Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol

When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Gurubhai Gurubhai aavya che...

tha nahi hai...mera naam Gurukant Desai tha...hai...aur aage bhi rahega



As Mani Ratnam's Guru carries his swagger to the microphone and smirks at hearing of competition's efforts at undermining him, the audience does not know whether to empathize with him for the background that he has risen from, or to protest the absolute lack of respect the rich industrialist has shown for the law of the land.


Despite the dropped (once-too-often) hints of the movie's story being based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani and of course, the several sequences of the movie mirroring memorable instances of the life of Reliance's founder, there is still quite a lot of originality of idea. Mani Ratnam makes sure that he does not fall prey to the biographical conundrum, but at the same time, he makes optimum use of the sheer magnetism of Dhirubhai's story.


From the protagonist venturing out to Turkey, learning new ideas and getting his self-confidence going, to his coming back and setting up his own business and earning for himself, the story of Guru is a journey across people who ditched him, people he ditched in return, and of course, the several innovative ideas that are used in both the processes. But to limit the scope of this movie to just that would be injustice to the little nuances that the director and the actor are able to bring to the story, refining it beyond just another dramatic rendition of an interesting sequence of events.


Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Vidya Balan, the indomitable Mithunda and of course, the talented support cast have made the life and times of Gurukant Desai stand out, almost to perfection. Most of the actors, Abhishek clearly towering above the others, have given a unique twist to the characters they play, infusing life into them and making sure that the viewer is clearly able to see the mental makeup of each of them.


Aishwarya is not just looking drop dead gorgeous (perhaps more than any of her previous performances, if that is humanly possible) but also manages to bring the right expressions on her face at the right time, and that, I am sure would be a welcome change for fanatics like me. Madhavan manages to portray a sincere and intelligent image, just right for the character he portrays, never trying to overshadow the chief protagonists of the movie and yet managing to make his presence felt.


And then there is Abhishek, the dynamite of this package. If Amitabh is to be believed, his performance has actually brought him to tears. Even if you can not be so superlative, you will nevertheless realize that this one has been one of Abhishek's (or any other actor's, for that matter) lifetime performances. Before moving on to the technical aspects of the movie, one must mention the one and only Mithunda, who keeps showing now and again why he is rated as one of the better actors  of the Indian movie industry and why he has all these acting awards in his kitty. From the mentor that he is to the young Guru, to the person who encourages his muse to take on the successful Gurubhai, to the aged guardian of an unwell Guru, he manages the transitions with characteristic ease and elan.


What does one say about the director of such a movie, except perhaps salute his genius and marvel at his knack of identifying the audience's nerve and hitting on it like no one has ever done before? Mani Ratnam, with this movie, has moved on from a mere story teller to someone who is much wiser to the needs of the industry. And industry it is that he is working in, which is apparent from the various interviews Mani gave to the media as a part of the movie's publicity. Clearly mentioning that the movie is not a biography and yet discussing the story's stark similarities to Dhirubhai's life (right to the episode of bribing a highly placed minister), Mani has proved his intellect beyond doubt.


Audiences across the country have enjoyed watching this movie and once they are done with drawing the parallels between Dhirubhai, Reliance, and the movie's story, they have praised the director/actors no end. The movie's credits notwithstanding, the important thing that has come to the forefront from this movie is the very idea that people have been talking about it. In addition to being a good omen for the fortunes of this movie and its stakeholders, it also augurs well for the Indian movie industry which can now consider another door open as far as finding ideas for making movies are concerned.

Posted at 05:27 pm by Nitai

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