Tag Archives: Chennai

The pigs are rising!

16 Feb

Chennai, a town in Southern India has made international headlines for the last few months over various issues. I doubt if the daily soaps managed to sustain their TRPs for at least 5 months now, with the heavy competition from the administration and the ruling & opposition parties. 

Democracy: A system of government in which the citizens exercise power. Meaning, the people vote for someone because they want to. 

Here’s the catch, I shot videos for a living before becoming cosy with the Chief Minister (CM). And now after her death (which is still a mystery), I want my chance to sit on that chair and open a slot for the next caretaker for the residence with the career prospects of becoming the next CM. After all, I am nothing if not generous and with forethought. If you have any doubts, I just gave my nephew an important post in the party to look after our family, with nary a look at his qualifications or actions. I also fired people left, right and centre for talking against me. I have no experience in politics except for what I came to know through observational osmosis. I haven’t given a single interview and I read speeches written by someone else. I made vows, reminded people about J’s famous last words and pretty much acted as though the state is mine for the taking. I also brought back the very family that was expelled while J was in power, because who can stopr me now? I also threatened the governor while we are at it. 

There is something to be said for relativity. While enlightenment never felt as good as on the sands of the Marina, after a 40 minute segue with the spirit of your mentor, definite credit to Paneerselvam for speaking up. Many were naive at this point and thought people started going to his camp after his speech because they believed in his ideals and in a legacy. See, I can almost see you cringe. Yeah, well.. Recently came to know that it all boils down to the exchange of money in C, as is the lingo around town. Whichever camp can give you the money immediately as opposed to installments. The only C I know of is 29C going from Besant Nagar to Perambur. 

How does someone who was th poster child for “Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir!” aspire to be and is nearly crowned the Chief Minister of a state in a democratic nation? Is this the time for people like Trump to rule the roost? But that’s not even the worst part.. Members of the Legislative Assembly in retaliation to the mass public protests said something along the lines of how they are okay with it and so we should too. One question: Who elects these MLAs?

Not one person of authority or someone who has substantial reach did anything to rectify the situation. The Prime Minister, the president.. Nobody. Their reason? Whatever was happening was in keeping with the constitutional laws. I apologize, I didn’t realize we were seeing a second innings of the same soap opera. Who were the stars the last time? Do you have by laws with contingency plans for situations like this? What would have happened if the judgement didn’t come out how it had?

Forget the constitution. What about people in position of power? Film stars, media people, sports persons? It’s not enough if you guys mark an attendance for the protest on the Marina and say how you didn’t know what PETA stood for. Because all that happened is that, you showed up and got a white tee after joining. Is there a study on how starring in movies with plotlines born from hangovers is directly proportional to number of active brain cells? You didn’t know what PETA stood for? What are you? Six years old? I am sorry. A 4 year old knows to use Google. You couldn’t use one of the many fancy, swanky phones you endorse to figure it out before you joined? 

I am digressing, but well..

Film stars. Kamal Hassan is a lot of things, but he stands up for what he believes in. How long will you people hide behind the cloak of neutral ground? You have such a huge fan base. Particularly people like Rajnikanth.This is beyond appalling. This is as much your state as mine, and if the most you can do is make crappy movies with zero sense, or even awesome movies, but not even lift a finger when there is a genuine need then what good are you?

A mafia clan is being forced on the state and nobody so much as breathing out loud. Does nobody care? This is not the city that it was barely 8 months back. People in power can’t get away with whatever they want simply because they have the money and have mastered bullying. This is not a school yard. 

“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question now what has happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.”*

*Animal Farm, George Orwell.


Chennai Express- A pointless journey!

17 Aug

This is a train journey with a few laughs, lots of stereotypes and several clichés. It does make you laugh, don’t get me wrong, but it’s one of those tried and tested things or it is the sheer stupidity that Rohit Shetty and his team seem to be intent on displaying.

There is nothing new here, unless of course you count the fact that Shah Rukh Khan looks his age (almost!) and is honest about it. (At least in the beginning of the movie. He goes on to do cartwheels and stunts on his bike later, but you should know by now that Bollywood stars just develop these super awesome skills halfway into the movie)

Rohit Shetty seems to be under a serious misconception that people in South India belong to one huge state. But then again, his films are synonymous with mindless entertainment and superficiality, so one can’t complain about his lack of knowledge. I don’t know why he made this movie, but national integration was not the point. (Clearly!)

Deepika Padukone looks beautiful in white, divine almost, but she really needs to be taught how to wear a half-saree. She speaks awful Hindi but speaks superlatively worse Tamil for a girl who has been born and brought up in Tamil Nadu. (One of the reasons why I wanted to walk out of the theater.)

So, the storyline is tame- boy longs for adventure, but he doesn’t get the chance. He runs off to have fun, meets girl, fights and disagrees with her, saves her skin and his with several goons 3 times his size chasing them all over the place. He has an epiphany in the middle and realizes his louve and so he mans up, fights, bleeds and wins over his prospective father-in-law (Quite literally).

Thambi, Tamil cinema may not have come such a long way from the past, in a lot of aspects, but our villains are so much more cooler now. Have you seen Prakash Raj? And we don’t use an aruvaal every two seconds. And not all of the villain’s minions are big, black and hairy. (Not to mention easily a foot over SRK.)

There was this one scene that made me laugh at its sheer stupidity. A boat carrying diesel is being shot at by the coast guard because they suspect smugglers to be aboard. But to be fair, they start shooting only after the smugglers start shooting.

I’d think one of the basic things you learn in coast guard training would be to not shoot when there are flammable substances around.

Actors like Sathyaraj, Delhi Ganesh are wasted in this movie, with no role, at all. You know that SRK is gonna beat the goons, it’s just a matter of time, so you stifle a yawn and resist the urge to look at your watch because you know the movie will be over in a few minutes as SRK is fighting.

And Lungi dance for Rajnikanth? The guy is practically a phenomenon down South and you dedicate something like lungi to that guy? Like, seriously? I walked out after 15 seconds of that song. The only reason I even sat through the entire movie was because I had very good company and we kept ribbing the movie.

Shetty has tried some sort of tribute to Rajnikanth, but it comes off as stupid and crass and hits the proverbial bottom of the bottomless class.

The songs seem pointless except for one or at the most 2 (completely excluding the Lungi Dance). They seem to be introduced at random points in the movie, just to make it longer. I tuned out the songs and just focused on the cinematography. If there were people dancing, I looked around in the theater.

Cinematography is brilliance itself. Beautiful, breath-taking visuals. Kudos to the camera man, Mr. Dudley! (It is pretty much the saving grace of the film.)

This movie also manages to commercialize the institution of marriage and death. While we are at it, Shetty has inserted iconic scenes from several popular movies as well. I’m not sure how far that works, because people who know both Hindi and Tamil and are watching the movie are very few. People who know both Hindi and Tamil and are watching the movie and have watched all the movies you have taken scenes from is even smaller.

The climax, is at its comical best. SRK asks Sathyaraj if there will be a father like him. Kudos to his Tamil. I don’t think any Tamilian can speak with such innate grace and sense.

Note to self- Refer to SRK’s bokwaas dictionary, to make sense of what he speaks.

The thing is, this movie doesn’t really belong to either Bollywood or Kollywood. It’s just there, somewhere.

Watch it if you don’t get tickets to any other movie and you are in the mood to give your brain a rest and not see any semblance of logic or sense or honest representations of the state you grew up in or a state that is part of your country and not mind Deepika give her best shot at destroying Tamil and Hindi, with SRK giving her an awesome boost with the former.

Every stupid stereotype associated with Tamilians, with Chennai is evident in this movie. I have no idea how it grossed so much at the box office.

Despite the fact that it is a Rohit Shetty film I’d expect a decent amount of research to be done before they make up shit and call it a movie.

P.S. People from Tamil Nadu don’t have that awful accent while they speak Hindi or Tamil. (For instance, yours truly) Neither do they roll the words in their tongue to deliver them incomprehensible and completely meaningless. Tamil is one of the most beautiful languages I know. It’s poetry in prose and Rohit Shetty, ably assisted by Deepika and SRK, has successfully destroyed that in 141 minutes.

P.P.S. I hope Vairamuthu never sees this movie.

P.P.P.S It is a like an avial made from Jab we Met, Ghilli, Muthu and several other Tamil movies that leaves a horrible after taste in your mouth.

I almost have half a mind to make a short film completely massacring Hindi and sending it to Rohit Shetty as a birthday gift.

Major doubt-  Nobody (SRK, Deepika, Tingu- D’s supposed fiance) knows Tamil. So, why not choose people who know better Tamil or would at least attempt to learn it before they decide to speak what they think is right?


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