Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bombed Morning and Despondent Hopes

The night was restless, he could not sleep. It had been this way for sometime now, in and out of perspicacity, living his hazy dreams in semi-conscious purple and blue drops, afraid to snap to reality to face his loneliness. He knew the day was approaching and that put him at ease. Atlast! He had planned it just two weeks before and because of lack of time, he decided to execute it in the morning itself. He could see it all. The huge moving masses, the snake-like chain of targets coming to a halt at the exact time he had planned, the movement of the laptop, the blaring sound of the horn, the lean thump, then the sudden surge forward, the inertia pushing him backward, people's face twisting, eyes with dreams unfulfilled blinking awkwardly at the sudden sound, the stench of human bodies around, and then nothing. He would be travelling home, to his dreams, to peace, and to her. She would be waiting for him with upturned curved lips that would kiss him on the forehead till his heartbeat reduces from thumping hard and put an end to his loneliness. Her open arms will be waiting to hold him and put him to rest. He would be travelling to where his heart belonged.

With these thoughts running his mind, sleep did not come easy. The added weight of the plan ahead and that it is early in the morning made him queasy. Others in his clan on a mission like this usually chose to execute it in the evening or night when people were relaxed, returning back home. That would be the ideal time to make the move. He fiddled the TV remote on and off, trying to think of something different. She was everywhere - playing football for liverpool in ESPN, fighting against the martians in star movies, singing in a music channel. Her thoughts made him look forward to the morning which will take him closer to her. Love filled his heart and without her by the side, he did not know where to direct it. The claws of loneliness gripped him in the dark echelons of the cold night and he hated it. He wanted sunshine, he wanted the light, he wanted the horn, he wanted her breath on him, he wanted to sleep in peace under her care. Yet, there he was unable to put her off his mind, every minute craving for her presence.

He knew he had to wake up early, an unusual practice. The plan was early in the morning and he knew then a lot of people would be missing their day. They were all sleeping in peace, looking forward to the morning like him, only that they do not know why he is going to do what he is about to do. He knew he would not make up his mind in the sleepy wakings, so he set the device on before he went to sleep. As he was doing it, he realized how little time he had ahead. He double checked the device, yes, 5 AM, yes again, 5 AM. That would be the time he expected the device to set itself off into mild beeps first and then stronger ones. He hoped he would wake up to live the moment. To realize atlast that the time he had waited for has come. After seeing the signal blinking on the device, he pushed himself to sleep.

He woke up at 6.30 AM and realized the alarm he had set in his mobile did not wake him up. The morning train to his hometown which he had booked two weeks earlier was just leaving the station and he has missed it!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Review Corner - Billa 2007!

Note: This is quite a long review, but that's how my night has been after seeing the movie. Read it fully, am sure it's worth it, more so if you are an Ajith fan.

Before I go on to launch an attack on the movie, I request all Superstar fans to forget Billa 2007 as a bad dream. I am a neutral viewer as far as So-Called-Ultimate-Star Ajith Kumar is concerned and have been a victim of repeated let-downs and poor screenplay in most of thala's movies. After a not-so-good performance by varalaru, a box-office bomb by Aalwar and an unfortunately mediocre satisfaction by Kireedom, Ajith should have been more careful in choosing his movies, but the unlearning actor seems to be doting on replaying his errors. I am a Vijay fan, yes, but I do not hold any aversion to Ajith as such, though that feeling is slowly but steadily building up against his movies. I should say that, in this matter, I have been more patient than most kollywooders.

Though the plot is the same as the original movie, the screenplay is lamentable, PERIOD! Ajith has played an international don in this remake of the 1980 block-buster trend-setter movie 'Billa', performed then by the only person who can ever be Billa - Rajinikanth! The movie has been shot all in Malaysia and the backdrop iBillas gorgeous. Vishnu Vardhan, amidst all expectations and hype, has managed to blunder in maintaining the flow and the onscreen transition of characters has ended up maladroitly. The first half felt like watching clips of a movie that keeps the viewer constantly hoping for a grip on the story.The set and the camera reminds one of Don (by Shahrukh), one could see its influence by large, though it managed to come nowhere near the attempt.

Ajith's introduction scene in the airport hangar is a balanced experiment to portray his adept skills and attitude, though it leaves behind an acidic smell for those who expected more. The car chase, with its drifts, is the best pick in the movie. The camera has done a great job here. There are innumerable local and international don's and mafia's named fashionably like Steve and Mike and Mark and John and Tom and Dick and Harry who do business with Billa to desperately prove he is an international don. The scenes lack a subtle transition from one to another and Ajith's performance is vacant, sometimes even frozen. The dialogue delivery is in monotone and occasionally, I even looked around for some assistance from my neighbours to help me understand why a particular dialogue was scripted, but they were equally clueless. Some even sighed in pregnant silence, though some Ajith fans made up for the embarassing moments with a few whistles and I prayed to God to forgive the poignant souls.

Nayanthara and Namitha are the ladies. Nayanthara has done her homework well and god knows how she lost all that weight. The transition from Surya's 'Ghajini' has been mega-astronomical, her attire and style reminding us vaguely of Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. OK, this comment comes highly biased from someone who likes Nayanthara, but her efforts to add style are commendable. From the stylish diva, she transforms to a regular heroine in the second half because, well, you know how some people cant take a lady for a gangster. Namitha, on the other hand, looks voluptuously STUPID. The stylish don has a very bad taste! Her attempt to prove her love for the don by pressing a trigger on her forehead goes in vain as he forgets to load the gun. Oh, how I wish he hadn't forgotten! Because then, we wouldn't have had to put up with the 'Nan meendum' song. It is very difficult not to squirm in your seat as she dances for the song, it is the perfect time to take a leak. The camera is at all wrong angles and the eyes are totally strained, not to mention the ears. What makes someone cast Namitha on the screen, beats me! She is too big for the bigscreen, you get the point right? We like mass heroes, yes, but mass heroines? A capital NO! But then some gentlemen might not agree with me here, but yours truly, I do not care!

The music by Yuvan is forgettable. The only savior in the movie is the song 'My naSella 2007me is Billa' that resembles Don, not bad. 'Vethalaiya potten di' will do good only with some whistles. When will Ajith dance? Someone should tell him dancing is not all about moving hips to 1 .. 2 .. 3 and shaking the fingers in 'Cheena-Thaana' style. There is more to dancing, and yes, that's why I dont try. Ajith, though, has to. 'Seval kodi' is a passing attempt but why will someone wear a freaky jean with chains and a colourful shirt for a supposed-to-be-devotional song? BGM repeats the theme that is the only good factor in the music arena. As far as comedy is concerned, Santhanam doesn't help much. Some of the look-alike-Ajith's dialogues with Prabhu have a hinting touch of smile in them, though they dont haunt. Lots of serious dialogues abound as launching pads for 'Lollu Sabha', am looking forward to that.

If you aren't an optimist, then this movie bores you to pain, disappoints you to the extreme and sucks mindblowingly. The only good positives about the movie are Ajith's charisma, Nayanthara's elegance, Prabhu's sincerity and Malaysian Geography, but that won't make a movie. Everything else is an injustice to the original. The movie would have been another 'Tirupati' if not for Rajini's brand and the hype. Ajith and Vijay have done onething in similar. After good performances in Kireedom and Pokkiri respectively, they have handed over forgettable stints in the name of 'Azhagiya Tamil Magan' and 'Billa'. An internal comparison between ATM and Billa would land the latter one step above in the podium, but then who compares rotten eggs (though I did just that)? As I was leaving, I overheard a pair saying they could have watched the original Billa at home and I thought I should echo that medicinal relief here. I am looking forward to a relentless attack by devoted Ajith fans claiming this movie as a great hit, yet again, but they did the same with movies like Red, Paramasivam and Aalwar, so let's not get there. It takes valiantly brilliant efforts to fault a movie like Billa and it takes an 'Ajith' to do just that.

Final verdict - 'Ajith's Billa, gaali Kalla.' (I did think of other things here, yea!).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For you, a thousand times over ..

A response to 'For you, a thousand times over' (click here to read) by Prathiba. Inspired from 'Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini, this is my opinion of what Hassan would have said to Amir after the latter redeems his guilt.

Dark in these tunnels of endless abyss,
Fire around me burning my flesh,
I am tumbling down as my soul is wasted,
Leaving behind memories of childhood,
Brothers and sisters crying for peace,
No more colourful kites above our trees.

I protect you as I always did,
People who were fed from the same breast,
Played in greens peaceful and placid,
That do not exist anymore,
Replaced by faces cruel and fearest,
That brought blood and honour to floor.

My love was selfless, do not pay,
Sleep in peace for I am with the lord,
Let your heart not be heavy to weigh,
In my heart, you were never abhorred.

Only when offended, a sin is a sin ..
When they are led by the same light within,
There is no offence between kith and kin ..

Is this the absolution of a curse that was my birth?
Is this the exculpation of a guilt that was my death?
Tears well up in my eyes,
But this time for I am happy, And I see you smile ..
I shall forever hold your weight, and bend lower,
Yes! For you, a thousand times over ..