Movie Reviews - Part 2

A post which has been long overdue - the 'part 2' of my earlier post. I watched all these movies almost an year ago, but never got around to completing the draft which I had begun then. Today being the third anniversary of this blog, I decided that I should at least complete and post this to mark the occasion :-).


Based on Shakespeare's Othello. Ajay Devgan is Omkara (Othello). Saif Ali Khan is just too good as the baddie, "Langda" Tyagi (Iago). Kareena Kapoor plays the role of Dolly (Desdemona) and she does it surprisingly well. Pukka North Indian accents and mannerisms all around, including the swearing. Vishal Bharadwaj's music and Gulzar's lyrics complement each other. Vishal does a great job as director too. Highly recommended.


Mani Ratnam and A R Rahman combo, which naturally implies good music. Shreya's Barso Re is the pick of the lot. Abhishek Bachchan takes the honours on the acting front. Mithunda does some good work too. Reminds one of his role in Agneepath for which he won the 1991 Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Check out the Wikipedia article on Dhirubhai Ambani to see the "plot" similarities :-).


Shiney Ahuja shines in the titular role. His expressions convey more emotions than the few lines which he is allotted. Superb music by Pritam. Kangana Ranaut essays the role of the gangster's moll.

Woh Lamhe

Shiney & Kangana again. Plot based on the relationship between Mahesh Bhatt and Parveen Babi. Pritam composes a winner again. Recommended.

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi

Shiney (Vikram), Chitrangada Singh (Geeta) and Kay Kay Menon (Siddharth). A triangle of love, politics & business set in the 1970s. Sudhir Mishra at his best. Definitely a must-see.


Pure, unadulterated torture. I took nearly a week to finish this one. Extremely silly, lots of overacting, bad direction, the list of cons goes on and on. Supposedly based on Love Actually to some extent. Music by Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy is reasonably good.

Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest

The second movie in the trilogy. It has its moments, but isn't as good as the first one.

A Beautiful Mind

I had read the book by Sylvia Nasar around 3 years ago. The movie skips over a lot of the stuff from the book. Nevertheless it is a pretty good adaptation. Jennifer Connelly won the Oscar (Best Actress in a Supporting Role) for her role as John Nash's wife.

Blood Diamond

Loved it. DiCaprio is great. So is Djimon Hounsou. Jennifer Connelly looks jaded though.

The Prestige

One of my favourites. Christopher Nolan directs Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine & Scarlett Johansson. Bale is superb as usual. The climactic revelation is "magical", to say the least. Based on the book by the same name.


Will be remembered for its focus on Jiah Khan's legs and pout. And of course, the opposition by various parties to the 'immoral' content in the movie - people were seemingly afraid that it would give 'ideas' to older men and 'corrupt' them :-). Whatever. Decent acting, music and direction.

The Departed

Another good one. Strong cast, good story. And Martin Scorsese finally got his long overdue Best Director Oscar.

Spider-Man 3

Spidey gets in touch with his emotional side and other assorted crap. Boring.

Bas Ek Pal

A good story (probably based on Pedro Almodóvar's Carne Trémula, which in turn is loosely based on Ruth Rendell's book Live Flesh). Music by Mithoon is pretty good, especially the title song.

Life in a Metro

Hummable tunes by Pritam. Irfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma are good.

Tags : Movies

Posted by Rajat @ 10:30 PM   |  Comments

My pet peeve with Gmail

When you open a mail in your Inbox, the view looks like this :

Gmail Inbox

When you open your Spam folder, what you see is this :

Gmail Spam folder

Notice the order of the buttons for deleting and marking a mail as spam/not spam - they are interchanged in these two views. I am used to hitting the Delete button on the right side in my Inbox (though of late, I prefer to use the shortcut - 'Shift' + '#'). The same tendency persists when I am in the Spam folder too. But thanks to the reversed order, I keep hitting the Not Spam button even for mails which graciously offer to help me overcome my 'insecurities'. Aaarghhh!!!

What's that? Why do I even bother deleting mails from my Inbox when I have so much space? Well, I prefer to think of it this way - just because you have a big house doesn't mean that you don't need to throw out your trash regularly. Now why do I check my Spam folder at all? You can't tell if an important mail has been incorrectly sent to the Spam folder if you don't keep checking it regularly. Morever checking the Spam folder in Gmail is hardly a chore - the spam filters in Gmail are very efficient and I hardly get any spam messages.

Tags : The Binary Files, Usability

Posted by Rajat @ 12:37 PM   |  Comments

Friday the 13th

Is Friday the 13th really unlucky? Is there a scientific explanation for the superstition? Here's an old article by Atul Gawande which talks about these questions and more.

Some of Atul's other articles are interesting too - check out his website for more links.

Tags : Miscellaneous

Posted by Rajat @ 1:19 AM   |  Comments

New arrivals

Of late, I have been on a book coupon redemption spree :-). I bought One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez using the Premier bookshop coupon I got for being a finalist in The Second Ruckus Tangdi Quiz conducted by the KQA in April. Other than that, I used up a set of Landmark coupons (gifted to me by my thoughtful colleagues) to buy the following :-

  • Samskara - A Rite for a Dead Man by U R Anantha Murthy (translated from Kannada by A K Ramanujan)
  • Ice-Candy-Man by Bapsi Sidhwa
  • Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
  • A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh
  • In Xanadu : A Quest by William Dalrymple
  • Butter Chicken in Ludhiana by Pankaj Mishra
  • Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra (900 odd pages of hardbound reading)
  • Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
  • 2001 : A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke

I had read In Xanadu when I was in college (delightful book, of course). Anyway, one book down won't make much of a difference to my reading backlog ;-).

Tags : A Bookworm's Diet, Quizzing

Posted by Rajat @ 11:53 PM   |  Comments

Foucault's Pendulum

Some gems from Foucault's Pendulum :-

Belbo to Casaubon :-

There are four kinds of people in this world : cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics [...] A normal person is just a reasonable mix of these components [...] Cretins dont even talk; they sort of slobber and stumble. You know, the guy who presses the ice cream cone against his forehead, or enters a revolving door the wrong way [...] a fool is more complicated [...] He's the guy who puts his foot in his mouth. For example, he says how's your lovely wife to someone whose wife has just left him. Fools are in great demand, especially on social occasions. They embarrass everyone but provide material for conversation. In their positive form, they become diplomats...

Lia (Casaubon's wife) to Casaubon :-

... Synarchy is God [...] Mankind can't endure the thought that the world was born by chance, by mistake, just because four brainless atoms bumped into one another on a slippery highway. So a cosmic plot has to be found - God, angels, devils. Synarchy performs the same function on a lesser scale ...

Lia to Casaubon :-

... All cultures worship menhirs, monoliths, pyramids, columns, but nobody bows down to balconies and railings. Did you ever hear of an archaic cult of the sacred banister? You see? And another point: if you worship a vertical stone, even if there are a lot of you, you can all see it; but if you worship, instead, a horizontal stone, only those in the front row can see it, and the others start pushing, me too, me too, which is not a fitting sight for a magical ceremony ...

Tags : A Bookworm's Diet

Posted by Rajat @ 12:13 AM   |  Comments