Dive.

I am getting old.

But its like, I have always been this way, kinda thing, this getting old thing. Anyways thought I’ll blog it and see what comes out. That never gets old right? Heh. Anyways, I find a sweet sense of hatred in me nowadays. Good refreshing hate. Also, luckily, refreshing love, love is there somewhere too. But somehow this place and time living has become easy(yes, that’s how I refer boring as) for me. That is the problem and the solution isnt it? Fucking glorious paradox. Whether its people or their redundant wavelike emotions , up and down , UP and DOWN, or their insecurties getting more predictably annoying day by day and you getting annoyed at youself . Haha, So much fun. Predictable waves. Random waves, my toothache or my dinner skipping habits or the pigeons that stay outside my window and pose for silhouettes all day and night! What do I do? Fuck with them?

I clearly don’t belong here. Sometimes I think not in this world only. Abe!, (yes I have started using that a lot nowadays ) am serious yaar. My roommate often says, “We all need something to look forward to and someone to love, I mean that’s what everyone wants in the end right?” and he was not even asking for my approval. He just smiled proudly. A broad knowing smile. He is getting married in December. He will be 22 when he does. *Should I not ? Should I? Should I not? Should I?* mmmm… ok, fuck it–> He is Mellu. (*Curses you for judging, also if you find it any racist/offensive, you are RIGHT, make me famous*) Also after that delhiboyoutrage have been getting some interesting links. Caught this.

With that thought I’ll continewww, EH-nyways, “I think people seem so surfacially afraid of what’s deep down. Floating to the next horizon floating and panting. Surfacial surfers. Shouldn’t drown shouldn’t drown. No, surfacially surfing sufferers. Yes. Not wishing to look down and worry the depth, or atleast ponder. Have to surf. Surf. Surf till the sun sets and surf the next day too. I just choose to float and look above. Am I right? Please tell me I am. I mean there should be someone doing this right?”

 Hello fellow surfer skimming through my blogpost, Wassa? How’ve you been?”

Sometimes I just love animation films. They just make sense like in one just grand heart warming simplicity. Watched Surf’s Up recently and was wondering why it is called surf-ing . Perhaps the surfers got too lazy they didn’t even want to tell the word surface fully, just surf- that’s it. Well fuck your inner Pink Floyd and wipe all the Cold-play that you’ll ever have in you.

Existence shouldn’t be this tough. You just be. But beyond a goal it seems like , there are no goals, you can get whatever you want , it’s all fucking there. When, your ambition has chosen to spread an easy chair and recline to music. When, your senses have become sensible enough to stop proving to any cultural paradigm. When, your vision can’t get any clearer, because if it does, then you become a control freak. Like a fucking machine. Counting minutes and making schedules for your precious human design. Oh am working out, oh this is my catching-up-with-movies time. Well When is dowhateverthefuckyoufeel like time? Do you need a smartphone to remind you of this pointless idealogical metaphor, time? and make a parody of plans?

Then there are those comfortable cynics justifying themselves by throwing sharp arrows at these cute, bubble blowing romantics when one could’ve easily popped them up cheerfully with their hands (or just let it go!), Sighabeyaar, forget them romantic bubblers who wanna live inside them. Let them.

Let them cynics give up and dig their own profound peaceful grave while poets seem to medidate down near the sea bed.

Sigh, all seems like a fucking adventure doesnt it?

Let’s dive in. Come. Let’s get some poetry.

Happy 45.

I came to know a couple of days back that Bala’s birthday is in a couple of days and it got me thinking about his films. Then and there I got around catching Pithamagan (last night I think) on TV. Almost like a cosmic wake-up call to remind me on all the problems that people see in him, including fanboy regrets. Also, an interview came along, the most social Bala I’ve ever seen. You can catch that,here.

Watch the interview and proceed,because unfortunately what follows has turned out to be based on it.

This compere, I have seen him. His kid studies in my school, meaning previously where I studied. Actually,I have seen him a number of times at the school, nonchalant, bermuda wearing and sometimes weirdly tensed at the expected attention he is supposed to get (cuz you know he is a SUN TV anchor and all) and in the end when rarely if someone does come up to him, he is a nice chap allright. But don’t forget he is the same guy who hosted Venghai song release recently and with this interview in perspective it’s hard to know what he understands by “Bala’s touch”. Was he film-gravity-conscious enough to stop at that and jump to the next question? Or was he in a platonic outlook of what Bala had just replied to his first query? And all that with a hyper-fan Sangeetha by the side (all though she did ask a couple of sensible questions at the right time).

You see, Kumbudren Saami and the need for that sort of name is probably the introductory Bala “touch” (as the compere would call) but these aren’t just names that are in for the “sake of just doing something different each time” is it?. In fact, Bala would later go on and accept that there is that amount of expectations that have rested on him to bring in something “new” – pudhusaa, an innovating forte. But there are definite, constant perpetuating undertones/intentions. He says that these names are “ofcourse” in common use. Of all the “uncanny” names that the compere enquires about, he consciously selects Kumbudren Saami to retort with, (that wondrous humour piece that Arya invokes in his introduction and continues in the govt. servant’s house),  “Thazhthappattavangannu naan sollamaaten,… aana kaalangaalamaa merkudimakkala pathuttu kumbudren saami nu sollitrinthaangilya?, Avangulukku…” and he continues to explain some assumed origins. But the point has been sold. He has been doing this in own beautiful phases and paces and all in constructive humour irrespective of his stories that needed to be told.

In that devilish, almost madly smiling Shakthi in Pithamagan who sings the then-popular pan-Indian culture catchphrase Lagaan’s “Chale Chalo” in a ridiculous manner riding a cycle and obviously not to ignore the carefully constructed rip-roaring laugh riot on the train where a “Maami” interrupts his business due to her scatalogical inconveniences and when returned to her seat to be called “Paithiyakkaari” by an angry Laila (not very “Kozhunthey”) who has just been hustled. Outrageous disrespect  for both the “respectable” age and and a “respect(ed)able” community. Again with the habit of celebitching once started with Simran, he introduces his meta-film humour. He abducts the performer from the acting stage and brings her to the crowd within the crowd and not one word she is able to converse with them.( This is also done in Avan Ivan, no not the equivalent Surya cameo,but note when the judge says, “Aama, nee enakku oru favour pannanum” and Walter, confused replies, “Ennadhungya?”). As the old song medley continues, in between a short midget Iyer ( that’s funny as long as you find midgets funny) gets up getting the attention of the crowd( a split second subtle satire this man can provoke) and starts reciting devotional “muthai-tharu pathi thiru-Nagai athi-kiRai sathich-saravaNa” to be later ofcourse taken away by Shakthi, gundukkatta. It is both about the religion and the community that holds attention with it. A subtle rebellion stereotype gathered against either பார்ப்பனியம் or sometimes just plain anger against any type of plutocratic domination.

As much in relevance with the former innuendo, religion solely, also takes a hit in there somewhere. That outrage from Kamal on Bala’s views over Prabhu Solomon’s beliefs during Myna launch (#youremember), well for those interested there is an interesting bit he gives on religion, here in an earlier interview. One can question whether all kids that are lost in Kasi end up tackling existential crisis in the Aghori way. I mean it should be one damn lucky kid. Even in the esoteric and the most alienating circumstances in Naan Kadavul, Bala finds humour. It’s pure humour. Unadulterated. Something that most directors avoid in all their responsibilities to cover other money laundering aspects that build a film’s responsibility and end up hiring Vadivelus and Viveks to do their business. Balachander found an insinuating genius in Nagesh. Bala is making a habit of his commercially competing Kollywood stars to do it for him.  This is his sense of humour. Probably the most daring I’ve come across. This humour can be seen more clearly in Avan Ivan and when Bala says such kind words “I have kept the audiences in mind when I made this film”,  his idea of a commercial film to “his” audiences make you understand him more.  Throw away your fanboy regrets and get ready know the funniest badass in town. When Karunaas in Nanda, a small time crook  in the “honourable court” is as unruly as the Rudran who later arrives to court in Naan Kadavul, talking about missing “ulpaavaadais” from Vannandurai, is a clear sense of deliberate judicial misconduct.

He is his film and no more than that and he takes immense pride in it for he rarely compromises. When he made Naan Kadavul probably everyone took notice of his achievement of making a film on beggars and want to desperately call for a sympathy card, tagging it as a socially-moving-film. Well, its good for him if you call that too. For he realized a vision in the vile humour of beggars that reside on either sides of the holy stairway, more interested in the God dialogue or more likely, a system that has failed miserably to recognize them. It is quite a picture to find beggars cracking real world humour. Such pride. Bala makes characters to make them speak out from their(his) heart, make(his) jokes (sometimes on their(his) own profession) on societal problems he is aware of . No bright lights and cameras, he refers. This makes him a socially conscious personal director. You can see, how he still childishly wishes to be an actor’s director, most interested in getting these characters out, alive all flesh and spit. It is such an interesting practice to him. In that interview,look at him when he evaluates with that 98 and 96 marks for his actor students Vishal & Arya ,proudly flaunting the torture that Vishal would’ve undergone with all his squint rehearsal problems. Probably not something that professional directors would do. But there is some pride in there. Something deeply honest of his creations, both his characters and stories. While on the other news,this has already been debased as attention mongering/National Award bait therapy for setting up scenes that unnecessarily challenge actors. (like, for ex, one could ask, why that squint eye at all in the first place and why the staged up Navarasam scene for Vishal) One must ponder at a futile argument that rest with the problem in it. Unnecessarily challenging? Heh. Bala probably asks, what is a film that doesn’t have challenging roles to don? You can probably dream and find a grand genius in all those underplayed stoic realism. Ulrich Muhe in The Lives of Others, Michael Caine in Sleuth et al. But Bala doesn’t play that way.

His characters are all loud and crass. They either seem to have a lot of heart or no heart at all. They are happy beyond limits or repressed beyond belief . His film is an archipelago of extreme, individualistic characters that hope to find connection in deep emotional waters to stand out as an island. Within this, he creates an ol’ time emotional reverie of old drunk villagers. It is an humbling plateau of emotions. Down to earth human bonds that don’t depend on materialistic thresholds. It is at the point of no return, where all that remains is hope or where all hope is gone is where Bala decides to begin his emotional sojourn. A more serious and little less vigorous Kusturica, probably. You know, where a beggar misses out on a drunk delinquent or when a playful Kumbudren Saami realizes the place where he belongs and automatically sheds tears or when an angry Chitthan never really understood why he was supposed to be resurrected into life just to love and lose it all in the end. It is really surprising that people who have the turn off for his sad endings never really saw what happened before. So much is happening in such a beautiful array of emotions, however shoddy it is shot (to hell with your aesthetics). Here  is a man with a simple story. It has always been simple for Bala. The common thread of human bonding and the climactic upset of the very same and as he puts it, “Sogamaana mudivuthaan vandhu, oru rendu naal thookatha kedukkum”. Just when you would think that his world is too happy for happy endings and probably that he is a “director with problems and an emotional prejudicial backlog”, he says, “Cinema paathu thoongavekkaama irukkardhu oru creatorukku oru peruma thaan” and there is that wry smile.

You can call it audacious allegory, but this may necessarily intend to invoke outrage , opposing the jollygoods of the infamous TamBrahmRage, on Bala and his Anti-Brahminical inuendos that are prevalent in his films. But even so whatisthere? It is about recognition.  So if there is considerable fanship for Mani Ratnam and his confident, “contemporary” film-making that adapts his own commercial habits of star casting and stereotyping, why shouldn’t a Bala be pardoned? He brings the most phantasmagoric, lesser known characters into a vibrant mosaic of real world humour that more often than not is dark and someone ends up dying or hopelessly helpless. So what? Life is unfair and people die. But what happens before?

Life, and so much of it.

It must be the Whiskey talking.

This had been in my Desktop for like two months now. A notepad file that I had typed in during a drunken night. Or maybe I was sober. Don’t know. Anyways, thought I’ll put it up. Real arbitness follows, kindly avoid if you are not interested.

Sometimes when so many people are around you ,it becomes relevant (I call in interesting ) when many hearts and minds are at constant work of survival. It is hard to ignore people’s faces , the things they say with intentions and sometimes no purpose except for their own security and ego sheild. People feeding on people’s ego. It is quite interesting how different minds work. All though the finality in every conversation and experience you have with them can be decided by you and only you and whether it has an impact on you, is discovered by your own response and that is when you see for yourself who you really are. You put your own heart and mind at work , to try to understand and try to feel. The recent times for everyone living in their respective present , past and a hopeful future if holds any relation to the occurances of others , a society emerges. It might be intangible in the sense that it is an invisible contagion, be it the happier times, a party , a reminiscent binge with your closest friends or the dreamiest conversations with your dearest or the worse times with yourself and others. What happens to them seems to vicariously experience within you . A relationship forms , a mirror to see others while you are at your own self.  But more than the How , What and Why , it is this non-present interrogative verb that holds this entity together. An unanswerable question and an unquestionable answer. What is the difference between the closest and the farthest in your life, in this ever changing chaos? The whole cycle of logical justification of your feelings entering the realm of philosophy and later a vanishing thought into an abyss of forgetting well. Life just seems to go on. It most probably would go on, whether or not an account is made of it. So little that it actually matters to ponder about it. So big there is not a single day that everyone craves to be recognised. Everyone wants a piece of others and there by themselves.

Ah, such earthly matters , you think ,don’t you ? Ah, such pleasant comfortable futility you feel, don’t you?

Whiskey Shebang Erotics #OdetoJim

The dawn of devils cry to heaven

spreading across a reptilian desert

to rewind years ago, sixty seven

and a life seemingly so infinite.

In the mystic river of Rock n Roll

A lizard was the king of the shoal.

It is time to bring Jim to the fore.

It was time for him to swim ashore.

He slithered ,swam in a deep river alcoholic

too shallow were the wines of human tastes.

For he was a profound child, diabolic

and dangerous , oh dangerously insane.

Laughing out of sadness sad,

a crystal soul perpetually pristine.

Crying out of happiness mad,

untarnished by fangs, feminine.

There he was the shaman rock poet,

dancing with life , a deadly duet.

stripping women while they heavily sighed

he had nothing to lose and nothing to hide.

As clouds and doctors called upon his life,

a beard grew along with premature wisdom.

An insecure muse , the poet’s wife

swam along with him, the sake of love dumb.

Drank to life until the beautiful end,

his best friend, called upon from whiskey deep.

He swam horizons from tide to tide,

Broke on through to the other side.

P.S: Words sometime gather up and get drunk in a local bar , when they leave what happened in the bar is called Poetry.

The Speech #OscarMagnet3

The King’s Speech doesn’t only reinstate the enormous actor in Colin Firth; to take what he deserved in A Single Man , but finds a truly magnificent film that grows on you and fades when you watch it, just like a shadow.

There is an endearing scene almost nearing the first half of the film , where Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) asks to-be-The King George VI about his childhood and who he was close to. Colin Firth simultaneously provokes empathy and sympathy which humanizes the whole British stoicism that embodies the royal highness. For a dangerous second or two, Firth loses it , you could actually notice him looking into the camera while he narrates about his uptight ,partial nanny. It was that second which makes us care about this royal poor highness. He stutters in his narration reliving his daily viewing when he was a kid; a kid who is/was made fun of ( “B-Bertie”) by his much preferred elder brother, the next heir; the kid who was pinched from behind by his first nanny. After a while Bertie gasps for words , its like as if he has been shut close every time he had tried to open his doors. Later Lionel asks him to sing it and there again you see a lesson for ad-libbing. Firth had rest his case a long time back.

Firth

What a huge profile , I must amaze at his stature . Firth is made by the film as the film is made by Firth. Initial scenes consists of the familial compassion Bertie finds in his charming wife (Queen Elizabeth) and his two beautiful daughters charms his days more than anything , but later circumstances propel his life in unknown directions.

To be safe ,casting Guy Pearce’s(King Edward VIII) buffy jaw was enough to differentiate him from the dear protagonist and later when he makes fun of Bertie, you cringe his presence on screen. Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue is at full command. For what most might think , it is not just a character driven two-hours. The film works well too; and so the nomination. Geoffrey Rush entertains you , listens with you and asks what you wanted to ask that very minute. He is the mediator , an on-screen representative of the virtual audience. The film starts with an elephant of a body that Firth initially belittles so beautifully , grows into a meditative retrospection nearing the half and stands upright as Firth dons his royal attire and is ready to make a man out of himself, by a supportive friend in Lionel and for a nation that dearly needs his voice at a junction where the gates of World War II were about to open (the constitution of the film-to,by,for).

Usually put, it is said that a character portrayed on screen is considered good if its worth the while, an entertaining face. It is great when he /she makes us(the audience) care and Tom Hooper churns the old, familiar and drama-rich British legacy to build a Herculean task among the audience to root for none other than the British Royal Highness. The load is shared throughout by a huge Colin Firth . I mean who says only films about poverty or “ordinary realistic” people can invoke ?

A voice brings a change. The King’s Speech has glorious intent .

#notjustanotherbuddyfilm like how Manohla puts it.

Becca #OscarMagnet2

After watching The Rabbit Hole I couldn’t stop comparing it with the bizarre Antichrist directed by Von Trier. Appalling that he too was trying to convey parental loss of a son.

The reason why Nicole Kidman’s underplayed Becca easily overshadows Aron Eckheart’s Howie in this highly observational parental grief exhibition is because of the kinetic nature of her character. She is the one searching for an outlet, a hole to dump and move on, or that’s what she thought she can do. The film starts with her burying the roots (gardening a herb), then she dumps the clothes of her dead son in the washing machine thinking of making use out of it by donating them to her knocked-up sister. But she eventually finds out there is nothing to overcome but only somethings are meant to live with, as the film reluctantly gives up on Becca’s grit in her futile search.

The various stages of Grief are more intelligently presented here in The Rabbit Hole via a talented Nicole Kidman giving clarity with a border-line Santaolalla type background score.

All though Nina’s painful paranoia might tighten your watch(and looks like more of an obvious nomination and a glorious win) , there is so much to learn about Becca. She is all by herself as she was always but somehow this new loss had made her uneasy. She argues with the invisible law of life .Her lessons in psychology don’t offer practical suggestions/solutions to this pain she is experiencing in her stomach. She realizes they were mere theory. She just can’t quite understand the intangible purpose of those hearings in the group sessions Howie suggests her. Howie might have got an ear to listen to, a person in Gabby to smoke pot with/to connect with , but he faces his daily dose of sorrow too,but as an average man. Not so that the mother feels more, just that Becca searches for more in her edge of total disbelief and dissatisfaction in her present life.

It reminds of a little snippet in this infamous documentary What the Bleep do we know? , where a reference to a rabbit hole theory is made. This seems to be the concept behind the parallel universe comic book that Jason makes across the film in a series of cut-shots. The search for higher questions is measured in how far do we want to go down the Rabbit Hole. The two might not have any relation, still an uncanny reference.

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Becca

A sudden shock loss somehow accompanies a crystal clarity. As though it defines everything that surrounds you and most importantly defines you. This film is clear for its avoiding the amount of confusion it ought to have owed for sentimental liberty of emotions. You can just imagine how Becca’s mother would have grieved her son. The term survived by his/her parents is given meaning by a cental performance by Nicole Kidman. You notice it when she gives up and questions her mom. She gives up to the universality in grief. No more, “My son is different”. No more searching.

When her mom answers with the brick metaphor, do watch Kidman. Not to mention the last scene where Howie plans their immediate future, punctuating every now and then by an inevitable question by Becca, “and then?”. As these might be her winning moments of clarity over the suicidal Nina by a determined Portman.

 

The Sad Clown #OscarMagnet1

In The Fighter,as a scroungy Dicky sits for a documentary interview he has little idea about , the first thing that comes to his mind is to call for his brother’s presence. He thinks he is the future writer of a glorious epilogue for his sad story. It is sad because he is stuck in a moment of signature victory over Sugar Ray Leonard when he steps over his face. He relives it with the help crack cocaine. In the beginning he switches and scatters between his ’78 (July 18th) Ray episode to –“everyone still talks about”-“‘cuz he is my brother”-“we both are very different fighters”. It is an uncanny mesolimbic reward pathway that Christian Bale invokes.

There is the obvious link that is made within minutes into the film of why he is so addicted to his crack house. It is his place where he recreates his memories. It brings back down some of Cobb’s guilt from Inception as Bale slowly floats with his feet ,with closed eyes and a vivid visceral nightmare that oscillates between “Everything is O.K” to “Nothing is going to change”. It transcends a true cinematic nightmare as he steps over his crack-buddy/friend Boo-Boo simultaneously so in his mind’s eye. The next cut is to his reward. A crack-pipe to suck on more heavenly moments. David O. Russell had this knack of implying things ugly just by showing. It rolls back way before in his controversial feature “Spanking the Monkey”, filled with implications.

Dicky

What he later does is to concentrate on a familial bond that recuperates and dies continuously in a mid-family confusion where Micky Ward is stuck. All though everytime Dicky jumps from his crack house he feels it his responsibility somehow. It is his brother, his mother and his Lowell. He walks the talk about the place and his family, obvious isn’t it?

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying, but I didn’t see that the joke was on me, oh no. I started to cry, which started the whole world laughing, oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me.

The Bee Gees song that Dicky pacifies his mother with ,signatures his role to a large extent. When he realizes it is getting late to train his brother notice his ghost face. The same face he puts on while expressing his brother’s “Thu-underous Punch!” When he realizes that his brother and Mickey O Keefe are getting too tired of his irresponsibilities look at his ghost face. He carries the surprise cake bought by his mother/ sisters and gives it to his memory cell-mates. His mouth quivers as he walks as he becomes alive.He is the turning curve in this highly rubbish road of a family that has happened. It took him long enough to see the curve. But there is more to come.

Bale has circumvented all his shortcomings till date(physically) and today with so much visible ease is able in giving a sad clown for everyone to droop into. Both Wahlberg and Bale are still close friends with both of their counterparts. Seems Dicky has his own language “Dickinese” and Bale knows it.