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Showing posts from October, 2011

7am arivu: Chennai-China Medley Falls Flat

Should ever a book titled ‘The Art of Deception by Flattery’ be authored, A R Murugadoss’ 7 am arivu (the seventh sense) would probably rank atop in its index; it could even be a case study on how to crash land viewers’ expectations after building it up to a crescendo.
The movie begins with a flashback, when we are told that a Pallava princeling (Surya) migrated to China and became the Shaolin master we know today as Bodhidharma. 
Cut to the present. Subha Srinivasan (Shruti Hasan – actor Kamal Hasan’s daughter making her Tamil debut) is a student of genetic engineering whose research causes the jitters to the People’s Republic of China, forcing them to send a spy, Dong Lee (Hollywood actor Johnny Nguyen, who was also a stunt double in Spiderman and Spiderman-2) to bump her off and spread an epidemic in India. (Are we taking a cue from Hollywood, which during the Cold War era vilified then USSR?) Thrown in the conundrum is Aravind (Surya again) a circus artiste, who falls head-over-hee…

How informed are you?

What you are about to read is not an original article, for it is an agglomeration of media extracts of the health prognosis and treatment of two of our political leaders - former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and AICC president Sonia Gandhi.

High blood pressure and sugar levels, severe body pain and stress are just some of the ailments jailed former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa was suffering from. If ever there was an incident to exemplify that this was the age of information, it was the ignominious turn of events leading to the arrest of this person. The charade that followed when he went missing and was forced to show up only when a court decided to issue a non-bailable warrant against him could have inspired a score of satire writers. He was remanded in judicial custody, when he mysteriously developed chest pain, and was expeditiously shifted to the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. Doctors vied with one another to give sound bytes to the medi…

A Blunder That Was A Government Advertisement

This morning I was jolted by an advertisement in our all our dailies, and no, I am not decrying the falling standards in journalism – paid news, content that could have gone under the watchful eyes of an editor or poor quality of printing. Reading it made me wonder whether the Indian bureaucracy, wallowing largely in insipidity, was handed a crash course in sarcasm. Had it been the first of April, I would have taken it for a joke without batting an eyelid.
The advertisement in question was titled “Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) congratulates Bangalore Metropolitan Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) on the LAUNCH of NAMMA METRO” (produced verbatim). This statement could qualify as the biggest misnomer of the century, with one unwieldy, utterly mismanaged, politics-ridden organisation lauding another of its ilk for launching a service, which among other glaring acts of omission, commenced work on a project after a full-year’s delay whose cost has already overshot by about 220 p…

Swearing Allegiance to One's Masters

Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadanda Gowda, at a BJP meeting in Belgaum on October 10, said that he met the “accidental prime minister” Manmohan Singh recently in Delhi and empathised with him as he too was an “accidental chief minister” - a statement that was, predictably, met with instant laughter and choreographed applause.

If anything, Gowda was at his subtle best in conveying the truth. None expected either the Oxford educated Singh or the incumbent chief minister of Karnataka to be pitch forked into political prominence as they find themselves in today, and were done so only after other options in the respective party armouries were either exhausted or impractical. Despite them being their party’s mascots - their soft demeanours vital to the survival of the two parties - the decisions and statements of the two continue to be viewed as that of their ‘supposed’ masters, Sonia Gandhi for Singh and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa for Gowda.
It is the similarities between the two…

Vedi: Formulaic and repetitive

Appeared in City Express, the daily supplement of The New Indian Express, on October 3, 2011

“You, a Tamilian, eh? What makes you people a daring race?” a goon questions the hero. In reply, the hero, Vishal, slam-dunks a glass bottle through his adversary’s mouth that pierces through the back of his head, leaving his henchmen too stunned to react. Vedi (U/A), a remake of the Telugu film Shouryam, comprises similar scenes and a plot that has been done to death by Kollywood’s honchos. Vedi (the cracker) has Vishal essaying the role of Prabhakaran, an IPS officer in search of his long-lost sibling, who also has to overcome his nemesis (Sayaji Shinde) along the way. He joins as a physical education trainer at a college in Kolkata, where he comes in contact with Balu (Vivek), a gym instructor, whose desperation to obtain a muscular figure forces him to nestle balloons inside his shirt.  Paro (Sameera Reddy), a student in the same college, gets smitten by Prabhakaran. However, beneath Prabhaka…