Monday, November 27, 2017


A terrific film that reminds us "Never Forget Family".

Pixar takes the bar higher each time and "Coco" is no different in that sense. Technically, emotionally and cinematically, the bar is set very high. I came out with a feeling that I must be back at the theatre again to watch this and also, very happy to be flowing tears at the end as they came out effortlessly.

Pixar's original films (not all sequels) generally take me on a philosophical ride and leave me there with a lot of food for thought. "Coco" once again touched those philosophical chords and made me remember my grandpa and grandma with whom I used to play when I was a child.

This film is set in Mexico specifically for a purpose. In Mexico, they celebrate "Dios De Los Muertos" that is the day of the dead. I have been in Mexico in 2010 and experienced the celebrations as a witness then. I was surprised by their family values and their belief system. I was not convinced then, how will spirits come and visit us. Although, it's a topic of faith and it depends on each individual, but I swear that for many many individuals who question faith also put family first and stick together as a family. This film is certainly about family than about faith. Faith is only a path to be good and do good. As long as there is Goodness in faith, it is fine.

Technically, PIXAR has again given us the best-animated film of the year. With 2017 nearly ending, I doubt there would be another animated film that is as good as this.

My vote goes for "Coco" go watch the journey of Miguel and yes, family first. A 5/5 for this.

Monday, November 20, 2017



“The Virtue of Selfishness” begins with these lines in its introduction

The title of this book may evoke the kind of question that I hear once in a while: “Why do you use the word ‘selfishness’ to denote virtuous qualities of character when that word antagonizes so many people to whom it does not mean the things you mean?” 
To those who ask it, my answer is: “For the reason that makes you afraid of it.”

Ayn Rand wrote those lines and this book is not about selfishness in the conventional way “we” use or think about the word— selfishness. I must agree that we as humans have a high judgmental tendency to form and adapt things according to "us" that is our way of looking at things, perceiving them and applying them and in a similar vein, we applied this to language and thus I believe the word "selfishness" became an antagonizing word.

We live in a world where we love labels. A girl and boy cannot be together without being labeled as "couple" yeah they either have to be boyfriend-girlfriend or get married, without which the world is confused. The society is actually like a kid who is shown a fruit and if the fruit is not given a name, then he is confused. So we got to be labeled "single" or "married", "Hindu" or "Christian" or some other religion or even "atheist". Yeah, the world loves labels and when someone questions the existence of labels the world freaks out. Thus, when the book is named as "VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS" I heard many people asking me the question why I am reading it in the first place and some suggested I should keep myself away from such demeaning thought process and for that very reason, I read the book. 

I am recently hearing a lot of religious factions propagating their own things and in all ways and means, I am afraid that I do not seek nor heed to the conventional thinking of practicing idol worship or any symbolism per say. Although, I do perform some minimal rituals I do not do them for any ritualistic orgasm more so for the people who feel happy when they get to know I do it. So I am "selfish" but not "selfless" as per my ethics, my happiness lies in others happiness and not in any ritual. So there lies the answer to the need for ethics. 

The book began wonderfully with the chapter "The Objectivist Ethics" and explains why ethics are an objective necessity against a subjective luxury. 

I quote from the book 

The avowed mystics held the arbitrary, unaccountable “will of God” as the standard of the good and as the validation of their ethics. The neo-mystics replaced it with “the good of society,” thus collapsing into the circularity of a definition such as “the standard of the good is that which is good for society.”

Also, I subscribe totally to this paragraph

It is not men’s immorality that is responsible for the collapse now threatening to destroy the civilized world, but the kind of moralities men have been asked to practice. The responsibility belongs to the philosophers of altruism. They have no cause to be shocked by the spectacle of their own success, and no right to damn human nature: men have obeyed them and have brought their moral ideals into full reality.

So, the world that we live in is filled with the terrorist of all sorts and they are not amoral but their morals are different and challenging and the responsibility lies with the philosophers than the executors of the acts. 
Thus, I believe this book although written in 1964 resonates even today and I firmly believe that Rand's philosophy is applicable to the current times.

In the next chapter that is "Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice" that is written by Nathaniel Branden, he totally condemns the thought of self-sacrifice. When a mom says "I sacrifice my time to get my kid ready", then the question that triggers is does she want to be a mom who readies her kid or is she forced to do so?

From the book, I quote 

Do mystics declare that all they demand of man is that he sacrifices his happiness? To sacrifice one’s happiness is to sacrifice one’s desires; to sacrifice one’s desires is to sacrifice one’s values; to sacrifice one’s values is to sacrifice one’s judgment; to sacrifice one’s judgment is to sacrifice one’s mind—and it is nothing less than this that the creed of self-sacrifice aims at and demands.

Okay now I will stop quoting from the book, I already gave away 3 paragraphs and giving away anything more would not do justice for a book that is worth not just buying and reading but also keeping and referring frequently.

Ayn Rand is ruthless is making her point from start to end. She never gets carried away from the context and makes her point firmly and that is what is amazing about this book. Never did I feel out of place or context. 

The essays “Psychology of Pleasure”, “Man’s rights” are sheer genius. Although the former was by Nathaniel Branden and the latter was by Ayn Rand herself, they are extremely well written. Every essay has its coveted place and overall flow of the book is terrific.

Despite the bluntness, if read with a rational mind, this book would be acceptable and will be appreciated as one of the finest books on philosophy and selfishness along with Rand’s another book “Philosophy: Who Needs It”

She is one of the best writers of the 20th century and by far the most influential in my life. 

A 5/5 for this wonderful book.

My review of "Philosophy: Who Needs It"

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


A flick that cannot be missed.

It gave me thrills and chills that were worth every moment. Although the film is driven mostly by conversations between cops, the anticipation of what action will those conversations lead to was higher. This is an action film that is layered with the desires of characters.

This film is a satisfying, engaging inspection of the drug war with no specific format/rules, driven by superb performances. Benicio Del Toro is one of my favorite actors and he has done a superb job here. I saw Emily Blunt for the first time and I was totally taken aback by her meaty performance. Kurt Russell played his part nonchalantly and a true professional. Others did their job meticulously I must say. Even the Mexican kid who hardly comes for a shot did so well that I was convinced that all the action was real. Nothing feels staged or rehearsed. Kudos to director Dennis Villeneuve for making this film this way.

The opening scene begins with a capture trial and ends with an explosion, from that moment on the film was set to be driven by intensity. There is hardly a dull moment in the film and to say the least, most of the film was riveting. Screenplay by Taylor Sheridan is terrific. It leads from one scene to another beautifully and finally ends in a real conflict. Even the last shot, where a kid is waiting for his father to return had something to say.

Cinematography by Roger Deakins was spectacular. Yes, the scenes, they can be on road, in a tunnel or a conversation between characters, it was all done neatly and the camera never missed a beat. That's what made me engage more into the film. The sound design was par excellence, the shootings, the talks, the silence, everything was designed to drive the emotion. The technicalities are driven by emotions which in turn are driven by the film itself. And this immersion of each department into the film made this film special.

Of all, I loved Benicio Del Toro in the film. A 4/5 for a powerful film on drugs, cops and more.

Friday, November 10, 2017


A film that will stand as a cult based on many good things.

The screenplay is wonderful, the music is good, the acting is sublime and the story was brought out well in a realistic and convincing manner and all the way through, it was entertaining. What else do you look for in a movie? This movie ticks all the boxes almost perfectly and I am happy to have watched this. My wife and I watched this together and after the film was over, I thanked her a lot for having shown this gem.

Nivin Pauly, Dulquer Salman, and Parvathy are the stars of the film for me and they have done justice to their roles in a wonderful way. Also, each one's profession was different and yet friendship kept them united, this theme was wonderful too. All friends generally don't end up in a similar profession most of the times and in that aspect, the film was realistic. There is an IT professional, a corporate executive, a biker and also a Radio Jockey. Oh, so many lives are entwined wonderfully and each has their importance and their space in the script. There is nothing to take away from anyone and each one has done their part well.

The taking of a film is something that can be studied to understand how multiples stories can be knit together beautifully and more so believably.

A 4/5 for a memorable film.


A disappointing film for me and as I did not find anything worth taking back from the film.

It's a Pawan Kalyan film that is neither entertaining nor conveying a message. It was a lackluster attempt to show something. Now this 'something' is something only the makers would know. 

There is nothing worthwhile that I remember from the film. I watched this on the release day in the theatre on 24th March 2017. Had I written my review then, I would have put more rants more but then, I resisted as I did not think this movie was worth my review. Nevertheless, I put this one out to stick to my discipline of reviewing whatever I watch. 

A 1/5 for this powerless PowerStar film.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


A film that is disappointing, to say the least.

I did not like it for many reasons and the top-most would be manufactured climax and the relationship of the protagonists. I could not fathom few aspects of the film. An alcoholic policeman is not murdered and we are put in a delusion of someone doing as big a crime as murder in the initial few scenes and later on, it turns out, that just a hand has been cut. I was shocked and felt awful by the end as I spent nearly 90 minutes in hope that something bright would happen.

I saw the film with expectations, it is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, it was directed by Lasse Hallstrom (I loved his Hachi) and that made me think, I am going to watch a breezy romantic film. Alas, I did watch a manufactured rather fractured romantic set-piece set in some village which I am not sure exists in today's times. The whole set up looked very artificial and it did not gel with my thought process. Most things seemed unrealistic right from the beginning. The climax was like the last nail in the coffin that made me dislike the film in totality.

A 1/5 for this, can't give more and can't say more either.


A psychological thriller that tested my brains and ended with a puzzling scene.

What has a tarantula got with the brain of a man I didn’t get it. It could be an allegory, a metaphor or a hallucination but I was not so convinced by its use as a symbol. Nevertheless, this was a crazy film. The craziness lay in the silence, it is spread in the minds of the characters than anywhere else. That craziness rubbed off on me as a viewer too. By the end, I was astonished by what I have seen for nearly 90 minutes in my life. 

The movie was surreal and also concealed. It had a beautiful wrapping of reality in the imagination of a man and that’s what made this film engaging. The movie moved at a very leisurely pace as if to go the viewer's space to think. Yes, there was hurry whatsoever shown in the film and that adds to the brilliance of the film rather than pulling it down. 

Denni Villeneuve is a wonderful director with a terrific body of work till date. This film made me understand why he is one of the most sought directors. I loved “Prisoners”, “Arrival”, “Sicario” and now this film too.

Technically, the film is brilliant. Although it’s a 2013 film, we don’t see smartphones or any high tech gadgets. There are mobile phones though, now that made me think that the film is set in 2000’s but not later than 2010 perhaps. So putting such questions into viewers head is an achievement pulled off. 

I always felt a great film is a one that will trigger a debate rather than just putting it’s point across well. This film has certainly triggered thoughts and I am happy about it. 

As of now, I couldn’t figure the film. The film perhaps is about one man living with his pregnant wife who has his doubts or maybe it’s about two guys who are exactly same. I don’t know what it really is but whatever it is, this was nice but it gave a lot of work to my head and it was a happy headache. I can just take a cue from the poster and say that this film is about what happens in a man's head.

Respect to Jake Gyllenhaal for his portrayal and conviction in the film. He is a superb chap who does the job if given a challenging role. There were two challenges given and he handled both superbly.

A 4/5 for this film. It's viewing has drained me for sure, yet it has been rewarding.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


An extremely tragic and an important film that's realistic with a terrific performance by Al Pacino.

This is a film about a bank robbery with nearly 90% of the film being set within a bank. Yet the film is very engaging and enjoyable. Thanks to the terrific screenplay and direction by "Sidney Lumet" and to the sublime performances by all, especially Al Pacino as  Sonny. This film is based on a true incident and the depiction of the incident is extremely real. I felt as if there is no drama in the film at all and the element of drama was derived from the circumstances, the action, and reaction for each nuance. The film is extremely detailed to the point that we live with the characters and get to know almost everything about them in about.

The editing of the film must be given credit for giving the viewers time to get in sync with the characters. Although the film felt long in the initial 30 minutes, once it started to sink, the film was a breeze and by the end it was striking. The end was known right from the beginning but to get there with a lot of engaging moments peppered is a job well done.

A lot of credit to the art direction team, who did a tremendous job in setting up the bank. It was perfect in all ways and I could see how a bank in 1972 functioned and what things they used, how each one is placed and how each one's desk is set up too. I was in awe of the set all through the film.

This is a film for the actors and Al Pacino having proven his proficiency through "The Godfather" and few other films were the right choice for the film. The casting was bang on and Sonny could not be played better by anyone else is what I firmly believe now.

This is one of the great movies that will stand the test of time and will be important for many generations to come. I am going with 5/5. Thanks, Sidney Lumet for giving us another masterpiece.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


This "story of an egg" is one that is a must see. This is bald and beautiful. A film that is extremely realistic and also makes it’s point beautifully.

Ondu Motteya Kathe literally translates to "Story of an Egg" and it's the story of a bald-headed man who is referred to as Egg.

There is nothing much I can wrong about the film except the length perhaps. It’s a very competently made film considering that it’s a debut film of the director. The director acted Raj B Shetty also acted as the protagonist and I respect him a lot. He pulled off something that is challenging and he did it subtly and without much ado and drama. I salute him for his way of handling the subject so well. The emotions are real and I suppose they echoed so well with me and if there is a reason that the emotions went down so well is that they are universal.

There are very emotionless moments in the film. All through the film I was either crying or laughing or feeling something, that implies there was never a dull moment and that is what makes this simple screenplay even more enjoyable. The songs were made in a context and I did not find anything out of place in the film.

Also, I must say this is one the best tributes to late "Rajkumar", the director put his faith in Rajkumar and it worked wonderfully. Rajkumar indeed was a character through his songs, speeches, and scenes from old films. Each of that innuendo was apt and it comes at the right moment. One point, when our hero asks a question, Rajkumar is silent even that I felt was so apt. Sometimes we can't seek any help and we need to explore our own life and belief in our own path. This message was told in a nuanced way that I was taken aback and rejoiced the moment.

There are many wonderful moments in the film right from the beginning to the end and to enjoy all of those and more, watch this film. I am happy to have seen this. Oh, I must thank my friend Raghuveer's brother in law Charan who showed me the trailer and intrigued me into watching the film. A deserved 4/5 for a well-executed indie film. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017


A smart, sweet and clean film that deserves a viewing.

Watch it for the clean and straightforward performances by Anne Hathway and Robert De Niro. More so for De Niro who plays the title role as "The Intern" and is extremely poised. He carries the film firmly on his strong shoulder and delivers pretty well. I can understand how the life of an entrepreneurial woman can be and mind you, this film is directed by a woman.

Director Nancy Meyers has a decent filmography, she was the one who gave a lovable "The Holiday" earlier and a good "What Women Want" earlier in her career. I must admit that I find Nancy Meyers as an accomplished and a well-updated director. The use of technology in the film and how she balances the old mindset with values with the fast-paced generation yet similar values is worth a mention.

I was bought into the film with the sincerity of the actors and apart from the main leads, I loved the kid "Paige" who is the daughter of Anne Hathway. The kid is cute, lovable and so terrific. I hope to see more of her before she grows up.

The casting was good and all the technical departments were decent. I cannot say that I loved but I confess I felt good at the end and it was yeah, a pretty likable film. For that, a 3/5.

About Me

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I firstly declare here that all the content written in the blog is exclusively written by me and I hold the copyrights of each and everything. Be it a poem or a movie review. Also, the videos or photographs I upload or attach are exclusively owned by me. This declaration is important in a world that seems so worried of piracy. The prime purpose of these blogs is to put my writings and photographs on the net. and well to start with.... I live in my mind, and existence is the attempt to bring my thoughts into physical reality, I celebrate myself, sing myself and I am always happy in my own company.....I am not the best in the world but I strive for excellence and thats what keeps me alive... Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself--Friedrich Nietzsche