Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Books books.. Am back to you, my love!!!

Its been a while.. and now am finally back to reading like the maniac i am!! Had bought a couple of books at the newly opened Full Circle abt 2months back!!! And now those books keep me company at night before hitting the zzzzz..!! i love you booooooks.... every page is divine!!!

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I have read his earlier books.. Blink, recommended by a friend, following which i read Tipping Point[ which is in fact his 1st book]...

In this book, he talks about what makes high-achievers different from others.... According to him, we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and not enough to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and even links their birthday or month or year to their success. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made Beatles the greatest rock band.

Just about 100 pages into the book.. will finish reading and write complete review!!!

The 2nd book i've started is Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon... The cover looked appealing and it was related to India, so thought let me give it a shot!! Not bad i must say!! :)

Alexander Frater follows the monsoons-unsteady northerly progress, pursuing its bliss and destruction as well is his own family ghosts, Elegantly insightful and humorous, he captures the delirious celebration and relief with which India greets its liquid transformation. If all travel books were this good, everyone would just stay home and read.

The last book in the list was what i got day before evening-- Chai Chai by  Bishwanath Ghosh

This book has me engrossed... its a super light read.. things we can relate to, identify with.... He decides to roam the towns beyond station yards — towns with unique names like Itarsi, Mughal Sarai, Arakkonam and Jolarpettai, Jhansi, and Guntakal.. All he does is mix with locals, learn about history, discover the lives of those who pass by that town.........

There's a discussion on this tomorrowe... Hoping to go for it... will be my 1st such book meet.... :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

[Movie] Wake up Sid

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Anupam Kher, Supriya Pathak, Rahul Khanna

Director: Ayan Mukerji

Music: Shankar Ehsaan & Loy

Rating: ****1/2

Verdict: Good light fun movie!!

“Wake Up Sid” was one delightful movie. The movie has a constant smooth flow throughout; no over the top or understated drama scenes; no ultra emotional strangulation of the audiences; absolutely no hippie-yuppie cool dude acting by Ranbir; and last but not the least, a very realistic, and refreshing story.

  A movie that reminds you of those fun college days,  where there is one guy who is the rich brat, not worried about anything in life, always surrounded by money and fancy stuff. Wake up Sid is the story of how Sid transforms from a spoilt rich brat to a responsible young man.. and the journey is so real and so so much fun, the audience is with him through the way!!!

While the film actually becomes really engrossing in the second half, the first half facilitates an adequate groundwork for the story to progress. As you watch Sid mature, and by the time he returns to his dad (Anupam Kher in a short but effective role), you realise that the destination was eventually met even as the journey wasn’t quite ‘on your face’ or ‘over the top’.

 Meanwhile Konkona gets yet another complex role for herself. She is absolutely brilliant. Watch out for her in the interview scene with Rahul Khanna and the emotional outburst when Ranbir decides to go back to his parents’ house. Her irritation is so utterly believable and so are the tender ways in which she looks after him, and the slow process of falling in love with the guy she thought was her total opposite.... :)

 The beauty of ‘Wake Up Sid’ lies in the honesty with which all the characters have been portrayed, bringing them so close to the real life. Be it the problem of English-speaking Sid not being on the same wavelength as his Punjabi-speaking Mom or the Sid who is simply wonderful with his friends, we identify with him completely. The simple dialogues of the movie make it all the more easy to relate with.The good part about the ‘transformation’ that Sid undergoes in the movie is that it comes over a period of time, not overnight or within the space of a song.
Yes, the character of Sid has various similarities to Hrithik in Lakshya, Aamir / Saif in Dil Chahta Hai but this movie will leave an imprint in your heart, and you will walk out of the theater humming Wake up Sid!!
Fav songssssss that i've been tripping on multiple times during the day... -- Kya Karoon?', 'Iktara', 'Wake Up Sid'

Thursday, October 08, 2009

[Movie] The Soloist -"Based on a True Story."

Director: John Wright

Jamie Foxx (Nathaniel Anthony Ayers)
Robert Downey Jr. (Steve Lopez)
Catherine Keener (Mary Weston)
Tom Hollander (Graham Claydon)

Rating: ****3/4

The Soloist opens with Los Angeles Times Columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) riding his bike down a slope and crashing head first on the ground.... But the real story begins when he meets Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a talented musician who's been playing a two-stringed violin while living on the streets and battling mental illness[hears voices in his head] ...Instantly drawn to Ayers’s passion for music, especially Beethoven, Lopez begins to write a series of columns about his new acquaintance while attempting to get him off the streets and perform again.

The lady who sends the Cello she has used for 15odd years before Arthritis confined her to a chair, and how the Cello rides to Lopez is a beautiful scene... The way Nathaniel looks in awe at the New Cello, how he does not want to let go of it are heart wrenching scenes...  Amidst numerous achievements and setbacks, Lopez and Ayers develop a friendship based on mutual respect despite their many differences, and Lopez rediscovers his humanity.

The movie uses sound and silence very well. Two great examples are a flaming car passing Nathaniel’s window in a flashback during the race-riots and Steve jumping into his fancy car to escape the sights and sounds of the homeless around him. This is a perfect way of showing two different worlds.

The voices in Nathaniel’s head give us an insight into how frustrating life must be for him but there are too many scenes with people sitting listening to him play. The sequence with neon colours flashing on screen while an orchestra performs has quite an effect on the audience...

The driving force behind this movie is, without doubt, the lead actors in the form of Foxx and Downey Jr as they prove to be a powerful combination. Foxx is left to run with his character of Ayers, whose only desire is to play music, and his performance is every bit as good as that in Ray.

Jamie Foxx- with his eyes darting, head bowed down, wacko sense of dressing, anger on a low simmer, doesn't cheat in his portrait of Ayers' illness. Something inside him will always remain unreachable. Downey's eyes finally come to reflect that acceptance, capturing the film's heart.  

The Soloist isn't about Big fancy moments, a fairly slow movie, it leaves you wondering what happens next... even after switching the DVD off...!!  beautiful is how i would describe the movie!!