Tag Archive: India

The Blanched Media!!

The classic case of Media rampage is on the roll-out these days if you are clearly watching the News TV channels and reading the newspapers. With IPL gate and Naxal menace doing the rounds, every other media company is trying to grab a share of the limelight.

The best thing about a News TV channel or a newspaper is that they don’t create content at all. In fact, they derive it and present to us in a sensational and thought-altering manner. In that respect, Movies and News are not too different although they are two different things. News channels have a knack of presenting facts in a fictional manner which would make them appear larger-than-life. Viewers and readers take these facts/news on Face-value rather than analyzing them deeply. A case in point are the bomb blasts/terrorist attacks which happen both in India and Pakistan. The Indian Media always projects Pakistan as a terrorist state regardless of the fact that the current Pakistani landscape has become a battleground between the terrorists and the military forces; it has become a victim rather than a perpetrator of violence and terrorism. On the other hand, although the Pakistani media recognizes the role of Pakistan in the yesteryears of unleashing these “Freedom Fighters” upon the Indian soil, it also blames RAW and IB of India of their role in perpetrating mutual discord between various Pakistani factions, the most prominent of which happened in Baluchistan, which caught the media eye for a brief while. I sometimes think media is a part of the external affairs ministry of any country, be it India or Pakistan.

Hence, what media projects itself as to the public eye and what it really is are completely different things. The media needs to be objective in its reasoning and analysis as well as presentation of facts. It may come up with scenarios, speculations and larger-than-life images; but the fact remains that it shapes and nurtures the thoughts of a billion Indians; and only from these thoughts, ideas  grow; actions are taken and life is governed.


Review: RANN

RGV has carved a niche for himself in the Indian Film Industry by producing movies pertaining to real-world issues similar to what Madhur Bhandarkar has done before. And RANN is the latest effort in this foray. His earlier movies like SARKAR and SARKAR RAJ were good hits and found accord with the Indian audience. But, unfortunately, RANN could not repeat the success of its predecessors.

RANN is a film completely based on the histrionics of today’s Media. It is all about how people heading Media Channels, politicians and business magnates collude with each other to sensationalize news, create controversies, uproot governments and rake in the moolah. In the end, what matters is “How much one is getting one’s worth”. RGV sends a strong message through this film: It’s all about the money, honey. But apparently, there are also some genuinely good, nice people who don’t compromise on principles and find solace in exposing the truth from a completely objective point of view. Amitabh Bacchan and Ritesh Deshmukh play such characters. On the other hand, there are people like Mohnish Behl (Head of Rival TV Channel), Paresh Rawal (Politician) and Rajat Kapoor (Businessman) who can do everything and anything to satisfy their desires. Hence, the demarcation between good and evil gets established almost from the beginning. In between these two kinds of people are the scapegoats who due to some misfortune, get embedded and trapped to do “the wrong things” for the “greater perceived good/cause”. Aptly, the powerful dialogue from Paresh Rawal comes almost at the end: “There are two kinds of people in the world: Lions and Goats”.

The media has been made to look villainous for the first time in this movie and the way it has been shaping people’s sentiments has been strictly questioned. The last announcement made by Amitabh Bacchan in the climax scene contains some very powerful opinions and comments on the mannerisms of today’s media and the act was performed with exemplary versatility and dedication. Ritesh Deshmukh sets another example in showing how courage and persistence can go a long way in destabilizing the webs of deceit and treachery through exposure of concrete truth.

The cinematography was emblematic of earlier RGV movies with a mixture of camera techniques used to beautifully capture strong emotions and make evident the subtle symbolisms present in every scene.

I admit here that the plot had loopholes and may be the way media functions has been wrongly depicted. But, if you see the big picture and don’t get carried away by minuscule details, the I think this movie is worth a shot for at least a single watch.

Today, I experienced something. A thought which was lingering in my mind for a while took shape right in front of my eyes. I went for my usual lunch at a nearby restaurant which provides veg. buffet at Rs. 50 (yes, that’s darn cheap!). The fellow serving there was a dumb ( I mean mute). The way he served me with utmost devotion despite the fact it was a self-service kind of set-up, made me feel more humble and respectful towards him and I started contemplating. There was no hint of egoistic or vain behavior from his side, only meek submission to the customer he was serving. I don’t know how many of us behave like that in our everyday lives. Some of you might display cynic behavior while others might be too proud to serve somebody. I have seen people talking to their parents over the phone in the most callous and insensitive way, as if they are there for granted listening to your problems and endless, myriad talks.  I have seen people behaving in a superior manner without a hint of humbleness or modesty in speech or conduct to their subordinates and to the people who they think are below them. I have witnessed arrogance, vanity, anger, covetousness, superiority-complex etc. , all vices growing more and more like a parasite feeding on the host. People today, have lost something. Somewhere and sometime back, something went terribly wrong and that’s why we are the way we are. I am dismayed at the abysmal state of affairs on the city roads, whether it is Chennai or Delhi, it doesn’t make a damn difference. People have lost patience and perseverance and with  a tit-for-tat policy always on the back of their mind,  they are always on the lookout for exploiting people and situations. And who suffers, in the end? We all suffer, inevitably without even realizing it sometimes and even if we realize it, we hold the other party responsible for all our grievances and troubles.  This shocking state of affairs has reached such a crescendo that no one even bothers to act on the subject. We know it all, but choose to ignore and dabble shamelessly in discussing the sorry situation. When will we do something for the country and the society, at large? When is the right time? Why should ‘I’ be the only one who takes corrective steps while the society remains incorrigible with no remorse? It’s all gonna be a “negative sum game” and we all will remain in lurch and in unison we will cry “Ignorance’s Bliss”.

Yesterday was a perfect night to watch a movie in theater. No weekend, so less crowd and more space to tread upon. But as you may well know, Chennai has only two multiplexes, Satyam (Sathyam, sorry) and INOX which makes the experience of watching movie on big screens, a rare occassion (Supply short and demand high, u can do the rest of the math). But thanks to the government, the price of a multiplex ticket is still low (Rs. 120) as compared to other metropolitans (especially Mumbai and Bengaluru).

Anyways, coming back to the main subject here. I had expectations from transformers-2, the live action coupled with exquisite special effects, the curvature of Megan Fox, the idiosyncrasies of Sam Witwicky and his parents etc etc. All were shattered after I sat half an hour through the movie.

First let’s deal with the graphics and action part. It was mind-boggling, no doubt about that. The first scene generated a lot of applause and excitement in the audience. The larger-than-life figures all coming to life with magnificent action cinematography and stimulating special effects. It was all good. But excess of everything is bad and Michael bay clearly did not pay heed to this adage. Even tolerance has a limit. It was too much for me, seriously. After a while I was myself functioning like a sleeping Autobot. Only Megan Fox remained the last ray of hope. More about it, but later.

Second the story part. It was like a first time cook learning a new recipe and constantly experimenting with it. I don’t know what kind of inspirations the writers had since I (and my friends too) picked up few similarities with other Hollywood movies like Terminator, American Pie, Predator, National Treasure. The story sucked and with decepticons and autobots doing what they do best (i.e. screw each other) and taking too much time to finish each other off, I was uplifted to the tip of the pyramid of intolerance. There was no head and no tail; no dramatization was attempted to keep the audience interested; it was make-believe (in a negative manner) sort of stuff.

Now let’s come to the better part. Megan Fox.She oozed exuberance and sensuality. Without her, this movie won’t be worth it. Screw the acting part. She remains a sweetheart and the hottest babe on the circuit. I wanted to see more of her but these damn autobots and decepticons ruined the show through excess garbage and other worldly noises.

Comedy doesn’t comprise of a scene or two in a movie which makes the audience laugh. There is subtle humor and open (or outright) humor. I don’t know what Transformers 2 attempted to do: to make the audience laugh or cry at the poor sense of humor (overall).

There was no depth, no clarity, only robotic pandemonium, too much effects and too much spent ($250 million budget). God save me from Transformers-3: Return of the Primes (Speculation).