A solution to infrastructure problems

Here is a solution to the infrastructure problems of this country from who else but our very own Superstar (Rajnikanth). See how he lays roads wherever he goes in this trailer of his eagerly awaited movie “Sivaji”.

I must thank my friend ‘Captain’ (no .. no … not that one) for pointing this out.

Wonder what all the movie will do if the trailer itself throws up such innovative solutions, ;-)

Cheeni Kum: Review

 

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Its been ages since I saw last a good Bollywood movie. I went to “Cheeni Kum” with very low expectations as the movie had a bold story line and as it came after Nishabd which was such a @#@$#$ ….. … well …. lets move on to better things in life. I think Cheeni Kum’s director and his team have done a wonderful job, considering the difficulties in making a meaningful movie using such a story line.

The story in short: 64 year old Budhadev Gupta (Amitabh) is the owner, in his own words, of “London’s finest Indian restaurant” Spice6. 34 year old Nina Verma (Tabu) is a software professional from India. Budha’s pride is challenged when Nina returns a dish in his restaurant. Budha challenges her, comments on her lack of taste but later discovers that it is his staff that has erred. Budha’s desire to say sorry and his subsequent meetings with Nina sparks off the romance between them. Watch the movie for more.

Amitabh and Tabu have portrayed their characters very well. Tabu looks fabulous !!!!! I can’t imagine any one else fitting the role better. Special mention must be made of the kid Swini Khara. She plays Amitabh’s 9 year old neighbour and close confidante. The role looks tailor made for her and she seems to have made the most of what was offered to her. What a brilliant performance !! Zohra Sehgal, who plays Amitabh’s WWE-obsessed mother, has also acted well. Humor is sprinkled all throughout the movie with all characters, especially Amitabh’s kitchen staff, contributing to it.

The music is good. Ilayaraja scores with modernized versions of his old tracks and shows he is still a force to reckon with. Shreya Ghoshal’s voice adds all the cheeni that is required.

I would be doing a grave injustice if I didn’t mention about the camera work. What a fine job by PC Sreeram. Just too good !!

The second half seems to slacken a bit, especially with Paresh Rawal, who plays the role of Nina’s dad, hell bent on streching a one dayer to a five day test match. Otherwise, the movie has been made very well.

Cheeni kum hai, par mithas barkaraar hai. Jaao, chak lo !!!!

PS: I watched the movie in Sathyam Cinemas’ 6 Degrees and I must say that the comfortable seats and the well maintained theater contributed a lot towards the nice experience. Hope they maintain such high standards in the future too.

 

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(Images courtesy: http://movies.sulekha.com, http://www.sawf.org , http://www.cinemaclock.com , http://www.bollyvista.com)

S. Malavika @ HCL Concert Series, Chennai

Venue: Kasturi Srinivasan Hall, Music Academy, TTK Road, Chennai

Date: 26 May 2007

Organizer: HCL & Music Academy (HCL Concert Series)

Vocal: Vid S. Malavika

Violin: Vid Akkarai Swarnalatha

Mrudangam: Vid Trivandrum Hariharan

List of songs:

1) vanajAkshi (varnam) – kalyANi – kanDa aTa – pallavi gOpAla iyer (O)

2) tatvamariya taramA – rItigowLa – Adi – pApanAsam sivan (S)

3) sharavaNa bhava enum tirumandiram – shanmugapriyA – Adi – pApanAsam sivan

4) sarisamAna deivamulEdani – viTapi – Adi – spencer vENugOpAl (S)

5) tyAgarAjAya namastE – bEgaDA – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (A)

6) durmArga carAdamulanu – ranjani – rUpakam – thyAgarAja

7) swAmikku sari evvarE – kEdAragauLa – misra cApu – pApanAsam sivan (AS)

8 ) nArAyaNA ninna – sudha danyAsi – kanDa cApu – purandaradAsa

9) rAgam tAnam pallavi – kalyANi – Adi (2 kaLai) (T)

pallavi wordings: “kAmAkSi mAtangi brOvavE, kamalanayanE kanci”

10) dhIm tana dhIm (tillAnA) – behAg – Adi (tisra gati) – lAlguDi g. jayarAman

11) sIr siRakkumEni (tiruppugazh) – rAgamAlikA – kanDa tripuTa – aruNagirinAthar

12) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – saurAshTram – Adi – thyAgarAja

(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)

Vid S. Malavika, a student of veteran vaiNika Smt. Padmavathy Ananthagopalan, presented a very very impressive concert. Her singing showed a lot of maturity. It was as though one was hearing a very experienced artist. She sang each sangati multiple times adopting an unhurried approach. Bhrigas seemed to come to her effortlessly. Her alapanas had many of those piDis that characterize the ragas she chose for elaboration. kEdAragauLa and kalyANi alapanas need special mention.

She was very ably accompanied by Vid Akkarai Swarnalatha on the violin and Vid Trivandrum Hariharan on the mrudangam. Vid Swarnalatha was especially impressive in the pallavi rendition. She seemed to grasp the calculations very quickly, both while playing the pallavi in trikAlam as well as while playing kalpana swarams in tisra gati. Vid Hariharan played well for all the songs. His accompaniment for the aTa tALa varnam needs special mention. Taniavartanam had the catusra and tisra naDais.

The pallavi was structured as follows (B = 1 beat, 1 Avartanam of Adi (2 kaLai) = 16 beats, starts 1B after samam ):

kA (1.5B) mAkSi (1.5B) mA (1B) tangi (1.5B) brO (1B) va (0.5B) vE (+ gap = 3.5B) ka (0.5B) ma (0.5B) la (1B) na (0.5B) ya (0.5B) nE (1B) kanci (1.5B)

Whoever tuned the (rAgamAlikA) tiruppugazh she sang has done a nice job. Each set of 2-3 lines brought out the essence of the rAga it was based in. If I remember correctly, the ragas were shankarAbharaNam (?), husEni, sArangA, aTANA, vasantA, sAmA, amrutavarshiNi and suruTTi.

Vid Malavika is certainly an artist to watch out for.

 

Captain Mania Returns – 1

Captain, one of the greatest stars of World Cinema, for your viewing pleasure:

Lights cigarette with his blood; sends villains flying by touching his moustache

Gives some work to his arms and legs too

Gives shock to electricity itself

Types in Windows Media Player !!! Eats, drinks and breathes teamwork !!!!!

Indian Superheroes

Indian superheroes for your viewing pleasure:

Superman & Spiderwoman together. Spiderwoman even flies by herself:

Superman in action:

A Superman-like superhero performing cosmic dance (comes with English subtitles so that one can understand the technicalities ;-) ):

Chennai 600028

Picture this …. you are watching a movie from DVD on your color TV (1989 make) at home with your family and friends, with the digital sound trying to come out from the TV’s speakers. You are sitting on the floor, having sugary, watery lemonade to beat the summer heat and some half-roasted popcorn to get that feeling of watching a movie in a multiplex. Suddenly something comes and bites you and you realize you are the latest victim of the ant menace that has surfaced again this summer too.

Replace your TV screen and speakers with those of this multiplex, the lemonade with Mountain Dew, the floor with some seats made of hard rock, the ants with mootta poochis (don’t know what they are called in English but imagine any insect whose touch will leave you with a day full of itches), litter the floor with popcorns and what not, and you are not in your home but in a famed multiplex at the outskirts of Chennai. So much for home entertainment !!

Coming back to the topic at hand, “Chennai 600028″ is a Tamil movie centered around the rivalry between two local gali cricket teams – (Visalakshi Thottam) Sharks and (Royapuram) Rockers. The rivalry is so intense that they are hell bent on beating each other both on and off the field. The movie starts Lagaan style with a big map of India (or was it a world map?) that is joomed in (Captain style) to show Tamil Nadu, its districts and finally Chennai. The movie is about the days leading to the gali cricket tournament which both teams want to win. The theme of gali cricket helps the director to make a connection with the audience (as many would have played cricket in the gali with a tennis ball) and also helps to keep the budget really low, especially with boys-next-door and the girls-next-door making up the star cast. The comedy element surfaces from time to time reminding viewers that they at least have something to fall back upon (especially with such hard seats in the movie hall). The movie must have been shot with the help of a Doordarshan camera man because the lighting is pathetic in many of the scenes and in one match sequence, the ball goes somewhere else while the focus is on the players who, if I remember correctly, are celebrating the fall of a wicket.

The actors, though appearing like amateurs, have portrayed their characters well. Their portrayal gives the movie a realistic feel. The ending is different from that in conventional films. The music is okay stuff. Some songs are peppy. Some are not required at all. They could have been restricted to just the audio release, if there was any absolute necessity to include them somewhere. They just slacken the pace of the movie. And, if the itches from the mootta poochis weren’t enough, there was this “Enna koduma sir idhu” dialogue that would make you pul-arichufy every time it came.

On the whole, the movie is a good attempt at a theme that is different from the usual ones that are taken up in Tamil movies. The movie can be a good watch provided you choose one of the better multiplexes within the city.