We got the Amazon Prime Free Trial and watched two movies. The first one was the Ponniyin Selvan Part 1 which I was so apprehensive about and the other one was No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s last movie as James Bond.
Ponniyin Selvan Part 1
Translating a 5 book story into two movies is no small feat. Especially when it is historical fiction with loads of characters spanning two or three generations and loads and loads of plot twists. I knew that Vikram would do justice as Aadhitha Karikalan and he has. He made it look easy, maybe because he has done similar roles in the past with shades of grey. He does get a mention because he is one of my favourite actors 🙂 Jeyam Ravi as Ponniyin Selvan has done a decent job, which surprised me as I have seen him mostly in romance movies. Karthi is apt for Vandhiyathevan oozing trouble and charm and so is Jayaram as Aazhvaarkadiyaan. I don’t know why in my mind, Aazhvaarkadiyaan was someone shorter and fatter as described by Kalki but Jayaram fits too. Aishwarya Rai Bachhan as Nandhini and Trisha as Kundhavai has got the meaty role as the whole story revolves around them and with the surprise about Nandhini at the end of Part 1, we know Aishwarya landed a hefty one. They have all done their jobs very well. The songs are already popular and are good. But, I am not sure I want to hear so many of them while watching the movie. I wonder if there were fewer songs would there have been time for a bit more of the background story in its place? Mr M found the movie alright and interesting without knowing anything about the story (not for a lack of trying, mind).
Now to the story part. I am not entirely sure if I liked how the story is cut from many places and stitched in other places to get the essence in place. It works and they have done a good job but as a person who loves the books more than their movie adaptations, I think I preferred the elaborate thinking process that is involved in such a complicated drama. What was going on in Karikalan’s mind when he decided not to heed Nandini when she begged for the Pandya King’s life? What was the reason for Kundhavai’s move to bring back PS home? I also missed the romance between Vandhiyathevan and Kundhavai which in the book is very subtle, humourous, and cute. Vanathi’s role is reduced to a couple of scenes, sadly. It is hard to switch your inner critic while watching the movie especially when you love the book so much! I really really tried very hard but in the end, I decided to see it as another good movie and not bother to look at it as a translation of the book into its screen version. That is the only way I will be able to convince myself to watch Part 2 now. There is no pleasing some people I tell you 😀 Mr M thought I was being very harsh and I was or rather I am, but it is what it is. Over time I might forget it and be happy with my book. When I read it again though, I wouldn’t mind having Karthi take over as my Vandhiyanathan and Vikram as my Karikalan but I will replace others with my own representation.
No Time To Die
Daniel Craig’s last movie as Bond not necessarily 007. Now that was interesting. Here is a woman as 007. What does that mean for the next movie? Will there be one? Will be a Bond movie anymore given how this one ends? It was slightly bittersweet. I might have missed a lot of clues that they have used throughout the movie as a homage to Bond (like the song at the end, the one-liner that Bond says about having all the time etc.) if not for Mr M who remembers those old ones. This post is more about what I felt when I watched the movie rather than about the movie. While watching it, I realized how much the Bond movie changed when Daniel Craig became Bond. I got introduced to Bond movies when Pierce Brosnan was Bond and he is like our Rajnikanth, all style and full-on Hollywood masala and such, which called to me and I absolutely loved him as Bond. Over the past couple of years, I have watched the rest of the Bond movie and have got to notice each one’s style (I think Pierce Brosnan imitates Roger Moore a lot). But Daniel Craig’s style is unique and so is his Bond. They have more depth to them, more emotional, and have some continuity in their stories (not all, but some). There is still those small pieces of Bond charisma and the blowing up of places when they so please but beyond that there is something more human. May be it is the passage of time, the change in culture, the emphasis on diversity, equality etc. Honestly, I wasn’t too happy with Daniel Craig in his first Bond movie because I was having withdrawal symptoms from Pierce Brosnan, but as an actor I have come to appreciate him in Bond. It’s not an easy role to fill with so much expectations already set by his predecessors. I think if I ignore the fact that his movies are Bond movies I will enjoy them and with this one I thought I kind of miss the silliness of the story line, the blowing up of stuff, the fancy gadgets and Bond just taking those for granted, the mindless way Bond shrugs off the dust after the whole place is demolished and not just that he emerges without a single scrap on his self etc. It is like reading a romance novel because I know how it ends, I know that there will be a set formula and I don’t have to invest my brain power to think too much and I need that in between my intense murder mysteries and thrillers, which render me sleepless most of the times. I do miss the old Bond formula. But the ending was somewhat unexpected (I have managed to not read about it so far) and that left me with “what are they gonna do now? what were they thinking? why then were there so many news articles about a new bond?” etc. etc. Can’t wait to know more about what’s gonna come next.
Now that I have got my free trial, Amazon Prime has started bombarding me that I am missing out by not listening to their music, not watching their recommended shows etc. etc. I hate that part. Can you not just leave me alone. I will watch what I want to watch, when I want to watch it. If I got Amazon Prime only to watch two movies, that is my perogative isn’t it? Every single commerce site is now doing that. I just wish there is a way to turn them off (unless I unsubscribe which most of the times don’t really work) . If there is an option to turn off recommendations, kindly let me know. I will also have a nose around their website.
That’s it. Rant and opinion sharing time over 😉 It feels nice to let it all out rather than just whinging about it to all the time to Mr M. I missed writing about my whinging and sharing my unwanted and unwarranted opinions. I hope this year I will be able to do it at regular intervals.