Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Toronto, Niagara and US Airways...

It was long weekend last week...So Girish and I along with my parents decided to take a break and head to see some water falls and more flat land. We had our flight booked like months ago including stay and car.

On 26th evening we packed all our bags and moved over to our friend's house that is very close to the airport and we can wake up a little late since it is just a ten minute drive from the airport. We stayed up very late playing X-Box and watching the MAVS game...Which the MAVS won of course.

Shahid, Sammy, and Kaps dropped us off at the airport and we began our journey to Buffalo, NY after a stop over at Chicago. Mom and dad had already reached and were waiting for us. After picking up our car we headed towards Ontario to our Hotel at Burlington, ON in Canada about 76 kms from the airport. Yes Kms...As it is Canada and they do distances like the Brits (metric).

All of us slept for a good three hours..Very tired. Woke up and headed to my friend Vijay and Zubine's house. From there to Saravana Bhavan at Missisauga to have dinner. After dinner dropped mom and dad back at the hotel and we headed back to Vijay's house for a tour of Toronto Downtown. We bloody forgot our camera...We were frustrated...But here is a visual recount of what I saw...

Downtown is very impressive. There are these tall residential buildings facing the lake and it is just spectacular. Reminded me so much of India for some odd reason. The downtown feels amazingly safe...We went to Richmond Street, the club district and another street that bar district. We hung out at a bar for sometime before heading back home. It was almost three and we were tired.

Next day (28th of May), we woke up and headed towards Niagara. This was my second visit but first for everyone else. We saw one of natures beautiful creating in its splendor. When we see such things we realize how small we are in the grand scheme of things...We did the maid of the mist and the journey behind the falls...By the time we were done it was almost seven in the night and we returned back to our hotel to relax. We stopped at a desi restaurant near our hotel. Then we saw another MAVS game and we beat the Suns again taking on a 2-1 lead. Very happy we slept.

On 29th, May we headed towards Saravana Bhavan once again so that we can eat lunch before heading to Buffalo to catch our flights. I was very excited that both our parents and us were flying back till Charlotte together before they took off to Asheville and us to Dallas. We left Saravana Bhavan at 12.50pm and out flight was due to take off at 4.55pm. The drive was pretty smooth until we were about a mile from the Canadian border...The American checkpost was hardly moving...We inched and inched and it was two hours before it was our turn and we sped from there to the airport as it was already 4.00pm.

We reached the airport at precisely 4.20pm...Ya we cut it real close...Not by choice but that's what happened. Then we met the worst US Airways official ever. Ok this is what happened...

My father gave her his passport. She gave him the boarding pass. She told him repeatedly, "you are not going to make it." But we had like 3o more minutes. Anyways. So I gave her mine and Girish's passport (I did not have my DL on hand at the moment and had my passport accessible from the border trip). She took, and refused to issue us our boarding pass. She repeated ten times "you are not going to make it out of here tonight."

I was angry. I told her I need my passport back. But she did not give it to me. Then she took back my parents boarding pass and told us that they cannot go to Asheville before 30th. Which was scary because we would then have to do alternate acco. and all that. I was mad...I took the boarding pass from her and gave it to my parents and asked them to rush to the flight. Which they did and the sad part...I did not tell them a proper bye. I was very upset.

So, I continued standing in front of her hoping she would give me my passport and my boarding pass and she did nothing but to remind me once again that I will not get out of Buffalo that night. I do not know if she was just being a racist pig or just being mean...

So Girish and I requested to talk to her supervisor who turned out to be a bigger B!@#$. She ignored us till the aircraft took off and my parents called and told us that they were safely in the flight with no trouble whatsoever. Then the supervisor reminded us that we would not get out of Buffalo that night again. Now I am mad...and then I start cribbing about how they split my parents from me and how meanly we were being treated and so on...Then she thought about for a few minutes and then somehow managed to get us on an Airtran flight headed to Dallas which was going to reach Dallas at 12.15am instead of our original schedule of reaching Dallas at 9.30pm...So since we did not have any choice. We took the flight and cribbed a lot sitting for two hours in the Godforsaken airport...

The whole trip was almost perfect but for the US Airways non-co-operation. Most aircraft people always try to get their passengers on the flight as far as possible...But the lady (whose name was BELLE) was just a mean person...and so was her supervisor Jackie Hitchcock...I am so mad...

Anyway...That was the whole trip story...Now it is Tuesday and I am watching another MAVS Vs Suns game...Hoping MAVS will win again...But they lost and it was an ugly loss...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Thirupathi (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Ajith, Sada
Director: Perarasu
Music: Bharathwaj

Some movies do not need a review, they should just be avoided. But since I love writing reviews here goes...Ok this is funny, I mean the movie...It is so stupid that it gets hilarious...Why do directors want to portray that Chennai might become an ideal city through stupid movies? I loved the concept in Mudhalvan...It is a fantasy film and it was executed well...But Thirupathi? Jeez...Stupid.

We have exploited all forms of social reforms forever in Tamil cinemas...I do not know when it started but the first movie I remember is Naan Sigappu Manidhan...Then Shankar came in and exploited the same topic in four different movies (Gentleman, Indian, Mudhalvan, and Anniyan). Then Vijaykanth also followed the footsteps and so did Ajith himself. Vikram's Saami was a standout at all this attempt and it was a good movie...But isn't it high time we stop? I mean we know that such reforms are never going to happen, no one is going to raise hell in T.Nadu for injustices being met to people everyday, people just do not care...and people have realized that all this is a fantasy and it is quite boring indeed.

Anyway...The story is a combination of Annamalai and Padikathavan in the first half and Ramana in the last part. The minute they introduce Suri (Riaz Khan), the rich son of a minister in the first half as Thirupathi's (Ajith) best friend we know where the story is heading. We are waiting for Suri to commit the unpardonable sin that will bring the lion out of Thirupathi...Of course Thirupathi has a brother who lies to his parents for money to have fun with his friends. Thirupathi obviously has a sister who is pregnant and parents who are not awfully rich.

So I guess now you can see where the story is heading...Yes, exactly, the most predictable and boring story...Thirupathi's pregnant sister dies during childbirth as the doctor is asking for money to perform surgery to deliver the child. In the meantime Ajith is helping out his friend Suri on behalf of the same doctor who had killed his sister. This is the split between friends where he realizes that Suri was using him only to satisfy his political needs and the bad doctor was actually Suri's brother.

Now Thirupathi starts taking revenge on Suri, his brother (the bad doctor) and Suri's father...The end result? The new rule passed by the State Government that Pregnancy care shall be free of cost for all women in T.Nadu...Even if you go to Apollo or to GH...Does not matter...Doctors have to do the operation of delivery for free...This masala was aimed to reach the women sentiment...Cheap trick.

On the whole...Pathetic story, miserable songs, sorry screenplay, a sick looking Ajith, Sada is okay...But who is she in the movie? A role that did not make any impact in the movie, bad direction, boring comedy...and the list goes on...

Now, Ajith can complain that when he was fat we all said he was fat and now that he is thin we are complaining that he is so ugly-thin...I am sorry Ajith...You have lost your charm, thin or fat you do not look good anymore, the charisma is not there anymore.

So once again...Avoid it at all cost.

Da Vinci Code (2006) - English Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Paul Bettany
Director: Ron Howard
Story: Based on the novel Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The book is amazing. It is big, at first it might intimidate you but even the "I rarely read book" kinda people also will be caught up with this story. The book based on many conspiracy theories that have existed since the crucifixtion of Christ is another conspiracy theory in itself...

Now explaining the story would be trying to condense a 500 plus page book into one single page...Is that possible? Well I do not know but I guess the above paragraph gives a brief synopsis of what the book is about and I will stop with that...But I do want to write a few things about the movie itself.

It is always difficult to make a movie based on book so popular. It will surely raise the expectation of many viewers. This is not fair to the director as it results in many bad reviews. I strongly believe that the movie has justified the book the best it can. The story is complicated many small plots, many historical details but all of the 500+ pages have to be condensed into a two-and half-hour movie...It was well done. Too much expectation always results in disappointments as this movie cannot be embellished with graphics like LOTR or Harry Potter.

I also agree that reading the book before watching the movie might help a lot because it surely helps you understand many nuances that are left unexplained better...the small modifications done to the original story are okay and it just confuses the viewers less...

You should surely watch this movie before making a judgement. It is worth the money if you understand it or it will atleast motivate you to read the book...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Gangster (2006) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 3.5/5

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Shiney Ahuja, Kangna
Director: Anuraag Basu
Music: Pritam Chakravarthy


This movie is good...not great but good. The acting by all the main protagonists is very good. If I had been the director the one thing I would have changed about the movie is to dub the voice for Ms. Kangna as she has a very bad lisp. Now, do not think I am being mean...In a movie the voice is very essential to convey the emotions but if the voice has a lisp then it does not do a very good job. Many times when Kangna is talking portraying various emotions of anger, disappointment, etc...We laughed. It was really sad but we laughed because her words came out really funny...So just to be fair to her and the director he should have dubbed the voice for her...

The story is about the girlfriend (Simran played by Kangna)of a gangster (Daya played by Shiney) who is a drunkard trying to dissolve her sorrows through drinks. Aakash (Emraan) is a singer at a local bar who falls in love with Simran. Aakash and Kangna start having an affair that Daya discovers. He almost kills Aakash but Simran prevents him from doing so.

Simran is confused if she should stay with Daya or run away with Aakash who promises her a wonderful world if she could turn in Daya to the authorities and marry him. Kangna's confusions is well expressed in the movie. The rest of the movie is about Kangna's decision, betrayal, flash back and the end...

This is a very well directed movie. The acting as mentioned is good, the screenplay is perfect, and the editing is amazing. I enjoyed the movie very much in spite of its dark shades. Violence is present but in no form is glorified. I would strongly suggest watching this movie...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My First Stand-Up Comedy Show...

I never knew this existed in India...Never knew it...I guess Chennai is not happening in this arena...It might have some great Disco's, restaurant, and amazing beaches...But when it comes to entertainment...Only Vijaykanth and Rajnikanth rule the world. Or may be I was never exposed to them and I just did not rub shoulders with people who did such fun things...

So anyway...We went to The Russell Peters Show in Dallas today...It was in Majestic theater which is a fabulous piece of architecture...I just enjoyed being inside the space...I have also been to one other theater in Dallas called the Eiseman Center but it is very modern. Somehow I have been comfortable in very few modern buildings. The sense of being and space is lost in them. The old ones kind of welcome you, make you feel comfortable and keeps you engrossed with details...I really liked Majestic Theater...

Anyhoo, coming back to the show...The opening for Russell was done by Chris Spencers a Stand-up Comedian from LA...Who was hilariously funny. He made us roll on the floors and kick our feet to the floor...He made outright racist comments...I guess we all want to say such things but we are afraid to do it in real life...So when someone bravely tells them out we enjoy it...It is true most of the time but the fact that is poised behind the facade of COMEDY we tend to ignore the reality of the statement and how it could hurt a person if uttered in real life and enjoy it...

Russell came on after 15 minutes of Chris...Somehow I must admit that I enjoyed Chris better...Maybe it was because he only performed for 15 minutes and he could powerpack his best jokes into them unlike Russell who had to work it for an hour and half...a couple of instances the show seemed to be moving at a very slow pace...He tried to take dabs at the audience and it was funny but he dragged it on way too long...He did his "Somebody Gonna Get a Hurt Real Bad" towards the end...Since I have already seen/heard it...It was kinda not doing it for me...But on the whole it was $34.50 well spent.

These are the few things I observed:
1) The audience are just way too demanding...You really need to be good to hold the attention of 200 or more people and keep them all laughing...coz when Russell was boring he did get the hint...Nobody laughed.

2) You need to be really smart. Have the current world issues, history, geography, civics, and even Math at your fingertips, because whatever you say should be funny but not do a funny on yourself...People should laugh at your jokes and not at you...

3) You must be seriously quick witted...Because a lot of jokes that were done were on the front benchers...improv...So you cannot just by-heart a joke and come and pour it out...

4) It does take a lot of guts to be the only one in a stage with the spot light on you and trying to do your work too...I mean this FUNNY business is SERIOUS business...You cannot fool around when you are trying to make people laugh...

5) You need to observant of everything happening around you to make something funny out of it...In other words you cannot keep your eyes or ears closed...For such people information is wealth!!!

So to all the GOOD Stand-up Comedians...You are way too cool...My sense of humor is limited but I am the first to appreciate when something is funny...So KUDOS to all of you...It seems like it is more difficult than what I do!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Brothers, A TVS 50, and I

I have decided to end my Accident Series with this last one...This is not much of an accident but more of two people being jobless...

I was little girl, may be about eight or nine years and we lived in B.H.E.L Township in Trichy. This place is beautiful okay...It is this beautiful, well planned, and well maintained township in the middle of nowhere. When most kids in India were watching Tennis on TV, we were playing it every day. When most kids did not know what the hell snooker or billiards were, we were getting coached to play it in the evenings. We had coaches for everything, be it Table Tennis, Swimming, Athletics, Cricket, etc...Really it was godsend for me and my brothers because we had great exposure and learnt almost all the games/sports possible. It also made us very sporty and not the TV-watching-playing-video games kinda kids...

Both my brothers were ranked 1st and 2nd in Trichy District and ranked Statewise too...So they practiced Tennis early every morning and every evening. Our courts had ball boys and linesmen in the evening but the net and new lines were drawn on the court only around 3.00pm...So my dad bought us our own net and balls. Every morning my brothers will go to the court at 5.30am and play till 7.30am before heading for school...During weekend I accompanied them to be their ball-girl and also to get some exercise...My prize for good behavior was playing with my brothers at the end of their practice session...

My brothers and I along with the net rode our TVS 50 to the court every morning. I would sit in the front literally on the net...Every morning as we entered the court, my second brother Balaji would get off the bike and open the gates for us and also pick up the net. My older brother Shaw and I would ride on the bike between the various poles that are used to anchor the nets...My brother to give me the racing feeling would do his turns not only by turning the handlebar but by also bending down so that our knees touched the ground...

I was always excited to do this...Everytime we went we would do two eights around four poles of two courts and generally ride around making a lot of noise...It would be just the three of us in the courts...

One such fateful morning my brothers and I stopped at the gate. Balaji got down and started to open the gate, while opening it he looked at the two of us who seemed very excited to go for our race and said, "One of these days you guys are going to fall..."

And fall we did...It was our last lap around the last pole, we were coming from doing an eight and just when both my brother and I (who was sitting behind him) bent down to almost make our legs touch the ground the bike (TVS 50) gave away and we skid...My brother being tall stood up incurring less damage but the lilliput that I was...Sat there with the bike's exhaust resting on my leg...I incurred a small burn...

Shaw got scared and got me out of the mess in split seconds. He was scared that I might cry, complain to my mother, or do something of the sort...But I was silent...Did not cry and neither did I tell anyone about it...The good girl that I was...Both my brothers were proud of me and I still remember Shaw telling me, "I cannot believe that you did not cry..."

Even today both my brothers and I recollect this among many other fond memories we have...and with that I put down my accident series to rest...At least for a while...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Thiruttu Payale (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Jeevan, Malavika, Sonia Agarwal, Abbas, Manoj K. Jayan
Director: Susi Ganesan
Music: Baradwaj

Manickam's (Jeevan) parents are afraid of him because of his temper tantrums and unruly behavior. Afraid to handle him they send him from a small village in Madurai to his uncle's house in Chennai. Manickam's uncle, a police inspector dotes on him from his childhood and welcomes him with open arms.

Manickam, spends a lot of time on the terrace that overlooks a golf course and with the help of one of his neighbors gets hold of a pair of binoculars. He uses it to spy on people when his eye catches Roopini (Malavika) and Santosh (Abbas) having sex after dark. He observes them many times over few weeks and also learns that they are having an extra-marital affair. And with a little research learns that both Roopini and Santosh are rich. So he decides to video tape them having sex and bilk them to live rich the rest of his life.

Manickam invites his friends from the village over and they start partying and spending Roopini's money like water and also force her to send them on a vacation to Australia. Roopini at every stage of the bilking process tries to outsmart Manickam. The battle of wits is on...Until Manickam falls in love with Rosy (Sonia), a girl planted by Roopini to lure Manickam.

Manickam turns into a good leaf because of Rosy's intervention and everything between Roopini and Manickam are things of past. But Rosy's greedy mother poses a threat to their relationship and Manickam is forced to revert to his old habits once more.

In the meantime Roopini's husband Selvaraj (Manoj) hires a private detective to make sure that his wife is not in trouble...The detective's findings brings in an amazing ending to the movie. The way the director leaves many of the scenes without completion and goes back to complete them giving us a clearer picture is very interesting. Kudos to the director for maintaining the interest and pace of the movie from start to finish.

Jeevan is a good actor, he has done very few movies but a couple of memorable ones. He is very effective on communicating the negativeness in his role. Maybe he should only play negative roles...Sonia Agarwal should learn to emote. She has a deadpan face and she is not attractive either. Malavika is very good in her characterization of Roopini and Abbas still looks gay but was good for his role in the movie. Manoj K. Jayan as the husband of Malavika plays his role to perfection. In other words the casting of the movie (but for Sonia) and the direction is just splendid...

If you have time and are thinking about watching MI3 or Azhagai Irukirai...STOP...Go and see this entertaining thriller...It is GOOD...Worth the time and money.
Driving in Chennai - Accident - V

This one is funny...Hehehe...Ya really funny...I am sure my brother remembers this too...My mom, my brother, my friend and I were all going to Mambalam for some reason (Don't remember what) and we were taking the Mambalam subway (the real narrow small subway...) towards Mambalam...We were waiting at the top of the subway at an angle for the cop to show us the signal...We are waiting waiting and waiting so patiently when suddenly we hear a *thud*

An auto driver (as usual) hit on the back of our car. Guess he prefers to stop by crashing into other vehicles rather than applying brake the conventional way...The very minute we got the signal and the auto driver wiggled his way out and started to take off...

I was mad and I was sitting in the back...I got out of the car ran to look at the back...Saw the small bump...and got even madder. I yelled from the bottom of my stomach movie ishtyle, "DDdddaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii." To which the auto driver stopped and poked his head out and asked in the most scariest way, "Enna?"

I immediately told him, "Sorry anna, neenga ponga," (Sorry brother, you go ahead) and ran and got into my car as fast as I could...Everyone burst out laughing. My brother was like, first you hold up traffic, then you yell like a rowdy at an auto driver, then you chicken out and come in..."Idhu thevaya?" (Do you need this?)...heheheh...

Ya I guess I needed it...But sadly I never learnt the lesson...For the rest of the few years I drove in Chennai I drove around abusing anyone who caused the least bit of inconvenience to my driving...One autodriver even asked me, "A girl? and abusing like this? What has Chennai come to??" and I told him, "If auto drivers drove nicely then girls like me would have no need to abuse..."
Driving in Chennai - Accident - IV

If you have been living in Chennai or I guess this applies to anywhere in India you will know what I am talking about...AUTO DRIVERS...ya they are something you hate but cannot live without...But Imagine the amount of minor accidents they cause everyday in a Chennai...Where they really wriggle and jiggle around the City trying to get to their destination five minutes quicker...Even the empty ones zoom past you...You wonder what sort of hurry they are in.

Anyhoo, I can dedicate a whole blog on Autos in Chennai but that is not the main point of discussion here, so re-focusing...My accident...Hmm Hmmm...

It was a Sunday, I think, Why else would my father and I both be home (My college was off on Sunday's and Monday's unless ofcourse I bunked Saturday)...Anyway, he wanted me to give him a ride to the bank as my brother was not home...I was soooper excited as it is the first time I will be driving my car without the supervision of my brother all the way to Roundtana from 15th Street (where I lived) and that too legally for the second time, two days after I had received my driving license. Happy Happy, I got ready and drove my Dad to the Canara Bank AnnaNagar Roundtana branch.

After spending a few minutes there we were going to head back home but before finishing some small work at Chinthamani (I guess)...So I am driving...Down towards the Roundtana from Chinthamani on Anna Nagar Main Road (Is it called 1st Avenue? I don't remember) almost near the Canara Bank with an auto driver right behind me almost tailgating me...And one right ahead of me whom I was following (not tailgating)...

So the dude in front of me suddenly cut off and took a left turn in the street before the main road that intersects the road I was in...Looking ahead of me I saw two oldies with one cycle standing and yapping in their white shirt and dhothi (veshti)...I was like Man!...Oops...Screech...Halt...*bang*...From the back...Saw dad's head hit the dashboard and come back and I hit my head slightly to the steering wheel...I made sure dad was okay...Walked out and started fighting with the auto driver...

Who much to my irritation was standing and smiling...I noticed that my tail lights were crushed into by the tail light guard that used to come with Maruti 800's...I was angry...I yelled and screamed and my dad came out...Holding his head and told me that it was no point arguing with these guys although technically since the back of my car was damaged I was not at fault and he either needed to pay up or at least apologize.

I was mad and before I left the scene I gave him a piece of my angry mind and drove off...I was shivering while driving back home. I apologized to my dad like a hundred times who said nothing but "It was not your fault and I am not hurt." Then I felt guilty for having to pay out of pocket to fix the damage...and then my brother's face loomed in front of me, my mother, my friends...God too much tension and embarrassment...

Much to my surprise...My brother was totally cool with it and advised me never to panic after an accident. My mom was happy that dad and I were back home in one piece. My friends laughed a bit but were also happy that we were safe. When I told my dad..."I am sorry we had an accident and now you have to pay money to fix our almost new car and as a punishment I will never drive again..." My dad replied, "I will be upset with you if you let all these small things stop you from moving ahead. No one can drive without having accidents..."

Ten years since and I am still driving...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mission Impossible - 3 (2006) English Movie Review with Spoilers

Ranking: 2/5

Cast: Tom Cruise, Billy Crudup, Lawrence Fishburne, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Director: J.J. Abrams


It is the same old story...Spy stuck in a web cast by the villain and the spy's own boss. Very obvious, the story is simple and stupid...Like a friend of mine would say..."Stupid and irritating."

Ethan Hunt (TC) a spy who is now settled to teaching as he is getting married and wants to miss out on action is called on to work on one last job...To bring back another fellow spy from the hands of a terrorist (Philip) who has her captive in Germany. TC leaves his engagement party to pursue work...They get the captive spy but she dies on her way to America... TC is now upset but he is in the midst of something he cannot get out of...

Ethan and John M (Billy) are being questioned by John B (Lawrence) for negligence and Ethan wants to protect his boss and set things right. So he takes on a project without anyone's knowledge but just his team mates (3 of them) and goes over to Italy where the bad guy is supposed to be arriving at. They succefully capture the bad guy and bring him to America...On their way to meet John M and John B Ethan hears a clip sent by the dead spy that John B works hand in hand with the bad guy.

Just as he realizes that a big accident happens...No one know how or what exactly happened...But at the end of it there are few cars and a big truck and a hole on the bridge with Ethan running to get the bad guy...Who obviously escapes to take revenge on Ethan...

Ethan's wife is captured. Now Ethan is being asked to work on a project that is supposedly very daring for the return of his wife while his fellow spies capture him and take him back to the head quarters. His boss John M tells him to leave for China where he can complete the mission and come back with his wife...Ethan escapes and is in China where his team mates meet him to help him with the project...

During the course Ethan realizes that the actual villain is not John B but John M...How crappy if he had asked me this I would have told him at the very beginning...Like a Tamil movie only worse...Anyhoo, Ethan returns, John M is dead and John B recommends Ethan to work for CIA...E'S (End of Story)...

Now...Ethan goes to china to bring back something called the Rabbit's foot that is in a canister with the hazardous sign on it...Do we get to know what the hell is in that canister at the end of the movie?? NO...Seriously...After watching a crappy movie for two hours you do not get to know what Ethan was behind all this time after all...Maybe the director himself had no idea...

Few of the stunts are amazing, some of them stupid, and some funny...It is like the Azhagai Irukirai movie where Bharath's mom will jump from the terrace of a three story building holding helium balloons in her hands...Some of the stunts are confusing, in that you do not understand what really is happening...The movie is corny at times and cheesy at others...

If I were you and had extra time, I would still not watch this movie...Till this minute I am regretting spending my hard earned money on this imperfect piece of crap...So verdict...DO NOT WATCH.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Taxi 9211 (2006) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: John Abraham, Nana Patekar, Sonali Kulkarni,
Director: Milan Lutharia
Music: Vishal & Shekar

Raghav Shashtri (Nana) a Mumbai taxi driver with love for no one but his wife and kid drives around the city picking petty fights with everyone he meets. To the world he is a cabbie but to his wife he is an insurance agent. He needs money to fix his family with everything they need...

Jai Mittal (John Abraham), son of a late industrialist who has been stripped off property in the last will written by his father before his death. He is contesting in the court and needs to be there on time to produce the documents that prove him to be the lawful inheritor of the property. Jai meets with a small accident the previous night in his car and is now forced to take a cab to the court...

Fate brings Raghav and Jai together. It is hate-at-first-sight. Nothing works in their favor. Their big ego's clash bringing in bouts of laughter and emotions into the film. The rest of the movie takes us through a series of events created by Jai and Raghav to satisfy their anger, ego, and hatred for each other. Do they realize who their real friends are? What they both are angry about? Do they make friends? Watch the movie! You will not regret it!

Nana, perfectly suited his role as Raghav Shashtri, the easy-to-anger cab driver and John was great as Jai Mittal. Raghav's emotions, anger, feelings, and annoyance at the world are very well portrayed by Nana. His love for his wife and kid is also humorously portrayed and Nana does a great job being Raghav.

John, handsome face, perfect physique, and together with all this he is a good actor too...Unlike many of his contemporaries who failed to create a ripple, John is here to stay with his class, style and charisma. He has the kind of a face that can either be handsome or like that of a twisted man... Great going John.

I should applaud the director for a great movie...In one week I saw three movies, Darna, Azhagai, Taxi, and MI3 and this is the only movie that is getting a complete positive review from me...The movie is clean but for a few dialogues and is perfect for family viewing if these dialogues could be censored.

The only negative part in the story is that one cannot believe that all the things shown in the movie can happen in twenty-four hours, that too in a city as big as Mumbai...Maybe the director did it to keep the pace of the movie...Which for its own good does not slow down till the end.

If you did not agree with the movie let me know why...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Azhaga Irukirai Bhayama Irukiradhu (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5.0

Cast: Bharath, Arun, Mallika Kapoor, Deepu, M S Bhasker, Renuka, Supergood Lakshmanan
Director: Vijay Milton
Music: Yuva Shankar Raja

Manu (Bharath) comes to Chennai to win over his love and meets Jo during one of his attempts at separating Prem (Arun Kumar) and Nandini (Deepu). Manu explains to Jo that he has been in love with Nandini, a TV News Anchor for over three years since the time she lived in his village
and would love to get back with her. While Jo explains that she has been in love with Prem an aspiring cricket player waiting to make it to the Indian team for more than five years and would love to get married to him. So together they start Operation Tuskon and start plotting to separate the lovers.

Finally when the lovers are separated the truth behind Manu's motives are explained to us which is the Twist in the tale...This is a good part in the movie... After this the movie gets boring...and for the director to really walk around telling everyone that "his story is a different one," he really ended it differently...But is the end justified? Who knows...When the whole story is corny why shouldn't the ending be any different?

Mallika Kapoor, is very annoying, I do not know if it is because of the dubbing artist or if it is just her...Very annoying, acts like a three year old and has the biggest squint...Worse than both Bipasha and Ramba...

Bharath, we have come to accept you as an actor, you are decent, much better than many of our contemporaries but that does not mean that you should cry at every given opportunity...It gets annoying and kind of a drag.

Arun Kumar, you are just too old now for us to watch you as the guy bagging the girl. Sorry you did not get better opportunities five years ago...Shedding those extra pounds might help.

The music is okay and the direction could have been better. All these directors who make crappy movies should have a neutral sensible person who can give productive advises to make the film better. This might help reduce crappy movies and directions...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Darna Zaroori Hai (2006) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Anil Kapoor, Mallika Sherawat, Randeep Hooda, Zakir Hussain, Manoj Pahwa, Sunil Shetty, Sonali Kulkarni, Rajpal Yadav, Arjun Rampal, Bipasha Basu, Makrand Deshpande, Rasika Joshi, Isha Koppikar, Shweta Prasad
Directors: Jijy Philips, Prawaal Raman, RGV, J.D. Chakravarthy
Music: Taabhish Romani & Nitin Raikwar

Ok, Seven short supposedly scary stories, directed by four different directors make this movie...Do you really get scared? Sorry...You will be disappointed in the fact that there is nothing remotely scary about this movie...And this is coming from someone who gets scared real easy. But you will not be disappointed if you did not expect much from Indian horror flicks anyway...

I am not going to sit here and write a summary of all the not-so-interesting stories...Just going to tell you this:
1) Acting is okay.
2) Music does give you a jolt more than a few times.
3) Story extremely predictable...We could guess the story of the movie scene by scene as we watched the movie.
4) There are only four real ghost stories the rest are supposed to be thrilling stories...But the stories told to me by my friends when I was a kid seemed more scary than these.
5) Never trust Rediff.com reviews. They are all paid for...So they lie.
6) The scary scenes are hilarious.
7) No Gory scenes...Which is good for me...I hate to see blood or other things oozing...

This movie is okay if you have not seen master pieces like Omen, Evil Dead, Exorcist, etc...Otherwise you begin to wonder Why RGV does not give up his attempts at making Ghost Stories...Maybe he is trying hard so that out of the 15 movies he tortures us with at least one might become a hit...Nice try...Sorry but This is not the one...So keep trying...And when will I learn not to watch them??!!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Chennai Driving - Accident II

Okay so this time...D and I as usual are driving down on Anna Nagar 8th main road on the way to my old house on the same street...We were going to meet my friend there and it was around three in the afternoon...Same blue TVS Champ once again...and D driving yet again...

D and I are mad about something...Honestly I do not remember what...We had started abusing each other ever since we entered Shanti Colony main road from Anna Nagar main road (you know the one that leads us from the Arch to the Roundtana?)...And now after taking the left on 8th main road we were going strong at it...and when I say abusing...I mean the real one...Full fledged English words flowing back and forth...At the second intersection on the same 8th main road...An old man (around 40) comes slowly in his Kinetic Honda...D busy abusing me has her head turned to face me...She does not notice this dude...I see him and scream...She thinks I am yelling at her and she continues her tirade...

CRASH...BOOM...BANG...Three of us are on the street (those days those streets in Chennai were practically empty)...D and I stand up...Still in the same angry mood...Very politely stand up and call the old man un-speakable words...Before we realized our mistake...The old man...Obviously scared of two girls (1st year Arch...This how old I was...19)...Starts apologizing to us...Now both of us are confused...We thought he might get offended at us for calling him names...

We laughed...and the three of us started to laugh...We gave him a hand, helped him with his bike, and apologized for our bad behavior and we drove our way to friends house...

Sometimes I think that the old man was a blessing in disguise...Because after that we forgot what we were fighting about...Maybe if we had continued fighting it might have never ended...Now D and I are still great friends keeping in touch every week or sometimes every day!

Chennai Driving - Accident III

Almost same accident...This time in front of my school where hordes of boys just come and hang out to sight-aditchify girls coming out...My friend M (not D) and I were on my green TVS 50 (not champ)...Driving out of school towards her home to eat some nice Sindhi food...In the enthu of going home fast I was trying to squeeze between the vendors on street, kids walking, cycling, talking, etc...I forgot to notice that right in front of me a dude was trying to do something to attract the attention of some girl...I went on to do a head on collision with him...

Obviously it was his fault...At least that's what I thought then...I have no idea...and I bet he does not either...Both my friend and I hit the ground...and I got up calling him a bastard...Too bad for me I did not notice my class teachers around me...They came to my rescue (they had not heard me call him a bastard)...The boy was angry...a) because he had an accident, b) all his stunt went for a naught, and c) I had just called him a bastard...

He complained to my teacher...Who very smartly said that, "I know Anu and she would never say such a word, now boy help her get home in her bike...I see that it has quite some damage." That boy stood there with his mouth open...Poor darling...Don't know where he is...Took me, my friend and my bike to a mechanic, shelled out Rs. 150/- to get my bike repaired and did not get an apology from me for calling him a Bastard....hahaha...I totally denied it too...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Driving In Chennai! - Accident I

I can write a whole book of Accidents that I had met with when I used to live in Chennai...Most of them were not life threatening...They were just bruises and scratches but this one I am going to write put me less than an inch away from death...

Alright...As usual the guest star of this drama is my best friend D (remember she starred in my blog before.

D and I were both on her TVS Champ driving down Nelson Manickam Road from Anna Nagar 15th Street on our way to Santiago Classes (I think)...It must have been some weekend as we were both in color dress (hehehe! That's we used to call regular clothes during school days). She was driving and I was pillion riding sitting on one side (like a girl wearing a skirt would and not like a dude)...

I am usually a very bad pillion rider...In the sense I am a backseat driver...No matter what I will give my two cents such as moving to the left or right, brake, go the light is green, now why did you stop, etc...But this particular day I was tired and decided that I should have confidence in D as I have been riding with her for two or more years now and relaxed...

I relaxed, yup and just for a few seconds...I looked around and then turned my attention once again to the road in front of me...It was right before what was Palaniappa Theater on NM Road...A local dude was standing with his lungi folded up...His hands on his hips and with an urgency in his stance...I don't know what he must have been thinking...Slowly behind him a three wheeler rickshaw with a big open carriage in the back used to carry veggies, etc, was moving closer to the dude...D decided that to go faster she could drive between the dude and the three wheeler and avoid the big traffic on the road...

So here we are doing like 35 kmph on a heavily packed road trying to do the squeeze hoping that the dude or the three wheeler rickshaw will give us enough space...So with great judgment D drove between them...There was just enough space and we would have made it through...Until the dude turned around...and in one split second his hand hit D's handle bar which got locked into the grill on the open carriage of the rickshaw thus dragging us down on the street...

My head hit the road with a thud...Really...I was okay...Really, I opened my eyes, something black and yellow just rolled over my hair that was all over the road now...My hair strained and I felt the pull...I looked up to see what that was all about...Nothing...Just a LORRY!!! A big frigging lorry...Painted yellow with black tires. Remember those Lorries that said SOUND HORN OK PLEASE in India...Same thing...Rolled just an inch away from my head pulling my hair...

Now I decided...If I could have seen a lorry so close to my head and not felt any pain...Then I was dead by now...So I with lot of wisdom I closed my eyes and went to sleep...You know I was dead...

In the meantime D woke up...Brushed her hands of the sand from the road and saw that someone had pulled her bike up and a crowd had gathered...Mostly men...D is now conscious that she was looking shabby...One of the men asked her...Madam are you alright...To which D walked up to her bike, turned her rear view mirror and checked if her hair was okay...The dude got pissed off...He immediately turned his attention to me who was still sleeping on the street...Everybody started asking D to wake me up...D got paranoid and she walked up to me...Shook me three times with her hands...I refused to budge (I am dead) and then she gave me a kick with her leg and told me to get the hell up from the road and not to make a scene...

HEHEHEHE...I really did not know I was making a scene but by now a bigger group had gathered and I slowly sat up...I asked...Where am I??? And D told me on the bloody street and if I did not get up then I will have a lorry on my head in two minutes...I stood up and checked for the dude and the three wheeler and both were missing...I too followed D's step...Walked to the mirror to check that I did not get any marks on my face before telling people around that I was okay and that they could leave...

All the heroes left...I kicked D before helping her push the TVS Champ to the nearest mechanic shop where we also got some first aid...The vehicle was fixed for Rs.50 and we went to our class late that evening...

Why did I write about this? Well, yesterday Girish and I were discussing history of different marks on our hands and face when I noticed that I still had the mark from the small injury I had sustained in the accident and I decided that I finally got something worthwhile to write about and break my writer's block...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Weekdays are very taxing...At least most of the time...But we pull through five days of work and drudgery because we know that it ends in fun...Weekends are times of relaxation and fun...Sometimes it is too much fun and very little relaxation...This weekend was like that...We hardly stayed home...

Starting Friday evening...We went over to our friend's house to set up things for a surprise birthday party for a very good friend who moved away from Dallas to live in a small University town in Kansas...He was coming down with two other friends who were our partners in crime.

Everyone successfully acted as if they had forgotten his birthday during their drive down to Dallas and wished him after he asked for it around 12.30am...They entered the house and we were like 30 of us hiding in the garage with the decorations done, candle lit on the cake and balloons floating in the air. It was difficult to keep everyone quiet but we managed and waited. The birthday boy was lied to and made to enter the garage on the pretext of seeing a BMW that one of his friends had bought it was sure a warm and pleasant surprise seeing 30 plus faces singing 'appy birthday to ya!!!!

We sat around, had dinner around 1.00am, chatted and headed back home around 3.30am...It was surely tiring but was worth the while.

Saturday...Giri and I woke up early...We got ready and headed to our friends place where the Kansas gang was hosted and decided to go to temple. We prayed and then went to Lake Lewisville and rented two speedboats...I was so apprehensive about boating as it was a cold day and the wind was high...But all my darling friends forced me into the deal...Giri having a love for adventure (which somehow I do not possess) went into the big lake...It was scary...I was like WOW! I do not think this is fun...It looked really scary today...Usually it has never looked so foreboding...We were the only visible boat in the whole bloody lake...I freaked out and made Giri turn around to the calmer waters before everyone tubed in the back...Me and my girlfriends did not...But it was fun watching!

Tired and hungry we moved our base to PF Changs after some cleaning up...Food was amazing which was followed by my darling friend who played the strings and sang few of my favorite songs before we headed back home by 3.00am...Long day again!

Sunday...Gosh! We woke up at 1.06pm...really...It was late but we were well rested...and hit the road to Temptations for some Indo-Chinese cuisine. It was bad...Everything was either too spicy or bad...Then some bowling...I sucked at it...hehe...and then we bade farewell to all our friends reminding ourselves about the end of our weekend...Sunday SUX ppl...

We later got home, I did some cleaning and folding clothes before hitting the bed at 12.00am...Now that was a busy weekend for thirteen to fourteen of us who hung around even after the birthday party...But we all enjoyed it...I guess this weekend was more busier than my last week at work!