Rang De Basanti

Its been a month since I watched a movie and I chose Rang De Basanti to break the fast. Caught the movie today at the Jade Cineplex on Beach Road. This was also my first time at a Singapore movie theatre.

The movie starts off with a UK filmmaker arriving in India to make a documentary about Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and their fight against the British. She ends up recruiting some students from Delhi University for acting in her movie. Though this merry bunch don’t care much for the country’s fight for freedom and its current state, their behaviour starts to change once they get under their roles. At this point their close friend (an IAF pilot) is killed in a MiG-21 plane crash and the government’s irksome attitude to his death stokes them into taking action.

I was really impressed with most aspects of the movie. The characters are neatly done and feel natural, almost like friends we know around us. Acting is topnotch, Aamir and the rest of the gang deliver. The constant merging of the actors and the story of their real roles is super slick. Scenes from the freedom movement moved me. The movie was shown with English subtitles and I lapped it up. It helps to savour the poetic lyrics of the songs, which by the way are all earworms. The background score is superb. If your gut wrenched in some of the scenes, that was not just because of the scenes, the background score has played a part too.

Though the movie is so enjoyable there is a nagging problem in the story. The protagonists act very amateurishly and take an eye for an eye. I don’t belong to the camp that believes that such actions will solve the problems of our country. That is neither practical nor justifiable. Juxtaposed with Bhagat Singh et al. inside the movie it might seem alright. And yet, its not. I believe more in the world of Swades and than Rang De Basanti.

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The Other Side Of The Sky

The NUS Science Library has a small sci-fi collection. It’s time to dig in! The Other Side Of The Sky is the first work by Arthur C. Clarke that I’ve read now. It is a compilation of 28 of his earlier sci-fi short stories. The stories are all really short, each not more than 3-5 pages (except for the last one The Songs Of Distant Earth which is a long romantic one). The premises of the stories are quaint, some are even funny. The descriptions of our future space travel is quite simply brilliant in its simplicity and inventiveness. Infact, each story brings about something new that I haven’t seen before in a movie/book or even dreamt of. This guy must be really good to think of so many ideas. A must read.

Disclosure

Read Michael Crichton’s Disclosure. I haven’t seen the movie yet which stars Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. Crichton brings to the fore two old lovers who are now competing for the top position in a technology company. Meredith invites Tom over to her office for a meeting and the next day both of them accuse each other of sexual harrasement. Into this mix, Crichton adds computers, databases, networks, virtual reality and cellphone technology (remember that the book was published in 1994) for an intriguing thriller which I couldn’t stop reading until I hit the last page. Good.

Iceberg

Read Clive Cussler’s Iceberg recently. This is one of his earliest works in the Dirk Pitt series. A horribly burnt luxury yacht is found inbedded in an iceberg with all its crew dead and its secret cargo missing. It is upto Dirk Pitt to find the clues and save the world. Compared to the other Dirk Pitt novels, Iceberg doesn’t even come close, neither in the plot nor the pace. Boring and very amateurish. Don’t even bother to pick this one up.