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Kiruba Shankar

Why I Won’t Watch Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam on DTH?

Pic Courtesy: The Hindu

Before I tell you why, I’d like to state the following.

I’m a fan of Kamal.  Not a huge fan but an admirer of his versatility.  I like him better than Rajini or any other Indian actor.

I admire Kamal’s guts of standing against the film mafia. Its never easy to change things and if it happens, the movie will set a trend for other film makers to follow.

I applaud Kamal as a businessman. He is the producer as well and he has every right to choose a medium to recover his money. If it fetches him a significant portion of his investment, then why not?

I’m pro-technology. Movie via DTH brings in lots of convenience. Kudos to Kamal for embracing technology.

So, why then won’t I watch it in DTH?

A) Duh!  I don’t have DTH.

B) Even if I did have one, watching on TV will never replicate the brilliance of watching it on the big screen. No matter how big the TV is or how dense the pixels are, it never matches the big screen. Not to mention the sound effects.

C) The reason why we usually enjoy the movie experience is because of the quiet atmosphere. Watching it at home means unnecessary distractions. Somebody will ring the bell. The kitchen needs to be tended to. Kids run around. These are OK while watching regular TV. But a movie deserved to be savored without distractions.

I’m a regular movie watcher on DVD.  I have experienced enough to prefer watching a movie on the big screen while digging into an obnoxiously priced tub of popcorn and sipping an overpriced Pepsi.

That’s me.  What about you?  Theater or TV?

My Notes from Life of Pi

Last night,  I finally got to watch ‘Life of Pi’ with my family.   The fact that I’m from Pondicherry and much of the initial movie is based there made it a compelling factor to watch.

I have heard great reviews from friends and I went in with high expectations. The movie exceeded my expectations by a mile.

Here are my quick thoughts after seeing the movie:

The Computer Graphics are Awesome: There’s one particular scene where the young boy reads an Amar Chitra Katha comic about young Krishna. Its about how an entire universe is seen when he opens his mouth. The transition from the closeup of the comic to showing the expansive universe was astounding.  Or take that under-water shot of Pi’s uncle swimming in the Paris swimming pool.  Or the flying fishes. I could just go on & on.

Skip the DVD:  Never make the mistake of watching the movie on a DVD. Please don’t. Its an insult to the talented creators of the movie. Watch it in large screen. In 3D. The movie comes to life and how!

Proud to be a Pondicherrian:  I hail from a village in Pondicherry and did most of my schooling in the city. I recognized many of the places from the movie. They even showed my school. Its awesome that Ang Lee has stayed true to the book and decided to shoot the scenes here. You should have seen my chest swell with pride.

Want to visit Pondicherry?: The city looks beautiful in the movie. Wonderfully portrayed of the town during the 1960s. If you decide to visit Pondy now, you will be sorely disappointed. The beautiful and quiet French part of the town is now crassly commercialized. The traffic is crazy and noisy.  You are definitely welcome to Pondicherry but take my advice…. Keep your expectations a little low.

The Credit Lines: I stayed back after the movie had finished to watch the credit lines. Even as the last of the movie goers vacated the hall, my eyes were transfixed at the screen hoping to catch the Indian names. I was disappointed at catching only a couple. You would think that a movie entirely based on Indians will have more Indians helping in making the film? Nope. Other than the cast, there were almost no Indians in the production crew. Saw lots of Taiwanese names though.

Want to Read the Book: In 2003, I picked up Yann Martel’s book off a road-side book seller. Even since it won the Booker Prize the previous year, it had become a favorite of the book pirates.  I read the book cover to cover…meaning I only read the two covers. Nothing in between. Somehow I wasn’t interested. Now that I loved the movie, time to dig out that book, dust it and read it.

Watching it Again: Very rarely do I ever watch a movie twice. But this one, I *have* to watch it again. I saw this at Fame Cinemas with a crappy 3D glass that was heavily scratched.  In spite of that, the movie was awesome. This time I’m heading to Satyam Cinemas and want to watch it in Dolby Atmos.

Seen the movie? What are your favorite scenes?

Unnale Unnale is one of the best movies I have seen off late.

Unnale Unnale is one of the best movies I have seen off late.

Right from the posters to the TV promos, it had a classy look to it and the movie not only lived up to my expectations but exceeded it too. Very rarely do I come across a movie where I liked almost all the songs and the picturization is brilliant.

Vinay gets a Madhavan like dream debut. Sadha is wonderful and currently my favorite. Tanisha, Kajol’s younger sis is lusciously good looking and makes up for her sub-par acting.

I have hardly watched the same movie twice but this is one movie I might watch again.

Two thumbs up.