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Showing posts from 2018

Making sense of heroic acts in South Indian films

It is not uncommon to hear criticisms of unrealistic feats accomplished by heroes in South Indian films.  People are offended by the disregard to physical laws exhibited in these movies.  More often than not, the victims of these criticisms are Telugu films.  In this post, I attempt to explain, how to make sense of (or how I see) these unrealistic, physics-defying acts.  Hopefully, at least some of you would be able to better appreciate these films after reading this article. Say, for example, we are watching a Superman movie and you see Superman flying.  Does that bother you? If yes, you can stop reading right now.  This article is most probably not for you.  If not, why?  I guess it is because the storyteller has given an "explanation".  Notice that this explanation need not be there in this movie.  Someone watching Superman is expected to know that.  Now, let us come to a South Indian film.  In contrast, it appears as if there is absolutely no explanation of this sort

Some remarks on Talk-no-Jutsu

I recently saw a wonderful video analysis on Naruto.  This article is a tribute and response to that video .  The video especially focusses on Naruto's ability to convince people, which he calls "Talk-no-jutsu".  This is a parody of the way techniques are named in Naruto - Jutsu in Japanese means technique and no is a Japanese proposition.  I was extremely impressed by his analysis and it helped clarify a lot of things to me.  For example, I always hated the uselessness of Naruto in Gaara arc. The extended scenes of Naruto chasing Deidara crying "Gaara o kaese" (return Gaara) were irritating. I still think it is irritating. But, he wonderfully explained how it makes sense in the greater scheme of things.  However, there are parts in it where I have slight disagreements with him.  My major disagreement is with his claim that "Naruto's talk-no-jutsu failed" during the Sasuke retrieval arc.  In this post, I will explain why it should not be considere

The importance of unpleasant truths

In India many believe in the principle "Satyam bruyat, priyam bruyat, na bruyat satyam apriyam, priyam ca nanrutam bruyat esha dharmah sanatanah".  It can be translated as "Speak the truth.  Speak pleasantly.  Do not speak unpleasant truths.  Even though pleasant, don't lie".  However, I do not agree with this principle.  I will explain. In the movie Harikrishnans (a Malayalam movie), Juhi Chawla feeds Mohanlal and Mammootty (heroine feed the two heroes) food with too much chilly powder and salt. Believing this principle they didn't say anything and continued eating that food. But, it had a negative effect on her. She got extremely offended that they didn't take the freedom to tell her the truth. I would have felt the same. I like it when people tell me unpleasant truths (apriya sathyam). I have often wondered why.  I believe the following interaction from the movie Prestige gives us some insight: Alfred Borden: Everything's going to be all righ

Purpose of Marriage, for dummies

The caption for 2d-life's Facebook page reads "reflections on the silver screen". A reflection need not always show just the beautiful side in you. It will often show the ugly. This post is going to be like that. I will be venting out some pent-up frustration, anger and irritation. So, take everything I am going to say with a judicious amount of salt. These words certainly reflect my beliefs and thoughts, but my mind might be clouded on this issue. One of the many reasons why I like anime is the fact that they are more willing to accept certain things. I am going to talk about one such "truth" never expressed in such poetic words elsewhere. This truth is the purpose of marriage. At one point in my life, I was sincerely confused about whether to marry or not. To find an answer, I sought the purpose of marriage to my elders. After talking to many people, I had collected an extensive list of lofty reasons to get married. I want to stress that not o

Humanity as one piece

Japanese society appears to be very formal and they are known for their extremely polite manner of speech. However, if you have watched any shonen anime, you would notice the hero is nothing like that. The heroes generally speak in a very casual manner with no special reverence to anyone. This has always puzzled me. Firstly, how exactly do they pull it off? Secondly, how are the parents OK with showing such behaviour to teenage kids? As someone who received a lot of criticism during childhood for the way I behaved, I was always curious to know what is the secret towards being irreverent without being offensive. And I have always hoped I would find an answer in anime. And finally, I feel I have found a key to the answer in One piece. Needless to say at this point that I would actually be talking about a certain episode of One Piece. I assure you that people who have not seen One piece would very well be able to follow this post. But, if you are afraid of spoilers, you sh

Accepting our disabilities

Kalyanaraman is a movie I really like and I have watched it countless times.  It is, of course, famous for its humour, which, however, is not the topic of this article.   In the movie, Jyothirmayi is a mute.  After various attempts, her marriage is fixed.  The groom, however, elopes the day before marriage with someone else.  The girl's father requests some of the relatives present at the wedding if one of their sons could marry her.  But, they were evidently uninterested and giving excuses.  In fact, they were trying to push it on to each other. Finally, they suggest that it is better to find another "disabled" person for her.  This infuriates him.  He says "It is better if she remains unmarried.  I will protect her till I am alive and after that God will". It is understandable that under such situations one might get hurt and angry.  I do not find fault in that.  At the same time, I feel the same is true about the other party.  I agree unsolicited ad

Seetharamaiah gaari manavaralu: Telugu over Malayalam

I recently realized that the Malayalam movie Santhwanam (Consolation) is a remake of the Telugu film Seetharamaiah gaari manavaralu (Seetharamaiah's granddaughter).  The basic story is as follows.  After a love marriage, the relationship between a father and son goes bad and they never communicate afterward. Years later the granddaughter returns to meet her grandparents.  The movie is about the relationship between the granddaughter and her grandparents.   I confess I generally feel the Malayalam version is superior even when the original is not Malayalam.  This is especially the case with Priyadarshan films.  I feel he is a master at adapting films to Malayalam.  The comparison between these two films is however tricky.  I think they both have their merits, but the Telugu version is a bit better in my eyes.   To begin with, Seetharamaiah gaaru (the protagonist in Telugu) is a much deeper and laudable character than Rajashekharan Thambi (his counterpart in Malayalam).  Fo

Inheritance and Revenge

Revenge is a common theme in movies, books or any other form of storytelling but, most do not give a justification to the act.  They either take it to be the natural course of action or condemn it.  The fact that some condemn it, means there is scope for a discussion.  I think most people would have an issue with revenge when it is exacted not on the perpetrator, but on someone related to the perpetrator.  In the 2010 Telugu movie "Maryada Ramanna", which was later remade into Hindi as "Son of Sardar" and Malayalam as "Maryadaraman", they pose a question which can be translated as "If a son can get the property earned by one's father why cannot he receive punishments for his father's action?"   The surprising thing is, even after thinking for quite some while, I was unable to find a satisfactory answer. Apparently, this stance is inspired by our scriptures.  In the 35th shlokam of the 64th chapter in the 10th skandham of Srimad B

Floral undergarments

Assume a teacher does the following things 1. He misplaces huge amount of money he was entrusted with 2. ‎Puts the blame for the above incident on a student 3. ‎Is married and having an extramarital affairs 4. ‎Is caught red-handed gifting floral undergarments to this other woman.  It is quite natural that the guy loses his job and is abandoned by his wife. And that is precisely what happens in Sherlock Toms to one of his teachers.  What I find very unnatural and weird is that throughout the movie he is ridiculed only for gifting floral undergarments.  I am puzzled as to what is so wrong in buying floral undergarments for your lover.  But, even if it is wrong, it would certainly be much lesser than his other crimes.  But, not so in the movie.  Not even once was he criticised for wrongly accusing his student, even though it is a grave mistake.  The crowning jewel in this irony is that this act of gifting floral undergarments is remembered by Sherlock Tom's father,

Hey, Jude

"Hey, Jude" is the story of a man with Asperger's syndrome. I do not know much about the condition to comment on how accurate the portrayal is, but nonetheless, I loved the film. Apparently, I have a thing for movies about mental conditions. That said, I believe it is not just my bias, but the film is indeed a very good attempt. So, I urge you to give it a shot. The story is pretty simple and not unlike other films of this genre. There is a guy with a lot of issues, but by the end of the film, he succeeds to cope up and leads a happier life. Even more, this change is brought by a woman (person of opposite gender). That said, there are many factors which put the film apart from the others. Now that I think about it, Mili is another movie which shared some of these features. To begin with, there is very little focus on romance. In both these films, love and affection though important are not the only cause for the change. The necessary guidance comes fro