Monday, October 27, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Jennifer Lynn Connelly – born: 12th December 1970 – immortal
A cat in whichever movie she acts and amazingly she stays in Catskill Mountains, New York.
I first noticed her only recently when I saw “Requeim For a Dream” on one of the movie channels. How could I not see her before. She has been in this world 6 years more than I have been.
RFD is a tale about the haunting lives of drug addicts and the subsequent process of decadence and destruction and is a must watch for people who loves drugs and its affect on movies. Yes there are people who get a hard on watching girls and boys tripping on drugs.
It was a fixation for me but then I thought there are so many other good (and good looking) actresses. Sharon Stone, Madhuri Dixit, Mallika Sherawat (!!?).. etc. Then one day “Blood Diamond” happened. Leonardo was brilliant but Jennifer Connelly struck me again. She IS good.
Immediately after Blood Diamond, another diamond of a movie came by me – A Beautiful Mind. I almost cried in the movie. Russel Crowe was brilliant as usual but Jennifer Connelly was brilliant too. I found that she is not only a good actress but she also selects great scripts, great directors and great movies. I was hooked.
I started hunting in the world wide web for the names of all the movies she has done till date. First movie I discovered was “Reservation Road”. I was startled. I remember watching this movie. How did I miss her and then I realised I cant remember the storyline. I was relieved. How could I remember Jennifer and the role she played if I cant retrieve anything about the movie?
I bought the DVD – Reservation Road. And watched it again as soon as I got back home. It was 11 PM and a Sunday, which means I had office the next day. Not giving heed to the monday, I watched the movie. As soon as the movie started, I recollected the storyline of the movie. And I could give full attention to Jennifer Connelly. Her emoting skills, Her beauty and everything about her. She was mind blowing. I was addicted to Jennifer Connelly.
Few of the movies where I intend to devour Jennifer Connelly to avoid withdrawal symptoms:
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Some Girls (1988)
The Hot Spot (1990)
The Rocketeer (1991)
Career Opportunities (1991)
Mulholland Falls (1996)
Inventing the Abbotts (1997).
Dark City (1998)
Waking the Dead (2000)
Hope to see you soon with some more writing ...
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Contrary to the reviews, the movie is much better than most of our comedy brigade. If Partner, which was completely trashy, can be a hit, I wonder why crazzy 4 cant be a hit.
It has the best of actors in Irrfan Khan, Rajpal Yadav and Arshad Warsi. Acting was consistent and could beautifully carry the characters without deviation. Humour was not overflowing, stupid and unrealistic. The movie is based on 4 characters and so the humour was because of the nature, attitude and personality of the characters. Situational, genuine and of course very funny.
The movie is definitely worth a watch.
What really caught my attention in the movie is a clear strategy of Mr. Rakesh Roshan trying to introduce this whole concept of crazzy 4 as a brand. He has tried to create brands like 'Fantastic Four', Famous Five, 'James Bond'.
I am really surprised that none of the movie reviews have noticed or written about the same.
I wonder if the strategy would work but he did a good job. Firstly, he along with his director, Jaideep Sen etched the four character with utmost precision and clarity.
Character 1 - Gangadhar (played by Rajpal Yadav) is a Gandhian whose mind is stuck in a time warp. He thinks that the country is still a British colony and we must fight for its freedom. Character 2 - Dr. Chowdhury (played by Irrfan Khan) is an eccentric with an obsessive compulsive urge to keep everything clean and proper. He has the urge to think that he is the captain of the team and be the messiah to keep the society clean and better. Character 3 - Raja (played by Arshad Warsi) is a character suffering from perpetual and spontaneous anger, who cannot control his anger in support of the world view that he has. Character 4 - Dabboo (played by Suresh Menon) is a character who has suffered trauma in the past and is unable to talk and is perpetually scared of the world.
Secondly, the director has shown an emotional bonding between the 4 characters. Even though the characters are not in proper mental state, they understand each other. To top it all, the director has brought in the character of Dr. Sonali who is the Godmother for the crazzy 4. They would do anything for her and also listen to her without question out of respect and love. This makes a team and perfect for branding and making a series of movies on the team.
Thirdly, the movie has a lot of scenes that tries to preach morals and good principles. It is typical for a movie brand to preach high morals without being boring and by being acceptable to the society at large. It is also important that the brand takes relevant issues into consideration. For instance, it preaches patriotism. In one of the scenes, the movie screen-play makes everyone in the scene stand up and respect our national anthem. The scene is so entwined with the story that it is hardly preachy and boring. It also brushes through the issue of keeping our cities clean through the character of Dr. Chowdhury.
Lastly, the movie has a song after the end of the story which clearly tries to put forth 'Crazzy4' as a brand. Hrithik Roshan introduces Crazzy 4 with his excellent dance. The lyrics of the song is cleverly crafted to introduce Crazzy4 as a brand that is truthful, honest, daring and would fight for the good.
Break free gotta get some chhutti... Tod do zanjeeron ko…Break free get ready kyon ki…Aa rahe hain krazzy4; They may be nuts… but they’ve got guts... Woh hai paagal deewane; And they don’t care… if people stare…Laga dein sabko thikane…; They’ll make you drool… they ain’t no fool…Chant hain wo mastane…And if that’s mad… its just too bad…Sach hai ye solah aane; So if you wanna… yeah… yeah…Dil hai deewana… yeah… yeah…1 and 2 and 3 and 4…Swing it with me doston…. Break free gotta get some chhutti... Tod do zanjeeron ko…Break free get ready kyon ki…Aa rahe hain krazzy 4…
Great Song. And I hope it does its purpose. All the best, Mr. Roshan.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
She is not an Indian by birthplace. Her mom is a caucasian. Her dad is a Britisher, who was a Kashmiri. She can hardly speak Hindi or for that matter any other Indian language. Not so sure about Kashmiri. But my guess would be that she cannot manage Kashmiri either.
Above all that, she cant even act too well.. ya, she is improving every movie.. thats what every other movie critique says.
Everything notwithstanding, the fact is that she is popular and getting more popular day by day.
I hate the kind of movies she is making. All of them are too commercial and therefore nonsense and non art. But I watched 4 of them. I even went racing against time to watch RACE.
Let me tell you that it is not at all easy to find a way into my crazily choosy, expert in flaw finding, 'devil is in the detail' mindset.
What is Katrina that others aren't?
Firstly, irrespective of her origin and her language capabilities, she looks extremely Indian. She has that shy, innocent look that a stereotyped Indian woman is expected to have. Indian men prefers that look. Indian women does not envy that look that much. Even in a western outfit, she looks Indian enough to carry off a bindi along with the dress. Indian men prefers that. Indian women takes it in awe.
Secondly, she seems to have the tendency to put on weight - very familiar to the Indian male as he would expect the same in a stereotyped Indian housewife. Indian women feels part of the same phenomenon.
When she was a model in UK, she was skiny and as fate would have it, she put on weight by the time she became popular on the big screen. That probably surely is clicking.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I have never doubted the utility of meetings. It is an essential platform for all the depending parties to a particular conclusion to come together and take a responsible conclusion.
The question is if we need a means to make the process of a meeting fool-proof. Foolproof from the
- herd mentality that at times creep into a meeting
- strong personality swinging the meeting to his/her favour
- super boss with a tendency to impose viewpoints
- lack of interest that a few participating parties may have towards the point of discussion
- and other such negative dynamics
From my experience, I think that we should take two meetings at least to arrive at a strategic decision.
Some might argue that there are always more than one meeting to arrive at a conclusion. They are right. However, I am not referring to meetings that conclude a process to execute a particular conclusion. I am referring to meetings that conclude a objective decision - Yes or No to a hypothesis. I am referring to meetings which give direction to a project, company or a brand. Usually such conclusions are taken in one meeting and the implementation of that conclusion takes many meetings.
My contention is that we should have at least two meetings to conclude on core strategic direction.
The first meeting should be
- a discussion on the brief and problem at hand
- followed by free brainstorming of ideas without any restriction
- without any intention to conclude
- moderated to avoid any imposing-one dimensional behaviour
The second meeting should
- have presentations of viewpoints by each participating party in a structured manner
- not permit any interuption during the presentations. Only questions for clarity by the audience should be allowed
- have an incentive structured to acknowledge the best presentation arrived at through blind voting
- Once all presentations are presented with, the meeting should analyse the pros/cons, scope and scale of the problem at hand and solutions suggested by each presentation.
- Hence arriving at a conclusion with a much better grip on the problem at hand and repercussions of solutions suggested.
This kind of a process would prevent hasty decisions, emotional decisions, short-sighted decisions and give rise to pragmatic decisions with a good view of the future impact of the decisions.
Above all, this process should breed intellectual thinking in the organisation and improve confidence of the employees behind all major decisions.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
It is not only some irrational emotion about my love for 'Air Deccan' but it is also my education that taught me brand marketing communication. In the case of Deccan I see brand marketing tragedy. I see short-sightedness and at the same time high-handedness.
Why would someone change the very established 'low cost', 'quintessentially rural' Deccan yellow-blue branding to the 'rich', 'quintessentially urban' Kingfisher red; unless the reds want to prove a point that they have deeper pockets. And can do anything.
Why would someone change the color, the website, the boarding passes, the uniforms, the badges, the nameplates and all corporate stationery but the NAME; unless the reds want to simply prove a point that they are in control. And the masses need to know that.
Why would someone serve Kingfisher mineral water in a Deccan flight, when the press release after the merger implied that Air Deccan would be treated as a separate brand addressing the low cost segment; unless the reds are managed by shortsighted managers and high-handed supremos always proving a point.
How do I tolerate such branding? How do I tolerate the demise of a great brand - Air Deccan for no fault of the brand?
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Try talking to a software programmer of 10 years experience about abstract illogical creative thinking. He can hardly appreciate the same. For him, it sincerely appears to be utter bullshit.
Observe a creative copy writer or art director of 10 years experience in terms of his/her forgetfulness, casual undisciplined behaviour and attention span. He or she is generally absent minded, hates following rules and constantly seeks for newer things and these traits keep getting more and more prominent with experience. Unlike the programmer he would never get kicks out of logical thinking and outcome.
I have seen people who does defined operation work organised into an everyday process flowchart, becoming flustered and UN-easy when they are told to think for themselves and innovate. They are attuned to follow a particular schedule without any mistake, day in and day out. And they are good at it.
Talk to a sales guy of repute and experience. He would have the flair or habit of saying things to convince of his ideas to his/her friends. He increasing tends to stay in his selling mode even when he is not selling. More often he would blurt out things that are beneficially in the immediate short run, but may have adverse repercussions in the future.
I am not sure if I am completely correct in my analysis but one thing I would like to theorise is that every profession needs certain traits in the professional and those traits keep developing in an one track dimension, slowly killing certain other supposedly non critical traits in that professional. This leads to specialised lifestyles and reduce diverse thinking. It is getting more and more acute in today's highly knowledge oriented society and in cities like Mumbai where there is no time for anything else but your profession. It brings monotony and boredom.
This thought was like lightning to me because I for myself do not want to get straight-jacketed. My philosophy is to stay 'jack of all trades'; mastering one or two of them. Till now I have managed to do that. I have been growing myself into diverse but related functions. Advertising, Marketing, Online Marketing and now technology enabled marketing. But now what. I cant keep going to newer functions. I need to choose one or two of the above to be the constant in terms of my profession. If I do that, how do I maintain diversity?
The answer was immediate. I need to play more sports, read more books and go for more adventure trips. It may not be possible to maintain diversity in your profession but involving yourself in other extra-curricular activities would always give your mind the broad spectrum to develop and flourish.
I dread to imagine the days when motor engines were not invented. Every motor existed were rotated by horses and bullocks. (and humans !!)
Thanks to the great Gottlieb Daimler and Rudolf Diesel that today I see the plight of the helpless bullocks only on special ocassion.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
We saw women being molested by public for two successive years.
Media is full-on condemning the same and raising the consciousness that it is a heinous act and an extremely a bad thing to do. Women activist writing newspaper columns titled "Protect our Women", "Self defense is needed...", "Enhance policing system..." etc. Good thing. Will surely act positively to the society.
What is worrying is that I don't see any point of view on what is the root cause of such an act?
Are we saying that the molesters do not know that molesting is immoral? Impossible. Every sane human being knows that molestation is immoral.
I have two questions or you may say theories that try to explain these kinds of behaviour.
Is the female of our species over-exposing?
In both the incidents (2007 & 2008), the girls molested were not dressed appropriately. It is commonplace to see girls and not boys wearing sleeveless and short skirts (half pants for boys) to a party and more dangerously to places where there are chances of misbehaviour.
Firstly, this brings the point of taking care of oneself. I know that there is a chance of my purse being pick pocketed in a train. Even then if I am keep my purse very easy to be pick pocketed, then I am myself to be blamed. I need to keep my purse concealed and take care of the same.
Secondly, why do women expose? I refuse to believe that they are showcasing beauty. One can look beautiful in a saree. The fact is that women expose to look sexy. Perhaps they like being sexy or it is cool to be sexy. Whatever be the reason women have, we need to look at how the opposite sex is accepting this behaviour. We cant forget that human beings are sexual. A sexy look will give rise to sexual feelings.
Education (moral science classes in schools), social institutions like marriage, need to belong to a society and the wish to be considered a good citizen by the society tells us about not being sexual in public. They make us believe that a scantily clad woman is just to be admired (or have sex in your dreams !!). Somehow it does not tell the women folk to wear proper concealing clothes.
I am not against exposing. I don't subscribe to Burkha culture. But somehow exposing is incomplete in today's world of conventions favourable to women. Men cant reciprocate.
This leads to my second question (or theory).
Is the male of our species deprived of sex?
If you look at animal species (I know that they are not educated and so should not be compared with humans) the female of the species act sexually (kind of expose) during mating season and so they mate. It completes the cause and effect relationship.
In our society especially in Mumbai (as I have been staying in Mumbai for some time), we see tight dressing being accepted even for a 15 year old, figure hugging tops being the fashion, clever cleavage being the norm in parties. Dance bars until recently were the pride of Mumbai (and the must visit place for men tourist - unmarried or without wife). Prostitution is so open, rampant and inviting. But we know we should not indulge, as it is forbidden.
Do we ever give a thought what kind of effect all these sexual act of the female species have on the male psyche? More so, when it is a well etched mindset not to give in to these acts of the female species. Its like you make him thirsty and tell him that drinking water is not considered good.
The effect is nothing drastic like having an instant erection. It is very slow that we hardly notice.
This is a huge topic of discussion about the causes, effects and intent of women exposing, about why sex is not a taboo in western societies, about why prostitution is legal in some societies, about why divorces are being accepted more and more in our societies... I wont go in detail on what I think about all these societal phenomena.
I would just conclude that these rare instances have some relation to women exposing to look sexy and men not being given a chance to reciprocate to the same. In a mob, in a drunken mob, in an excited mob, sometimes the frustrations show up instinctively.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Only the railways can ensure the loading and unloading of the bike in the right stations. No private person can have any say on that. The private guys are only present for the 'gift-wrapping' of your bike. And the conventional rate is Rs. 100 for the same, wherein they should ensure that all the breakable parts of the bike are wrapped with shock absorbing materials (mainly paper!!). They should use card board paper to cover the engine and seat and use layers of normal paper to cover the lights. (I wish I had a photograph of my packed bike)