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Wal-Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price

Posted by Sankar on June 25, 2008

Following An Inconvenient Truth, this (Wal-Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price) is another documentary that caught my eye while I was looking for some DVDs to watch. The synopsis pretty much lured me into watching this.

Everyone has seen Wal-Mart’s lavish television commercials, but have you ever wondered why Wal-Mart spends so much money trying to convince you it cares about your family, your community, and even its own employees? What is it hiding? Filmmaker Robert Greenwald takes you behind the glitz and into the real lives of workers and their families, business owners and their communities.

And the outcome was pretty startling. It is like the ones handled by Michael Moore. You wonder if the information is true, how come no one seems to be doing anything about it.

This documentary deals with issues like deliberate understaffing in the stores, the benefits offered by the company to the staff, how the staff is treated at overseas walmart locations, working conditions, environmental impact and much more. And the big issue of all – how walmart affects local businesses in each and every town. The documentary also features lot of interviews from past and present Walmart employees (both in the US and overseas).

Do watch it if you get a chance.

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An Inconvenient Truth

Posted by Sankar on June 23, 2008

I got to watch this documentary on global warming and climate crisis just recently and it is something that has to be watched by each one of us.

The documentary (by Al Gore) primarily focuses on providing data that global warming is real and is not a hoax like some people claim. The data provided is pretty exhaustive and it looks like we are headed for unimaginable things in the near future if we don’t change our way of lives.

I wish the documentary also touched on how every individual can change in order to have less impact on the environment. But please do watch it if you get a chance.

Posted in Movies | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

10 avatars of Dasavatharam

Posted by Sankar on June 18, 2008

Got this piece of information in a forward. Thought it was interesting.

One thing we had noticed is why people didnt get the real subtext and reason for the various roles and hence the title.
If you knew the real dasavatharams of Lord Vishnu and their characters you can appreciate the script more. Let me explain, starting with the best adapted role:

1. Krishna avatar – Vincent Poovaraghavan
Lord krishna is actually a dalit, he is dark-skinned [shyamalam]. He saved draupadi when she was being violated and he was the actual diplomat in mahabharatham. Lord krishna dies of an arrow striking his lower leg. Now look at how vincent was introduced.. he appears when asin is about to be molested and he saves her like draupadi. Vincent is the dalit diplomat, fights for land issue [soil issue to be exact] and dies from the metal rod striking his leg. Oh even five of vincent’s men are drugged at P. Vasu’s.. sounds familiar???

2. Balarama avatar – Balarama naidu
This is an easy given. as the name suggests and the role personifies you can easily get it.

3. Mathsya avatar – Ranagaraja nambi
nambi is thrown into water in an act of trying to save lord from being thrown into sea, though vainly. what more clue do you want?

4. Varaha avatar – Krishnaveni paatti
During the mukunda song, krishnaveni paatti does varaha avatar in the shadow puppetry. The frame freezes on it for a second. there is the clue. Moreover, in varaha avatar lord actually hides earth so as to protect life forms. Here too krishnaveni hides the germs – life form inside the statue so as to protect.

5. Vamana avatar – Kalifulla khan
remember in vamana avatar, lord vishnu takes the vishvaroopa, that is the giant form! Hence the giant kalifulla here symbolises vamana avatar.
6. Parasurama avatar – Christian Fletcher
Parasurama is actually on an angry killing spree and killed 21 generations of the particular kshatriya vamsa. Hence the real KILLER… Guess what thats what our Fletcher is! He comes around with the gun [modern upgrade for axe] and kills everyone around. I have to check if he kills 21 people though. šŸ˜€

7. Narasimha avatar – Shingen Narahashi
first of all the name itself is a play on the words singam [means lion in tamil] and narasimha [the avatar being symbolised]. Lord Narasimha manifests himelf to kill the bad guy and he also teaches prahaladha. In the movie, he shows up to kill the killer fletcher! and is also a teacher.. Lord Narasimha had to kill the asura with bare hands and hence the martial arts exponent here.. get it?

8. Rama avatar – Avatar Singh
Lord Rama stands for the one man one woman maxim, kind of symbolising true love.. Here Avatar portrays that spirit by saying that he loves his woman more than anything and wants to live for her.

9. Kalki avatar – Govindaraj Ramasamy
As you know, the hero in kaliyug can be none other than the Kalki avatar!!!

10. Koorma avatar – Bush
This is the most loose adaptation I couldn’t clearly comprehend. But if you look at the real koorma avatar, the lord is the turtle/tortoise that helps in stirring the ksheera sagara and bringing out the amruth. This essentially creates war among the devas and asuras. Similarly today Bush facilitates war between you know whom… May be Kamal also indicates that this avatar is a bit dumb like the tortoise…

Check out other movie related posts in this blog

Posted in Movies | Tagged: , , | 36 Comments »

Dasavatharam – thoughts

Posted by Sankar on June 14, 2008

I think the story and screenplay meant the movie to be a fast paced racy thriller, but it never seemed that way.

In one scene, Kamal talks about Chaos theory… but I felt that the movie itself was full of chaos. Too many people talking at the same time and this was not just once or twice…. all along the movie.

Asin had only oneĀ line in the entire movie… Perumalae. And she talked only if Kamal was talking to someone else trying to explain something. And this refers to the chaos I mentioned. And I still don’t understand the 12th century piece and how it fits into the movie. Maybe I missed something.

Overall, I felt that the screenplay had the burden of handling 10 characters and trying to fit them all together, but it could have and should have been done better.

Check out other movie related posts in this blog

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Movie Review: Indiralogathil Na. Azhagappan

Posted by Sankar on February 3, 2008

I don’t want to waste time writing a review for this movie. I am just doing my part in helping some of you.

Please don’t watch this movie. Please don’t even think of watching this movie. Please don’t even think of this movie. If you thought Imsai Arasan was average/bad, this is horrible. The only reason I stayed until the end of the movie was because my car was struck in the parking lot and had to wait until the movie got over šŸ˜¦

Posted in Movies, Reviews | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Movie Review – Chak De India

Posted by Sankar on August 24, 2007

This movie isn’t any different fromĀ other movies that is based on sports. The hero (main character) loses early on and how he fights back and regains victory and glory forms the rest of the story.Ā 

SRK after losing in the hockey finals of world championship is defamed, thrown out of the game. How he comes back and coaches the women’s team to win the world championship forms the movie.

Chak De India

Image from yashrajfilms.com

Here are some good things about the movie:

1) There is no heroine and this helps the movie to focus on the story rather than romance and stuff.
2) There aren’t any songs (meaning songs as such) and this definitely helps to maintain the tempo of the movie. There are a couple of songs that blends with the movie and hence it doesn’t affect the flow.

It is really good that the above two elements have been eliminated from a movie coming out of Bollywood. Wish other directors also take such bold decisions.

3) Hindi movies have definitely come a long way with respect to being more mature. I really wish that the tamil movies take some out of these ones.

There are a couple of scenes where the Indian cricket team is mocked at, but it was put in a very subtle manner šŸ™‚

The casting is really good. With the way the girls played/acted, it looked like some of them really knew how to play hockey (at least a little bit). Unlike some movies, in which the hero being the basketball champion, doesn’t even know how to dribble the ball šŸ˜†

Overall, it is a clean movie with nothing out of the ordinary, but definitely doesn’t bore you out.Ā The movie is worth a watch and do watch in theatre if you get a chance.

Posted in Movies, Reviews | 5 Comments »

Movie Review: Chak De India

Posted by Sankar on August 23, 2007

Just came back from watching this movie. I will write a detailed review in a day or two,Ā but in short, it is good and definitely worth a watch.

Chak De India

Image from yashrajfilms.com

Update: I have posted the review here.

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Sultan: The Warrior – Teaser

Posted by Sankar on June 24, 2007

After Sanjay mentioned that this movie is an animated film from India, I checked on youtube for the trailer and did find it.

In fact, the animation is really done nicely. Music is from Rahman. But when Rajni says “Kanna… Idhu pudusu”, it totally blows off. How could they even come up with stuff like this and that too in a teaser trailer?

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Rajni’s next film?

Posted by Sankar on June 19, 2007

If you visit any website that caters to news from India, chances are that you will see atleast a couple of articles on Sivaji and Rajni… Anywhere and everywhere, it is Sivaji and Rajni.

Anyway, this post is not related to that. While I was reading one of these several articles, I came across this piece of information.

Yet, the film is not just likely to recover its costs, it could end up making a whooping Rs 150 crore in the first three weeks alone. And Rajni is using the hysteria around Sivaji to promote his next film, Sultan: The Warrior, in the form of a 45-second teaser in screens screening his film.

Does anyone know about this. This is a surprise to me as Rajni hardly announces a new film within days of release of his previous film and yet this article claims that teasers are already being screened for the upcoming movie. I didn’t see any when I watched the movie in Detroit, MI.

Can anyone from Chennai or elsewhere throw more light on this?

Posted in Movies | 2 Comments »

Movie Review – Sivaji

Posted by Sankar on June 17, 2007

I am sure that by the time I publish this, there will be hundereds of sites/blogs with the review for Sivaji.Ā This is by 2 cents…Ā Ā 

And I just don’t know what to say… seriously. I am not sure what to say about the movie.

sivaji

If you go to the movie because you are a Rajni fan or you want to watch Rajni, then you will walk out happy.

If you go to the movie because you want to watch Shankar’s movie, then you might be disappointed.

If you want to continue reading the review, please do select all (Ctrl – A). Warning… spoilers ahead!!!

The movie’s theme came out long back. It is about the problems faced by a man trying to do good to the society and how he overcomes them. Well… this is the basic theme in most of the movies from Shankar. And I don’t mind that.Ā His previous social subjects were atleast a little different from each other. But this movie is a little too extreme.

Take Arjun out of Gentleman and put Rajni and you will end up with Sivaji. Kicha (Arjun) takes (steals)Ā about 45 crores from bad guys and then buildsĀ one medicalĀ college. It has been 10+ years since Gentleman and the amount has risen 1000 times. Sivaji steals 45000 crores (all black money) from the bad guys and then builds universities, hospitals etc etc all over the country. You get to see the usual scenes that you will see in any tamil movie… common people crying to release the hero etc etc.

Rajni is his usual stuff. He looks a lot younger and that’s nice. His on-screen presence is as usual great and like I mentioned before, if you go to the movie for watching Ranji, you will come out happy.

Shreya is a typical tamil movie heroine. Not much of role except for the songs.

Suman plays the villan in this movie. Lately, the villans or other characters are the ones that have stood out in Rajni’s movies. Neelambari in Padaiyappa, Chandramuki (Jyothika) in Chandramuki etc. Even in this, Suman’s character will definitely stand out. He has done a great job and has played the soft spoken villan vey well. I have heard that Mohanlal, Amitabh and even Sathyaraj were asked for this role. I am sure all of them would have suited perfectly for this rule as a soft-spoken villan. Shankar has done a great job in moulding this character.

The comedy is definitely above par and VivekĀ hasĀ done a good job. There are certain scenes where you can really laugh.

The other parts of the movie are typical of a Shankar’s movie.Ā Great. HeĀ has done a super job with the songs… I especially like the style song. Very nicely done!!! And the movie is technically great. The visuals are awesome. The artĀ  direction, editing etc are all great.

Just like any other Shankar or Ranji movie, the movie isĀ logically flawed. ButĀ I am sure most people (including me)Ā won’t mind it. We don’tĀ go for logic. We go for Rajni andĀ Shankar. Ā 

Sivaji utters the “cool” word several times in the movie which is really an overkill and gets boring after the first couple of times. Not sure why Shankar went with it… Some scenes are really boring (where shreya removes her half-saree to stop the train), the scenes with Solomon Poppaya and Raja etc could be avoided.

Overall, I am sure that we can definitely watch the movie. It is not bad, but it is definitely not great.

Check out other movie reviews in this blog.

Posted in Movies, Reviews | 5 Comments »