Mister Christopher Nolan,

The way I see it, The Dark Knight Rises or TDKR as people around call it (it took me a week to know what TDKR meant) is certainly not meant for people who believe, life is much more realistic than what they see through your movies. Its harder, especially when this comes at the back of two other non nonsensical movies – one in which people are getting into extra terrestrial space to find out the roots of their existence and the second, in which a boy who should be ideally thinking of passing out of college tries to level all evilness in his city by flying all over like a zombie – a third one with an imaginary superhero trying to save an imaginary city from an imaginary terrorist would be too hard to digest. 
But then, what makes it impossibly astounding to believe, is how so many people got hooked onto the comic book character, which I believe has to be the inspiration behind Batman, the movie. Because when we grew up/ were growing up, life had much more to ask from us than all the funny comic characters that were being dished out on television. Maybe they all are aware of your ability to make contorted reality into believable stuff. Or maybe, they all are twisted enough to believe your stories to be indeed sensible. Anyhow, my reservations against this should not matter to you since there are a lot of imaginary human beings with some deal of imaginary commonsense paying what seems to be insanely huge money to see your movies and then get orgasmic about it. So you are good, anyway. OK, thanks. Bye.    

Yours Sincerely,

Into the Wild (2007)

The real life story of an American hitchhiker, Christopher John McCandless brought onto the silver screen by Sean Penn. A guy who gives up everything and everyone in life to live for self, in a land devoid of fellow human habitation.

And just when I thought this was a one-off thing – of people going off on a trail to live life in the wild, I was wrong again. This came a surprise when I read the prelude, before I got into watching the movie. And 2 hours and some well needed wisdom later, I think I have the answers for the phenomenon. This could be seen as the western adaptation of Sanyasa. Though not an alien concept to India, the movie is still an eye opener for it makes you think deep and delve into the intricacies of our existence. Indeed a very good watch. And I hear the book is equally good too, though the lack of quality time to be devoted to reading makes me take the shortcut.  [4/5]

Happiness is never real, unless shared 

Christopher John McCandless   

You might also want to read about these people too:

  1. Carl McCunn (1946 – 1981) was an American wildlife photographer who became stranded in the Alaskan wilderness and eventually committed suicide when he ran out of supplies.
  2. Everett Ruess (March 28, 1914 – 1934?) was a young artist, poet and writer who explored nature including the High Sierra, California Coast and the deserts of the American southwest, invariably alone. His fate while traveling though a remote area of Utah has been a mystery for many years.
  3. Richard Louis “Dick” Proenneke (May 4, 1916–April 20, 2003) was a naturalist who lived alone in the high mountains of Alaska at a place called Twin Lakes. Living in a log cabin he constructed by hand, Proenneke made valuable recordings of both meteorological and natural data.

The Santhosh Pandit Effect

If you thought that I meant to put in a kind of a comparative analysis to the very well known Raman effect, I believe I caught you wrong fair and square.

Santhosh Pandit, for those who don’t know of him as yet, is the man who brought the malayalam cinema industry to the cleaners recently, when his movie ‘Krishnanum Radhayum’ , an absolute shit of a movie got a rousing opening at the cinemas and was declared a super hit at the box office. It was a movie made of a shoe string budget of INR 5 lakhs with a 105 strong cast. Santhosh himself handled 18 departments in the making of his movie including story, screenplay, dialogues, direction, production and cinematography. The most stunning aspect of this man however, was his brilliant marketing strategy which I think could be a subject for the management students and gurus to ponder upon. Under this strategy, he played some sort of a reverse psychology on the malayali audience. In order to do this, he released an album which largely included the songs from the movie and it got viral on YouTube in no time.

It got viral not because it was too good to be one, but that it was nothing short of being called a pathetic attempt to make a song. I mean, there was no striking aspect, but a sheer sense of pain and anguish for the viewer on seeing his gimmicks on display. So much so that those videos brought about a sharp negative response from the viewers as was evident from the comments on the video thread, which I am unable to share with you primarily for this being a family place. More and more people got to watch his clips on YouTube just to have a good laugh and fill up the existing and ever-so-active comment thread with rather ornamental expletives. But then, his marketing strategy was realized since he had achieved his target of generating traffic onto his albums on YouTube. Interestingly enough, he is the second most searched keyword on Google after ‘Facebook’ (Google Trends, November 1 2011), an obvious consequence of the impact that he created.
And then at the right moment, he clawed onto the malayali audience like how the tiger does to its prey, when he announced that his movie was awaiting release and that it would hit the theatres anytime soon. The already enraged audience wanted to see how much worse his movie would fare, since everyone was aware of the man and his capabilities by now. And thus spake, the story of this man who released his movie and people barged into the theatres just to come out with more and more ornamental expletives. But then, he had achieved what I personally thought was next to impossible. And that was to make the otherwise choosy and miserly malayali to spend his 50 bucks on a movie which has to go down as one of the worst ever attempts to make a movie in the history of all cinema and transform it onto one which opened to full houses and collected almost 10 times the production cost within the opening week.
And it doesn’t end there. Today, he is all over the news – openly challenging all the movie makers to replicate his success model, which he is sure will not be achievable – primarily because of the financial aspects prevailing into making a “normal” movie. And thus Malayalam cinema, which was until not-so-long-ago, one of the best industries of cinema in India in terms of good subjects, good performers and refreshing themes is being dictated by a man who probably has to go down as one among the worst in its very history. Personally as one of the greatest admirers of the movies that are made in this part of the world, its sad to see what kind of movies get released into the theatres these days. On a positive note for Santhosh Pandit, he could only be looked upon as a warning for the impending state of affairs for malayalam cinema, if things are not put to order soon enough.

City of God (2011)

Mafia and Kochi have an instant connect with the average malayali. And so is the life of the migrant tamizhan in Kerala. And when you have a colossal movie of the same name set in Rio de Janeiro, you just got to get your act together. And City of God doesn’t disappoint you. Prithviraj is a serious contender for being numer uno and he proves it yet again. Notwithstanding the raw theme, I love almost everything about this movie – even the villain. Cocktail, Chaappa Kurish and this one down, the newly found experimental mode of movie making in malayalam cinema is on the rise.

The Weight of Chains

Yesterday I saw The Weight of Chains – a brutally honest documentary tale of the ethnic cleansing in the erstwhile Yugoslavia tied amidst the vested interests of the western world and its after effects on the region. It may have been just the Balkan perspective which was projected, but nevertheless opened my eyes into never forayed depths of the role of America and Germany in their quest for world dominance. Also accounted for were the lives of the ever-so-greedy Franjo and the people’s man Slobo who finally left them high and dry in almost unavoidable circumstances and their predecessors. Highly Recommended!