Tag Archives: Review

The Fear That You Won’t Fall

13 Feb

To begin with, if it occurs to any of you that occasionally the titles of my posts are the oh-so-simple-yet-profound kinds, I must confess that they’re often titles of songs or films or the like. It just saves me the effort of using up my creative juice and coming up with a title like “I just saw a very depressing movie” so why not?

 

So that gave away the subject of the post. I finally saw “Longtime Companion“, a film that’s been lying on my hard drive for nearly 2 years, and which I’ve attempted watching two to three times before, but never succeeded in finishing. It’s a touching story that captures the lives of two groups of gay folks living in New York story over a period of almost a decade, beginning from the time that AIDS first surfaced in the world. As we watch, the groups shrink further and further till there aren’t but a few remaining, all the rest having fallen victim to the erstwhile “gay disease”.

Though one feels more secure in the fact that we’re in safer times now, where there is more awareness and less chances of infection, one still wonders why us gay men, already afflicted with so many challenges in life, must also be susceptible to yet another. That on any given day, our lives might be drastically changed for the worse (if not end abruptly as it did back in the days), and that all it takes is one rotten experience to ruin it all. That one must live each day on guard, treading carefully and exercising caution given the community that we live in, and the lifestyle of the people to whom we expose ourselves. (Yes, AIDS exists among straight people too, and spreads through infected syringes and yada yada but I’m going to look at the larger relevant picture on my blog, so there.)

Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful film and a must watch. The irony is that it begins on such a merry note, with a lovely rendition (probably the original) of “The Tide is High”, where all seems hunky dory and all the men aren’t so grossly muscular as they are nowadays. With each passing frame, it moves towards a total contrast.

But such is life, mes amies. We are born with no concerns, then the hurdles start attacking us along the way, and eventually we die.
C’est la vie.

 

On a different note, how much do you think the folks in this video were paid to dance the way they are doing? (Credit to an erstwhile blogger for discovering it and posting it on Facebook)

A regular dose of chic-lit

9 Dec

So this time, since I had decided to travel to Delhi super light, there was no laptop in my luggage at the airport and, in fact, no hand baggage at all… Like really, OMG!

So what does one do on a 3 hour flight, in a low cost carrier devoid of any inflight entertainment?

Why, the good old fashion reading of course! And thus I risked picking up a book at the airport with literally no recommendations… Wanting to play it safe, I had to pick up some racy thriller or something equally “me”, and stay away from the intellectual gibberish.
So it came to a choice between “The Lost Symbol”, and a random bit of chic-lit that I came across called “Keep The Change”. And lo-behold, I risked taking the latter!

Since it happens to be the second chick-lit I’m reading in the last 6 months, and the third book as a whole, I cannot help but occasionally compare it to Almost Single, the last book I was gushing about on this blog.

Sure, so KTC scarcely comes close to the literary brilliance of the narrative of Advaita Kala. Does that change the fact that the story is extremely amusing, the character is a tad easier to relate to, and the book itself is thoroughly enjoyable? No, it does not!

To sum it up in short, the book is about an ordinary, conservative Tam-Brahm girl who migrates from Chennai to Bombay in order to get a life, and halfway through the book, is coming close to it without “losing herself”. Yes, that’s right… I’m just a little beyond halfway through. HOW I’m enjoying it though! Yes, it isn’t as hysterical a read as AS (there I go off again), but it sure has its own charm to it.

I think the time has come to embrace the genre, and go all out in investing in every chic literature there is, and pretend it’s “my sister’s”.

Speaking of my sister, she got engaged yesterday. It was a decent affair, I had two bloody drinks and was extremely buzzed all evening, the evening seemed to last the shortest time, and I’m hopefully in a lot of snaps. For the occasion, pop bought me a nice, sleek and trendy, somewhat unusual western suit, that I cannot possibly fathom when/where I’ll be able to wear again.
Oh yes, the sister’s engaged. The ring is deliciously fabulous. I’m very happy for her. The entire family’s damn happy with the guy too. I am not so much… a tad too conservative for my tastes… but well, he’s completely her choice and she’s apparently more than happy to oblige, so what can I say?

So I was really buzzed. The only saving grace was that my most senior aunt too fixed herself one-too-many gins, and got so woozy that she hugged and greeted her own son’s domestic help!!! Oh, how I laugh at the thought of it even now. Didn’t get to see it, but heard about it. What a RIOT! 😀

I used to be intimidated by her all these years, but I’m really starting to like her now! She’s bloody elegant in her own right… Wish I’d been around in her prime.

Anyway, damn sleepy now, so gonna crash.

This is Unsung, signing off from a cold-but-going-to-get-colder-long-after-I’m-gone-and-that-just-sucks Delhi…

Cheers!

 

PS – And from those who have read either of the 2 books mentioned here, I invite recommendations!

My first “Valentine’s Day” in B’lore

19 Feb

was 5 days post Valentine’s Day. Yes, I’m talking about the film…

I must say it was a delightful watch. It’s been just so long since I saw a film so ordinary on the big screen. No gigantic plot, no ground-breaking budget, animations and the lot. Just a plain, old ordinary film that one thinks wasn’t really made for the Big Screen at all but is usually found being screened on Star Movies at 3.00 PM. And yet, an extremely pleasant watch.

The best parts of the film? Why, the 2 hottest men in the film… were…. you guessed it! It was almost hilarious the sighs of frustration that were just so audible from all the girls around, including my sister! The disappointment they must’ve felt was practically liberating, since at least in the movies, there appears to be some justice for us!

Apart from that, the Indian restaurant, and the hindi songs and dance were quite amusing too! One doesn’t expect that in too many mainstream films, somehow, but lo behold, there it was. And once again, everybody who matters (on the big screen) is attractive with an awesome physique. I may as well just go drown myself.

But YOU go and enjoy “Valentine’s Day”… a terribly mediocre film that you’d enjoy watching simply because it’s been so long…

Khan he really do it?

16 Feb

Not only can he do it, he did it!

Yep, am talking about MNIK.

Karan Johar successfully took a brilliant plot, a fantastic storyline and mixed it into one of his melodramatic works that he honestly should’ve left behind in the 20th (more like 19th) century! And I rather doubt he has the right to portray America’s handling of emergencies in such an inefficient fashion. I’d like my American friends to watch the film and tell me if the country is likely to desert victims of a natural disaster when the area is as accessible as it was in the film.

But full credit goes to him for attempting to make a film with as brilliant a concept as the one this had. And full points to him for bringing Kajol and Sharukh on screen together without the chemistry that we always loved and adored. Now I won’t be so eager to see them act next to each other in the future.

All in all, a very, very mediocre film. Enjoyable moments, despicable ones too. I give it 3 on 5.

On a side-note, watching SF was quite a pleasure. Makes me long for being in the US yet again. Though at a more subtle level, I look at how an immigrant from this part of the world is likely to be treated there, and I’m forced to reconsider. Maybe if I could live on Wisteria Lane…

Anyhow, I thought I’d given that a long-needed break… The yearning to move to the States. And then I thought that I’d rather do Europe. And in between all that longing for everything out of reach, I’d told myself that being a first-grade citizen in India was pretty cool too… Yep, I want everything and I’m incapable of being satisfied with what I have. That’s established then. Nothing new there…

I’m in LOVVVEEE…….

24 Dec

with

&

With these 2 in my life, I feel much more complete.

If you guys haven’t caught either of them, and don’t intend to, be banished from Earth and never return again.

Enough has been said about the former. It was a journey. It was hyped around me beyond all norms, I went with tremendous expectations and the film surpassed them.

As for the book, my sister left it behind at home, and I thankfully opened it. I’m not able to read a single paragraph without laughing out loud, and am unable to finish a page without shaking with laughter and hitting myself to contain it. So you get my point.
Go watch the movie.
Go buy (and read) the book. And after having read 2 pages of the book, or however much it takes to fall in love with it, Tweet the author and tell her you love her, as I did.
http://twitter.com/AdvaitaKala

A little bit o’ culture

14 Jun

So Daksh, acquaintance from school who discovered me on this blog by spitefully tallying the contents of this space and my facebook account, came to town last week. We met up earlier this week in CP, where he took me to an art gallery. No, I’m not into art and I’ve never been to one before. Apparently, he studied art in college, and now calls it “a lot of pretentious hogwash that proves resoundingly costly to some people”. We spent a decent amount of time there, “analysing” the art. It was quite fun, a rare experience. For a moment, I tried imagining what would happen if I planted any of my heterosexual friends before the artwork and asked them to interpret it. It made me feel rather good about myself!

Day before, I was glancing through the paper and was delighted to see that this play was being staged on 2 consecutive days, near CP. It had been put up before, in Gurgaon last year, and it was far too far away for me to drive by myself, back then.
I was tremendously excited, and it was a free screening, so I didn’t have to make trips beforehand to pick up tickets. I immediately called up Daksh, and asked him to join me for it.
I was randomly googling the play when I came across a write-up about the show, that stated that entry was by passes. This caught me unaware, and I rang up the centre, which informed me that entry was indeed confined to pass-bearers, which were (the passes) exhausted. This left me terribly disappointed. Having noticed the director’s email ID in one of the googled web-pages, I emailed him about my disappointment at not managing to be able to catch a show, asking him if he was planning to stage it again sometime.

Unbelieveably, the same night, he wrote back saying he could hand me some passes, 2 hours before the show, and gave me his number, asking me to text him when I got there to pick them up!
Which I did. Would you believe it? The man himself came out to give them to me! How very astonishingly sweet of him! He was quite harried so close to show time (I cannot imagine why he simply didn’t send someone else with them) so we didn’t speak long.

So there I was, outside the venue at sharp showtime. Once Daksh and I had entered, we were appalled to discover that we were in fact being seated before a Television screen. We discovered that we’d arrived too late (exactly at showtime!) and the theatre was full.
So we saw the first half of the play on a virtual projection. Which was extremely disappointing because it completely destroyed the fun of watching theatre; and one of the actors was so cute, the only appropriate way to watch him on stage was in flesh and blood.

Daksh and I were strategically located very near to the entry into the auditorium. Halfway through the play, we saw some folks coming out, sensed the opportunity, and darted towards the door. The theatre was extremely small, so it wasn’t surprising that it was full. They gave out twice as many passes as they had chairs! So we made do with sitting on the aisle, which already had a few people occupying it. But hell, we got to see the real thing, and golly was it different! Oh, the SA (the humongously cute actor) looked so much nicer in person 😛

On a whole, I went with very high expectations, so the play was mildly disappointing. But only very mildly. The jokes were initally quite corny, but I guess the play had been dumbed down for a mostly heterosexual audience. There were amazing moments that made me laugh out very loud (so loudly that once, it made a few heads turn back at me) and I really, really wished I could’ve also acted in that production. It was right up my alley!

I came home after the play and began googling all I could about SA. Having come across his Facebook profile, I was totally tempted to message him telling him how much I enjoyed watching him on stage (because of his acting, guys!), but Daksh convinced me not to. While I argued that it wasn’t as much flirtatious as a general compliment, he argued correctly that if I indeed messaged him via facebook, it would amount to stalking. Well argued, Daksh!

So I refrained from messaging him. I just hope he’s actually gay, and I meet him somewhere, at some point in my life (but within the next 1 month). But I guess I shouldn’t be very hopeful. I suppose he’ll be forgotten in time as well, like most other infatuations. Remember a certain French Conquest I attempted and lost, and forgot all about until this very moment?

(Modern) Lessons In Mythology

9 Jun

No, I didn’t sit through yet another extremely corny “Modern Ramayana”, but instead watched a most delightful feature called Sita Sings The Blues, whose link Rakesh was broadcasting some time ago. Needless to say, I’m once again eternally grateful to him. This film gave me more than simply a delightful viewing experience… It so turns out that I had little idea of how exactly Ramayan ended! I thought the entire story involved Ram rescuing Sita from Ravan, and it ended right there but Lo Behold…. It doesn’t! It so turns out that Ram is quite a hell of a prick (tons of offense intended) and pushes around his dutiful and vision-of-perfection wife into fires and oceans and what-not to prove her “purity” to him, and refuses to reuinte with her each time, even as she passes survives every test! Eventually, she dumps him because, frankly, a woman eventually gets sick of it all.

His conduct is utterly shameful, I say! Certainly not deserving him a temple at a disputed site. Chandu, D… Where are all the feminists on this one?

Oh yes, more about the film. It was done absolutely beautifully, no doubt. The narrators were hilarious, Sita looked sexy in many parts of the film. Nina Paley, with this film, has clearly outdone everyone else who attempted such a feat!

So now that you’ve read this post, you are obliged to download the film (It’s legal!!), watch it, come back here and post about it (or write about it on your own blog, and lemme know), and if you happen to be friggin’ rich, they contribute a bit to the artist towards recovering the costs of making the film (and buy me an Armani! 🙂 )

 

Here’s a trailer :