Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review of Aurangzeb

Deep in the cavern of the infant's breast; the father's nature lurks, and lives anew”.  Starting the film with these lines from Roman poet, Horace, the mood gets set early on for this tour de force.
Set in the nouveau-riche landscape of Gurgaon, with fields adjacent to glass towers, luxury cars amidst paddy fields, rustic gun toting agents of ubiquitous real estate developers talking shop next to swanky swimming pools, the film gets the setting absolutely right. This goes on to become an essential set piece of the plot and is a huge plus for the film.
 ‘Aurangzeb’ then goes on to weave a plot of ambition, deceit, filial relationships and makes for a compelling case. The viewers is subjected to familiar situations, and then made to make hard choices. Is it family first or your integrity? Is it personal ambition or filial duties, which is more important. What’s the definition of success? Is a rich and powerful patriarch more successful than an ‘unsuccessful’ old man who has been able to raise his children with good values? Can there be a moral compass in a family that speaks the same language. Are the seeds of corruption sown in the children while they are their schools itself?
          Arjun Kapoor goes on to prove that ‘Ishaqzaade’ was no fluke. With the colossus of an actor in his middle age, Rishi Kapoor yet again makes a mark and key performance from all others involved, the film is shining example of consistence, good research and relevant plot. The film makes for a gripping viewing and the 2nd half outdoes the 1st with a fitting denouement.
The makers of ‘Aurangzeb’ clearly overestimated my knowledge of history and expected viewers to get the hint from the title. Initially cynical of the title, in retrospect I feel it’s justified having watched one of the best films this year. 4.5 Stars

Monday, May 13, 2013

Indian summer

When the land is parched, and throats dry

the hot air blows and the birds go shy

When the dogs incessantly pant away

and little children refuse to play


When lips are dry and salt streaks the skin

when tempers flare and patience runs thin

When the streets are quiet, and ponds all flaked

the sky is pale and land is baked


When the air hangs still, and trees don't sway

the plants dry out and hope fades away

When the haze is history, killed by the wave

and the distant wintery dream, the only solace


Let’s, then spare a thought for those who toil

trudging in this heat, the sons of the soil

Labourers, rickshaw pullers, farmers, all along

for dignity in labour, ‘sweat’ is their sweet song


The unforgiving summer should make us realise

the calamity next year will be of a bigger size

Conserving Mother Nature, is the only way wise

her wrath en masse, else will be the price


Friday, May 10, 2013

STAR TREK- Into the Darkness

- ‘Dark’ seems to be the theme word of choice to get one’s attention these days. The metaphor usually stands for the dark side of one’s own self and hints at the fact that your biggest enemy resides in you, in this case your own race.

Now for the uninitiated, there are two series of films that deal with inter galactic explorations. One is the Star Wars, and other Star Trek. The latter, is set in a time when the earth is habitable and thriving in its modern Avatar while the former ie, the Star Wars, is about floating old men, bald captains and glowing tube lights used as swords.

Star Trek is a story of the crew of USS Enterprise, who go into space odysseys to discover new facets the final frontier. This is the 11th edition of the Star Trek, and the space ship in its latest commission is in hands of a feisty young turk, Kirk. A protégé of the aging former captain, he follows his gut rather than the laid down rules, in most situations. These hunches of his often put him in loggerheads with those around- esp the half human, half machine Spock (with his long side burns). As 1st officer, Spock is 2nd in command and the advisor to the captain. The colloquies that result between two as a result, make for the most interesting piece of straight faced humour one could hear. Delivered in textbook English, the tautology in the script and wry humour keeps you wearing smile all thorough the movie.

There are two sub plots that involve personal cum professional relationship between the 1st officer and wife Uhura and the friendship between the Captain and 1st Officer. How, the talented and brave Captain saves the earth from doom is what the story is about. Rest assured, there are dollops of other planets and their moons and inter galactic space shown. With Solar system as its home turf and the rest of the galaxy the workplace, the backdrop of space and space age Earth involved to keep your senses entertained. 4 Stars

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Politics and Poetry

Bide your time here and have the exit plans prepared.
Destined to doom, for this nation is for sure
Policy paralysis is at times, at others, its soulless core bared
This rot at the base has no known cure.

Play your cards right, and choose to avoid a fight
expend energy judiciously, avoid puritanical flights
With critical mass reached, the elephant is dragging its feet
It’s end inevitable, the wounds are beginning to bleed

Economic pundits galore will paint a picture clean
asking you to feel good, for the GDP numbers they glean
But the human resource indicators tell another tale
as every single man's credibility here is up for sale

The govt servants afloat in corruption neck deep
every civil servant, has cash stashed in heaps
Black money not the only thing that's black here
the goons occupy the bureaucracy,  their currency is fear

The president an institutional puppet, the Prime minister too
With flailing hands they lead the nation to its doom
Ministers caught with their in hands in the till
The policing gone corrupt, there’s none a righteous kill

Once enlightened people, now descend to the dark ages
Every loud voice asks that the women be kept in cages
Sanity is in short supply for education has been rationed
Thanks to the education scams the ruling class has fashioned

The seeds of ignorance have been sowed so well
Reaping benefit are the politicians, with ‘education’ they sell
Like swarming bees, we have a generation of ignoramus
rioting, raping and remonstrating, proving their ‘machismo’ thus

But if you choose to stay, do make a difference with your vote
speak in NDA’s favour, Narendra Modi should be your rote
should you not heed the advice, do choose your price
an alignment to all vices and thus a cut to the ‘democratic’ size

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ode to the artist

Colouring the canvas with long strokes
with a quiet picture that's in his mind
Paint thrown in a unique combine
with generous dabs and a longish wind

The quiet backdrop acquires a life
colourful in form, muted in desire
Shapes and patterns for space they vie
pools of water along streaks of fire

Ripples from the mind collapse on the shore
distressed hands, their tool of choice
Along the way, they create a life
A thousand words and a single voice

Every sinew, twitch and unending nerve
contribute to the failures or the victory
Lost battles buried in the colourful den
the emergent art is for the world to see

Canvas into oil melds with seamless ease
pain and paint, one ends and other begins
The longest minute and shortest hour
each plays its part as the painter wins.

Monday, April 22, 2013

GI Joe- Retalition - Movie review

GI Joe- Retaliation - Jon M Chu decided to move on to action genre from the vertigo inducing world of dance he created in Step Up-2 et al. But sadly, he flatters to deceive in this underwhelming no brainer. The first edition of this franchise worked hard at creating characters and coming up with wonderful gadgets that made the GIs believable yet superhuman. This edition destroys most of the good work of the previous one and falls flat in the face. A triumvirate of GIs take on the might of an entire army and succeed. A city is decimated yet it's business as usual in the lawns of White House as they felicitate their war heroes- which are only a handful. Even the Bond has been humanised off late and no brainers such as Expendables 2 have garnered all the mileage this genre holds with their tongue in cheek brand of action. With limited charisma of Dwayne (Rock) Johnson and diminishing Star value of Bruce Willis, this one is one of those films you'd even skim through even on HBO. 3 Star

Dredd- movie review

Dredd - A sci-fi co-produced by Arun Nayar and directed by Peter Travis, whose most notable venture before this was Vantage Point, is set in dytopian landscape of a post apoclyptic America. The plot is set in a super city that has super skyscrapers, super flyovers, super slums and super crime rates of over 17000 homicides a day. Rest assured, the premise alone was sufficent to take me to the theater.The film is supposedly based on eponymous comic strip and this screen adaptation surely doesn't disappoint. When a judge Dredd and his apprentice get trapped in the biggest crime district, they are forced to take on an entire army raised by the druglord in their own kingdom- a 200 storey monolith. The urban warfare that follows keeps one enagaged with a near ominous feel akin to The 'Dark Knight Rises'. It's a must-see for Sci-Fi fans. 4 Stars.