Tag Archives: Arun

Snowden

Movie Review

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

Just the fact that Facebook is not showing this movie in the top 5 searches, tells you how much is the apprehension about this movie in mainstream media in the US.

Storyline, acting, screenplay- all were just too good. The story brings to life the whole incident around leakage of US ‘security documents’ and the scale of government’s tapping into the personal lives of any and every living human. It’s scary to know that anything that you share in confidence with a near and dear can be and potentially will be read by someone sitting in Maryland along with watching you and listening to you live even when you think your phone and laptop are turned off.

1f60f416-5164-11e6-ba91-9b331c0ddad9_1280x720

Apart from the background itself, the movie has highlighted on the most important aspects of preventing citizens’ privacy, without delving too much into the lesser important aspects of Snowden’s life itself. I have got a renewed sense of respect for what Snowden did, but what’s more disappointing is that nobody senior took any credible action and showed balls on the issue. We will have to wait for another generation to see a real change in the perception about privacy and drawing a line between national security and national prowess.

Do watch this movie.

Advertisements

MS Dhoni: The Untold Story

Movie Review

My Rating: 3.0/5.0

I’d begin by saying that I don’t like the idea of a biopic of somebody who’s still in action and hasn’t yet got time to reflect on his own life and his own decisions. That apart, I think the movie was only very average and did not make even a vague effort to be precise and concise.

The movie’s plot is chronology of the MSD’s life in that exact sequence without even missing out that he stayed with 5 people in a 2 bedroom quarter just behind AK Ganguly’s bungalow who had a concrete pitch in there for railway cricketers to practice. That’s a painful amount of detail getting packed into a 3.5 hours movie. What pissed me even further was that the movie focuses on the struggle of Dhoni much more than his success.

ms-dhoni-box-office-759

It left me with more questions than answers: Why was there a rivalry between Yuvi and Mahi? Why did Mahi take off senior players from the team? How did Dhoni reach captaincy in just first few years of his international career?

I like Dhoni as a player, as a captain and as a human being. And I think that’s the reason why I would’ve loved to see a much better version of his biopic. I think he should not rush into making money by selling the royalty for his biopic to under-graded film-makers.

TVF Tripling

Web Series Review

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

With this series, TVF has reached another level altogether putting itself miles apart from so-called competition. An amazing story, combined with great direction did wonders for me and left me with many happy thoughts. Every episode presented a new way of looking at life and at relationships. While change in relationships is easier said than done, this certainly helps in thinking afresh about one’s own relationship challenges.

I wish TVF all the best for producing many more series like this. Brilliant work!!!

Shivaay

Movie Review

My Rating: 2.5/5.0

There are two questions hounding me badly at this moment. First, who told Ajay Devgn that he can direct? And second, why the hell did I not listen to my wife who warned me against watching this movie?

Before I say any further, let me warn you that the movie doesn’t have even a remote connection to the Great Lord Shivaay Himself. I fail to understand why they had to borrow this name and create a whole song around it.

Now the story is that of a Himalayan superhero – Shivaay who falls in love with a Bulgarian girl on a short trip there. Of this lovelock appears a mute child whose favorite time pass is shouting and punching her father in his stomach. Life takes them to Bulgaria where the girl is kidnapped by ‘dangerous’ people involved in human trafficking. And that’s the first half – torturing, boring, yawn-inducing. Rest of the story is only about fighting left, right and center getting the daughter out of trouble.

1477563232_shivaay

While the story may sound interesting (more because I wrote it 😜) but trust me the execution was as screwed up as possible. Being the son of an Action Director, Ajay Devgn did justice to the stunts and action sequences. And that’s possibly the only reason you should watch the movie.

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

Movie Review

My Rating: 3.5/5.0

I don’t think there’s any need to talk about the acting skills of Tom Hanks; you know it all. But in my mind, I was always comparing this with his last few movies, also based on real life incidents – Bridge of Spies and Captain Phillips. And I think he did justice to the role.

The movie is about the enquiry into the landing of a US Airlines passenger flight ON (mind you, it’s not IN) the Hudson River. Captain Sully (Tom Hanks) has a firm belief that he did the right thing that saved the lives of 155 people on-board, but the investigators don’t always agree. But as you’d expect, Captain is proven right and hailed as a national hero.

sully-2016-clint-eastwood-movie-review

The story is powerful, but Clint Eastwood could’ve made the execution a tiny bit more engaging. I felt that the element of drama was missing from the movie that was essential for such a story where impossible was achieved.

Overall, I’d recommend that you watch this for the story and for Tom Hanks.

Not Just an Accountant: The Diary of the Nation’s Conscience Keeper, by Vinod Rai

Book Review:

 Rating: 7/10

not-just-an-accountantIndia faced public descent and dissidence in the last few years of the previous government, ultimately leading into the change in government with a thumping public mandate. The underlying cause was not the regular question of Roti, Kapda aur Makaan (food, clothing and shelter), but this time it was about corruption, scandals and failure of decision-making. And that was a paradigm shift in the way elections happened in India. This book is about the one agency that provided the public with the educated assessment of the integrity of the application of public funds. And more than that, it’s about the individual who contributed to usher in a new era for this agency – the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

Vinod Rai, the man behind the steering wheel, has been considered one of the most effective CAGs that India has seen since independence, and it’s not without a reason. He might not be a great story-teller and might not know the tricks of sensationalization, but he is definitely good with presenting the chronology of the facts that he lays down in the book. He has elaborated on five of the biggest audits conducted in his tenure, which turned out to be the most controversial as well, eventually bringing down the mighty Congress government of 10 years.

While the cases of 2G scam and Coal-gate scam highlighted the compulsions of turning blind eye in a coalition government, those of Commonwealth Games, allocation of oil fields and the failure of Air India simply highlighted the ineffectiveness and sheer moral corruption of the government of the day. In my view, Rai withstood immense pressure and showed great courage in going ahead with these audits in a period when accountability was being put aside to pave way for ‘crony capitalism’. Rai has articulated his thoughts very clearly and provided irrefutable evidence in the book for his claims, making it an interesting read.

One thing though that I found missing in the book was the answer to a key question: Why were all the audits conducted for a period that began after 2004? I am a big AB Vajpayee fan, but I would have been happier to hear from Vinod Rai that these issues (eventually leading to scams) were handled much better in NDA era of 1999 to 2004. The 2G spectrum, coal mines allocation, Air India losses, etc. were long-standing issues faced by India that stayed as-it-is during NDA regime as well. After reading the book, I cannot be confident that Rai was truly an unbiased auditor who was merely doing his job.

Nevertheless, this book is a good read and I would recommend this to a reader who wants to understand the factors that changed the political battlegrounds in India.

goodreads_icon_1000x1000-bed183559c02a417861f930e33e157d1 Click here to read my other book reviews.

 P.S.: The pictures have been borrowed from internet with thanks to the owner of this picture.

Chirpy birds

On my way to the airport today morning, I heard the chirping of birds. Loud chirping it was and it made me smile. It brought back the memories of me playing in the gardens back in India where I would climb up the trees and pluck fruits. Occasionally we would see the dove’s eggs in a nest before being chased down by the Gardner.
 .
Every morning, the birds would visit my balcony shouting out loud for food and water, which I never missed.
 .
And then the driver called out. ‘Sir, your phone is ringing.’, he said.
 .
As I picked up the phone, the chirping stopped and I was back to the reality of this city with no trees, no doves and no eggs.
 .
I asked myself if I should change my ringtone and my heart said ‘NEVER’.
 .
#Fiction #ShortStory