Posted in Pictures Desi

Who cares whether Tiger is Zinda or not.

Can’t be making a more stupid film.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/how-sushma-swarajs-intervention-led-to-evacuation-of-kerala-nurses-from-iraq/articleshow/70578015.cms

The thing is, only women from non Islamic countries serve as field nurses or nursing assistants in any part of the world. Right there the Paki nurse concept fails in the picture Tiger Zinda Hai. Islamic field nurses serving kafir patients must be blasphemy, right! Did the makers of ‘Tiger zinda hai’ realize that. You just committed a grievous one misters. Women nurses from islamic countries may be restricted to serving their own hospitals, and who knows in fact to only female patients. Mostly in Middle East, we see either Indian nurses or Filipino nurses or at least Sri Lankan nurses, none other. Even in India, it is rare to come across a muslim female nurse for the simple reason, the community may not be permitting them to serve non muslim patients. So 99.99% of the broadminded serving Indian nurses are either Hindu or Christian. I am yet to come across a muslim female nurse working for a medical hospital in India. I have to laud the Christian community in India for their service mindedness when it comes to working with the sick. As far as it comes to serving humanity in the most earnest way, I doubt whether muslims have such a generous big heart. To touch and clean a kafir male patient, hold his bedpan. Will a trained islamic field woman nurse do it. Can she do it. Can she change his dress and dressings.. Can she give him a sponge bath. Whole body bath. Just who are you kidding guys. Hindu Dharma and even Christianity for that matter, do not set boundaries when it comes to serving humanity. There is just no limit to serving mankind for us. Producer-director of ‘Tiger zinda hai’ – you made a complete and cruel mockery of one of the noblest professions of the world serving fellow humans who are suffering and who need a healing touch. Show me a single muslim woman staff nurse doing the kind of motherly-sisterly selfless humanitarian service to a kafir male patient. Interestingly, the contrary holds true. Non kafir male or female assistants and paramedics can nurse muslim men or women when they may be sick. One way road.

It is upsetting therefore to watch such white lies like: (praying) (here too!)(Tableeghi jamaat or what) Pakistani muslim women nurses cast on EQUAL FOOTING with serving Indian nurses working in a hospital in war torn region of Middle East. You cannot ridicule the sisterhood of Indian nursing community more. Outright assault on our entire medical fraternity and principles. Pakistanis are world renowned for taking lives, never for gifting life.

Secondly, our intelligence agency doing a job with theirs is insane, an insult to my India and especially our Kashmiris. Just read about a Kashmiri Hindu woman’s travails. How the Pathans came down in 1947 from Pakistan raping from home to home any and every Hindu Kashmiri little girl to granny. India has had a Mumbai 26/11 not long ago. A Kargil before that when our soldiers were captured, tortured to death with their bodies mutilated beyond recognition. India has also suffered multiple bomb blasts orchestrated by ISI in various cities including in our Stock Exchange and in business districts of busy metros. Even for making money across the border, one should not be making such thoughtless films. Oh, ‘Tiger zinda hai’ is not a thoughtless film. Probably it was made after considerable and careful thought to portray terrorists as good samaritans and plant a seed of self doubt and mistrust in the minds of the Indian masses. By whom? I am coming to that.

Thirdly, Cannot digest Pakistan flag flying level with ours. In a real life incident our ex Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj did rescue some 45 Indian nurses stranded in war torn parts of middle east. In which Pak had zero role to play. It is reckless and demeaning to credit Pak with anything as good as this one, even if this is just a picture.

Fourthly it means, the film must have been funded by the D gang from across the border, no second thoughts on that. You can guess from the casting crew: Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. To paint a rosy picture of their terrorist intelligence agency, one must be hand in gloves with them. One of them. Why was the picture even released in India. How did our sensor board approve it.

What is the need to project our adversaries to this extent is what I cannot understand. More than trying to show them as THE BEST, the producers have gone to the length of showcasing their spies in good light.

You have to be sick for producing such a trash film, it’s an assault on our intelligence and I felt like puking. Bastards.

Finally showing our own Indian muslim in Salman’s team to be the ultimate sacrificing patriotic guy is the last straw. I do respect some (not all) Indian muslims, but any trust, I will not put in them. I am not comfortable with them. I tolerate because we have to be polite and civil to each other for the nation’s sake. Where such a decorum has to be maintained, and/or if situation demands, I will play up to my expected role.

As far as India is concerned, no combined effort on any front with Pakistan. Pak lies in history. We don’t want to have anything to do with them. Never.

‘Tiger zinda hai’  is out and out a terror project. I regret I had to see it.  I regret watching this nonsense. GLORIFICATION OF TERRORISTAN, TERROR AND TERRORISM at its best.

 

Posted in Pictures Foreign

Unbroken (English)

Watched this second world war picture ‘Unbroken’ based on real life story of American military man Louie Zamperini. No idea who the cast were.

Louie is an Olympic athlete representing America in the 1936 games. Later his flight with Phil, Mac and other military men crashes. The duo Louie and Phil survive a grueling and record 47 days baked and famished, adrift in the ocean before being saved (?) by the Japanese military.

The land is no better as the two men discover. ‘The bird’ as nicknamed by the POW American soldiers, is in charge of their garrison. The Japanese man exhibits a sadistic streak isolating Zamp and taking his wrath out on him repeatedly, trying to break his spirit. As the war is drawing to a close, the jail warden fails to break Zamp who undauntedly challenges the cruel Japanese in his own way. From getting battered and bruised for no reason to working the coal mines of Japan to lifting heavy iron bars, Louie’s mental strength is stretched maximum to break his spirit. His stamina, pretty impressive! Without such a stamina to match his unyielding willpower, our hero would have been lost. May be it got to do with his Olympic training. The one and a half month in the sea must also have hardened our man. When all ploys fail, Zamp is tempted with bribes that could change his plight overnight. Louie Zamperini refuses to bow down, remaining strong until the end.

Reminded me of our own national hero Abhinandan who with his MIG downed the F16 flewn by  Pak airforce man in the aftermath of Balakot. How proud he made India!

War is over and the the prisoners of war return to America after the ordeal. Louie and Phil get married and have families, remaining friends life long. Louie turns to god as he discovers peace in forgiveness over revenge. He realizes his dream of running in Tokyo Olympics in grand old age (his 80s). He makes peace with his former Japanese captors but Bird still refuses to see him. The film ends here.

War pictures are not my cup of tea. However this one was different. No explicit brutal war scenes that could make one flinch.

War is not rosy.

I only have this question to ask America. So you know war brutality. Still why do you force it on so many nations. How much more oil do you want. I can say this because I am an unbiased Hindu from neutral India. I am neither a muslim nor a christian both by race and/or religion. I belong everywhere and nowhere. I also know that, none can play games with my strong India. That gives me a sense of security.

Hollywood may make a war picture like this one, but Japan won’t. I have never seen a picture on Hiroshima Nagasaki bombings that wiped millions in a flash of a second. There have been Pearl Harbour, The Schindlers’ List etc., etc. They have been good. But nothing from Asian perspective. A coin has two sides.

They say all is fair in war and love.

Neither the First world war nor the Second world war concerned most other nations, especially Asian. As if India’s 1000 year siege under the islamic invaders and the British was inadequate, these wars were unnecessarily inflicted upon us. India was robbed totally by the Brits and left threadbare. And today these guys have the audacity to talk about immigrants. How about returning our stolen Kohinoor diamond Queen Elizabeth? Only UK can royally boast the loots from Asia and Africa with such a misplaced pride. And now a phony care for wildlife. After shooting to extinction nearly most of the world’s exotic species in African and Indian wilds. Natives have always lived with wildlife. Never hunted them down.

As for America, I wonder how many Americans ponder over the Indians wiped out entirely – ethnic cleansed to some ninety nine percent. Who will make films on the Red Indians. Or Aborigines of Australia. Or the Maoris of New Zealand.

Sorry, such pictures still fail to move me. Pretty much like Louie Zamperini, I remain untouched! But I respect the fierce individual spirit of Zamp. This is what captivated me most about the picture. What he endured, how he endured. First of all there was no self-pity. There was no question of giving up on life. His survival was a constant factor. You knew that from his attitude. Revenge lay in mere staying alive, a fellow American POW in Tokyo tells Zamp in their camp.  How true. Living well is the ultimate tit-for-tat.

In a nation that is re-discovering our lost identity since Independence from the British, after a terror reign of nearly 800 years under the Moghuls etc., India is only now picking up pieces and trying to move on. War movies therefore have least effect on me.

Sometimes I feel even a sense of anger when I watch such pictures. The goodness of it all, I appreciate. But not having the courage or honesty to tell the whole or entire story comes as a big disappointment.  But then after all, history is scripted by winner with additions and deletions replete. Although Zamp impressed me with his physical stamina and mental strength, Bird earned my respect as well, refusing to see Zamp on reconciliation. Japan had much, much to lose.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Pariyerum Perumal (Tamil) and Petta (Tamil)

Close on the heels of Petta, the Rajni Kanth superhit in the cinemas, happened to watch the Pongal screening of Pariyerum Perumal in tv. Nothing to write about Petta except that you see the young Rajni of his 30s-40s from late 80s and 90s with the same inimitable hairstyle, body and action of his. Why, Rajni even goes the extra mile to reenact the cigarette trick for his fans, his trademark style from 1970s which catapulted him to instant fame in Tamil cinema. That brings to your eyes the Rajni who we all fell in love with as school/college kids. He was such a fun in those days (no more now)! Well, Petta is somewhat an attempt to recapture that lost magic for Tamil audience. To some extent I must say, the production team succeeded. The picture is a reminder why Rajni became legend Rajnikanth the Superstar. And now touching 70, he has made the junior actor-directors Sashi Kumar and Vijay Sethupathi look pale and insignificant which is incredulous! I have always loved these two and I admire their current works. They are the best that could be happening to present day Tamil cinema, and yet how Rajni overshot them to cult status is unbelievable OMG! Nawazuddin Siddique’s first Tamil role I hope? He must know he will have to only play second fiddle in south stories yet he has made a brave attempt speaking Tamil without a dubbing artist’s help? The heroines Simran and Trisha are not even in the game! Such is the powerful screen presence of Rajni Kanth that all other stars fade in his presence! Neither has Rajni lost touch with his most natural acting form, that which pulled him to the forefront. In comparison, how unfit and pathetic the bloated heroes of today look! Weak and insufficient – that goes for Nawazuddin Siddhiqui! This is the only point I want to make about Petta: Age is just a number. The vigour and vitality called Rajni Kanth remains with you long after you leave the IMAX studios. Many language people watched the picture, different nationalities. How the crowds come to their feet when the Thalaivaa makes his first screen appearance!!! Kudos to new director Karthik Subburaj for not letting the film drag for a single moment. No time even for humour and romance in the considerably lengthy picture. You don’t fidget for 2.5 hours in your seat at all anytime which could be the greatest scoring point for the director. And finally the cinematography merits a standing ovation: Uttar Pradesh captured at its best. Overhead shots of locations known and imprinted in the memory of Indian masses given a fresh and interesting look and angle. Really appreciate that!

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I was aware Pariyerum Perumal received critical acclaim. Because it was screened yesterday the day of Pongal, I was busy and so happened to miss the opening scene and one or two more scenes. Caught up with that mostly in You Tube, yet waiting for a repeat watch.

One of the best of 2018, a clear contender for national/international Awards this year, you cannot relate a story better. Mari Selvaraj who has penned the screen play and dialogues is a man to watch out for. Directed by Pa Ranjith now known for this genre of scripts, the film still meets more than your expectations. I haven’t heard a story told more earnestly. At the end of day, I found myself shedding quiet tears in shame. Rather than vengeance as sought by Petta Rajnikanth, Pariyan seeks introspection. His character is solid. I grew up watching KB films, but I reckon, this generation of film makers is a different breed and their powerful way of storytelling may not subscribe to conventional norms yet their message reaches you across the most impressive way it can. It is not always the sophisticated Mani Ratnam way or KB way but it is raw and bare naked truth that we cannot overlook. Compulsive and lingering.

About the film content, it is tight script with not a single frame wasted. For a reasonably new team this is commendable. No loose ends untied. Not a single extra word spoken. Just what is necessary.

And what a timing! We have just had the 10% reservation quota for FCs passed in both houses in the Parliament which I view as darkest day in Indian democracy. I wish those who pushed for the bill happened to watch the picture.

Wouldn’t want to discuss it anymore. The film comes with subtitles. It has to be viewed with an open and fresh mind. And an unbiased one.

Just that the questions asked by Kadhir who plays the lead role Pari keep ringing in my ears:

Why should I not (come here)?

What is that you (people) want?

I will be here and I will learn what I want to . You can do nothing about it and I will do what I want to do.

Translated into English, the dialogues lose their intended effect. They come out so well in native Thamizh. The hero’s indignation for the injustice he suffers is substantiated and appreciable, still he abstains from nurturing vengeance. Something our communal political parties must take note of. Distinct demarcation between the two emotions that could very well overlap is the highlight of the script. The biggest strength of the story and character.

What a powerful medium Cinema can be. You cannot make every Indian read a book, but you can make them watch a film with a little success. It is only very recently I completed reading the ‘controversial (?!)’ Tamil novel ‘Madhorubhagan’ authored by Perumal Murugan (blog post pending) The author was forced to edit his original script and I got to read only the edited version. The book is now out in English titled ‘One part woman.’

It is heartening to see these new age Tamil film directors emerge bold from shadows. At the same time a word of caution: do not allow yourselves to be carried away or be used as a pawn in any political game by vested interests. Nobody is your friend. I would want our PM Modi to see the picture as well. To really understand what is Indian culture, how basic it is and how it is not the prerogative of the upper caste Hindu. Indian/Hindu culture also thrives at grass roots level: in our villages. Which is why Gandhi called some of us ‘Harijan’ – the children of Hari, Maha Vishnu.

Another well crafted character in the picture: Pariyan’s father. No comedy track but Yogi Babu seems to have taken the place of Vadivel in Tamil Cinema. Way to go! Love his innocence. Jo’s father and the climax of the picture and the final closing note almost like a post script give the story a beautiful and heart warming finish. I was bracing myself for a sadistic twisted end like some of them do: director Ameer of Paruthi Veeran has that cruel streak. Pa Ranjith has resisted it, hats off! Very wise of Mari Selvaraj and Ranjith to end the picture the way they did. This is why the Ameers of the world never win our sympathy. You don’t have to do like Bharathi Raja with his ‘Alaigal Oivadhillai’ kind of ‘they lived happily forever after’ thing. To leave you with the question hanging in mid air is brilliant direction.

Posted in Others

Hindustan UniLever Must Withdraw Vaseline Ad

My status in Facebook today:

“Shocked to watch Vaseline body lotion ad in tv where coolly the comparison is made with Coconut oil and the native traditional cocount oil is pronounced inferior to this chemical Vaseline product which is a petroleum derivative in truth. How Govt of India can allow such a senseless and insulting ad is surprising. Will Vaseline maker compare their products similarly with Olive oil and run such a n advertisement pumping lies in Mediterranean countries. In India you can bash all that’s Hindu and native Hindu/Indian and get away with that. VASELINE, TAKE OUT THE COCONUT OIL COMPARING AD now. Swear never to buy Lever products. Must be sued in the court of law.”

Added this comment: “Request all my friends to stop using Vaseline products until the insensitive and damaging ad is withdrawn . With an apology.”

One thought the world is going organic in a big way. And now this.

The commercial goes on to say how coconut oil lets your skin go dry in less than one hour whereas the chemical Vaseline, product of Lever, keeps your skin hydrated for hours. That a foreign manufacturer has this kind of audacity to present to us Indians such a nonsense and baseless truth is unbelievable.

The nerve these people have (for instance asking us to keep away from savouring Indian/Desi sweets during Diwali for weight-loss whereas Swiss chocolates and the Christmas bakes such as cakes etc., are fine)… Indian media controlled and owned by the Church does its daily dose of mass brainwashing the tv viewers in middle class Indian homes.  See how Times Now is degrading Diwali and promoting Christmas in native Hindu soil. Systematically and slyly, cleverly done in a most unsuspecting way. Pictures courtesy (!): Francois Gautier

 

 

Eco-friendly green Diwali is fine so long as Eid is celebrated by muslims without animal sacrifice and Christmas by christians sans the christmas tree. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India should dispense unbiased justice.

 

Not long ago, India’s national/traditional costume dating back by thousands of years and as ancient as the very Hindu civilization was communalized and politicized similarly by none less than the New York Times. What must have irked them is that, the unstitched single piece garment the Indian Sari has survived the brutal regimes of the British and the Islamic invaders before them to this 21st century. The Sari is the ultimate defiance. Defiance as to how Hindu Dharma has triumphed over westernization and universal Americanization and even Islamization. That the Sari just cannot be replaced or removed is a reminder to the rest of the world that we Hindu Indians will NOT toe your line. (that the reporter/journalist is a muslim comes as no surprise just like the Supreme court case for women’s entry to Sabarimala Hindu shrine was filed by a muslim who was more concerned about Hindu women rights over his own women hiding behind burqa).

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/love-sarees-not-political-indians-hit-back-new-york-times-71710

Multinational designers and brands have made their way into India in a big way post globalization, yet the foreign fashion houses are dismayed they cannot dislodge the Sari from the Hindu/Indian soul. India is a huge, huge market of a 500 million middle class families. So these manipulators leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Hindu institution of India is deconstructed brick by brick. It is important that the Indian nari is disrobed of her Sari, only then the jeans and skirts can make headway.

Sari, the stark reminder of all things native and pedigree…

As for China and Japan and Korea and other Asian nations, their societies are westernized beyond recognition already. Something that is impossible to do with in India. Hindus steadfastly hold on to the Carnatic/Hindustani music, Bharatnatyam/Kathak traditional dances and other native art forms without being swept over by one huge tide of westernization. Even the Arab world is westernized. From their food habits to fashion/accessories and lifestyle. Indian Hindu psyche is impossible to conquer. Education/employment makes  no difference to our vast majority. We remain what we are.

The Lever’s Vaseline body lotion/moisturizer commercial now playing in Indian television channels is one more direct attack to destabilize and confuse the native Hindu/Indian. Strike at the base, strike at the core of one’s belief system, shake the confidence. Ridicule all that is original, and super impose the fake ideologies. Lower the native self-esteem. Debase. Denounce. Discredit. Then you win in a big, big way. That is how the Philippines went down.

India is still unfinished business for the west. You have to be either a Christian or Muslim in this world. Belong to one of the two violent blocks. India/Hindu means DEFIANCE. We refuse to follow or accept the Abrahamic fold/faiths. We refuse to agree that God came from Middle East. We refuse to accept both Jesus and Allah. We are here. We are Hindus. Our Gods are our native sons of the soil, our ancestors, our blood forefathers. To Hell with Yours!

This Vaseline commercial is the last straw. Already watching the Colgate Ved Shakthi advertisement and the Hamaam Neem ad., in tv, one feels a surge of anger. How Lever without a care in the world has lifted Ayurveda formula into manufacture (without paying a royalty to Indian govt?) is unbelievable. Such an outright intellectual theft is not something taken for granted or tolerated in America or Europe or Australia. But then this is our India. Here you can unleash a torrent of abuse/insult on anything Hindu/Indian and ridicule/rubbish us to our face taking us for a ride, we shall still remain eternally grateful to these multinationals by making them richer by the day.

Posted in Pictures Foreign

Review: In The Heart Of The Sea

STRONGLY RECOMMENDED 😀

Missed out as usual the titles and opening scene which was anyway predictable. Caught up with it later in You Tube.

A wild life enthusiast, the film no wonder appeals to me. Compelling watch for all nature lovers.

Sperm whale and the Elephant both reign supreme in their respective territories. The former roams the oceans as the world’s largest mammalian predator and the counterpart rules the forested lands as the earth’s surprisingly herbivorous and gentlest giant. The duo though have a mind of their own. They neither forget nor forgive, almost blessed with a sixth sense and emotion akin to human beings.  Most endangered species today, the two also continue to be hunted down ruthlessly to extinction. Quite like whale hunting, culling of tuskers also has been in practice for centuries. While the whales yielded the precious burning oil (literally) to the then darker world devoid of electricity and gas, the elephant tusks became trophies and intricate and expensive jewelry, the most coveted treasure of the wealthiest of the world.

Whaling goes on in present times unabated as we see in Scandinavian seas/countries and also Japan/China. Elephants are pricey too and elephant poaching still goes unchecked in many parts of the world. While the wild elephant habitat and elephant corridors have shrunk by many times in geographical extent, the high seas are now too very crowded by mariners that whale population is threatened for survival like never before.

The greed of the mankind is alarming and cruel, at the same time the adventurous spirit of the human race in touching greater heights, in reaching beyond, in daring, in challenging, in going out the last mile driven by sheer instinct and guts breaking boundaries and shackles, is amazing. May be the future Homo Sapiens will evolve with mutations to breathe in carbon-di-oxide and breath out oxygen who knows !!!

The picture is a whale hunting tale, not to be compared with the likes of the ‘Jaws’, ‘Anaconda’ or ‘Lake Placid.’ These are creatures of our imagination, brought to life in silver screen. Whereas this is real life story from Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Hero whale hunter is Chase played by Chris Hemsworth who is the first mate of the whaleship ‘Essex.’

The brave expedition gets published in America when a fortunate survivor Nickerson who happens to have joined the whaleship as a cabin boy, is approached by author/novelist Herman Melville.

Period film dating back to 1820 based on the non-fiction, as narrated by the teen survivor Thomas Nickerson who lives unto ripe old age to sell his story to the writer, the mysterious whale hunting voyage is unraveled of its hidden and buried secrets locked away forever in the memory of the deck hand Nickerson. So that’s how Moby Dick is born, inspired by the big white, the most ferocious of all to wander in the seven seas (although vaguely I recall reading about it years or perhaps decades back).

What follows is an unbelievable and daring account of harpooning of whales in the Atlantic and Pacific, many leagues far from the coasts of South America, as whale oil was largely in use as fat for lighting as well as in industrial works fetching gold in bullion markets, in a time before the discovery of the fossil fuel was made in the landfall (to drive the world ever since).

Whaler Chase who has earned the distinction of wearing his whale badges is easily the natural leader denied the command of Essex, much to the chagrin of the pedigree and political appointee captain of the ship, Pollard. Although the two strike an uneasy companionship, the harrowing months at the seas away from homes and hearths and the common hardships faced together foster an understanding relationship between them. What ensues is a touching tale of humanity in the midst of inhuman living conditions, the fighting spirit conquering lethargy and the will to survive. Friendship and team work and companionship cannot get better than this.

The teenager Nickerson is live witness to the whaling expedition as the whalers hunt successfully for whale oil hooking and reeling in to death many a mammoth blue whale from the fathoms of the oceans in bold and nerve-wracking escapades after the captain makes an unwise decision about a squall that renders the whaleship weak and battered to face the perils of the sea in full force at the very start of the voyage. The initial grave slip does its damage as drama unfolds in the depths of the Pacific and beyond as the whalers go in search of schools of whales. In a bizarre turnout, the whaleship gets pursued and hunted down by the massive and legendary 100 foot white whale. Ship wrecked and oil lost, the crew is washed ashore to survive and refit in a tiny and deserted island, from whatever is left over to start their return voyage empty handed.

Absolutely stunning visuals of schools of whales deep in the Pacifics. Hopefully it is not photoshop. Or whatever. The whalehunting is excellent picturization. The walk Nickerson takes like kind of initiation in the entrails of the culled whale is astounding, flabbergasting! Can’t believe humanity lived and evolved through this stage of barbarity!

The narrator stops midway with serious misgivings over the abominations the men committed in order to survive when they run out of food and water as they make their return voyage, sun-baked and thirsty and famished. On prompt from his interviewer, he finally bares terrible secrets  that had plagued his conscience for years that make for an incredulous real life story. Moby-Dick is born.

Liked this one better than the ‘Titanic.’ Or may be even ‘Avatar.’ Or the ‘Everest’ or ‘Below Eight’ yet another daredevil real life drama filmed entirely in the Antarctic. Many Himalayan stories nowadays that you actually get to think that Mount Everest is no big deal !!!

My two cents on the film being the best in the category; and more realistic may be because it is true story.

 

Posted in Pictures Desi

Padmavat (Hindi)

Every Hindu child in India grows up listening to the heroic and self sacrificing tale of the ethereal beauty Chittore Rani Padmini (Padmaavathi). Of Alauddin Khilji’s avarice, cunning and barbarity. As for me, I had my granny tell me about Padmini a million/billion times perhaps when I was a little girl.

Wonder why the picture drew criticisms for positive portrayal of the historical event. The film also justifies why Sati was indeed practised in India for a few centuries. Notably, it was prevalent in border states of today’s India that were prone to mogul/arab/turk/afghan/mongol invasions.

A typical Sanjay Leela Bansali production, it must have been a grand watch in IMAX cinemas.  I must be the last to review the film. Watching pictures at home comes with a cost: missing out scenes thanks to domestic chores. Despite disclaimer, Hindu India knows better. ‘Padmaavat’ also is the costliest celluloid picture to be made in Indian history to date. (Catching up with lost bits in Tamil version, it comes as no surprise that dubbed ones can never come like the originals).

Numbers may vary from 14,000 to 70,000 from account to account – but that many Rajput Hindu women were believed to have jumped into fire igniting themselves, committing mass suicide  (Jauhar) (Sati) when Mewar was defeated by the Sultan of Delhi (sic) (cannot even come to terms with actual history that these savages once ran a reign of terror in my Punya Bhoomi Bharat), saving themselves from capture by islamists. The historic Sati was led by the queen Padmavat herself when Maharaja Ratan Singh was defeated in the sly in the battle by Malik Kafur. (Malik Kafur the slave himself was reportedly a bisexual as Khilji was, and was in relationship with Khilji).

If not for Padmavat and her fellow Rajput women (as well as other brave Hindu warrior kings like Chatrapathi Shivaji of the Maratha and Krishna Deva Raya of Vijayanagara Kingdom), India could be more islamic today and less Hindu in character. Who knows we could have been a sultanate. Hindu kings and warriors who fought by their own ‘dharmic’ traditions saved us from worst fates. Unfortunately and ironically, the native Hindu bravado is played down in Indian history text books and India’s invaders are portrayed the heroes. This is like viewing Hitler and Nazis as heroses and the victimized jews as oppressors. The price one pays for democracy and secularism. Irony is, in India today, if we talk about our traumatic past, we will be accused of hurting the sensitivities of our minorities (who were in all probability force-converted by our invaders at the point of sword).

The one last picturization of the Sati was good enough for me. Salute my Hindu ancestors for their selfless sacrifices and bravery. Hindu dharma forbids backstabbing. War ethics are a separate dharma by themselves. Aliens from Afghanistan unfortunately were less civilized, most brutal as India has witnessed in last 14 traumatic centuries. Hindus are staunch believers in Karma. Karma has been playing out in Af-Pak for decades now, can’t you see. Anything taken from the Hindu – will have to be paid back by tens of hundreds of thousand times with interest. For the simple reason, Hindus do not disturb others on their will.

Bow my head to the queen of Mewar and the bravest Rajputs who resisted surrender and conversion to Islam with their very lives, and defended the Sanatana Dharma until their last breath, owing to whom India today is still majority Hindu!

Dharma won over Adharm in Mewar, even if Khilji’s psychotic army ran over Chittor.

May be the exact sequence of history was not recorded (as it can never be with Period films) and there are naturally quite some artistic exaggerations here and there, but in spite of these superfluous flaws, the picture is extremely well made with attention paid to intricate details – from hand block designed costumes to period jewelry of Rajastan. Filming entirely limited to Rajastan forts. Outstanding cinematography. As I have never been to this part of the country, I have not much knowledge about India’s north west state. Deepika Padukone lived up to her character, doing justice to the role of Chittore Rani Padmini as Padmavat is widely referred to. Good and apt casting with Ranveer Singh playing the bloodcurdling Khilji and Pankaj Kapoor as the dharmic, valiant king of Chittor. Prior to the picture, I was not aware that Rani Padmaavat was Sinhalese. Speaks a lot about marital relations between India and the island nation Sri Lanka over centuries – starting with the times of Ram and Sita and Ravana?

Hurts when old wounds are reopened. MY HEART BLEEDS… Delhiites may be comfortable with forts and mausoleums, but coming from south, most of us like me cannot come to accept India’s turbulent past. Cannot come to terms with the Taj Mahal representing India. If you ask me, we must have Tanjore Brahadeshwara or Madurai Meenakshi or Hampi in Karnataka or the Kailasa temple in Ajanta or the Sun temple of Konark for India’s mascot in our tourism brochures or whatever. It is time to slowly ease out Taj from our conscience and replace it with a monument of our native pride and self-respect.

A symbol of bloody invasion and tyranny and genocide of my own fellow Hindus simply cannot represent my beloved Bharat. BIG NO TO TAJ !

 

Posted in Pictures Desi

Review: 96 (Tamil)

Some great low budget but delightfully watchable Tamil flicks that are running to packed houses, this season:

Checka Chivandha Vaanam (reddish red sky)

96

Paraiyerum Perumal

Merku Thodarchi Malai (western ghats)

Immaikka Nodigal (the seconds that did not tick)

U Turn

No hyped Diwali release. No school summer vacation.  No big banners either. No superheroes. The one big name is Mani Ratnam (Checka Chivandha Vaanam). Others like Vijay Sethupathi, Sashi Kumar etc., are still legends in the making – outstanding unconventional heroes cum directors. With Siva Karthikeyan, the two truly make up the winning formula for Tamil cinema. Add to them Prasanna and Siddharth and Madhavan (although the latter two share their time with Bollywood). Thanks to these new age heroes, one is taken back to K Balanchander’s times of 1970s (though I was a pre-teen then), when Tamil cinema was all about substance.

For, the strength of Tamil cinema lies in storytelling and wonderful characterization. Story-screenplay-dialogue. Dusky heroes and heroines of native skin script a realistic stage setting for the plots to unfold. Witty and satirist, the films are a fine and hitherto unexplored ground in Indian screen. There have been some in recent past like Jigarthanda, Kidari, Bale Velaiyatheva etc., which were a new genre moving away from outright Kamal Hasan humours like Pammal K Sambandam and Pancha Tantram. Now humour seems to be interwoven in the story. Screenplay-direction merits a thunderous applause. Highlight is, low budget but good content. Commercial success! (Although one cannot underestimate Kamal Hasan socials like Virumaandi or Devar Magan (re-made as Virasat in Hindi starring Anil Kapoor). Only that, what is trending is good, better! A different kind of story telling, a new dimension, a fresh perspective, fascinating imagination.

There have been a couple of ground-breakers like Aruvi (on TRP the television rating points system that drives the media), Kalyana Samayal Saadham (on male impotence) and OK Kanmani (on live-in relationships) (Mani Ratnam), but Thiruttu Payale 2 (the rascal 2) starring Prasanna and Bobby Simha was a tech nail-biter to the finish. Robot (Shankar) with Rajni Kanth could have been the ultimate tech production (with 2.0 trailer now played in cinemas – Diwali release?), but Thiruttu Payale was like math assignment or video game.

Except for U Turn and Chekka Chivandha Vaanam that are racy thrillers, the recent most crop are slow paced (not yet watched all) one believes.

96 Stands out as urban chick yet relaxing like a calm ocean. This is my second Vijay Sethupathi film, first being ‘Rummy’ in tv popular for its number ‘kooda mela kooda vechu.’ One word to describe Vijay is ‘yadhaartham.’ With this he (as well as Sashi Kumar and the tribe) move away from the league of Kamal Hasan, Rajnikanth, Ajith and Vijay who are icons in the film industry mostly thanks to their histrionics (Vikram and Surya only slightly better).

96 is a breather as it flows without a ripple, soothing and unmarred by violence or vulgarity. NO CONFLICT IN THE PICTURE, NO AGITATION OF THE MIND. Over estimation has cost those like Kamal Hasan dearer as we see already with his junk called ‘Vishwaroopam’ series. Sometimes, the pros bite the dust and it takes fresh talent to take the lead. A very neat and easy and uncomplicated script is a huge plus for 96. Trisha is elegant as ever as Janu and Vijay Sethupathi is ‘yadhaartham’ personified. Together they strike an odd but interesting pair. As the drama is day-to-day life of the current Whatsapp generation, it is naturally a runaway hit in both urban and rural centers.

96 reminds me of our school batch 86 (84-86 board batch, 84 – 10th standard and 86 12th standard boards). Only, our school was all-girls school! Reunions are happening ever since Facebook got us connected to our long lost friends.  Intelligent of the director to cash in on a contemporary phenomenon.

The subject treated with a delicate direction, kudos! Male virgin at 37 is not strange in Indian/Hindu society. Coming in the heels of Sabarimala, as someone caught between the two worlds of modernity and traditions, I do not know how to react to this in present times. Is it naive of the hero Ram played by Vijay Sethupathi or is this characteristic is what defines the society we live in. Surprisingly, the same India is now hitting headlines in global media for rapes. My nation is a land of contradictions. To come to grips with our inherent nature is our greatest challenge.

Watching 96 was like reading a Mills & Boon paperback to me – used to finish one book per day in back bench in school days. Addicted to TDH – the tall, dark, handsome heroes of M & B women authors! 96 though sees a reversal of roles. Janu (Trisha) is the leading lady – who takes the charge!

Rerecording by Ilayaraja, a musical treat to ears. Unobtrusive (demanded by script of course) unlike today’s loud and brash BGM these days typical with AR Rahman’s.

The review will be incomplete without a mention on budget: only 1 set of clothes for Trisha mostly (total 3), a plain kurta-dupatta suit. Four local locations in all: a hotel in Chennai (Accord), a flat in uptown apartment block in the city, a resort in ECR (East coast road), some traffic scenes/airport/underground Chennai metro rail. Other than that, some shots are filmed in Tanjore streets and a local temple with a distant view of the millennia old Brahadeshwara. Most Tanjore picturization is within the four walls of a matric school. Trying to figure out the budget cost ever since, especially against the super-duper big time bombers like Vishwaroopam! No glamour content, no comedian track, no melodrama, no fist fight or use of abusive language or double meaning dialogue. Touches a chord without making you emotional. Simply beautiful and as I said, ‘yadhaartham.’ Reminds one of ‘Dil ek mandir’ from 1950-60s, made within four hospital walls which was later remade in Tamil as ‘Nenjil or aalayam.’

The after-taste of cinema must be the ‘feel good’ factor. Felt good going to sleep on 96. Fell headlong into a deep and dreamless slumber late last evening, with a smile on my lips even if the film ended on a heavy note. The characters have my respect!