Archive for the ‘art’ category

Masha Allah

February 23, 2009

AR Rahman and Pookutti are our boys. Though I have heard and enjoyed better music from Rahman, I am happy that our boy has won. Just as how I would condemn watching (and ofcourse playing) cricket in srilanka when thousands are being killed everyday, and yet not feel unhappy when India wins the match, I have mixed feelings.

The movie got undue accolades, and ofcourse undue criticism. The beauty of ugliness portrayed did irk spotlight mongers but my grouse was not about the shit of india shown on screen. The very fact that this movie moved the viewers so much that all the liquid that filled their eyes with pain or pride, sympathy or sarcasm made their vision narrow, makes me rub my own eyes in disbelief.

The film many say is about a poor man winning against all odds in life. The subtext is that he wins not through hard work but by fluke- the only way a ‘slumdog’ can! I was unable to see a poor man struggling and winning in life, I just saw a simple story which talked about a male and female childhood friendship developing into a crush and cinematically climaxing into a song and dance! The simple story did not even become a cinematic experience that simple stories are capable of creating. Changeling was more intense in portraying the spirit of one who fights against odds. Benjamin B was a more tricky story to script. But we have to sing ‘jaiho’ just because the movie was shot in India!

There is nothing Indian about the film. If this is the way an Indian can win his dream girl and his fantasy bungalow at the beach, the only ones who are going to win finally are the organizers and sponsors of TV shows. I always hope that India wins in every encounter. I even sometimes pray for such things. But this is not India. And, this film is not about hope. It is just another empty rhetoric that asks the youth to dream. Air-conditioned dreams without the sweat of toil are bubbles that burst when dawn breaks. Best-selling writers and highly-paid speakers are the only ones who win by peddling such parables. Do I resent the Oscars that came to India? No! I simply wish that there was a truer representation of this great country that won. The composer and the sound engineer were Indian brains- let us be proud of them, but the film and the hype,was about the brainlessness of India.

Rahman deserves honors for his musical mastery. It just happened that Allah smiled at this pious soul this day and in the blessings showered on Rahman the rest of the crew got sprinkled with prizes. To what else can I attribute the eight Oscars of SDM?

This is just another proof that God exists and blesses. Just as how some innocents get caught in God’s fury at the evil, so do some undeserving get wet with the blessings that he showers on his favorite.

A film?

February 16, 2009

Oh God!

I never imagined that I would be so awe-struck at a film that missed out on many things. ‘naan kadavul’ by bala is so strange to me that I wonder if I can ever say what happened during and after the hours I was watching the film. To begin with ARYA! I have never felt that I should take an actor’s hand in my palms and say, looking into his eyes, “you were wonderful”. I had felt that way with balasingh, but arya was different- I do not know him. Perhaps it was a casting coup, but the young man had worked. He had a sculpted, Romanesque body, cold eyes, and briskness that all made me think of just one word- divinity. He was divine in his movement and in his demeanor. He was shiva, he was rudhran. He was fabulous. I cannot say the same about the leading female artiste who was so artificial that all the sympathies drummed up in the script and the musical score still were inadequate to make my eyes wet.

Bala as a director? I still do not know. Fassbinder and Polanski, not to forget Kubrick, have all made me uncomfortable but astounded, but with bala, I do not know whether I can ever empathize with him. I do sympathize with him, knowing the hurdles of making a film, but he does not strike a chord in my soul. i however should thank him for sparing the gory details that he is capable of showing in the climax. Jayamohan? I have read people writing about him, and could never go through any of his five books that I possess. My personal feeling is that balakumaran would have written better dialogues, as he could have got into the character of the ‘hero’ more easily. Let me make it clear that in my personal literary ratings they do not vary with each other. If ever there was one person who understood to underscore the film it was ilayaraja. If vaali did indeed write that om sivoham song then I may perhaps never criticize any crap that he will definitely write in future.

Beyond the film, the concept- that God is there, and passive is wonderful. The god just lurks in the background and opens its eyes only when stirred- not by chants, not by poetry but by pain. The evil too undergo the pain of being evil just as how the maximum-good (the number into which I would most willingly subscribe), undergo the pain. One awaits punishment in pain and the other deliverance in the same. You need to cry from your soul and you will be delivered. Death as the deliberate delivery of a still-born suffering, is the message that got lost. Though some may scorn at the use of the mentally disabled, it was needed to show that impotent pain is more than an immature one.

Thanks bala, for chosing to make arya do this. I await a more diligent script.