Monday, May 24, 2010

Kites doesn't quite fly!

Well, it looked like one of those flop finals Indian cricket team used to end up in choking all too often after some superb league matches (Now of course Team India does not even make it to finals anymore). At least that is what I thought about Kites.

After all the promise Anurag Basu and Hrithik were showing in their work, my own expectations were soaring high, too high for the Kites to match. The solace is that whatever heights the Kites took were because of these 2 guys. Basu's screenplay and direction is top-notch and Hrithik gave his all. What undoes the movie is the lack of depth in the story - the love story. How deep in love the lead couple are in is never quite translates, literally. Did the Hindi, Spanish jugalbandi dialogues end up losing love in translation? I think so. So even as the movie ambles towards its dead-end, we would be wondering if we missed a reel or 2 about how the couple fell in love. Rakesh Roshan holds the credit for story I guess and he may be now feeling the same.
What is of course surprising is that in a movie with such an ambitious love story, we hardly have a sequence which we can recollect after we leave the theatre! Unfortunately, that's the crux Kites failed at. Otherwise it is a honest work bereft of formula and cliche. Viewers loving novelty would embrace this even with its faults. But that is not enough to make this movie India's much eluding cross-over film. Hard luck to Anurag Basu and Hrithik.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Birds need you this Summer

It is searing hot and there is little water out in the open in our urban concrete jungles. Pass this message to whoever you are connected with.

Thanks Ramesh Potharaju for sharing.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

TELANGANA X:The Good, Bad & Ugly of National Media Coverage

Telangana movement in its latest phase has been the most widespread, democratic and non-violent people's movement in this country since Indian Independence. Some captured it in its bellowing spirit while some journalists instead of seeing this as an opportunity to show-case this nation's democratic ideals, ignorantly and narrow-mindedly misreported and ended up consolidating the distrust and reaffirming the fears Telanganites have that they are outnumbered and outweighed even in media.

Here is a brief look at the good, bad and the ugly of that coverage.

The Good:
The very independent Tehelka too took the roads in Telangana to gauge the mood in 'Stir, My Beloved Country'. Samrat Chakrabarti, who earlier wrote an investigative article on Bt.Brinjal did this observant piece on the latest phase of Telangana movement .

The Hindu came up with this wonderful article
'World through homogenous frames' on the democratic spirit in the OU student movement. In contrast to the hare-brained interpretations by most in mainstream media on how the students movement is becoming a threat to law & order and democratic rule, the article analyzes how the students in fact embraced the democratic values of this country and how they seek to find shelter or withhold them as and when required. Thanks for the Anon who shared this link with me on this blog.

EPW, as discussed earlier, went on the Telangana trail. This is a fantastic piece that captures the magnitude and the mood of the movement.

The Bad:
NDTV's TS Sudhir's close-mindedness is amusing. Even while events of unheard magnitudes erupt around for the cause of Telangana, he was inexplicably indifferent. Not that he didn't get the feedback. Look at the pic here :)

TS Sudhir's profile on NDTV reads 'He has reported extensively on politics, Naxalism,..and is one of the senior most television journalists in the country today'. It was a shame to see this 'senior' produce literally nothing on the claims of Telangana advocates even when they seem to have succeeded dividing this state. Instead, this is the gem he produced - "Even KCR does not believe he is the right vehicle (for achieving Telangana). His party's symbol is the ambassador car but he doesn't travel in one himself". Maybe the 'senior' journalist thinks Chandrababu goes cycling to the assembly and his Heritage offices and that Mayawati rides an elephant everyday on public and private businesses! Another gem - "I watched with horror as students at Osmania University in Hyderabad turned virtually into monsters". Yeah, you read it right. He calls OU students monsters. How could he say renaming Kadapa after YSR is apt as YSR, according to him, is its most famous son and then call OU students monsters because he thinks they are violent! And yes, he labels himself journalist, sorry a senior journalist.

The Ugly:
Well, enough has been said. Shaik Ahmed Ali of CNN-IBN has been a revelation.

In contrast, an alien NY Times (I & II) and Al Zajeera (I & II) did better, reporting things as they were which much of our own mainstream national media failed to do. We should just hope independent journals/magazines like EPW and Tehelka continue to write, debate and spread awareness about aspirations of people in this vast country and not let their genuine and democratic struggles go unnoticed and thereby alienating them from the ideals India professes to practice. After all, the measure of success of any democracy is the number of people's movements that blossom in it and not the absence of them.

My posts on Telangana:
TELANGANA IX: EPW goes on the Telangana trail
TELANGANA VIII: My letter to Sri Krishna Committee (SKC) - A case for demerger of Telangana
TELANGANA VII: Grossly discriminated against: Prof Bhalchandra Mungekar
TELANGANA VI: Why Telugu news channels bar coverage?
TELANGANA V: Plutocrats unleash terror over OU students
TELANGANA IV: Shri Krishna committee a crude joke
TELANGANA III: A case of Tyranny of Majority
TELANGANA II: Statehood at Midnight
TELANGANA I: Telangana Movement and the Plutocracy: The Gathering Storm