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Archive for the ‘I BELIEVE’ Category

A coincidence and then not so much

Posted by Sowmya:) on August 1, 2014

There are very few things the husband and I agree on. Really….it’s as cliche as chalk and cheese. If you pick any topic, incident, book or movie, you can safely and rightly assume we will have diametrically opposite view points. Always!
So I try to avoid too many discussions since we talk, discuss, debate and finally reach a full blown fight. Both of us end up getting very passionate about our view point and it escalates all too easily.
Yesterday, we had a rare moment when the daughter was too busy with her toys to bother about us while we sipped tea watching the rains. A lazy round of the remote landed us at Yaadein. The husband was aghast that I stopped to watch it while I thought it would be a good time for a laugh. (See!). While we debated on the merits (one or two) and demerits (innumerable) of the movie, the husband remarked “Hrithik Roshan is a lousy actor”. That set me off. You see, I have this theory about Hrithik Roshan. I believe he is probably the most talented actor in the country today. He is. But his choice of movies, primarily the burden of having to act in his father’s films, has led him to being just ‘a good looking guy who can act’ instead of ‘the best actor we have seen in a long long time’.
To sooth my very ruffled feathers, the husband decided we needed to come up with Hrithik’s best five films which would tell us what each of us think about him. Sounded fair. So, the husband’s top 5 were (in no particular order) – Zindagi na milegi dobara, Luck by chance, Lakshya, Agneepath and Mission Kashmir. That was the biggest coincidence ever- we almost agreed. Our top 4 were the same. I only wanted to replace Mission Kashmir with Jodha Akbar.
Yeah, I know you are laughing. Jodha Akbar?! Yes. The best part about Hrithik Roshan is his little reactions and expressions which express a lot more than lengthy dialogues or carefully choreographed dance. His mischievous smile when he notices Jodha voyeuristically staring at him and then showing off for her or his simmering anger when he thinks she has betrayed him to meet a former fiancé or his broken heart when he finds out he was being deceived by a woman he thought was more than his mother coupled with his guilt over doubting his wife. Jodha Akbar was full of these small expressions and actions that made us fall for the love story of the king who was just another man wooing his woman.

But then, the husband and I realized that our agreeing to each other was not a coincidence at all. His good movies were so few that there were not too many to choose from. These were the default choices. What else could we have chosen? Krish or Mai Prem ki Diwani Hoon? Damn! And here I thought we were actually getting to understand each other!

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To cut a long story short

Posted by Sowmya:) on July 22, 2014

I have often wondered as to why Hollywood movies are better than our Hindi or Tamil movies. They are, at least according to me. But I have not been able to come up with a satisfactory explanation for it. I do love Hindi and Tamil movies. They were what I grew up on. I did see the occasional English movie but it was mostly the big hits like Jurassic Park or Titanic. My staple diet started including English movies only after I married an English movie buff and I watched them first under duress and then with forbearance and finally with relish.

It was then I started thinking as to why they were better. Even the not so good ones could be seen at least once without much difficulty. The main reason, I concluded, is the length of the movie. Of course, the songs are to blame for the length. But more than that it is the long winding way we take to get to the point. (something like this blog post!) The first half of most of the movies can be done away with. They don’t do much to further the storyline. Most movies have a first half in which the hero is enjoying life, falls in love with the heroine and respects his parents / has a loving home. The story begins towards the end of the first half. Somewhere 15 minutes before the interval we get a glimpse of what could be a potential problem in the hero’s life. He then faces it and quickly solves it within an hour and finishes the movie easily.

Take, for example, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge. The story synopsis would be – carefree boy meets introvert girl, they fall in love, parents oppose and finally relent. But in order to get to the point, it takes them half of Europe and 3 songs. Yeah, we get it. They fall in love and are bound to each other for the rest of their seven lives. Move on.

I saw this movie yesterday – Velai Iladha Pattadhari. It was about this guy who had an engineering degree but no job. Finally his mother dies after which he gets the passion to do something, lands a job and finishes a huge construction project despite various obstacles. Again, we spend more than an hour to know that his father and mother are concerned about his joblessness. His younger brother has a job which is even more frustrating for him and as luck would have it, his pretty dentist neighbor loves him. The rest of the story is done in a jiffy.

Wouldn’t it be a richer story if we focus on the real plot instead of the fluff? If we could spend some time with the hero, understand his thoughts and more importantly his fears. How he did stuff despite being scared of them and what it means for him to win. How he savors his victory. We could have movies almost as long as we have them now but wouldn’t they be better? Get to the point asap!

There is a popular saying for writers “Start as close to the end as possible”. Should that not be true for movies as well?

 

 

 

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Top 5 Vague justifications

Posted by Sowmya:) on May 2, 2014

We all get free advice and some of us dole them out too in scoops and dollops. I don’t have so much problem with the advice as I have to the reasoning or justification behind it. If you can give me some reasonable explanation I will listen to you. I may not act according to your advice but I will understand where you are coming from and I may be able to formulate a thought as to why that would work for you but not for me. Or I would accept it if it does work for me. But vague justifications are most irritating. Some of the most popular ones are –

1. It’s good for you.
What does that even mean? Is being good for me not a basic consideration and all options which are not good for me automatically rejected? All options that are to be considered have to be good for me. It’s a given. That cannot be the be all and end all of your advice. Not happening.

2. It’s good for health
That one is as vague as vague can get. Good for health? Do you mean it is good for my eyes or stamina or energy? Maybe liver, lungs, heart? Don’t you think that is one important piece of information you need to provide? If I have a good heart condition with no problems whatsoever, then don’t I have the choice to reject some yucky albeit edible stuff?

3. It’s good for the baby
That is one freaky piece of advice. You come at the most vulnerable time for a woman and scare the hell out of her, with best intentions of course. Then you proceed to tell her some mumbo jumbo with the damning suffix -“It’s good for the baby”. Not fair. Not fair at all.

4. You will thank me in 25 years
Agreed, I plan to live a long and healthy life. But, you are telling me that I may realize the benefit of today’s action only after 25 years? Honestly, does it make sense at all? And no, giving an example of a mother taking care of her child’s health is not done. Think something more original.

5. I have seen life / I have more experience
Sure you have. But do you realize how much the world has changed in the last five years? Do you think either of us know how it will be even 2 years hence? Your experiences may or may not have relevance in today’s scene then how can I take that as a basis to decide my tomorrow? Seriously, think about it.

And a bonus one inspired by my cousin-
6. We never asked our parents and did as we were told
Sure! That would have resulted in obedient children but not much of progress. We can not move ahead and discover and invent new things if we keep listening to the past. Good reason?

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Art Appreciation – WordPress Writing Promots

Posted by Sowmya:) on April 30, 2014

Do you need to agree with an artist’s lifestyle or politics to appreciate their art? To spend money on it?

This is one question I have debated on quite a bit with friends and relatives.
It has also undergone a sea change for me as I grew and I thi I am more or less sure about what my opinion in this regard is.

When I was a teenager, the artist affected me as much as his or her art. It made a difference to me as to what kind of person I was appreciating. Mostly I appreciate or had an opinion in the person and my opinion of the
art varied depending on whose it was.

But as I grew and understood more, I realize that the artist’s lifestyle or political opinion are his own. They may have an influence on his art but I should restrict my opinion to the art and not the artist.

I remember the huge hullabaloo that was generated when Aamir Khan divorced his wife and remarried. That is when I gave this topic a serious thought. He is one of my favorite actors. Would his movies be less entertaining because of this decision? If not, then why should his personal life make a difference to me? If so, then my next step would simply be to stop watching the movies. Commenting on his personal life is still not within my rights.

Then the whole Sanjay Dutt episode came to light. What do we do in such cases? His art may not be affected by his personal views but would it be right for me to watch his movies and indirectly support him? I have watched almost all his movies, I confess. But should his personal actions not influence me at all in this scenario?

So I guess an artist’s personal life is personal when it does not affect anyone else. But an act against public good should not be ignored. Am I right?

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Why we ‘Like’

Posted by Sowmya:) on April 29, 2014

So this is something I have been thinking for a while now. Why do we click ‘Like’ on Facebook? My theory is that there are few reasons why we do it-

1. It’s a close friend’s post and we have nothing much to say. So Like

2. Friend has posted only 73 photos of their recent vacation. We can’t be expected to see ALL the pictures. So just click random pictures and Like.

3. A ex-close friend (someone who we were very close to but have now drifted away) posts something. We want to say “wow” or “I agree” or “way to go” but either we are too lazy to type it or we are scared of the million follow up messages from his/her other friends we would be forced to read. So Like.

4. The person likes and comments on all posts we write. So sweet. But the stuff they post is beyond your understanding. But how do we show solidarity or appreciation? Like

5. Someone compliments you and you don’t know how to accept it without embarrassing yourself. So Like.

6. You actually like what they are posting. Really?????

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