Harry’s Hormones

harry's hormones

After nearly the whole world has watched Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire, I set out to watch the movie on a Saturday morning. By the time, I walked out of the theater, it was freezing cold outside and I couldn’t believe that there were still cars running around. Not because it was freezing cold outside but I was in a state of trance for the last couple of hours that made me believe that when you aim a wand at something it can transform into a monkey or a donkey or even an IIPM Ad. Who knows. Harry Potter isn’t Rajini to get you transfixed during his on screen presence. Still, Harry Potter has a magical aura around him. And even if you never liked, with people around you cheering, ” Harry Harry Harry”, you can’t just hate him. And I was one such odd man out.

Harry Potter and I have a love-hate relationship. Before I go on to state what the love is, here’s a secret. I haven’t yet read any of Harry Potter books. One reason could be that before I set out to read book one, I saw the first movie. After then, year after year, it’s a custom to walk into a theater where Harry fights Voldermot and succeed every single time. Hence I am not a major Harry Potter freak to whom you could ask, ” Which spell makes the Dark Mark appear ?” and I would readily shout, Morsmordre. From the first time, I always have a feeling that I haven’t understood the entire thing about Hogwarts and Harry as compared to someone who has read the book(s). Generally, I would love to read a book and watch the movie but I am not used to read a book series like Potter and watch the respective movies on screen. Not just me but millions of people around the world aren’t used to this kind of book-then-movie-book-then-movie stuff. Thats probably one reason, why I believe Harry Potter is a major phenomenon and would be talked about until at least the next century. I ain’t awestruck at Harry Potter’s movie but I I truly believe in this.

Even as I purchased the ticket, I knew that Harry Potter wouldn’t die in the hands of Voldemort. As the print media is already selling Harry’s sixth book, one would know before hand Harry Potter is going to succeed even in fifth and the sixth movie. That certainly distances you from getting involved with the movie. This is where my interest never gets even as as Harry gets a wild card entry in the Tri-Wizard tournament. So I have to say if there are major changes to the climax of the next Potter movies, my energy levels would soar and would make people like me, get involved. I wish that happened much against the wish of Harry Potter fans.

In this serving of Harry Potter’s Adventure at Hogwarts, Harry’s hormones work overtime even as Harry is thrown into a deadly challenge for which he isn’t mentally ready. As he makes a lengthy stare at his school mate Cho Chang, you know Harry has grown-up. This is clearly innocence lost. From just being a children’s fantasy story, Harry Potter grows up into a teenager flick. I am not sure if this is what J K Rowling originally intended to be. There is a huge possibility that she just allowed the character to shape it by itself and hence from being just a chandamama story hero, Harry Potter gives a feeling of being a real human being. This is the biggest plus in creating a fantasy story. You could make just about anything in a fantasy story. Even in the next story, JK rowling could take Harry Potter back to his first year at Hogwarts.

I have to ramble here. Harry Potter isn’t James Bond or Spiderman or Superman or any of the super heroes. If this Harry Potter like growth had happened, year after year, James Bond should have turned into a 70 year old man now, going by Ian Fleming’s initial description of James Bond. Or Superman would be a retired old man, sitting in a recliner and reading NY Times. But it never happened. Superman is as young as he was, when first introduced. Watch out for the young Superman as he returns in the summer of 2006. My Paati created a fantasy hero for her grand children. So the same Darling Rajakumaran is still fighting the Mahendrapuri Raaja as he was during my childhood days. My nephew heard the same story a few years back. Just that the latest Darling Rajakumaran drives a Maruthi 800 while mine had only a karuppu horse. May be this growing up is what makes Harry Potter a saga. An epic that could stay for decades to come. None can answer now and its for time to answer how Harry Potter would be carried into the future. Probably 50 years from now, like Peter Jackson, some could give life to the forgotten Potter story and re-take it for the movie standards of that day. The reality is, Daniel Radclife would have enough beard like Dumbledore and would be resting in a recliner like the above said Superman.

Goblet of Fire is a so-so movie. There are some fantastic CGI scenes but the movie is more realistic than other Potter movies. The Quiditch World Cup had breath taking special effects. Made me wish if only there was a real stadium like that. Someone said the whole quiditch stuff ran into more than 50 pages in the book while it was reduced to 5 minutes on-screen. Quiditch was one thing that made me sit-up in the first potter movie and I felt let down as the whole chapter ended up so fast. Still, the movie by itself was filled with competitions. It had 3 races and some story in-between the three competitions. While the dragon episode was the grand one, the other two were pitiful counter-parts. Especially the maze competition for climax, reminded me of the final scenes of Kubrick’s Shining.

The screenplay has a many yawning places which made me slide down the chair and yearned to go to sleep. Of course there are also sensational scenes in the story. Though reading the whole Yule Ball episode might be sleep inviting, on-screen it was short and sweet. Harry asks for a girl to dance with him during the ball. Since she is already going with someone else, he finally settles down for an Indian girl. And why would they want to symbolically represent Indians as brown skinned by choosing darker girls while there are thousands of fairer Patels and Shahs in England. Spontaneously, Harry hugs Granger while he is about to start for the second round of competition. Thats probably a highlight of this Harry Potter episode. I’m waiting to see if Granger would marry(?!!) Potter or Weasley, as Wesley also sights Granger as much as Harry. The ending was sober with the death of a friend but there is an entire sequence before that seems like the mummy awakening, which is exciting.

There is absolutely no reason to write a review for this movie. Its become like a sort of social thingy for Harry Potter movie to release and the world waits for their turn of tickets in long queues of theaters to watch him do magic. They still cheer, “Harry Harry and Harry !!”. More reasons to love this movie than hate it.

Pasupathy talks !!

pasupathy veyyil
[Thanks – Vikatan.com]

I watched Majaa and felt happy. The movie wasn’t great but the artists remained intact. Should Kamal Hassan be in Vikram’s place, he would have said, be careful with him for given a chance Pasupathi would walk away with applauses.

Pasupathi the guy whom we spotted from Dhool or even in Kannathil Muthamittal is currently one the most wanted character artists in Kollywood. But thats like caging him. A natural actor like him can be used for any character/any film. Knowing this, probably Kamal wanted him to do the silly comical role in Mumbai Express after a vibrant villain in Virumandi.

In his recent interview to Ananda Vikatan[requires uid/pass], Pasupathi talks about his childhood days at Thandaiaarpet and how he was caught into this magical world of theatre acting. Pretty interesting interview where he recalls his past as roaming in streets assuming himself to be Sakalakala Vallavan Kamal. And thats when he joined Kothupattarai that brought him upto speed on theatre acting. I was surprised to know that he was one of the founders of the legendary Magic Lantern theatre group.

Next Films ? An english film where he is Piccha, a poor farmer. Then, Veyyil, Shankar’s next production directed by Vasantha Balan where Pasupathy is Munusaamy, the projector operator of Kaniappa Talkies. Shankar is also producing, I heard, a Vadivelu starrer named Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi. Both Veyyil and Imsai Arasan seem pretty different. Do we have a Tamil Ram Gopal Varma with Shankar, as expected ?

I only hope Selvaraghavan would use Pasupathy for Pudupet. Wouldn’t that be a devastating combo. Watch out for Pasupathy in the coming days.

Kalinga in CompUSA

Been stuck at office like a car after heavy snow. Loads of work before the million dollar baby goes live in two weeks from now. Curious last moments is what makes a software engineer’s life, a bliss. And I’m enjoying every moment of it trying to keep myself cool without getting panicked.

Talking about getting panicky, Seattlites just got freaky over the last few days owing to the weathermen going over-board about the expected snow. When snow came down, people left the office thinking that the snow would take over the city. What happened was an anti-climax. Snow came down, life went on as normal. Nothing much was distruppted except me being late for the evening coffee by just a few minutes.

By the time me and friends reached the COMPUSA store on the thanksgiving night, it was 11:30 pm. Around 500 Indians(yes, 98% indians and 2 % asians not indians were the only people around) were already in the line with monkey caps and their wives, who showed no interest in accompanying their husbands to an electronics store. Stroke of midnight, people started walking inside the shop and as usual a bunch of desi dudes ran inside the shop without coming through the line. By the time I was inside the store, it seemed like a kalinga war was just fought. The hard disk section was ransacked and I just got hold of some box which I didn’t know what it contained. Following the old quote – follow the stream, as everyone was picking up couple of boxes, me too picked up two of them. Later when I saw that they were 250 GB hard disks costing $180, i left them back.

Did you just think, Technology has improved so muchaaa. Wait. Around 200 of the desi crowd was just climbing one upon other like the first day first show of a Rajini movie to get a 512 MB USB pen drive for $9.99. Phew !! I came back home without buying anything.

The Thanks ‘buying’ stuff finally arrived. Like I planned, I bought the 160 GB external accomdata hardisk but for $70, instead of $50. I bought them online at Fry’s Outpost. Also went to CompUSA next day of Thanks giving to find hundreds of wireless routers lying around, which were missing on the previous night. I am a mobile blogger now. Yep, the home network is all set, thanks to CompUSA’s wireless router. So I can browse and even blog while eating idli molagaapodi on the dining table.

As it gets colder in Seattle, it gets exciting too. The snow this morning while driving to work, lifted my spirits. The tall evergreen trees with snow cap on them makes the whole place look so beautiful. Accompanied with Rahman’s Tanha Tanha on the CD player, it was a sight that I would remember for a long time to come. Meanwhile the city is getting it’s holiday dressing. Street trees are decorated with serial lights, Santa socks and caps being sold even in medical stores(!!), the work place is getting decorated with holiday trees and the shops are open even longer than the original working hours to meet the holiday sales. The year end seems to be the most exciting part of the year, be it in India or in US. Oh yeah !! I’m missing the marghazhi kutcheri.

Rogue Blogging !!

I was reacting to Chenthil’s non-commital blogpost on the recent plagiarism accusations on The Hindu. Few arguments touched upon rogue blogging. I have some strong comments on rogue blogging and how blogs can be mis-used as anti-fame machines. Here is the extract from the comments that me and Chenthil had on his blog.

From Chenthil’s blogpost –

This incident set me thinking about this sharp tool called blogging. Take Mr. Bhaskaran. He has been writing for about 20 years. Assuming 20 reviews a year, that makes it 400 reviews. Even if say, 20 of his reviews were inspired, he will be painted as a plagiarist for all 400 of them. It is a little harsh on him. Again I stress, I am not batting for anybody, just thinking out loud how this tool called blogging can be used.

lazygeek said…

//Even if say, 20 of his reviews were inspired, he will be painted as a plagiarist for all 400 of them. It is a little harsh on him. //

Chenthil, I don’t get this logic. How do you say its a little harsh on him. its a matter of integrity when it comes to fourth estate.

Chenthil said…

Guru, the issue I was concerned more here was how blogging can be used to bring down somebody.//

lazygeek said…

Yep !! There are rogue bloggers every where and the idea of rogue bloggings sucks. I agree. Now lets take this analogy to the IIPM case which is very recent. Do you also think that IIPM literally raped by bloggers. Imagine IIPM has been around for a while and they might have given great education even for atleast 200 people, they were ragged by the bloggers for screwing up with one AD on newspapers. Do you think so ?

Also, imagine the tamil nadu police captures so many criminals on a daily basis. do you think they were ragged by bloggers when they were condemened for moral policing with just one hotel.

Are we being balanced here ? If you are saying yes, i’ll have a bigger reply.

Chenthil said…

Guru, of course I am not being balanced. I myself have participated vigorously in IIPM issue and Moral Policing. But of late I am getting this doubt, whether we are using blogging as a tool to bring down things. When I was participating in those issues, I could feel the mob mentality engulfing me, making me feel the potency of power without accountability.

In such mobs, some of those who are shouting along with you won’t be agreeable to you on normal days. But since all of us are shouting for an issue, we tend to forget this fact. To put it in Engineering College slang, whenever there is a fight in collge, there will be a group who will be standing invisible but creating a big noise. We call that “Sound vidarathu”. I am wondering whether blogging is going down that road.

lazygeek said…

Obviously its going in that road. Remember those days when you had asked why I was keeping off senstive issues. This was the reason. Its because we have bandwith and a keyboard that listens to your whims and fancies, by means of senstive topics and sticky posts, we are just becoming rogue bloggers, to the core.

Ofcourse there are people who react because they feel dejected or upset of some issue. i have to say i felt very dejected when i saw the plagiarism. two reasons. one the lazygeek blog is a victim of plagiarism. donno if you know but the reviews and posts are intelligently stolen and some interesting thoughts are added to it make seems like a original post. second, i am a long term reader of hindu. infact right from the start. so i felt dejected and hence that post about hindu.

There are bloggers whom even you can spot so easily who are just waiting for to kick someone and waiting for a prey. those dudes are pretty new and have no clue of the immense satisfaction blogging gives. if its all about eyeballs and page hits and comments gallore, blogging ceases to exist. but thats what we have today and it really sucks. really sucks.

And before you start to comment here is a quick note. These were comments and they were written with an urgency. Hence they may not really bring out the essence of what i mean. I was trying to compare Chenthils’ logic of argument in Bhaskaran’s case with the IIPM and moral policing issue. My take on moral policing and IIPM remain intact despite these conversations for the sake of an argument. While this argument continues so does the concept of rogue blogging.