Friday, January 26, 2007

The Monsoon Rain

I went into the theatre with high expectations based on the strong recommendation I got from my dearest friend. The film opened and I was shocked beyond my remotest imagination. Was that an intro? That was one of the crappiest opening scenes I have seen. Boy sees girl-goes backward-falls in manhole-girl lifts him up despite the stench-boy falls deeply in love with girl.Wow now we all know how to fall in love, don’t we???This scene should have been handled more carefully. + MG road/brigade road coffee shops play Kannada FM radio stations??? Since when??? The story doesn’t make sense at all. Then the hero is off to Coorg and here also coincidence... Heroine also headed that way. Wow what a lucky hero. The chances of a normal human being to be in our hero's shoes is 10000000000 in 1. He's a lucky bugger!!! He is also the son of a crorepati and drives a merc!!!

Anyways, from here I started liking the film. The fight scene is shown realistically. The hero gets beaten but also hits back well. From here on the other hero of the film is the cameraman. What fantastic camera work and cinematography!!!!

The good points of 'Mungaru Male' include the fantastic songs composed by Mano Murthy of USA (‘onde ondu sari’ and ‘anisutide yako indu’ are the hit songs of the year), good lyrics (one by Jayant Kaykini is simply superb) and good camera work by Krishna. The dialogues are moving in few scenes (esp when the hero gets drunk). The major portion of the film is shot in outdoors in the background of rain and it has a spectacular look on screen…...especially Sakleshpur, which is my second most favourite destination on the earth. And the dance directors have also worked well.

Ganesh has worked hard to deliver a lively performance. The heroine is wasted. Anant Nag, the master in support roles, shines in his role.

It is a city bred youth Preetham's journey of love throughout. Born in an affluent family he sees the beautiful Nandini but unknowingly falls in a pit. His going is pitiable. That is because he values the emotions of elders. In the meantime he gives a 'laugh riot'. That is Preetham's nature. He never sits idle, makes pranks keeps you happy. His style of address is very natural and he is a boy next door quality. He is in love with Nandini. It is love at first sight. He is in the picturesque locale of Sakleshpur in the house of Nandini that too on the occasion of her marriage that is all fixed. He is in a fix what to do. He tries hard and he is almost very near to success. But the boy of butter nature values the emotions that you would see in the heart touching climax. The protagonist who made you laugh for 12 reels makes you cry in the end. What a pity for the hero! Love is eternal you feel. But the director says sacrifice is eternal and love is only pleasant.

Ganesh is glorious throughout the film. The success of the movie has vindicated his ability. He is quick on the screen and diction is very sweet like his chubby cheeks His scene at the end where he has to show his grief must have touched many hearts in the theatre. The acting in that scene is priceless. The smile after the fight with the villain is unforgettable. Really good emoting by Ganesh. He is an unconventional hero who has shown a great promise to succeed if he works even harder. He is good in almost all departments like Dance, sentiment scenes and of course comedy….But I thought that dancing in the song ‘onde ondu saari’ was alien to him as it is a V-channel-kinda dance which he is not used to as he is not grown up in an urban environment. He should work towards getting a good physique. I feel that he is going to get a permanent place of hero in Kannada cinema if he works hard.
Krishna in the camera has done wonders. Perhaps no one has captured the Jog Falls so well in the camera. The world famous water fall falling from top is captured brilliantly.
I have heard lot of people saying that story is not so gripping. But I liked the story very much. I have similar kind of story hovering in my mind perhaps with a better and weird ending but had speculation that people are going to accept this kind of a story or not…after this overwhelming response I think people will like my story as well…have to start authoring it soon

If I get deeper into the story I feel that the heroine’s role is not properly developed. How on earth any girl who loved a guy more than herself leave him alone when he projects himself to be a play boy?? I thought she could have put some more effort to find out the truth. Instead she ensconced herself in the hands of a hunky guy.
Our hero became a drunkard because of her frivolity and by looking the way the climax is shot I feel that he is going to suffer till the end.

One thing which I didn’t like about the movie is the sad ending of our poor Devdas. I want to see Devdas, the rabbit alive again...I dont know how but I want!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Miyan at the junction

I see him every working day. He stands there at the same spot. He is regular and punctual and goes about doing his ‘job’ sincerely. I don’t know whether he ‘works’ on weekends because I don’t have to go that way during weekends. I didn’t think much about him when I saw him for the first time. But I saw him the next day, and the next day and the next and I have got so used to seeing him that whenever I reach that junction and someone’s blocking my line of sight, I crane my neck and look around to check whether he’s there or not, much to the irritation of my wife who thinks I am ogling at other girls. Now, before I let your thoughts go wild about my fascination for a ‘he’, let me clarify.

My daily morning trip to office takes me through a few major intersections of the city. I don’t recall the faces of all the traffic policemen who man each one of those junctions, even though, unconsciously, I see them every day. I do remember an old traffic police man who is posted at a junction near to a school and I have seen many a times, the awe with which little kids look at him and gather around him like a flock of ducklings and he keeps checking their count like a worried mother duck. And when he feels that quite a few of them have gathered, the superman police uncle walks into the middle of the road and raises his hands on both sides to stop the inconsiderate traffic and the kids tumble over to the other side. Other than him I don’t recall any other traffic policeman whom I ‘meet’ everyday, except of course, that silly fellow who challaned me for jumping a red light. I can pick him out from a battalion of his species any day.

But ‘he’ is different from all of them. He stands alongside a traffic policeman in the middle of a major intersection and helps manage the traffic. He looks like he would be in his forties and has an obvious paunch. He wears his religious cap and civilian clothes…wait a second…Religious cap and civilian clothes and manages traffic??? That’s what caught my attention about this ‘duty bound’ miyan. The first day I saw him assisting the policeman while engaging him in a friendly chat and breaking into smiles every now and then, I thought he must be a friend of the cop and they must have met up after a long time. But it happened again the next day, only this time, the cop was a different guy. Now, I guess nobody can blame me for my interest, or rather, inquisitiveness about this miyan at the junction. I have always wanted to find out why he was doing what he was doing and have contemplated on walking up to him and asking him who he is. But on second thoughts, reason prevailed over curiosity.

One lazy Saturday evening some train of thought took me to that miyan. Again the urge rose in me to explore the identity of that miyan. While I was still thinking about strategies to successfully undertake “Operation Miyan identification”, a flash of thought struck me. Let’s say for argument sake that I come to know who he is; but what after that. In case the reason for him being there turns out to be less interesting than what I had envisaged it to be, I would be disappointed. Wouldn’t it be more interesting if I involved more minds and came out with myriad possibilities of who he could be and what he could be doing there? And hence began my small project and the results, as expected, were very interesting.

“Koi pagal hoga yaar”; “Must be a cop who hates uniform”; “Maybe he’s from an NGO or a social worker”; “Maybe he lost a near or dear one in that junction”; “Can be some criminal sentenced to a term of social service”

Human thought process is sometimes unpredictable and very fascinating. A simple miyan in civilian clothes assisting traffic turned out be everything from a lunatic to a convict to a respectable social worker. Even though it was interesting to collect these beads of thought, the social worker possibility struck me as being pretty close to reality because I am reminded of a “Traffic Baba” in Noida. Sector 18 in Noida is where ‘Noidans’ flock whenever they get free time. In the midst of all the snazzy cars and glitzy showrooms, a nondescript old man wearing a white cap, a white flowing robe which has turned brown because of the dust and smoke, can be seen slowly walking in between the vehicles which have stopped at a signal. He hangs two large placards on his neck with one facing front and one facing back. The placard neatly lists down the most common traffic rules and precautions that we follow, or rather, we don’t. He also has a hand held microphone with a speaker with which he ensures that he gets his message across, in case people chose to look the other way..

People and local media say that he is from a well to do family and does this part time because of his heightened sense of responsibility to society. Whoever he may be, I have seen even the toughest and the most rowdy looking motorists relenting to his pleas when he comes beside them and requests once, twice, thrice and as many times as he can, in a tone which comes close to begging, to either buckle up or wear a helmet or stop behind the white line. He is least bothered about the sneers and taunts that some ‘normal’ mortals pass about him. Nothing stops him from doing his rounds of the traffic signal everyday and getting rebuked by many, just to ensure that roads are safer for everybody using it.

Whenever I think of people like the Miyan and the Traffic Baba I feel a vacuum in my heart. I have read a zillion cases of people starting cancer foundations because they lost a near or dear one to cancer, of people plunging into charities because of some tragedy. Is it necessary that a tragedy has to trigger our sense of responsibility to our society? I don’t subscribe to a general feeling that to be socially responsible has to do with starting an NGO or donating millions to a cause. Putting a piece of waste into a dustbin is social responsibility, switching off computers when not in use is social responsibility, following traffic rules, standing up for a legitimate cause, giving and taking respect and a million other trivial actions such as these amount to us being socially responsible.

As long as we consider the Miyan at the junction and Traffic Baba as lunatics and convicts, I guess we have a long way to go before we can sleep peacefully without any fear of an impending misfortune.

-Authored by my well-liked friend Arundeep S