Oscar buzzzzz

Its Oscar time! At the risk of sounding partial to hollywood, I am super excited !!. Its even more aggravated by the fact that I’m now convinced that all Indian movie awards are fully rigged. ‘My Name is Khan’? Jesus, I forgot that such a movie was ever made. Kareena Kapoor for We are a Family? I think the next filmfare should be given to my bathroom door. (I think that has much more emotion than she did). Awards are special because not only do they cut across commercial success but are the benchmarks by which actors (not filmstars) actually judge themselves . Music rights, publicity, DVD deals or some brilliant scheme like doubling the movie ticket costs to make up for a phenomenal budget (read: Robot) all cover all the production costs of any movie these days.But awards go beyond that. Its that time when you realize that there were these movies that maybe you missed which had some superb performances in them. For me, it is a time to make and update that must-watch list. Though the Academy Awards projects itself as the ultimate epitome of cinematic excellence, judging them by their decisions last time ,all except Rahaman and Pookutty, were not really that deserving. I’ve read many theories to that, one being that the economic slump caused Indian companies to pump money into hollywood (Have you also read about Disney producing some weird Telugu movies,Reliance entering hollywood suddenly or seeing Columbia pictures presenting some hindi junk? Thats why) and even the academy could not shy away from the funds in return for an award that could do them no harm. In fact it could only increase their fan base in India and maybe help more corporate honchos pump funds into the parched hollywood in return for some half-hearted recognition. Wait, now I remember, wasn’t Denise Richards a part of some Akshay Kumar-Kareena Kapoor crap shot entirely in LA. It fits together beautifully.

So I’ve completely deviated from the topic, but this year’s nominees in all categories seem exceptional. Nearly all movies, except 127 hours and Black Swan I haven’t heard or seen before. I know the Fighter was awesome, since a couple of friends told me it was brilliant.I haven’t watched Rabbit Hole, Love and other drugs (I so definitely am going to when I get a chance),Blue Valentine, the Fighter and the King’s Speech, but they are all there on my must watch movies. This is the thing about the Academy, all the nominees genuinely are good movies, superb acting performances, have exceptional effects or some out-of-the-world brilliant script. (Slumdog Millionaire wasn’t a bad movie at all, in fact it was rather entertaining and had a novel concept). But Bollywood has let me down badly. How can ‘Munni Badnaam hui‘ be the best song with lyrics that go like “Shilpa sa figure,..Bebo si adaa…”? I’ve already given my opinion on Kareena Kapoor and her acting prowess. Case closed.

One more thing that caught my eye was the return of romantic movies to limelight. The last few years have been all about situations, historical occurences, sci-fi etc but no love stories. I like love stories. I like watching romantic movies. One of the movies this year, Blue Valentine looks splendid. Its a simple love story gone all wrong, but a couple of years ago, I’m sure it would have gone unnoticed. The kids are all right, rabbit hole are all family oriented movies. There is a paradigm shift of focus to movies universally liked minus the heavy-on-the-brain type stuff like Inception. I like the trend. Its a personal opinion of course. I know thousands of people are very sad that Inception didn’t get as many nominations as it was expected to bag. And dont even get me started on the actors and actresses nominated. Jesse Eisenberg? Michele Williams? Ryan Gosling? Wowiee.

I’m of course rooting for the Social Network. It is a fantastic movie, high on IQ,pace and inspiration. It is something we tech folks most relate to. College computer nerds, start ups and of course facebook. Add to that a very solid Jesse Eisenberg (I think he is far more nerdy behaving and looking than Zuckerberg himself) and a very very cute Andrew Garfield.

With the probability of actually watching the show live being low, I can only anticipate and wait for the winners. This is the thing about credible awards, they make you believe in them. That is the only thing that stands for real performers rather than star value and salutes talent and hard work. I like that. Very much. 🙂

Why the fuss, Valentine?

So another V-day looms. I can see pink splashed across websites, roses on sale and cards and soft-toys lining the shelves of stores where plant fertilizers were once found. (I actually went in search for the latter to keep my new Bonsai trees healthy. Did i tell you about my new obsession? Ah well, that’ll make another post maybe). So coming back, yeah V-day looms and this time my excitement is rock-bottom. Seriously, I miss the Shiv-sena a lot. Atleast they used to add some spice to this very mundane and boring festival.

One thing I never understood was why a day to celebrate love? Maybe it is for too busy people to pause a moment and realize what they dont have. Isn’t love a feeling you have all the time? What makes the probability of a girl accepting a proposal higher this day? Because you have happily made everyone realize how sad their lives are because they dont have a special someone? Seriously, I don’t get it. I believe that love is a continuous celebration. If you are truly in love, it should be everyday that you realize how blessed you are. In short, everyday should be a valentine’s day. I know for a fact, people in love or a serious relationship do not wait for V-day to declare their love. Its more of a teenage phenomenon where schools buzz with activity and exceptionally high hormonal levels and everyone is waiting for their first kiss, blah blah. But for me, I think it ended there. As I realized more and more about what a true relationship is all about, (something that comes with age I guess), I realized that I don’t need a special time and hour to declare love or feelings. Marketing gimmick it surely is. Something like how Thanksgiving morphed into Black Fridays and now everyone is celebrating it (for some reason or another).

But this absolute despise of this V-day does not mean I am not romantic. I have a mushy side too (many of you already have read about it 😉 ). I love sweet honest, self-made declarations of love (not hallmark cards), innovative gifts (like a 9 year old boxwood bonsai meant to last a 1000 years) and not teddy bears, beautiful verses from Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Poems and a Song of Despair, coming home to find ‘Inside of a Dog’ by Alexandra Horowitz lying on my bed one evening or a hot meal of sambhar-rice fed when i am unwell. For all this, do I need a special day? Media is capable of converting perfectly sane and in-love folks ask ‘So whats special for V-day?’. My answer will always be ‘nothing’. Because it is not special to me. A birthday is, an anniversary surely is. But a 14th Feb is neither (and sadly not a holiday also, so definitely no celebrating :P)

I miss all the gossip and excitement that used to surround 14th feb in school as we used to watch girls get proposed by boys they didnt expect it from, or boys shy away when a girl did that (rare, but amazingly entertaining). Or watch the foolish Shiv-sena drive away couples from Marine drive on 14th feb and never bother them for the other 364 days or break glasses of shops and tear V-day cards on 14th February.(Trick: buy them earlier). From all that, it is reduced to a dreary Monday with lots of work piled up and classes to attend.

So its a no-fuss day for me tomorrow. But for ya’all, who will celebrate tomorrow, Happy Valentine’s Day!