Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Saw the movie over the weekend, and can safely assert that it's got nothing to do with either the old Hitchcock movie or the TV series. In fact, I'd be able to safely say that it's got nothing to do with anything! To build up the title characters as super-competent assassins and then have them spend the next hour shooting at lots of faceless characters is nothing sort of criminal. That too when you have such a dream cast.

Speaking of which, poor Brad gets his ass whipped rather badly by Jolie. For all those who think the man's gorgeous and has screen presence, Troy and this movie are enough evidence to the contrary. If Troy showed that Eric Bana has more screen presence in his beard than Pitt has in his whole body (including his skirted, shaved legs!), Jolie shows what gorgeous charismatic screen presence really is.

If only the director had stuck to a domestic comedy or a straight action movie...oh, by the way, Vaughn is funny, when he doesn't have a Stiller to overshadow him.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Thank You, Harry Potter

Only a month to go for the publication of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and I'm busy re-reading the earlier 5 books in the series. What's so special about these kiddy books, several of my "grown-up" friends ask. My only reply is "read them if you want to know". Several millions of words have already been written about Rowling's bestsellers, so I'm not going to add any pathetic mini-review to that. Let me talk instead about what we used to read when we were kids.

Enid Blyton used to be staple fare. The Famous Five series, the Secret Seven series, the Find-Outers, the Faraway Tree books, the Circus trilogy...all great stuff for the under-10 age group. The 3 Investigators and the Hardy Boys (Nancy Drew for the girls) were for the 8-13 tweens, with the first named by far the best. Alistair MacLean and Agatha Christie were the natural successors during the teen years.

But by the time we were in our college years, we realized that kids just did not read any more. PC gaming and cable TV were much better company for our younger siblings. And then came the phenomenon called Harry Potter. This is just to thank you J.K. Rowling...a thousand Hosannas to you and your imagination...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Schizophrenia Rules

I never liked Jim Carrey much: but that was before I saw his Me, Myself and Irene, and could immediately relate to his split-personality life. You ask me "why"? I'll tell you. Try my lifestyle for a week, and you'll know. If six days and seven nights of arnie-itis doesn't kill you, I'll take my hats off to you. My shoes and sweaty socks too, if you want.

It all started on that fateful day, six months back, when my mom, giving me her weekly "You're a grown boy sonny, and you need to start thinking about your future" lecture. The f-word here was 'finance'. "Your dad is going to retire very soon, you know, and we can't afford to support you forever". Blah blah, and so on.

That decided it. That night, as I wiped off the three thousand, seven hundred and ninety-second teardrop from my eye, I made a vow to myself that enough was enough: I would become a man at last. After all, I was fast approaching 23, and it's surely high time I stopped being a boy, and joined the ranks of the men.

I had to stand on my own two feet financially. How long could I go on expecting my poor parents to sponsor my vices? And so, at the tender young age of 22, I had to cut my financial teeth. Get a job, and learn to manage academics and career at the same time. This required learning time management. And resource duplication. Apart from the fact that all these management terms sound double-Dutch to me, the plain and simple fact is that it required a whole sea-change in attitude.

After all, wasn't I the person who had made a virtue of idleness? The guy who planned to make a career out of marrying the only daughter of a multimillionaire? The guy whose simple creed in life was "having a poor father is bad luck, having a poor father-in-law is stupidity"? And here I digress again. But hasn't that been the story of my life? After all, isn't work a digression from the high pursuits of hedonistic vegetation?

I wrote this when I was in my first job...zillions of years ago...