Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Last Stretch… and a few misgivings

Another week to go and one semester will pass. To quote a much beaten-to-death cliche, it appears as though it began only yesterday. I'm not sure how to react though. Maybe the grades would help me out on this. The good part of the semester is that I was lucky enough to not have a final semester exam for any of the courses. I have been a pathetic taker of tests throughout my life anyway, not that I'm going to defend it by saying my practical knowledge is spectacular. The bad part is that I have loads of project work to be submitted by the end of the week, so it's back to slogging after this post. (Note: The back-to-slogging thing is just a way of saying that I need to get back to my routines, and it's late night at the time of writing this post, which means I have got to hit the sack as soon as I can.)

Onto other matters, I saw the trailer of Guru, Mani Ratnam's latest directorial venture, and to say that I was underwhelmed is to say the least. I have come to assume certain things growing up in a Mani Ratnam-A. R. Rahman era, but that will be talked about later. Going by the rumours that it is a biopic on Ambani Sr., my first thoughts on seeing the trailer was, what the hell is Abhishek Bachchan doing in this movie? He so does not fit the bill, and for once I get the feeling that Mani has got the casting wrong (Okay, first mistake after the disaster that was Aishwarya in Iruvar). Had it been a Tamil movie I would have comforted myself with the belief that the writing would take care of any shortcomings in the cast. But in Hindi, inspite of a couple of more than decent offerings (Dil Se, Yuva), he hasn't quite managed to set the box office alight. I do hope however, that he does manage to deliver a brilliant movie... a movie where Abhishek better act his ass off and a movie where the music makes Mallika (Why did MR have to get so desperate?) Sherawat's supposed item number bearable.

I appreciate MR's ability to marry his kind of cinema with commercial elements, but traditionally those came in the form of brilliant camera shots, editing and an almost telepathic understanding with A. R. Rahman, along with the unmatched ability to lend form to his music in ways that others wouldn't even be privileged to dream of. I wouldn't be far off the mark if I said that (barring Lagaan), some of the best visual manifestations of ARR's music have come in MR's movies. Which brings me to this... as much as I admire ARR, I couldn't get myself to react to some of the songs in Guru except for 'Ae Hairathe' and 'Tere Bina'. The other songs have a weird earthiness, very uncomfortable and very much unlike Swades or Lagaan, that I could not quite get myself to listen to repeatedly. Though the said couple of songs that I did like are on constant play in my playlist. Again, a first with an ARR album.

But I would certainly be in unchartered territory when I do go to watch Guru... a Mani Ratnam movie that I'll watch with expectations well below that I had of any of his past ones.


  1. Dingo. how could you watch guru man? or are you telling me that maddu movies dont szuck?
    (hope you dont go ballistic about jingoism after this...)
    btw, talkin of ARR, im going to soon become an ARR-hater. bastards in my wing play his songs 24x7. And its occassionally seasoned with a TATU intermission.
    all the things she said...alipaayude...roja....AAAAAARRRGGHHH!

  2. Hmm, Dil Se and Yuva are the only Mani Ratnam movies in Hindi:) And I think Abhishek Bacchan acted brilliantly in Yuva too! Will download and listen to Guru. On the other hand, you might want to listen to 'kummi adi' from 'jillunu oru kaadhal'...

  3. Keerthi,
    'Kummi adi', 'New York Nagaram', 'Munbe Vaa' ... they are all brilliant. And just that u know, it's Sillunu oru kadhal. :) Name changed to get a tax exemption because it's a more Tamil name.[:D]

    I meant to say, couple of more than decent offerings, namely Dil Se and Yuva. Surely you would trust me to know that there were only two in Hindi.

    Last heard Guru was not released, so it rules out me being able to see it. And no, I did not say Maddu movies don't suck. I was talking specifically about MR and ARR that's all.
    And about your opinion on ARR, I think you are lucky to have your neighbours playing ARR and not some gangsta rap. TATU intermissions are not actually bad. Atleast they are intermissions (... change of mood) [:)]

    Yes, Abhishek he acted well in Yuva. Though I don't seem to feel anything positive from what I saw in the promos of Guru. I may be wrong and I hope so.