Friday, 23 September 2016

Thodari - Train-wreck

The first thing that came to mind after watching Thodari's teaser was a dialogue from "Kandukondein Kandukondein", "train speeda poittu iruku, ellarum nega kadichittu parthittu irupanga appa Hero velia poi duet padittu varuvara", here our hero does that. Right from the teaser and trailer this movie doesn't invoke any interest to watch it even though it involves Dhanush, Prabhu Solomon, etc,. Even Prahu Solomon - Imman combo songs didn't help either.

The plot, it's another love story on an unstoppable train between a pantry boy, Dhanush and touch-up-cum-aspiring-singer-cum-loose-ponnu Keerthy Suresh. What starts as a love story with usual comedy later becomes a thriller when the train's engine driver dies and the train becomes "unstoppable".

The first half was filled with many characters like Karuna, Darbuka Siva, Thambi Ramaiah, Radharavi as a minister, Harish Uthaman as his guard on duty, etc,. The first half was mostly filled with comedy and unnecessary Tamil vs Kerala fight and Dhanush's love. The second half, what should have been a thriller was even more funnier than the first half. It was unintentionally funny in many places.

Dhanush, no idea why did he even accept this. It wasn't enjoyable to watch closeups of Keerthy Suresh sans makeup and what's with directors giving this "loose-ponnu" character to heroines. Tamil cinema is overusing this and it is not cute any more. And, here she is a complete loose who believes a tea-vendor is a close friend to Vairamuthu, and the list goes on and on till the climax, where you think she has escaped from mental asylum. Harish Uthaman's character was the most irritating throughout the first half. And, Radharavi as minister was only solace in this movie.

The thing with Prabhu Solomon A.M, (After Myna) is that he started making these "dheiveega kadhal-at-first-sight" movies. Be it Myna or Kumki or Kayal, it's all about "dheiveega kadhal-at-first-sight". And, here Dhanush feels like he won't get another girl if he misses this "loose ponnu", and we want to believe this is another "dheiveega kadhal". We don't even feel for this couple.

Prabhu Solomon, wants to take a dig at inefficient government employees and especially the over glorifying media, who does anything for TRP without knowing any facts. And, also mock their debate shows. He really lost the plot here, it isn't a complete love story or a satire or a thriller. And, the run-time of nearly three hours looks as long as a journey between New Delhi to Chennai that too with terrible VFX, even for the songs.

Everyone praises Prabhu Solomon for his realistic filmmaking, so he decides to make some unrealistic movie and thus Thodari was born. He makes the hero to dance, fight, romance, etc, on top of a moving train with 700 passengers, which is going at more than 120kmph. And, that's not the only unrealistic part here. People inside the train watch all the action live in their phones and laptop with the Jio connection I guess. And, this nonstop train was about to reach Chennai Centrail in six minutes and they don't even start evacuating people earlier than that. And, even in near death situation Karuan and Thambi Ramaiah makes comedy connecting Thambi Ramaiah with terrorists. And, they go on and on which gets irritating after a point, I just remember Chandler from FRIENDS "You have to stop the Q-Tip when there's resistance!".

Tamil cinema already ruined horror genre by making them into horror comedy, now Prabhu Solomon wants to attempt to localize these kinda thriller films it seems and the result was terrible. And, a dialogue from this film, "nalla idea kodukka Hollywood padam pakanum illa arivu iruntha pothum" suggesting this was his idea, I just wish he could have watched the Hollywood films instead.

My Rating - 0.5/5.0.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

After hearing some great things about this book, I gave it a shot and finished reading this absolutely touching tale by Khaled Hosseini. I know it's little late to talk about this book, but still I have to write about it.

The story starts with Amir, currently in US, getting a call from Rahim Khan, Pakistan, asking him to take a trip to Pakistan. Rahim Khan says, "There is a way to be good again" to Amir. So what wrong did Amir do and whether he was able to do the good again is the story of this book.

Now the story goes back to Afghanistan when the times were good. Amir was living with his father and his father's servant Ali's and his son Hassan. Amir's father, Baba, treats them with respect and Hassan gets special care from Amir's father, which sometimes irritates Amir. Baba was a businessman who doesn't believe in religious sentiments. And, this part tells Amir's story as boy, his friendship with Hassan, his liking to write stories which his father didn't like much. Rahim Khan, Baba's friend was supportive of Amir's writings.

Hassan was Amir's most loyal childhood friend.  An incident which takes right after Amir winning the kite festival changed things between Amir and Hassan which eventually leads to Ali and Hassan leaving Amir's place even after Baba's protest. Amir has to live with this guilt.

In the next part, Amir and his Baba escapes to Peshawar then to California after Soviet Union military intervention in Afghan. Baba starts working in gas station, Amir joins school, gets married to another refugee Soraya. He becomes a writer and things goes well until the call from Rahim Khan.

In the next part, Amir leaves to Pakistan to meet Rahim Khan. He gets to know about Hassan and his family. And, Rahim Khan requests him to travel to Afghan to do a task which will make up for the wrong Amir did and also he reveals some shocking truth about his father. Amir's task is to save Hassan's son Shorab from Afghan. His struggles to get Shorab back to US and their life after he reaches US.

This book was fantastic, lived upto the expectation and the hype created. And, I got to know a lot about the troubled country Afghanistan. Soviet's intervention, Taliban's rise in Afghan etc,. And, also how they treat a certain class of people called Hazara. The author gives a clear picture of Afghan's state thorough the eyes of the characters. I really like Amir's father Baba, one of my favorite characters in this book, Amir's role model of course.

The book has all the emotions especially Hassan's love towards Amir, when he says "For you, a thousand times over", before he runs to catch the kite.

The book gives a satisfying feel once we close it. A truly touching experience and a must read. For the feel it gives I can read it a thousand times over.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Girl Who Chose - Devdutt Pattanaik

The Girl Who Chose is Devdutt Pattnaik's latest book where he narrates the epic Ramanayana in a new way. It's an illustration of Ramayana for children. This is the first Children's book I am reading, it's because I have never read any books other than my textbooks when I was a child, so thanks to Vivek Tejuja for sending me this as a part of Flipkart's blogger review program.

The Girl Who Chose explains Ramayana on the basis of five choices Sita made. Sita was not bound by any rules she was free to choose. Sita's five choices eventually makes Ramayana. It's a good start for young ones to know about Ramayana if they have not heard about it earlier.

The book was really interesting with its illustrations which run little over 100 pages. Devdutt have covered most of the important segments from the epic. And, as expected it was very simple and easy to read.

Even though Ramayana is all about Ram, Devdutt explains how important is Sita . Also, we get to know the Ramayana has happened only because of Sita and her choices. Like, if she has not stepped out of Lakshman Rekha to help someone or if she decided to escape from Ravan with the help of Hanuman.

Ramayana has numerous characters, Devdutt includes few important characters.  Also, he explains how a lot of animals helped Ram. Also, Devdutt says Ramayana has a lot of brothers and sisters, except Ram and Lakshman everyone was fighting among them. And, it doesn't end with Ram killing Ravan, it says Sita's fate and their children's after they return to their palace.

Not just the main story, Devdutt presents a lot of trivia and tit-bits about the characters and how Ramayana is interpreted throughout the world over the period of time. How each character and their actions are treated differently by each authors and people which are very interesting.

Ram is bound by the rules he will not break any even it does harm to him. Ravan never follows any rules. Sita is not bound by the rules she is free to choose, she breaks them to help others. So, we are free to decide, but we should be ready to face our consequences.

So, The Girl Who Chose is a must read especially for its illustrations and simple word which gives you the essence of the epic Ramayana.