Thursday, March 18, 2010

Road, Movie: Strictly, Okay

There was ample anticipation for this one. Dev Benegal’s tie up with Abhay Deol, or Abhay Deol’s tie up with Dev Benegal—depending on which side of the fence you’re on. But as much as the opening shot might grab you, the scene that unfolds thereafter is begging for better actors, a better script and better timing. There’s not much beyond the cinematography or the music in those opening minutes of the movie, and that seems to set a precedent for the rest of it.

The acting by the four main characters, who, barring the Deol, make their appearances at odd moments, is shoddier than you'd expect. Perhaps thanks to a weak script that bares its naivety with lines that display a tea-stall boy’s unlikely knowledge of Starbucks and Abhay Deol’s trysts with weeds as makeshift toilet paper. Satish Kaushik shines, for the majority of this story, despite everything else working against him.

There’s a deeper story that the director tries to capture, unsuccessfully, as he, and we, get lost in surrealism, minimalism and the marketing of manhood.

And one more thing: I have come to believe that we’ve all been fooled into thinking Abhay Deol’s a good actor—which is not to say he’s to blame, perhaps he’s been fooled just like we were. But some director, somewhere, handed him a script that demanded he act like himself. And he did. And he’s a fairly interesting chap. And we thought, “Wow, he’s really underplaying this role! Subtlety is so refreshing in popular Indian cinema.” But that’s just Abhay Deol…on a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon.

Still, for all its flaws, I didn't feel like I'd just wasted 90-odd minutes of my life. Though I could've spent it better, I'm sure.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A whiskey and coke, please. And hold the whiskey.

There's something wrong with the title of this post, right? Shouldn't it be, "And hold the coke."? I mean, who drinks whiskey with coke anyway?

But this isn't a post about the right way to drink whiskey (neat, or on the rocks---and if you must dilute, then water or soda, please!). This is a post about my ongoing struggle with sobriety. Yes, my blog-lovin' public, I've given up alcohol for Lent and it's not going very well. No, I haven't fallen off the wagon (or gotten on the wagon? Okay, let's not turn this into a rehash of Seinfeld). But it is getting harder and harder to not order a bottle of Carlsberg or a whiskey large, on the rocks.

I've never really understood teetotallers, or envied them, for that matter. But I have occasionally looked at my sometimes-abstaining buddy and been impressed by his ability to sit in Toto's, not drink, and still have a blast.

I am not that big a man, sorry.

A recent outing to Toto's proved that. Having not gotten there early enough to get a table, we resigned ourselves to standing in the proximity of the bar. Bad decision. Because if there's one place you don't want to be when it's just 10 o'clock and people have only just begun to pour in, it's near the bar. By the time we realised this, however, it was too late.

But as time passed, and everyone else got a little sloshed, they also got a lot more flexible. I didn't.

Toto's turned out to be loud, crowded and full of drunk people. Why on Earth would I want to stay there? And so began my efforts to shift this party elsewhere. Which, once I'd convinced people we could find some place better, we did.

And 5 Spice was From loud drunk people, to loud sober people (and kids). Eventually, though, we got out of there too. And moved the party to my place. Where everyone drank some more.

I've been counting the number of times everyone's decided to go drinking randomly this month. And counting down the number of days till I'll be able to drink again.

The only thing keeping me going is the fact that I don't spend as much as all my friends who're busy getting drunk. Of course, then I go spend it all on coffee and cigarettes.

I guess I know what I'm giving up for Lent next year.

(Cigarettes? Are you nuts!? Coffee, of course.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why I think I hate Twitter

There's something to be said for brevity. As a man who can't stand reading anything that exceeds its optimal length, it's no surprise I'm saying this. But what's twitter turning us into?

It's not like twitter's forcing us to have bite-sized thoughts. So we're choosing to condense our words and thoughts, abbreviating as much as we can. And then we're condensing URLs using and TinyURL and using those tiny, bit-sized links to draw people to something someone said, adding our bite-sized, abbreviated opinions to them.

I h8 rdng lk dis. N I h8 tlkn lk dis 2. I wsh ppl wdnt. Rly.

First SMS, now twitter. Now people chat like this. Like it's too hard to type an entire sentence out. Will someone stop this trend? Please?

Why I've been away

So there I was, just sitting and reading someone's blog somewhere. And I thought to myself, "Hey, I've got me one of those."

So here I am. And here's why I've been away for so long: I got a job. But don't tell anyone. I'm not quite ready to let the world know I like being busy.

What's the job like? Well, it's different. It's a big office (only the second of my career). And there are more people on my floor than the total number of 0employees of my last two offices, combined. My first thought when I realised this was, "This can't be right. I don't fit into big offices, right?" Turns out, I just might--for now, at least.

Also, I've become a little more active on FB, Twitter, and now Buzz. So you'll see me there as well. And I'm still trying to make my tumblog look good. Failing miserably though, if you ask me. I hope I get it right by the time I get my hands on a good camera. I like how photographs look on tumblr.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


You can never tell a bad adaptation till you read the book, true? Possibly not.

So I'm watching this movie which is adapted from a book, and after some 90% of the movie's done with, they bring a plot device in that you've never heard an utterance of before this moment. It's a pair of pants. Now this pair of pants plays a surprisingly important role later on, but it's never been mentioned before? Fuck you, Hollywood. You just didn't want to get into the details, did you?* I've seen it done before, hell, I've read it done before.

I loved No Country For Old Men, but there were bits I loved in the book--pivotal conversations--that were left out for lack of time, and you wonder if it made sense reducing the impact of the story to make a flick of it. In this particular case, I'd say it did, especially since we're given a lot more from the actors and the Coens. But I'm really scared to watch The Road (another of McCarthy's masterpieces). Sure, there's Viggo Mortenson, but I've seen the dude fail now and then. Is that the memory of The Road that I want in my head? I don't know. I'll wait for reviews before I watch this one.

But I digress.

My point is what's the point of the adaptation? If it's to lend more to the story then fine, do it. But this is Hollywood we're talking about. It's so rarely been about the art. And if Hollywood is gonna take every good book out there and make a movie off it just for a few bucks, then what's the point of writing a book? I mean, how long before people just say, "Screw reading it, I'll just wait for the movie."

*To be fair, I haven't read the book this movie's based on, so I don't actually know if said pair of pants is mentioned prior in the book.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Busy being 26

For the two people wondering where I've been, I've been off trying to figure out being 26. Turns out, it's not so different from being 25.

Yea, 26 is very uneventful. Spoke to someone who'd already been 26, she said the same thing. She also said 27 would be more interesting, and 28. Somehow I figure 29 will just be torture as I wait for the year to pass.

So here's something I wrote on my surprisingly rarely used moleskine while sitting and sipping on some coffee...

I'm 26 years old. Unemployed and single.

I'm 26 years old. And trying very hard to not look back and regret all the bad decisions I've made. But instead look at those mistakes as things I had to learn. What else are mistakes for?

As far as my career goes, I know I jumped into too many things too soon. I never thought that someone would lie to me about the state of their company, even though right now it seems too naive to think like that. I know a litter better right now what it is that I want from a job. I know money's very important, at least to the extent that it provides me the comforts that I want in life. I know I just need a job that, if I don't particularly like what it is I do, I shouldn't be asked to invest too much in, mentally or physically. And if I love what I do, I will throw everything I have in. Gamble it all.

As far as love goes, I know I can be a very selfish lover. And a very unsure one. I need to learn how to give more. And open up more. I keep myself so closed with everyone else I know that I do the same with my love too. I know I do these things wrong, but I can't say I've learned to do otherwise, or changed my ways, because I haven't gotten the chance to put into practice all that I've preached to myself. When I get the chance, and I hope I do, I'll know if I've really changed.

I've learned to open myself up more to my friends. I'm happy I've accomplished that much. It takes me less time to start talking to people now. So I'm glad I've changed a little in these past two years.

I know I've still got a long way to go. And a lot more to learn.

So for all of those things that I don't know, I know a little too. 

: )

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Well, he's unaccomplished.

Just a little over a month to go for another milestone, and I'm a little worried. Same old shit, but on a different night. So what's the problem?

Take my guitar away. Take away the songs I've serenaded you with, and lulled you to sleep with. Take away the words I've written on blogs even I don't read, in magazines you've never even seen. Take away the pictures I've taken that nobody's seen, and the sights I've seen that you've seen too. Take away the nights we've spent talking over the phone, at the party, at your house, at my house. Take away the kisses blown, thrown, missed, caught and even those returned. Take away the dick I've been and the friend I haven't. Take away the smokes I've borrowed and lent, the flames shared. Take away the songs I've introduced you to, the movies I've forced you to watch, the books I've asked you to read (though you never did). Take it all away. And everyone I know is exactly the same as before.

Yes, I know.  I'm going to get some fresh air. Soon as I wake up. (Quite the metaphor, eh? Unintended (Good song).)