Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol







When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.



   
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All pictures and names concerning Calvin and Hobbes are copyright Bill Watterson


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Monday, February 07, 2005
Real fiction or fictitous reality

tumhe samajh me nahi aaya hoga
wo tumhaare bina jee nahi sakega
kyunki main likh chuka hoon...



Indian film making industry has been making advances by leaps and bounds and Shabd is no exception. Infact, the very different nature of the movie's theme and the fact that it was handled in a decent enough manner speaks volumes of the conviction with which the movie was made. However, the fact of the matter still remains that the audience for which the new age Indian film makers churn out their novel ideas have not really arrived yet. We still look forward to the masala three-songs-four-dances-five-fight-sequences-six-tear-jerking-scenes movie. Entertainment has been so restrained and stereotypical so far that it is pretty difficult to break the mould. Shabd, however, is an honest attempt at that.

Shaukat Vishishtha is a celebrated writer who takes his work very seriously and is almost psychotic about it. He goes into a frenzy when his last book is rejected by the critics and the readers as being too detached from reality and reeking of inexperience. Shaukat takes this to heart and two years after his failure, starts writing another story. This time, he wants his story to be as real as possible and for this, he needs the help of his wife, Antara who loves him unconditionally and with all good faith.

Another character that gets introduced into this reality influenced story (which fast turns into a story influenced reality) is Yash, a professor of photography and a colleague of Antara. Shaukat encourages Antara to let Yash get close to her and let go of her inhibitions as far as her relations with Yash are concerned. Story gets woven into reality and soon enough, the two get so intertwined that it becomes difficult for Shaukat, the writer to control or even appreciate the problems of Shaukat, the husband.

The story and direction by debutante Leena Yadav are good, especially the shooting of sequences where the protagonist of Shaukat's story is shown in black and white. With the cinematography tastefully done (reminded me of Moksha), and the characters flowing with the imagination of the novelist, the sequences are good but one-too-many perhaps for the general audience. Initially, Shaukat's remonstrations with himself and his conversations with his characters seem appealing but as the story progresses, these things turn out to be rather an overkill.

However, the screenplay's pace notwithstanding, some of the dialogues of the movie are worth listening to twice for their sheer poetry, if not for anything else. The songs are on the right side of the average and the music soothing to the ears. The lyrics, like the dialogues, are great but somehow despite all this, the songs fail to capture viewers' attention, probably because of their incorrect positioning in the story line and their not so strong picturisation (apart from the first song shot on Sanjay Dutt and Aishwarya which is mind blowing).

The actors have played their role to the tee...well, all of them except perhaps Zayed Khan. He is wasted in this role or perhaps the role has been wasted on him. A more accomplished actor would certainly have given another dimension to the character and the movie. Sanjay Dutt, despite his gait which always conveys his murderous tendencies, is a class act and impresses with his laugh-cry acting display. Even the character artists (the servants at Sanjay and Aishwarya's house) are good and engage in some lively and well acted out sequences.

And above all...if looks could kill, there would have been corpses-a-plenty at the cimena theatres...and all this just because of Aishwarya Rai. The lady really kills with her beauty, style, and grace in this movie, especially in the black and white sequences (reminds you a lot of the Nakshatra Ad campaign) where she just fills up the entire screen with her persona and the viewer is held spellbound, staring open-mouthed at the screen, trying to grasp and hold as much of beauty as possible and yet letting it go...not being able to prevent it from slipping away.

I will fail in my duties as a critic if I don't say anything about her acting skills but not having noticed much apart from her lovely eyes, I can just say that she was adequate for the role...nothing too great but then again, not bad either.

The moral of the entire story of this movie is that life and reality are as different from each other as they are alike and probably that is true for the movie too. Shabd, like any David Dhawan movie, is far from what reality is, but it is as different from a David Dhawan movie as is water from fire. However, to really appreciate the movie, you probably need the same mindset, as required for a David Dhawan movie, of letting things go without really rationalising the issues and instead of using a magnifying glass over the sequences and story line, be more appreciative of the effort put in by the film crew and the actors.


Posted at 12:22 am by Nitai

Neeta
February 7, 2005   04:44 PM PST
 
Ah... the biased eyes of a crazed fan, Nitai! Aishwarya was beautiful, sure, but she wasn't all that great in the role. Perhaps you should also write about the fake laughter club of which she is the star member right alongside the few others we'd discussed (Not to mention all the mall chettas!!)

lol... jokes apart, i liked the movie too, and yes, the cinematography reminded me of Moksha too... any idea who the cinematographer is?

oh btw, for those who havent seen the movie, aish's laughter is a crucial element in the story and sadly, its just too unreal n plastic n put on to be convincing!

oh god! Sorry for such a long comment :D
Nitai
February 7, 2005   09:28 PM PST
 
One little answer for all Aish critics...just shut up :D
Neeta
February 11, 2005   04:14 AM PST
 
Oh my God! What is this world coming to? Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Aren't we seeing too many instances of the freedom being snatched away recently?
Nitai
February 11, 2005   08:50 AM PST
 
ok ok...how about this...if you want to express your crap comments about MY fabulous Aish, just keep them off MY BLOG :D
IndiageniE
February 20, 2005   11:55 AM PST
 
then how about this..DONT WRITE ABOUT HER AND STILL LEAVE THE COMMENTS BOX AVAILABLE.
wht is it for? you adding more of your gooey eyed praises for that old hag?


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