Saturday, October 13, 2018

Irumbu Thirai (Iron Curtain) - A digital thriller. [Tamil] 2018

Recently watched this movie with my folks, sometimes movies become an educational tool, especially for those who want to be technologically savvy but do not realize the pitfalls associated with it.

Irumbu Thirai deals with digital spoofing and phishing. The movie shows how easy it is to steal digital data or even your identity in today's world. All it takes is a little know-how and gullible people ready to believe in fairy tales.

It is chilling to see how easily the data provided by the unsuspecting public can be misused for other purposes. The scenes explaining how technology can be misused is simple and easily understood by the layman.

Performance wise, Vishal carries the movie aptly, his aversion to taking loans and getting into debt, and his dysfunctional relationship with his father - Delhi Ganesh - who's take loans and then flees from his creditors to avoid returning the money forms the meat of their bond. The scene where he loses his cool at his father is particularly heart touching. The pain and the sorrow in that relationship are beautifully captured.

Arjun Sarja as the antagonist - While Devil is good, but the movie does not build him up enough for the villain to stand out on his own. Sarja hold's his part but the menace that Aravind Swaamy brought to the role of Siddharth Abhimanyu by just being on the screen is missing and that impacts the effect of the villain. The comparisons with Arvind Swamy's performance in Thani Oruvan are inevitable. Arjun is not introduced until the 2nd half by his actual name. The viewer only sees him on screen against the backdrop of flickering screens using his hacker handle. The calm, collected way in which he threatens Vishal forms the highlight of his introduction and when he meets with Vishal for the first time, he tells him that he cheats and defrauds people for a living because he can. That's pretty brutal and the film does not try to gloss over the fact that people cheat because they can and because they can get away with it.

Overall the movie is a great watch and if it creates even a little bit of awareness with people about the dark side of the internet and makes them a bit more cautious about using their phones, social media and their digital activities in a responsible manner then it would be a cathartic victory.

'96 - A true entertainer. [Tamil] 2018

Caught this gem of a movie last week on Saturday with my parents. One of the very few rare movies that we have watched in the theater together as a family. I must say the movie lived up to and beyond my expectations.

'96 - the title confused the heck out of all of us, even when the movie started with the song The Life of Ram; until he reached his old school in Thanjavur, then it became crystal clear that the title reflects the year of his passing his matriculation and boom - instant nostalgia. Those scenes where he reminiscences while visiting his school, its classrooms and the premises brought a tear to my eye and the feeling of loss - I wanted to watch the movie immediately with my school chaddi buddies...

The nostalgia continued with the school buddies then communicating via WhatsApp group named aptly '96. The reunion planned and the videos sent by those missing it sent a chord of pain in my heart.

We are introduced to Ram and Janu via their teen selves and the actors played that part brilliantly, the heart pumping reaction of Ram when Janu touches him for the first time after he realizes his feelings for her just about gave me goosebumps. Ohh innocent love at its best.

C. Prem Kumar who has directed this movie was a cameraman when he saw him first while wielding a camera as his story of amnesiac marriage was translated into the big screen as Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom. Clearly, he has grown since we first were acquainted with him.

'96 is a tragic romance of Ram & Janu without all the bitterness of a broken relationship, they still have that strong bond after 22 years of being split, life made them take different turns and they both landed on their feet, the movie spans just 1 night as Ram & Janu struggle with their feelings and what could have been.

To say anything more at this point would be to spoil the movie for those yet to see them and I wish everybody who reads this sees this movie at least once. It does not matter if you do not know the language, see it with subtitles, I guarantee you that you will not miss out on anything, but do watch it.

The lead pair of Vijay Sethupathi & Trisha Krishnan nails their roles. VS continues to prove why he is aptly named as "Makkal Selvan" by the people of Tamil Nadu. Trisha gives one of the most nuanced and powerful performances as Janu.

The music by Govind Vasantha compliments the movie - the music adds value to the narration on the screen and at the end, you are left feeling - if only...

Watch '96 for the sheer nostalgia factor or for lessons on how romance should be without going overboard. I leave you with this beautiful song to cherish...

Karwaan - A road trip with a difference. [Hindi] 2018

Karwaan is a road trip movie as the trailer says, but it is a road trip with a difference. The movie is well crafted and takes Avinash on a journey to collect his father's body from Kochin.

It is a journey filled with situations, where Avinash struggles to reconcile his relationship with his father. As he says there is no love between them, but the situation has made him realize that his father while not great was not as bad he thought him to be. And in this age and world being not bad is as good as great.

Irrfan as Shaukat and Mithila Pathak as Tanya provide a good foil to Dulquer. Dulquer is the silent, introvert - a thinker who does not let people or the world in easily, Irrfan is the guide, the voice of the troika, Mithila plays the rebellious teenager trying to balance the recklessness and rebellion.

Karwaan is a breezy ride, it has something that the recent movies have lost their interest in - emotions, it maintains a perfect balance between the emotional aspects without trying to come across as preachy or overtly emotional.

The characters played by the trio are easily recognizable ones, all of us may know an Avinash, a Tanya or a Shaukat in our daily lives. In the end, Karwaan is as much a road journey as it is a life journey.

Watch IT!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

||गणपती बप्पा मोरया||

Wednesday - 12th September 2018 - Ganpati Bappa came into my house in USA for the 2nd time. I started the practice last year as a part of incorporating more of the culture and traditions back from home to my new abode.

Last year the 5 days of celebrations were a great way to bond together with friends and have a community get together.

This year has been even more special with Mom & Dad making their way to US to stay with me and also to welcome Bappa home.

The 5 days of the festival have been a great time for celebration and joy to be shared between friends and family.

Wish you all a Happy & Prosperous Ganesha Chaturthi!! May the Vignaharta remove all obstacles from your life and make it one joyous celebration.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

OST - Aigiri Nandhini, Movie: Solo

Additional Lyrics - Dhanya Suresh 
Singers - Govind, Meera 
Kids Chorus - Thaikkudam 
Mixed & Mastered By - Amith Bal 
Recording Engineer - Sai Prakash 
Recorded At - My Studio, Kochi 
Produced & Performed By - Thaikkudam Bridge 

The song describes the cosmic majesty of Lord Shiva as the eternal destroyer & Goddes Durga as the eternal mother!!! Bliss!!

Some lyrics or tunes just get into your head and keep you humming them all day!!! I really like the fusion of the Vedic Chant with the rock element, the guitar riff is rad!!!

Mrithiye vazhiye
Sakhiye nee kandaal
Thiraskritham sadhaayike
Pare aho nin jeevanam
Pralobhitham sadhaa pratheekshayaal
Aho nin jeevanam
Paapee nee sadhaa
Paathi njan sadhaa...aa....
Ayigiri nandhini nandhitha medini
Vishwa vinodini nandanuthe
Girivara vindhya shir-aho-dhini vaasini
Vishnuvilaasini jishnunuthe
Bhagavathi he shidhikanda kudumbini

Bhoorikudumbini bhoorikrithe
Jaya jaya he mahishasura mardhini
Ramyakapardhini shailasuthe
Nin karma vaazhvinaal
Thaangidaanethum vayyaa...

Ayi sumanah sumanah sumanah sumanah sumano hara kaanthi yuthe 
Shritha rajanee rajanee rajanee rajanee rajanee kara vakra vruthe 
Sunayana vibhramara bhramara bhramara bhramara bhrama raadhi pathe
Jaya jaya he mahishaasura mardhini ramyaka pardhini shaila suthe 
Ayi jagadamba madamba kadamba vanapriya vaasini haasa rathe 
Shikhari shiromani tunga himaalaya shringani jaalaya madhya gathe 
Madhu madhure madhu kaitabha ganjini kaitabha bhanjini raasa rathe 
Jaya jaya he mahishaasura mardhini ramyaka pardhini shaila suthe