Saturday, March 10, 2012

Farewell to my idol

Once upon a time, there was a cricket crazy girl. She loved all the indian cricketers due to reasons that some called patriotic and some jingoistic . Although she liked all Indian crickets, her favorite was Rahul Dravid. People made fun of her, because he was considered slow, boring, lacking in the flamboyance that was Sachin or Ganguly and sometime Laxman., but she was never swayed and defended him hotly, every time.

The reasons the girl liked him were many, he was a brilliant batsman(He was a natural, whether people believe it or not ), a good fielder, a team player. In addition, he was hard working, when he was dropped from the ODI team, unlike many other players who would have just concentrated on ODI, he evolved, learnt from past mistakes and came back as the mainstay for India in tests and ODIs.

The girl watched cricket in an era when the entire Indian batting would crumble like a card tower in the wind, only one player would stand like a "wall" between India and embarrassing defeats. Was it any wonder the girl idolized the player, a reticent guy named Rahul Sharad Dravid? Wait there is more, an incident that made sure, the girl would grow up and become busy with life, she would never forget and or stop idolizing him.

The girl after a lot of "jugad" managed to get into a practice session for a match during the Pepsi cup in 1999. She was lucky enough to get to stand right outside the dressing room, again with a lot of "jugad". All players from the Indian team, spoke a couple of sentences to the girl, signed her autograph book, clicked photos, etc. So did Dravid.

The practice got over and the team started back towards the bus in a file, police formed a human barrier, clearing a path to the team bus. The girl was lucky enough to be standing inside this path. Dravid came out carrying all his cricket equipment, so much of stuff that he was cradling pads and a bat in his hands. The girl didn't say a thing, she just wanted to shake hands with her idol, so out came her hand and she squeaked "Bye Rahul". Then she cringed, even if he wanted to shake hands with her, he didn't have a hand free to do so! But Rahul Dravid is not described as the nicest guy in cricket for nothing, He walked up to the closest policeman, requested him to hold on to his stuff for a min came back to the girl, shook her hand, wished her goodbye, thanked the policeman, collected his stuff and went on.

The girl has never forgotten him. Never stopped fighting with numerous nay say-ers about his greatness. Today that girl shed a tear(or many), she will never be fortunate enough to watch him play again. Every time India is 5/1, 8/2 or in trouble, she will turn around and thumb her nose at everyone who ever said a negative thing about him and say "Name the cricketer you would wish was walking in now?"

Farewell my real life hero, I was fortunate to follow cricket when you were a part of it. Thank you for the memories and the lessons. You will be missed every time Team India is in trouble.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Agneepath - almost a new movie

The new Agneepath is a remake, it sticks to the old plot but the characterizations are what make it a new film that can stand in its own right. Add in a cast with 3 superstars, all of whom are actually very good actors and you have a blockbuster. In addition the cinematography takes your breath away and the dialogues are written with true to the style of each character. Rauf lala is crude, Kancha speaks a very pure hindi and hrithik speaks very little but says a lot through expressions.

I loved Rishi Kapoor. Saying he was brilliant is an understatement. He brings Rauf Lala to life, you hate him when he mercilessly sells young girls, asking lecherous men to increase the bid by using crude words. You feel at the age of 50+ he has a chance of winning a fight against a lean and angry Hrithik Roshan, you believe he is Rauf Lala and forget he was the chocolate boy of yesteryears, who looked oh! so sweet in Bobby.

Sanjay Dutt looked meancing enough to give nightmares to kid. As my hubby pointed out, Sanjay Dutt looked the way I imagined Voldermort would look like when I read Harry Potter. He looks, behaves and talks like a demented person. I would never have tried to fight him without a Mac 10 with automatic on (Hat tip to Burn Notice for making me notice there exists more than one type of gun!) The one thing I noticed was that he never ever used a single word of English! Some of his dialogues has me reading subtitles.

Hrithik Roshan is a superb actor and he proves it again in this movie, by being vulnerable Viju instead of the invincible (with help from krishnan iyer "yam" "ya") Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. His expressions convey his pain, desire for revenge, single mindedness to kill Kancha, his vulnerability and his love for his family. However, with his greek god looks and six pack abs, accepting him as someone who spent 15 years living in a slum, he just doesn't fit into the surroundings. Surprisingly, for a wanted guy, police have no photo/sketch of him after the age of 12. If I had seen him, I wouldn't have forgotten him!

Om puri has gotten lost somewhere, in Don - The chase begins he was as good as he ever was, Suddenly in Don 2 and now Agneepath, I just feel like he is saying dialogues by rote not bothering to act. Priyanka is superfluous and like Hrithik doesn't look like she has ever been in a chawl for a minute, let alone lived there all her life as her character has.

Comparisons are inevitable for a fan of the old Agneepath. I still like the old one better. The editing, if it had been tighter, would have made it impossible for me to pick a favorite.I would say go watch it once, it is a different movie from the old one. Fair warning though, this is an out and out revenge flick, where Viju will not stop at choosing wrong over right to reach his goal. Watch out for the blood and gore!