Saturday, April 4, 2015

It’s way too elementary, my dear Byomkesh

The adventures of a bespectacled Bong in a dhoti  and his “close” friend and assistant are part of my childhood. Even before I met the great minds of Holmes and Watson, I was introduced to Byomkesh Bakshi and Ajit. The detectives I loved watching as a kid. I re-watched the episodes when I grew up and still loved them (even with the glaring production flaws and boom mikes peeking into the frames more than once).
My expectations with the movie based on these two characters were, obviously, high. The first disappointment came with the trailer. I was unimpressed. But I had to watch the movie.
I liked the pre-independence Calcutta setting, complete with old cars, trams, and smoke-filled coffee houses. I even liked the shadows that set the tone of the movie set in the WWII era. I tried to like the uni-browed Byomkesh, I really did. But no matter how many chances I gave him, he let me down.
I had a similar problem with the Sherlock movie. The one where the chemist is seen street fighting way too many times. A great detective can fight, no doubt. But why use muscle power when you can use your brain.
Coming back to Byomkesh babu, the first thing that struck me was how naive he is. But then, maybe the writers wanted to introduce the detective with this movie. So we let him take every bait that a Moriarty-like nemesis throws his way. We see him stumble and then stand back on his feet and then stumble again.
But this doesn’t explain what brings Ajit to Byomkesh in the first place. In the early scenes, we see a skeptical Ajit looking for Byomkesh’s help to find his missing father. While introducing himself, he says he knows who Byomkesh is, that everyone knows who Byomkesh is.
One cannot help but wonder what makes Byomkesh popular enough to be approached by strangers. Has he solved cases before?  Is this his first “major” case? Is he a first-time detective or not?
Another drawback is the length of the movie. It takes almost the entire first half to set the premise and the second is stretched to solve the case. By the end, you are glad that it is finally over. The end, by the way, leaves many possibilities for a potential sequel. Maybe they will crack that one!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bad luck, Anushka

It is all over the news, trending on Twitter, and a subject of discussion on Facebook.
Anushka Sharma has indeed brought bad luck for the Indian Cricket Team. I am sure there can’t be any other reason for our performance in the semi-finals. Let’s not talk about the opposition. Australia playing good cricket? Nah, that can’t be it. They have only won the World Cup four times in a row. Not a big deal. Let’s not even think of all the hard work our team has been putting in during this series. Of the 8 matches played, the semi-final was the only one we lost. All because of Anushka Sharma. Why we won the first 7 doesn't need discussion.
The comments against the actress don't surprise me at all. Remember, “ We have the best culture in the world. We do not have place forwomen in our culture”. So blaming a girlfriend for her boyfriend’s performance – one who has been playing professional cricket for years – is only apt.
Was Dhoni not distracted when he left his pregnant wife, or when he got the news of their new-born baby. Did we point fingers when Sachin’s wife, or any other cricketer's family for that matter, came to watch a match.  No. But just because we have a celebrity to point fingers at, we take our cheap shots. We don’t give her credit for her powerful performance in NH10, we don’t support a cricketer for his overall performance, but ONE SINGLE loss, and we are ready to pounce.
This is just another example of how we treat our women in this nation. We would be naive to expect anything else.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Is it fair?

A few days ago, I saw this. 

I get where this comes from. With a country obsessed with the “fair” and the “lovely”, we need such campaigns that celebrate us for what we are. I come from a Punjabi community – one that is the most vocal about its fairness-obsession.
BUT. There is another side to it. Call it reverse racism if you will. Being, fair-skinned, I have always had people “complimenting” me. I have no option but to smile and say thank you for something that is nothing but my genes. But on an off chance, there are also these sarcastic remarks that sting. Sometimes wrapped under layers of friendly conversation, sometimes more direct.
Let me tell you, constantly asking me “how am I so fair” is not flattering, nor is comparisons with pigs. And no, my mom did not feed me toilet-cleaning disinfectant instead of formula when I was a kid.
What I am trying to say is, discrimination of any kind hurts. No matter what colour you are, no matter what your religion, region, or caste. Next time think before you speak.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Back, again?

It has been so long since I posted anything. Work, TV, laziness. Take a pick and put the blame.
As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I follow a lot of television shows.  Catching up with all the latest episodes takes up a lot of time. Did I mention that I also have to do all the household chores? Living alone has it perks, but then you have to everything – from cleaning the house, doing laundry, buying groceries, cooking, paying bills (oh sweet lord, the bills). 
But I always think about returning to the blogosphere. It has undergone a lot of change in the last few years. Let ‘s see. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sucked into the telly

Hmm. Blogging. It's been so long. Busy with work. Finding Twitter. And TV shows. So many of them. So many that I have not been able to watch as many movies as I would like. Or read as many books as I would want.
Coming back to TV shows, though. My favourites have been Supernatural, The Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who (Oh David Tennat, how I miss you), Modern Family, some Lost, and blah blah blah. The new season of the new BBC Sherlock Holmes is out. Been watching that. And of course, like it happens with every protagonist, I am in love with the 21st century version of Mr Holmes (played by Benedict Cumberbatch). Never thought I would like any non-Doyle takes of the great mind that Sherlock is. But kuddos to Mark Gatiss and Stevan Moffat (who also writes for Doctor Who) for bringing out the eccentric detective to modern-day London and not screwing it up. Oh the high cheek bones, the blue eyes, and that straight collar. I cannot decide what I like more, the brain or the looks. (It's always the brain isn't it?)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Carry on my wayward son

What does a geek want?
Company of other geeks of course.
That’s what I found when I joined my new office six months back. Well I did not realise it right away. I took my geek time to open up to my team. Not only the work interesting, the lunch time conversations were fun too.
It took me some time, but I finally decided to watch Supernatural. And I cannot thank KG and VC enough. For if it weren’t for them, I would have never explored the awesome world of Sam and Dean Winchester.
The good part of having geeks around you is not only the access to the numerous movies, comics, and games, but also the fact that there is another soul who speaks your language.  So if I am bringing salt, VC would give me the light and together we will send that badass creature to hell. And NB may not have been able to get hold of that ’67 Chevy Impala, but we still spend the evenings talking about the beauty that car is.
While the guys gave me Supernatural, I got them The Big Bang Theory. That’s right, the show for the geeks and by the geeks. Be it the three-knocks for calling on Penny or the favourite Sheldon spot, we all got our lines.
There have been Chuck, Merlin, White Collar, Castle, Sherlock Holmes, and the likes. And whenever there is a tele, or a movie to discuss, I know I got my gang.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

So much going on, so much to say,
No time. Bugger!

Will write soon, I promise.