Saturday, December 17, 2005

My Favourite Movies

Here are my favourite movies in descending order. That my tastes are consistent will be apparent once you've read this post. Refer earlier books post.

All of Me:
Steve Martin's best! Any other actor and this comedy would've faded into oblivion within the first few days of it's realease. Instead Steve Martin's antics have held the movie going world in thrall for over 2 decades! I really have no words to describe what Steve Martin has done in this movie (and that is saying a LOT)! You have to see it to agree with me!

Dumb & Dumber:
The Funniest Movie I have EVER seen!!! Packed with gags & each of them funnier than the other. And the gags creep up on you without you noticing until the very last minute; and then you explode in uncontrollable, hysterical laughter! This is also the time when the meaning of term "Rolling in the Aisles Laughter" became apparent to me!

True Lies:
Classic Masala Movie! And I thought only Bollywood made them! James Cameron put together all the elements that draw audiences in and came up with a Masterpiece. Arnold Schwarzneggar- Guns, Explosions, Harriers! Tia Carrere- latino woman, plunging neckline, gown with a slit riding up to the waist! He got Jamie Lee Curtis to do a Striptease, even peppered that with humour! He got Arnold to mouth one liners and even do the Tango!!! He actually made an American James Bond movie that did exceedingly well. Only a James Cameron could've done that & gotten away with it! This man deserves to be the most powerful man in Hollywood!

The Devil's Advocate:
Again purely for Al Pacino's superb portrayal of... Nah! That would spoil your fun! Imagine Al Pacino's acting powers. Imagine a to-die-for role. Put the two together. Enjoy the ride that the man I consider one of the finest actors ever takes you on!

What Lies Beneath:
Robert Zemeckis directs what I found the most spine-chilling movie I had ever seen. Right from the time the movie starts, there is an undercurrent of suspense; that you are going to discover something awful. Zemeckis' use of some great cinematic technique elevates this ordinary script to dizzying heights! I remember the pin-drop silence in the theatre being punctuated by nervous chatter & some whooping... all to no avail. The brave men who were trying to whoop away their nervousness jumped out of their skin exactly when Mr. Zemeckis intended them to!
Not horror-genre, but very chilling!

Kill Bill (Vol. 1 & 2):
Quentin Tarantino returns to the Screen after Pulp Fiction and delivers another great movie. This guy explores different genres, and successfully blends them together and delivers a very stylishly crafted finished product. My personal favourite between them is Vol. 2. I am aware that many have not liked this movie, but then in my opinion their lack of taste renders them insignificant.

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na:
Kundan Shah's second masterpeice. This man used to be one of India's best directors. And although I despise Shahrukh Khan (more on that in a separate post), this is one movie in which I think he was really good. And that is because he did not try to act in this one. He played himself and it came out really nice & real! The reason why most will like this movie so much is because they will identify with what the protagonist goes through in this movie, but let that not take away from the fact that this "feel good" movie leaves you with a sweet, lingering aftertaste.

As this Blog progresses, this list is likely to get extended. But for now, I'm going to tag Annie to do this on her wonderful Blog.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Road Rage in Bombay

Yes, from the time that I wrote the Autorickshaw post, I have acquired a spanking new car. (It’s on loan of course, and it’ll be a good 4 years before I can call it totally mine, but finances call for a separate post altogether!) And after 45 days of having driven it around in Bombay, last week I acquired a spanking new dent as well!
That has galvanized me into some kind of action, and I hereby post on the woes of driving a new car in Bombay.
The four main hazards of driving in Bombay are: the pothole-ridden roads, the (paradoxically named) BEST buses, commercial transport (trucks & the smaller autorickshaw type of tempos), the autorickshaws and motorcyclists!
I have since gathered enough SELF-control, and stopped driving roughshod over the lousy roads in this great city. I drive slowly, in lower gears not caring about fuel consumption in order to ensure that my new car doesn’t take punishment.
With BEST buses, you really can’t do much. They will drive like they own the road. And one really doesn’t have the time to drag out & beat up each driver who tries to force you onto the divider.

Commercial Transport drivers are bad too since the vehicles they drive aren’t their own & are really low maintenance. But by and large, the truckers within the city are not that badly behaved. It’s the local mini-tempo variety that I’ve come to loathe. They’re the size of autorickshaws and drive in a similar manner. They cut left, they cut right, and they just can’t get it into their thick illiterate skulls that the lanes on the road are not meant to weave in and out of!!! Ditto autorickshaws and motorcyclists.
The accident I had was because one of these mini-tempos decided to suddenly cut to the right, straight into the path of my midnight blue Indigo! I was at less than 40 kms an hour yet the joker managed to dent my fender and chip my headlight! I’m not a violent man, but that day I got out of my car, caught him by the collar and was dragging him out of the offensive red thing he was piloting! I must have sworn at all the women in his family, in my loudest possible voice by the time I came to my senses!
With autorickshaws and motorcyclists I run the same risk. On two occasions, in tight traffic jams, my rear bumper and my rear-view mirror has been bumped into, and the offending motorcyclist has fled before I had a chance to get out of the car. The mini-tempo guy probably got the other two motorcyclists’ share as well!
I think there is genuine value in buying an old Ambassador and getting out on the roads. Every offending driver/rider will then REALIZE the risks of weaving in and out of traffic!!!

the shiv sena splits!

I never thought I'd defile my blog with a mention of these jokers, but since Jay has already done my sacred space that dishonour, I may as well say my piece.If you notice (people who know me well will have), I've not capitalized the first alphabets of the words in my title. Whenever I write, I capitalize whatever I think is of significance, such as the words Mom, God etc. That is an honour reserved for people I deem important. The reverse has also been equally true, but hitherto only in thought. The fact that I am practising it for the first time today will give you an indication of the kind of disregard I have for the subject of this post!

The reason I choose to mention the sena now is because of the recent split that’s been making news. It’s made me happy to see that the gang (I refuse to acknowledge them as a political party) that has been united under myriad pretexts of mee mumbaikar, marathi manus etc., is being split down the middle! And yes, as some of you may feel by now, I’m not one of those who have any qualms about not kicking a man when he’s down.

For a couple of decades now, the so-called sena has been making life miserable for people living in Bombay. South Indians, UP-ites, Biharis, Bangladeshi illegal immigrants, Muslims, Christians... The only people they seem to have left alone were the Gujratis & the Sindhis. And that because they owned the mills and other businesses that employed their Marathi worker support base. And for those of you who believe that their antics didn’t make life miserable for the Maharashtrians, I quote a Mr. Pawar, ex-armyman and now small time businessman. Mr. Pawar believes the sena has destroyed an entire generation of Marathi youth. He claims that an entire generation has gotten used to not working traditional 9-5 jobs, but instead earning their upkeep by living off sena handouts that come from stoning cinemas, buses, overturning cars and beating up journalists & editors! A whole generation!!! So much for them being friends of Maharashtra!

It’s this point that I want to expand upon. The sena was never meant for Maharashtrians! All that was a ploy for one megalomaniac to gain & retain power. The recent split brings this out very clearly. raj thakerey who was the more charismatic of the next generation leaders (read more vocal of the rabble rousers), has been given the short shrift in favour of much maligned dynastic rule.

Hopefully, their support base will wake up now and realize that there is only one agenda to the sena. The same as all political parties have; fill your coffers-remain in power-fill more in your coffers; give non-immediate members of the clan the heave ho (chagan bhujbal, narayan rane and now raj) despite their popularity in order to retain control.

Hopefully this is going to turn out the way all of sensible India has been hoping. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for the sena.