Thursday, 27 May 2010

MumbaiTripDiaryMay21/2010(Snapshot I)

A kitten offers a side-profile for the camera near my friend Archimedes's residence  

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Movie Review: Badmaash Company:Great idea, decent execution

The best thing about Badmaash Company is that it keeps the story running without going overblown for once. The con jobs that are displayed here are the most convincing and ingenious you will ever see in a Hindi commercial movie. There are no attempts at anything spectacular, everything is kept just right - within the framework of the plot, even the song sequences are pleasantly devoid of any extensive choreography. The stretched and contrived climax almost kills it though.

The cast is convincing and right there - Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Vir Das and Meiyang Chang playing the lead parts. Pawan Malhotra sparks brilliance in his bit part, while Anupam Kher and Kiran Juneja are spot on. The film belongs eventually to the first-time director Parmeet Sethi for keeping within his boundaries, not getting carried away - giving us a satisfying if not a classic film. Good, tight entertainment within its commercial parameters, not a bad watch.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Book recommends: Chasing the Monsoon

Even as the news of the South-West Monsoon reaching the Andaman Islands flows around, here is one book that I read some years ago about the monsoon, its significance and the sheer joy and miracle of rainfall. A lovely non-fiction account by Alexander Frater, the author follows the monsoon as it first arrives in India at Kerala and then follows it in one exciting journey to the 'world's wettest place' - Cherapunji, in north-east India. An ideal read as we await the monsoon.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Movie Review: Iron Man 2: Hard Metal Fun!

Gleefully light-feathered and witty in its dialogues, enlivened with mysterious and well-defined characters, Iron Man 2 is a enjoyable non-superficial ride. A contrast, if you may compare, to the very dark 'cult-in-the making' Batman movie The Dark Knight, this sequel keeps it non-serious, engaging and tight, despite a much-repeated plot of bad guys from Russia and a tedious final showdown.

Much of the movie's freshness lies in Robert Downey Jr.'s superb portrayal of a seemingly arrogant genius billionaire scientist and Iron Man; his rapid repartees with the other members of the cast - especially Paltrow and Cheadle. Then there is a zany stunning act by Scarlett Johansson, a bit part by Samuel Jackson and a solid part by that rare actor Don Cheadle. Rourke's villain is intimidating, but breaks no new ground like The Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.

All together, with each character given ample screen time to establish themselves with the audience (doesn't happen too often in Hollywood movies lately), there is an individuality in each that works well with the film's superhero drab. Fantasy mingles with fun, watch out for that last scene with the senator, the birthday party, and for Scarlett's stunning attire, among other things. Now we know why we love those fluffy comic books, Iron Man 2 is as close as one can get to a precise comic book adaptation. All said and done, the first Iron Man movie was much better though.