Gajini & 'Un'Selective Amnesia

gajini surya
[Pic – Vikatan.com]

Praveen in the comments section of a post rambled that going by the promos, Gajini could well be a rehash of Memento. Seems to be true. To add myself a lil bit of credit, I did think of it initially, when I glimpsed the mottai Surya but never believed completely. Murugadoss’ interview to Hindu nearly confirms it.

It is about a man who has this unusual problem — 15-minute amnesia. Some very interesting things happen in that short period of time. I have done a fight staying in the water for nearly 24 hours,” Surya added.

Honestly Memento isn’t one of my favorites. I love movies with a smart screenplay rather than a good storyline. I did like Memento but I think Christopher Nolan just went over the head with that screenplay stuff. It was mind-blowing. Accepted. But was just too much for someone to handle.

Oru Urula Oru Raja Kumari, a Bhaghyaraj movie failed only because the many twists in screenplay was just too much for the audience to handle. Kadhala Kadhala failed because there was just too much happening in the screenplay that an unassuming audience could grasp, while laughing to the wits. Memento could possibly be classified in that over-the-top genre. However Gajini aka Memento[if it would be] would be a huge step forward for tamil population.

I was hoping that Gajini would have an authentic story line. Murugadoss just disappointed me. I would be happy if Gajini just borrows just the screenplay trick of Memento and has an independently built storyline to feed it. I hope !!

Suderman v/s Sudhish Kamath

Sudhish is more of a blogger than a mainstream journo. I love to have him in our camp. His review of Mangal Pandey in today’s edition of Hindu is one of the better reviews of recent times, going by Hindu’s review standards. You have to read his blog review , The Balls of Mangal Pandey and come back to read his Hindu review, The canvas is not complete. The content of the review hasn’t changed much. The words have. If you do a compare and contrast you know the limitations of a mainstream media journalist.

But the way Hindu’s reviews reveal half the plot in their review, the rest half is however very predictable by any short term tamil movie audience. I remember S.Ve Shekar’s wit in one his stage plays, “Enna Avasaram. Theatre’la Padam pottuta podattum. Tamizh padam thaney… Engendhu Paathaalum puriyum“. Though there is no story as such that someone can reveal in a movie like Mangal Pandey, his review today is certainly a good offshoot from the regular ‘boring’ stuff. Sudhish, Way to go !!

BTW, Sudhish did say that the movie had a four-year wait. Maybe he just doubled the wait time. It was not even 2 years back, Prince was here to kick-start the movie. Thats just for my urge to nitpick.

Kamal Hassan, the poet

Rumors were also abuzz that the actor has decided to revive his dream project Marudhanayakam and hence he had a meeting with Karunanidhi to discuss about the storyline and script.

Since Kamal wanted to come out with a book of his own poems, he had called on the latter and read out few lines to him and also urged him to take part in a function to be held later to release the collection of poems.

– More from India Glitz

For a minute, I thought the rumor of reviving Marudhanayagam was true. Yet, its a sweet news. A book by Kamal Hassan was set to be released even during Ananthu‘s days. It was never released.

Finally, I think he has decided that tamil folks can read his writings. Though we have already read his screenplay of Hey Ram and also the shortstory[Aalavanthan was based on this shortstory] that was published in Kumudam, a couple of years back, this full fledged collection of poems would be magnum opus for Kamal’s fans.

aMangal Pandey

** There are no spoilers here or in any other review of Mangal Pandey. Whats written below as story is just history. So cool off and read ahead even if you haven’t seen the movie.**

Either they exaggerated a dude called Mangal Pandey, in my high school history textbooks or they just minisculed a great warrior in Ketan’s Mehta’s flick. Mangal Pandey falls short in every other area and gets sandwiched between classifications of mainstream masala flick and a artistic period movie. Rahman and Ketan Mehta fighting to walk away as weakest link of the movie title alongwith a host of other technical crew who have supported them in pulling down a movie of high expectations.

Or the whole of previous paragraph is an outcome of the arm chair critic in me, trying too hard in stopping me from enjoying this typical masala movie. Whichever be the answer, without Aamir Khan the movie wouldn’t have even deserved a mention. And we know that a fort called Aamir Khan can carry the weight of a movie effortlessly.

I’m surprised how the movie which was called The Rising throughout the production of the movie suddenly became to called as Mangal Pandey – The Rising. That’s probably when Ketan Mehta clearly saw he wasn’t making a movie on The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. He was just trying to document the history of a warrior called Mangal Pandey whose death triggered the Sepoy Mutiny. It was a personal account of Sepoy Mutiny’s trigger from the view of the man who kick started it with a handful of gunpowder and infinite dhill.

I completely upset not even by the movie but by A R Rahman’s background score. Nearly non-existing. While some songs were great to listen, they were not-so-well-picturised. Himman Dammija’s camera angles didn’t bring in the required grandeur. You might have to search for sensational sequences and be happy if you find a couple of them along the way.

With the Brits talking hindi more fluently that they wouldn’t have problem in repeating, Ek Ghaav Mein Ek Kisan Rahta Tha, like many southies. I have to admit the movie wasn’t boring at all. The screenplay was clean, the characterization however lacked depth. It had a potpourri of sentiments that a typical Indian movie need to be successful. From the mangal sutra, friendship, betrayal, romance and even a item number. If only it wasn’t called Mangal Pandey, I would have enjoyed it more. The yearning to enjoy a patriotic hero’s history stopped all that. Who’s to be blamed for that. Me, who drove 10 miles to watch it or someone who made it over the last few years.

A huge bunch of deceived souls eagerly await the next patriotic experiment. Why shouldn’t it be him ?

Maitrim Bhajata Akhila Hritjaitrim

A few minutes back, was listening to Maitreem Bhajata. Not the vocal version of MSS but the veena rendering by Gayathri. The veena version is played in the Yaman Kalyani raaga. I am not a geek of raagas but from what little I’ve listened to, Yaman Kalyani derived from Kalyani is used to play some of most melodious songs.Veena is one of the sweetest instrument for the ears. Anyone who has listened to Chitibabu’s Bells of Joy would accept that.

Accompanied with a solo mirudhangam, Gayathri veena rendering just blew me away. Even during the last Marghazhi music festival, I had been to Gayathri’s veena kutchery but with all the smell of bondas and nei pollis sneaking into the music hall, I didn’t enjoy the show completely.

On a not-so-cold evening, like today, with the lights switched off in a room, you’ve to listen to the veena playing to agree with me. I’m not setting ideal situations to enjoy the veena but it was as though she played a personal kutchery in the house, just for me.

Rushdie for Booker

shalimar the clown

Shalimar The Clown is releasing only by September 6th of this year. But Rushdie is already on the roll. The 2005 Booker prize longlist, which was announced a couple of days back, has Salman Rushdie‘s Shalimar the Clown listed as one of the contenders. Ian McEwan is also in the list. Together with Rushdie, Ian will also be contending for booker, the second time. For Rushdie, the first time was with Midnight’s Child – Saleem Sinai. For Ian McEwan, whom I knew only because of his booker prize, it was Amsterdam.

Rushdie’s last two books seemed to be out of place. Especially The ground beneath her feet featuring the Bombay rock band, seemed to have a great start but wasn’t convincing with all the extended romance. And I comfortably didn’t read his next book, The Fury. More than the booker prize, I would be personally happy if Shalimar The Clown would be impressive.

P.S – Any one has a clue why SalmanRushdie.com is registered by some hosting company which does nothing with it.

Sujatha's Kathaavilaasam

Sujatha_Kathavilasam
[Pic – Vikatan]

This week, S Ramakrishnan’s Kathaavilaasam column in Ananda Vikatan features Sujatha. Kathaavilaasam isn’t as interesting as his previous series, Thunaiezhuthu. One reason why I keep reading it despite the semi-boring narrative is that, Ramakrishnan explores the world of tamil authors and showcases an author’s creation. Earlier the column featured Aathavan, Ashokamithran and few other favorites of mine. The column is a success, if only 50 people would have bought Aathvan’s Enn Peyar Ramaseshan after reading Kathaavilaasam.

S.Ramkarishnan points out Sujatha’s shortstory Nagaram which is considered to be one of his best. Anyone who has read Nagaram would agree that the ending left a guilt in their hearts.

Nagaram’s premise has been modified and used in some sequences of Shankar’s Indian. One, when Manorama goes to the government office to get her cobbler husband’s pension. Two, when Kamalhassan and Sukanya take Kasturi with third degree burns to the hospital.

I just thought I should post, Writer Sujatha – Essential Reading. I had compiled a list earlier, for a friend and happily forgot to pass it on. Will dig it out and post it here sometime.