Niruthanum…Ellathayum Niruthanum !!

thalapathi

Filled with tight close-ups and trolley shots, the 5 minute sequence where Deva – Surya meet Arvind Swamy, is probably one of the best edited scenes in kollywood. The broad view of Arvind Swamy’s office is never shown until the conflict happens. Until then the camera just captures the emotions on the faces. As the trolley moves and the camera comes behind someone it cuts surprisingly to another face. May seem to be an old technique now but then it was so new.

A true team effort from the cast, Mani Ratnam, Suresh Urs and Santhosh Sivan. Illayaraja seems to have provided ample support with a perfect silence during the close-ups. Classy.

Savadichuduvaen !!

Chithiram Pesuthadi

Savadichuduvaen. He repeats and repeats and repeats that one would think the protagonist’s characterization is a mock by the director. It may not be. Though the story works at various levels, the movie as a whole fails to impress. Chithiram Pesuthadi is full of good ideas that are badly executed. Like Azhagiya Theeye, it’s very earnest but thats it. Nothing more.

And what’s with re-releasing of this movie ? Oscar Ravichandran probably wants to be potrayed as the savior of tamil cinema. Looks like the very very mediocre ghaana, Vaala Meenukkum is a massive hit back in Tamil Nadu as one could see several people dancing to it during the success meet.

Sunil aka Narain could have played a role in a Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s film but he doesn’t shine too much with his acting skills. Sometimes his facial expressions are more pronounced and confuse the heck out of a viewer. It’s even more funny that Rediff’s Shobha Warrier calls him as Tamil cinema’s next big thing. She could take some time-off before she writes S J Surya is the next Kamal Hassan of Kollywood. Couple of duets were truly mesmerizing and the theme music reminds me of a Mani Ratnam film. Though being an inspired theme, it aligns to the ‘once-more’ category.

Myshkin, the director has some neat ideas but due to various reasons, he wasn’t able to pull them all together. The editing was pathetic. To cut a shot a the right frame is an exercise in style. One particular scene happens in the living room of the heroine’s house. There are 5-6 people sitting in that room talking indistinctly. Once they complete talking, the camera slowly pans around the room. As everyone moves away from the scene, the camera cuts to a close-up of the blind woman, pauses for a couple of seconds and then the shot is cut. If you could visualise this scene, you would expect that there is a something related to the blind woman and hence we see a close-up of her. Me too. But unfortunately, nothing happens after that. Was that extra shot present to confuse the viewer or was it an editing loophole ?. There are also rapid editing cuts. I assume the director uses this to increase the pace of the screenplay. Good idea but bad execution.

Maybe with this success Myskhin come up with a better script and make some dabbu to rope a better team, next time around.

Why I will stop blogging !!

Dave Winer of Scripting.com, also known as the father of blogs is planning to stop blogging. He reasons it out very rationally.

Just loved every word of it, especially the last paragraph. Couldn’t resist quoting the entire blogpost here on the hope that the father of weblogs wouldn’t be angry on this fellow blogger. This decision is creating very interesting conversations in the blogosphere.

From Dave Winer’s Why I will stop blogging

I can do it, folks, I have already, in some sense, stopped one of my rivers, and soon, probably before the end of 2006, I will put this site in mothballs, in archive mode, and go on to other things, Murphy-willing of course.

It’s been a long time coming. When I started blogging, depending on how you look at it, either in 1994, 1996 or 1997, I had different goals, and happily the goals have been accomplished. Billions of Websites now no longer seems an outrageously ambitious goal. We’re pretty close to a billion, I suspect. The goal was also to create tools that would make it easy for everyone to have a site, and then more specifically a chronological one. That’s done.

I wanted programming to turn upside down, to have the Internet be the platform instead of Microsoft and Apple. That worked too. APIs on web apps are now commonplace, and a basis for comparison between offerings. While user interfaces have gotten better, of course, there’s been a steady flow of new ideas in how my work connects with yours, and vice versa, and we’re doing it without a platform vendor controlling it.

I wanted decentralized news. We can do for ourselves what the pros haven’t been doing. And politics — I don’t doubt that the House of Representatives will be filled with bloggers, if not in 2006, then surely in 2008. There’s no turning back on any of it. The 20th Century is fading and the new century is going strong. There really was a big shift as the calendar rolled over, and I’m totally glad to be a part of it.

So there’s the first part of my reason. Blogging doesn’t need me anymore. It’ll go on just as well, maybe even better, with some new space opened up for some new things. But more important to me, there will be new space for me. Blogging not only takes a lot of time (which I don’t begrudge it, I love writing) but it also limits what I can do, because it’s made me a public figure. I want some privacy, I want to matter less, so I can retool, and matter more, in different ways. What those ways are, however, are things I won’t be talking about here. That’s the point. That’s the big reason why.

Insensitive SIFY !!

While writing a very superfluous article that’s based on fantasy than any factual information, our favorite movie writer of Sify, MOVIE BUFF, wrote the ending of the movie Pattiyal.

The article, Is Vishnu the new Mani Ratnam?, clearly has a spoiler of the movie Pattiyal that an oblivious reader wouldn’t guess from the title. This is why I tend to avoid any news or reviews of any movie that interests me.

On another note, the punniyavaan who released the stills from Shankar’s Sivaji, that you will be seeing multiple times on multiple blogs in the coming days, should be tortured to watch prime time megaserials on Sun Tv.

Here and There

Anantha (e) Anti pointed to the latest post on his blog, The Chennai Right to Information Initiative, a citizen movement which will be kickstarted this weekend at Chennai. This seems like a better idea than transforming into an Anniyan.

Let’s say you are someone who’s escaping this intiative by an excuse that you work at Bangalore, hee hee, there’s another way to volunteer your time. IVA or Individuals for Voluntary Activities is a non-profit organisation operating from bagalore, has volunteers mainly from software organisations and students who chime in for vounteer work over the weekends. If interested, you could contact the IVA team directly.

Yesterday…

Was walking out of the post office when a girl handed me a single daffodil flower. Me, ‘bulb’ed. First day of the spring, sir. Have a nice day. Marketing can be delightful, at times.

The I and the MY

asokamithran
[Source – Asokamithran caricature by Ananthapadmanaban in Vikatan]

This is MY Blog.

Vote MY Site.

This is MY Photoblog.

Go here to read MY REVIEW.

Go there to read MY THOUGHTS on that book.

I’ve blogged about it, Go here to read MY POST.

It sucks. Sorry to be so harsh but the moment I read such sentences, I’m terribly put-off. Now, before you dig deep into this blog and find out such an usage, I agree that it’s been done in this blog too. Long back but not anymore. Even if you don’t ask me why, here’s why.

It’s a sheer brag. Though it sounded like a normal usage to me, I’ve moved from that thinking, some time back. When ? That’s when I started reading Ashokamitran. Atleast three years back. To quote[not verbatim] Ashokamitran, To say something as my creation or my writing seems very egotistic and very violent. Violent ? While reading this sentence, I paused there for a moement, trying to make sense of what he said. Honestly, I’ve always felt bad when stars and writers and celebrities brag egotistically about themselves. When someone could define this brag as being violent, it stayed with me, deep within. I began to consciously avoid the such I – My brags. Even during pressing situations, I’ve tried and minimize it.

There’ a way to avoid such bragging posts. Lets say, there is this review that I penned on Shankar’s Sivaji and it got published in Hindu. How would I say that on the blog ? The usual way – I wrote a review on MY blog here and that got re-printed in Hindu. The Ashokamitran way – The review which was posted here was also published in Hindu here. The ‘I’ and the ‘My’ could be avoided and you would be humble in saying that. Personally, I have to say it has changed the way I look at things. I have to be stop here abruptly as this is not a self-development blog.

The reason to brag(!!) about this here is certainly not to detail on this quality of mine. It’s about Ashokamitran. His writings are far superior and much simpler than many Tamil writers. There are no word plays, no confusing language and no beating around the bush. His writing is so simple that even a long time Tamil literary reader would doubt if there is anything special about his writings. That’s his speciality. Such simplistic usage of language is also evident in Ashokamitran’s columns.

His protagonists aren’t heroes. They are common people like you and me. They don’t even stand out because they are common. Just common-common. To explain this better, let’s take another favorite writer, Sujatha. If Sujatha writes about a common man, by his genius descriptions, the common man loses his commonality and becomes special. Not with Ashokamitran. The common man from Ashokamitran’s pen is just common and there is nothing to much to describe his commonness. Nor he writes about some great hero from the history books. His characters live in this world and all that Ashokamitran does is to describe them with simple words and place them in a situation. This situation is never as critical as the kalinga war. Its just another common situation like drinking water or going to a movie. That’s where Ashokamitran pauses to throw light on this incident. He shows us the minds and the hearts and the lives of the people from such trivial situations. The result, truly astonishing and over-powering. He has touched the grey areas of the middle class lives that no one else has ever thought to write about. Ashokamitran is not to be confused with Aathavan who is on a slightly different league. Ashokamitran’s protagonists are usually the helpless and cowardish middle class. Imagine Kamal in Mahanadhi, who hopelessly losses his kids in the river of life. Think about Raj Kiran in Thavamai Thavamirindhu who is blinks dispiritedly for being unable buy new clothes for his kids on the Diwali eve. These are some of ideal backdrops in Ashokamitran’s shortstories.

Ashokamitran till date hasn’t had a magnum opus. Cause there can never a magnum opus for a simplistic writer like him. Even the most popular ones like Thanner and Pathinetavathu Atchakkodu are written for being common novels and not an epic.

Ashokamitran is such a funny speaker that he would come to stage as the last person and win over the bored crowd. The last time, I got a chance to meet Ashokamithran was during Uyirmmai Publishers’ function. He spoke in a hearty manner about trying to rope 500 copies of Kanaiyazhi together and posting it across the nation. Even during the Ashokamitran 50 function, he was very humorous. You could listen to that recording on Badri’s blog.

If you are starter in Tamil literature start with Ashokamitran for you will come back a full circle to Ashokamitran. This writer’s writer has something for all of us to learn and imbibe. Being simple.