Saturday, February 28, 2009

It was just a wedding in Feb

This is the woman once wooed by Leo. This is the woman that once famously said of her failed relationship with Ronaldo, "Men? who needs men? I have my dogs."

Last Thursday it seems, she finally wed her quarterback. And the bride as well as her dogs, were dressed by Dolce & Gabbana.

Why does that elicit a sigh?

Ah,well,well, well. Best wishes, gal.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar musings

For a woman who used to look so fresh and exquisitely beautiful, Kate Winslet looked deecidedly ugly tonight. What's with that hair? Or is it a hairpiece?

The guy Longinous Danny Boyle mentioned in his acceptance, the one who choreographed Jai Ho. Was it the same Longi who partnered Sweta Salve or somebody on Jhalak Dikhla Ja? Does anybody remember? That small fellow with a big smile? Come a long way, it seems.

Didn't know of Michael Crichton's death before today's ceremony. It was a shock seeing his photo among all those dead people.

The way Mickey Rourke of today looks never ceases to amaze me. What happened to the impish cool cat of 9 1/2 weeks? Poor fellow got worse for wear throughout the 80's and 90's. Apparently some botched up plastic surgery after a broken face in the ring. Bad Bad academy, you should have given the bloke something. Especially since Penn already had a statuette. I've got a thing for epic losers.

Is it for the awards season that so many big names time their releases for the letter part of the year? Isn't it surprising that Slumdog and Button and Frost/Nixon and Milk won so many nominations while for such a big movie, Dark Knight got so few?

I loved Jessica Biel on the red carpet. But then I love Jessica Biel. Period. But the way she carried a largeish bib/washcloth tucked in front pretending it was part of her gown tonight, priceless.

And oh yes, I did the customary Yayyys and high fives for AR. What did he say in Tam?

Ciao' for now. Be back for next year.

Pics source 1,2

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I don't know what is the deal with social drinking. You ask somebody "Do you drink?"-"Y'know, I'm only a social drinker." What does that mean? Nobody ever says "Like a fish." Though most of them do. In society.

Ours is a nation of wannabe dancing stars. Middle aged men and women get sloshed in polite society with the objective of inflicting on us their dancing talent. Ours is also a nation of intellectuals. I have spent many an evening listening to them after they've had something to drink. Socially. They'll pick up a slipping thread of discussion. On anything. Danny Boyle to Masood Azhar. And they'll talk in circles. All evening. I have a dear friend who'll eventually get Stephen Hawking into all these threads. Needless to say he has a background of theoretical Physics. He's also a social drinker. Thank heavens for that. He'll never drink alone. He'll call me up, "Dear fellow, I got this twelve year old malt. But y'know I'm but a social drinker. Come over one of these evenings and be my society. And do hurry lest somebody else gets social sooner."

Me, I'm not a social drinker. I don't drink like a fish. I mean, not any longer. Gone are the days for me when juice of a lime and aspirin used to be the breakfast of champions. Today I drink like the devil. I measure fluid ounces and I shake. Or stir. I like to make a ceremony out of having a drink. Because I can't have too many. Oh no no don't get me wrong. It's not the Doc's orders. Who listens to them in these matters anyway? It's just that with age I've grown allergic to hangovers. As I get better and better with every next drink, I forget how much I can drink without having a throbbing skull next morning.

The news that started me on this whole thing was this. Now I, feel a bit loosened up today. I feel the need to rejoice. Maybe this evening I'll relax my norms a little and seek society. To celebrate this historic event. And we'll stroll over to Mesrs. Darbhanga General Stores and buy a case of the good stuff. Achtung, Bangalore! Jharkhand has arrived.

sólo el amor puede ser incumplida romántico

The most annoying element of Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the voiceover narration. Sometimes it makes you feel you are watching a documentary on Travel and Living. In an interesting way, it is also the most redeeming feature of the movie. It's like Mr. Woody Allen washing his hands off any glitches in scripting. It's like Mr. Allen is saying, "See, these are my people. I didn't have anything to do with them, they were like this only. Hell I don't have an effing clue what they'd be up to next. I'm only here to tell their story. Watch them if you like. If you don't, I'm sure some plexes are still showing The Dark Knight."

The unusual thing about the narrative is that it reads out in broad detail the nuances of characters rather than allow the script to reveal them slowly through their actions. In fact the action only serves to corroborate what has already been said in the voiceover. I'll give an example.

(This is the voiceover script during the third minute of screen time when Vicky and Cristina make their appearance)
The two had been close since college, and shared the same tastes and opinions on most matters, Yet when it came to the subject of love, it would be hard to find two more dissimilar viewpoints. Vicky had no tolerance for pain, and no lust for combat. She was grounded and realistic. Her requirements in a man were seriousness and stability. She had become engaged to Doug because he was decent and successful, and understood the beauty of commitment. Cristina, on the other hand, expected something very different out of love. She reluctantly accepted suffering as an inevitable component of deep passion and was resigned to putting her feelings at risk. If you asked what she was gambling her emotions on to win, she would have been unable to say. She knew what she didn't want, however. And that was exactly what Vicky valued above all else.

Makes you wonder if you are at a theater or a book reading session, yes, but you have to give him an A for audaciousness. Don't know if it's just me, but the way the movie begins with the narrator launching into character analysis of the protagonists, it reminded me of Springtime a' la Carte. (Now where's the connection? read on, before you jump and shout) It seemed the director's way of saying, like O'Henry did in his time, "look, n00bs, a film is not written like this. Never, never, do this at the beginning of a script that you write. (Of course I can pull it off, because I'm Woody Allen)".

Does it work? Well, after a fashion, to a large extent, give or take a few vagaries of the plot, it does. Me, I'm not your Woody Allen aficionado, but many people in the know are calling this one of his best. To my mind, it has the feel of an European director's film rather than one from an American raised in Brooklyn. Think Bertolucci if you will. Though that may be largely attributable to the backdrop. While watching VCB, I was intermittently reminded of Stealing Beauty, because the central idea of young American women rediscovering themselves among unknown people in a beautiful foreign land is common for both films. Interestingly, within this genre too this one is unique. Here, the life of the protagonists remain exactly the same at the end of 96 minutes of storytelling. Only thing they possibly take away from it are the life-defining experiences of a summertime.

How did the characters play? I love Javier Bardem. It's a pity I've seen very little of him.(only No Country last year, got to watch more espanol movies) He makes it look entirely feasible for an intriguing stranger to walk up to the table of two totally unknown young ladies and propose upfront a weekend tour to another city involving art watching, good wine and food and wholesome sex. His character Juan Antonio the artist does this, and Bardem makes it look completely decent and good-humored. One can only wish one could do that in real life.
Penelope Cruz has been walking away with the awards. She has the author backed role which is the centre piece of this drama, and she plays it with perfect over the top panache'. But it's Scarlett Johansson who really impressed me with understatement. A petite bundle of genius, this young lady is.

If there's anything VCB teaches us, it is this. In life it's not always possible to know what you really want. But if you have a good idea what you don't want, it'll often do.