The Power of (Right) Training

from Meesum via mail

Movie Review: Sarkar Raj

[Caution – some spoilers ahead!]

So, I watched Sarkar Raj over the weekend. What do I think? I think its a good watch. And I have my reasons for it.

Amitabh Bachchan is out there to prove why he is better than 5-10 great actors put together. The versatility of this man is mind boggling. From being the father who has passed the throne on to his son, to the hapless father mourning over his dead elder son, to the father trying to give that last smile to his dying other son, and to the man who is Sarkar. The way his spine straightens, sleeves fold and the voice resembles the sign of authority that would have defined a Sarkar in the last 15 minutes of the movie is stuff that legendary actors are made of.

I think Abhishek has, after Guru, finally managed to deliver the goods. Its a movie that belongs to him for the first 3 quarters, and he does not disappoint.

Phenomenal Camerawork. I would like to request all readers to watch out for camerawork nuances. My favorites – the poignant discussion scenes between AB and AB Jr., and the shot where Ash and AB Jr are talking about the most difficult decision of his life. The way camera apes a swing with the subtlety of emotions in a doldrum is poetically beautiful. Use of lights, sepia tint, panoramic views (when Somji is delivering his speech)… the movie is littered with classic camerawork. There should be at least 50-odd stills from this movie worth turning into posters.

Good editing. Proof – The movie is just about 2 hours long. Songs are in the background; there isnt much time wasted on digressing romantic stuff and unnecessary politics. The movie maintains a good mix of extremely fast paced events and adds a deliberate touch to them. Its like a painter trying to give a body to city chaos without using loud colors.

The movie has some amazing one-liners- kisi ko maarna jurm hai, magar sahi waqt par maarna.. Rajneeti! Or, paas ke nuksaan ke liye door ka faayda nahi bhoolna chahiye.. Or, Log log hote hain, sambhaal loonga

And this movie looks as good, or even better than Sarkar. Sarkar was good, but was longer, meandering and multiple sub-plots.

Bad thing – Ash. And the fact that RGV picks Ash to be the next heir apparent of Sarkar, before Cheeku comes in.

All in all, I think its a good thriller to watch. And not to miss out on the suspense angle. Its one of the better disguised suspense angles that I have seen in the recent times.

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“Amazon sells most Kindle books for $9.99 or less. Publishers say that they generally sell electronic books to Amazon for the same price as physical books, or about 45 percent to 50 percent of the cover price. For a hardcover best seller like Scott McClellan’s “What Happened,” the former press secretary’s account of his years in the Bush White House, that would mean that Amazon appears to be selling the selling the book for about 25 percent below its cost.”

from here

Can someone explain the economics? Or, is it Amazon’s attempt to get the publishers in a corner? At the same time, are the publishers out of their mind?

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Congrats Royals – on winning the royally fought battle

So.. Rajasthan Royals have finally won the IPL. The team full of no-names and have-beens emerged from their antechamber to write a new script. Who would have thought at the beginning of the tournament, amongst the fanfare and a blazing 150-odd from Brendon McCullum that it will be Rajasthan who will be riding the waves like Hercules. Congrats to the team!!

This is my summary rejoinder on IPL.

In their first outing, RajRoyale’s drubbing was soo expected. Delhi Daredevils were the flavor of the season. Even before it started everyone wanted to wet.. sorry bet.. their pants on Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers. Royal Challengers got stuck between a Mughal and history, each struggling to understand – what’s in the game? And beyond all this, King Khan was creating his own empire – I hate all these guys, but I hate losing more – Connecting People.… Somewhere, Chennai Kings were rollicking, while King’s XI fought back after losing a couple.

Mumbai Indians – of the one who counts as ten – dull was their karma as sachin never took the field in the first couple of weeks. They were handed a second hand leader in the form of a turban wearing ape going around giving others physical lectures about being cultured. Thankfully, session resumed and Pollock brought the team back. Sanath became the sentinel dispatching the king’s-men to their posts. But they ran outta luck and became famous for what the indian team has been known – CHOK – ed India(that’s Chok Three – 1, 2 and 3).

Royal Challengers – the immovable – playing a game full of passion and adrenaline rushes, never acknowledged what was missing – the “team”. Lost it in the head much before they lost it in the field. A sacked CEO, a player going rowdy, the wall holding on, and a valiant warrior, and winning 4 of 14, the “expensive” kingfisher soda lost its fizz.

Deccan Chargers – The name is a misnomer, with their leader resigned to the fact that he is not very charged about the idea of playing this short high intensity commercialized game. With due respect to the man with a long name, long career, several long innings, and a long face,Lakshman could have done better. At least he could have avoided wastage. When you have an Afridi, Gibbs, Symond and Gilly in your team, you dont play for hope. You play for complete demolition of your opposition. And here he was, leading from the front in the most un-leader like way. And that, to me, was the sign of things to come. Null. And nothing came.
Kolkata Knightriders – A typical Ganguly outfit, full of internal strife without any reason. Typical SRK team, a lot of hype and a successful commercial product, but visible lack of substance but for the occasional flashes. A very unlike John Buchanan outfit which did not go out to the field to give its best. Where the onus to perform fell on the young-uns. I am glad they did not make it too far. It would have been cricket’s failure to see a media mogul sitting atop a cricket cup.

Delhi Daredevils – Ah! Paradise Lost. What do you do when you get a semi-final berth after hanging by your teeth for the last several days. You rejoice. You celebrate. And then you get drunk.And you get screwed while you were not in your senses. What a shabby performance in the semi-finals where there were three contenders for the man of the series tournament – Pidgeon, Viru and Gauti! If you want to shoot yourself in the foot.. Heavens be praised.

Punjab Kings XI – but for the semi final, I think they did well. They had fire. They tried. And they got tangible and intangible rewards (playing in your nearest you-tube theater -who get hugged?). Yuvi flew to impress, but failed to! Brett Lee was dangerous when he was around. Shaun Marsh was poetry in motion, and Sangakkara, et al added a lot of positives. Sreesanth was still controlling his emotions, while VRV Singh looks just about right to be never picked for the Indian team. Alas, it didnt quite play out that well in the semi.

Chennai SuperKings – The Third Kingly team (after KKR and KXI), was considered a Hayden-Hussey team as they start losing towards the middle. But Captain cool kept his mane steady. His men struggled, fought, created opportunities and gave each other a chance. On the days they did not play well, they went back and reprimanded themselves. And when they lost the close final, they did not cry. They huddled together as a team and praised each other for having tried their best, and agreed that they lost as a team. I Love that spirit. Thats sportsmanship! Agree that your opposition was better or did something better!

Rajasthan Royals- Rooting for the underdogs is a school of philosophy in itself. But Rajasthan team was that poor guy with oodles of talents that every dame falls in love with. It fits the story perfectly – there is capitalism as you promote the trier, talented guy. There is socialism as you try to get the underdog to your social level. And there is poetic justice when the ignored remind you of their performance, not through words, but through actions! I am not sure if Yusuf Pathan or Asnodkar will ever make it big in the bigger version. However, they are cut out for this imaginative version and they have taken their chances. Now, the board needs to give them a real chance. Good show guys.

IPL – Thank you for giving us such nice clean fun filled month!

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