October 7, 2010


Enthiran has hit the bulls-eye in south Indian territory with visitors thronging to the theater like crazy. Most are, of course, fans of Rajnikanth and his antics, the remaining minority is rooting for the special effects. Being the costliest film made in India, it’s also been dubbed in Hindi as Robot and has garnered quite a few accolades across the country. 

The blogger would not like to ‘review’ the film as that is something each viewer can take an independent call on.  Instead, mentioned here are some random stuff that were noticed while watching the film:-
  •    For a 10:00 am show at Big ODEON, Connaught Place, New Delhi, there were barely 7-8 people in the hall. In south India, it is running to packed houses in its second week, too.
  • The lyrics and dialogues of this version have been done by the supremely talented SWANAND KIRKIRE. Of course, his talent is amply wasted. The lyrics are written just somehow to mean like the Tamil ones. Sadly, he couldn’t have come up with better stuff in accordance with the melody, since that wouldn’t then suit the picturisation of the song. 
  • Dialogues of the film have no notable features. In fact, at many places, literal translation and technical Hindi has been used. It leaves one wanting for a more casual translation. Worst case in point: “kritrim shukranu” [artificial sperm].
  •  Superstars can’t do without a moral lecture, can they? Well, somewhere they need to ‘give’ a message to their loyal fans. Rajni’s robot does it towards the end while dismantling himself!
  •  The lead characters zoom around the city in a swanky Mercedes convertible, WITHOUT putting on the seat belt. THAT, actually, would have been a better coded message to give to the million fans who may otherwise be errant car drivers and passengers.
  •   Lots to write about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. OOPS! ‘Bachan’ is how they spell it in the credits, at the very beginning of the film. If they had to make such an expensive film, the least they could do was to get the name of their female lead right! One wonders, why is SHE there in this film? Many reasons, actually. 

  • It’s better to have someone 37 yrs old rather than a 20-something opposite a hero who’s a senior citizen! Hers is a face well-known in across the breadth India, as compared to say, Shriya Saran, who was Rajni’s co-star in his last film [Sivaji] is 23 years of age and known mainly in Tollywood. She also quite fat, just as they like it down South. [yes, there is a scene done just for showing her cleavage…]
  •  What is it with Ash’s walk? Can’t she EVER walk straight? Those exaggerated hip-swaying movements only make her posterior look broader than what they already are. Her tummy fat is quite obvious in most of the outfits.
  •   In the first song, she dons a beautiful chiffon saree with an ill-matched blouse! Though, it’s only in the songs that the designer has either goofed up or played with a wild imagination, especially in an OTT song called "Kilimanjaro-Mohen jo daro"! For her outfits in rest of the film are quite nice and pleasant, suiting her character and location.
  •  Being a medical student is good enough. WHY was there a need to show her cheating in the exam and then blatantly lying about it? That, by the way, is an excellent un-coded message to give, no?
  •  Last bit on her… looks like she’s been put there to dance [which she does well] AND so that they can unapologetically refer to her beauty whenever the need arises! Her “blue-eyes” are mentioned at least FIVE times!
  • Sun TV’s logo glares into our face. The producer didn’t wanna give up that ONE chance to show off his company’s diversity!
  • People move in and out of that Chennai Dumping Ground, even searching through the trash, WITHOUT a mask around their nose…ew!
  • The much-talked about climax of the film is an OD of SFX and some conceptualization behind it. But, honestly, nothing strikingly ingenious about it.

The director of this tech-fest, Shankar, is being touted as India’s Cameron. The blogger doesn’t agree with this line of thought. Somewhere, ‘Avatar’ rang a bell which is not the case with 'Robot'. Excellent graphics n special effects make not a great film.

October 5, 2010


Touch Me? DON'T Touch ME!

It is all around us, yet we tend not to ‘see’ it. Certainly amongst the most common topics to be brushed under the carpet is the sensitive issue of Child Sexual Abuse [CSA]. Such a touchy topic is being broached on this space for the first time. CSA is a social malaise, rampant not only behind closed doors of so-called ‘secured’ set ups, but also just about anywhere else. It mostly goes unreported, and there are many reasons. The victims are ‘sush’-ed into silence by the intimidating perpetrator, or are simply too ashamed to talk about it. In India, the relationship between children and their parents is quite affected by notions of ‘hierarchy’, often dissuading the victims from sharing their experience.

The perpetrators of this heinous crime usually tend to be someone close/ known to the victim. This makes it extremely difficult for the child to either protest or disclose it to the parents. Children of both sexes are equally prone to being abused. Despite lack of conclusive data, the number of victims comprises more of girls. As matured individuals, the usual stance is that the child should immediately report any such abuse. This is easier said than done. The honour-shame complex runs deep and the un-sureness of positive action also dissuades the child from reporting the crime. Even if the child takes the courage to confide in parents [or someone else close], many refuse to believe it and simply chide the victim away. This may do intense damage to the psyche of the abused, leaving an impression for the life time.

A more practical solution is [and this is a heartfelt request by the blogger] that youngsters should have a chat with their younger friends and cousins about “good” and “bad” touch. It is also important that young children in the family are taken into confidence, and encouraged to clearly spurn any advances as well as report it. Also, male kids need to be sensitized about such issues, so that they don’t grow to be future perpetrators of this heinous crime. 

At an older age, support is essential to rid the victim of any guilt that they may be carrying from these childhood scars. It is preferred that victims reach out to sensitive individuals who can be a trusted confidant. One may avoid disclosing it to their partners, unless doubly sure of support from them. It is extremely important to think before one “reacts” to such disclosures, as it could be hurtful to the victim. The worst reactions include – “You must have enjoyed it too?!”, “Couldn’t you have reported it?” Such callous statements may leave painful gashes in the minds of CSA victims.

A child is still an immature individual, not knowing all “right” from “wrong”. It is NEVER their fault. Child psychology is exceptionally complex and cannot be explained in passing. If you can’t help, it’s better to stay SHUT than make the victim feel any worse.

Recommended Reading: BITTER CHOCOLATE, Pinky Virani