The Dumb and the Different

***This is an “anger post”, so please be careful while reading this. These types of posts are initiated as a result of watching movies with very high expectations and not getting the needed results. Such posts are rare, but right out the heart without second thoughts, and not suitable for people with the tolerance level of a brainless/braindead zombie always hoping to eat the brains of humans. If you are not such a zombie, please proceed and read. Otherwise, close this tab right now.

Vampire Owl: Is this post brought out of blessings from Werewolf Anger instead of Uncle Dracula?

Vampire Bat: Yes, after watching this movie, Uncle Dracula had to be admitted in the Northern Gothic Infirmary.

Vampire Owl: Oh! I didn’t know that. In that case, please continue! I shall now go and visit him.

I have watched many terrible movies in my life. Just a few days ago, I came across the movie Tamasha on the first day of its release, the first day itself. Even though I liked the idea to be conveyed in the movie, I couldn’t manage to like the movie even a bit just like the others in the theatre, out of which only about ten people could stay until the end of the flick. The movie’s idea, if presented well, could have made it one of the best Bollywood movies of the year, but unfortunately, that was not the case. What I am going to tell you will be easier for you to understand if you watches Malayalam movies. Otherwise, you can either try harder or attempt not to read this.

Another thing about which I wish to be perfectly clear about is that I am not going to accept the comments of the fan-boys and fan-girls here, and I will just talk about what I thought could have been better about this movie and why it needed to do different for me; not for you. I am sure that certain addicted Bollywood fans can make themselves like this one better, and same is the case of the fans of the leading actors. But from a neutral point of you, I will provide my opinion here. If you don’t like it, don’t be a dumb fan and start abuse – choose to be rational. I have waited for the weekend to end before writing this one because I wanted most of you to watch this movie and come to a conclusion. Here are the reasons.

1. Why always the same story?: Well, the first thing I expected here is a complete change of the story, but it wasn’t there. I don’t understand why Bollywood needs to keep bringing the romantic angle into everything. This is once again the guy and girl meeting, singing songs, having dumb fun, leaving to meet again as they wonder what they had/have/will have is love or something else. Romance is not inspiration; love stories are not motivational because the point of life is not new generation infatuation which is shows in this movie – it is good people around us who inspires us. This story is just a repetition and for some reason, it keeps coming at us again and again. Is it at least interesting? No.

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Meanwhile, this movie has two leading star performers and there is no romance.

2. Not able to connect with the characters: The hero of this movie is like Nivin Pauly of Oru Vadakkan Selfie, the only difference is that the person here tries to study and finish his course while Umesh played by Nivin decides not to study the course which he didn’t liked and failed in it. But he was a realistic character and we could relate to so many things that he was shown doing. But the hero Ved played by Ranbir Kapoor is not a realistic character at all. The way of showing his whole life as a mechanical thing further reiterates the fact it is not real, but created – the situations are also unreal, made for the person and not for the story which fails.

3. Not at all believable or likable: Both main characters in the movie are not likable. Their attitude towards a man in France for not knowing English, lets us know that everyone should learn English or get lost; where is the chance to be different there? Then, the use of the ridiculous jokes spoil most of the time in France, and in the end, the meet up in Japan for no reason. The protagonist even refuses to keep the lift’s door open for an elder lady and acts like a psycho in front of his boss for no reason; he wants people not to ask “How are you?” because he doesn’t like it – so much for freedom. There is no reason for people to connect with this movie – yes, we are all different, but thankfully, there is nobody like these people here, and I will thank God about the world around me.

4. There are so many better inspirational movies: We had the highly inspirational Queen last year, and then there was How Old Are You? in Malayalam and 36 Vayadhinile as its version in Tamil. This year had three movies Mili, Rani Padmini and Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam as the highly motivational flicks which worked with perfect does of inspiration. The good thing about these movies is that none of these have romance, and even with the comedy and the light-hearted feeling, these are serious about what they deal with, and they are about the lives of the common man, not someone who keeps traveling all around the world like the one percent because movie’s producer has extra money.

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Like in Queen, two leading ladies can make it work; skip romance and foreign countries.

5. The unexpected burial of the idea: The death and burial of this idea to be ourselves and do what we love in favour of melodrama, makes sure that it never really touches the heart. I usually get attracted to these types of movies with messages, but this one shows us no middle path, and provides us with the opportunity to be a robot or someone who is fair to one’s family – can’t one be both? In this year’s three Malayalam movies, there were the characters Mili, Rani, Padmini and Sudheendran who could be both! A good number of real inspirational movies have given me the idea that if I respect and accept others along with being different, I won’t be a robot. I apologize for being too traditional for your taste, but that is what I am, and I shall not walk away from my values.

***The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Pages of these movies. I love movies with inspirational messages, others which make us think and those which provide some fun, but not those movies which fail in doing all of these. I suggest that you don’t advice me on this matter because I am very much angry and frustrated about spending a hundred rupees on this movie. This film has left me in depression. Along with that, for us who have watched Anarkali, Ennu Ninte Moideen and Premam, there is that fake romantic angle.

TeNy

Queen of the Arabian Sea

Kochi, or Cochin, known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is the city which has driven me forward throughout my life. Yes, we use both names for the city; Cochin and Kochi are used like we wish to! I have always lived less than fifty kilometres from the city, except when I had those trips which lasted not more than one or two months. I believe that this will also be the city which will drive me towards my desires and destinations in life. My mother’s place is located on the other side of the city and so I have traveled through Kochi a lot during my childhood, and later, the malls and multiplexes increased the number of city visits.

The fishing boats with the old bridge of Cochin on the background.

The fishing boats with the old bridge of Cochin on the background.

We used to love going on a drive through the city later in the night, and have food at some special places there. The traffic would be so less at that time. We enjoyed spending our time at the beaches as well as the Marine Drive during our early college life. During those times, there were multiplexes were only on waiting list as the malls were absent, and we frequented the local theatres and had fun there. We also had those historical tourist destinations of Fort Cochin making the place the one choice of antiquity – it was one design of Cochin for us, and now there is more of that design. We always considered Cochin as a city #madeofgreat.

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Cochin is an architectural beauty of great historical, religious and spiritual significance. You can also see the Jewish Synagogue which is considered as the oldest of its kind at this part of the world. The Mattancherry Palace will let you through another journey through the history of Kerala, surrounded by temples. There is also a beautiful Jain Temple. There is also the Dutch Cemetery. Saint Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India is also located at Fort Cochin. The Koonankurishu Church where the famous Coonan Cross Oath against the Portuguese domination took place among the native Christians of Kerala is located around Mattanchery area. You should also add Kumbalangy model tourism village to your journey as you have peace within the extended city!

Santa Cruz Basilica - a structure that you wouldn't want to miss.

Santa Cruz Basilica – a beautiful structure that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Meanwhile, the Kochi International Marina is the only marina in India. Pallipuram Fort built by the Portuguese is the oldest existing European fort in India; it was last owned by the Kingdom of Travancore. There is also the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, the Tripunithura Hill Palace. So many beaches are around from the Fort Cochin beach to the Puthuvype, Cherai and Munambam beaches. You see that there is history and there is the beauty of nature along with the newly arrived modernity – it is the right mixture in the design which you won’t fail to notice. Another nice mixture happens with the religious population which is like not many other cities can boast about.

Kochi has also been a city which has connected us friends coming from different suburbs, towns and villages around the place. Even now, it is where a lot of old friends arrive and we meet up there; the change in the design is with the malls though, with six malls around, and five of them having the multiplex option, Lulu being the largest mall in India. Connecting with the old friends over some food and movie has only managed to get things better. Kochi is well-connected to the towns around, and the bus option is easy, with the Kochi Metro Rail coming up, about to make things even more amazing.

Chinese fishing nets - always part of Cochin and its islands.

The Chinese fishing nets – always part of Cochin and all its islands.

Along with having connectivity through rail, air, water and the National Highway, Kochi’s location right at the centre of Kerala makes it easier for people from all around. The significance of Kochi has only been increasing at a steady rate throughout the the last few years. The Cochin International Airport is the largest and the busiest airport in Kerala it is also the fourth busiest airport in India according to the international passenger traffic recorded. It is also world’s first completely solar energy powered airport. Meanwhile, Cochin Port, has the largest container trans-shipment facility in India.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the home of Kerala Blasters and former home of Kochi Tuskers Kerala is one amazing place to spend some great time during a football match; you will see the love for football like nowhere else. There is one thing about which you can be more certain than many other things, and it is about the beauty of the backwaters of Kochi – it will be an instant hit going right into the soul, even more than those lovely beaches. Kochi also has some amazing food with a lot of variety, and it is up-to you to decide what drives you to connect with the grand design of Kochi. Maybe it can be the Kochi-Muziris Biennale with all the brilliant art on display?

A quote I found interesting during the Kochi Biennale :)

A quote which I found interesting during the Kochi Biennale visit 🙂

What about your favourite city? Is it also made of great things, driving you through its design and having a certain connection to your soul? http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 camera.

TeNy

Malayalam Cinema: Beginning

November 28th brings a birthday, and it is not just another birthday, but the date of birth of the man who is considered as the father of Malayalam Cinema, JC Daniel. He is maker of the first Malayalam film (even though it was a silent film like the rest of the flicks of that time), Vigathakumaran; meaning “the lost child” in the year 1928, it is the first Malayalam movie, and also the first movie to be made at this part of India. The Travancore National Pictures established by him at Trivandrum was also the first film studio in Kerala.

Vigathakumaran was followed by Marthanda Varma based on the 1891 Malayalam novel by C. V. Raman Pillai of the same name, but that came five years later. JC Daniel had to go through many hardships to bring the movie to the screen and also after the release, and so it was not really a path which the later movie makers were confident in following, even though his legacy has been accepted now, and Kerala Government introduced the Kerala State Film Award for Lifetime Achievement in his name as part of the Kerala State Film Awards from the year 1992.

Celluloid is the bipoic on which most of our information about the man is based.

Celluloid is the bipoic on which most of our information about the man is based.

All of these came very late, and the path after the release of movie was never smooth for the man, even though the film was one of its kind, dealing with a social issue rather than traveling the usual style of the other films of the time. With problems over a lower caste woman PK Rosy playing the heroine character far above her, the conservative sections of the society created big problems over the movie. The first actress of Malayalam Cinema didn’t have much to remember during her time.

As the movie couldn’t go on to become a commercial success at that time, the studio at Trivandrum had to be closed down and Daniel had to sell his belongings and leave, to live as dentist and go deeper into poverty in later stages. It wasn’t a fitting journey for the man who brought the cinema to Kerala. As the government earlier refused to give him the recognition as he was born and died in Tamil Nadu, it was the journalist Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan who worked for bringing the attention to the man behind the first Malayalam movie. It was late, but thanks to him, the deserved recognition arrived.

Most of the Keralites will know him now, thanks to the movie Celluloid from Kamal, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran in the role of JC Daniel and doing the same to perfection providing him the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor and the movie with the Best Film Award. The movie has Mamta Mohandas doing the role of his wife Janet, the newcomer Chandni in the role of Rosy and Sreenivasan performing the character of Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan. It is a movie which I recommend the most among the films of the last few years.

The awards to this biopic is part of the justice which is served to the man.

The awards to this biopic is part of the divine justice which is served to the man.

The movie was based on Life of J. C. Daniel, a biography of the man which was written by Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan and also Nashta Naayika by Vinu Abraham. Receiving also the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam, the movie made its point so well that by the end of the movie, people knew the man who was behind the first Malayalam movie, and this movie was a tribute to the man who did something which none other could dare to do at that time, as it was the big risk.

Some movies make the big impact and some don’t. The one special thing about Celluloid is that it released at a time when one just couldn’t be sure about its success. A lot of the viewers did have the doubt because the period drama wasn’t a preferred genre at that time, especially when it was not about kings and warriors. The situation is safer these days, with Iyobinte Pusthakam becoming a hit and Ennu Ninte Moideen becoming a success despite its slow pace. But the latter movie was a very safe bet as it released these days, and when considering the same, Celluloid is a true and righteous tribute to JC Daniel with its success well earned during difficult times.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Celluloid.

TeNy

Day of the Fire-starter

The title refers to Sunday, and it has been the special day, the one holiday at the end of the week which everyone has been waiting for. Throughout our lives, we have prayed for Sunday to come earlier, especially during the school and college days – Saturdays were mostly holidays, but the threat of the arrival of special classes was eternally present. So, Sunday was the one safe day, and it was the day on which the plans could be made without thinking too much about what else could happen on the day. A nice Sunday treat makes a better Monday!

Plan A: The movie :: Watching a movie is always the best choice. Even as I watch one movie on Friday or the first day of its release itself, there are always more movies around here to give a try. Sunday movie watching program means that there will be also another person to accompany you. Well, it is needed for me because not everyone is that jobless as I am. I try to leave the more family-oriented movie for the Sunday if I go with parents or relatives; otherwise I leave the more fun movie for later, watching the lesser known movie on the first of day of release.

Plan B: The mall :: The malls came here quite late, but the biggest mall in India did come to Kochi in the form of Lulu Mall. With a total of six malls in the city area itself, we are provided with the option to spend the Sundays there in peace. Five out of the six malls actually have the movie option with the multiplexes too. So, it is only fair to spend some time there and the movie option can also add to it. The option of watching three or four movies on one day itself is also there in these malls considering the number of screens available.

A shot on one of the early days of Lulu Mall after the grand opening :)

A shot on one of the early days of Lulu Mall; isn’t this a nice weekend choice?

Plan C: The beach :: Kochi has no shortage of beaches, as the new tourism initiatives have made it better. A day at the beach will be another nice option, even though the rush will be higher at those more popular beaches like Fort Cochin and Cherai, but then we have those smaller and lesser known beaches which can give us the peaceful experience. I used to try this beach option very often when the friends were around the city, but not that much anymore with almost all of them working far away.

Plan D: The nature :: The closest destinations in the heart of nature includes Paniyeli Poru, Bhoothathankettu, Ezhattumugham, Thommankuthu and many others. As Kerala is blessed with such natural beauty, there is no need to travel much, with beautiful locations exist near and around the river Periyar, the state’s longest river. We friends used to go to some of these places on every Sunday – those were some wonderful days, which can be brought back at some point of time, I hope.

We go through places like this one, and we wonder why not be here forever?

We go through places like this, and we wonder why not choose nature right away?

Plan E: The relations :: There are the relatives who join us on a nice Sunday, but that situation has been brought down a lot to very less impact these days in our case. Not many relatives remain around here, and I am sure that I can find more relatives at Bangalore than in our district. But it wasn’t the case until a few years ago. The relatives were here and we could go to places with them. Nowadays, we still go to their houses at times, only two find the parents there who await the arrival of their children some day!

Plan Z: Home sweet home :: We call it Plan Z because it is the last plan. But it has been a usual plan for me during the last few months. There are not many friends left to go out with, and most of the time, the number remains a zero. So, the “home sweet home” option usually becomes the right choice. It is still a nice option to spend some time home with parents and the pet. After all, there is no other place like home, and there will be some nice movies on the television which can be watched together.

The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

TeNy

Bat and the Metropolis

As a child, I was less of an admirer of Batman than a number of other superheroes. But there was still something that I have always loved about the story. It was all about the villains then; none of the heroes had the villains like Batman could face. They were special and Batman was not. I did like the movies on Batman at that time too, but that was about villains too. The Nolan trilogy of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises made that clear, many years later.

So when I read that there was a television series about the origins of the wonderful villains as well as the city itself, I was certain that I wanted to watch it – The Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, The Riddler, The Joker, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze. The story here revolves around James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) of the Gotham City Police Department during his earlier days of his service. Paired with elder and the more experienced detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), he will have a lot to do.

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So, the Gotham City is the kind of world which has quite a lot of crime, as you would expect. The corruption is everywhere, and a long time before Batman, there were the two officers doing their duty, surrounded by crime lords and their henchmen who control so much. It is not easy to handle crime and corruption without going through them, as the crime lords have their people in the government as well as the police department. With morals and the hope to change the city for the good, James Gordon will do what he can.

Gotham television series actually starts very slowly, and it took some time for me to get into the story, characters and the environment, it was with the sixth episode that things got a lot more interesting. It is mostly due to the return of Oswald Cobblepot known better as The Penguin, the future villain of Batman who has the most interesting past. Robin Lord Taylor as the intelligent thug who makes it big despite his troubles, has some moments which are just top-class.

After The Penguin and his master manipulations, there is Camren Bicondova as the young Selina Kyle, long before the Catwoman had a chance to be the big cat. I knew that I had seen her before, and that was in the 2014 movie Girl House, with that first sequence. The Cat is the next most interesting character in this series, and this girl has so much talent; The Catwoman is a character who has always deserved an origin story like this, close to the oiriginal Batman story and not alone.

Meanwhile, Benjamin McKenzie and Donal Logue manage to do some great job at the same time as the police officers doing their work, against all odds as you can guess. The prettiest face should be Morena Baccarin as Leslie Thompkins, the love interest of James Gordon after Erin Richards as Barbara Kean had brought the charm earlier. But everything in the city is connected and revolves around the murder of the parents of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). It is all about the name “Wayne” in the end.

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I have only watched the first season, and it was nice to watch such a prequel to Batman and his villains. I believe that it can only be better with our villains transforming into what they are to be later. Even though The Penguin and Catwoman are the ones who were in focus here, The Riddler was very close to being there as the bad guy. We also know that Poison Ivy, Scarecrow and Two-Face are already there in the present form before the transformation. What comes with them is the past of Batman as the little Bruce Wayne.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Gotham television series.

TeNy

Celebrities and their Fans

I was watching an episode of Vellanakalude Naadu (The Land of White Elephants) on Asianet channel on last Sunday, and I found the idea talked about to be a very interesting one and more valid than anything else for the present time. The satirical tv series has been doing a good job every weekend, but this one can be considered the one episode more close to life than any other. They have come up with an idenity separate from the big satire program Marimayam on Mazhavil Manorama and it feels good.

The episode dealt with the blind fans and their great role-model celebrities. It showed us how ridiculous the celebrity worship and the fan clubs happen to be. There is absolutely no point in these as the fans are never really the admirers as they should be. There are only two kinds of fans who are usually seen during a movie release; one is the type which got no ability to think for themselves and blindly worship a person for some strange reason, and another is the kind of fan who stick to this for material benefits.

Yes, there are fans who are not part of these two groups, but they are rare and as they don’t hate and abuse others, their voices are less heard. The other groups of fans whose lives are based on hate will make them heard because they are intolerant. What they do in the name of their favourite celebrities happen to be the curse of the movie industry. I have always believed that a movie should be watched and appreciated without caring about who acted in the flick.

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We know the most significant work which these fans do. They go around telling everyone and posting on the Facebook media that a terrible, average or above average movie of their favourite actor or actress is awesome. They abuse people who say that the movie is not that good. They also degrade the movies of other celebrities telling everyone that they are pathetic. Some do it because they are blind followers and others for some material benefits. But both types of fans are such pain on the social media.

What they do in the theatres happen to be even more ridiculous. They make sounds in the darkness and clap and scream so much for their favourite actors that listening to the dialogues is impossible. The howling which they do for the movies of other actors make sure that listening to dialogues is hard otherwise too. They try their best to make the theatre experience hell of the common man and make it even worse for the family audience. According to them, the world belongs to them only.

The fans also do pour milk over the giant flex hoarding of their favourite actors. Well, wastage of food when children are in need of nutrition comes easy, doesn’t it? Earlier, there was an incident in which a fan climbed over a flex hoarding of their favourite actor at Thiruvananthapuram and fell down while trying to give the huge thing a shower in milk. What did he earn other than the loss of his own life? It is a strange thing about life, that you make the people who love cry for you in the name of a person who doesn’t know or care.

The celebrities need their fans to make them popular and the fans need money while some fans are just dumb. The celebrities will surely make advantage of this, creating fake campaigns about their greatness, simplicity, skills, social work and everything else. If you see a lot of such posts from fans about “simplicity”, “social work” and the rest of the qualities, there is a big chance that these situations are created and paid for. It is not the media and fans that need the celebrities, but it is the other way around; otherwise, we would have seen the celebrities talking against the fan clubs – do we see such a thing? Not at all. Vellanakalude Naadu on Sunday showed how disgusting this hero worship is, in a clear manner.

***The image used in this blog post is a screenshot of the first screen of a video of the television series shared by Asianet.

TeNy