February 23, 2009

Rahman rocks Hollywood!

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We didn't need Hollywood to tell us that Allah Rakkha Rahman (or A R Rahman, as we know him) is a genius. But the Oscar is definitely welcome, and Rahman deserves it all the way. He's the first Indian music director to have taken the path less trodden and composing with a fresh, imaginative mind. I first encountered Rahman when I heard Dil Se... and I recall that the haunting music really grabbed me and made me reconsider Bollywood music...which I wasn't a fan of at that time.

Then on, this shy, but consistent music maestro has delivered hits like Taal, Fiza, Zubeidaa (another beautiful album), Yuva, Swades, Jodhaa Akbar, Ghajini and now Delhi-6. Slumdog Millionaire is not Rahman's first tryst with the West as he has worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the Broadway musical, Bombay Dreams.

The greatest quality of Rahman is that he completely blends his music with the stroyline and character of the film. Take his latest, Delhi-6 example. He's done this album so well, you would think its a Delhi native and not a man hailing from Tamil Nadu who's created it.

As for Slumdog Millionaire, it's certainly not his best work, but far superior than the film music Bollywood and even Hollywood normally churns out.

Kudos, Rahman!

P.S: Rahman becomes the first Indian to win an Oscar, in fact, two. He was awarded at the 81st Academy Awards. http://www.arrahman.com/v2/

February 14, 2009

Seven Pounds: The goodness within

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How much goodness are we capable of? In today's world wrecked by terror and death, you wouldn't even trust your next-door neighbour. But in Seven Pounds, Will Smith plays a character who will literally jolt you out of your indifference.

It would not be right to reveal the plot in my review because the storytelling and screenplay in the movie is fantastic, which keeps you guessing and wondering about the reason behind Will, who calls himself Ben Thomas in the movie, being so perfectly good.

No longer do we see characters in movies today which sacrifice their happiness and come close to sacrificing their lives for the happiness of others. It does seem a bit unrealistic until you realize at the end that there was a very strong driving force, guilt, which made Ben the way he is. A small mistake which changes his life so drastically that Ben loses his identity and lives only for others.

With this movie, Will has proven that he is an actor who knows what he is doing. Watch Seven Pounds for the strings that it will surely pull in your soul, and make you wonder: Am I capable of even a fraction of that kindness?

February 11, 2009

Pink lingerie as a political weapon

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I don't know how effective the Pink Chaddi movement is going to be, but it has certainly got our attention. The Consortium of Pubgoing, Loose and Forward women are doing this campaign to send out pink underwears to Sri Ram Sena, the people who are making the life of women in Mangalore miserable.

It's interesting, but is it enough of a response to the violence and humiliation that women had to go through? This activism immediately reminded me of the bra-burning of the 70s when women declared their sexual freedom. We need to ensure that we get the message across loud and clear: we will not be manhandled by religious goons. We have a right to be who we are -- whether we drink, smoke or wear short skirts is OUR choice.

Obviously, there are a lot of people in India who are not hardliners, but still disapprove of women partying at pubs -- such as your neighbourhood Aunty (whose daughter eloped with her boyfriend, but this doesn't stop her from making snide remarks about other girls) or your landlord. The point is: they have a constitutional right to do that. just like the SRS has a right to (forcefully) declare their views. we couldn't stop them, so why stop women from having fun? If you are so concerned about Indian values, instill them in your children and leave it at that.

No one can control the customary steps that the next generation takes to declare itself different from the previous one. And I do feel that the purpose of a lot of young, school-going kids who frequent pubs (what legal drinking age?) is not to have fun but show that they have the freedom to do what they want. THAT is where we need some moral lessons.

What we DON'T want is to stop young men and women of legal drinking age to go out and have fun.

February 3, 2009

Welcome to Indian democracy

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This post comes in a bit late, considering that hooligans taking over our country is an alarming situation. First they were burning Christians in Orissa alive, now they are humiliating women in Mangalore. At this moment, I am sure they are rolling up their sleeves for Valentine's day so they can thrash couples. Even the government and police are supporting them.

Is it just me, or is democracy in India being taken too far? Come to think of it, it's because of the freedom that Gujjars can block our roads in Delhi and prevent us from going to work because of a spat they have in Rajasthan, doctors can leave their patients to die because they are on strike and people are afraid to put up Urdu signs in Mumbai, because it's in Mahrashtra and Raj Thackery can't stand any other type of Indians.

India is a democracy where:
- we elect the same leaders who will become parasites later
- we forget injustices done to innocent people and elect Modi as CM again
- we don't mind the filth and mess around us because we don't expect the government to fix it
- we have to take care of our own security because Indian police is the most corrupt (after politicians, of course)
- court judgements can go on for centuries, after your bones have turned to powder
- any hooligan can come and attack you in the name of freedom of expression

It makes me sad that such a progressive nation is being bled by such sick elements.