Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Olympics - RIO 2016

Olympics, biggest sporting event which happens once every four years. Once again it wasn't a successful campaign for India. When most of the known contestants who won in previous attempts failed our expectation, but few really surprised us.

I don't remember following Olympics closely previously. This time I have watched many events live and tracked most of the events online. Maybe because of social media and Star network's coverage are the reasons. And, I feel it's over suddenly, just when India started winning some medals ;).

The first event I saw live was Indian women team's archery against Russia. After a poor start, they came back well to win the second and third sets. And, few misses in the final and the shootouts made them bow out of that event. They were close to winning. And, in men's archery Atanu Das was stunning who constantly got 10 points and had high hope on him, but he was out in the quarterfinals. 

Abhinav Bhindra, it was heartbreaking to see him lose third place by a whisker. We were watching it live, but we didn't understand what happened for a few minutes. And, when we changed the channel, our Indian men were playing hockey against Germans and it was 1-1. We were watching the last few seconds and Germany managed to score one and win the game in the last few seconds.

Dipa Karmakar, we watched her qualifying round, even though couldn't understand the format, was happy that she got selected to the finals. Again, she too missed her medal by a mere 0.15 points. But, she was the one to watch out in the future. I hope she wins big next time. And, her performance Produnova was considered very dangerous and called Death Vault, really hats off to her to become fourth best in the world. 

Then we kept losing in most of events and didn't open the medals tally. We lost in the hockey as well, in which I had some high hopes. Finally, it was Sakshi Malik, first women wrestler to win an Olympic medal, opened India's account with a bronze medal. It was great and fantastic achievement. 

Also, P V Sindhu. who made everyone to watch badminton games live. She won the semi-finals easily against the Japanese and became the first Indian women to play in an Olympics finals. She fought hard against the world's best Carolina Marin and gave her a tough fight and she won the first set. Marin played brutally in the second set, especially her smashes. Even the third set were at 10-10 at one stage, but Marin proved to be world class. Still Sindhu made history with a silver medal in the Olympics. And, her coach Gopichand should be lauded as well, who was behind Saina when she won the Bronze last time. 

This time our medals tally were less than last year, some familiar names like Abhinav Bhindra, Gagan Narang, Yogeswar Dutt, Saina Nehwal who all won a medal in their previous attempts couldn't continue to do so this time. But, we had some new heroes emerging this year Dipa Kamrakar, Sakshi Malik and P V Sindhu. Let's hope for a better outing next time. And, all those

Including me, of course

Friday, 22 July 2016

Kabali - மகிழ்ச்சி, சற்று குறைவே

Kabali, the biggest movie of this year is finally here. My first FDFS (5 am) in Chennai for a Superstar movie. And, it's off my bucket list and it must be experienced once, even though I paid much for a ticket. What started as a small budget film from Rajnikanth with new team, but the over the top promotions made it as a huge movie.

When the announcement came that Rajini was going to do a movie with two-film-old-director Ranjith it came as surprise and what made it interesting was Rajni playing his age. And, Ranjith retained his Madras film crew for this movie.

The plot is an old gangster in Malaysia after getting released from prison resumes his fight against the gang and also searches his family. Ranjith once again adds some his political touches in this film as well, but it didn't work well in this film.

Rajnikanth was as usual wonderful, especially as aged don. He totally rocks in mass scenes and in emotional scenes as well. Especially in the second half when he reunites with Radhka Apte, best scene in this film. Even at this age, his mannerisms and expressions are good, even the fight sequences. Radhika Apte proves she's an excellent actress and fits the role perfectly. All the scenes involving her are the highlight in this movie. Also, Dhansika who was equally good in her role, two excellent castings. Among the others John Vijay and Kishore does their part well. And, Dinesh made people laugh unintentionally. The villain character Tony Lee, was a dud.

I really loved the first half, which had the mix of mass scenes - terrific first 15 mins or so, emotions, the flashback portions and an excellent interval point. Luckily the flashback wasn't too big and it wasn't shown in a usual way and Ranjith carefully avoided the romance scenes and all. The wig doesn't suit well in the flashback portions. The second half turns the movie into a usual commercial flick which wasn't expected from Ranjith. All his talks about close to reality was really missing. The screenplay wasn't much engaging either which flows predictably.

SaNa once again gives terrific BGM, everyone's wish of watching Rajni in his BGM was fulfilled. Whenever the "Neruppu da" BGM plays, the fans went berserk. And, also in the emotional scenes as well his scores does the job perfectly. The costumes for Rajni and Dhansika should get a special mention. The editing could have made the film even more trimmer.

Kabali could have been more of a Ranjith film than a Rajni film, maybe some strong scenes in the flashback portions which depicts Rajni fighting for the Tamil people there. Rajni - Good, Radhika Apte - Good, BGM and Songs - Good, Story and Screenplay - could have been better, which would have made Kabali a much better film.

But, all said I really liked Rajni playing his age a big takeaway from this movie and also working with young director. I wish Rajni continues to do more films playing his age here on.

FDFS @ Sri Brintha Theatre
Rating 2.75 / 5.0. - #Kabali > #Linga. #Madras > #Kabali.