Posted by: rajeevgopal | September 29, 2010

What’s ailing Malayalam Cinema?

That is one topic every Keralite likes to discuss, other than Politics :) This a series of blog posts (or so I plan of), about the reasons I see and the possible solutions that come to my mind.

Problem #1: Pathetic situation of Entertainment centers
I can only talk of those cinema theatres in Trivandrum (Kerala, India), my home town,  and some outside Trivandrum. I can say with 100% certainty that none of the theatres in Trivandrum are welcoming!!! Yes, that are three exclamations, and that was with purspose. :)

On our recent visit to Trivandrum, we went to watch Pazhassiraja, with much enthusiasm. Let me say, the experience (not the movie) disappointed me! I could not watch the movie with complete satisfaction. The ambience of the theatre was of very low class. The theatre had its own special effects, turning the lights on and off, and what nots!

Recently, one of my friends rented the DVD of the movie and we watched it in his home theater. Wow, I had missed the entire movie the first time! So, you imagine!

Solution: This is an easy one. Make it up! Make it trendy so that it attracts more people.

UPDATE: It seems its not only in Trivandrum. http://www.cinemajalakam.in/2010/10/blog-post_7183.html

Problem #2: The approach of movie making.
Some months back, I stumbled (yes, I never intended to watch) upon this movie called One Way Ticket. After watching the whole movie, I cursed myself of wasting 2 hours of valuable time! The director/screenplay writer did not have a clue what they were doing, for sure! That was very evident from the movie.

OK, bad movies come and go, and why am I so obsessed with this one alone? The one thing which was frustrating to me was the cast – this movie had Prithviraj, Mammootty and Thilakan.

What more could a director ask for? He just wasted lots of money, thats all!!

Recently saw Agathan, with lots of curiosity, after watching Dileep talk about it as it was the best movie ever made (in Students Only in Kairali TV). Very disappointed! It was directed by Kamal, for God’s sake! What’s happening???

Solution: It is time for the film makers to take a step back and think straight for a moment. They need to redefine the approach of movie making. Its not the money which makes the movie, its the movie which makes the money! :)

Posted by: rajeevgopal | September 23, 2010

Movies I wish to watch

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Pranjiyettan and The Saint  (Malayalam)
Brain child of ace director, Ranjith, this movie is already making waves in Kerala. Mammookka’s different mannerisms has hit the hearts of Malayalees. Ranjith, who takes up different movies with different treatment, has not disappointed the masses it seems.

Urumi (Malayalam)
As of this writing, this movie is under production. Being directed by Santosh Sivan, this movie is co-produced by the young and dynamic Prithviraj. He is also playing the lead role of Kelu Nayanar, who planned to kill Vasco Da’ Gama. I have been following the lion heart in twitter for some time. The crew is now in Malshej Ghats near Pune, shooting some romantic song sequences and some fight sequences involving Portugese martial artists and Kalari Payattu (a martial art in Kerala, India) dudes.

Anwar (Malayalam)
Amal Neerad really disappointed me in Sagar Alias Jacky (Reloaded), wasting the much talented Mohanlal (Lalettan). Very much! I hope this is his comeback, starring Prithviraj.

Shikkar (Malayalam)
Lalettan is back in action, with ace director Padmakumar (Ammakkilikoodu fame), with lot of adventure and thriller sequences.

Debaangg (Hindi)
Salman Khan starrer! Making waves in India.
Should I take a chance? :)
I took the chance, alright! And it was worth it. It was an out-and-out entertainer indeed. Even though it is not a must-watch, you would enjoy it! I did.

The American (English)
I have been a fan of George Clooney for a long long time. His close-to-life acting sense has attracted me since I saw his One Fine Day. Who can forget the subtle shock he displays towards the climax of  Up in the air?
A beautiful movie. This is not an action movie. The silence is very much haunting in this movie. The whole movie has this mood of solitude as depicted by the main character, played by Mr. Clooney. He has excelled in his characterisation and he should be adored for his acting capabilities.

Inception (English)
I have not seen Nolan’s much acclaimed Momento. But I am gonna watch Inception, once it lands on the DVD aisles. Mr. Caprio is one of those actors who improvises with every role he gets. He has come a long way from the chocolate boy of Titanic.

Enthiran (Tamil)
Saw the trailers in YouTube. Overwhelming. Director Sankar needs applause for sure. I think this one would be worth a trip to DC or Philadelphia when it arrives here in US.
We did not have to go to DC or Phila. The Regal cinemas in Harrisburg was showing this movie. And was that a treat! Shankar did entertain us. It was a Shankar movie than a Rajni one. Marvellous, indeed!

Posted by: rajeevgopal | August 30, 2010

Teacher Appears (read Teachers Appear!)

>“When student is ready, teacher will appear!”

This statement has lot of meaning. This has very deep meaning of one has to be ready for the opportunity. Be prepared, and you shall reap the fruits.

This is true in all of our cases. Some of us may just not be aware of this happening to us.

In Harrisburg, we have a small group of friends, getting together on Sundays, for a Satsang. We discuss Hinduism and it’s effects of its ideologies and literature on our daily lives. So far it has been very rewarding in learning new things and applying to our lives in moderate doses.

The only challenge was none of us understand Sanskrit, which is the base language of all Hindu scriptures. There are other sources as well, in Malayalam and English, but the root source of all come from those Sanskrit scriptures.

Then one day, it just happened.

Sri Mannadi Hari (Sapthaaham fame) happened to visit US and we invited him over to Harrisburg. He is a very learned person and it was a blessing for us that he visited our small group and attended one of our Satsangs. He gave a discourse on Dharma Sastra and its relevancy in today’s world. Very informative session, it was.

After two weeks, our Satsang initiator Gopakumar told that Sri Udit Chaitanya is visiting US. He is a Swamiji and a Brahmachari (unlike Sri Mannadi Hari). He has amassed wealth of knowledge in Bhagawatham. Gopan invited him over and he was very kind enough to accept our invitation and came over. We organized a small gathering at our temple in Harrisburg (HARI Temple).  It was another enlightening day of discourse.

We were ready. And the teachers appeared.

Posted by: rajeevgopal | January 12, 2010

India Trip 2009 – 1

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Kuwait Airways – Low rate or Low service?
When my travel agent quoted the deal of $670.00 per person for a trip to India (Chennai , to be specific), I could not say NO. Grabbed it then and there! $670.00 is a SUPERB deal! I have never ever seen a deal below $1000.00 for a to-and-fro trip to Chennai or Trivandrum, from USA. The flght is from JFK, told my agent. Never mind, for $670.00, I wouldn’t even mind walking from Mechanicsburg PA to JFK, I said. And laughed.
Kuwait Airyways was never number 1 for anyone’s list flying to Kerala. The service was not at par. But it is better than Air India, which has its own internal issues to solve first, before showing some good customer service. The individual TV sets did not work properly and the seats were not that comfortable. It was ok for both myself and my wife, but for our 6 year old daughter, it was BORING!
The flight to Chennai was ok. The flight we took, was via London. So we had security checks in JFK as well as in London. Hassle, it was, but we did not mind as it was for our own cause. Once we reached Kuwait, we had to change the aircraft. There are airport officials every where in the airport, but knowing English is not enough. Because they dont know any. The airlines desk staff helped us find the gate.
Chennai – The City
A seemingly surprising wonderful weather in Chennai welcomed us. My brother-in-law had come to pick us up, with my sister and nephew.
Chennai had changed. The Airport fly over, which was in the beginning stages of construction in 2007, had completed and was pretty pukka! Chennai has its own charm even in midst of heavy traffic and unethical driving sense. The emergence of MNC and its clones, and the eat outs catering them have polished the face of Chennai.
We visited the Crocodile and Snake Park on our way to Ideal Beach Resort in Mahabalipuram Road.
The ambience in the beach resort was ecstatic. The resort was very clean and neat. The food was awesome. And the beach – simply superb!
World’s greatest cuisine – Anything that Mom prepares!
The best part visiting my Mom is getting great food! She is a great cook. She is passionate about cooking! And she likes to see people eat and be merry! And guess what? All we did in Chennai was shopping and eating! From Beef Cutlet to Mutton Pulau – anything that came our way… sumptous indeed!
Kerala Cafe – The film of films
Sangam was playing Kerala Cafe. I had read numerous reviews about the movie and seen interviews about the same. And above all I am a fan of Ranjith, the director, who is the producer of the movie. Kerala Cafe is a compilation of 10 small movies. Yes, 10 movies, directed by 10 different directors. All the stories engulfed me. We had a good time at Kerala Cafe. Some of the credit indeed goes to the theatre and the setup. Sangam is a great theatre.
Trivandrum
Time went by very quickly and we had to fly to Trivandrum. Simi’s parents came to the airport to welcome us. Trivandrum was very hot, an unusual condition for December. The only change I saw in Trivandrum was the emergence of flats. More number of builders have occupied the lands and build more flats in the city. More people have immigrated to the city thanks to the flourishing Technopark.


But again the infrastructure of the city has not moved an inch yet. It has moved, of course, towards the worst. The roads are in a very bad shape, thanks to the not-so-focussed politicians, and failing projects.

(To Be Continued…)
Posted by: rajeevgopal | November 12, 2009

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Posted by: rajeevgopal | December 2, 2008

Unpopular Chief Minister. Unpopular Remarks

>I would not expect anything more from him. Oh ya, I am talking about our own Achuthananthan, who had done NOTHING except getting unpopular!

The recent remarks against Major Sandeep’s family is just an example. The remarks were a colloquial one, I agree. But, it was not proper. It could come out from only a person who does not have any self respect.

I am not a Congressman, if you doubt! Never. You can call me a bully, but don’t call me a politician! You may say, what is the difference! And I would laugh at your remarks!

I never had any inclination towards any political parties, nor do I have now. Political parties in India have not become so people-friendly till now. It might change, and of course I am looking forward to it.

People are fed up with these anti-heroes and their anti-heroisms.

When would they learn? When would we learn?

Posted by: rajeevgopal | December 31, 2007

The New Year!!!

>Well, another year is passing by…

2007 was a fast year for me and my family. My daughter turned 4, my brother-in-law got married, we go to visit India, I got MCAD. Lot of good things happened… Bad things happened too, but I tend to forget all the bad things and project the good things that happened to me… that keeps me alive and energetic…

Wish you all the readers a happy new year 2008!!!

Cheers!

Posted by: rajeevgopal | December 19, 2007

Stage and me

>I always wanted to act in a movie, when I was a teenager. I still have the passion of acting! That might have seeded in me by seeing my father on stage, on different occasions. No, he was not a professional actor. He was better than lots of them, but he acted in his official annual function skits.

My only outlet was the extra curricular activities in my school. I was totally involved in those, that I almost forgot (another term for being lazy) to study. And that hit me hard once, which I will never forget. Since then I have been keeping myself away from arts and theatre activities and concentrating on my studies and mainstream job related activities. So my hobby list included reading .NET books, writing .NET related blogs and attending actively in the local .NET user group.

Once again, the acting bug has hit me. It is with the local Kerala Association (Kerala is the state in India where I am from) connection. And they have made me the Entertainment Committee Lead. I am excited as well as afraid at the same time. When I am on stage, I forget everything… I just go with the flow…

This time, I have sworned myself that it would be different. I would be more careful than before. One lesson in life is more than enough to learn, right? My family and career comes first and everything else is second (or third or fourth…)…

Posted by: rajeevgopal | July 28, 2005

What a Request

>A request, from 113 MLAs to the President of India, to show some relief to the jail resident Madani, was not welcoming to me.

The question is who are these MLAs? Relatives of Madani? It is an open secret that he was responsible for Coimbatore bombing.

By releasing such a creature is doing injustice to our country!

SOMETIMES, I FEEL THAT THESE WRETCHED POLITICIANS ARE FOOLS BY BIRTH!!!!

Posted by: rajeevgopal | July 18, 2005

10 Years, that is!

>Celeberating 10 years in IT Industry. Yes, I am that old (no grey hairs till, but!).
I have learned from a lot and given a lot to the industry in the past 10 years. Its been a great journey and am still on it. I have seen the ups and downs of the industry and myself. If you (or Larry King) ask me how do I feel, I would say “GREAT!!”.

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