Tuesday, January 25, 2011

From White Egrets by Derek Walcott - Breath taking

A dragonfly's biplane settles and there, on the map,
the archipelago looks as if a continent fell
and scattered into fragments; from Pointe du Cap
to Moule à Chique, bois-canot, laurier cannelles,
canoe-wood, spicy laurel, the wind-churned trees
echo the African crests; at night, the stars
are far fishermen's fires, not glittering cities,
Genoa, Milan, London, Madrid, Paris,
but crab-hunters' torches. This small place produces
nothing but beauty, the wind-warped trees, the breakers
on the Dennery cliffs, and the wild light that loosens
a galloping mare on the plain of Vieuxfort make us
merely receiving vessels of each day's grace,
light simplifies us whatever our race or gifts.
I'm content as Kavanagh with his few acres;
for my heart to be torn to shreds like the sea's lace,
to see how its wings catch colour when a gull lifts.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Excerpt from the movie Rabbit Hole

Becca (Nicole Kidman) has been numb with grief since Danny, her 4-year-old, was killed by a car. Now, eight months later, her mother, Nat (Dianne Wiest) — whose son, Becca’s brother, died at 30 — is helping Becca to put away, finally, the little boy’s things.
Int. basement — day

Becca and Nat carry the milk crates of Danny’s stuff down to the basement, and put them in the corner with a few other things Becca has put aside.

Becca stands there, taking it in. Danny’s been reduced to a small corner of stuff in the basement. She lets out a breath, then turns to her mother.

BECCA: Does it ever go away?

NAT: What.

BECCA: This feeling.

They lock eyes. Nat can see she actually wants an answer. Maybe for the first time ever.

NAT: No. I don’t think it does. Not for me, it hasn’t. And that’s goin’ on 11 years.


It changes, though.

NAt: I don’t know. The weight of it, I guess. At some point it becomes bearable. It turns into something you can crawl out from under, and carry around — like a brick in your pocket. And you forget it every once in a while, but then you reach in for whatever reason and there it is: “Oh, right. That.” Which can be awful. But not all the time. Sometimes it’s kinda ... not that you like it exactly, but it’s what you have instead of your son, so you don’t wanna let go of it either. So you carry it around. And it doesn’t go away, which is ...

BECCA: What.

NAT: Fine ... actually.

They’re silent for a couple of beats. Becca nods a little. Nat turns and heads up the basement steps.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Metaphor of the day

Sometimes you stumble across people like ice cubes in the grass on a hot summer day.

Monday, January 10, 2011

No one killed Jessica? The film just did

Rani Mukherjee smoking a cigarette, cursing in the choicest hindi and angrezi abuses, wearing smart casual outfits, having fake one-sided conversations with 'Dad', proud of being a bitch, a ruthless confident woman -someone who wakes up a junior in the dead of the night and tells her, get your ass here, this is no 9-5 job. Yeah see that's how committed and ruthless she is. Another time, wakes up her soundly-sleeping-oblivious-to-the-doorbell maid. The maid retaliates by muttering 'kutti' (crasser than bitch) under her breath. Rani hears it, coolly dismisses it. says 'suna maine, ab coffee banao'. How cool is that?  Not really - its all styling, all swearing, zero soul.

Vidya Balan in the dowdiest outfits, wearing men's shirts, she walks with a slump, like a plump school boy hauling a heavy invisible school bag. She keeps making efforts to reach out to all the witnesses and looks like the invisible school bag stops her from making a sincere effort. Its all half-hearted, just about and almost there. She looks like a zombie who is cross with the director for spending the entire styling budget of the film on Rani.

The performances overall are so dismal, so artificial, e.g. Rani's TV channel supremo, who finally gives her permission to pursue the Jessica Lall case. He says ' I am all for justice, go for it'. He says it pit-pat. He puts in only as much as effort in those lines as much as he must have been paid for a 10 second appearance. Vidya's mother on the other hand is a delight- she over acts quite naturally. Especially all her crying fits.A mother's loss is seen only through some weird spaced out expressions. Compare that with the sensitive portrayal of Waheeda Rahman losing her son in Rang De Basanti through the beautifully composed and rendered 'Luka Chupi'

The movie doesnt create any empathy, we dont feel a thing about Jessica dying. We dont feel a thing for Jessica living too. Who was Jessica? Was she a woman with strong opinions and a life full of possibilities? There is a tepid and badly written speech that Vidya doles out about how in this country the value of a life is comparable to a drink. Rendered in a flat and lifeless tone. Never are we angered or disgusted - the film just doesnt strike a chord. We dont see a miscarriage of justice in the actual proportion that it did, we just see it in minute snippets.

We dont see the raw anger, the helpnesses of the common man against a corrupt political and judicial system. We just see a mild mannered Vidya make a half hearted effort. Ofcourse she makes a half hearted effort so that Rani can go all out and pull all the punches and give us the happy ending. Rani however fails to do that, apart from the sting operation. We also dont feel the heat or the enormity of the public outcry. No goosebump moments here, no leaving the theatre with a feeling like that of Rang De Basanti. The feeling that if we come together, there is still hope.

Such a let down of a movie. A could -have- been- powerful movie that falls flat. Raj Kumar Gupta fails to do justice to Jessica's memory or her case and to tell you the truth to Rani.
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