Last week I was at Aicha's place..... who is like elder sister to me. I am appreciating how we have become greater support to each other. But sometimes I am scared that she is totally different and difficult. And very much cynical. .... anyway we were watching TV and she asks me what is so great about Asin. As with Aicha many times before, she says she is just trying to understand what guys like and how they think. And I gave her a quick answer. Now I guess it can make for a blog entry.
Even if I have seen Asin only in Ghajini, I thought she was fabulous. At first sight I thought long hair - check, big eyes - check. OK rest of the features I am afraid it gets a bit risque to mention but check for those too. I was watching her interview and I appreciate how she rolls her eyes every now and then. The best thing is she isnt trying. The way most women on TV try too hard to be sexy / cute / glamorous; she isnt doing that. Vey much like Heath Ledger, he just WAS The Joker. He wasnt trying to project particular features of the character like cruelty etc. (May the The Joker have the last laugh, the oscar i mean) But I digress... Next she was funny. Essential that she makes fun of herself - half the movie she was funny. One particular scene she is jumping her ass off in front of Amir (go figure which that one is). It speaks very much of a girl's confidence that she can pull off being absolutely un-sexy and stupid on screen. Which is the reason why all three girls in FRIENDS win on all fronts. Lisa Kudrow being the best for me. I have a bit of a lower opinion for Jennifer Aniston, she seems too pumped up to be the glamour icon. Its almost like she killed the funny goofy, a little fat Rachel Green.
Its funny how women like Aishwarya rai and kareena fall flat when it comes to public life. Many others too i think they rehearse being in public eye and entering a beauty pageant like they are preparing for an exam. When it comes to extempore they show their real blunderous self.
I like these :
Next, I have seen Slumdog so many times (I procured the pirated copy) that I have now grown to find it not as good as I thought the first time around, a little bit. But no, I have also grown to realise that its a matter of perspective. Its enjoyable on many levels. It sure is old wine in new bottle. But the bottle is the backdrop of Mumbai which needs recognition. It rides of so many features, excitement of the gameshow, "bizarre plausibility" of events that enable him to answer the questions, the music, the romance and great cinematography. In the process we come to see the cruel truths of life of slums.
As jobs are being lost in the IT industry, "survival" is in perspective. Humans will survive their environment. The two slumdogs survived their environment, with nobody to take care, they survived, by whatever means. The director Danny Boyle used a great phrase - "lust for life" of these slumdogs. With nothing to lose at 18, Jamal wont give up love of his life, he has had enough experience of getting by, getting food to survive one way or the other is not an issue at all. But unlike others he stood up to fight for love, i dont think there was any other stimulus in his life. The ones who play the game to get more than just survival from life are the ones who achieve.
I know A.R. Rahman will win oscars, one for the original score and other for the song "O Saya" (Original music written for motion picture). Its true ARR has done better work before, but its funny how confluence in life brings laurels only at a particular point. Not before, not after. It had to be the confluence of movie, director, availability of resources this year that his work has reached oscars.
My personal favourite is the vocal by Susanne called "Search for Latika" or Latika's theme. It brought tears to my eyes every time it played, just not the last two times I saw the movie (which is why i say that now the effect of the movie is waning on me). That brings us to the issue of marketing. A comment I read says that slumdog is the perfect example of how an OK film is made into excellent using marketing. I say films like slumdog deserve and require terrific marketing. Emotion is a dicey affair. Judging the film is difficult because it banks heavily on romance, music, drama etc. Some might be touched some feel its too touchy feely crap. Some might be touched by the ending some might not. So its difficult to judge if its good or not. Its human. So all the movie makers can do is get it seen by as many as possible and hope it touches those who are touched (by the romance etc). Most critics too have given excellent reviews to slumdog.
My short story can sit on an HTML page and nobody will read it unless i get it published , do some marketing etc. Similarly blogger like gaurav sabnis recommends salaam bombay to viewers who would like a taste of real mumbai but this is a very small effort which doesnt do much good to salaam bombay; even if its an excellent work it needs a trumpet.
O saya is great too. I love how the percussion rises. Its not just that the percussion is great its how it evolves in the first 20 seconds of the song, like a monster rising.