Apr 28, 2012

Picking up a fashion magazine, it took me no time to browse till the back cover, and finally, I read. It was an ad for the latest Ananta film "Speed". I hear the producer, Ananta, is a very successful businessman, and this is as far as I know his second movie. I saw the first one "Khoj: The Search", and this is a followup "Goti: The Speed". In both, he is the star actor, the hero.

Back to the ad, it did a marvelous job of marketing it, boasting such things as:
  • a Russian Dancers - I assume all women
  • a film crew from Gujrat or some other place in India
  • use of cameras that are used in Hollywood, etc...
I quickly remembered another movie that came out, "Lal Tip: The Red Point". (Apparently, Tip doesn't have a proper translation into English, but its a colofrul, circular or often leaf shaped ornamental piece, that women from the Indian subcontinent can put on their foreheads, a little above the level of the eyes. Point, however sounds wrong). This movie also boast such things:
One single love story, 2 continents; 4 countries involvement, 4000 actors & extras, 180 different locations, used 3500 individual shots, more than 200 crews at home & abroad, best music, IMPRESS TELEFILM's biggest venture, Swapan Ahmed with his promises = LAL TIP
 The above is quoted from their trailer on YouTube. You can actually catch the trailers for both these films over there - Goti: The Speed (Trailer) | Lal Tip: The Red Point (Trailer)

From these trailers, I am not intrigued. These are not movies I am looking forward to watching. The intention behind watching Khoj was to get a few laughs, even though its from the action genre. For as long as I can remember, India has served as the inspiration of our mainstream film makers. Their films of the late 80's are still copied and imitated. Think Jitendro, Anil Kapoor, shirts unbuttoned near the chest showing some of those man hairs, comic relief characters in the backdrop of a social drama or an action flick, rape, corruption, heroes saving the day in the end bringing feuding family members together.

Lal Tip and Goti are instances of breaking away from that, and many claim that its something we should be thankful for. These are now just imitating the Bollywood movies of the late 90's, or maybe someone like Karan Johar. Good cameras, shooting in foreign lands (France, Italy, Malaysia, etc), item songs (google that if you don't know, can't bear to explain), etc.

My bone with these movies, is the lack of attention to a story. A story that is hard to turn away from, a story that says something relevant to our times, a story that awes and evokes and entertains. Those, to me, are the reasons people make movies.

If we are to look towards India, I'd like to urge our film makers to take a quick glance at this brilliant film "Nobel Chor"

There are lots of other examples out of India which have showed an extraordinary understanding of storytelling and movie making then and now, but I think the wrong reasons for making movies are driving what we call Dhaliwood.

Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2012

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Apr 16, 2012

I, like many, were shocked when our President had given pardon to a convicted criminal. Though we were many, we were not the ones that mattered. This was a political move and like so many moves not made for the benefit of the public. The latter motive is only fed to us in times when our Prime Minister called the power board to start load shedding so we do not forget what that is. A cruel attempt at humor from the mighty, who I doubt really knows what load shedding is like.

Clearly, compared to load shedding, loss of life by murder is clearly a great tragedy. And this, both the mighties one, would imagine, would understand and empathize with. When questions were thrown out to the government about what they thought about the pardons, the answers varied among these:
  • Its the President's decision, it shouldn't be questioned
  • The President did what he did, we as citizens should accept it
  • Where were you when BNP pardoned a killer in their term?
Baffled? This person clearly is, as he wrote to a letter to The Forum:
On what basis, I ask? Were they victims of circumstance? Was it self-defense? Did they have no other way? Or is it that, despite committing pre-planned, cold-blooded murders as proven in a court of law, they just that they have the right connections? That they come from families of influence? Not only have they been spared the death sentence, but in some cases, even the life term has been waived, with the ultimate punishment being a few years in jail. For some of the criminals who were absconding, it is not even that, for their jail terms are being calculated from the date of issue of the arrest warrant years ago, thus their having to spend no time at all behind bars. What does this say about the legal system of our country?
Not a day goes by in parliament, that the government criticizes the absentee opposition BNP, who were in power earlier. Not one rally can be picked where their power wasn't justified on the failure of those in the past, namely, BNP. And if they should come to power, can be relied on a 100% to do the same just out of spite.

During the 2008 elections, BAL really managed to sound like the 'Voice of Reason', and yet, a lot is left to be desired. A LOT! It would be a fantastic move for either to shed the weight of the old, unsuccessful, counter-productive ways and to really establish democratic practices within their parties. Whoever does it first, would really go down in history as champions. Don't they understand?

Murders in Laxmipur: President pardons a criminal twice
Clemency for Killers (Discussion on Ekushey Raat after the first pardon, 2011)

Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012

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Apr 1, 2012

Three campaigners sit by a bar at the end of a day, and discuss how their campaign efforts are not working out. One of them says its always a politician's need to be loved that propels them to presidencies. Those that do not have that need, do not become presidents.

This is the scene out of a movie called Game Change, which is adapted from a book by the same name. The movie goes through the US Republican camp's desperate efforts to rise above the Obama-mania of the time by hiring the "mavericky" Sarah Palin.

I am very interested in the psyche of politicians, especially, being where I am, where every 5 years, the definitions of heroes and villains are almost drastically reversed. Like a bad soap opera, the drama never ends and couples are breaking up and then making out once again! That need to be loved, however rings true. And sometimes you see this aspect depicted in Disney movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs where the Queen takes the counsel of a magic mirror who assures her that she is in fact, the 'fairest' of them all. One time that mirror said she was not, the queen was ready to go to the point of murder, to get her position back.

Not so much a fairy tale.

Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2012

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