Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Simpsons – The Movie and another Sunday

Fantastic entertainment. Just watch it.

Ok you are still reading this! The movie is a lot quicker than the TV series and less satirical and more humorous, for obvious reasons. Now will you go and watch it?

Fine. This is the last time I am telling you. The movie rocks in all departments including the credits. Don’t miss the credits. True art at work, no puns intended. Enjoy.

Amongst other pleasant things to happen on this nice sunny day, I managed to get the DVD of Mouna Ragam, Mani Rathnam’s first popular work, his finest for some. Agni Natchatiram came along as a bonus on the same DVD. All for Rs. 60!

And while I am at in the process of delivering good news, last weekend, my team managed to get lucky enough to win the Madras round of the TATA Crucible Business Quiz. Now onto the national finals on Sep 20th in my second favourite city in India.

Also acquired a copy of Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss and began reading almost immediately. Good fun

And finally, here is what promises to be a primer for the ultramarathoners for the first time in India (?). I am on for the 50 km event. Hope to stay alive on Dec 16th.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pan’s Labyrinth

This is one movie which had more than one nomination at the recent Academy awards, yet one which had evaded me. Today I managed to see it and was warmly surprised by its simplicity.

The movie tells the story of a little girl who believes in fairies and reads a lot of their tales, while her mother moves to the home of her new husband, an army captain under the regime of Franco. While the girl is not reconciled to her new father and can’t forget her own, a tailor, her mother labours (quite literally) under the pains of the impending birth of the captain’s child in her womb.

The movie is a little long, just under two hours but there is never a dull moment, nor any melodrama. The little girl portrayed by Ivana Baquero is utterly loveable and acts her age, (whatever it may be). Sergi Lopez as the captain delivers a fine performance as a brutal suppressor of the rebels. The supporting cast does its part admirably well too, especially Maribel Verdu as the housekeeper.

The movie is a fine example of several good elements of cinema, editing being one of them, not of the Scorsese variety where you can almost feel the blade which made the cut (the kind I usually like), but the kind which lets you step from scene to scene as if mimicking the unraveling of a thread, effortless and natural, but no impressive than the former. The scripting by Guillermo Del Toro, (also the director) is outstanding and reminiscent of the Tornatore school of storytelling. There is this particular monster as part of the world of fantasy which the girl enters, for whose makeup and imagery alone, I would have given out an Oscar. And then the music is absolutely apt and non intrusive into the unfolding tale.

May there be more of this kind. Must watch, No! Make that compelling watch.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

How late it was, how late

I didn't know that this Booker winner from 1984 had generated so much controversy. (Don't go looking on the web, unless you want to run into spoilers...)

Just finished reading it in two short bursts between yesterday and today, although I had started on it, few months ago. Absolutely spaced out book - otherwise termed a stream of consciousness book!

The tale is that of Sammy - one-time convict who wakes up one day, bruised and blind after a two day binge-out.

My verdict is that it is still a little vague despite feeling like a wet English movie whose ending someone stole away before you began seeing it. Marks if any, for leaving you feeling all wet (due to the Scottish countryside description) and woozy (due to the pervasive uneasiness in the book). So much for experimental writing.