Monday, October 19, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spy -- Movie Review

After a long time, got to watch a comedy movie of my choice. We usually watch whodunits and thrillers so this change was good. Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is a CIA analyst who spends most of her time in a rat-and-bat infested basement, being the ear-piece of the field agent, Bradley Fine (Jude Law) and saves him from danger. She is also secretly in love with him. When Bradley dies in a mission gone wrong, Susan wants to avenge him and opts to get out on the field. How this plan goes all funny and finally right forms the rest of the movie. The movie starts with 007 like opening credits that is impressive as hell.

Melissa McCarthy from Mike and Molly and BridesMaids, is really really funny. I loved her in Mike Molly and she held her own in Bridesmaids but here she is near perfect as Susan Coooper. Jude Law looks dapper and you totally understand that Melissa is in love with him.

Jason Statham was absolutely and amazingly funny. A great find! The Arien has watched so many of his action movies that he found him absolutely amusing in this role. His dialogues drove us crazy :)

The funny moments are not corny and so I really enjoyed it all. The supporting cast was really good. Some of the funniest moments were the verbal slaps between Melissa and Rose Bryne (in a scary hairdo - very reminiscent of 60s and 70s heroines in Indian movies) and of course, Jason Statham's amazing achievements. A really funny moment was when Melissa ate a hand towel assuming it was an appetizer. Very funny and very real :) Also, when she killed an assassin and then tried not to puke over him (eyyooow but we were laughing).

For the folks who follow the bollywood scene, we have Nargis Fakhri in a blink and miss appearance first and a fight to death scene with Melissa. She had on a green jump suit as seen in this pic and the fight was surprisingly funny. You could not see much of her during the fight - it was quite fast and over after a couple of whacks with a pan and a knife to the heart!

We also have a cameo from 50 cents - it did not looked added on for effect and was funny :) 

It was a good break and though we caught it in two sittings - it was worth waiting for. Really enjoyed it. Watch it when you can. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Where did June, July, and most of August go?

June was busy to say the least. One significant happening was that Kuku started Play School. While I was heaving a huge sigh of relief on one side, I was also all senti and ready to cry when he was all dressed to go. The first day was a dream. Apparently, he did not cry at all after the initial shock when he realized we were not coming in with him. The teachers were so full of praise about his stoic persona that I could not believe my luck. Well, it lasted all of 1 day :D

That is a snap of him on his first day at play school before he walked in. Before the drama, I would have to say.

June was spent in tears, emotional hugs, falling sick, all achieved with a rapid frequency hitherto unheard of.

July, I started to slowly get back to a routine and was in office 4 days a week. This proved to be too much for Kuku. He looked at both actions as punishments - he was being banished to playschool and I was not at home when he came back.

So, July, was also spent in tears, and you know the rest.  To say that those two months were extremely stressful for all of us would be an understatement. I wondered if I should quit. I also wondered if Kuku should be removed from the current playschool. I knew that Kuku moving to a new school was going to be nerve-wracking for both of us- worse than the current one. I was not sure if my quitting would really change things for all of us. The Jury is still out on that though!

August was better than June and July. Kuku kinda settled - not great but better than before. According to his teachers, he participates in most of the activities.

That is a picture of him on blue day playing with a blue ball :)

He still cries unpredictably and throws tantrums left, right, and center. He is also into behaving quite irrationally - I know, I know - He is a baby. There are days when I really doubt it :P There are days when I want to lie down flat and kick my feet in the air shrieking like a banshee whenever things do not go exactly as I want them to :)

Anyway, now I am back. Hopefully, I may manage one more post before August is done! Well, that is hoping for a lot :)

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 2015 Update on my Classics Re-Reading Spree -- Not too bad

So, its time for yet another update on the status of my Classics re-reading spree. No waning of interest as yet. So, what have I completed so far? Here you go:
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald 
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  •  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Currently reading The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit. I am as usual picking books at random. I believe that is the reason I am still reading the books :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kuku's First Haircut -- Another First this month

So, our trip to Chennai resulted in Kuku falling sick - thanks to the weather change. After the fever and resultant sickness went away, the Arien insisted that we cut his hair. So, the next weekend, Kuku had his first haircut.

Just before the Haircut
Kuku was extremely happy with all the attention as he sat on a high chair etc. but cried incessantly as the guy tried to cut his hair. I was holding his right hand, the Arien was holding his left hand, and the Senior Arien was providing support by standing behind Kuku but nothing really worked... he wanted out and he cried till he could get out :(

So, the haircut while mostly done was not perfect as he refused to let the guy cut some of the slightly longer ends. I did not want to force him. He was crying so much his nose was running :(

We decided to feed ourselves as a reward for the tough job that was completed. All of us were quite stressed :) We spotted a nearby Chaat place and all of us enjoyed Chaat. Kuku was provided puffed rice in a Katori and that kept him occupied while we ate the Chaat.

And just like that, I had another first with Kuku. Nice!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Uttama Villain -- Movie Review

I am a Kamal Hassan fan. His movies and roles are usually well-chosen (not always though), his acting is always top-knotch, and you either enjoy the movie and want everyone to watch it or you totally hate it and want to tell everyone to not watch it. He has had his flops, his commercial hits some of which were total masala potboilers as well, but you wanted to know what he had to offer and so you would always go to watch his latest movie.

As per the latest news, Uttama Villain is a hit and has had a good opening. The reviews have been uniformly very sweet - positive response and critical appreciation n all that. So, this is one scary review to write. ** Spoilers Ahead**

Kamal is Manoranjan, an aging super star who is still loved by the masses. He is married to Varalakshmi (Urvashi) and has a son. His father-in-law is Poorna Chandra Rao (a famous producer). He is in the middle of an affair with his doctor, Arpana (Andrea Jeremiah) and his latest film is a sooper hit. He occasionally takes a  swig from his bottle and sometimes faints in the restroom.

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His manager, Chokku (M S Bhasker) is in-charge of keeping a lot of this hidden from the press and from his family. His co-star is Pooja Kumar. To celebrate the success of his movie, a party is organized at his home.

At this party, he learns two life-altering truths. How does he handle both the situations forms the rest of the story.

K Balachander, the director, plays director Margadarshi in the movie and makes a movie for Manoranjan.  

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Some scenes that stayed in my mind:
  • Dr. Arpana is going to share the first of the life-altering news with Manoranjan and she is unable to handle the same. That was what it was supposed to be - but what it looked like - a) Dr. Arpana was doing a wild, wriggly, snake dance to catch Manoranjan's attention b) Dr. Arpana had just been groped by the other actor in the scene, was trying to squirm away from another grope, and calling attention to the same c) Dr. Arpana wanted to use the loo and the director insisted on completing the scene before he allowed a loo break d) Dr. Arapana's beautician or make-up lady has gone on long leave and she has no idea how she can continue to look as fabulous without her e) The Director said that no free lunch was going to be served that day
  • When Manoranjan refers to his driver as his sotthu (Riches or Treasure) and the driver sheds tears of joy. You want to yell 'Yenna Mirugam Aaakathe' just as S Ve Shekar does in most of his dramas.
  • When Manoranjan hears the second life-altering news from Zachaeriah (Jayaraman). There is no histronics or melodrama or over the top acting but there is also not much anything - like emoshun or acting. It fell flat - I did not feel that Kamal was much upset - his dialogues were sharing his grief and shock but no emoshun except a very exaggerated sigh and some rolling of eyes. He has done that way better in gazillion scenes in so many movies - I could not comprehend it.
  • When Chokku is asked to read the parting letter from Kamal's old flame out loud. Dr. Arpana tries to leave, Mano roars SIT DOWN. Chokku squints or blinks and then comes forward to read it near the reflected light from the screen. There must have been some major meaning to this scene but I did not get it. The letter was so blaah.. it was so not worth the SIT DOWN or the theatrical touch.
Blast From the Past - A still from MMKR
Its not that the movie does not have some genuinely funny scenes or sequences - the ayyo appa and ayyappa scene in the movie within the movie, the scene where Urvashi is admitted in the hospital and says that she was quite beautiful years ago and she has spoilt her looks by eating - you cannot help smiling as you remember Urvashi and Kamal from the movie 'Michael Madana Kama Rajan'.

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Also, the scene where Kamal meets with Margadarshi and he shouts at Manoranjan for doing masala potboilers and various meaningless movies. Some of those dialogues were quite close to the truth.

But, the funny scenes were too few in number and do not save the movie from falling flat. The movie within the movie was funny for a bit and then it got too bizarre and the thaiyyam n koothu while artistically well executed - did not help the movie at all.

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Sorry, Kamal, this movie was way too indulgent even for you Or maybe it was too intellectual for me.