Kantara

As you might know from my pseudonym, I am a massive fan of Ponniyin Selvan. So when the movie got released recently my first instinct should have been to go and watch it. Thankfully almost all films here (AFAIK at least in Coimbatore) are being played in the theatres with subtitles in English. Which is brilliant as I could take Mr M to the movies too. All the cast is perfect according to the trailer and I love that Vikram is playing Adhitha Karikalan as no one could bring that passion in the character like he does. He is so apt for that role. I like that finally Aishwarya has got a meaty character which mostly is portrayed in a negative sense which means that she has to bring her A-game to it. But in spite of all this, something is holding me back. Maybe it might be that I don’t want my own visuals from reading the book mixed up with the movie version and also I would have to wait for the 2nd part of it for a little while. So I have been postponing watching the movie. In the meantime, my brother went to the movie Kantara and he insisted that we watch it, especially for Mr M as he would get to see some local culture in the movie.

When I had a day off work during the week, we decided to utilize it to watch the mid-day show hoping that there would be less crowd. Nope, the theatre was full! We had booked the Tamil dubbed version even though I hate dubbed movies but it had English Subtitles (The Kannada version was only available for a late evening show which didn’t suit us 😦 ) I forgot how loud the theatres can be 😀 I was glad that I had my earplugs in my handbag (it is a constant resident in my handbag…you never know when you need one).

The movie had a good pace and having grown up in the era of Veerappan and having grown up on the stories of the local people (including the tribes) and how they get affected by the rules and regulations of the government and such, it was relatable to me. It also had some humour laced throughout which made it a little light-hearted otherwise it could have become a dire and very heavy movie. It is still a very heavy movie in terms of its essence and what it is trying to convey and such …so interlacing the story with some romance and some lightness was done very neatly. For me personally, the movie kicks into the third gear only after the intermission when the unexpected death happens. The fact that you kind of know who had done it but not being able to articulate the rationale behind it was quite frustrating, I should say 😀 I like a good whodunit as you might know. The way it was all neatly tied at the end gave it a good finish. The use of the local folklore, local dance (belonging to the Mangalorean region), and local dialect (there were a few Kannada dialogues which were spoken in the local dialect and for those dialogues, there were additional Tamil subtitles provided), were all done very well. The dance form resembles Theiyyam which is a Kerala speciality. The spirituality of the people was also woven into the story very well. The other aspect which I found interesting was the environmental issues that were brought up. There wasn’t any resolution found in the movie, because that would have been difficult to achieve but they touched upon those aspects and left it to viewers how they want to take it.

My only grudge was the amount of violence in the movie. It was kind of needed to emphasize the attitude of the protagonist and his quick-fire anger but it sometimes gets too loud and too violent rendering the movie not suitable for young children. Also, I think the folk dance performance has a very ruthram effect to it which means there is a lot of anger and screaming so that might also scare the children.

Other than that, I enjoyed the movie immensely and was glad that I chose to go and watch Kantara instead of PS1 (not that I have anything against it.. I am just waiting for the 2nd one to be released and would like to watch both together). This was Mr M’s first Kannada movie. It doesn’t matter which Indian language it is in as long as it has subtitles but this is the first almost-Indie movie that he has seen in a South Indian Language. I have subjected him to Rajnikanth and his Robot movies so far. This movie was a huge deviation from the commercial masala movies he is used to. He totally enjoyed the movie and even tried to imitate the scream (very unsuccessfully might I add). It gave us points to discuss after the movie which I think is always a good thing.

Definitely, a must-watch movie. I should also say that the performance by the actors, especially Rishabh Shetty is top-class.

Oh dear!

It’s the way I feel so low
It’s the way I get up slow
It’s the way you make that awful sound
It’s the way you make me slide down
I wish it was a different one
Now I wonder why we don’t own a Diwan

I was so vexed with the leather sofa (that came with the property we are renting) that I decided to write something like a poem to rant.

Croeso

View of Stratford from my balcony

For the past year and a half, this has been the view from my balcony. I could see the Stratford and other such buildings from the comfort of my home. This was taken recently during a very foggy morning. We are exchanging this view and the busy hustle and bustle of London to some relaxing and soothing, even sedate, lifestyle of Swansea (at least that is our hope). We will be moving to Swansea this New Year and start a new phase there. New job, new place, new lifestyle closer to the seaside. I am getting ready to be battered by the winds daily.

This was a sudden and very surprising move for us. We wished for it only by the end of October after some thought and by end of November, we had options available for us. As they say, be very careful of what you wish for 😉 We decided to take the plunge, be adventurous and see how life is in Wales. I hope that it will be as pleasant as it has always been, thanks to everyone who has been very kind to us and I am sure I will let you on in all the stories I encounter during this new journey. I am ready for this new ride, are you 😉 ?

2.0

I haven’t been in the blogosphere much lately, thanks to some changes happening in the physical world, more about that will in a few weeks. But this is something I have to share. The Tamil movie 2.0, a sequel to Enthiran (or Robot), was released recently. My family (along with the kids and friends) went to see the movie on Saturday and let me know that it was amazing and that I shouldn’t miss it. Luckily we had a screening of the same in a nearby theatre and I happen to have a discount card for that too. So we decided to try it out. They had only one show and it was for 7.40 pm.

Mr M hasn’t seen the prequel to this movie so I filled in with the basic storyline about Chitti and we were there ready for the moving, hoping that they had subtitles. Thankfully, they had and I should say it was the best ever subtitles that have ever been done so far. Even the very colloquial lines were well translated. Whoever did the subtitles, hats off to you!

The movie is very grand, hovers between fantasy and modern or even futuristic technology, has very very few songs, very fast paced and doesn’t make you sleep. Rajni does look aged and tired in many scenes. The one-liners are very cute, especially with the humanoid. References to the prequel are there but nothing you can ignore if you haven’t watched it. Mr M enjoyed it and thought the storyline was very good and very appropriate for current times. I am purposefully not giving away anything about the story because it will kill the interest. The only thing I thought could have been done was to cut short the last fight. I had this issue with the prequel too. I thought the last fight scene was going on forever. They could have edited it a lot. But then most people love that and I might be in the minority. Even though they have pitched for a sequel, I sincerely hope they stop here. Otherwise, it would get very repetitive and end up being boring irrespective of how grand it is and it could be.

I really enjoyed the various facts presented throughout the movie which forms the premise of the story and they are very interesting. Makes you think and read about them too. That is a big positive out of the movie. Bringing the huge and difficult topics which might be too technical for a layman to understand and presenting it with a healthy dose of facts and a generous helping of masala. Overall it is a movie well done and the visual effects are a treat. We enjoyed it and it was a well-spent Saturday night.

A Rising Man – * * * *

A Rising Man – Sam Wyndham Series by Abhir Mukherjee. Mr M read this some time ago and recently before our trip to India, he found out that the second book’s paperback edition was out so we went book hunting and he was lucky the second time. Foyles usually is our go-to bookstore. At least it is his. When he had finished almost 3/4th of the book, he turned to me and said that this series was TV series material and it would be good to see it in a TV series. I haven’t heard that from him for other books (maybe because most of them are non-fiction) so I told him that I will give it a try after we come back from our vacation to India.

I started the first book, A Rising Man on a Saturday and completed it by Tuesday. It was a detective series but set in a very different background. A background I have had the opportunity to read at length but from a different perspective and a different angle. The story is set in Kolkotta (earlier known as Calcutta) during the British regime. That in itself is a tricky thing because you don’t have a choice but to add the history that took place during that time and it involved a lot especially in a place like Kolkatta which was the hotspot at that time. The story ends when the Jalianwala Bagh incident happened in Amritsar. The turning point of Indian Independence history, as we have read about it.

A murder takes place and the victim is a British officer. The newly transferred Sam Wyndham is appointed to investigate. Surrender-not (actual name: Surendranath, but simplified for easy pronunciation) is the Watson to Sam’s Sherlock. To be honest, I kind of guessed who it might have been halfway through, but I couldn’t figure out the why or the how. It was just pure guesswork and I got lucky. Mr M was trying to put me off the scent but I knew it in my heart that I was kind of right in my guess (and maybe the small bits of information that weren’t there also helped)

There is no Sherlock-ism in here. Lot of legwork, travelling around gathering information battling against the humidity of the country and the city, not less the antagonism against the British empire. It is very interesting to read and brings forth a lot of the cultural elements of the City (and the Country). It was a good choice by Mr M to recommend it to me (and I wonder how he got to know of this in the first place). Thank you, Sir and I will definitely get on the second book shortly.

I would definitely give it 4 stars (as I did in my Goodreads) and it will be very very interesting to see if it was made into a TV Series. It is historical and so it would need a lot of work in the Arts department to recreate the atmosphere. Good luck, if anyone wants to try.