Saturday, 27 October 2012

[Movie Review] Cloud Atlas: Indeed, Everything Is Connected

Cast: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess

Directors: Andy Wachaowski, Lana Wachaowski, Tom Tykwer

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

“Fear, belief and love are the phenomenon that determines the courses of our lives. These forces begin long before we are born and continue even after we perish.” Cloud Atlas, based on a novel by David Mitchell, meditates around this notion to give a bizarre piece of cinema that is destined to generate polarizing views from the viewers. You may either hate it, or you may find yourself head over heels in love with it!

Cloud Atlas is a daringly original piece of cinema that is so ambitious in its shot that it can even make ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ go limp on its knees. The movie follows an arc of six stories sprawling over centuries of mankind and comments on how each and every choice we make have repercussions that resonate forever in the valleys of lives of those who surround us. Through those brilliantly portrayed stories, it is shown that our lives are not just our own. I quote from the movie, “We are bound to others, past and present; and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

It took three maverick directors to stage this enormous movie that redefines genres. The passion, with which the theme of reincarnation is handled by the trio, is the driving force behind this awe-inspiring piece of cinema. Cloud Atlas elevates on its surface of philosophy and hits consecutive home runs with the climax of each and every story. As everything falls into the canvas, one is surprised at the enormity of the space these three individuals yearned to color on the screen.

Tom Hanks, take a bow! The wisdom carried by his eyes at the end sequence was enough to expose the level of grandiose this man has reached in his career. Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and the rest of the ensemble casts raises the platform of story-telling into dizzying dimensions. Terrific makeup all around the screen ensures that the various personas are never the same, yet never ever different.

The sole problem of Cloud Atlas lies in its emotional quotient. When the audience is setting all the pieces of this puzzle in the desired manner, somehow, the emotive sequences are lost in the mist. Maybe, just maybe, the complexity of a storyline and the poignant parts do not go hand in hand with each other.

To sum the parts, Cloud Atlas is a daring and audacious attempt that has the power to change preconceived notions and cultivate debates among your fellow cine-nuts. It may test your patience, but the one who stays with it, will be rewarded generously. It is, in the end, a cinematic achievement.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 25 October 2012

God- The Omnipresent

If you seek wisdom, past contains it. If you seek knowledge, present holds it. If you seek truth, traverse the vales of eyes. If you seek admiration, a devotee has it for his deity and if you seek God, He lies within you.

For centuries, we have wandered across the globe, in manner to attain completion with oneself. For one doesn’t know that in continuum to find oneself, one must be lost completely. It is a well-known saying that in order to witness heaven, one must witness hell within himself.

I believe that some people are gifted, in a mystical sense. They have premonitions, omens and I certainly believe that they converse with some higher energy. They are seers, the future bearers or the messiahs sent to us for our salvation. We come across such liberators and then, out of the blues, discard them for being a veil over the simplistic truths carried by our primeval traditions.

These liberators are the individuals that have attained that level of oneness with themselves and the nature. They act eccentric for they have seen the wild play and have even studied the trajectory of a sparrow. The secret has been opened to them and they are the true masters of their own self. We, on the other hand, owned by our earthly possession are afraid of such minds; as to us, they are the abstracts of nature. We misjudge beauty for beast and consider them possessed by the malevolent.

We never see the sun in the sky and blame the clouds for hiding the eternal radiator of light. These people, liberators I call them, are the ones that are bridging the gap between the Higher Energy and the humankind. We must stop considering these gifts as peculiar curses and learn to appreciate this gambit of God. These people carry no vagueness and such messiahs’ lies within each and every persona. Only when we escalate from our possessions, we will see His canvas and can be connected to our inner self and become the beholders of light.

When such a day would come that we learn to admire that life exists in the minutest of happenings around us, shall we feel the omnipresent. God lives in a smile, in a teardrop, in the rustling of winds and even in the songs of a swan bird. For when we stop searching for Him, can only He be found!

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Sunday, 21 October 2012

[Movie Review] Student of the Year: Same Old Wine in New Bottle

Cast: Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Ronit Roy, Rishi   Kapoor
Director: Karan Johar

Love, friendship, jealousy, betrayal, ambitions and blah and blah! Student of the Year is one mashup of feelings that seems intangible at first, but is ultimately driven to its home by the charm of the veteran director, Karan Johar. Yeah, it often feels aimless, sometimes becomes too silly to be taken seriously, but then it provides one thing that we always have an apetite for, and that too in ample dosage, Entertainment!

The Richie Rich dude, Rohan (Varun Dhawan) meets the innocent eyed attitude queen, Shanaya Singhania (Alia Bhatt) and then the queen bumps into another guy, Abhimanyu (Siddharth Malhotra) and, then and there, comes the baap of all glitches entwined with relationships and lovey-dovey stuffs, Complications! Rewind a bit and cover this all up in a background of the fiction fantasy school and a coveted trophy to die for, you’ll get what Student of the Year is all about.

Every single frame carries the trademark Johar stamp. Right from the lush aesthetics and the designer clothes to the discos and even the narrative of the movie, conveyed of the authority that the man behind the camera has on his acts. He manages to extract the best from his cast and crew, be it the cinematographer or the three debutants, who shine in their individual roles and definitely have a successful road ahead of them.

It may be that the debutants end up as the scene steelers, but it is Rishi Kapoor, Dean of the St.Teresa Institution, who gives another masterful and heart-warming performance. He is indeed, a class apart! Barring a few old jelly bellys, the music by Vishal-Shekhar, sets the tempo right for the events unfurling on the screen.

Karan Johar may have hit gold in many departments, but it is the lame script of the movie that is its arch enemy. Thousands of times the formula of a triangle had been rehashed in Bollywood and Student of the Year, despite of all its new-age mantra, falls prey to the repetitiveness. Moreover, what was the fuss with all those plastic emotions injected in between? Did they even mean to induce a tear in the audience’s eyes? Well, if they did, then the team of SOTY failed and that too in a gigantic proportions!

All hail the splendid cast and the gifted director, Karan Johar for making Student of the Year entertaining, pop and pulpy to the hilt. It is the same old wine but served in a new bottle and that too, KJO style!

Rating: ***

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Friday, 5 October 2012

My Fall

My core scorched with the blaze of agony,
An era of betrayal,
An eon of catastrophes.

The stars‘ve guided me to this massacre,
This sunset of being,
This nightfall of mirages.

Moon showered its wicked blessings,
Witnessing my draining fall.
Destiny is my stabber,
Fate is the conspirator,
And I? I am the wretched sufferer.

The two comrades have carried out His commands,
He adjourned me as the slaughtered animal.
And He? He is the vindictive Demon, the soul crusher.
Doomed and annihilated,
I now await the freedom of death.

I collapsed on my knees,
Hands spread-eagled,
Looming for the completion of misfortunes.
My interiors became icy-cold,
As I smother myself to an eternal existence.

(Photo Credits: Adarsh Sundaresh)
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