Archive for December, 2011
By Karan Patel (Simple Complex Continuity)
Tintin – All aboard the KARABOUDJAN!!
The long, long wait was finally over! I heard the news around a year back about a possibility of a series of Tintin movies based on the comic and I got goosebumps reading about it. Usually such news is followed by disappointment. (“The movie probably won’t do justice to the book.”)
Such an incredibly huge legacy, maybe a boring hype to go along with it, but wait, what?
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are going to be directing this together?
Ok, this should be the bomb.
I have probably read each and every Tintin a gazillion times back in the day and know the characters, text, illustrations, humor, plots, minute details like the fact that every Tintin has exactly 62 pages except Tintin and the Lake of Sharks because it was the only one made for an animation movie, and not to be read as a book… and all sorts of trivia, in and out, so my excitement was rocketing through the highest utopia in space that could be possible.
The movie is an adaptation of two of Herge’s books: The Secret Of The Unicorn and The Crab With The Golden Claws.
I am not going to talk about the story here, simply because this is a movie review of an age-old comic. The blend of these two books was unusual because they do not have a link between them. Steven Spielberg did a mindblowing job at connecting these two stories and since this was the first movie out, it was great to bring out the introduction of Tintin and Captain Haddock.
There were some outstanding features which I’d like to talk about:
The opening credits animation – you know you are in for a thrill if the first few minutes set you in an awe. All the fight sequences were incredible and you can clearly see Peter Jackson’s touch in them. The actors were just phenomenal, right from Daniel Craig who played Sacharine to the blundering Thomson and Thompsons (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). Snowy looks as cute as he does in the book. Captain Haddock, played by Andy Serkis was spot on! The sets created for the fictional city of Bagghar were a drool for the eye.
Above all, a big THANK YOU to Herge (Georges Remi)!
Rating : 4/5
After all these beers, so many whiskies, the rare trysts with rum and vodka, and the occasional shots of tequila, my relationship with alcohol reached an end. I have always believed alcohol is a great drug – it’s legal, and wonderful if utilized correctly. It has helped me cope in several difficult phases, and has given me countless amazing memories, despite the blackouts. But it’s no longer beneficial to me, and I no longer need it, and being the selfish person I must be, and to move on to more interesting hobbies and pastimes, I have to stop the use of alcohol completely. Of all the benefits alcohol gives, when I quit drinking, I will be robbing myself of one of my greatest passions: writing beer reviews. It has been most joyous for me to leave the house in search of new beers; to bring them home; to take photos of them in a glass next to their bottles or cans; to listen to them being poured; to see their beauty; to smell their fragrance; to taste them in all their magnificence; to marvel at how they feel on my tongue, in my mouth, and while going down my throat; to get inebriated by them eventually, and to write about it all, of course. For several reasons, and with a heavy heart, I’m waving goodbye to alcohol. The pending posts on beer and a recent visit to a vineyard will be published soon… or as late as early next year. I look forward to a time when this nation can boast of many microbreweries, and to a time when beer guzzlers of our country get drunk on craft beer and raise mugs of chilled, fresh brew to the Indian sky.
Previously unreleased Exhumation track With My Bare Hands (Instrumental): Click here to listen
Reviewed at On The Edge, Bengaluru/Bangalore
The best lager I’ve had yet, and by far the most drinkable beer I’ve had this year, Christoffel Bier comes in a swing top bottle and pours a cloudy orange. This Dutch lager is double hopped, as the bottle says, but also has a malt backing. The spicy, peppery hop bitterness is present in the nose and is abundant in the taste. A pint of this unfiltered brew isn’t enough; when Christoffel Bier comes to the city of dreams, I’ll spend a Sunday evening drinking lots of it with friends.
When Farhan Akhtar remade the 1978 classic Don in 2006, he was clearly under more pressure to get the viewer to accept Shahrukh Khan as Don than he was to tell a fresh story. It was more a remake in the sense that Shahrukh Khan was playing the character that had already been played to perfection almost three decades before. Shahrukh Khan was the only actor who could’ve filled Amitabh Bachchan’s shoes, and even armed with Bachchan’s lines and a whole lot of reference points and Farhan Akhtar’s guidance, he had a hard time convincing cinema buffs that he was the new Don.
In 2011, Farhan Akhtar makes it clear that he isn’t any longer trying to sell SRK as AB. He focuses on storytelling, multiplies the thrills, adds a truckload of witty lines to the thick bunch his father co-wrote for Amitabh Bachchan, and uses Shah Rukh Khan as his primary weapon.
Don surrenders to the police because his enemies are out to kill him; Don escapes from prison with Vardaan (Boman Irani), who was in jail because of him; Don plans and executes a bank heist; Don, in the end, defeats his enemies, and walks away after striking a deal with the cops, and he has what he wants. In short, Don hoodwinks everyone because he’s Don. Anyone can predict that Don will emerge as the one and only winner, but what nobody will expect is Farhan Akhtar to blow your mind. Akthar uses a tight script, a fantastic car-chase sequence, and Lara Dutta, among other things… but these are only to help the story move forward.
Farhan Akhtar blows your mind with Shahrukh Khan, who, in turn, returns to power, acts like none of the other superstars can and probably ever will. His Don does go over the top, and unlike Amitabh Bachchan’s Don, expects and waits for a reaction after delivering his lines, but still, he’s a lot more fun to watch than the others. Aamir Khan will scratch his head for exactly 11 minutes and 57 seconds and will never say anything negative about SRK again. Salman Khan will get drunk and use foul language and his sycophants will say things like “Bhai is upset” and “Bhai is not keeping well” to the press. Abhishek Bachchan, if he hasn’t already, will now realize he is not the heir to his father’s throne. Akshay Kumar will evaporate.
Shah Rukh Khan opens the floodgates of his charm, and the viewer will be eating out of his hands from the first minute of Don 2, wishing it would never end. Shahrukh Khan has the laugh of a movie megastar. The laugh that tells you, when Don is under threat and in great danger or flirting with the hot chick (the ultra-sexy Priyanka Chopra – I love her) who is having the toughest time of her cute life fighting off Don’s advances, that everything is under control. Under Don’s control. Amitabh Bachchan had that laugh, even though I don’t remember him laughing in Don. And SRK has it. They don’t have the same style of laughing, but now there are two styles of laughing Don will be associated with. Maybe it’s because they both just have their own unique styles of laughing? I’m confusing myself here, so excuse me. Shah Rukh, even while hamming occasionally, looks a lot more at ease being Don now, in Don 2.
Priyanka Chopra is the sexiest woman in Bollywood, and she looks even sexier when she acts. There are others in Don 2 too, but you don’t want to know about anyone except SRK and PC, right? Right. But I’ll tell you anyway: Om Puri has become a joke, and Boman Irani gets a better shot at acting than he does in the Munnabhai series.
Don 2 is fucking slick – it’s like watching a Hollywood action-thriller. Farhan Akhtar leaves no loopholes, and makes the story rather believable. If only it hadn’t been stretched all that much to make Don seem like even more of a daredevil (he returns to the bank after executing the heist successfully and vanishing from the scene), Don 2 would have been a compact blockbuster worth watching several times. One more thing I have to credit Don with: he has impeccable taste. We both are extremely fond of wild cats.