Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Joker in the Pack - an agent of chaos

I watched the Dark Knight again recently, and as always, I love the way it ends. How Commisioner Gordon explains why the Batman has to be ‘The Dark Knight’. But this time around, my concentration was on another character.
It struck me about the characterization of the Joker. I am sure that reams have been written about him, and the amazing potrayal by the late heath ledger. We will probably never see him again, since Nolan has said that without Ledger, he wouldnt bring that character back. So, as a character, this is actually good. There wont be another chance to ruin it. I am a purist that way!

To be perfectly honest, the Joker cannot exist. As a story, a concept that had not been done before, its amazing. “Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order and everything becomes chaos.” (The Joker, Dark Knight)

One of the things that Nolan very rightly avoided was trying to put a background to a character like that. So while Batman has a past, and Harvey Dent builds a past during the movie, the Joker is really a one trick pony. He's the constant. He doesn’t evolve or change.
We dont know how he really became the way he was. He himself talks about his scar, but, as rightly done, in two different instances, with two differing stories. The only common is that his stories are more to evoke sympathy. How he was wronged. Which is quite funny, since he never really wants to fit in. He just wants to upset the order. He's an agent of chaos.
I think that's cool. That’s purely from a story point of view of course. Alfred points out the story of the bandit that just wanted to rob for the sake of robbing. Which is quite funny, actually. Most bandits do have a motivation, to rob for the money. In order to be motivated to do something purely for the heck of it, or to see the outcome, either you have to be an adrenaline junkie, a social scientist or somebody without any real goal in life.
The funny thing is that the I could see the Joker be all three! That’s what I think. The scientist bit is considering he likes to believe he can predict people’s actions which he does Except at the end when the people in the boat don’t react the way he expected. A consequence of another theory, about how individual action is different from collective action. The Hive Mind concept, Crowd psychology or Hari Seldon’s psychohistory.

The Joker’s motivation is purely his own pleasure. Which is all brilliant!
He creates situations where people have to make a choice. The whole movie, revolves around choice and the consequences of that choice. All characters are motivated to make a choice. The Joker on the other hand, never has to choose. He just does.
So its really interesting how if you really look at it, the Joker is actually not really somebody you can ever associate with. He’s not grey. He doesn’t have a good side. He’s just black (on the inside). With a white face. And red lips. And green hair. And black eyeliner. Wow, that’s scary! And so cool! (Story wise of course.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Inception - Fiendishly Fantastic Film

Wow, still reeling from a fanboy head rush!! Was looking forward to this for a while. This was a movie which had Christopher Nolan put aside a billion dollar batman franchise to make with material had in his head since the age of 16. Well, I am happy to say, this movie delivers. I am so happy, I wouldnt mind if Nolan found some more 'ideas' from within his head and made stuff like this without doing another Batman movie. With a Batman movie, there's a legend to live upto, a mythos to keep check on, but with something like Inception, Nolan has the liberty and, with his solid blockbuster reputation, the resources to do what he wants! I say, give the man, the money and creative freedom! Let him make more of such movies to entertain, and confound (to just the right extent!)
Coming back to the movie, well, its a double tap movie (to use a term from zombieland) - there's enough material in there to make it a two time watch!
It takes all the uber cool technical stuff that made Dark Knight an awesome movie, and added a story with quite some unique angles to the genres of heist (not so much taking as much as putting!), world-within-a-world (lego land with real blocks), dream/reality (life is more complicated in dreams, and dreams within dreams and well...), all-out-tension-building-action-thriller!!
Personally, I loved the zero-g setting the most. Its not really a new thing, having seen similar concepts in a lot of movies. But,take the conundrum of how to make people fall when there is nothing natural to make them fall! Brilliant! And zero gravity body transportation by stacking people together! How cool is that!
Point to note - I love the job profile of the extractor. You have to sleep on the job!!
Lots of layers in the story, and great characters. From the 'huh? Ken watanabe looks old' beginning to the 'huh? so is he...?" ending, this movie builds on a story which the Indian mobile service provider, Idea uses for its advertising. An idea can change your life! (yeesh, i know!) And also, dont play around with your subconscious, it can kill you!
Now, even though this movie has some top notch acting talent, but unlike the Dark Knight where Heath Ledger stole the show, this one is all about the overall package!
So its a movie worth watching!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Baby Chronicles: Heading straight for you

Life keeps changing whether we ask for it or not.

Things happen, even as we hold on to what we got.

Sometimes, change is hoped for, as things get worse

Other times, deviation from norm can seem like a curse

We choose our path sometimes on experience past

Sometimes it just happens and sometimes too fast

So, when faced with the headlights coming your way

Either move away from oncoming or stand and pray

Guess we chose the latter...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Baby Chronicles: Ten Months back...

Wow... its musty in here! Guess nobody's been around for quite a while. This old blog is mostly reminiscent of the good ol days wen I was a carefree bachelor. Things have really changed over the past year and a half. Responsibilities have piled up and somehow I never got the time to write. Its been in the back of my head though that I should.

Speaking of responsibilities and procrastination, I'd been meaning to write about my (fresh, out of the oven about a month back!) daughter. There's a whole bunch of emotions having a party in my head and I seem to have gotten lost figuring out which one was my primary one.

This will probably be a series of posts.

I think when I initially found out, I was driving down the Rajiv Gandhi Salai towards Tidel Park; I was going to office. The wife (henceforth referred to as Leks) had been feeling a little odd about 'that time of the month' not really arriving on time. But, on that fateful day, I guess, I was more pre-occupied with the holiday we were planning. So, I told her not to worry and just in case, we went and got a pregnancy test to check. Leks was worried, so she bought two.

So, anyway, there I was driving down the road on a fateful May morning, little aware of the earth-shattering news coming my way, as my phone rang. It was Leks, and she delivered... i mean, told me the news. Car swerved a little. Auto driver who had been too close swerved and sweared. But, years of road experience (exactly 4) took over instinctively, as my mind left the building.

Like a stupid idiot, I asked her if she was sure. I guess, there's no real way to answer a question like that, other than maybe to say.. "I dont know! According to the legend, a double blue line means something's coming!" but she was nicer. She had tried both of them and they both said the same thing. "Congratulations! You are pregnant".

Having stopped reeling from the news, I swerved again, and the smart auto had already moved behind me thinking I was some newbie driver. I moved slowly to the left most lane and started my trip back home.

That was how those nine months began....

Nine months which filled with all sorts of experiences passed tumultously and then, on January 9th, 2010 at 1:00pm, she arrived.

The beginning. (as against The End)