Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kalyana samayal sadam – a feast !

Finally in the last few years kollywood has come of age. They take an idea, live with it, use it, abuse it, sleep, live and eat and grow with it, sure that is the way to success as we have found. There is no 6 songs, 6 fights, punch dialogues, amma sentiment, no flying fire balls of auotmobile, there have been many refreshing new ideas and this is certainly one of those coming of age movies.

 I don’t want to play spoilers for this is no usual movie, there is definitely a firm thread of a story line which the movie captures which no other movie I ve heard of or seen has tried to venture into.. The time and events between courtship to marriage in an arranged marriage scenario. That is the actual period where love blossoms, smses get exchanged, fights happen, family politics play its part and so on before they get married and live happily ever after..  For those in love, they do not know the script of the movie they are acting, but arranged marriage is a like watching a tamil movie, you know the hero is going to win, and hence is a different ball game.. Speaking of ball games, you will see plenty of them in this movie. Too many sexual innuendos without actually showing flesh. Somehow I never felt like laughing though there was this burst out laughter whenever adult jokes (supposedly) are being enacted or dialogues uttered with double, no one and only meaning, requiring more than a parental guidance. Well, having established the main theme taking us through the period of courtship there was no need for emphasising the same problem in different lingo so many times, that certainly felt like trying too hard or having a set of A jokes and wanting to fully tick off the list..

The thing to appreciate about is the maturity of the screen play and the way each character reacts to the central issue the movie revolves around, take Delhi Ganesh, (come on when he speaks with a kerchief around the receiver just before interval, you can easily make his voice out while only the other end is visible to the audience). And sub consciously I went and picked a cold coffee in the interval being prompted by Delhi Ganesh asking the only question he wants to ask is whether a hot coffee or a cold coffee when Prasanna unassumingly starts to narrate the long story short, having been caught red handed by his father in law. The nosey relatives who try to be gossip-mongers, the hero’s mother, wanting to act like a typical mother in law, bossing over the bride and bringing out the son-parents relationship to the fore, all deserve credits..The heroine’s character played by Lekha Washington is a really strong one and she takes things very boldly, quite representing the reality of the times. But she could be less-stone faced and lacks an element of female charm which explains why she can never make it to the A list despite having a fair skin tone.

When Prasanna takes his parents, driving a car and the time when pops a gift before his bride, on one knee towards the end, it becomes difficult not to recollect the Arun Excello ads he appears in, you tend to imagine it is the keys to the house you think he is going to present.. Prasanna is getting sterotyped in non macho, doubting Thomas characters, like how Dhanush, RJ Shiva and so many other heroes are typecast. He scores in most scenes where he is unsure when confronted with overcoming the embarrassing challenge. Crazy mohan in his small role irritates with his 2000 year old wits. Prasanna’s friends contribute well to the movie with Raghav playing cupid to the troubled couple. Comedy is definitely not the forte of the dialogue writer, barring the inneundos which anyway bring a chuckle or a laughter here and there. Eg a gene / jean mix up relating it with progeny is a classic case in point which never deserved the laughter it is worth simply because of its poor dialogue delivery and intonation, probably it required more audience participation to appreciate it..

Getting into a fairly tale mode towards the climax, throwing a surprise was something almost everyone doing the routines in an arranged marriage would love to do but could never do because their lives were not scenes straight from the movies..

The script is the central pillar and characters have fallen in place perfectly and getting back to the initial section of this post this movie is both a multiplex movie and a A,B and partly C movie as the central thread is something that covers the entire populace. Not advisable for those under 18 due to the adult content, the movie is definite to be remade in hindi & telugu among other languages, who knows its definitely worth a few nominations and would do the rounds in the award circuits for its sheer freshness in treatment.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No hair raising stuff, this..

I have been fascinated by the way a man can try to look different in terms of physical appearance. Women being grossly having the lions’ share in pruning up looks, there is very little men can do to groom and appear masculine without getting too metrosexual. No, by masculine I‘m not meaning the macho types. Fans of WWF of the yesteryears, do you remember one random WWF guy called “The Macho Man”!

And hirsute facial architecture, like so many other things comes in different shapes and sizes and densities! There is this Chinese mush with a barren bridge in the centre and with grass meandering towards the sides, you should watch these shaolin series of movies. The tuft is another thing, we ll restrict it to facial hair designs.
Take from recent, recorded history, men with beards have always had a charm, an elegance that their otherwise clean shaven faces would not have endowed them with. An Ab Lincoln or a Steve Jobs without their characteristic beards would ve looked like a poor cousin. There are notable men who come to mind, Shakespeare, Rabindranath Tagore, Jaggi Vasudev, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Daniel Vettori, Ahh Thiruvalluvar, how can we forget our desi dude, with siram, karam puram neettadeer (you find this right behind the drivers seat facing the passengers in MTC buses) been mistaken for his verses.

There are some absolute spoilers like actor manivannan,
THE ONE AND ONLY TR, any other actor in India for that matter. Aamir Khan too looked like someone affected by a bout of fever, what s that movie Gulaam I think..  Farhan looks cool in his BMB avatar. Hope you get the flavour when I say who look good and who does n’t among these fellows. Shahrukh is another tragedy behind a non existent facade of facial hair.

No, the moustachioed do not join this party, ie., the Air India Sardar mascot with only the mush does not count. I wonder why the Sardarjis had not created a stir saying that man does not have a beard. Talking of Sardars, they are integral part when you are on this topic. Harbajan does not have one and still looks bad, Sidhu looks better, more because he wears more colourful clothes with matching kerchiefs and tie I suppose. He has that probing look in his eyes owing to his watching the ball?  No his eyes look more like a student who wants to copy from his neighbour in an exam who is not being too helpful. There has been Jaspal Bhatti, Jail Singh etc. but just the honorary credit to them because we are treading in their territory. These guys don’t score so well on the beard count.

Getting back to moustaches, which is quite not the topic but to define the topic clearly one needs to weed out what appears to be the fringes! Moustaches, the normal ones just flowing upto the side of the lips, rolled up ones like Bharathiar’s (the ones found in text books) not the real photos where he has a beard too. Be it Saami Vikram or Singam Surya are drab ones. Arvind Swami sports a better one mush or beard, does skin tone or complexion help, I don’t think so too much, apart from the contrasting colours of the skin and hair helping the appearance.

Let me get one more thing straight, french beards, other designer ones, side burns in the same breadth extending upto the chin and moving around the mouth to make an island around the mouth quite does not count as a beard for our discussion though there is quite some effort involved in this type of Anglo Saxon architecture!

A societal view, good or bad in sporting a beard is often linked to religious affinities or even to sexual orientation! Oh God! Ah talking of Gods, how can we leave Jesus, let it be the old tamil movie which they used to telecast in doordarshan on good Friday or other pictures that we have seen of Jesus. If I think of Lord Rama, the face of Arun Govil only comes to my mind. And to associate with God a physical identity is needed, atleast for me. How much and what it means in my life is a different question altogether. We all have only seen Gods in pictures havent we, I for one have nt had my enlightenment yet..

Getting back to the point, the ancillary benefits of sporting a beard is that it makes you look like a nerd, the journo-NGO with a jolna bag and cotton kurta makes perfect combo, added with a beard you complete the sequence. Its easy to give a thoughtful pose with a beard, but the downside is it itches, that too big time in summer. If not nothing it just sweats and you feel like scratching, but if you have to, make it graceful as if you are lost in thought and are trying to catch a bubble of thought that just burst into oblivion. Don’t make the irritation obvious. But a good trimmed one is fair enough and does not need great levels of tolerance to show a more masculine side of yourself. But bro, if it suits you sport one, else people will ask if you are not feeling well.. or worse off whether some relative has passed away! 

Ah.. how can we forget love failure and the consequent beard. Let me clarify a point which movies from time of Devadas to Dev D (Is Vaazhve mayam the tamil version??) have shown but failed to explain, what has love failure and being sick got to do with beard. It has been common societal notion to sport a beard or atleast a stub if you are going back to work after a week of illness. The logic behind this is that you were so down with your health that looking fresh with a clean shave was not on your agenda. Ditto for kadal tholvi. Someone is so distraught that his loved one has gone for good that he no more cares how he looks.

Getting back to big spoilers, the Bharathiraja movie where the blind hero sings and Radha dances till both of them die and fell down, he is a damp squib. Narendra modi – hmm don’t think it adds any charm to him. He might probably look more friendly without one.
There is one tamil cinema villain who is a motta bossbut has a beard, that’s a deadly combination. These are some one who do not have side burns continuing into beards but suddenly unlike the origin of a river which you cannot fathom, this beard abruptly springs out from the face in front of the ears with no forest cover above.

Mind you it’s a tricky situation, a beard can make or mar a look, someone known for his high sexiness quotient such as Bad Pitt looks like a beggar in his latest movie with a long beard on..
An interesting health tidbit I stumbled upon somewhere, that having a beard helps one stay younger as it protects the skin from the UV rays and hence delays aging.
The women out there, there is a huge secret – If a man looks good in a beard he is the one with looks which would kill, with or without them.
There are some for whom the beard rather grows haphazardly, leaving certain barren tracts on the face, forming a natural pattern and not evenly around the cheeks and chin. But in the land of metrosexual, clean-shaven Salman Khans, this is really quite old world stuff, but check out for Ranveer Singh & Farhan, gillette does not look like the best a man needs to get!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lol (Lack of Leadership)

If you try to boil down to one big malice plaguing the country today, it is clear lack of strong leadership from politics to industry to sport to art, you name it.

The recent cases in point which brought to focus the ever deplete leadership pool in society is the reinstatement of NR Narayanamoorthy and the recall of resignation of LK Advani. Without getting into the politics behind both these reinstatements, one is to understand that both these ships had come to the stage where even if they would not sink, it would be too difficult to set sail and reach safe shores without these leaders who created a legacy for these organisations through thought and action in their heyday.

Let’s take the corporate case to start with, for politics is a broader canvas with multiple cause-effect relationships occurring simultaneously, is more a number game; ‘ceteris paribus’ lays quietly buried in text books.. Here is the company an IT bellwether, which brought India on the global IT map, taking full advantage of the open economy of the 90s, which gave a new meaning to the term offshore, which always meant only oil rigs before!

From reaching numerical milestones in top and bottom lines, spreading wings to number of countries and covering the globe and having established a name for itself for 20 years in corporate India, the balance seems to have shaken with a good share of the promoters moving on in their lives; today is a stage where the current lieutenants of the company are unable to break the shackles and the company is pushed to the outer end of the top 5 IT majors in the country.

But the case of lack of leadership is not an isolated one, it is more widespread than an isolated one. Are we as a nation creating leaders? What makes this community a dear one? Take leaders in the last 150 years in every possible field – the definition of a leader, “a person having passion towards a goal who can take people’s support in the path towards achieving that goal with unrequited respect and acceptance”. If one tries to enumerate the leaders the country has seen, we have a dozen who fought for freedom. Post independence it becomes more difficult to sift leaders from the also rans. That is why a LK Advani or a Narayana moorthy are sought after so much and are taking the role of phoenix in their domain of work, a Kapil Dev or MS Dhoni are revered for their leadership ability and are celebrated beyond their dues to a demi-god status. Post independence politics unfortunately has not produced leaders of great stature primarily due to the changing logic and behaviour pattern of vote banks. The population as far as election goes has always been left with choosing the lesser of the evils. Corporate India has seen few turnaround kings in the Ambanis and Tatas and few others. But again it is noteworthy that the recent generations of these captains of industry had not built the empires but only developed on the platforms that their predecessors created, no less a task but definitely cant be credited for their estates.

While the multi-party democracy in India has led to the mushrooming of hundreds of political parties, each with a leader or two, it has hardly developed leaders who will stand true to its definition, whose passion is National or even regional wellbeing without vested interests. So what was the contribution of democracy in creation of leaders is compensated by the way it operates. Both at the centre and at the State it has predominantly been 2 parties that fight the elections, all the fringes get added as iron filings to a magnet. So in effect Indian democracy boils down to 2 party democracy like in the UK. The lack of leadership is going to affect our National politics when the country goes to poll in 2014, with Congress yet to identify a PM candidate, MMS has been true to the fact that good economists, like economics do not make good politics. The recent events in the BJP is again due to the dearth of strong leadership.

Who will form the Government at the centre and how much good governance and balanced National view one can expect from the coalition that would be formed at the centre. The parties over the years have matured to the fact that if alliances are opportunistic, they need to be formed after the election result. There is no point in locking your options before the knowing the results in the name of ideology.

Then, is it in the DNA that India lacks leaders, is it something India alone suffers from or is a global endemic from the US to far-east. The latter looks to be the case. The last 10 years do not have much to boast about in world politics or economics nor in sustainability front as well.

One can go back to the age old argument of whether leaders are born or made. It is any one’s guess that they are made, but the dynasty effect in politics and Indian industry makes us think otherwise. It is pertinent to note that these heir-apparent have the benefit of both worlds, being born as and having a conducive atmosphere to become leaders.

65 years hence, with the Nation moving on its retirement age, the first generation in almost every facet of public life be it good or bad at leadership has matured and have lasted their times, it is the apparent lack of leadership continuum or grooming of successors that seems to be the crux of the problem in the major spheres of the country – Politics and Industry. This calls for a leadership culture that needs to get imbibed, identification and grooming of leadership talent that is the need of the hour, whether this can be brought about through education, say at Universities that teach the game or through working with the leaders and being coached by them from close quarters. The answer has to be both.

Have we exhausted our energies in our quest for the mass production of engineers, clerks and managers (read MBAs) and lost sight of nurturing genuine leaders or the entrepreneurial culture to have a vision and to take people along with one’s faith, conviction and strength? There seems to be a connect between entrepreneurship and leadership for the simple reason of of having a dream and converting it into reality by doing all it takes to see his vision implemented by making it a shared ideology of the group. In comparison the developed nations, for the above simple reason seems to have more leaders than say, a country like ours. To pit against the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and the Fords and GMs, Boeings, Yahoos and Googles, GEs, Samsungs and Sonys for the amount of wealth that they created and the extent to which these companies changed the way we live, entrepreneurship definitely contributed to leadership. If we take India, there is hardly a path-breaking ‘changing the way we live’ industrialist who has walked this space.

So is the solution to leaders lie in entreprenurship? More yes than no, I opine..

Monday, May 27, 2013

IPL 6 - சூது கவ்வியது

• இந்த IPL 6 உடைய டைட்டில் SPONSOR எனக்கு என்னவோ பெப்சி இல்லை சூது கவ்வும் படம் தானோ என்று தோன்றுகிறது.. "IPL 6 - சூது கவ்வும்" என்றாலும் "சூது கவ்வும் - IPL 6" என்று IT SERVES TO PROMOTE EITHER.

• இதில் என்ன என்றால் சூது கவ்வும் intended காமெடி IPL 6 unintended tragedy.

• சூது கவ்வும் (SK ) ல 5 rules, IPL 6 - நோ ரூல்ஸ்

• SK - ஆதிக்கத்தில் கையை வைக்காதே , IPL 6 ஆதிக்கம் தான் கையை வைப்பதே.

• SK - ஆள் கடத்த 45000, இங்கே மேட்ச் கடத்த பல லட்சங்கள்.

• சூது கவ்வும் ல ஒரே ஒரு பொண்ணு HEROINE னு கூட சொல்ல முடியாது .IPL 6 பல பெண்கள். Rochelle Rao டு cheer leaders.

• IPL 6 காமெடி டீம் - சித்து & கோ., SK - சேதுபதி & கோ.

• SK - ஹெலிகாப்ட்டர் SHOOT (ஹெலிகாப்ட்டர் வெச்சு பணத்தை சுடரங்க), IPL - ஹெலிகாப்ட்டர் SHOT .

• SK - தமிழ் என்டேர்டைன்மென்ட் IPL - ஆல் இந்திய என்டேர்டைன்மென்ட்

• SK ல போலீஸ் கு ஆப்பு IPL 6 போலீஸ் வெச்சது ஆப்பு.

• SK ல இருட்டு அறையில் முரட்டுக்குத்து, IPL 6 வெட்ட வெளிச்சத்தில் கும்மாங்குத்து!

• Saving the best for the last - SK - போட்டுக்குடத்தது நம்பிக்கை கண்ணன், IPL - போட்டு வாங்கியது குருநாத் மெய்யப்பன்!