18 January, 2009

Matrubhumi and Malena

Recently, I had the privilege of watching two distinguished movies, Matrubhumi and Malena. Both the movies boast of great direction, handling a very precarious topic and powerful acting. And ofcourse both belong to the "cult cinema" category. I won't recommend either, because they also belong to the "brutal cinema" category :). Watch at your own risk.
Both the movies have the same underlying motif : How degenerate can we, as humans, become.

Malena is set in a Sicilian town. It is about the only beautiful woman in the town from the perspective of a boy who has just hit his adolescence. "The beautiful woman" is portrayed by Monica Bellucci, so, you know how beautiful "beautiful" is! :). The director doesn't believe much in subtlety. Some parts of the movie are crude and "crossing the line". But, this crudeness is what helps the movie generate the effect it does.

"Matrubhumi : A nation without women" is set sometime in the future. It assumes that killing the girl child had become prevalent in the Indian villages and imagines a situation when there are no women left. None at all. The movie doesn't indulge in needless scenes of crude violence, but instead uses euphemisms, which makes it bearable. Credit to the director for that. Tulip Joshi has done a great job and so have all the others.

Both the movies are worth an applause, but, both are brutal in their own way. They would make Deepa Mehta's "Water" look tame. If you are into off-beat cinema, do watch Matrubhumi. If it doesn't move you, probably nothing else can. Afterall, movies aren't just meant for entertainment, are they?

07 January, 2009

Helmets save lives ... and noses

This is the story of a Wednesday.

It was the day of our convocation. We were going to officially get our graduate certificates (and I was going to get my Post-graduate certificate.. you know, genius people are always two years ahead of everyone :P). The clock announced that it was 2:00 pm. Time to go to the university. This particular day, being a very good one for me (for entirely irrelevant reasons) I was in my usual jumping-jack mood. Salil and Sanjyot were waiting for me outside the Marvell building. I was late and Salil called me up (that bastard.. it was all because of him). So, I had to run. I couldn't have missed the luxury of getting a free lift in her car :P.

So, I ran down the stairs to the ground floor. And I decided to take the main entrance. The main entrance is a big glass door at a distance of about 50 feet from the four elevators (that is where the stairs end). At this precise moment, Salil called and so I started running towards the main entrance hardly realising that the doors were made of Saint Gobain glass and were fucking SHUT. (Now that I think of the timing that he called, I doubt whether it was all a set-up :P). I don't think I can continue the story any further. Please, run your imagination as wild as it can, because, yeah, IT HAPPENED ...

Fortunately, there was no one around except two security guards. I bet I could see the smile on the corner of their faces as they came to help me. I hurt my nose, tore my upper lip and a bruise on my scalp. But, I wasn't worried about that. All I was worried about was that I was going to be the butt of the jokes for the next few days :P. And my my! my friends didn't disappoint me at all! :P

Anyway, I am in the process of suing Saint Gobain and passing a bill to make helmets compulsary while walking and running too. Please support my bill!