Monday, March 21, 2011

Christian Brothers-Many stars, poor show

Movie: Christian Brothers
Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Dileep, Sharath Kumar, Kavya Madhavan, Lakshmi Rai

Many stars, poor show
True, too many cooks spoil the broth. Despite having the luxury of actors like Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Dileep and Sharath Kumar together in the same movie, Christian Brothers turns out to be a disappointment. A mixture of murder, politics and romance, the first half of the movie is devoted to narrate the heroics of the stars. The film moves through the tracks of family, crime and comedy; ends with ‘funny’ gun shots, leaving the viewers ‘bleed’ for expecting something exceptional from Joshiy, a director with an enviable track record.
Christian Brothers is the story of retired Army officer Palomattathu Varghese Mappila (Saikumar) and his sons Christy (Mohanlal) and Joby (Dileep). Contrary to his dreams, dealing with underworld, Christy becomes a highly paid informer in Mumbai, while Joby, who was sent abroad to study Theology, falls in love with Home Minister’s daughter (Kavya Madhavan), and eventually takes the gun to settle scores with his sister’s murderer. Joseph Vadakkan(Suresh Gopi), a strong-willed police officer, also joins the bandwagon. Sarath Kumar with his unique gestures adds vigour to the star-studded show. Kavya Madhavan, who comes opposite to Dileep, and Lakshmi Rai, lover of Mohanlal help bind the many subplots and as custom suggests, shake a leg in song sequences. The pretty sisters of the Christian brothers, Kaniha and Lakshmi Gopalaswamy make their presence felt.
Uday Krishnan and Sibi K Thomas have failed to flesh the outline of this multi-character plot out into a convincing screenplay. Some scenes in the first half should have been trimmed to ensure a fast-paced narrative. The film, which is heavily depending on the star power, is average entertainment at best.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Interview-Actor Bhavana

Happy, but hungry for more

Actress Bhavana is shuttling between her busy schedules. She talks to Expresso about breaking stereotypes and her Kannada debut, Jackie

She is bold and beautiful. Bha¬vana, who has wowed the Ma¬layalam, Tamil and Telugu audience with noteworthy per¬formance in various movies, has now enough and more reasons to be happy.
Her debut movie in Kannada Jackie opposite Puneeth Rajkumar is running successfully all over the state. Subtle warmth radiates from her persona as Bhavana talks about her experiences and expectations with palpable enthu¬siasm. Soaking in the success of the movie, the bubbly actress says that she was waiting for a perfect launch in San¬dalwood.
“I have acted in all other South In¬dian languages and was waiting for a good role in Kannada. Though I got a few offers from Sandalwood earlier, I could not commit those due to various reasons. When I got this offer, all I knew was both Puneeth and Suri are big names in Kannada. I liked the story, which was woven with a social mes¬sage, exposing the world of human traf¬ficking. I was pretty sure that it would be a super hit,” says Bhavana, who has her hands full and is thirsting for more.
Justifying her comparatively less important role in the hero-oriented film, Bhavana says her role as Lakshmi in the movie was not just about running around the tree in song sequences.
Bhavana is all praise for her co-star Puneeth Rajkumar with whom she shared the screen for the first time.
“Puneeth is down to earth and sup¬portive. He stood with me and helped to deliver better whenever I had prob¬lems with language. Jackie was their home production. When we went to foreign countries he was generous enough to take care of even small things to avoid problems while shoot¬ing outdoors in cold weather. I think we have good on-screen chemistry also,” she says.
Bhavana is being flooded with offers, and has some brilliant roles in the off¬ing in various languages. She will soon be acting with Sudeep in a Kannada movie.
The chirpy actress, who nurses a fe¬tish for extra ordinary roles, says that she wants to handle action-oriented and naughty roles and come out of the girl-next-door and happy-rich girl im¬age. Smart and assertive, Bhavana, who started acting when she was 16, is very selective about roles now.
“I don’t want to regret after doing some unsatisfying roles. I am looking forward to doing all types of roles that give me an opportunity to prove my act¬ing prowess. If the script is impressive, language is no barrier. When it comes to acting, I am very ambitious and at times, a bit greedy too,” she laughs.

In conversation with actor Vikram

Romancing the crown

Not willing to rest on his laurels, actor Vikram keeps
on experimenting and exploring new thrills

With his repertoire of richly layered per¬formances in movies that have been artisti¬cally perfect and commercial¬ly successful, Vikram symbol¬ises celluloid brilliance. True, there is certain amount of dis¬tinctiveness and honesty in the characters this national award winner has essayed brilliantly in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam movies. It’s that stamp of candour that makes Vikram one of the most genuine film stars around. Still basking in the glory of Maniratnam’s Raavan, which was a phenomenal hit in Tam¬il, this versatile actor, who is known for his stellar perfor¬mance in many critically ac¬claimed movies, feels that there is no substitute for per¬severance and hard work.
Be it about his recent visit to Venice to take part in the 67th film festival, lukewarm response to its Hindi version or his hopes about upcoming films, Vikram speaks from the heart.
“The visit to Venice was one of the most memorable experi¬ences Ihave ever had. They screened 'Raavan' at the festi¬val. Iwas curious to see the response of an audience that was mainly European. When the movie was done, they stood up, clapped and started shout¬ing 'Veera back back’. Ihave never felt proud of myself or my film like this!,” he says.
Contrary to popular belief, Raavan is not his Bollywood debut. In fact, he has made his presence felt in the Hindi belt with Aparichit, a remake of his smash hit Tamil film An¬niyan. Isn’t it right time to cash in on Bollywood?
“Iam in no hurry. Iwould love to do movies in all lan¬guages, provided the role is enticing and challenging. If Ige t an 'Apara j i t ' o r a 'Pithamagan' in Hindi, Iwould somehow squeeze in the dates. Iam waiting for a good script in Kannada. Ihave many Kan¬nadiga friends, who worked with me in 'Maja',” he says.
New looks and different roles have always fascinated this actor, who keeps on ex¬perimenting with every con¬ceivable role and broadens the parameters of cinematic ex¬pression.
“At present, Iam essaying a very challenging role of a per¬son afflicted with borderline mental retardation,” he adds.
Vikram is in the opinion that though life seems to be difficult, it gives many oppor¬tunities to score.
“Iam not lucky. Every move and every role of mine has been carefully thought out and essayed. Ihave steadfastly worked on my talents to reach here,” says Vikram, who nur¬tures a dream of wearing the director’s hat soon.
MGR, Jayalalitha, Vijaya¬kanth, Nepoleon, Kushboo... All made it big in politics. So when is Vikram's turn?
“Politics has not fascinated me so far. Iam obsessed with cinema and the day Itire of that and learn how to handle mike and dhothi, its politics for me. By the way, will you vote for me?,” asks the actor with a broad smile.

Talacauvery- The Misty Heaven

It was a cup of freshly brewed steaming Coorg coffee and my guide’s tempting portrayal of the Brahmagiri peak that inspired me to embark on a journey to Talacauvery, where the revered river Cauvery originates, on the last day of my trip to Kodagu.
Here is a confession. Surrendering to the heavenly pleasures of getting up to a misty morning, opening doors to a rainy world, sitting i

n the cosiness of a charukasera in the balcony with a book and enjoying the nature’s bounty in all its verdant hues, most of the days I preferred to stay indoors, delay¬ing the trip to Talacauvery until I was con¬vinced by my guide. For me, Talacauvery was just like any other pilgrim centres dot¬ting the countryside.
Finally, we braved the rains to reach Ta¬lacauvery, which is 1,276 metres above sea level, eight kilometres from Bhagamandala and 48 km from Madikeri.
Stepping out onto the cold, I realise what the pleasant surprise the nature had in its store. Patches of snow cover the hills slowly and fade away — a magic mountain turning its colour from lush green into snowy white. While trying to capture the spellbinding mo¬ment and immerse myself into it, I could see shutterbugs busy capturing the moment for posterity.
Those travelling to Talacauvery usually stop at Bhagamandala for a dip in the sacred confluence of the Cauvery, Kannike, and the Sujyoti. Lord Agastheeswara shrine faces the brahmakundike (holy pond) where the Cauvery springs from the earth in a small square cut in stone. The faithful take part in poojas near the tank and a few throw coins into the waters with piety. Many scoop up the water in containers to take back home after taking purifying dips in the tank adja¬cent to the holy pond.
According to the priests, the Tula Sank¬ramana day in mid October is the most aus¬picious day for visiting Talacauvery, where Lord Agastheeswara and Maha Ganapathi are worshipped apart from Goddess Cau¬veriamma. On the day, the holy Cauvery appears and her arrival is indicated by a sudden upsurge of the water in the pond at a predetermined moment.
There are about 300 steps leading to the Brahmagiri peak where the seven great sages meditated. I shiver a bit as I climb up a few wet stairs a tad breathless to see the pristine mystery on the hilltop. I feel the pulse start to quicken the moment I join a group comprising highly energetic tiny tots and the elderly, who boosted up their spirit after touching the holy water and offering prayers. Nevertheless to say, there was a sense of camaraderie that comes when peo¬ple from varied cultural and linguistic back¬ground get together for some spiritual pur¬pose. I find myself adrift in a surreal world where diverse identities overlapped.
As we pass wildflowers spouting on the slopes, I feel the long flight of steps seem¬ingly ascended to the skies. The moment I conquered all steps, my head was giddy with excitement. There were a few more people standing in open-mouthed awe, stuck in the heavenly scenic beauty. The Brahmagiri range straddles the border between Kodagu in Karnataka to the north and Wayanad in Kerala to the south. It is a place where one can spend a few hours quietly, reinventing himself/herself, or simply marvelling at the intriguing beauty of the world we belong to. I would have been happy to spend a few more hours with a composed mind in midst of the misty air. However, it was time to pull away from the panorama and return to the temple premises. Looking down, I see seemingly narrow roads snaking their way up, bringing more tourists on cars and jeeps. And I reluc¬tantly waddled out into the sunshine and get into the vehicle.
On the way back, I tried to recollect the legend of Cauvery, which has its origins in puranas. It goes that long ago, Cauvery river was held in a kamandalu by Sage Ag¬asthya. Lord Ganesha took the form of a crow and perched on the kamandalu when Agasthya was meditating. When Agasthya realised this, he shooed away the crow. But the holy crow tipped the kamandalu and toppled it. And then, the sacred river started flowing, blessing countless generations.

Quick Facts
*There are no shops available at the sum¬mit. Bhagadamandala, which is downhill 7 km, and Madikeri are the nearest towns, where ample number of hotels are availa¬ble for accommodation. The temple guest house can also be booked.
* Talacauvery is 270 km from Bangalore.
* Route: Bangalore - Mysore - Hunsur - Per¬iyapatana - Siddapura - Bhagadamandala - Talacauvery.
* One can easily reach Madikeri by KSRTC bus. From Madikeri, both KSRTC and pri¬vate buses are available to Bhagadaman¬dala. From Bhagadamandala,
* Talacauvery is only seven km away and there are only a few buses.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

If you tell me this is the end of the road, I should believe. Bcos without you I cannot move on..

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Confessions of a canine lover

(Story appeared in Indian Express dailythree months back)

Well, they named the movie that won a plethora of awards and international acclaim as 'Slumdog Millionaire'.
But what amuses me is the various connotations of the word 'slumdog'.
Of late, like many people who were made to think about the lives of those mired in inadequacies in slums, both human beings and dogs, I, who used to hate dogs, have developed a liking for them.
But never in the wildest of my dreams have I thought of being a canine lover! In fact, my U-turn was not just because of the said film, but because of Rocky, the doggy who came to our family the other day. It taught me the broader meaning of love and the art of coexistence.
Having absorbed the images of stray dogs, I do think these creatures make news by often going for a biting spree in cities, spreading panic among people or chasing the vehicles doggedly during wee hours.
But when a doggy came into the picture, things changed drastically.
True to the adage, he came, he saw, he conquered...
That is what exactly the German shepherd did at home in the absence of his master's children.
It may sound strange. Even I wonder how a doggy can replace the vacuum of a beloved son or daughter?
For my mother-in-law, the idea of getting a pet to wipe out the shadow of loneliness, that has been haunting her since a long time, ostensibly, sounded absurd. (As she philosophically quotes now, 'most of the basic truths of life sound absurd at first hearing'.)
And, obviously, it was me who opposed it tooth and nail, citing enormous reasons to keep pets away from home.
Things do not always happen the way they ought to. When we brought mom-in-law to the city in a bid to keep her loneliness and boredom at bay, a burglary took place at the house in our native place, which was kept locked, forcing her to go back.
Even before that she had been losing things while travelling. However, the 'change' that we expected did not happen here. (For that we had to wait until Rocky came to the fore.) The burglary was in fact a blessing in disguise that helped us to think about having a doggy at home.
Soon she returned, like any other lonely mother after retirement. She got back into her daily chores, haplessly witnessed every sunrise and sunset, hoping to meet children during vacations. She kept calling them and, being a shopping maniac, she splurged money ( of course for things that are not necessary at all!) and advised daughters-in-law about the 'importance' of having such things at home...
Loneliness, for her, was something to be fought every moment, everyday, in life. For most of the elderly people, loneliness is inevitable. So much has been said and written about the problems that the elderly people living alone are forced to face. For my mom and mom-in-law, life might be a tedious existence, with enthusiasm and hopes fast ebbing away. Their days begin and end with numerous reality shows, mega serials and news stories steeped in sentimentality. Reports of elderly citizens being targeted in cities are more than enough to send a chill down my spine. (Thanks to the 24X7 media hype).
When Rocky came in, he literally took over the house, hopped his way into the heart of mom-in-law and made the house echo his barks. Apparently, he has helped her sail through her routine life without much problem. Minus him she could very well fall prey to depression. Now, with regained enthusiasm and ebullience, she often shares her sense of security which the doggy brought about. What surprised me is her new decision to take care of two stray dogs, which were found abandoned near the house.
But, for my mom, who lost her husband 10 years back and lives at our house called 'Orma' (memory), things remain more or less the same. When I show my concern of not meeting her often to make her feel good, my hubby, with a smile of confidence, throws the question:
Tell me which breed she prefers? Doberman, German shepherd, Labrador...?
Sound strange? But, now I should bow my head in shame and say:
That's not a bad idea at all.

About Me

My photo
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
am a journo by profession....somtimes speechless, somtimes..the chatterbox..somtimes in luv with silence...dreams are the open windows through which i let my heart to fly n fly......when it scale new heights , the sky becomes my world...