Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kaaka Muttai

Recently a friend of mine told me that there was this cute movie that was running in town and I must see it. "Don't worry, even if it is in Tamil, it has subtitles in English and one can follow the story easily" she said.
It has been a long time since I saw a Tamil movie, so I thought why not give it a go.
Before I start off, let me warn you, this movie has no villain, no fight scenes, no car chase, no item numbers, no song and dance, no famous actors, but still it is so entertaining that you will recommend it to others.
Released this month, it is a simple story about two young boys who have a goal to achieve and how they go about it.

Small incidents make you laugh, but then you realise that they are true to life and very convincing. It is light, easy and enjoyable.
Take for instance the granny who takes it on herself to make a Pizza at home and tries to replicate it by looking at the picture of a Pizza on the handbill.

Or for the matter, the boys try to sell their dog at the same price as the pug which was bought by their "rich" friend

The boys (acted by Vignesh and Ramesh) have given their best and they have acted as if there was no camera. Dhoni who saw the movie said that it would help if all Tamil cinemas had subtitles by which anyone could see the movie.

Keep a watch on the facial expressions of the little boy (Ramesh)

Selecting the cast to play the supporting role also makes a difference as each one fits the role perfectly. Ramesh Thilak who is actually a radio jockey, plays one of the roles.

Special mention should be made about Iyshwarya Rajesh who plays the mother.

Her intense performance reminded me of Smita Patil who could emote with her face.

Credit goes to each and every department, like the make up man who could transform Iyshwarya from this 

to this:

Glimpses of Peepli Live can be seen in Kaaka Muttai where a small incident is blown up by the politicians and the media for their personal gain. 

I think all the credit should go to Manikandan who has written and directed the movie. This is his maiden film as a director.
The movie has already fetched two awards.
National Film Award for Best children's film and National Film Award for best child artists.

The musical score by Prakash Kumar is another feather in the cap. I just loved it. 
You can see snippets of the movie here (along with the music)

The camera movements (especially in the slums) were real smooth while following the characters

The friendship of the character above with the boys reminded me of the story of Kabuliwala.
The best part I liked was the exchange of dialogue at the end between the boys. It is exactly how I felt when I had pizza for the first time (and the last time)

I say, if Slumdog Millionaire could fetch eight academy awards, then by any yardstick this movie should fetch more than eight.

 all the above pictures are from the internet

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dream of Dancing

I told my wife that there was a dance party coming up on Saturday and Sunday.
Wifey: “Oh good, it’s been a long time since I had been on the dance floor and shook a leg”
Me : “We are not going to the party to dance. Its a photo shoot and I have to cover the event organised by the Latin dreamers

My wife’s face fell. I quickly told her that she can come along if she could be my assistant and shoot a few pictures.

Wifey : “You mean all those guys will be dancing and we will be just looking at them clicking away”

Me : “Yes, we have a job to do and we better do it right. Moreover its Latin dance and you know I can’t do the Salsa or Bachata or Merengue. The only association I had with Latin was when I was an altar boy in the church and had to learn all the prayers in Latin, but that was many decades ago”
Wifey: “OK, OK, what will I wear?”

I side stepped that question. The saturday event was at the Red Bar in Koregaon Park Plaza. It was supposed to be from 8.30 pm to 11.30 pm but it went on well past midnight. I started clicking away as soon as the first pair hit the floor. 

Catching them at the right moment with the right expression was the challenge

I suppose the follower and the leader plays a major role in these type of dance. 

Lighting was a major issue for me as most of the dance floors these days are equipped with the “disco light” which is a nightmare for a photographer. 

As the night progressed, the participants got into the right mood and let their body flow with the music. 

To capture some real moments, I had to be in the thick of the action and that called for some tactical moves like avoiding the flying hair and the swishing skirts. 

I think having the right footwear also matters, but hats off to the ones who can pull it off on stilettoes. 

Capturing some difficult holds with the right expression is a matter of luck 

The second day was at the Flying Saucer at Viman Nagar. A little more spacious and the lighting was better. 

People were rooting for the in sync performance by Satyaki & Sovit 

One would think that one has to be slim and trim to dance, but Sovit proved them wrong as can be seen in this video.

I was very impressed by the fluid body movements of Shazeb Sheikh. His footfalls are very soft as can be seen in this two minute video. Sahiba has managed to keep pace with him.

The selection of the music by the DJ was just right for the mood, and they were actually part of the group who doubled up as DJ 

I enjoyed filming “follow the leader” as much as they enjoyed performing it. 

Bhavin and Soonruta runs the Latindreamers and conducts workshops all over Pune at specific intervals. 

Made a few videos and posted them on FB and YouTube.

The links are here:

At the end of the day, my wife said that she didn’t mind not being on the floor. 

Wifey: “for a change I just enjoyed looking at them dance. By the way make sure that some of the pictures I clicked show up on your blog”

Looking at all the pictures above, I think she has done pretty well, considering the fact that this is her first venture as my assistant. 

(ps: all the FB links may show as "this content is currently unavailable" but if you login with your FB account, you can view them)