Saturday, October 17, 2009

Can't Oh Saamy !

It might come as a pleasant surprise to my readers that I am finally writing a movie review (despite movie reviews being the most enjoyed part of my blog posts by far). I would venture to say that it might be the evil design of Mr.Fate that I feel compelled to watch this tamil movie after a long time. Before I begin, dear readers who belong to the non-tamil faction, please apologize if you don't make sense out of the whole post - neither did I from the movie.

It came as an indigestible bitter pill (can it become any worse ?) that I opted to watch Kandasaamy as a stress buster after my exams. Worse still, that I watched it soon after 'Unnaipol Oruvan'. While I was bedazzled by the performance of Naseeruddin Shah in 'A Wednesday' (I had watched the movie long time ago)- especially the way he made Kamal Hassan look not-out-of-the-world in the tamil version, the mercury was shot down by Kandasaamy given the fact that the film was shot for over two years (irrespective of the reason for the delay).

Starting with a flimsy story line which I am sure one might not have seen worser in a long time, the screenplay matched it's quality to the core. The screenplay of the movie has thrown a serious challenge to concepts of time dimensions and makes time move geometrically slower (and perhaps stand still at some point). The theme, despite being directly picked up from 'Ramana' (I'm surprised how there hasn't been a plagiarism law suit yet!) has been so effectively screwed up that it appears as flawed as it could be. The cinematic characterization of CBI officers has been consistently ripped apart in Tollywood since the beginning of time, but I'm sure Kandasamy and Billa would definitely be there among the hot competitors for the top spot. The screenplay and plot has definitely reached the pinnacle of mediocrity. Perhaps the lack of surprises was indeed the surprise the movie had hoped to achieve!

There couldn't have been a job worse done with the dialogues department too. The dialogues between the lead pair and the investigators amazes me with its derisiveness, especially when they 'appear' outsmart each other (though I'm sure even a 3 year old would be able see through the fatuous plots that apparently fazed even the CBI). Even the 'vaigai puyal', whom I usually admire for his antics and on screen hilarity, seems to be terribly off key in the entire movie. Perhaps the effects of induction are not limited to electricity and magnetism alone. Lyrics for the songs adds yet another icing to the already molten (not just melted) ice cream of a dialogue. I even have a suspicion that the lyrics might have been accidental recording of the on-the-high babble of techie youth after three rounds of Russian Vodka. The english and tamil (oh! you do hear a couple of words scattered now and then if you are sharp enough) has been so ostentatiously mixed that it just throws up on the instrumental music that runs on the background. Just to give you an idea of how messed up it could look like, I have even ventured to paste some portions of the lyrics that I could find from the internet at the end of the post.

Usually actions speak louder than words, but in this case - I would any day have pledged my preference to the words. The garments do deserve a special mention in the movie. If dressing up as a 'cock' for depicting phantasms was as brilliant an idea that one can come up with in two years time, it makes me wonder about the sort of imbecilic plague has struck Kollywood. The flying sequences are no more a novelty to the tamil/telugu movie buffs, but I'd rather that the stunt sequences better be unexplained on-screen. The dress-up of the lead character as a woman in one of the fight sequence just shows the level of nervousness and depravity with which the spice of novelty has been tried to be brought in the movie.

The screenplay of the movie is wayward, but its the characterization that sets the trajectory towards definite annihilation. The manner in which the lead pair fall in love with each other is as stale as a bottle of buttermilk from the ages of Egyptian Pharoahs. Why the choice of PPP as a representation of villainous identity was made puzzles me more than Shrodinger's equation. What has truly appalled me, is how veteran actors could have donned these roles knowing how weak their on-screen characterization would be.

Apart from spending crores on the shores of Italy and the basins of Africa, I fail to see anything the movie has significantly achieved. Perhaps, in future, if evading taxes were my sole purpose in life, I might actually venture to mimic this Kollywood bravado!

Movie Bottom Line: Can't oh Saamy.

Disclaimers: Movie highly recommended if revenge is your motive and losing 50 bucks is your favourite pastime.

Random Lyric pieces from songs:
En Peru Meenakumari
Yen ooru kanyakumaari

Kaaikari thottahthila naan kathiri
Aangila madhathila naan january

Ohdura andhiyinile naan kaaviri
Asaiva saapaatula naan maan kari

Hey Kandhasamy yen lifela puyala vandha samy..
yen alagu paathu manasula nondha samu che vendha samy,
un azhagunaala illa un imsaiyila nondha samy,
un kaiyila sikka maatan indha samy..

Saturday, October 03, 2009

College life - Part 2

A lot of my blog readers have asked me if Purdue had conspired enough to subdue my interest in writing. And I had to prove them wrong, especially since they couldn't have been more right. Hence this post.. But yes, I do have to 'make' justice to my readers, who hopefully, have been reading content that they find worth reading. And what better occasion than today, when Google Analytics sent me a mail today saying that my blog page has taken 5000 hits this year.

If you had been reading my posts regularly, you would have seen my inability to get to the topic of my post right away. I have been vehemently trying to make an impression with my opening and have been failing to do so with infallible regularity. This post, as most of you would expect is going to be about what I have seen at Purdue for the past couple of months. You would find this post to be randomly placed with an abstract ending the reason for which I am still unable to reason out.

Last week was one heck of a ride for me with my first exam in three years and it wouldn't be just right if it weren't destined to be an algorithms paper. And it wouldn't be right at all if I didn't have to submit a programming assignment and three other homeworks on the very same day. One of the first things that struck me at the University was the height of the buildings. Most of the buildings were just a couple of floors tall but inconspicuously held another three floors below the ground. And so there I was, locking up myself in one of the subterranean rooms of the library wondering how the complexity of finding my way through the university buildings could be bound asymptotically by a polynomial function. The thought provoking dream ended in an hour with the evening exam which is oxymoronically named (there.. I've invented an adjective) as it was held at 9PM.

As I made my way out into the maze of corridors fighting against my dis-oriented and dyslexic vision for routes, I was joined by a couple of fellow conspirators (from now on I've officially discontinued the usage of the word classmates for aesthetic reasons) who were battling out for the maximum number of questions they had attempted. For some reason, then perplexing to me, people here at Purdue talk about 'attempt' synonymous to 'correct' when in an academic context. Around the corner were another group of students who were boisterously considering the fabrication of a covert transistor (whose sister? ). A part of me felt immensely proud to belong to the league of geeks (a claim that we proudly print on our department T Shirts)and be capable of these discussions at unearthly and the bell tower (another landmark at the university) brightly screamed 11 PM to drive home the point.

Automatic doors have been one of the things that I truly hated here in the US - you never know when the open up. I invariably end up clutching thin air instead of the door knob with amazing regularity. But this time, it was a person who opened the door from the other end. "Excuse me, I'm sorry" said the mammoth of a guy who opened out the door. The apologetic gestures are one of prominent things that I've noticed here, and surprisingly still, it came from my fellow countryman who I'm sure, if it were to happen in the Chennai streets, wouldn't have had thought twice about bashing me (if I'm lucky enough) apart from swearing right through my ancestral chain.

To top it up, my name has added incredible complexity to my life at the university. The length of my name has already become a legend at the university and to top it up, I am now being called 'The one with Three parts to his name'. Not to mention the fact that the delivery folks get a free practical training on Adiabatic Random variables thanks to the various permutations that they work out on my name. But yes, until now, I have managed to stick to my identity and have successfully thwarted the temptation to call myself John, Superman or Pinocchio.

All things said, it still is one of the fruitful period of time that I'm spending here and yes, I am enjoying what I'm doing here. If you know me well, you would know enough that I'm a person incapable of living a dream, or even dreaming in the first place. I'm far too lost to have these thoughts that belong to the Utopian realm - they have ceased to exist even in my conception. I let my surroundings carry me through to where it wants - I live in a world where people still try to build a perpetual motion machine and solve P = NP...