Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fanaa: A Mixed Bag

Fanaa - destroyed in love, another churn from the YashRaj Films. To put it all out, is highly flavored in some instances, and just bland in others! Overall what may seem to be a hurriedly packaged product, it leaves a lot to be desired in several levels! Not to mention that at points it seems a lot like a spoof of various movies! Now that being said, let us get down to our favorite point of dissecting the movie and laying things out thread bare much to the bane of the ones who are interested in knowing the destruction this movie seems to claim about.
It was Fanaa all the way for the movie. This is the last venture of the talented duo Jatin-Lalit. The story is badly "fanaa"d in between (albeit without much love), and so also was my interest. The sole saving grace of the entire movie is Kajol. Her screen presence is impeccable and she outshines Aamir, in several instances. Sadly enough Aamir Khan (much as I adore him), is showing off his aging! :( Well we shall dwell more on that front later.
The story is what forms a major bane for me! I am sure, the director could have sat for some more time on the story, and refined it. A typical Yash Raj film fare all through, replete with instances of patriotism, National Anthem strewn in, and the "oh spare me" round of Antakshari! (gimme a break dudes!!). Fortunately, not as nerve wracking as in "Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Ghum". The story is of a sweet blind girl, meets a strange "guide" boy in the streets of delhi and falls in love! Strange "guide" boy who seems a casanova, issues all the necessary statutory warnings, and yet sweet girl commits herself to him. Soon it turns out that Strange "guide" boy is actually a "bad" boy!!! Jeepers Creepers!!! And is out to destroy the sweet ol' nation by detonating a Nuclear Bomb, to wipe out the city of Delhi - nice and clean. As the darn ol' fate or the director would have it, he lands all wounded up in the door of sweet ol' girl and his "fruit of deed" kid. Sweet ol' girl who believes he'z dead, gets him back. Eventually she realizes that her prince charming is a "baddie" and spanks him fine in the end!
The cast has done a decent job all the way through. What boggles me is the high level of maturity that the kids in YashRaj films seem to have! I for one would sure like to have my kid custom made through one of these movies! Now that said, the script is wonderful in some instances, more so in the first half of the movie replete with shayaris, and taut dialogues for the main protagonists. But it is "insipid and moronic" in some instances. Especially the character of the so called Chief of Anti-Terrorist Bureau - Sushil Rawat. If anything he seems highly childish and may as well be rocking in some cradle, and sporting the girdle! Instances when he is passing taunting comments on Tabu, is just crappy and down right trifling! Grow up dude is what one may wanna say!
The absolute saving graces of the movie are - the music, the songs, and Kajol! The instances of her parting from Aamir at the train station, the moment she realizes that her love is not dead and is standing in front of her, and the way she confronts him, are gleaming examples of her acting prowess! A truly seasoned actress, Kajol ravishes on the screen with huge aplomb! Tabu is wasted in her role, which anyone would have done. Aamir is good. Rishi Kapoor easily fades off, while Kiron Kher probably does what Farida Jalal did in DDLJ (acting wise ie).
Overall, what could otherwise have been a really impressive story line, is left hung high and dry by a rather inept handling of some issues that tend to leave a bad taste after all is over. If you are a sucker, like I was to the songs of Fanaa, you may as well devastate your money over it! Then again, don't tell I didn't tell you!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dedicated to Kishan!

After reading the recent post by Kishan. I was left thinking for sometime, basically wondering whether to write a comment right there, or else make a separate post of it. Now knowing that most of Kishan's posts really make me want to respond to in length, I decided for the latter. Well to sum up he writes about expectations and reality. Something that is often said as "Man proposes but God disposes". Now whether things are predisposed to follow a certain pattern that is ordained for a greater good is a matter steeped in obscurity. It is upto the individual perception whether to trust in it or not.
My take is, as long as one is to live this life, why not make the best of what is given. I have this beautiful poem on a frame, on the table-top. It has sustained in times of good and bad, and in response to Kishan's post, I'd like to dedicate this to him. Here it goes.
I asked for strength
And God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom
And God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity
And God gave me brawn and brain to work.
I asked for courage
And God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for love
And God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favours
And God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted,
And everything I needed.
My prayer has been answered.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Self-affirmation and Responsibility!

Why is man in a constant need for self-affirmation? What makes him fear that his existence is lost amidst the myriad other personalities surrounding him everyday? It is this fear that makes him strive to establish his hold, not just on his relations, but also on the environment, society and eventually the entire creation. One may argue against this on grounds of intellectual curiosity, education and the quest for knowledge! But what is quest for knowledge other than a means of getting over fear? Ignorance, I feel, contrary to the popular belief, isn't bliss. It breeds fear. Self-affirmation is hence a need to get over the ignorance we have, about ourselves! Ignorance about our abilities breeds not just fear, but also its ally - doubt. When we doubt ourselves, we need others to alleviate them, and thus we depend on others. When the need is dire to turn in, we turn out!
In order for them to cater to our needs, we create a hold on them. We manipulate them in various ways - physically by brutal strength, intellectually through the means of education, and emotionally. Rogues, theives, bullys are all examples of the first kind, while the Government, Industry, Consumerism, show case the 2nd case. The last instance is more personal for each human being - while he is being manipulated, he also emotionally manipulates others through his relationship/power! On a more subtler level, as I feel is evident, all of these are dependents. The US Government, that wants to manipulate us through the means of education, convincing that the breach into our personal lives under the pretext of national security is but a thriving example of a political system, that to affirm its existence has left no stone unturned - in the domestic politics or international! What is alarming is the susceptibility of the common man! This post by Chandan is a glaring example for what I have to say! Though comic, it poses some grave questions about the responsibility of the government.
Talking of responsibilities, taking a tangent from here (which I do so often, sorry readers!), how responsible must a writer be? Creativity and Responsibility are two things that at some instances, make odd bed partners. I was exposed to this aspect, ever since a story I wrote, has been appearing in I have had people write to me complimenting my work, but at the same time, saying how influenced they were by it! Some even trying to share their personal matters with me, and asking for a feedback! The two faces of self-affirmation and responsibility are now staring at me. Am I responsible for their self-affirmation? Is it my responsibility to account for their fears/doubts and help them with it? Or can I just brush them off? What if I take refuge in my creativity, and not be accountable for my work! Write, whatever I feel like, about whatever I feel like, and just throw it out to the masses! It's upto them to pick it up, or leave it there! They can do whatever they wish with it! Either get influenced by it, or laugh at it! Whether I can remain aloof of their involvement depends on my need for self-affirmation as an author! Am I using my work to manipulate the readers, and thus prove to myself my existentialism as an author?
As of now, I have only questions...... anyone with answers?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Predictability and Boredom

Long absence! A gradual side lining of the urge to write? I dunno! As a friend of mine so well described, its the tussell of the mind and the spirit (buddhi mattu manassu). Or as calvin would say it "The Mind is willing but the body refuses!". Whatever the case maybe, this long absence, lemme assure you, wasn't without reason! Several thoughts have bombarded me in the meanwhile, and they are all cached up in the mind, for idle brooding during those long hours of solitude.
When I sat down to write something about "Predictability and Boredom", I had a plethora of ideas, and opinions to share. But suddenly, the drive to write seems to have seeped off! I can't decide what it is that is diminishing? The urge to write? Or the urge to share? I have realized a glaring problem I have with my attitude! It's too free flowing! Or must I say indisciplined? It is hard for me to be rooted! Probably that is the reason I love the water and wind so much! They are so dynamic! Hard to be bound! I like my interests to be free, and not turned into bindings! I'd like to write, when I feel like it, not because I have to! I'd like to draw, when I feel like it, not because I have to! I have begun to avert routine! Which in a way brings me to the topic, "Predictability and Boredom"! Routine makes things predictable! It is, in a way discipline. But how is one to be disciplined, without falling prey to boredom?
The reason, I have started to refrain from writing is also partly because, my writing seems to be more and more predictable, to me! There were certain days, earlier, when I wrote in a trance! Much as if, it wasn't me who was writing, but someone else! And at the end of it all, when I went over what I had written, it would baffle me! Now, somehow, after all these years, it doesn't! That is what I meant when I said, I am becoming predictable! So am I getting bored of my own writings? In a way, YES!
I contemplated closing this blog! Or exploring newer avenues! But the creative surge is not what it used to be! Sometimes, I fear, my creativity may become predictable, and I may get bored of it too! I remember reading in "Illusions" -In order to live free and happy, one must sacrifice boredom. It is not an easy sacrifice". I guess, I am realizing the meaning of it. What is it with being creative that makes it both a curse and a boon to the person? Why is it that one can't be satisfied in being like everyone else?! Why is it that one feels this urge to be different, from others, and takes it so strongly, that one day, he realizes that he just wants to be different than himself! Is there an end to this struggle? Is discipline the only answer? My mind feels like a young child, refusing to take its medicine for reason that its bitter! It sees the need to be healthy, but seeks for a sweeter solution! Coming to think of it, maybe it wouldn't even mind being so, for all the attention it can garner! Is that what this is all about? I am clueless!
A few days ago, I had written about the tussell in my mind about the spirituality, about how I am getting bored of ritualistic worships! I can see the effect percolating slowly to all walks of life! Work, hobbies, interests, ... it is encompassing all aspects of my life! I haven't been able to complete a book I started, call up and catch on old friends, reply to those long awaiting emails, or update the blogs!! Maybe one fine day, I will get bored of being bored! Human mind is so tricky! We feel we have studied it - known its intricate makeup, the sectors, the parts, the anatomy of it all! And before long, it baffles us, by playing a trick. We look at ourselves in the mirror, and wonder when we turned out to be so different!
I really don't know how to end this! Probably because, I am yet to find an ending to this matter! So for once, I am not going to conclude this. It is a question I am yet to find an answer to, like so many others in my mind! But right now, this has come forefront. Is there a solution at all? I wonder.....