Saturday, December 8, 2012

Colorful Jaipur 1932 by James A. FitzPatrick

According to FitzPatrick, Jaipur was apparently "off the beaten track of tourist travel" despite being "unquestionably the most colorful of all the cities in India [and] one of the cleanest and most prosperous." He doubts if there is another "place in the world where birds and beasts live in closer proximity with mankind." The people of Jaipur, he finds, have "a contented and peaceful nature, living in a sort of bovine resignation to life".  While in Benares, "the Hindu Heaven", he suspects that "in the whole world there is no stranger manifestation of human faith in the supernatural than what is witnessed here on the banks of the sacred Ganges."

Gateway To India - Bombay 1932 by James A. FitzPatrick

FitzPatrick was impressed by the cosmopolitan life and energy of Bombay, whose population was "over one million people, representing practically every race and creed in the world." But even in Bombay, he notes, "the 15th century is constantly rubbing shoulders with the 20th" and "the ancient procession goes on in strange defiance." 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

An Overview: TALAASH - The Answer Lies Within | A Reema Kagti Film

# Distinct Plot and Grey Characters
The plot would truely interest people who have truely relished the mystery novels of Agatha Christie. The good point in this film is that the number of characters are less and the plot unravels at its own pace. There are no gimmicks / forced situations. The story flows amidst contrasting worlds. One world is that of Surjan Singh Sekhawat (played by Aamir Khan) and Roshni (played by Rani Mukherjee) that every educated, middle-class Indian would associate with. The joys and sorrows of this world charm up the screen. They involve you more towards the plot and not as separate roleplays. The Second World is the Case that has to cracked by Surjan Singh. The scenario surrounding the accident of a high profile film actor Armaan Kapoor (played by Vivian Bhatena), happens in close vicinity of Mumbai's Red-light area. Rosy (one of the prostitutes; played by Kareena Kapoor Khan) in the area, adds a  chutzpah and the glamour. Her role creates a balance in contrast to Rani's essential de-glamourized repertoire. The binary opposites of these two, with Surjan Singh's struggle between the two worlds attracts, entices, preserves interest and gives you substance than a linear and predictable chain of events.

Every Character has shades of Grey- that would be convincing in a way for 
those viewers who want to view some signs of real life mirrored in a movie - TALAASH represents few moments of reality very sensitively (no flimsy efforts / no exaggerations). The conversations and situations have been captured in the most realistic manner - as if they are happening down your neighbourhood - for this the first half of the movie is excellent. The second part is numbing, though the movie being a 'Suspense Drama' you tend to accept a little more time given to certain scenes. You earnestly empathize with Aamir's internal struggle and his efforts to set things right through the job at hand, or Rani's sincere hopes that they both would see the light of the day someday. You feel along with the characters. They hold you in an awe, but they don't shout at you. They further ignite your curiosity in knowing them and the story further. 

 # Brilliant Cinematography
I've never seen Mumbai in the night framed so beautifully + there's amazing light and shadow use according to the character - for Amir, its a hard/tiring/burning light on his face that so compliments his vain and anger with himself because of a dark past incident. Same goes for Rani; she too struggles from an internal agony of loosing someone very close. But, being a woman she cries and it all mellows down with the striking earthy/mundane/de-glamorized/low contrast lighting on her face and around her. For Kareena, the kalideoscopic use both bold and soft lighting gives strength to her 'on the face' and very bold character.
There are hardly any 'jump cuts'. There are tight close-ups (esp. many in case of Aamir and Kareena) that have an additional joy for a budding film-maker or a visual designer. Lot of details are given importance - like the first scene of the accident - the awkward way the car suddenly turns and rushes into the water. The under-water scenes of Aamir are beautifully shot. They kind of bring forth similar scenes shot for 'Zindagi Naa Milagi Dobaara'. 

# Actors have worked very very hard - Aamir still steals the Show; though it cannot be labelled as Aamir's best role so far.
Aamir, like always has got into the skin of the character. So does Rani - the best part about her is there's not a single scene of her's overdone or underdone. Kareena has really worked hard for the difficult role. Her entry is very well placed in the film. Tehmoor (played by Nawazzuddin Siddiqui - a lanky, crippled character - playing the back sheep in the red-light area of Mumbai is important part of the plot. Around 40 percent of the story's build-up is because of his character and incidents surrounding his actions.

# More for those who are visual designers
There are many frames in the movie that look like a painting - reverberating the eternal wonderland / fantasy world that we witness in our dreams mostly. Lot of Reds, high saturated Yellows, Deep greens, mysterious Blues, dimmed pastels (in case of interiors - that express mundane / everyday / regular ambience of a home or a police station have been used). Its a visual treat to the eyes to see colours dancing amidst the characters (without taking the focus away from the character). The colours imprint the moods of various frames in your heart - specially in scenes where the characters emote a lot silently. There's a beautiful 'Visual Anchorage' on Colour in this film - especially for the night scenes around the red-light streets of Mumbai.