Monday, November 28, 2011

Midnight in Paris (2011) - English




It's been a very long time since I last saw a Woody Allen flick, and this time too, he didn't disappoint me. 'Midnight in Paris' is about a writer, and his emotional responses towards the things he love the most in his life, and about the choices he decides upon.

Gil Pender, is a famous screenplay writer in Hollywood. After writing a few successful scripts, his mind is entangled towards writing a novel. He is on a vacation trip, enjoying his days in Paris, with his girlfriend Inez. The trip is also to complete his novel. The novel is all about a guy working in a nostalgia shop. We meet Inez's college sweetheart Paul. Paul too is on a vacation with his wife Carol. Now, Paul is like the modern day Tamil pseudo - intellectuals, who, just after glancing the blurb of a book, can talk in volumes about the work. Hence, he constantly irritates Gil, during the trips to the famous places in France. Gil totally loathes the pseudo - intellectual Paul, whereas Gil's girlfriend Inez, is awestruck by the so-called 'erudition' of  Paul.

Gradually, Gil feels alienated from this false crowd, and decides to roam around on his own. On one such strolls around Paris, after heavily consuming wine, he loses his way, and ponders about the route to his hotel, when we see a car - a model belonging to the 1920s - approaching Gil, and the passengers insist on Gil accompanying them. The intoxicated Gil gets in to the car, and lo - the adventure begins !

The car stops in a bar, which totally is decorated in the retro style - of the 1920s. A guy is singing a song of Cole Porter, one of Gil's favorite singers. To his amusement, the singer is none other than Cole Porter himself ! Gil then understands that he is in the 1920's, the period, which according to Gil, is the golden age of Paris. An awestruck Gil then meets F. Scott Fitzgerald, the insanely talented writer, who tried his hand in screenplays and later on, committed suicide (check out the Screenplay series in karundhel.com, where I have written about this genius). Gil meets Zelda Fitzgerald too. Zelda feels bored in the bar, and so they go to a different bar, with Gil. Gil meets an angry man there, named Ernest Hemingway !

It's like a dream come true to Gil, to roam around in a period he considers worth living, and with his idols. Hemingway introduces Gil to Gertrude Stein, another genius from the '20s, so that she can edit Gil's novel. 

The night ends. 

Next day. Observing a restless Gil, Inez thinks he is uninterested to meet her parents that night. Even after the party, when Gil tries to bring Inez to the rendezvous point, she, after waiting for a long time, leaves Gil and goes to the hotel, while, the pick up car comes. This time, Gil meets a painter named Pablo Picasso, and his girlfriend Adriana. Picasso is busy painting  Adriana's painting. 

The next day, when the pseudo - intellect Paul, after seeing Adriana's painting in a museum, starts to blabber something, Gil interferes, and cites all the details behind the painting, which irritates Paul. 

Again, on  that night, Gil meets Adriana, who starts to love Gil. Gil too, is intoxicated by this new found love. Adriana finds out that Gil is engaged, and becomes sad. During that time, Gil meets three people, who gets introduced to Gil as Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel and Man Ray. Gil tells them about his predicament, that he is from the future and he has fallen in love with a girl from the past, but the three completely approve his situation, as they are ardent Surrealists and they don't feel that things are awry here.

From then on, the movie becomes more intrigued. 

Watch the end, and find out what has happened to Gil.

I found the film totally enjoyable, with the names of a few litterateurs I myself am interested in. And, Paris ! My dream city ! Together with the litterateurs and the beauty of Paris, I was totally engrossed. 

Owen Wilson has given a subtle performance as Gil Pender, a person who gets caught between the beauty of the past and the reality of the present. He portrays a dreamy litterateur, who thinks that the past is great and idolizes the writers of the past. One of my favorite actors,  Marion Cotillard (A Good Year, Inception), has donned the role of  the beautiful, romantic Adriana.

Overall, this is a joy ride in to the lost glory of Paris, and is worthwhile to watch. 

See the trailer of 'Midnight in Paris' here.



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My gaming addiction



'Assassin's Creed: Revelations' is slated to be released on Nov 29th. I am a die hard of fan of the game franchise, and I am waiting to grab the PS3 version. At this juncture, let me write about a few of my favorite games. 

The first ever game I played in a computer, is Age of Empires. This happened during my college days, and from then on, I became a computer game addict. During my school days, I had a Nintendo with me, and enjoyed playing simple games like Contra, Super Mario, Pacman, golf, baseball, Tennis etc. But as I joined college, AOE was installed in the college lab by my seniors, and it was a practice in CIT during those days that the MCA lab will be available throughout the night for the students. Hence, we will go there, grab a system and start playing AOE in LAN. That was real fun ! four of us will be playing in the network, with a huge map, picking a civilization each, and attacking each other. We thoroughly enjoyed our night lab sessions in CIT.

It was during my CIT days that I started playing Max Payne. One of my roommates installed it in his system, and I started to play it all the time till I completed it. Once Max Payne was over, we turned our attention to Brian Lara Cricket. Again, we bunked our P.G sessions and played this game, where each person will choose a country (I always chose Pakistan, just to tease my friends), and start playing the World Cup. We used to invent new shots - I can remember a particular shot clearly - the straight drive sixer - which was very difficult to master. We did that too. Also, during Brian Lara, we were playing a game named 'Rally'. All the four computers in the room were connected in Lan, and hence, we were able to play games in the network. This Rally is a car race. We also played Roadrash to the full extent. 

Once I completed my P.G, my attention turned towards 'Project IGI'. I completed the first part and the subsequent sequel too. Then came 'Max Payne 2' and I completed that game too. 'Mummy' followed. It was at this point of time that I started playing one of my most favorite games till date, and I continued it for the whole of the next year.

Tomb Raider. 

I started playing the first ever part, and was immediately hooked by the sheer fun and adventure the game has in-store. I played all the parts one by one, and it took me a whole year to complete all the parts (as I was playing that game in my cousin's house). 

By this time I had a job to manage, and hence, my gaming addiction withered out for a while. 

It started again when I moved to Bangalore, and I started playing the final part of the Tomb Raider series named 'Underworld'. Once I completed it, I bought another of my most favorite games - named 'Assassin's Creed' and played all the three parts of it. I also played 'Batman: Arkham Asylum' and 'Singularity' and 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' and 'Prince of Persia: The forgotten sands'. 

It was then that I decided to buy my PS3 console, and the first game I played in it is 'Batman: Arkham City' - a mindblasting experience. Now, I am patiently waiting for 'Assassin's Creed: Revelations'. 

let's c...

Here is the trailer of Assassin's Creed : Revelations.




Tuesday, November 01, 2011

7th Sense - Nonsense !




Happened to see 7m Arivu' yesterday evening, in-spite of my severe cold and cough. It was then I decided to write this review here, as I thought it will be a good kick start to my revamped English blog. I'll be writing here at least once a week henceforth, hopefully,as this is my home pitch, the place I started blogging, way back in 2006. 

It's been discussed severely among Tamil bloggers if this film is a hit or not, and if this film deserves the hype it created. I read some posts which criticized the film and some, which hailed. A general point I can't stop noticing is that, throughout the film, the characters keep saying they are too proud to be a tamilian, and they keep uttering the nuances of Tamil being one of the oldest language in the world. The people who saw the film en masse were all influenced by these dialogues, which have been carefully woven around to target these people. And, Murugadoss has succeeded in his attempt to hypnotize these people, I would say. Wherever you see in the Tamil blogosphere, I see criticisms against people who say this film is a crap attempt (which it actually is). People are getting attacked in the name of the language. Until yesterday, not even a single soul knew about 'Bodhidharman' and suddenly today they seem to have inherited him as one of the flag-bearers of Tamil culture. 

What nonsense !

I would like to say that the Pallava kings were never considered to be Tamil kings, if you take a closer look at the history. They spoke sanskrit along with tamil. If we see their names, the father of Mahendravarma is called 'Simhavishnu', and the son of Mahendravarma is called 'Narasimhavarma', two clear sanskrit names. Not only does the names stop there, but they continue as a legacy. 'Nandhivarma' is the next king in the lineage. Although  these pallava kings patronized tamil, the fact that they are not Tamilians can never be ignored. 

And, there are references about 'Aryabhatta' in the film, and it seems he too has been inducted in to the Tamil hall of fame. Again, another nonsense ! 

The dialogue Shruthi talks, about the English talking people ridiculing Tamil, is the stupidest dialogue I have ever heard in any film I have ever seen. What was Murugadoss thinking, while writing these dialogues? The fact is, both the producer and the director have decided to cash in banking on the sentimental feeling of the Tamil masses, and they have succeeded. 

The second nonsense in this film is the 'Nokkuvarmam' - the art of affecting a person's thoughts and to turn him against his will. It just doesn't work. Seems Mudugadoss has decided that the Tamil people will believe everything he blabbers about in the script. 

Another stupid attempt is the DNA concept, which clearly has been copied from 'Assassin's Creed'. In Assassin's Creed, the concept is totally believable, as it's a fantasy. But the tamil film, which is neither a reality nor a fantasy, totally makes us to puke, when Shruthi, in her Tanglish voice, tries to blabber something about the DNA bullshit. 

Overall, the film is a huge let down. Nothing more to say. I pity the Tamil people who have actually believed in this film, and have started to run their mouth about the lineage of the Tamil culture. There are better places to research for, and 7th Sense, most certainly, is not that place. 


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