The series is a staggering acheivement on several counts,which is all the more surprising because it breaks quite a few rules of genre crime fiction writing at several places. Larsson shows a tendency to employ digressions at key moments, which drag you away from the plot to explain, say, the backstory of a lesser character or completely unrelated trivia. It is also written in an extremely matter of fact style with very little embellishment (it could be because of the fact that the work is translated from Swedish). But these elements work perfectly in Millennium helping create a keen sense of anticipation in the reader at key moments only to suddenly whisk them away to a more mundane place leaving them gasping for breath.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
The opening scene in Inglourious Basterds is a classic instance of how to build up to a denoument which the audience already anticipates. From the moment the farmer hears the hum of the German motorbikes approaching you know serious evil is afoot and that people will die before the scene ends. But its the treatment of the scene that takes the breath away. And of course it helps if you have a character like Hans Landa to work with. Chrisopher Waltz approaches the character like a chemist would when performing a titration experiment. His affect on people around him (and the audience) is slow, assured, awe inspiring and eventually deadly.
Sylistically Inglourious Basterds is a departure from Kill Bill, infact almost its mirror image in the sense that KB was a series of set piece action sequences with sporadic bursts of dialogue where as IB is a series of conversation set pieces with intermittent spells of violence.
A nod especially to Melanie Laurent's Shoshanna who is hauntingly gorgeous in every frame she inhabits. The Basterds themselves were fun but, ironically, probably the weakest link in the film.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Indian cities are such a repository of exquisitely named places, its a pity that very few have been analyzed or dissected in great detail. For example the Kempegowda Bus Stand area in Bangalore, is popularly known as "Majestic". Someone coming across"Majestic" for the first time might imagine that the city probably has more places like it - "Splendid" perhaps or "Pathetic" or even "Far-Fetched". Another favourite of mine in Bangalore is "Michaelpalya" which is just a very cool name.
Its hard to think of any Indian city that I have been to and not found a name that's profoundly WTF and memorable. Agra's Chippi Tola ( a place that sells springs of all sorts), Gadha-Pada, Man-Tola and Raja Ki Mandi; Lucknow's Bakshi ka Talab and Narahi; Raipur's Lendi-Talab, Mumbai's Chinchpokli, Tulsi Pipe Road are just some that I can think of right now, but I am sure there are hundreds more.
Will probably do a more detailed list of all such names that I can recall, later perhaps.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
For me the real genius of Federer's game is not in its precision or aesthetics but in the fact that Federer always plays on the outer boundaries of his abilities. Its exhilirating to watch because of the extreme risk it entails. You would rarely see Federer playing a safe shot. In fanboy parlance I tend to dig Roger Federer's game. And the Aussie open final left me bereft of all adrenaline and I lay slumped on my bean bag for almost an hour after Federer started crying on court.
I have always harboured a prejudice against Nadal for no reason whatsoever. Perhaps its because he is the only player who makes Federer look human on court - irritated, hurried, pensive, resigned even. To top it all Rafa is such an amazingly gracious champion that it grates. But the man has won me over this year. For all its star power the Sampras-Agassi rivalry was nowhere near to what Federer and Nadal have. The tennis they play against each other is for most part unreal.