Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Taare Zameen Par - Definitely Watchable

Last night I watched Aamir Khan’s directorial debut “Taare Zameen Par”, and I can’t stop gushing about it. Easily, it is one of the best movies made in recent times. And kudos to Aamir for letting the kid walk away with all the credit, and underplaying his superstar status very carefully. It takes a lit of humility to rise beyond one’s superstardom and let someone else shine in the spotlight, and Aamir, through TZP, has done just that.

TZP is a very sensitively made movie that highlights the plight of kids who are constantly under pressure to achieve their parents’ ambitions. Darsheel Safary, the kid who essays the role of the dyslexic Ishan, is truly a revelation, and is easily, as Aamir Khan himself claimed, one of the best actors to have graced Bollywood. A lot of reviewers have, while appreciating the overall effort, tried to find faults in Aamir’s direction and editing. The flipbook, which has been repeatedly used in the movie to great effect, has been criticized by some reviewers as being too blatant and overused. However, I personally feel that Aamir has used it perfectly since it illustrates Ishan’s feelings of being separated from his family beautifully, while also highlighting his innate artistic creativity. It almost seems like reviewers want to find faults in a movie just for the heck of it, and to justify their position as “Film Critics”.

Some have also criticized the fairy tale ending where Ishan overcomes his problem with learning alphabets and becomes the darling of the school. However, I feel that, within the constraints of mainstream Bollywood, any ending other than a happy one, would have failed to deliver the message that Aamir was trying to convey; that Dyslexia is curable, with a little bit of patience and a lot of love. Tisca Chopra as Ishan’s mother also deserves a mention for her realistic portrayal of a mother caught between her love for her child and the expectations of a demanding society. All in all, TZP is definitely a movie that is worth watching, and more.

Digressing slightly from TZP, and speaking of Aamir, the movie reinforces my opinion of Aamir as one of the best actors in Bollywood. His command over the medium is truly fantastic, and he has proved time and again that he is a thinking man’s actor, and now, director. Aamir makes movies that make you sit up and think, and if any Indian actor has a serious chance of winning the Oscar, it has to be Aamir. Interestingly though, the tag of King Khan still rests with SRK despite Aamir’s fantastic track record.

Again, personally, I feel Aamir’s movies move you and get you thinking, while Shah Rukh plays to your emotions. Since they come from such different schools of filmmaking, comparing the two and deciding which one is better is unfair to both of them. Aamir is definitely the better actor, while SRK is the better entertainer. And in a country where people have enough problems of their own, an SRK movie that simply entertains them and lets them leave their realities behind will obviously be a bigger draw at the box office. To put the comparison in perspective, Aamir Khan’s forte is his ability to be real, while SRK captures your imagination and lets u dream.

And in a purely commercial sense, dreams are more attractive than reality.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Life and Times of Leon

It has been a while since I visited this place, and this blog is close to becoming defunct, just like several of my previous blogs. But I am determined not to let my readers down. Yes, the 3 of you who have kept faith in my blog, and continue to visit this site despite my inactivity.

Since I have nothing really to write about, let me just post an update on the way my life has shaped up since my last post. On the professional front, it has been close to 4 months since I moved to Singapore in a sales role with my company. In these 4 months, I have contributed zilch to the company’s top line, and have really nothing to feel proud about. But I am told this is the norm, and so I continue to motivate myself everyday at work, hoping that good things will happen to those who wait. I have waited 4 months, and it’s about time that some good things start to happen.

On the personal front, however, there is something to smile about. Junior is due in a month’s time, and I am both excited and tense at the same time. That apart, however, living alone is not too much fun. Unlike the old days, this pseudo-bachelorhood comes with only the cons, if you know what I mean. Add to that the fact that Singapore is not a very interesting place, after the first couple of months when you have seen almost everything that there is to see in this small city/country, and whatever else is left is not worth seeing unless you are a willing bachelor. And of course, you can’t drive here since cars are simply unaffordable. Especially if you work for an Indian IT company in a sales role sans the bonus.

In short, life after ISB has been chugging along really slowly, and my career has been posing me a few questions. I have decided to adopt a wait-and-watch approach for now, but it is only a matter of time till my patience runs out, and desperation sets in. Hopefully, as the saying goes, every dog has its day, and this dog is really hungry right now.
Will someone toss me a bone please?

Before I sign off, a hearty congrats to Maverick, one my 3 loyal audience, for making it to the hallowed campus of IIMA. You rock man!