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6 Points: Angry Birds

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Saw Angry Birds the day it released in India. Why? Because it’s the one game that I’ve played the most ever since I got my first Android phone, while pointing and laughing at the iPhone owners who had to pay to play the game.

  1. The movie is irreverent if you pay attention. Pigs which are green. With that beard. Well, it won’t be seen in the areas where this would be a problem, because I’m sure it’s already banned there.
  2. Puns galore. Using pig wherever it’s supposed to be big, ham and eggs, a movie starring Kevin Bacon, it’s all over the place, and it’s well done.
  3. What a world! Birds who can’t fly, and pigs who do. Well made, and lovely.
  4. Back to irreverence, the legend, the hero, the eagle is, [Almost a spoiler] well as far from a hero as you can be without actually being a villain.
  5. It’s got baby birds. Who are like the cutest little things in existence. Even grown up birds look cute, just imagine babies of those cute things. Big shiny eyes, squeaky voices, and an occasional shout out to their dinosaur heritage (you’ll know it when you see it), makes this a cute-fest.
  6. And finally, seeing a Hollywood studio movie made out of a video game that is made by a runaway startup from the era we’re in – that’s a rush!

The Babi & The Bhabhi

A scene from Kaalia:

In the year 1981 sir, Mr Big B took Parveen Babi to meet Asha Parekh the Bhabhi. The occasion was to make Babi meet bhabhi for the first time sir. Asha Parekh the bhabhi wanted to judge Parveen the Babi over her housekeeping skills, confusing both Big B and Babi. So Bhabhi asks Babi what she can cook. Babi, who cannot cook, looked helplessly at Bhabhi and Big B, who lied to Bhabhi that Babi can cook everything, especially an omelette. Bhabhi looked at Babi, Babi looked at Bhabhi, and went ahead with what Big B suggested, because of the confusion. Babi took an egg, took a knife, and looked at Big B. Big made gestures to Babi to break the egg with the knife, but Babi kept confusing the gesture, and tried to cut the egg. Big B kept gesturing, Babi kept confusing, and Bhabhi kept looking with more confusion at both Big B and Babi. When this had gone on for a few times, Big B in confused desperation banged his head with his palm, sir, and Babi, misconstruing the frustration as instruction, banged the her head with her palm holding the egg!

The egg was now on Babi’s forehead, Big B was scared, and Bhabhi, having understood the situation, accepted Babi as Big B’s wife.

Phew.

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An Old Cloudscape

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From one of the numerous trips to Mahabaleshwar we did six years ago.

It had just rained, and the smell of baked corn coming from the street vendors was making the atmosphere that much more pleasant. We sat down at the vantage point, and kept watching the clouds drift over the peaks.

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The Monkey King

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The ruins of Hampi paint a picture of a glorious empire. The monkeys add to the charm. This was taken near the Ram-Sita temple next to the Tungabhadra river.

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6 points: Nil Battey Sannata

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A simple small-town film with simple small-world issues. And a hard-hitting question: Doctor ka beta doctor, engineer ka beta engineer,… will the world go on like this? And are our dreams really supposed to be crippled by our current means?

This film was a breath of fresh air, in its treatment and its sensitivity. Money well spent. And here are the 6 points once more:

  1. I loved maths in school. I was probably the geeky chap who was teaching everyone and spouting off one-liners about loving maths and finding answers within questions. Nevertheless, the film connected with me. And if it connected with a math-lover like me, कुछ तो बात होगी.
  2. The film stands on the shoulders of four performances – Swara Bhaskar, not a false step as a conscientious and aware but undereducated young mother-cum-maid (and never have I seen her get a local accent wrong!), Ria Shukla, the ambitionless but street-smart daughter, believable to the extent that you hate her throughout, Pankaj Tripathi, a revelation as the polite teacher who comes with his own cute quirkiness, and Ratna Pathak Shah, in the tried and tested affluent but down to earth and helpful matriarchal figure.
  3. The music reminded me of the style that we know as the signature of Amit Trivedi in places, but isn’t by him.
  4. Agra! Never seen it so beautifully captured. The Taj makes an appearance in only a handful of scenes, but the city is still presented so tastefully – the bylanes, the bungalows, the city’s bustle, and the river flats (I remember seeing such terrain from the window during train journeys as a kid) – everything’s beautiful.
  5. The film stretches a bit in the second half. The challenges keep mounting, and the resolution stays a little out of reach. But in the end, what the protagonist achieves isn’t Hindi-film style absolute success, but just enough to validate her outlook of dreaming beyond what she’s capable of.
  6. The film does get preachy at times, though I understand it’s par for course for such a film. The math geek’s dialogues make him appear a bit too wise. The moment that changes the daughter’s heart is literally in your face struggle porn. And the final scene where the mother explains to the daughter about having a dream went a bit too long, and repetitive.