Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Are skills innate?

I hate it when someone says “it comes naturally to me”.

I've been striving to read and write all my life. I've only come this far. My friend says that it comes naturally to him and only if he practiced like me he'd be a lot more proficient. That's not what I'd like to hear. It's like the film 'Amadeus'. Why should I be Salieri while I perceive of myself to be Mozart?

How come certain skills are rampant in some people. And, no matter how hard others try they can't even scratch the bottom of excellence?

This is my humble state of mind. The only conclusion I could arrive at is that, I haven't practiced enough. I open a document file and pour my heart out. But, it's those silly people who lack the time to go through my posts. They simply rate me with their standards, and I've to face the fate of their judgment.

I yearn to be more, that's the motto of my life. If people could realize that, I hope they will give honest remarks on my blog posts. A few people read my posts and fewer still comment on it. Some have the audacity to leave behind a thumbs up icon. Am I to understand that you've read my post, if you can't even bring yourself to type a comment?

I'm not lashing out on you kind readers. But it takes effort to write, like any other I simply require recognition for it. I seek criticism, only if I know the mistakes (if any) I make can I improve myself. Take this post as a straight from the heart request to take some time and go through my blog and give your honest opinion. I for one believe like the J.K. Simmons character in 'Whiplash', “there is nothing more harmful than the words: 'good job' ”.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Broadway Danny Rose

The movie opens up with a up-beat mesmerizing song 'Agita'. Comedians shares their trouble with bits.

“..It's a good joke it has been working for years, last night it died.”

“It works when I do it.”

“You do that joke? Maybe that's where I got it”

You can get a sense of how comedians use each others bits and don't accuse anyone.They gather up and start talking and Danny Rose comes up.

Now, we are off to Danny's story. Slowly we learn about this character, a friendly talent scout/manager. He'll back you up with everything he's got, that is if he believes in you.

As we go further into the story we learn about Lou, a has been Italian singer. He is gaining some attention and Danny's got to do everything about that. Lou has a problem with drinking and women. Danny helps out Lou by fixing things with Tina (Lou's extramarital girlfriend).

Tina a seemingly stuck up woman, wins us over with her stunning looks. Men go crazy for her. One of her admirers - Johnny cuts his wrist to show his love. Tina has come to her relatives to fix things as per a fortuneteller's suggestion.

 All the while Danny is with Tina speaking laurels of Lou, trying to mend things. This turns into an adventure while Tina's Mafioso relatives mistake Danny for her boyfriend and seek vendetta for Johnny.

While running from the crazy Italians they get to have an intimate moment, and an adventure. This is the where the love story of Tina and Danny pick up.

In a weird scene Tina and Danny are stuck in an industrial chamber. A gun goes off and hits a Helium tank, releasing the gas all over. Every character's voice is pitched up by the gas, and this scene surely the funniest moment in the movie.

At a crucial stage, besides Danny's good nature and friendliness Tina advices against him to Lou. And he sacks him.

Broken down, Danny visits his ventriloquist friend in hospital who has been hit by the Italians. Previously Danny has pointed to Bonnie Don the silly ventriloquist as Tina's boyfriend to save Lou. Of course Danny was under the impression Don was away from the city. After the visit, Danny walks out of the hospital and rain pours onto him. We see how true Danny has been to Lou, and how Lou has simply laid off Danny for a better career.

After this moving scene we have one of the comedians hearing the narrative go: “I thought this was a funny story”, Woody lays it right on us.

Tina falls head over heals for Danny. In the very last scene Danny has fun celebrating Christmas with his friends. Tina shows up and is all sympathetic, yet Danny refuses her. I was so involved with the scene that I  wished Danny would run up to Tina and take her back, and he does. Few movies make us want something to happen in the screen and deliver satisfaction for our expectations. This movie is one such rare work of art.

Broadway Danny Rose has been one of the most funny and moving picture by Woody Allen. The movie boasts wonderful actors and has a simple and direct story. The variety of characters conjured up by Woody are full of life. You'll definitely fall in love with Danny, and hence Woody after watching Broadway Danny Rose.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Western meets the Flatheads*

*A flathead or a hot-rod is a type of car that has flat elongated engine like a V8.

Mad Max: Fury Road by George Miller is nothing short of a spectacle. The wide screen magic lasted quite long, but the epic scenes were spilled all over the movie.

Though the story is as simple as Damsels in distress; the visual appeal and scope of the movie is the one I've been wanting to see for quite a while now. There's magic in the light that hits the silver screen, and few movies make use of it. I remember crouching down like the first audience of 'The Great Train Robbery' during some parts of the movie. The visuals were spell-bounding, yet not so overwhelming to distract you from the story.

It's one big chase with artful sensibilities of Tim Burton and epic in scale like that of Sergio Leone's films. There were very limited dialogue, which was a blessing for I was watching in a local theater that played a dubbed version. I felt like the movie should have ended a bit earlier.

I remember when I yelled to my friend beside me in the theater, “machan Surreal da”. There were so many action sequences, yet never did I feel lost in the mayhem. The 70 year old director has pulled of such a feat and has gained millions of new fans to the franchise.

The after effects of the movie is quite lasting, it has been more than three days since I watched the movie. Still I remember the shock and awe I had while the sandstorm sequence played. The lightening was made to illuminate the scene in different tone, I felt like I was high on shrooms watching this sequence.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The 'Kakka Muttai' experience

I've had a good time watching the film that has garnered such hype. The simple fact that the movie has gained two National Awards has made it a better sell. I was disheartened by the short review in the poster, 'the best feel good movie of the decade'(I prefer tragedy to comedy).

The story of Kakka Muttai is well layered. Manigandan has managed to give a entertaining non-masala film. He has successfully showed the true state of rural Chennai, and the impact of Globalization. The pulling factor of the movie undoubtedly was the performances of the actors. Not just the main characters but all the little ones that has made a lasting impression, in-spite of the less screen time.

I found that all the actors performed in a subtle manner. There was no yelling or demanding physical actions, which is quite surprising in a Tamil film. For this I'd like to commend Manigandan.

Apart from writing and directing this film he has also shot this. From the first shot that zooms out quite slowly to reveal the countless slum houses which are just tents of plastic sheets and metal scrapings, he has kept the visuals quite pleasing.

After all the praises I'd like to confess that I wasn't emotionally satisfied by the film. The characters though well played by the skilled actors seemed to lack depth. Maybe it's just me wanting more of the Kakka Muttais.