Jun 28, 2012

Double Movie Review: Diamond Necklace and Ee Adutha Kalathu

My DH and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary on June 16th. Since it was a Saturday, we celebrated with a whole day's program. We started off with a visit to the Attukal Devi temple, then got a family portrait taken, had a grand buffet lunch and finally my DH treated me to a Diamond Necklace - only it was the movie! 

I do not profess to be a Lal Jose fan per se. But I do love and never tire of watching a few of his movies like Meesa Madhavan (incidentally etched in my mind as the first movie we watched as a newly married couple in 2002! :-) ) and Classmates (which a few Malayali friends brought to a theater near Minneapolis in 2006). He is no doubt a versatile director but has also made indifferent movies like Spanish Masala, Mulla and Pattalam. Arabikkatha, with Dr. Iqbal Kuttippuram was critically and popularly acclaimed and the pair has again brought a good movie to us. 

Diamond Necklace is set in Dubai. In Arabikkatha we saw the seamy side of Dubai in which ordinary workers have a tough life of it. Diamond Necklace shows us plenty of the other side - the opulent, extravagant and mesmerising Dubai and it is no coincidence that our hero lives in Burj Khaleefa - the current icon of Dubai. Dr. Arun (Fahad Fazil) works in the oncology department of a reputed hospital and is a favorite with his patients because of his cheerful bedside manner that infuses hope and happiness in his patients. His other passions are cars and living the good life with a lot of flirtation thrown in . His life changes when a sprightly new Tamilian nurse Lakshmi (Gauthami Nair) is appointed at the hospital. It takes another turn when his mentor's niece Maya (Samvrutha Sunil) decides to open a designer boutique in Dubai. A vacation to Kerala puts him in Kalamandalam Rajasree's (Anusree) path. And then Dr. Arun is in a fine quandary.

The director has found a superb cast to bring his film to life Fahad, Samvrutha, Gauthami and Anusree have given wonderful performances as the key characters. The songs are great too and Dubai is real eye candy. If only they didn't have to drag in the usual "Gulf Kochamma" characters to elicit a few laughs - news flash - ITS NOT FUNNY ANYMORE! And it's not fair that such a flawed Dr. Arun may get to redeem himself, but a few stay-at-home mothers can't. A plus point: if you are haunted by the specter of credit-card debt, you can pick up a few tips from the movie!

The second movie: Ee Adutha Kaalathu is a humour noir movie written by Murali Gopy. He also plays one of the six central characters of the movie - Dr. Ajay Kurien - and excels in both fields. Dr. Ajay Kurien and his wife Madhuri (Tanushree) have a troubled married life, Vishnu (Indrajith) and Remani (Mythili) find it difficult to look after a family of 6 members on income derived from housemaid service and recycling waste material, KBC Channel's star reporter  Rupa can't get her Police Commisioner boy friend Tommy (Anoop Menon) to marry her because his career is in a crisis. The movie starts of with these different threads and soon we find how all are interlinked in overt and covert ways. The imagery of the Rubik cube is very apt and as the final facet falls into place we can't but help but yell ,"Hurray" ourselves. 

This is one of Indrajith's best performances to date - he is the best of the cast. 

Some one-liners to watch out for - they will look completely unfunny here, but once you see the movie, you'll understand!
Vishnu: I was there to steal and madam, you were there to ... um... have food.
Vishnu: Start the car, sir!
Bonacaud Ramachandran: How am I supposed to do that? Which car?

The movie is a must watch. Warning: Not for children. Also keep an eye out for the picture shown in the very last shot - shows the gist of the movie! Another Wah for the writer and director.

Rain and a book review

There's no way I can put in my customary hour or two in the garden today - it's raining buckets out there. So I thought this would be a good time to tend to my online garden here at Not So Perfect Karthi. All this month I have been busy with the school reopening, getting the kiddos back to school-day routine and working hard in the garden - planting (a little), weeding (a lot) and generally reclaiming my yard that had been taken over by wild nature. The reason for this industriousness?Aah, that is a whole other post that will be coming up soon. 

It's been a while since I posted anything about a book that I read recently - not because I've not been reading (Hello, how long can a fish survive without water?) - but because I've not been reading much that I could recommend to people. BTW, if there are any Sex and the City fans out there, they might wanna look at The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell - it's about Carrie before she came to New York city.

When I read The Immortals of Meluha, (First book of what I call Shiva in his Yo-Yo Avatar!) I was at once attracted and curiously put off. The premise was good, but Shiva's language - he talks like the kids in the Step Up movies - seemed horribly out of place for me. I didn't think a god could speak like that - perhaps Krishna could, but not high and mighty and serious Shiva, certainly not. Then there were detailed descriptions of the lifestyles and cities of the Meluhans and Swadweepans that were a bit too lengthy. So I just went through the book once and left it at that.

This month one of my young friends lent me her copy of The Secret of the Nagas - the second installment - and I was hooked. This one is a real page-turner. Shiva still speaks the same way, but I cut him some slack for being the original hillbilly. This book lets us in on the origins and secrets of the Nagas and tells us why the Nagas hate the Meluhans so much.

Although Amish's writing is a bit on the formulaic side ( Heroic protagonist with a torturing memory, strong but flawed heroine who needs to be saved by the hero, twists and turns scattered at regular intervals), he is a master of suspense and kept me gasping as one secret after another is revealed. I absolutely loved the way in which he introduces Ganesh and Kali. Their settings are so apt and the emotional drama is so true to life. I certainly think Amish has done much better with this second book and I'm looking forward to the third book The Oath of the Vayuputras.

For those who have not been into Amish's world, here is an introduction: The books are set in 1900 BC, when the northern parts of India were under the sway of two powerful kingdoms Meluha (land of the Suryavanshis) and Swadweep (land of the Chandravanshis). Meluha believes in the legend of a blue-throated one who they believe will bring the whole of the subcontinent under its sway. The only problem is, Swadweep believes the same legend, but their Neelkanth will unite the whole of India under the Chandravanshis.

What is a poor god discovered in the foothills of the Himalayas to do? As Shiva is given a makeover by the Meluhans with their Somras and honored with the hand of their princess, will he side with the Suryavanshis? Why do the Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis hate each other? And why are the mysterious masked Nagas trying to attack and undermine both kingdoms? To know the answers, read the books!!!

Spring/Summer Projects

Gosh, isn't it baking hot in God's Own Country these days! In accordance with the government's guidelines, we seldom venture o...