So last friday, mom calls me from office and says “Wanna go see Avatar?”

“Sure”, I say, “if we can get a ticket!”

So, we got the ticket and off we went.


3 hours and 30 minutes later, we emerged from the movie theater. Post the smiles on peoples’ faces, post the applause that the movie got that the end and post the “I like it” conversations we overheard, I began to wonder why the movie resonated so well with people.

Perhaps it did so because it spoke to their very cores. Perhaps even though the movie is set in some distant future on some distant planet and the main characters are some alien beings, the movie has an ethos which is purely ‘human’.

And yes, the movie has a few ‘moral’ lessons to offer all of us as well:

1. Even if you don’t understand a culture or even if a culture is different from yours, that doesn’t mean that it is bad.

2. Even if you have bows and arrows and are fighting guns and helicopters, you can still win a fight if you have strong, good, right motives and if you have an even interesting battle strategy.

3. Living in tune with Nature is the best way to live. Killing trees and plants is bad. Especially if you are doing that to get some random mineral.

So Avatar really rocks! But what rocks more is the metaphor packaged into the story of the movie.

The story of the movie may not be so much of a big deal – the plot is nothing new. What is new is its execution. We can really see where James Cameron spent all the $500 million. And we fall in love with it right away!


The blue skinned, 10 feet tall Na’vi are a wonderful people living in harmony with their surroundings. And what beautiful surroundings they are! Lush forests teeming with flora and fauna of indescribable beauty! All the fluorescent colors of the rainbow abound in the Na’vi forest.

As far as world building goes, James Cameron has set up a unique standard. Here is a world where the air is poisonous for human beings. But this is the fresh air that the Na’vi breathe. And while human beings consider themselves to be the ‘kings of the world universe’, these Na’vi people have bones made out of reinforced carbon. Did I mention that they are about 10 feet tall?

And yes, they have a tribal, clannish culture. Where every young man / woman has to undergo certain trials in order to become one of their clan.


And the choices that the women make are respected by the men: when Ney’tiri mates with Jake’s avatar, her ‘intended’ mate Tsu’tey expresses his discontent but doesn’t hurt / harm her. He inevitably accepts her decision. In fact, so do her parents. Hmm… interesting.

And most of all, they are all connected with each other via a very interesting network – the trees, the animals, the people – all of them.

The movie is essentially a metaphor that criticizes the choices made by human beings – the choice to destroy a civilization in order to plunder the natural resource on top of which they live. The choice to send in an army to kill people of a world and to steal something from them simply because we want it. And most of all, the choice to destroy a civilization to support ours.

Even the name of the planet ‘Pandora’ struck me as meaningful – in Greek myth, Pandora was the first woman and each God helped to create her, endowing her with some unique gifts. And apparently, it was she, who out of curiosity opened up a box that released all the evils of mankind.

So it wasn’t a surprise that in this movie, the planet Pandora was the place the human beings attacked because it held a great treasure – but once they attacked the guardians of that treasure, they ended up scattering all sorts of bad things into the air – eventually leading to their own defeat.

Even the name of the substance they hope to mine on Pandora is interesting: Unobtainium – pretty much meaning something that cannot be obtained. Although the metal sells for “20 million a kilo” – it has not been specified what the metal does. And it for the purposes of the plot, perhaps it is not so necessary to explain that right now. Perhaps if the great J.C. (James Cameron) decides to make a sequel, maybe, just maybe, explaining that might become necessary. Who knows?

Cut to the present scenario here in the USA – the economy is not doing so well. To quote a friend of mine, “the background music called ‘Recession’ is not ending anytime soon”. And then to top things off, there are American troops in places and countries where they pretty much have no business being. Sentiments are hurt, emotions run high. People here are going hungry, while millions of dollars are beings spent on a war effort whose tactical and practical outcomes are not understood by many among us – and even if they are, people are now asking “Is it worth it?”, “Can we not achieve this simply by asking nicely?”, “Do hundreds of innocent people have to die for this?”.

So, why do I think that Avatar will become a hit? Well, simply because in this kind of an environment, it creates hope and stirs the heart. The story with its universal themes of good vs evil, love vs hate, harmony vs war does strike a chord within the audiences. And yes, it helps that the entire movie is like a vision of other-worldliness which is fascinating, tantalizing and seductive.

The Accidental Husband

accidental husband 2 Soon-to-be-married love psychiatrist Uma Thurman doles out serious ‘REAL Love’ advice on a radio talk show. One of her loyal fans calls in, takes her advice and decides to call off her wedding to the fireman-who-looks-a-lot-like-George-Clooney. So when the young man from the Indian family he lives with decides to help him out by hacking into the City Marriage Council’s computers and gets them married instead, this fellow just plays along. He wants revenge. What none of them expected was – come on guys….of course, they fall in love!!!

accidentalhusband The plot may be predictable – but the laughs are not! This one is too good not to miss – especially with the sudden Tamil background songs!

Colin Firth as the man Uma Thurman was actually planning on marrying before she meets George-Clooney-lookalike did a fantastic job as usual.

I loved the movie! Go watch it! Just for a load of laughs and for a whole lotta fun! And don’t forget the popcorn!


P.S. I think he is way too cuter than George Clooney! And I just did a Google search, his name is: Jeffrey Dean Morgan!!

Getting Back on Track

Somehow, getting back on track after an illness can often be as frustrating as the being ill…

It is very funny – during the illness, I spent my time trying to work – slowly and little by little and I did complete most of my assignments anyways…So I was quite a good girl.

And so, I decided that having started to feel a bit better, I should take the day off! Well, it wasn’t meant to be so much of a day off, but more of a day out of the house.

hello A friend and I went off to the movies and watched ‘Hello’ – the new movie based on the book ‘One Night @ The Call Center’ by Chetan Bhagat. Regular readers of my blog (!!) may find this post relevant. In any case, I did quite like the book (and the others by Chetan Bhagat) – he is quite an easy read. I think as a writer, that is very important. And having worked in a call center myself, I could relate to the story and the characters quite a bit – especially Vroom…

hello2 So, the movie is pretty much in line with the storyline of the book – except perhaps some parts where they had to do the ‘movie’ bit about it. Considering that Sallu bhai plays the writer, it was probably necessary to give him a song and dance routine in the beginning!! Katrina wasn’t that bad either – she had such a small role! Perhaps, that’s why!! And the other stars were simply superb too – Sharman Joshi as Shyam, Gul Panag as Priyanka, Sohail Khan as Vroom and Isha Kopikar as Eesha did marvelous jobs. The woman who played the role of the married woman who discovers her husband is cheating on her (Oops! I forgot her name, and her character’s name!) was tepid at best – neither did she do a bad job, nor did she do such a convincing job of her role either! Ah! Well!The guy who played Military Uncle was also not-good-not-bad either!

So then as I came out of the movies, I went through the missed calls. The long and short of it is that today I purchased something that I have been wanting to buy for quite some time now – the Table Mate II….

table mate

Looks good – right!

Well it is something else to actually get it assembled – but I managed it somehow.

And now, I can be quite comfortable while I sit on my work cushions and type out my stuff.

You see, sitting with the laptop on the lap is not quite a feasible option because the thing tends to heat up real bad – some people I know have actually told me that they got burnt and shit!

tablemateaction So I went out and got myself this thing!

I just slide it under the cushions and adjust the things to the required height and lo presto – my laptop stand is up and running with me sitting quite comfortably on it. Now I don’t need to shift to the ground or do all kinds of weird acrobatics to get my work done….plus it saves me a LOT of pain in my arms from having to  type at the most uncomfortable angles on the planet. This thingamajig allows me the comfort of having the pleasure of sitting and typing as if my laptop were on my lap without actually having it ON my lap!

Ok! I think I am starting to sound like a sales pitch here!

It is getting a little late in the night – gotta log off and get some shut-eye!

Good nighty folks!

Cheer up! It’s not the end of the world, you know!

Marigold :: Transformers

So here I was, yesterday, getting totally bored out of my skull. So I decided to go for a movie or two.

Called the cinema, looked in the newspaper. Went there.

First movie I saw was Marigold. This movie has Salman Khan with a nice looking American Actress (she is called Marigold in the movie) and I don’t know her real name, but she is very beautiful. The movie is good, and entertaining. A sort of west bumps into east and falls in love, spiced with all kinds of complicated relationship things blowing apart and then getting pieced together at the end where the hero and heroine get married (of course!).

Did you people forget that although the people in the movie speak in English, it is a typical Hindi movie?

Well the last sentence about sums it up.

Not bad. Really. I am a sucker for light and romantic. I even cried a bit when the heartbreak scenes happened. (Trust me, it doesn’t take me much to cry in a movie!)

I liked it. Because compared to the next movie, this one came up all stars. Hee Hee Hee Hee

Here is my opinion about ‘Transformers’. Don’t waste your money.

I know, I know.

I loooooove Steven Spielberg.

But somehow, this movie was not upto his mark even. Felt as if someone ghosted it in his name or something. OR now that S.S. has his place in Hollywood he is making those movies he dreamt of making as a teenager. OR he had a long talk with M. Night Shyamalan and decided to go as crazy as him after Lady in the Water.

As I sat through the movie, I felt that I had been much better entertained with the Power Rangers movie!

So in this movie, we have this entire civilization of machine-based life forms who are looking for the ‘Cube’ which is the ‘AllSpark’ [yeah right!] which has somehow landed on Earth and has been found by this teenage dude’s grandpa who went to the arctic circle in a ship ages ago. And so on and on….and these machines can transform themselves into cars and back into these huge machine like things you keep seeing frequently on the Animax channel.

Where did all the originality go?

I also happened to pick up the book “Laptop of the Gods” at the bookstore whilst at the mall. Let’s hope I did something right that day! Will post about it when I finish the book….

Later then….

Cheeni Kum – Sweet!

A 64 year old man and a 34 year old woman (whose father is 6 years younger than this man) – meet, fall in love amid the hustle bustle of their individual lives, and want to marry each other.

All this amid the crackling dialogues, the sizzling chemistry and the amazingly touching plot….makes for an extremely entertaining evening.

Cheeni Kum shows Amitabh playing a chef-cum-owner at an Indian Restaurant in London where he cooks and talks people down as there was nothing to it. Then, he has this mother who sits at home watching ‘Sex and the City’ and getting on his case to go to the gym. This role played by the evergreen Zohra Sehgal was amazing. Then we have Amitabh connecting to the little 7 year old girl next door, who has blood cancer and who, surprisingly, dishes out healthy doses of advice and optimism. She is the best part of the movie, really. Of course, one should not forget the character played by Tabu – she is the one who gets the guy – she is the one who gives him tit for tat. You cannot even doubt or wonder how these two connect – they just do and so the age difference does not seem to be something important. Enter Paresh Rawal’s character that plays Tabu’s father. A Gandhian who simply can’t do without his early morning walk and his chicken for dinner – a completely hilarious combination, if you ask me.

All in all, Cheeni Kum is a sugar-free comedy that makes you laugh and cry and doesn’t make you feel sorry that you went for the movie after all.

That being said, one should not ignore the fact that the movie is choc-full of endorsements for insurance and Sugar-Free tablets.

The fact that the writer and director comes from the advertising field (especially copywriting as well) can be seen in each and every scene and dialogue.

The whole effect is marvelous. This is a movie you can buy the VCD/DVD for, and watch it over and over again, just to laugh a while at the reality of life.

I give it 4 outta five. Really!

Spiderman 3 : Kids in Cinema Theatres : Ek Chalis Ki Last Local

This is a post which has 3 posts in one – you may call it a 3-in-1 post!

Happened to watch Spiderman 3 yesterday with the boyfriend; got pestered by the kids in the seats above us; and watched Ek Chalis Ki Last Local thereafter.

Overall an enjoyable experience for the first and last, the middle one is a rant. Read on…

Spiderman 3

Loved the movie! That’s probably the best way that I can sum it up in one sentence. Great effects! Great Spidey!

Loved the new villains – Sandman and Venom.

The movie also took the sub-plot of Peter Parker and his girl MJ to the next level. And it also moved along the plot of Peter Parker and his job with the Daily Bugle. Nice work. Kept the flow going from the previous parts.

Of course, we have an addendum to the murder of Uncle Ben with a new character thrown in. HUH! Anyways, he becomes the Sandman when he falls into a pit of sand and gets electric whatevers because the pit is a part of a scientific experiment.

To sum up what I felt about this twist, I can quote from Spidey : “Where do all these guys come from?”

Answer: The same place / way that you came from!

Spidey gets some black glob from outer space on to his suit which alters his personality. Now we have Peter Parker doing a John Travolta-like dance while walking on the streets and a bit of his hair on his face. Nice! Kinda like a new personality of his emerges.

However, I did not like that part where Harry dies. I mean, why does the bad-guy-turned-good-guy have to always die? Typical plot twist, that!

And then we have MJ getting kicked out of her role from the Broadway play, and then Peter not understanding her while wanting to propose to her, and then MJ breaking up with Peter and then finally getting back together with him at the end of the movie. Nyah! That’s typical too! I want MJ to behave more rationally!

What I liked in the movie is the way the effects were so well done, and how they took the story from the previous movies and pulled it on forward. That was well done! So I give the movie four stars outta five.

Also another thing I did not like during the movie was …

Kids in Cinema Theatres

When we have a movie like Spiderman, it is expected that kids will storm up the cinema theatre. It is therefore the job of the parents to keep them quiet during the show.

While we were watching Spidey, the bunch of kids in the row above couldn’t keep still. All was quiet when the action sequences began, but then the wailing and bawling and jumping about took up when the non-action sequences were going on. Meanwhile we have parents running after the kids and stuffing their faces with popcorn and chips.

No amount of shushing from the public could quiet them down.

Understandably, kids of a certain age do not comprehend the non-action sequences of such movies. So why do the parents bring them to the cinema theatres?

Honest suggestion to parents: Buy the DVD or the VCD and watch the movie at your home where your kids can forward the scenes that they are not interested in watching. This also means that they can make any amount of noise and thus not disturb other viewers who have come to the cinema theatre to watch the ENTIRE movie.

Also, I would like to suggest that movie theatres can hold special screenings of such movies just for children. This way, adults do not have to face the rousing babble of incoherence that emerges.

Often, I have seen that parents take small babies or tiny tots to movies – other than such movies. These kids are really not interested. If at all, most kids just want to see the action sequences or the songs. As for the rest of the movie – they couldn’t care less. Of course babies are really not interested whatsoever.

So why do parents take these babies to the movies with them? If you don’t have nannies etc to look after the kids – don’t watch the movie. Sometimes you need to make sacrifices for having kids. This is one of them times. Other people may not be interested in hearing the crying and wailing of your loved child. Take the baby to the park or the zoo – why trouble the 50-100 other people in the cinema theatre? Think about it!

Ek Chalis Ki Last Local

Good movie! Great Laughs! Never a dull moment! Keeps you at your seat for the whole of 3 hours. But your butt doesn’t hurt. The plot moves along smoothly and does not get boring. There are some really funny bits in the movie.

Abhay Deol has done a good job. But the boyfriend felt that Ritesh Deshmukh could have essayed the role better.

Neha Dhupia does nothing exceptional. No heartbreaks there. She does play her role though, and that’s it.

I give the movie 3.5 outta 5.

The story begins when our hero misses his last local train to home and seeks a ride back home in a taxi or rickshaw. He encounters Neha Dhupia who seems to be in a similar predicament, and going to the same location as he is. Thus begins their journey where they begin walking towards the next ‘naka’ hoping to find a ride back home. Along the way they encounter several members of the mafia and the police, a murder happens, the hero wins and loses a lot of money gambling – the works.

Overall the movie is good – if you want to watch it only once. Its not one of those ‘lets watch this movie again’ or ‘lets buy the DVD / VCD’ types.

Movie Review Including the Glaring Mistakes in ‘Water’

Just came back from the movie theatre after watching Water, the movie by Deepa Mehta. This movie was banned from being shot in Varanasi, India and was finally shot in Sri Lanka. Hence my interest. Also, the fact that this movie completes Deepa Mehta’s trilogy which included the movies Fire and Earth. I had quite liked both the movies. Probably, that is why I was keen on watching this movie too.

This movie is supposed to be a portrayal of the situation of the widows in pre-independence India. If that is why this movie was banned and all that, then I think that the whole issue was wasted. The movie doesn’t really portray that much. There are better movies than this which show the plight of the widows in India. So if that is the only reason why someone would want to watch the movie, then please don’t waste your time.

Then we come to the glaring mistakes I found. First off, the Swastika symbols depicted throughout the movie were wrong. They were the other way round, quite like Hitler’s Swastika. That is not how a Swastika is drawn. Every Indian / Hindu person knows this since childhood.

Here are a few pics of the correct and the incorrect Swastika symbols:

Correct / Auspicious Swastika:

Incorrect / Inauspicious ‘Sauwastika’:

You can find more information about the Swastika here.

The second big mistake I found was Gandhiji’s age depicted in the one scene that he makes an appearance. In the movie, it is shown the Gandhiji is the newest politician-reformer on the scene and that he has just arrived from South Africa. Well, as far as my knowledge of history goes, he was not a tottering old man like he was shown in the movie. In fact, he ought to have been quite younger than what was shown.

Now let’s talk about the characters. Lisa Ray plays one of the widows who is used by the ashram to earn money via prostitution. Well, when John Abraham’s character wants to marry her and she discovers that his father is one of her clients, and that if she goes back to the widow ashram she will be put back into business, she commits suicide. That, in my definition, makes her quite a cardboard character. After all, she was quite enthusiastic to marry the bugger even though it was not ‘right’ for widows to want to remarry. All that love, and no courage. Especially no faith in the one she loved, who in fact shows up and wants to marry her despite all the hurdles.

And the less said about John Abraham’s and Lisa Ray’s acting, the better. At least, Lisa shows some potential. Given a few more good roles, she might just bloom into a good actress.

Seema Biswas has proved her mettle yet again! She is the only good thing in the movie. And the little one, Chuhiya played by Sarala is endearing and charming till the end.

Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s character surprised me no end! He plays a sadhu of sorts who talks about Dharma or religious laws with Seema Biswas’s character. With all the stuff going around, I actually expected him to want to exploit this woman. He didn’t and that surprised me!

The movie drags on and on and there seems to be no plot besides the failed love story. The cinematography and the locations are quite breathtaking as well.

I suppose with the bad, comes some good! So I will give this movie two and half out of five. That’s fair by my reckoning.