Category Archives: General

Look here to find inspiration

I am a great fan of those inspirational movies, yes ‘the human spirit’, ‘battle against odds’ stories which make you feel good  after and make you sit through the movie many times over, later on. So when I saw that Mouthshut had a review section called Five Best Inspirational movies of Hollywood, I decided it was time to make my list of five.  The list of five I have compiled may not cater to everyone’s tastes, as I am no movie connoisseur and may not have watched the wonderful movies you have liked. So here goes my list of five movies.

Rudy(1993) Director: David Anspaugh Starring: Sean Astin


This is the first movie which really inspired me and to this day it remains my favorite. The tag line of the movie encapsulates the essence of the movie remarkably well. “When people say dreams don’t come true, tell them about Rudy”. The movie is based on the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger and who chases his dream of playing for his favorite college football team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Most of the people around him did not give him whiff of  a chance as he was really small for an average person, let alone a football player and did not have the athletic ability to be a top sports person. Mind you, we are talking American football here and players,especially at college level are huge and are top athletes. How Rudy battles his self doubt, dyslexia which becomes an obstacle in getting into the college and  doubts of most people around him by drawing energy from some close friends and more importantly by his sheer determination and willpower forms the crux of the story.

The Shawshank Redemption(1994) Director: Frank Darabont Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman

This would be a shoo-in to any list of inspirational movies. It was not a commercial success and barely missed out on an Oscar to Forrest Gump. Tim Robbins plays the lead role, that of a prisoner, Andy Dufresne(pronounced Due-Frain) in the Shawshank prison where he has to go through a tough ordeal, the usual challenges that a prison throws up and also the brutalities of the corrupt and effete prison authorities. He strikes a chord of friendship with Red( Morgan Freeman) and their relationship through the long years at the prison, the changes that come in their lives and those around them as a result of Dufresne’s work at the prison progresses the story but the climax is what really knocks you off your feet. Brace for it is all what I can say now.

October Sky (1999) Director: Joe Johnston Starring:  Jake Gyllenhaal

This movie is inspired by the life of Homer Hickam, a young boy from a rural mining town, who on seeing the Russian satellite, Sputnik, streak by on a starry October sky, decided that he himself was going to reach for the stars by building his own rocket. He and motley group of three friends, with due encouragement from their teacher proceed to build rockets. However they have to overcome many a hurdle on their way including a father who believes that football is the only way to get out of the coal mines and other paths should be given short shrift, their schoolmates who make the rocket boys the butt of all their jokes and even a brief altercation with the police who accuse the rocket boys of causing a wild fire which started near by. Homer Hickham and friends survived those tough times and became successful in life. Watch how “One dream lights up the sky”

The Pursuit of Happyness(2006) Director: Gabriele Muccino Starring: Will Smith


Another real life inspired movie, Pursuit of Happyness, pursues the life of Christopher Gardner a traveling salesman, in his quest for happiness. After his wife leaves him, Gardner has to take care of his young son Chris and make both ends meet at the same time. He then chances to meet a stock broker, who is quite successful and Gardner decides to learn the tricks of the trade from a stock broking firm. However, he has to pass an unpaid internship at the firm in order to become a broker. He also had to go through a few days when he is homeless and once even had to spend a night with his son in a restroom at a subway station. This pursuit of happyness will leave you with tears of joy at the end

Life is Beautiful (Vita è bella, La) (1997) Director: Roberto Benigni Starring: Roberto Benigni

It took me a lot of attempts to complete watching this movie, mainly because of the fact that I wrongly interpreted Roberto Benigni to be hamming it up as Guido. At first, I felt many of the scenes were over the top and closed the movie window out of frustration. However one day, when I thought I had nothing better to do I sat through the movie and I was glued on to my seat by the brilliant storyline and incredible performance by the entire cast. In the initial part of the movie Benigni was building the character brick by brick and Guido’s mannerisms and antics are used to explain the man’s persona. The latter part of the movie set in a concentration camp has some heart rending scenes, captured beautifully without shedding a drop of blood. Life is Beautiful is a directorial masterpiece if ever there was one.

Quite Practical!!

Much as they were dreaded, The Practical Examinations threw up some of the most hilarious instances in my college life. They are scheduled just after all the written examinations get over and the new semester starts, and there is this fear factor associated with them partly because of the Lottery that happens at the start. The examiners place all the possible questions within answer sheets and we go on and pick one up and that is the ‘question’ we got to ‘answer’. Its like putting your hand in a huge can of snakes and hoping that you get a baby boa rather than a black mamba.Once you are done with the test/experiment and ensure that nothing is going to blow up (atleast until you exit the lab), there comes the Viva-Voce part when the examiners have their share of the limelight; they may turn villain and quiz you on the works of the latest Nobel Prize winner or they may still turn villain ask you the “What-happens-if-you-pour-petrol-in-a-diesel-engine?” types questions which you thought are only going to be asked by your kids 15 years later. Answers to these questions often range from the ‘Aushwitz-tortured-prisoner’ look on the face to the ‘Bangladeshi-cyclone-victim’ look on the face, hoping to somehow extract that last drop of generosity in them.

Metallurgy Lab Exam circa january 2005

H has successfully dealt with a baby boa and is over-confidence personified as he is next in line for the Viva Guillotine where A is getting himself chopped into pieces by the smiling examiner(E) with more than a tinge of schadenfreude visible on his face. E then suddenly decides enough is enough and that last drop of  generosity comes through in the form of….

“What is the percentage of Carbon in steel?”
A: gulp..err…around seve…ntyyy percent?
H<in his mind> ha ha ha its ninety..this nincompoop A doesnt know a thing
E:<getting over the initial Oh-my-good-lord-what-have-I-done-look-on-his-face>:Whaat?!!! you expect iron to be 100 percent carbon?!!!!
H<in his not-so-sure mind>: err…it must be around fifty then
E<looking at H and guffawing>: hahaha look what he is saying…seventyy percentage….hahaha
H<in his not-at-all-sure mind>:I better start laughing…it got to be around forty percent then
H: ha ha ha….
<A stares at H with the “you (^&*(^&*^&*^&*^&*” look on his face and H gives a sly “I-am-sorry-I-had-to do-it”face and continues laughing>
E: Most steel contains less than 0.35 percent carbon….how can you call yourself an engineer…<continues his loud boisterous laughter>
H<in his it better-not-show-it-outside mind>:phew that was close!
H:<with the you-are-real-funny-sir face>
ha ha ha

As H is good with his theatrics he managed to get through his viva with a ‘Khmer-Rouge-prisoner’ visage adorning his face. According to reliable sources, he still manages to showcase his stagecraft at a certain Western India Agro Products company when his PM asks status reports.

Monsoon Madness!

The first rains of this year’s Monsoon have hit Thiruvananthapuram according to the Met Department; the folks there must be having a party after scoring their first hit since independence.(psst.. On double checking found that a couple of hurricanes near Indonesia caused the rains to check in 4 days early; so their post-independence record is intact) The rains take the city into a different dimension altogether. Thampanoor, located in the heart of the city, transforms itself into the largest wave-pool in the Northern hemisphere and all those of you who alight at the Trivandrum Central Railway Station or the Main bus stand can dive straight in(Watch out for the broken slab near the Indian Coffee House). The city planners didn’t want anyone to miss out on the Monsoon fun so they ensured that the place is pretty well connected. A recent survey ranked the rising waters at Thampanoor slightly behind the Bermuda triangle, in the unsolved mysteries category.
It is also the time to bring to light, the contraptions which some of the most brilliant Mallu minds have been toiling to modify over the summer . Located in top secret bases in undisclosed locations two teams of scientists try to out-think each other and come up with alternative uses for the umbrella. This year the Popy team which come up with the ‘Star Wars light sabers’ which can be drawn out of the umbrella has overshadowed Johns which offered the less original “water shooting” variety. According to unofficial sources, Johns umbrellas are working on a Laser guided anti-aircraft missile launching umbrella for next years monsoon to avenge this years defeat. Speaking of missiles and wars, these U Cos.(Umbrella Companies…if it didn’t ring a bell) do battle it out on screen jostling for the space in front of a Reality show name on TV, which is not going to be that difficult this year as there are plenty of them around. Including one show, which pits housewives against each other to find out who can give the most pea-brained performance. Anybody whose performance scores over 80 on the IQ scale is thrown out.
Along with government school classes and KSEB power supply, something else which may take a hit this monsoon season is one of the most spectacular exhibitions of footballing skills held every week in Sreekaryam, in the out-skirts of the city. Every Wednesday, some of Bhavani building’s (1st and 3rd floor plus the ones enjoying the view from the roof) most fleet footed footballers, who for most part of their life try to make sense of the nincompoopery on their computer screens, gather together for an hour to weave magic on the football pitch at Loyola School. With fitness levels matching that of the Above-35 Sumo Wrestling team from downtown Yokohama, the players usually put up a show that one can ‘savour’ for years.

Something to look forward to this monsoon, is India’s cricketing tour to England. Aaah! Watching cricket in England,sipping coffee on a rainy Saturday evening is simply an out-of-this-world experience. Wonder how the ‘geriatricos’ are going to perform this time around.
p.s: Just started using word pad and as the cliche goes- It rocks!! Its better than the drab nothingness of the notepad and much more user friendly than MSWord overflowing with redundant features.

pps: Bhavani building is the one in Technopark Trivandrum.

360ing is back

Just 360 hasn’t been 360ing around lately. It’s not the writer’s block thingy. I was this dirty old sloth, who spent most of the last month playing Football Manager 2007. Having tried my hand at managing the Red Devils and Cambridge United (from the Conference) with equal amount of success (or rather the lack of it), I switched and decided to take over the Spurs. After seven games without a point, I felt the game had decided I can’t be a manager (just like those dozen profs on interview panels of B-schools), but since then the Spurs have made one of those “one-of-the-greatest-comebacks-of-all-time”. After finishing a creditable fourth in the first season and qualifying for the Champions League, the second one yielded the Premiership as well as a narrow semifinal loss to Milan in the CL.

They say this game is addictive and I have to agree. It also allows you take your mind of some pretty dismal things happening in your life. You may see a number 61, if you take a stroll down the memory lane of this blog, well unfortunately, that’s all that’s left of it now.

One Man Demolition Squad

Gulan
Just came from the cinema after watching Thuruppu Gulan (Trump Jack) with the entire project team.Well its not a really big team, there are 17 of us in it.In fact it is the smallest team in the DC.

Coming back to the movie, any movie would get an oscar from me if releases me from the clutches of the nightmares of Shaadi se Pehle and TG will recieve a couple of them because its good fun. NO its not one of those classic movies, or one which could hold a candle to one of them but its a good time-pass movie. Mammotty plays Kunjumon alias Thuruppu Gulan who is a part time Thattukada owner, Bharatanatyam student ( there is no typo here!!), a part time gambler and a full time SUPER MAN upon whom noone can manage to land even a single punch. In fact he is better than SUPER MAN who had a worse Punch-count record.
Nothing much to review in the movie it’s the usual story line where all is well thats ends well, where SUPERMAN annihilates all his enemies and flies away (Instead its the Mollywood style 180degreeturn-slowmo’ walk-with sidekicks)

Whyyyyyyyyyyy???

Why did they make this movie? Just watch the movie "Shaadi se Pehle" and you will ask this question again and again. The makers of the movie request the viewers to remove their thinking caps before watching it, but after surviving through two and a half hours one is forced to ask whether they used any of their brains while making this. Why would the actors act out the worst storyline ever written ? Why would Himesh " blow through the nose" Reshammiya compose music for this? Why would someone spend so much money to produce this? Unfortunately I dont have any answer for any of this except for,may be, the Reshammiya question:he composes and decomposes everything he gets hands on these days.

To take you through the "story" would be my pleasure (sadistic, of course).Rani Bhalla (Ayesha Takia) falls in love with Ashish Khanna (Akshaye Khanna) after the latter cracks some of the worst PJ's ever heard by mankind, until then (This record will be taken over by several other "jokes" later in the movie). Ashish who is always worried about him getting infected with some strange virus or some mysterious disease goes to the doctor (Boman Irani) for a check-up and overhears him talking about a patient who is about to die of cancer and thinks that he is the one who has cancer. He then does a lot of stupid things after that in order to distance himself from Rani like wearing some colourful T-shirts, going to a funeral accompanied by " a-secretary-with-short- skirt ", drinking lots of alcohol etc.,( btw..etc is media partner for the movie…i guess the pj thing is catching on)

Aftab plays Rohit, the "complete-the-love-triangle-guy", who hopes to get married to Rani once she leaves Ashish for good. In comes Sania (Mallika Sherawat) and her underworld-king bro Anna(Sunil Shetty) and his gang of some 50 Kalashnikov wielding guys and this entire lot's combined IQ score will be less than 100. Sania falls for Ashish and he flirts with her in front of Rani and the trick works making Rani ditch Ashish. However Anna fixes Sania's marriage with Ashish, who learns then that he doesnt have cancer and tries to win back Rani, who is about to marry Rohit. The rest of the story goes on as expected and finally everyone's happy except the viewers …… and the producer.

the pro's: The credits,the cars used in the climax

the con's: Everything else

How many stars out of five????!!!! Better give this some 8-9 truck loads of rotten tomatoes

Just looking around!!

I am just looking around; finding some things good and some bad , some things exciting some not so, will let you know about them as I see it. Just 360ing..just a jester