Musical Doldrums: Here is an

Musical Doldrums:

MP3 and VCDs

Here is an small extract of what I wrote for Dhwanii’s Rumbumbum column, which is yet to be publuished.

As you walk through the shops of any foreign goods bazaar, you could see music CDs from Illayaraja to AR Rahman costing just 50 bucks each. Imagine if you were a prudent buyer what would you prefer. Would you buy the 125 Rs. music CD which contains just music of a single movie or a latest MP3 CD which contains the latest 150 songs from 20 movies for just 50 bucks. Due to this music industry is in doldrums and it needs to be revamped.

Things have changed now, I don’t even have to go to a foreign bazaar, they are selling brand new MP3 and Video Cds on the roads sitting next to my vegetable vendor. As you get see, Rahmans and Illayarajas are sold like half-a-kilo potatoes. I clicked this pic on sunday as my friend was picking up Best of Illayaraja CD. Pity the Music Industry !!

Kadhal Konden Review : Why

Kadhal Konden Review :

Why should you sympathize a psycho and why should there be an inter-college festival in udhayam theatre for that. The reason is pretty simple. To watch Kadhal konden in theatre is a complete visual experience. Other than the visual experiences of tank-topped college babes in the theatre, the movie itself is filled with powerful scenes and dialogues that rocks your emotions as easily as a child’s play. On Saturday, Udhayam theatre was filled with boys and girls like a inter-college festival or rather I thought it was one.

Kadhal Konden
Dhanush, the protagonist with his unassuming looks creates waves in you. As you see him making those clandestine dance movements while kicking his competitor-in-love during the finals scenes of Kadhal konden, you would be sure that image has nothing to do with heroism. This new kid on the block was the same guy, I dismissed at first looks as someone who would have bribed money to find his way through the first movie Thulluvatho Illamai. And today as he celebrates his birthday (maybe just 17th or 18th), Tamil dailies are filled up with half-a-page ads for the four of his new upcoming movies. As we start to know more about him those assumptions are ruled out. Kadhal konden is directed by Selvaraghavan who is Dhanush’s elder brother. He is the same guy who directed Dhanush’s first movie Thulluvatho Illamai, the only silver jubilee film of the year 2002.

A number of factors make Kadhal konden an interesting watch. First the story which is clearly told without any confusions by the director. Second, the contrasting screenplays in the first and the second half of the movie. Third Yuvan Shankar Raja‘s awesome BGMs and super hit songs. The final and the most important reason , Arvind Krishna, the cinematographer who has reached heights in this movie with this natural lighting and grading techniques.

Selvaraghavan’s screenplay does amazing wonders as he changes the path of the story from a simple college romance to an amazing pschyo thriller. And his clarity of thought which has made to build characters that stand in your heart throughout the movie. I jumped out of the seat to whistle as I saw Dhanush, making those amazing beautiful dance movements during the climax. It is one of the best thought about shot in the movie and that scene will stay in the hearts of the film-lovers until it is replaced by a better one. The movie takes a top gear just after 10 minutes of the start and never stops until the final smile of Dhanush.

Yuvan’s part is more than what he is being credited. Though some of his BGMs are inspired by pop music like Richard Marx’s I will be right here waiting for you, he creates the mood of the movie. Especially the theme music of the movie, which is the BGM in the climax, receives much credit for his composing skills. If only the climax was to be with some other music, the movie would have been less acclaimed that the present. All songs including the top hits Nenjodu Kalanthidu, Devadhaiyai Kanden and Kathal Kathal are good tamil music. Watch him closely. He is capable of improving the current trend of tamil music.

The classy work of Arvind Krishna will go unnoticed because his lighting is so natural that you would forget that there are lights around while making the film. Except in the flashback, where the crudeness has to be shown, he has used harsh lighting effects. If that flashback about pedophile and child-abuse touches heart, give hats off to Arvind Krishna for his immaculate contrast of lighting. Also the daring close-ups are something that cannot be expected from a new comer. Though this could be one of Arvind Krishna’s early movies, his experience as an assistant to P.C.Sreeram has added value to the photography. He also acted as an important character in P.C.Sreeram‘s Kurudhi Punal.

It is true that the second half of the movie reminds you a bit of Kamal’s Guna and it is also a bit dragging. But hang around because there is a very interesting climax for you. The shot just before the climax where the Cop, Divya and Adi hide behind a cushion sofa fearing the gun shots coming in, is just more than perfect. At that juncture of sheer fear and confusion, Yuvan plays a sober bit song. Bulls-eye. A similar shot can be seen in Mani Ratnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal and Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. The chemistry between Selvaraghavan, Yuvan Shankar and Arvind Krishna has been perfect that it contributes to the overall success of the movie. Recommended only for theatre viewing.

I cursed my job,

I cursed my job, for once. Day-before-y’day I was pretty late and when I reached my house, it was already 10:30 in the night. Ktv was featuring Mani Ratnam‘s Thiruda Thiruda and it was already half-the-movie-done.

What a movie it was !!. Although directly inspired by the 1969 hit flick Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, Thiruda Thiruda never failed to provide the same pace and action. Coming as the second movie with Mani Ratnam – A R Rahman combination, it had some of the best BGMs by Rahman. The BGM during the charriot chase is one of Rahman’s all-time best and also the eerie music he generates while Salim Bose appears is fresh until today.

Mani Ratnam chose to direct such a light-hearted entertainer coming after the national hit Roja. Probably thats the diversity he needs in his films. The best part was that he paired up with P.C.Sreeram who wasn’t involved in the previous two Mani Ratnam’s films.

Though Thiruda Thiruda was dismissed as yet another film in the Box-office. It was yet another experimental film like Agni Nakshathiram. If Agni Nakshathiram had too much back-lighting and flare-lighting, this one was an experiment with colors. The bus stunt at mid-movie had too much of color grading. It would silly now but 10 years back, it was P.C.Sreeram who experimented this color grading effect in this film. The top half of the film would be graded red and the bottom half would have the natural color. If you aren’t able to comprehend this, watch the movie to appreciate this technique. Also the final climax in the train was on the best ever picturised climax in tamil cinema history.

Thiruda Thiruda was released on a diwali day and I managed to watch the premier show in Alankar theatre (now the theatre is no more. P & L Netloyd company has it’s office). After that every saturday after saturday I watched it continously for 7 saturdays. I doubt even if Mani would have watched this movie in a theatre for 8 times. huh !!

Ticking…ticking…10 seconds….ticking….13.6 seconds and your

Ticking…ticking…10 seconds….ticking….13.6 seconds and your windows password is cracked. This is the average time taken to crack your current computer’s password. Stunned ! It happens with technology but this is definetely one quantam leap. Using 1.4GB of data (two CD-ROMs) it can crack 99.9% of all alphanumerical passwords hashes (2 37 ) in 13.6 seconds. As this is based on Martin Hellman’s cryptanalytic time-memory trade-off technique which reduces the time of cryptanalysis by using precalculated data stored in memory.

The method involves using large lookup tables to match encoded passwords to the original text entered by a person, thus speeding the calculations required to break the codes. Called a time-memory trade-off, the situation means that an attacker with an abundance of computer memory can reduce the time it takes to break a secret code. Also you can your hand with this technique to break your computer’s password. More here.

I am blessed to

I am blessed to have Martina in my life. Coming from India, where the obstacles are great, one really found the passion in playing again. Now I don’t have to play so much for money, fame or any materialistic need. I play the game because I am passionate about it; because I am a student of the game and physical training. I’m enjoying it a lot now than I did 10 years ago – Leander Paes.

Read the interesting ‘n’ inspiring Paes’s rediff interview.

What is poetic justice, asks

What is poetic justice, asks Vaanam Vasappadum (The Sky can be controlled). Take a look at the website of P.C. Sreeram‘s latest flick Vaanam Vasappadum. Intrestingly it has many spotlights.

Being the India’s first true digital film, being shot with state-of-art high definition digital cameras with the technical support of Real Image Media Technologies, the DTS gateway of India and the multicam giant EFX. See some samples of multicam miracles here.

It is also the last film of Mahesh Mahadevan, who died of cancer. It was for a cancer charity associtation in the name of Mahesh, his friends including Mani Ratnam, Kamalhassan, A R Rahman, arranged the Unity of Light concert in Chennai. Mahesh however didn’t complete parts of this movie before which he died but he had compiled a dozen of BGM’s which were used by his assistants to complete this movie.

This is a story of Sujatha‘s famous novel.

P.C. Sreeram recently took part in a seminar for the Visual Communication students where he re-instated that all this digital film making technizques are just an aid to make films. However the much bigger part depends on the story and the style of story telling. He also remarked that digital film making is in it’s infancy in India and if only many more theatres would convert to digital projectors, digital films have a life in India. Digital films will keep a 10 year old movie still look afresh because they don’t use the classical fim rolls to project a movie.

But as of now Vaanam Vasappadum is being shot in digital film cameras. However they would be converted to films because India doesn’t have many digital thetres to film this movie as such. Yes, Vaanam Vasappadum.

This month in tamil is

This month in tamil is called Aadi – the month of breeze. Last evening was one such pleasant breezy saturday evening. Some highlights…

a) Driving along the adayar bridge with my hands free from the handlebar and the breeze swirling across the face. I was also humming the Girlfriend tune of Boys. Felt heroic and grossly cool. Just a small shake and I would have been thrown out of the bike. Would have looked like a joker. Fortunately, didn’t happen.

b) Watched Jackie Chan’s Shanghai Knights in an open air theatre. The breeze was also perfect and it was much better than an artifical AC theatre. It was a very ordinary movie but the thin line of fiction was innovative. It is a fictious interlude as to how Sir Arthur Conyan Doyle elevated from a Scotlandyard cop to a writer and coined Sherlock Holmes as his hero. Also another suprise was the fiction of Charlie Chaplin’s childhood. Looked a fabulous idea to link famous celebrities as a character in the movie. Do u know any such movies before?

c) Offlate I noticed, Chennai becomes very neon-lighted in the evening. Signs of leaving the conservative filter coffee culture and moving ahead with the go-getter funda. If you don’t think so watch the Boys movie. Quickeys coffee pub (!) serves kumbakonam coffee – the typical filter coffee of sorts. What you get for 7 bucks in Saravana Bhavan is served for 50 bucks. Just 43 bucks more. Why so much of difference? Coffee pub, man. It is a coffee pub. Much hyped interiors, latest fad babes, thin waistlines, chubby boyfriends, thier smallest nokias, american pub chairs, neon lights are some elements around you in a coffee pub. So prices are set accordingly. Did u ask for all these? Not me.

P.S: Maniratnam, has begun shooting the next day after was dicharged from the hospital. Workaholic !!

Seeing the accident happen in

Seeing the accident happen in front of his eyes, Mani Ratnam, who was taking the shot from up close, yelled and passed out. He was later admitted to B M Birla Heart Research Institute.

It is the third time that he gets hospitalised for a chest pain. The first was during his trip to Japan Film festival and the second followed immediately within a year. Hope he gets back to action ASAP.

Read more on Vivek Oberoi’s accident while shooting Mani Ratnam’s latest flick in Kolkatta.

Too many new kids on

Too many new kids on the block !!

Out of 47 tamil movies released this year, 19 new heroes, 24 new heroines and 80 new comers including directors and singers have been introduced. Is it for Good or Bad ?

Nothing, says Panchu Arunachalam, the master screenplay writer. In his interview with Sun TV, he remarked that the production costs come down heavily because of these new comers. Also there aren’t much call-sheet hungama with these news kids. Also the director has his own way of taking the films instead of getting influenced by the star image.

Will this continue is a big question. While some are here to say many new faces have to go back to their old jobs.

Parthiban Kanavu, the new hit is directed by a new comer, Karu Pazhaniappan. An impressive debutant director with the same touch of class as Keladi Kanmani Vasanth. I could see glimpses of wonderful dialogue writing skills. Yet some scenes were meant just to convey punching dialogues, it is a pretty neat movie. The first scene has an unexpected twist. Hats off for such small twists all along the movie. Even the expressionless Srikanth, wades through the movie with his calm acting. Sneha‘s best movie till day. She plays a dual role and she has done a good job. Except for her irritating smile throughout the movie, she deserves a pat.

Vidyasagar’s Aalankuil song reminds me of Chippi Irukuthu song from Varumayin Niram Sigappu. Though the later is a much classy one, the sudden soothening of tune in the mid-song and the wide angle shots of Srikanth-Sneha walking in a greenish lawn are inspired by Varumayin Niram Sigappu.

A good movie to plan with your family.