Archive for the Hollywood Category

Your Timeline needs a Hugo…

Posted in Hollywood, Philosophy, Tiger Trail, Times Blogs, Times of India with tags , , , , , on March 6, 2012 by Sharmila

Link to my new blog on Times of India ..


Amitabh Bachchan in the Great Gatsby…

Posted in Bachchan, Hollywood with tags , , on September 12, 2011 by Sharmila

Mr Bachchan has recently been signed up to appear in a friendly role in Baz Luhrmann’s film, the Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby has a stellar cast with my favorite actor Leonardo Di Caprio in the lead and I was expecting a chunkier role from Mr Bachchan in the Great Gatsby, certainly more than a friendly appearance in one scene! Mr Bachchan on his blog had quoted – Continue reading

The social network…Mark Zuckerberg’s story.

Posted in Entertainment, Hollywood with tags , on January 5, 2011 by Sharmila

Social networking – A phrase foreign to the world-wide web until the late nineties. Networking on the web thereafter evolved at a pace so rapidly that it almost seemed that the final frontiers of social networking were reached. Could it get bigger or better we wondered. Not only did it get bigger and better, it got addictive. With the emergence of Friendster and My space, social networking seemed to have no bounds, but it was Facebook which took social networking to a different level altogether. Facebook currently has close to five hundred million users and is valued at sixteen billion dollars. It is the most used social network today.To understand how big , how quickly and how exactly did Facebook get to where it is now, Columbia pictures went ahead and made a movie of it all. Continue reading

Scarlett’s spirit…

Posted in Hollywood with tags , on January 21, 2010 by Sharmila

“Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides… there isn’t going to be any war” says pretty Scarlett O’ Hara as she charms the eager men at a barbecue at Twelve Oaks on the eve of the American Civil war. Fiddle-dee-dee could never be uttered like the way Scarlett did, with her impish smile and big black eyes so wonderfully portrayed by Vivien Leigh in my favorite Hollywood movie of all times ” Gone with the wind”. Tara, the home of the O’Haras with it’s cotton plantations, the boisterousness of Gerald O’Hara and the vivaciousness of his pretty daughter Scarlett reflects the untiring Georgian spirit.Scarlett’s love for Ashley Wilkes ( Leslie Howard ) remains undaunted despite his marriage to cousin Melanie, but Scarlett’s feisty spirit keeps her optimistic in a child like manner. She lives life with the hope that Ashley will be hers one day.

Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the wind ” which birthed Scarlett is a masterpiece.Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece was reproduced in 1939 as a Hollywood film and has been ranked as one of the highest grosser of all times with figures adjusted for inflation. The movie was made with a budget of 4 million, by no means a modest sum for that era. While Scarlett and Rhett lived in a world of strife at the time of the civil war amongst wounded and dying confederate soldiers , food shortage and growing taxes, I lived in a near perfect utopian state of realization of Scarlett’s spirit. Scarlett’s arian spirit is unwavering. Despite all odds, she faces life with strife, valor and unparalleled determination as the central character of the novel. She loves Ashley but Scarlett’s love for Tara overrides all other and like none other. The dashing, handsome Rhett Butler (Clark Gable ) loved Scarlett when he set eyes on her at the library of Twelve Oaks when Scarlett has an altercation with Ashley Wilkes. He wakes up to the noise of a crashing vase that Scarlett hurls over the sofa he is sleeping on, hidden from her view. Awakening to the shattering noise and with a twinkle in his eye asks if the war has begun.Nobody, looked like the way Rhett did at Scarlett, nobody kissed Scarlett like the way he did in cinematic history. Whether it was the book that describes this moment at the library and Rhett’s love for Scarlett or the movie that brings to life Scarlett and Rhett, this fiery romanticism that existed between the suave, dashing Rhett and the immature Scarlett was never witnessed before. Our eyes and ears yearned for more of Scarlett and Rhett  and their chemistry set our hearts on fire.

There are immense lessons to be learnt from the story and Mitchell’s detailed descriptions of Scarlett’s spirit is a treasure. Scarlett resurrects Tara when it was devastated by the Northern troops. She gets on her hands and knees and revives the dying crops on the plantation. She famously says – “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me! I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again! No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill! As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!”

Scarlett is widowed twice and marries Rhett the third time more out of convenience and her growing need for luxury and comforts. She wished to satiate her child like fantasies of re living the Tara life. She seizes the opportunity and lives in a sprawling manor in Atlanta. She loses both her children with Rhett and her reputation is sullied by her love for Ashley in a reviving Atlanta.  An already mourning Rhett is outraged and distances himself from Scarlett. When Melanie dies, Scarlett realizes Ashley’s love for Melanie and she was loving something that never existed. When she runs back to Rhett, it is too late. He is packing up to leave and she frantically pleads with him to stay – “Rhett… If you go … where shall I go? What shall I do?”
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” says Rhett famously and walks out of the heavy oak doors of the Atlanta manor.

Rhett’s love for Scarlett and Scarlett’s love for Ashley is better understood than Scarlett’s love for Rhett. Amidst Scarlett’s immature and hasty propositions to the men whom she married and lost, there is tapestried adoration for Rhett. Scarlett being a fighter makes the optimum utilization of unconditioned moments and latches on to every life line that is thrown at her. Somewhere during her travesties she falls out of love with Ashley and falls in love with Rhett. Rhett treats her like a child but adores her bashfulness as much as her impulsiveness. Scarlett’s love for Rhett is more whimsical than the child like obsession that she initially had for Ashley. The realization of her true love for Rhett sets in only at the very end.

Scarlett hopes, yearns and firmly resolves that she will go back to Tara – “Tara! Home. I’ll go home, and I’ll think of some way to get him back! After all, tomorrow is another day!”

Tomorrow is indeed another day in all our lives. What aspirations are not realized today, we live in the profound hope of realizing it tomorrow.

Some more memorable dialogues – 

Rhett Butler ( Clark Gable ):
“I can’t go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands.”

Rhett Butler ( Clark Gable ):
“I love you. Because we’re alike. Bad lots both of us. Selfish and shrewd but able to look things in the eye and call them by their right name.”

Scarlett O’Hara ( Vivien Leigh ):
“Fiddle dee dee. War, war, war. This war talks is spoiling the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream.”

Scarlett O’Hara ( Vivien Leigh ):
“Another dance and my reputation will be gone forever.”
Rhett Butler ( Clark Gable ):
“With enough courage you can do without a reputation.”

Rhett Butler ( Clark Gable ):
“No, I don’t think I will kiss you. Although you need kissing badly. That’s what wrong with you. You should be kissed and often by someone who knows how.”

Avatar – Pandora’s box opens for our race..

Posted in Entertainment, Hollywood with tags , on December 19, 2009 by Sharmila

When Fox set an initial production and distribution budget of 350 ( revised later to 500 ) million for Avatar, Murdoch (Newscorp) would have been rubbing his hands in glee only because it is Cameron’s movie and expectedly should stay afloat unlike the real Titanic on it’s maiden journey. This movie is one which can be best described as a Director’s imagination traveling beyond a million galaxies. Cameron has probably exceeded his own expectations with this script which he tailored fifteen years back and he has gone on to create a marvel. A marvel which probably exploits existing visual effects technology to the hilt. I watched it earlier in a state of the art 4D theatre at the HKIA and sat spellbound the entire time.

The movie is not science fiction alone, it garners a lot of due credit to sensitivities and emotions by the Na’vis who live on planet Pandora. The humans being the aliens are largely seen as the insensitive lot who continue the same agenda of colonization on planet Pandora 4.3 light years away as they have done so for centuries on planet earth. The behavioral aspects of the Na’vis closely resembled the aboriginal race of Australia & New Zealand who were traumatized by the white man’s discovery of their land. Corporatization continues by the humans on Pandora, where the resources await plundering for profit alone. The Na’vis live one with nature and attuned to its ways, the religious beliefs can be seen as shades of Hinduism and Buddhism. The sparingly few humans with a good heart are like Greenpeace activists who fight tooth and nail for the survival of the Na’vi race, Pandora’s diverse animal life forms, the home tree – Kelutrel and a religious tree of souls which houses a Na’vi Goddess. The biggest message in this movie is to not mess with nature and her life forms. At the end, when the Na’vis face defeat, it is the angstiks (Hammerhead animal form), which bulldozed their way through the human army, enabling the Na’vis to win the ground battle. The air battle is won by the Na’vis with the assistance of the Banshees (resembles flying dinosaurs of Jurassic age). 

Avatar should have been viewed at the recent summit for climate change in Copenhagen, there would not have been any walkouts by the African nations and a better result may have ensued as the delegates would have understood well and truly the importance of our natural resources.The only dialogue which I laughed at rather loudly was when the antagonist, (the Colonel) in 2154 sounds like George Bush in 2001 with his statement “ we must fight terror with terror”. I am not going to speak further about the plot and spoil your fun, this movie is a must see and seeing it and experiencing the hi tech visual shocks is a must.

Back to earth, I wish we humans lived like the Na’vis. The Na’vis connect with their animal forms in a bizarre fashion; they touch their long braids with a duct like opening in the animals to make that connect. We do not have to do such difficult things; we can just let them live in their habitats peacefully. Come a day when we earthlings get attacked by aliens we would need the support from our animal kingdom or probably there will be no animals around by then. What will be the new “avatar” for us ?

Cast – Sam Worthington , Sigourney Weaver , Zoe Saldana
Director – James Cameron
Rating – ****