A high end, super luxury bus going by the name of Olivea.. With leg room, enough for a man as tall as me. I am – 6'3″. Was useless at basketball, but hey who cares now. I like the bus – missed dinner was planning to survive on a almond raisin cupcake and some cold coffee.. But it looks like I will get fed something. Impressive. The super luxury multi axle volvo that it is has space for 30 odd passengers.. Also have a tv screen all to yourself. Damn cool. Well, they advertise gourmet food – the food certainly aint gourmet, but it is okay. Got breakfast on the way in and now got dinner on the way out. Happy enough :). Nice way to commute between chennai and bangalore though..
Ah well, I happened by the Priest, the movie that is, starring the awesomely terrifying Paul Bettany. The man certainly looks like a depraved Jason Statham, and the problem one has is his script selections – the man is one with inane plots from Da Vinci Code, to Firewall, to Legion and the Priest. The Priest is an innately interesting story – that of a superheroic priest, who has been trained by the Church to kill, no, annihilate vampires, which are deemed to be the most evil of things. As a character the Priest is quite cool, he does a bunch of almost Matrixian things like ride insanely fast bikes, which seem to be powered by jet engines, get to hang out with cool chick priestesses like Maggie Q and of course, do some bad ass moves with crucifixes and general funky action sequences. What lacks is the paper thin plot – some strange vampire gang has taken Lucy (revealed to be the Priest’s daughter) hostage and the Priest defies the order to go after the vampires. The vampires are headed by a slightly off colour Karl Urban. After some ho hum, the movies winds to an end with a action packed final sequence which ends up blowing a train and a final scene which sets up the plot for a sequel, except I guess post the not so phenomenal performance of the Priest at the box office, the studio possibly packed up the sequel. The irritation with the movie is the fact that there is little or no effort to develop characters, Paul Bettany labours under the impression that if glare at the camera you are displaying intensity (a la Abby Baby). I rate the movie 2/5 – not particularly good, but as good as lets say Chronicles of Riddick, except that Vin Diesel has more presence than Paul Bettany does, and hence, the Chronicles makes for slightly better viewing. Coincidental, that Karl Urban is there in Chronicles too, in an equally ill defined role.
Onto other things – was reading a collection of GRR Martin novellas called the Dream Songs (I think) – the man can certainly write is brilliantly colourful manner. Loved the stories of Haviland Tuf, the intrepid space traveler with the Ark. There are a few scripts of the Twilight Zone TV series which are also pretty good. Enjoyed it.
1. Did Vidya know that she would be meeting Milan Damji during the last day of Pujo when all women in Calcutta would be in the red and white saree? Was it the plan?
2. If so, would she have bought the saree, if Rana hadn’t bought it for her?
3. If she could wear a saree well enough in the last scene, why did she kinda struggle with it earlier in the movie?
4. The prosthetic belly came off fairly easily in the end – if the saree was worn over the belly, there was no way it would have held once the belly came off, so how did she get to move with a saree which was in good order?
5. Did she take along the knitting pin head gear as a weapon – what she does with it is just amazing?
6. For a pregnant woman in the 8th month, she was pretty mobile – or was it one of those things which was dropped in as a hint for something more?
7. The usual suspects reference was very nice – the way Rana figures out that Vidya had used all of them.
8. How was she so sure that someone in NDC will make the connection between her husband and Milan Damji – or was it only one of the many leads they were hoping to lead them to the culprits.
9. How would it have played out if the HR Head hadn’t talked to her about Milind? Who would she have shown it to next.
10. It seemed a bit too neat in retrospect, the way everything fell into place. But a remarkably commendable effort from an Indian filmmaker.
11. The small touches were amazing – the way Sridhar runs into his office and the first thing he checks is to see if the CPU is warm – you don’t see that attention to detail often.
12. Mona Lisa lodge and the “running water” are hilarious to say the least.
13. And Kolkata, no, I prefer, Calcutta – the representation of the city gave me goose bumps – amazing representation of the city, right down to the squalor around it. Amazing – took me back 16 years to when I first walked into Cal – a bright eyed, bushy tailed kid of 21.
14. Bob Biswas – the thought of a pot bellied LIC agent as an assassin is hilarious to think off and well, Bob is just too good, though very much out of shape.
Kewl, a multitude of blogs have been singing paeans about the man since morning, a million commentators have commented about him. Rahul “the Wall” Dravid announced his retirement from cricket today. He is 39 years old, 3 years older than I am and ~a gazillion times fitter. The eternal bridesmaid, finally gets to be the bride, in his last act in cricket. He was part of the multitude of gods that India was blessed with in this era, an era which saw Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman and finally, Sehwag, all play together. He did not make his debut as a precocious bundle of talent, that Tendulkar was, he was not considered for his silken touches which decimated attacks, that VVS Laxman was, he was not supremely capable of delivering tornado like attacks on the best bowling in the world, that Sehwag was capable of, nor was he the lazily, elegant batsman, that Ganguly was. Every cricket follower's mind lights up with reinforced cement concrete structures, when we say Rahul Dravid. He may have been the slowest of the lot, but he was by far the most consistent, even more so than Tendulkar, who tried but couldnt play the way Dravid could, certainly not for the period that he has. While Tendulkar has had to modify his style of playing, Ganguly and VVS being considered too inconsistent, and Sehwag well, he is something else, Dravid has been the same, if anything age has made him better. VVS' 281 couldnt have been that spectacular without Dravid on the other end, neither could Ganguly's onslaught on the Lankans in Taunton been possible without Dravid on the other end. With Dravid at one end, the other batsman could play with the freedom, that wasnt available with the others. A No. 3 who could bat when required anywhere from No.1 to No.6, Dravid was different. In an age of slam, bang, thank you ma'am, instant cricket, he was the technically gifted, superior batsman, who knew when to leave, when weave and when to go after the bowling. Not for nothing is his overseas record so stellar for India, at a time, when India was all at sea in the conditions in England, there was only one, standing tall amongst the ruins, making the English feel afraid, very afraid indeed, that he may inspire one of the others to do what they can do when he is holding out one end. To England's relief and India's eternal dismay, no one else stood up to the challenge. One cannot expect the Wall to hold strong, in Australia, he couldn't do that well, but hey, if after 16 years, you cant have a couple of sorry tests, then well, no one else can.
Off the field, the man has been characterised by an almost shy, introverted and intense persona. Pretty much like his other Karnataka colleague, Kumble, Dravid embodied dignity off the field and intensity and drive on it. I dont think the opposition attacks should have celebrated as much when they got Tendulkar's or Sehwag's or Laxman's wicket as much as they should have when got Dravid's, for he was the man around whom the others could play their earth shattering innings. I dont have the stats or the time for it to back this up, but I did read on the twitter feed today that Dravid's average when he had to come down at no.3 with no run on the board was close to 55.. and I wonder if we could get the average of all the batsman who actually played around him at those times, I wonder what it would be. But statistics dont define the man, the man is defined by what he does and hunch down, take the rigourous stance, look up, fix steely glare on the bowler and of course, have copious sweat streaming out from under the helmet. Dravid taking stance and batting wasn't about joyous abandon, it was about the serious business of actually getting the ball out of the way, it was a battle.
I will certainly miss him, a more recent convert to test cricket, I have followed India's rise to top and the fall thereof because of two men – Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni (who btw deserves a post all by himself). I wont remember the stats, I wont tell be able to tell you what my favourite century of his was, I wont be able to tell you anything more, but I can certainly tell you that when Dravid walked into the play, you knew you had hope, that you could hope, the Wall was there.
In another sense, I feel old – Dravid started his career when I was 21, starting my life in IIM Calcutta. well, we will cherish the moment, will we.
Ah well, I saw Knight and Day, the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz starrer sometime back, on one of the TV channels.. the movie is a breeze.. hilarious and you actually like cruise in it.. the last movie I liked Cruise in was Last Samurai, where he actually had a decent role to play.. In Knight & Day he is kinda spoofing his MI roles of a super spy.. the movie is quite whacky and quite entertaining, though I think critical reviews were that it wasnt the best of movies.. there was enough action, cameron diaz and well, more action and people getting blown up.. some random plot of a self sustaining eternal battery provided the wire frame for this..
The song is certainly a earworm, as our the other songs sung by Dhanush in the movie Mayakkam Enna – listen to them, they are in my view better than kolaveri in its youtube viral form. Was debating on what I should write about – the second rung of heroines in the mid 50s bollywood (an interesting collection of actresses), the Indian cricket team or the whole kolaveri di thingummy jig. And it was an interesting debate indeed in my head on what I should write about for the 3.5 people that follow my blog. As Dhanush says, ok mama, tune change-a.
in the times of bad blood between participating sides – here is a good one from Mike Brearly on Dennis Lillee – the last line is a killer.. http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/lillee-was-the-best-bowler-i-played-against-20111027-1mm7c.html