Tuesday, February 24, 2009

GMail down -- creates havoc!!

Around 1600 hours today, GMail has gone down. Not for me only, the whole world, it seems! And the effect...

#GMail is already trending topic on Twitter. My whole timeline is abuzz with "#FAIL" quotes. People are running around to find some Oxygen. If this isn't up within 15 minutes, it will start flooding with "Is world coming to an end" quotes and you may be able to see people on the street shouting slogans.

Goes on to show, how much we are dependent on GMail! Difficult to survive without GMail it seems. What would creatures like me do, if not for twitter?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

American Idol : Anoop Desai

Remember Sanjaya Malakar? Of course you do! Otherwise known as that horrible singer from India. Desis in America got pretty excited too. I remember Arati talking about, how sms voting for Malakar was almost norm of every desi get-together. (Can't find the damn link right now). What with myspace protests and all that, he was, if somewhat infamous, celebrity until he was finally voted out. Phew!!

Desis have a new hero now : Anoop Desai . From whatever little I have seen, he is a decent singer and any day better than Sanjaya. It's just the beginning, so too early to judge or form an opinion about him, so as of now it's wait-and-watch. My friend Neha here, got pretty fumed about the judge, Ryan Seacrest calling him Anoop Dog. She assumed that pseudonym was drawn from Slumdog. But as it turns out, Anoop himself identified as 'Anoop Dog' (On the lines of 'Snoop Dogg' I think) during his audition, which I personally think is pretty lame. May be he just meant it to be one-time-funny and leave it at that.

One thing I believe is that no sensible American will call you terms like dog, at least publicly. Even if not for the sense of equality, they'd be damn afraid of racism controversy that might follow such comments. So unless you are one of those dumb blonde American celebrities, you wouldn't call such terms to African-American or Asian or any other minority. Any way, coming back to Anoop Desai. I am just waiting for the time, when India's 24x7 idiotic media will pick up this story and make big deal out of it. Digging history of Anoop Desai circa 1761 and desis flooding blogosphere with Anoop Desai posts.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, that 'd' in 'nishitd' stands for 'Desai'.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino's much awaited Inglourious Basterds (Inglorious Bastards) is finally ready to hit the theaters on August 21, 2009. This is what QT calls his version of Where Eagles Dare, Guns of Navarone and such like. Here is the first trailer. Can't wait!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Review : Dev D

An egotistical brat returns from London to meet her childhood love, only to blow her off with his saddistic ways, resulting in love getting married to a widower and brat resorting to liquor and a kothewaali. That's as crisp and accurate summary of Devdas you can do. Still it's surprising to see fascination of bollywood with the character and the story. Three times, three directors made their version with top actors of respective times. Anurag Kashyap definitely does not belong to aforementioned genre. He believes that those movies/story are too melodramatic. He believes that Devdas is nothing but a sore loser. And that's how Devdas takes a big leap of faith, if you will.

Kashyap's Devdas is not totally a biographical of a man of misery. Dev, Paro and Chanda all get their own narrative until they converge. Dev, in the beginning, is no cute child artist who gives a hug or an innocent kiss to his childhood love. Instead he threatens his girlfriend to bite her hand if she doesn't obey him and he does. In one of the rare hilarity of the movie, when asked to leave for London, Dev asks whether he is being sent to London because he was caught smoking or for calling his father 'Sattu'. Shahrukh Khan's passion towards Paro is in expression is with melodramatic Koi tumhe chhue yeh main bardaasht nahi kar sakta, while Dev (Abhay Deol) here, looking at nude picture of his girlfriend,with expressions full of lust, goes Paro, main aa raha hoon. Paro (portrayed beautifully by Mahie Gill) too, on the other hand is no silsila yeh chahat ka girl of yours. She is succumbed to lust as much her man is. I was probably the only one in the whole cinema to laugh out loud when she starts carrying a mattress on her bicycle stand, but that shows the extent she is willing to go to follow her lust and that of her man. When, now cult song, "Emosional Atyaachar" by Patna ke Presleys breaks during her marriage celebrations, uncaring of her surroundings she breaks into a zesty dance, much to shock of her relatively-old husband. When asked by his ex about physical satisfaction from relationship, she not only retorts, she goes on to say, tumhe tumhari aukat dikha rahi hoon. While Sharat Chandra's Chandramukhi does not have much background to identify with, Kashyap's Chanda (Kalki Koechlin) goes through roller-coaster of teenage, scandals, hatred until succumbing to Easy Money for her life. Dev's journey of rise, fall and redemption goes through dark --figuratively and literally-- nights, lots of vodka, mountains of himalayas, grief of the father's death, misery of a criminal and lot more. Even if that meant a little dragged and arbitrary second half of "self discovery" and "epiphany". That's where movie deserves its share of criticism.

Two strongest department to come out of these movies are cinematograpy and music. Kudos to Amit Trivedi and Kashyap for not only creating a surreal music, but also blending it to the film so beautifully that in spite of 18 tracks, it never distracts narrative, but only adds to the effectiveness. For example, after confronting her ex, when Paro leaves hotel, in slow frames, hiding her sorrowful eyes with sunglasses, to the tunes of saavan barse/ chubhan de hazaar/ saavan barse. And it's amazing how much sense Dhol Yaara Dhol or Paayaliya makes after having actually seen the movie. DevD's sojourn through underground pubs and drug bars reminds you of another visually stunning expression of misery, Requiem for a dream. Originally, Abhay Deol himself conceived the idea of Dev.D and he knows his character well. It's sure a challenge to portray someone whose perpetual mood is that of sorrow and masochism. I will go on to say that Devdas is one of the most unidimensional character you'll ever come across in hindi cinema in the ranks of all babujis of Alok Naths and maas of Nirupa Roys and Reema Lagoos. Only for that, if for nothing else, Abhay Deol deserves accolades. Mahie Gill as Paro makes an interesting debut. She does not make a cute or girl-next-door debut, but a role that requires her to shed clothes in first few minutes of movie and not for titillation that one. Challenging and well done! Kalki Koechlin is passable as Canadian-Indian high class prostitute. Chunni here gets more color than Sharat Chandra's counterpart here. He is not just an accomplice of Dev, but a shrewd drug dealer and an accomplished pimp. Kashyap will surely get some of his fans back he lost with "No Smoking".

Thumbs up for beautifully crafted and visually stunning film. I say bring on more.
PS:- Just as I was about to publish this, I got the answer for Special Thanks to Danny Boyle frame at the beginning of the movie.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Roger v. Rafa

Although not as big a classic as Wimbledon 2008, but we all can agree upon that we saw a great final in Australian Open 2009. I have so many thoughts about it, so many, that they are so messed up inside my mind. I need divide them up and put it in context to make sense out of past, present and future and significance of this event. Someday I will, hopefully.