel has always lacked good villains, I think this has been the principle beef for the franchise. Yes we all know that Thanos is the Big Bad, but other than Loki in the first Avenger movies nobody has been able to step up onto to this big stage to go toe to toe with Avengers. So rather the Avengers have been left to fight amongst themselves in the Civil War. Guardians of the Galaxy on the other hand have favoured a bit better by facing off against Ronan The Accuser and Ego, both who had the raw power to back up their bragadicco.


The ease with which Hela destroys Mjolnir and destroys the entire army of Asgard alone shows her strength and it remains to be seen how Thanos would react to seeing the Goddess of Death in flesh.

We also get to see why Heimdall is the Gatekeeper for the Bifrost and why he's the most respected in the Relm second to Odin.


Overall Ragnarok scores high on music, visual, scale and graphics. The characters standout even those making small cameos like Jeff Goldblum as Gradmaster - one of the ageless Elder. I bet Marvel has plans for him on a grand scale. Also Hela dismissing the gauntlet in Odin's vault as fake gives Marvel a way out - dismissing the question of two gauntlets in the MCU.

BTW we all know Loki took the Tesseract and we just know that the self serving God of Mischief will use it as a bargaining chip with Thanos to suit himself as usual.

Ragnarok is a fun watch and one of the more entertaining movies from Marvel. The viewer just has to strap themselves in and enjoy the intergalactic road trip between the best buddies. Definitely worth watching.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mersal - A modern day Apoorva Sagodharargal

Image Source - Wikipedia
Vijay's Mersal hit the theaters last week and I had the opportunity to catch a show at the local theater on this weekend.  I must say I have mixed feelings about this movie. Now I know this is not what my Tamil friends would like to hear about their superstar but in my honest opinion Vijay can do a lot better than the movies he's been doing recently.

Vijay has the caliber and capacity to carry a movie on his shoulders by the sheer intensity of his performance, but unfortunately his selection of movies has been letting him down these past few years. For the life of me I cannot explain his choices in Bairavaa, Theri and the less said about Puli the better. Gimme the Vijay from Thuppakki or Kaththi

Atlee has a penchant for remaking old movies in newer bottling. All his previous movies have been heavily inspired by older classics and Mersal is not much different. It borrows heavily from Apoorva Sagodharargal.  Vijay plays a triple role similar to Kamal Hassan in the original. What differs in this movie is that the role of the father character - Thalapathy has been expounded and given a lot more relevance with a bulk of the 2nd half dedicated to the flashback in comparison with Apoorva Sagodharargal where the flashback was narrated in the opening half within 10-15 minutes of the movie opening.

While Apoorva Sagodharargal had a tighter plot and the different threads in the story came together at the end, in Mersal the plot has a lot of holes. There are too many things left unsaid and I as a viewer was left wondering how the story progressed from point A to point B. Also some of the plot points were a bit hard for me to digest.

If you are a Vijay fan or planning to watch Mersal over the weekend I would implore you to not click on the spoilers button below.



Now that I have got that out of the way, lets look at the good and the bad in the movie.

Good:

  1. Vijay - of course Vijay is the whole and soul of this movie. While the double role needed refinement, Vijay is at his stylish best dancing, fighting and emoting with elan. He's firing on all cylinders and he nails his best performance as Thalapathy. It has been long rumoured that Vijay has political ambitions and in this movie he uses every frame and moment to set the course if he is so inclined. The comparison with MGR is particularly on the nose. 😀
  2. Vadivelu - The comedian has been missing from the silver screen for some time now and he makes his return with aplomb. The actor pulls no punches taking the mickey out of digital India and it is one of the best scenes in the movie. I guarantee you a laugh.
  3. Social Issue - The movie sheds a light on how medicine is considered a business in India.Sadly it is a truth. Doctors are inconsiderate, government medical systems are archaic and private hospitals are fiefdoms run to make money every which way they can. Where is the nobility in the profession?

Bad:

  1. Screenplay - this is my pet peeve with almost all movies made in India. The screenplay/story has almost no sense of tangibility. Time spent on improving the story is spent almost frivolously on inane stuff, romance and songs. A tighter flashback and some trimming of the romantic characters would have allowed for a greater depth in the story elevating the movie
  2. Music - What the hell is wrong with ARR? He seems like a shadow of his past. In the recent years the music from ARR seems almost heart breakingly pedestrian. It is hard to reconcile the current ARR with the maestro who gave foot tapping numbers with such diligent frequency. Damn even his Airtel jingle was memorable and foot tapping compared to the recent songs. I cannot even remember how the music was in the movie, even the hyped Aalaporaan Thamizhan did not stay with me. ☹️
  3. Direction - Atlee has delivered a hit with this movie, but IMO the original Apoorva Sagodharargal was a much better movie compared to this one.
  4. U/A rating - The movie was deemed U/A by the censor board, I very humbly choose to disagree, the movie shows people being killed, gored and accidents in hyper slow motion with blood flowing liberally. To top it off we also have a C section shown in full glory with a decapitation. There is too much of bloodfest in the movie for it to be seen by kids especially those younger than 15 years. I felt uncomfortably like I was somehow transported to a SAW movie. It should have been rated 17 and above. We need more categories in our censor certification.

Vijay & Vadivelu are the only saving grace in an otherwise forgettable outing. If you get a itching to watch Mersal do one better and watch Apoorva Sagodharargal