Archive for the ‘ Thoughts ’ Category

My Thoughts on: Endhiran

So today I got to watch Endhiran on the first day :D. It was hard to contain my excitement (as some of you might have seen on twitter) considering I’m a hardcore Rajini fan. I just got back home from the theatres, and here’s what I think about it.

As usual, spoilers ahead… so if you want a pure Endhiran experience without knowing what to expect, stop here.

All of you should be familiar with the hype that this movie has been recieving over the past few years now. It’s got a golden recipe for success… A.R. Rahman on the musical side of things, Shankar’s awesome direction, Ash’s beauty on screen, and of course, Rajini. So it’s only normal that people would expect wild things from this movie. I came out of the theatre with so many different thoughts flying around in my head, so I’ll break them down into sections to avoid confusing you, and myself (mainly myself).

Music

In the music department, Rahman does his job. I can’t say that I felt overwhelmed by the music or anything, but it wasn’t shit. When I first heard the songs a month or so ago, I wasn’t very happy with them, especially after what Rahman had done with Vinnathandi Varuvaaya. But like all Rahman songs, the music started to grow on me, and as the month progressed, I was okay with almost all songs (and i really liked a few too). I was pinning all my hopes on the songs fitting into the movie really well to make them seem like a good album. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Some of the the songs sat really well in the movie, like Irumbile oru idhayam, and other songs sat in the movie like songs in normal tamil movies (almost all the other songs fall in this category), but the last songs, Arima Arima, was probably the worst placed song EVER. Totally random, and out of context, and it just makes you wonder what they were smoking. Sound effects were, again, nothing to write home about.

Visuals

Okay, I’ve got to say it. the CG in this movie were AMAZING!. Endhiran had some of the most awesome animation and CG characters I have ever seen, and that carries on throughout the movie, until the very end (bear in mind that I’m only talking about the visuals, and the animation here). Kudos to Shankar for trying something so bold, and carrying it off beautifully.

On to the main character here, Rajini does an amazing job (as usual) as Vasi, and as Chitti, and in Kadhal Anukkal, he truly does look like he’s in his late 20s. It was brilliant, and those costumes really worked. Ash, again, looked stunning and she carried off her role pretty well, even though at times you feel like she’s over acting a bit. But we’re talking about the visuals here, and say what you may, Ash is HOT!

Special mention has to be made to Danny Denzongpa, who played his part really well, and pulled off being the bad scientist almost flawlessly. Loved his acting.

Locations were brilliant as well, with Kilimanjaro taking first place in my heart, and Kadhal Anukkal taking a close second. Kilimanjaro because the pyramids at Machu Picchu provide a stunning backdrop, and Kadhal Anukkal just because Rajini looked so awesome in the plain sandy desert.

Story Elements

And here is where things go south. The story starts off really well, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first half. Chitti’s animation really REALLY helps the story as well, with things looking probably as real as they get. There was no place for half assed animation, and Shankar really gave it his all this time (or Kalanithi Maran, rather), to get the best possible animation in there. Chitti’s introduction, where he shows off his dancing and fighting skills is… I honestly have no words for it. It made me literally jump up in my seat. The story progresses really well, and the first fight scene on the train was great! Everything was perfect in there, and things, again, looked great. Sure, like all tamil movies, the laws of physics were bent, but they were bent so well that it looked real. Absolutely no complaints there. Things go really really great till a little beyond the intermission, when we get to the wedding. Chitti returns as bad chitti. He looks really really cool, but at this point, I think what happened was that Shankar got so many ideas that he wanted to put them all in there, which ultimately led to one of the worst climaxes that anyone could have hoped for. I mean, come on!! giant ball made of humans? then a giant snake? then a giant human? really?

At the point of the car chase/fight sequence, I was thinking to my self, “this isn’t working. this could be a really big mistake.” In a sense I was right, but that was not by far the worst mistake of the movie. the next, slightly bigger mistake was the song in between there. Arima Arima was the worst placed song in a movie EVER! (yeah, I said it again, because once just wasn’t enough). I would have walked away a happy rajini fan after that too. But then came the climax. All I could think was “holy crap. What the f*** is wrong with these guys.” It was like they had so many ideas (all of them pretty bad), and they wanted to use them all in what little time they had. But again, even though the ideas were really shit (like fresh out of the bull), the animation of those crap ideas were really impressive.

Comedy was practically non existent, with what little comic relief was provided by the superstar himself, and both the (really good) comedians didn’t do squat. they were just “there” (at times, I even doubted that).

By the time I got to the end of the movie, I was too tired from wondering what the hell was going on, to even bother paying attention to the ending. The basic story was pretty predictable though, and as soon as I saw a second rajini on screen, I knew one of them would go bad, and quite obviously, it had to be the robot.

To sum up

Technologically excellent. It had really, REALLY great animation and CG elements, and some minor visual touches through out the movie really helped set it apart. The only problem was there was no standard setting to it. Every movie has to either be on a personal level or a universal level. This kept jumping between both. There was Vasi vs Chitti for the love of Sana, and suddenly there was an army of chittis taking over the city. Its hard for an audience to keep up with what was going on. Also, things that happen have to happen for a reason. Everything that happens has to answer a simple question. “why?”. And while Shankar was able to provide answers to the first level of ‘Whys’, he completely failed on all other levels. It was technologically awesome and in every other aspect, a little less than average.

As an afternote, I think Rajini plays a mad villain’s role brilliantly, and that laugh gave me the chills while making me want to worship him even more.

If you are a hardcore Rajini Fan, like I am, it’s worth the watch. Same goes to all you Ash fans out there.
If you want to see what you probably never thought you’d see in an indian movie (graphics wise), this is a definite must-watch.
If you’re one of those guys who wants to watch the movie for it’s story, please don’t.

I’d score Endhiran a 6/10.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

My thoughts on: Despicable Me

Despicable me is a story of a villain who learns how to love from his three adopted daughters. For those of you out there who love animation, this one is a must-watch. It is a Universal Pictures film. In fact, it’s the first CGI movie that Universal is producing. I must say, they did a great job with it, and from the moment we walked into the theatre, it kept us engaged in the movie. It has some great animation styles, a loveable set of characters, and seeing those minions on screen makes you want to get a few of your own.

It is a 3d movie, and even though the glasses gave me a slight headache, there were a few scenes that transported you into that world effectively enough to make you jump. At a few points in the movie, I noticed myself actually swinging left and right, trying to dodge things that the screen threw at me. As far as the use of 3d goes, I’ll say this is the most impressive it’s ever gotten.

As for the movie itself, Its quite a simple story, with a few unexpected, but not totally shocking turns. In a nutshell, the story is about an aging supervillain, Gru, who is trying to keep up with the younger generation of supervillains. Gru and his minions form one of the most adorable supervillain squads you’ll ever see. The minions have their own styles of talking, and moving that makes them really stand out. There are so many of them, and they’re all the same, but totally different (if you catch my drift).

Gru decides that it’s time to up his game and steal the moon to get back to being the worlds greatest supervillain, and to fulfil a childhood dream. There’s also the antagonist supervillain Victor “Vector” Perkins, who is one of the younger, more successful supervillains. Vector steals a shrink ray from Gru (which he had in-turn stolen from a “secret location”), and as part of a plan to steal it back, Gru ends up adopting three young girls. Towards the end, Gru learns what it is to be a parent from the kids.

Without giving out any more of the storyline, I’ll get to the point. It’s been a while since I’ve seen an animation that’s this good, and NOT disney-pixar. It’s definitely worth a watch, and if you have the choice, watch it in 3D. There are some scenes that are just too awesome to be seen in 2d. Even otherwise, the movie is worth a watch. That’s not to say it was perfect. I found a few things that I would have liked to change, but maybe I’m just being too picky because I’m learning about all this stuff.

I say Despicable Me deserves an 8 / 10.

Independence Day… whut?

Kid with flagsTo all my friends and family back home, Happy Independence day!! It’s August 15th again, and everyone is celebrating… but what exactly are we celebrating? Before I get into that, I’d like to state that my views on this topic are exactly that – “my views” … so if you’re against what I have to say, feel free to comment and voice your views… just know that this wasn’t written to offend anyone.

So back to the question, what are we celebrating? It’s been a solid 63 years since we got the Brits to leave, and the way we did… I couldn’t be more proud. But what happened after? One nation became two, the Indian government that was formed turned into a big fat joke. Greedy politicians took over and pretty much ate everything that came their way (literally and figuratively).

I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves what the hell this guy is trying to get at…..well… I’ll get to the point. It seems that every day I’m away from home, I learn something about life… the harsh realities…. some are interesting, but most of them are just plain scary. I just wanted to share what I learnt about being independent over the last year or so.

I came to Australia thinking I’d be independent, and life would be super fun and I could do anything I wanted – I was a regular 20 year old guy with his own delusions about how awesome the world was. I’ve wanted to be “independent”, but that word comes bundled with another word… a word that a lot of people tend to overlook… “Responsibility”…

It took me a while and some help to understand the true implications of independence, and that’s just one little *almost* insignificant life. So it only gets me thinking that we can’t really blame anyone for what’s happened to the Indian scenario. Ultimately, it just boils down to people not knowing that being an independent country also means taking care of itself, being self sufficient and working hard to move ahead despite what’s in the way.

As I see it, and what little I know of it, the Constitution of India is pretty solid, and quite awesome. The only problem is the whole political scenario surrounding it. That’s just an obstacle we’ll need to cross and hopefully soon.

Another thing I learnt about was change. It takes its own sweet time, and starts at the smallest pieces of the big picture, but it happens, and it’s in our hands to make it happen. This may seem a little pretentious of me, sitting half way across the world and complaining about India, and how it needs to change, but I have absolutely no intention of staying away from India forever, and whether you guys like it or not, I’m coming back.

Back to what I was saying, it’s in our hands to change our country… we the people… the next generation… the educated public. It’s our county… our home… and no one else is going to clean up our messes.

Again, don’t take this the wrong way, but in my 20 years of living in India (20 awesome years), I’ve met tons of people, some of whom believe that we can still salvage what’s left of our great nation … and I respect them for that. But most people I met either fall into the category of hating India for being this way and wanting to get out as soon as possible living somewhere else… or the bunch that simply don’t care (and it’s disturbing to see the number of people who fall into this category).

Call me weird, but I believe that just the attitude of the people has the power to change things around them. So all I ask is, as a first step, to believe. Believe that we can bounce back from the bottom of the pit, where we’ve been dragged to. After that, it’s entirely up to you, how many more steps you want to take, but that first step is essential. Even if you take just that one step, don’t stop others from taking steps, leaps or whatever you/they can. Support them, how much ever you can, and realize. Deep down, we’re an awesome nation. It’s up to us to realize that greatness and bring it out.

I’d like to start our 64th year as an independent nation with a message… a plea to every Indian out there:

“Whoever you are, wherever you are, remember your roots. You’re from one of the greatest nations in the world. Stop turning a blind eye to all the shit that’s going on, writing it off as “it’s what happens in India”… because it isn’t. Voice out. For 63 years you’ve just said “Happy Independence Day”… From this year on, mean it. Make it count. Believe.”

Jai Hind.

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*the image that I used, I found on Google. I don’t know who took it, but it was just too beautiful to not put in here. If that’s your picture, get in touch so I can add the appropriate credits.

** I’d appreciate it if you guys spread this post. Feel free to repost wherever… just remember to credit me, or link back here.

What it’s like to be the techie

All my life (or atleast the significant parts of it), I’ve considered myself a “techie” if you will. I figured out that I have a natural inclination towards gadgets, electronics, and all things technical. I instantly connected with the internet and instinctively knew what to do, where to do it, and how. Even on a hardware level, I would always have a bigger thrill in tearing things down and figuring out how they work at the bottom most level. Just ask my parents. They probably figured out by now, why my first computer suddenly “stopped working”. But it was all great. I loved new technology, and at times, I was(?) even pompous enough to think I was technically superior to a lot of people around me (sorry guys :P). It was all great. I loved my technically inclined little life, and went on to do my bachelors degree in computer science in the best science college in India. (at this point I would request all my fellow loyolites to suppress their laughter and play along). I was truly happy. couldn’t have asked for a better three years. But after that ended, I went on to start my master ( and finish soon, hopefully) in 3d animation, pursuing my childhood dream. Last July, I started my Masters at the College of Fine Arts, Sydney.

Anyone see the stark difference in the environments I was jumping between? Apart from the obvious fact that it was half way across the world, It was an Arts college. For someone who believed (and still does) that technology is the future, being thrown into the arts world was scary. very VERY scary. Don’t get me wrong, I like art, and I can handle a certain amount of it. COFA is an awesome place to study and learn. The first one year went by smoothly, because I was always told or “recommended” what courses to take up, and I enjoyed them. This semester, however, the people up top ran out of “recommendations”. So I was left to choose a course for myself. So Me, a guy who has been on the technical side of life for 21 years, is given an open choice to take up an art history subject, and the first one he takes up has to be a masters level subject. What did I do? I did what every guy in my position would have done. I went online, looked at all the courses, and took the one that looked the easiest. Oh how wrong I was! This semester I’m stuck with “The art and culture of everyday life”, which is nowhere as easy as it sounds.

But all my whining aside, taking this course helped me in more ways than one. It brought me down from that huge pedestal I had built for myself, It introduced me to a whole new world of art history. (I didn’t say I enjoyed all the help), and is getting quite interesting too. So like a lot of things that life’s been throwing my way, I’m taking this as a positive experience. One that I hope to never have again, but still. Hopefully, I can get through that next 10 weeks.

Reading this back now made me realize that I had completely missed the point of the post, and missed what I wanted to say by a long shot. I guess what I was trying to get across was that the world is filled with tons of different things, and just because you’re good at one of those things, doesn’t mean that you can overcome everything. Putting it artistically, life will always throw different coloured crap on the canvas that is your life. It’s up to you to make something out of it.

I’ll shut up now.

What’s this world coming to?

So it was about a year and a half ago that I got introduced to this whole 2012 end of the world stuff that was all over the internet (I know … a bit late but that’s when I started reading stuff other than tech and games on the internet) and to be honest, my reactions were very very mixed. I’ve had conversations with tons of people on this topic and again, I’ve heard mixed thoughts. Some say that it’s outrageous and it’s never gonna happen… others say that it’s definitely coming … and others still, who simply don’t care (or are too busy to care). Personally, there was a part of me that wanted the world to end, and another part of me that told me what a big douchebag that first part was. So I was confused… as usual, and the more I tried to convince myself otherwise, the more convinced I was of it happening. But a good 6 or 7 months later, someone released a movie (2012), and that kinda sealed the topic because it was so outrageously stupid that I completely dismissed the idea… until recently..

natural_disastersNow in my head, the lead up to the end will be filled with crazy random things happening… things that no one would ever expect, or atleast that I wouldn’t expect… and the past year has been full of random $#!t… first up, what’s with all the natural disasters all over the world? It’s kinda scary when theres news of some new disaster every time I sit down to watch the news ( sure that’s not often, but still… ), Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes… yeah if this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. Added to that is the whole global warming thing. I’ve always been anti global warming, and proud of it. I haven’t done anything significant, but I do what I can, when I can, and I honestly believe that if the world DOES end, it’ll be because of that…

But the one thing that absolutely conviced me that the end was coming soon wasn’t the fact that there were giant holes appearing randomly on streets (Guatemala, Argentina – 31st May 2010), or that there are volcanoes out there that were dormant for the hundreds of years and suddenly decided that now was a good time to melt things and cover Europe in ashes (Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland – 14 April 2010).. No it wasn’t any of these. It was the fact that an octopus can tell us the results of a football game before it happens… The one thing that’s still keeping me sane is the fact that pigs don’t fly yet… and I wouldn’t be surprised if I opened my window tomorrow morning and saw that too…