A Day With The Director

December 17, 2008
Unni, Me, Arun, RENJITH, Hari, Damu

Unni, Me, Arun, RENJITH, Hari, Damu

When we reached Tiruvandapuram at morning 4 0’ clock nothing had any amount of certainty. Standing in the packed train for more than four hours to reach here, had already made us tired to death. The plan is to meet the acclaimed writer-director Renjith for an interview for the college magazine and to have some good fun at the ongoing international film festival of Kerala. Except for that plan, everything was in perfect chaos at that point of time. The friend who had an uncle, who supposedly was arranging everything for us, was not even available on the phone. Our expectations were quiet low and we were completely prepared to get kicked in the ass.

It all began when we heard that our college magazine has got three pages reserved for an interview every year. Since the editor was a guy from our own hostel, we made sure that we will do the interview this year.
Since then we had kind of elaborate plans and all such stuff. It must have been several months now. We tried to contact Renjith on phone but failed many times. So, everything was in ‘out-of-the-hands’ state when last day suddenly I got a call from my friend. He said Renjith had agreed for the interview on 15th morning 8 o clock (that was a day after tomorrow then!) at Tvm. It was 200+km and just one day ahead. Wow!

The plan was to make the questions for the interview while in the train during the 4 hour journey. But the train was fucking too crowded. Not even enough space to stand straight. Fantastic. Also some friends called telling that they probably couldn’t make it.

So now we stand at the capital city perfectly unaware of anything that’s coming our way.
Square one state!

After some 2-3 hours came the Friend’s phone call. Things gained pace with that. The vagueness started to disappear and to our own surprise, everything started to get into an order. At 10 o’ clock morning, we finally talked to the man on phone and he asked us to come. The venue was a theatre. Two of his movies were going to be screened today and he was awfully busy. We found him in the middle of a group of some top shot directors of Malayalam. Now, assuming our excitement level is your job!

Renjith

Interview lasted for something like one hour.

The man was just electrifying. He started to give elaborate answers to each of our questions with such ease and frankness. He suddenly took the control of the whole deal going on. We felt a particular warmth and love in the way he reacted. We felt valued!

It was a cricketer’s delight at his maiden century or a child’s excitement on being at the top of an elephant or the  ecstasy of the lost at being heard. It was beautiful. May be the interview wasn’t that good. But when we finally walked out of the place for some food, we felt really good.

Then there was a bunch of worthy movies to watch at the IFFK. But bad luck for us there. A pass was required to watch the movies and what did we knew. We went to watch Priyadarshan’s Kanchivaram, and were surprised by the huge crowd there. We understood that it was impossible without a pass and peacefully roamed around the city talking a lot of photographs and gradually started back home by noon.

It was still a worthy deal for us anyway.

I will post the interview (which was in malayalam) after our college magazine comes out. The photos are strictly copyrighted.

Advertisements

O brothers…

November 27, 2008

Coen brothers

After watching two of their movies back to back now, I ‘am left speechless over here. That feeling you rarely enjoy from the rarest of those movies, yeah I ‘am having some of them now. Yes sir, I ‘am speaking of the great Coen brothers. The two headed director who has (have) blessed our times with their supreme artistry in filmmaking. The two films were, ‘O brother where art thou?’ and ‘Miller’s crossing’. It was an experience which has got me thirsting for more and more.

There is a hell lot of amusing patterns and symbols followed by the Coen’s in each of their works. Starting from the easily recognisable alternation between black comedies and crime noirs to the very detailed aspects of colours and tones, there is a lot of them. For instances, in the movie ‘O brother where art thou?’ you wouldn’t see a single green leaf! Leafs are kind of yellowish instead. The entire earth has got this yellowish green template throughout the movie. This yellow is perhaps the colour of the movie. Think of ‘Fargo’ and the colour is white. There is a tone to each movie, of which the colour forms an integral part. The wide range of tones, plots and characters which they introduce through their movies are just awe-inspiring.  Now, like ‘Miller’s crossing’ most of their movies are set in the past, over a certain period of time. Homage, references etc. are dispersed all over. ‘Miller’s crossing’ is a huge homage in itself to the crime noirs of 70’s & 80’s. Presence of a ‘cool-under-fire’ type of character (mostly in the lead) is one another thing. Like, Tom Regan’s in miller’s crossing, The Dude himself in ‘The Big Lebowski’, Marge in ‘Fargo’ and Anton Chigurh in ‘No Country…’ Simply those characters are so much fun. There are a lot more of such patterns, like the spinning materials (the ball in ‘Big Lebowski’ and the Hat in ‘Miller’s crossing’) seen in their different movies or the frequently used fast talking characters (mostly Steve Buscemi). (read more here)

Above all these, it is the sheer intelligence exhibited in the plot development and presentation, which distinguishes the Coen’s Bros as film makers. The kind of talent involved in drawing two extremely different characters of Anton Chigurh and The Dude, with equal clarity, is indeed one of the rarest qualities. The Coen movies are the most wonderful show-case to characterization of greatest intensities. It’s extremely difficult to forget a character from a Coen movie, because they appear before us as almost complete human beings with a certain amount of eccentricity. I hear people complaining a lot about the vagueness in the plot of ‘No country for old men’, but before me it is the one of the greatest character studies of all time, where the film makers goes to such extent of realism in the plot for its ultimate aim of faithful character elucidation. ‘O brother…’ is also basically a very beautiful character study (a lot of characters), where the only difference is that the characters are a bit more fictional (the right word is poetic). The comedy in Coen movies is of the highest quality, which is a right mix of the dialogue driven type and the situational type. ‘Big Lebowski’ is one movie that had made me laugh the most. A guy who has seen this movie first, wouldn’t recognise ‘No country…’ as a work from the same directors. That is something indeed, right? The intense detailing in the plot is another important aspect. Like in the case of Miller’s crossing. The plot is very complex and thick but quiet ingeniously offered. It would require you a couple of watching to recognise the cleverness in the plot.

The technical side of Coen brother’s movie making is also as rich as the creative side. The photography, editing etc. are almost flawless. The Visual language is stunning. Music, BGM etc are also of the topmost quality and is of perfect coherence. I read that the sound track of ‘o brother…’ was a bigger hit than the movie itself! No wonder.

Now, I haven’t completed their filmography yet. Highly acclaimed movies like ‘The man who wasn’t there’ and ‘Blood simple’ remains in the yet to watch category. But am already on it, anyway.
Oh and yeah, without people like Coen Brothers and their works, how dreadful our lives would have been…!


Up !

November 11, 2008

India after winning the border gavaskar trophy 2008

Finally some good cricket with a happy ending for team India.
Almost everyone involved had a reason to smile.

Now, what was it?
A phase transformation in Indian cricket?  The raise of new super power? Or the fall of one super power?
May be nothing like that, but it was surely a lot of fun !!

p.s: Kumble and Ganguly, I have already started missing you!


Quentin Tarantino is GOD!

October 27, 2008

 

A short film directed by ‘300ml’ (Brazil) on Quentin Tarantino and the hidden code in his works.

OMFG!
The ultimate video for a QT fan…

I ‘am still not freed of the shock this one gave me…
huuuwwaa….! 

p.s: On a second thought, I’am not sure if the facts told by this video is 100% agreeable, yet anyway it is 100% enjoyable  🙂


Adieu Ganguly

October 9, 2008

 

For the man who has changed the fate of a nation’s cricketing dreams.
For a leadership that couldn’t be substituted.
For all the long forgotten heroic acts.
For all those proud movements, every Indian relished.

Thank you Sourav Ganguly…the DADA of Indian cricket…!

more


Akashagopuram

August 23, 2008

 

Inspired from the Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen’s famous play, “The master Builder”, Aakshagopuram is a Malayalam movie set in the back drop of London. This one has got a Global nature in almost all its aspects, and it is the first of its kind in Malayalam Cinema. It also features an international release.

Talking about the film, I ‘am not sure, if there have been a better film adaptation to a ‘play’, in the entire Malayalam film history.In fact Malayalam cinema have never cared to adapt from literature, neither Malayalam literature nor any foreign literature…

Albert Samson(Mohanlal), the movie’s protagonist(the master builder), is one of the most powerful characters created in Malayalam cinema over the last few years…As Mohanlal himself said, there is immense number of shades to his character…and his portrayal of the character, is just magical…the subtlety he express in each of his movement…the body language…the way he brings out all those restrained emotions…..all these seems too surreal. Don’t know, if anyone else in Indian cinema could do justice to this character.His involvement with character is simply awesome….he seems to have enjoyed playing every bit of this character…

The movie is completely about this one character- Albert Samson, his rise and fall in his profession, as a human being, his fear of the younger generation, his greed, his love, his desire…

To make a convincing and faithful adaptations to one of the world’s greatest writer’s masterpiece work couldn’t have been that easy. The point is that KP Kumran has done it masterfully. He was completely successful in keeping the essence and depth of the original…The movie is just 1hr 45 min and there is not even a single unnecessary scene.

The technical side of the movie is at such heights, where Malayalam cinema could never reach, up till now. Combining the best technicians from west and east, the movie looks too rich. The technical brilliance of the film just adds to its perfection. All such achievements make sure that finally we can proudly show one of our Malayalam cinema, to the world.Camera and art was done brilliantly. Felt some minor faults with the editing, which however is easily forgettable…

The music is yet another highlight. The veteran Hollywood music composer John Altman (Titanic, Shall we dance…) has done the film’s music. The part music played in creating the mood required for the film is inevitable. Sound design is also done by a biggy, Niegl Holland (Batman Begins, Brave heart…).The films music will surely stay with you…

The film is highly symbolic and there is definitely a lot of things in this small (in length) film…it all depends on how you look at it…like all classics…the film will be rewarding only if you are ready to give it, it’s due respect..

The Reception for this movie in Kerala, is however a sad thing. One of the costliest Malayalam movies is now running in the theatres without much audience. The movie is widely being marked as an art film and many are keeping away from it. I don’t expect such movie to run in packed houses from day 1, but surely it demands more respect.

Kerala is the place which has produced many masterpiece movies in Indian cinema and also many geniuses in the field.But the present condition of Malayalam cinema is pathetic. The quality of the Malayali audience is also degrading.

This movie wouldn’t be a box office success. But true movie lovers should watch this film (with the right inclination). And, for this acting legend-Mohanlal.

As for me, this movie was far beyond my intellect, and hence was a great enlightenment (I would have to watch it many times to understand it more). It made me so happy, mainly because rarely do such things happen in Malayalam cinema.

To make a final verdict, I would like to repeat that, Aakshagopuram is one of the best play (or any literature, for that case) adaptation in Malayalam film history. Try to watch it.

A trailor:


“Vande Mataram”

August 15, 2008
61st independence day

61 years of freedom.
What did she accomplish? What did you and I care to do for her glory?

Here now, let’s remember, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Let us remember Subash Chandra Bose, Chanderashekar Azad and Bhagat Singh, Rani Lakshmi Bhai and Saroojini Naidu, Let us remember Nehru, Lal Behadur Shastri…and many many more such true Indians…

All India lacks now, is one such true hero…

JAI HIND!