‘Uncategorized’ Posts

February 25th, 2012

the first decade

rajini
(*the picture above has nothing to do with the post except it symbolizes a look back)

This is a customary post, the one that I do every year on this day, mostly. The reason – its the anniversary of this blog, a very special one this time. Its a decade since this blog started to exist back in 2002. A look back of why and how was blogged here six years ago. Even though the blog postings around here have gone south, as I get immersed in the weekly grocery purchases and large data sets, a ray of hope still hangs around that I can keep this going.

Winning 3 Indibloggies could be considered an achievement of this blog but given that we don’t have Indibloggies anymore it doesn’t matter. So having invested thousands of hours in this blog and related discussions, what did I get? To cut that long story short, here are some blogposts that I really really enjoyed (or felt sad) writing and interacting for various reasons. To save your guilt, this is a personal blogpost so I don’t expect anyone to read through this thoroughly. Feel free to read, comment or leave.

The first one for being the start of everything here. The excitement that I had for being able to publish oneself on the web and becoming a part a indian blogger clique which was not more than two dozen in 2002.

On completing 25. You now know how old I am!

I still feel silly writing this. While there are many more silly blogpostings, this one tops them all. Have developed a kind of respect towards artists and filmmakers in the last decade. One that tells me nothing is an easy job.

Nidhi! She had a lovely blog called the Sunshine where I learnt on how to bring the cheer to the blog. She writes no more. That being said, the inspiration to start a blog was defintely Mahesh Shantharam.

The one where I spoke my journalistic career aspirations and stopped such BS after this. But this one is true.

Probably the only post on Indian politics and I think I was wrong about the whole subject. It was never my area of passion so didn’t bother to write anymore about politics.

The first soundtrack review, movie review.

Google finds me.

Watching my first film in US.

Rahman Top 10, as of 2002. As of 2005.

Really loved writing this post on deepavali.

One of the handful cricket posts here.

Pheelasophy 1.

This changed the fate of this blog. One of the most famous posts here, the review on Anbe Sivam that brought more people to this blog than anything else. The number of comments on the original blogspot blog was in hundreds. I actually thought the review was raw and was’t thought through well.

The post that caught Sujatha’s attention.

From lazygeek.blogspot.com to kirukkal.com. Also launches.

A bit of carnatic music – Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Mani and Kamal come by the blog.

Rumbumbum, a dhwanii column starts. I actually only wrote less than 10 columns for them before the site went down.

Turning 26.

Pachai Niramey!

Thangachii!!! A TamBrahm marriage.

One of my favorite reviews that I ever wrote – Kadhal Konden. This one was written with full of joy and passion.

On getting published in mass media. A Kakkha Kakkha review on Rediff. It was badly edited but I liked being published.

A maathiyosi review for Shankar’s Boys.

Veesukindra Thendraley, a personal post repeats time and again. Suprisingly it repeats even now as I type this.

Three friends whom I met through the blog tried our stab at group writing of stories. I never really took off. But a nod to that effort.

The most famous Sethu controversy. A detailed comment flame war. Such silly things we once did.

Winning Indibloggies 1.

Viru Viru mandi Virumandi. A review that got some real appreciation.

On Ajith 1 & 2

A lazy marriage invite. Life takes a turn.

World Themes for Indian Cinema. Anand Chandrsekharan and I co-wrote this series. Enjoyed the change. The entire series.

A post for raaja.

The first ever of Happy Birthday Dude! series. Bharathi, Rajini, Rahman, Kamalhassan, Sujatha, Spielberg and the entire series.

An evening with Ashokamitran, Sujatha, Jayamohan and SR.

RK Narayan and I. An ode to purasawalkam.

A man called Steve Jobs.

Once upon a time a lovely Barkha Dutt.

Sivaji passes away.

This post on cinderalla pattu paavadai ad got a lot of comments, don’t really know why.

Yaar Yaar Sivam.

The Rajini (f)actor. A rajini tribute. Some remember this post even now.

The most famous post around here. Atleast from search engine’s perspective. Still bring about 100 visitors a day for this image. Its all a mystery!

MS Subbulakshmi passes away. One of the saddest days. Blog closed for a day.

A post on the dramatic need in stories. This is the kind of a typical blogpost I wish I wrote all the time. Never happened.

On a personal Tusnami experience. I loved the title.

Ashokamitran, 50 years with the pen. I want to say Indian Charles Dickens.

Leaving India. Arriving Seattle and Starbucksing my life. Netflixing a little later. And mastering a subway sandwich. Finally a HondaToyota conundrum. The HondaToyota conundrum comes back. I get all desified until RK Narayan teaches me a lesson.

Sujatha turns 70, i blog about his rant, he comments. purpose achieved!

The fun of being a naive desi who writes about shallow consumer tech.

Yet another article that had tons of great comments(148 to be specific) – Nayakan on All-Time Top 10 Ten.

Kubrick, a favorite guy.

Death of an abused blog. Really such things did happen int he life of this blog.

And I started feeling remorseful to not being raw, naive and unfettered.

The most personal blogpost. My car, an atheist. Appa said this was the only thing he liked so far. Done deal.

I start to run.

Too much heat for this Sivakasi review. Loved every bit of it.

The brief return of Hemanth’s Teakada.

The blog is wordpressed and ad-free.

Saluting Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Review.

A friendly new year wish.

Lifetime achievement at Indiabloggies aka Mavaney Inimey Ezhuthuvey!

Camel ‘Marudhanayagam’ Hassan. And a trailer for that crazily superhit blogpost.

Blogasm, a quick column for a tamil blog, Gilli.

Yet another personal post, The I and the my.

The beginning of the end of lazygeek, Don’t Read This. Part 2.

Kollywood Car 1. The entire series.

I’m proud for this. A personal all-time favorie.

Hee.hee. Some fun and flame.

Taking a sabbatical from the lazygeek blog. The sabbatical page. Come back exactly after a year.

Starts a Tamil blog, Kirukkal.com.

Really enjoyed writing in this tone, in tamil.

Writer Sujatha passes away. A very sad day. Blog closed. 100s of people leave their touching memories on this page. Acute onset of writer’s block. Sujatha Anniversary 2009, 2010 and 2011. Sujathoughts.

A handmade ideal template for Kirukkal. This is the current template until I find myself convinced to use something else.

First ever published tamil story, Appavin Thanksgiving. The second one. And a fantasy filled third. A weird fourth.

Kirukkal Awards 2007 and 2010.

From Kodambakkam to Kodak Theater. Live tweeted the oscar show.

Ashwin comes around. Life takes another turn.

A pedestal for Selva’s Aayirathil Oruvan. Review.

The etcetra series part 1 in tamilpaper.net. All the 24 episodes.

kirukkal.com and kirukkal.com don’t exist seperately anymore. They are a part of this domain, kirukkal.com. subbudu is a pseudonym that I picked up for the tamil blog and still retain. A link to all the posts on this blog and BTW, Thanks for the journey!


January 20th, 2012

Delusions Galore!

mayakkam enna dhanush selvaraghavan

Mayakkam enna was a wasted effort, devoid of substance and class. It didn’t engage me as a viewer, didn’t bother to develop its rather cardboard characters and never stopped to pretend that it was a raw but class movie. All this I never wanted to say about a Selvaraghavan film but I do now. Given that I’m a huge fan of Selva’s films, I wanted to enjoy Mayakkam Enna and was already sold on the film although with just normal expectations.

The whole dating, fraaandship piece was artificial and the friends didn’t seem to belong together at all. Without dwelling scene-by-scene on why I was irritated, I guess the story wasn’t rich, its characters very superfluous without much of character, the very pretentious music that tends to cover up the nagging screenplay and of course some really bad acting. The so called ‘genius’ angst was badly expressed and its lead character gets a handful of accents that it confuses the heck out of a viewer.

The plot shifts rather swiftly from what it was trying to detail to a completely different dimension. Although it’s not uncommon for a selva film, this jump cut was crazy. How much ever one wanted to submit to the director’s thinking, he doesn’t support the shift with good reasons. If the ‘irumbu manushi’ issue was the point of the premise then the first half was totally wasted and if it was the ‘genius’ angst of the antagonist that formed the crux of the premise then the whole movie never wrapped around it clearly.

Simply put, its a movie to avoid even if you are Selvarghavan fan. I wish this is the last time I get to write such a review for a Selvaraghavan film.

Related Posts: Nasty Dynasty, Why I like/dislike Selvaraghavan?


April 21st, 2006

The sun has just come

The sun has just come out for the spring. Gas prices per gallon has just touched $3 in Seattle. If you are planning for a roadtrip, subscribe to the cable, stock tortillas to munch and stay home. Its going to be a pricey summer.

And then there is this site called Gas Buddy to locate cheap gas stations across the nation. Gas-Buddy seems almost like an oxymoron, at this moment.


July 18th, 2005

Lazy Casting !!

Here you go. My first blogcast/podcast whatever you want to name it. Blogger‘s own Audioblogger, allows you to call a US number and leave a message which is then converted into a mp3 file[approx 1k/per second], named as audioblog. I took a quick spin with registering my mobile and heck it was done within seconds.

Basically I’ve done a quick review of Anniyan followed by a commentary on Page 3 recieving the national award for Best Picture. For those who are regular to this silly space, will know (!!) what my reactions are. For others, I’m strictly warning not to listen and develop an instant enmity. Proceed no further.

this is an audio post - click to play

(more…)


June 27th, 2005

Sachein – Smoke Robot

Sachein was horrendous. When the movie was announced, from the posters, I sensed that it was a going to be a 3 hour long advertisement like Minsara Kanavu. It ended up just as expected and was also hugely non-interesting. Yet another good example of how a movie can bore you to the core because of bad/no screenplay.

With the screenplay nearly non-existing and the ghost of ‘Khushi’ wavering around, one couldn’t expect much than this. Though the characters talk naturally like the college crowd, it’s the characterisation and the predictable story that’s irritating. The movie seems better as it nears the end, or probably I felt happy as it was about to end. Why whould someone want to direct his debut movie which is a out-right rehash of a earlier movie done by the same star ? That just says how the producer and the director ‘believes’ a tamil movie fan. Forget Johan, the debutant director doing the mistake. Imagine Vijay himself, who wants to do Kushi again. Clearly shows how Vijay cares-a-damn about his audience and his belief that his fan following would make this movie a super-hit.

While Vijay, like other characters in movie, starts artificially, he goes on to carry the light-weight movie upon him to the end. Vijay has a long way to go in acquiring dialogue delivery skills. As he starts to talk at the camera after every 5 minutes, it seems like a movie shot strictly for his fans. I couldn’t believe Harini can act so bad. While she did a good debut in Boys, she is intolerable with her performance. Her inspirations drawn from the well-performed Jyothika hasn’t helped at all. Bipasha Basu could very well stay polluting the bollywood with her vamp looks. The bloated Vadivelu with his paunch and overdone powder makeup, seems out-of-place.

In a movie, where everthing except photography[Jeeva] is overdone, the smoke machine operator walks away with the credit for the ‘best overdone component’ of the movie. As every single character walks into/out-of a room/scene, the smoke seems to follow them sacredly. This starts to irritate right from the first shot when Vijay walks into the airport. With two ghanna songs asking to tap foot, I’m still googling for the BGMs.

Though it was partly my mistake to expect Johan to perform like his father, Mahendran, his story/screenplay has been the biggest villain. Lastly, if only Vijay wants to take over kollywood by talking to the camera and by rehashing his older flicks with newer heroines, he is having a bad dream.

P.S : Johan has a long way to go before he could be compared on the sames lines as his dad. Being an avid Mahendran fan, I only hope Johan ‘delivers’ a good show, next time.


Opening up the 61st Venice Film festival, Spielberg‘s speech ahead of the screening his latest flick The Terminal, has cast a magic spell on the audience.

I loved this piece, Film-makers all over the world have always been there, either to reflect the crisis with very conscientious, historically minded stories, or films of pure escape – science-fiction, fantasy, comedy. These films typically work much better when the world is in flux. The world has shown us that to be a human being you need to be relieved from the headlines. And now there are headlines on every single television channel, sometimes people feel compelled to escape into the movies.

Thinking of it I’m amazed by his honesty and the genuinity of this consummate statement. More here or at BBC.


Aayitha Ezhuthu
[Pic : akkthefilm.com]

This is a long biased post. I have unbiased reasons to write it. Aayitha Ezhuthu which scores a century with today, has been one of the most expected movies of this summer.

It’s unfortunate that since Aayitha Ezhuthu’s release, it hasn’t created any kind of serious criticisms or analysis. Seems like both the media and the public have ignored completely it by not having an opinion on it. Forget creating waves of criticism it hasn’t even created ripples at all. A fact that was even true for Mani Ratnam‘s Iruvar. With Iruvar’s release there was a political cloud and that might have kept the public away from the theatre. But Aayitha Ezhuthu, though politically inclined, has also had elements of Mani Ratnam’s commercial brilliance. We aren’t talking about the usual cinema review of the media. It is about an analysis on the social, political impact that they movie represents and above all the spectrum of today’s youth it portrays.

Movies like Virumandi, Kannathil Muthamittal have been seriously argued even in the most commercial magazines. Aayitha Ezhuthu, I personally feel, has been shunned completely except just one or two magazines which analyzed it. Now, if you might feel why should a movie be analyzed or discussed seriously. Aayitha Ezhuthu represents a cross-section of the society. It doesn’t advocate or preach a theory, rather, subtly wishes political awareness among the progressive youth. The movie has been experimented in a form that’s tough for a normal cine-goer to grasp. But it is the media that should have encouraged the movie and should have given it five stars for the excellence in cinema that it brought along. While all this is an earnest longing to happen for any good film, here are my silly/serious/semi-serious reasons in Aayitha Ezhuthu to get five stars.

These are some sparks of brilliance, though silly they may sound, they carry forward Aayitha Ezhuthu and it’s theme. As they say, a film is all about teamwork. These five stars are named straight to the particular person who excelled though they are actually awarded to Mani Ratnam and his complete crew of Aayitha Ezhuthu.

Sujatha / Mani Ratnam
- Maddy cribbing to Sriman in the truck, Oru 50 milli sarayathukkaga saaraya kadayaye vaanga kudathu.
- Enna Autographa, Madhavan responding to the policeman while he signs the release register in prison.
- Vote for Inba Sekhar. The shot that subtly/obviously hints Inba Sekhar’s desire for power.
- Surya holding DNA responsible for even a headache.
- That amazing conversation of Bharathiraja – Surya in the university when b’raja tries to brainstorm Surya to rush away out of politics. Surya respoinding – Neenga mattum evalavu naal kashtapaduveenga, Naangalum varom.
- Glimpses of Michael Vasant’s genius in prison where he conveys universe isn’t made of infinetly dense matter. Though this is just a hint, it conveys the genius in him, helping the movie to move ahead. It’s a make-believe to make Surya’s character seen as a hipster. Yet another similar shot where he quickly talks about hormones and showing his disbelief towards the institution of marriage.
- Sidharth’s flirt dialogue with Trisha in the Coffee day. One of the most revealing dialogues of the SMS cultured modern day yuppie youth. Sidharth : Naappathi Rendra, Trisha : Ah !! Yaar Andha Arrai, Sidharth : Neenga Thaan, Trisha – Thoda and the following dialogue as to how Sidharth wants to make his life thereon.
- Sidharath saying Indha Pakkam Oru Vellakaari, Andha Pakkam Oru Karuppi, Naduvula Nala Venba Project. This is one is straight from Sujatha. It is his cute way of unleasing the mindset of the character.
- Surya talking amidst students in his house, Naama Poi Software ezhuthuvom, Coco-Cola vippom, aana inga endha poruppum eduthukka mattom, iIla.
- The amazing one-liner Surya tells the TV correspondent, Century Adikanumna Kooda Singlela irundhu thaan aarambikanum.
- Surya banging Madhavan’s head on the Napier Bridge, and telling him, Nee enga ethiri illa. Un Azhukku Arasiyal. Atha Naanga Maathaporom. Showing the clarity of Michael Vasant’s thinking which eliminates the sub-causes and going in for to rectify the root cause of the issue.

A R Rahman / Vairamuthu
- The theme of Aayitha Ezhuthu, though not a part of the album. That music that starts with a single bang and continues as a harmony.
- That fabulous techno music background during titles along with the sounds of buses and cars moving around
- The nice bit song, Nee Mazhai, when Sidharth and Trisha travel in pallavan bus, a variant of Hey Goodbye Nanba
- Fanah. Completely classy. Great contribution of Vairamuthu.
- Aayiram Elainargal Thunindhu Vittal, Aayutham ethuvum thevai illai. Lyrics by Vairamuthu.
- Nicely orchestrated Hey Goodbye Nanba, especially the jazz piano slowly playing at the back
- A classy re-recording throughout the movie, not to mention the final climax and techno feel music at the back, similar to the titles.

Mani Ratnam
- For the characterization of Surya as a progressive youth. Unaffected towards his goals by the elements that hinder. Even in the final scenes he carries himself while his friends dupe that they have lost in the elections.
- The characterization of Madhvan. Fabulously observed from the streets of chennai.
- The amazing sketch of modern day yuppies, the easy accessibility and the kind of escapist attitudes thats prevalent among them.
- The distinction he chose to make in the final scenes when a chudhidhar and a couple of jeans walk into the assembly.
- Surya, not uttering even a single word and just quietly, slowly pushing bharathiraja away and making his walk into the assembly, telling that he is unaffected. One shot for the entire movie that talks.
- For the amazing format, the movie was taken.

Team
- Surya for getting into the skin of Michael Vasant. That very derisive smile he does to Bharathiraja when they meet.
- Madhavan’s hysterical dance for Dol Dol song in the boat.
- Trisha mimicking to her friends about Sidharth when he calls.
- Sidharth and Trish for the very cute Wow…..wow.. long interlude in Hey Goodbye Nanba.
- The incredible co-ordination of everyone for Hey Goodbye Nanba.
- The well done climax scenes on Napier Bridge. Superb re-recording, editing, amazing steady cam shots and every other thing done to those shots.

These are just the positives of Aayitha Ezhuthu. The list of minuses are comfortably forgotten to meet the idea of the post. And if any of these points, provoke you in some way to like or dislike the movie, or even if it prompts you to watch the movie, the idea of the post is met. As Surya says in the movie, Century Adikanumna Kooda Singlela irundhu thaan aarambikanum. Aayitha Ezhuthu’s century today is one of such a single run towards good cinema. Yep, Aayitha Ezhuthu One (in a) hundred. Three Cheers, Aayitha Ezhuthu.