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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bbuddah hoga tera baap - Exclusive Movie Review

  By Taran Adarsh, June 30, 2011 - 16:14 IST 

Flashback 1970s and 1980s. An Amitabh Bachchan film was considered an event. A sea of people would make themselves comfortable outside the theatre premises on Sunday night itself, although the advance booking counters would open only on Monday morning. Most theatres would be packed for the entire week in a matter of hours. Most Bachchan starrers ran for 25 weeks, 50 weeks, even 100 + weeks those days. Films helmed by Yash Chopra, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra and Ramesh Sippy were adored and revered and even those helmed by not-too-successful names or relative newcomers were greeted with similar enthusiasm. The Hindi film industry was referred to as a one-man industry then. The Bachchan mania was invincible and indestructible.

Considering the iconic status that Bachchan Sr has achieved, every film-maker aspires to work with him at least once in his lifetime. Puri Jagannadh, the man behind many a successful film in Telugu, pays homage to the veteran in his debut film in Hindi, BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP. This film relies entirely on the persona and charisma of this iconic actor of Indian cinema.

BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP has the 69-year-old Bachchan enacting the role of a defiant, flamboyant hitman in his inimitable style. With BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP, the angry young man of the 1970s and 1980s re-surfaces to re-live various roles that he enacted in those memorable films. This one's a masala film all the way. Right from a medley of Bachchan hits to the expertly crafted action sequences to the by-now-famous Bachchan baritone, this one has it all.

Frankly, masala films and path-breaking story don't go hand in hand. It's the moments that make a film. And BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP is no different. This one also rests on a skeletal plot. But that one man makes a world of a difference -- Amitabh Bachchan. He's angry [dare not call him 'Bbuddah'], but has a soft side too. He bashes the baddies, squeezing them like oranges. He gets the best lines to deliver and believe me, it makes the fan in you clap and cheer on several occasions. Let's face it, no Hindi film actor has ever had the opportunity to portray a part that Bachchan gets to portray at the ripe age of 69. Besides saluting the actor for delivering an electrifying performance, I would also like to salute the indomitable spirit and energy of this iconic actor for essaying the role with gusto and zest.

Final word? Bachchan fans -- especially those who have grown up on his movies -- are sure to relish it. Even if you're not a Bachchan fan, watch this one for one simple reason: They don't make them like Amitabh Bachchan anymore!

Viju [Amitabh Bachchan], an ex-gangster, arrives in Mumbai on a mission. He is flamboyant, wears loud clothes, is arrogant and hits back when people call him 'Bbuddah'. At first, everyone thinks that he's on a mission to assassinate the ACP [Sonu Sood], but there's a hidden agenda, which is revealed much later.

BUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP is a Hindi film packaged like a well-made South Indian fare: the style of narrating the story, the slick edit, the fast pacing, the stylized action scenes, the larger-than-life characters… The film commences on a pulsating note [Bachchan's intro is smashing], but the first hour works sporadically. While the portions involving Bachchan are exhilarating, there are multiple tracks in this hour which get on your nerves. The scenes in the coffee shop, for instance, are most irritating. Also, the track involving Raveena Tandon comes across like an unwanted guest. If the intention was to evoke laughter, sorry, it doesn't work.

The story actually takes off at the interval point, when an unexpected twist startles the viewer completely. From this point onwards, BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP only scales higher and higher, reaching the peak towards the action-packed finale and the subsequent emotional reunion. I'd like to single out the confrontation between Bachchan and Prakash Raj in the final moments of the film and also the soaked-in-emotions sequence between Bachchan and Hema. It's the perfect icing on the cake!

While the written material banks too heavily on the tried and tested formula, director Puri Jagannadh ensures that he doesn't disappoint the hardcore fans of the icon. Bachchan is known for, besides his acting potential, larger than life roles and witty/smart dialogue. Puri presents Bachchan like a true superstar and gives him lines that would garner ceetees and taalis, especially when he's confronting the baddies in the movie.

Vishal-Shekhar do a super job while composing the medley of Bachchan hits, 'Go Meera Go', the soft and soothing 'Haal-e-Dil' and the title track, which comes at the very start of the film. Amol Rathod's cinematography is perfect, while Vijay's stunts are stylish.

Bachchan is truly the Baap and this film reiterates this fact yet again. His character, his attitude and the dialogue he delivers will remain etched in your memory for a long, long time. His attire may raise eyebrows initially, but once into the film, you will realize it gels well with his character. Hema Malini is, as always, graceful. The chemistry between the senior actors is refreshing. Raveena is saddled with an ill-defined role and that's the prime reason why she doesn't leave an impact. Sonu Sood is first-rate, confident at every step. Not once do you feel that he's overawed by Bachchan's towering presence. Sonal Chauhan looks pretty and acts well. Charmee Kaur is likeable and contributes to the funny moments.

Prakash Raj is super. In fact, it's a treat to watch powerful actors like Bachchan and Prakash Raj embroiled in a confrontation. Makrand Deshpande is wonderful. Shahwar Ali is okay. Rajeev Mehta irritates. Again, this track seems completely unwanted. Rajeev Varma has a half-baked role. Vishwajeet Pradhan and Atul Parchure are passable.

On the whole, BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP is a must-watch for Bachchan fans. Even if you're not a fan of this iconic actor, watch it for a simple reason: They don't make them like Amitabh Bachchan anymore. A masala entertainer all the way, BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP may get affected by the omnipotent and unstoppable DELHI BELLY and TRANSFORMERS wave on Friday [although single screens would perform better than plexes], but the business should multiply on Saturday and Sunday due to Bachchan's bravura act and rock-solid post-interval portions. The producers [A.B. Corp, Viacom18] have already recovered the cost of production by selling the Satellite rights for a hefty sum and recovering the balance amount [P&A] from theatrical business should be a cakewalk, ensuring good profits to the investors in the final tally.

Delhi Belly - Exclusive Movie Review

By Taran Adarsh, June 30, 2011 - 12:37 IST

Much before I watched DELHI BELLY, I was told very categorically that the film will reduce to rubble the image of Aamir Khan, the producer, which he has very painstakingly and meticulously built over the years. I disagree with this viewpoint. Sure, Aamir Khan steps into a territory that is least expected of him. Agree, DELHI BELLY is expletive-ridden, has several scandalous moments which give you a 440 volt ka jhatka and is just not for the faint-hearted. But DELHI BELLY is not outrageous just for the sake of it. It doesn't shock for effect. The truth is, DELHI BELLY has a novel story to tell and the cuss words/outrageous moments are integral to the plotline and have been juxtaposed seamlessly in the narrative.

Let me introduce you to DELHI BELLY. It is Bollywood's most daring, cheeky, irreverent, blasphemous, raunchy youth film to date and the lurid content, I am certain, has never been witnessed on the Hindi screen before. Even some hugely popular reality shows that have the participants using the most appalling, colorful lingo to garner attention and TRPs, would pale into insignificance. Belonging to the same genre as THE HANGOVER and LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS, DELHI BELLY is the ultimate culture shock for Indian audiences. It is a raucous, boisterous, potty-mouthed caper featuring the antics of three hapless young men.

DELHI BELLY is a verbally explosive comical crime-caper, with a smart screenplay and witty dialogue as its aces. It is funny, has a lot of energy and most importantly, as you protest that Hindi movies thrive on beaten-to-death formula, a film like DELHI BELLY defies the stereotype and comes alive with a brand new recipe [writer: Akshat Verma]. The writing is airtight and the movie moves from one episode to another furiously. Original in style and thoroughly entertaining, backed by colorful characters and superior acting, there's no film quite like this one or should I say, there is no film that matches the sheer brilliance of DELHI BELLY. It's a top-quality comical thriller made with guts and gusto. I can assure, you will exit the auditorium with a grin on your face.

If a film like DELHI BELLY works -- which I am sure, it will -- it will propel film-makers to explore this untapped genre of cinema. It will encourage them to push the boundaries and undertake risks. It will usher in a new era of comedies of this kind that have never been explored on the Hindi screen.

Tashi [Imran Khan], Arup [Vir Das] and Nitin [Kunal Roy Kapur] -- flat mates, buddies and partners in crime. Tashi is to get married in a month to the glamorous Sonia [Shenaz Treasury]. Arun has been dumped by his girlfriend and also has an annoying boss [whose idea of creativity is sketching a smiling banana]. And Nitin is about to discover that eating delicious Tandoori Chicken off a street vendor is going to give him the worst case of Delhi Belly he's ever known!

Three regular blokes lead a regular life, except when they get on the hit list of a deadly crime syndicate [Vijay Raaz].

Director Abhinay Deo and writer Akshat Varma may have been inspired by the adult comedies of Hollywood, but DELHI BELLY is an Indian film at heart. The characters are very Indian and the humor, equally desi. As a matter of fact, there are situations and dialogue that the desis would take to instantly -- it's inherently Indian. Aimed squarely at the youth brigade, DELHI BELLY makes an undisguised, earnest attempt to woo this segment of moviegoers. What really works is its screenplay that packs one twist after another. You are as clueless as the on-screen characters about what's in store next. Also, the humor is very on the face and sardonic. It's not one of those humor-laden films that we've been subjected to of late. Here, the makers don't underline a joke, you need to be intelligent enough to comprehend it. This film speaks a language that the youth would connect with instantly and perhaps, it may go down as a cult film in its genre.

In terms of visuals, DELHI BELLY has been filmed at real locations and the DoP captures the essence of Delhi extremely well. The eye-candy locales are clearly missing here. Instead, what we get to watch are real locations, real lower middle class surroundings and the crammed bylanes of Delhi.

Much has been said and spoken about the music of DELHI BELLY. Let me add my bit. After delivering a likeable score in LUV KA THE END, Ram Sampat goes completely innovative and inventive with the soundtrack of this film. 'DK Bose' stands out and is the anthem of the youth. 'Jaa Chudail' is peppy and energetic, while the Aamir Khan track in the end credits ['I Hate You'] is more of a tribute to the disco era of the 1980s, when the Bappi-Mithun combo reigned supreme.

On the flip side, a film like DELHI BELLY may not be savored and relished by everyone. It's not for, what we label in filmi parlance, 'family audiences'. In fact, it might get a bit embarrassing to watch a film like DELHI BELLY with one's family thanks to the generous usage of expletives and toilet humor. Also, the hugely popular 'DK Bose' and 'Nakkaddwale Disco, Udhaarwale Khisko' songs merely play in the background and I for one sorely missed the eye-catching videos of these two tracks in the movie.

DELHI BELLY is a boy's film predominantly [although the women have key roles to play] and boy's films are always fun. The chemistry between the three actors is what makes the script come alive. In fact, I won't be wrong in stating that their sense of humor is very much in sync with each other. This is Imran's best work to date, no two opinions on it. Vir Das is incredible. Kunal Roy Kapur is the scene-stealer actually. As a matter of fact, the performances by these three actors will be the talking point once the film releases.

Shenaz Treasury acts well. Poorna Jagannathan gets into the skin of the character and catches your eye. Vijay Raaz is exceptional. Paresh Ganatra [the landlord] is equally competent. Rahul Singh is perfect. The Aamir Khan song is imaginatively filmed.

On the whole, DELHI BELLY is a ground-breaking and inventive comic caper targeted at the youth brigade. People who can't absorb brazen, grimy and unabashed language might abhor it; in fact, it's not for the straitlaced moralists or purists. It's for those who have a strong belly, with an appetite for adult comedy and cuss words. Its wittiness may astound and astonish you. I viewed the Hinglish version, but I understand that the Hindi interpretation of the movie is so impactful that it renders you speechless. Eventually, DELHI BELLY works big time predominantly for the reason that it's a pioneering motion picture, an incredible film that dares to pierce into an untapped and brand new terrain. The unblemished, racy screenplay coupled with super performances and a chartbusting musical score will make it a WINNER all the way.

A landslide of catastrophes keeps three hapless roommates one small step ahead of jealous boyfriends, faithless lovers, zealous cops and gun-toting gangsters in "Delhi Belly," a smartly paced, highly entertaining Bollywood gagfest. No comic masterpiece, perky pic nevertheless boasts likable characters, colorful villains, well-timed gags and Ram Sampath's extremely catchy tunes, all woven into a seamless, escalating whole. This mostly English-language item, opening internationally July 1, should score well domestically and triumph in the diaspora, but will require considerable critical and promotional support to cash in on its inherent crossover appeal.
A rundown Delhi apartment is home to Arun (Vir Das), an artist toiling unappreciated in an advertising agency; Nitin (Kunaal Roy Rapur), a photographer and sometime blackmailer; and Tashi (Imran Khan), a fledgling reporter about to get married. This particular day finds each roommate wrestling with personal demons: Arun's beloved girlfriend has suddenly dumped him, Nitin's impulsive indulgence in street food has given him a noisy, noxious case of Delhi belly, and Tashi finds himself in a high-speed car chase, dodging bullets from the jealous ex-husband of his amused, platonic colleague Menaka (Poorna Jagannathan). All the while, Tashi is second-guessing his commitment to fiancee Sonia (Shenaz Treasury), who expects him to give up journalism and join her father's firm.

But all this mounting angst and uncertainty pales next to the big-league calamity that awaits them. Sonia's favor to a friend and the mix-up of a stool sample and a Russian doll full of diamonds land the three buddies on the wrong side of an international smuggling ring headed by sinister crime lord Somayajulu (Viray Raaz), who shamelessly grandstands to his audience of minions as he demands to know the missing jewels' whereabouts.
Sophomore scripter Akshat Verna has crafted a tightly interconnected screenplay in which every element satisfyingly hooks back into the action. Even the, er, running scatological gag concerning Nitin's gastric difficulties, which takes on surprising levels of complexity, interfaces significantly with the main plot.

Musical numbers in particular carry a pleasurable no-gag-left-behind feel. Tashi first meets Menaka at an interview with an airhead star whose future project, a song inanely titled "I Hate You (Like I Love You)" sparks instant sardonic kinship between the journalists. Later, of course, the tune returns as a megahit, hilariously interpreted by none other than pic's superstar producer Aamir Khan.Sophomore helmer Abhinay Deo keeps the action flowing swiftly, maintaining breathless momentum without giving short shrift to character nuances.

Camera (color, widescreen), Jason West; editor, Huzefa Lokhandwala; music, Ram Sampath; production designer, Shashank Tere; costume designer, Niharika Khan; sound designer (Dolby Digital), Vinod Subramanian, Dwarkar Warrier. Reviewed at 57 screening room, New York, June 17, 2011. Running time: 103 MIN.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mission Impossible 4 - Ghost Protocol - Trailer [HD]

'Google+' new Social networking site from Google

First Look at the Google+ social network: The Top Secret Demo


One thing that’s clear about Google is that they’ve mastered the art of subterfuge.
At a time when leaks about product launches, acquisitions and potential hires are rife, Google resorted to extraordinary measures to ensure that word of its new social network, Google+, did not slip out ahead of Tuesday’s official announcement.
The company reached out to Reuters late on Friday about a special briefing related to some undisclosed YouTube news, even tasking a YouTube PR-man with a curious sartorial style to coordinate the meeting, to complete the red-herring.
So it was surprising to discover a grinning Vic Gundotra, Google’s head of social, and VP of Product Management Bradley Horowitz, in the meeting room at Google’s headquarters.
Clearly we weren’t here to talk about a new YouTube media partnership.
The pair quickly revealed what they had up their sleeve and proceeded to give a tour of a new social networking service that’s been one year in the making.
So what is Google+ like? And why would you want to invest the time and effort to create another social network if you’re already using Facebook and Twitter?
Google is betting that its approach to privacy and extensive controls over who you share information with on the network will set Google Plus apart.
The service revolves around a concept of “circles,” (presumably not the same circles that Dante visited). You can create as many circles as you like, for whatever categories you want: for example family, co-workers or biking friends. Above the circles are a slew of thumbnail images of friends and contacts which Google suggests you might want in your social network. To add a person to one of your groups, drag the name into a circle.
If you decide to remove someone from a circle, you simply drag their image out of the circle, at which point the image will explode into a cloud of smoke – one of several whimsical touches in Google+.
To use Google+ you need to create a Google profile. At the very minimum, Google requires that you use your real name and include a photo. Beyond that, you can furnish the profile with as much, or as little, detail about yourself as you want.
You can control how much of your profile is visible to other folks on the network: your name and occupation for some folks; relationship status for others.  Type a person’s name into a box, and you can see what your profile looks like through their eyes.
In a sense, Google+ combines the Facebook and Twitter models of social networking: You can have friends in your social network with whom you share information, and you can also simply follow certain people, say a movie critic who you don’ t know personally, a la Twitter.
Nearly all Google websites, such as its flagship search engine and the Google maps site, will have a special toolbar running across the top of the page.  The toolbar has an icon of your face alongside your name in the top left, to remind you that you are currently logged on to the Google+ network. Click on your name and you can quickly log off the network, or switch to incognito mode.
Google is also weaving video conferencing into social networking with Google+. You can let people in specific circles know that you’re available for a video conference (that you’re available to “hang out” in Google+ parlance) by clicking on a button. Up to ten people can join a video conference.
While social networking is all about real people sharing information, such as interesting news articles and videos, Google believes there’s room for its algorithmic muscle in the social world too. A feature called “Sparks” serves up Web content on various topics, say sports or fashion, which Google’s technology has determined are popular. You can subscribe to categories of interest, or create your own custom category, and you’ll receive links to the latest content in your news feed.
Google is also releasing mobile apps of Google+ for Android smartphones and iPhone, with special features like group messaging and cloud-based photo storage.
Google is referring to its new service as the Google+ Project, to make clear that’s what’s available now is only the first installment of several more features it says it has in the pipeline.
Despite a checkered history in social (see Google Wave, Google Buzz and to some extent Orkut), Google has not given up on trying to conquer the social networking market.
Right now the service is only available as a “field trial” to a limited number of people. Since social networking success depends on critical mass, it seems likely that Google will open the service up to more people sooner rather than later.
So in the coming months we could have a better indication as to whether Google has finally cracked the code for success in the social networking market.
(Screenshots from Google Works)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Google Quietly Launches 'What Do You Love?' Site

Google wants to know what you love.
That's according to a new site it launched earlier this morning. Sneaking one past us, What do you love? ( seems to be an amalgamation of search results throughout Google's products and services all rolled into one.

The new site, appropriately complete with a search button that's a heart, has a nice, fluid design that should appeal to most eyes. According to a TechCrunch source, the Google site's goal is to “create a unified UI to search in multiple channels.”

The site searches through Picasa, product search, trends, alerts, pictures and more. There's also Gmail and Google Calendar integrated. Broad search terms seem to work best, but the site in itself is not hugely useful. However, it does showcase what Google can offer pretty well, if that's what the company is going after.

Are Google's Search Results Fixed?

Is Google unfairly promoting its own content above everyone else's? According to those who run rival services, the answer is definitely yes, and now the company is under investigation by the European Union over allegations of favoritism. The problem is apparently the placement of Google services above other search results, and for those affected - for example, Chief Executive Stephen Kaufer - it's a serious problem; he claims that Google-directed traffic to his site has dropped 10% since Google made the change to the way search results are displayed. WebMD SVP of corporate communications, Adam Goldberg, is also amongst those complaining: "It's contrary to the notion of a natural search." It's not only American companies who are affected; in November, a complaint from a European shopping site managed to get the EU anti-trust authority to look into the matter (Google denies any wrongdoing, but felt the need to point out that the complaint came from a site connected with competitor Microsoft).
For its part, Google is downplaying the issue, and perhaps playing a little dumb in the process. An official statement on the matter explained,
"We built Google for users, not websites, and our goal is to give users answers. Sometimes the most useful answer isn't '10 blue links,' but a map for an address query, or a series of images for a query like 'pictures of Egyptian pyramids.' We often provide these results in the form of 'quick answers' at the top of the page, because our users want a quick answer."
See? They're doing it for you. As long as you don't happen to work at one of the services or companies whose result is now lower on the page as a result.

43rd Copa America (2011) Match Schedule, Teams,Groups etc

43rd Edition of Copa America kick off is on 1st July 2011. Twelve teams are contesting in Copa America 2011 tournament and these teams are divided in to three groups. Each group mates will play together as a league match and eight team will select to the Quarter Final. Argentina and Uruguay were the most successful team in Copa America history. Last two Copa America matches (in 2004 ad 2007) are won by Brazil against Argentina in Final. 2011 Copa America is hosted in Argentina, this is the 11th time that Argentina hosting Copa America. Argentina vs Brazil matches are played in final for 10 times and Argentina were champions for eight times,

Copa America 2011 Telecast in India

Copa America 2011 Telecasting right in India is to ESPN and STAR sports

Raj Kalesh [Taste of Kerala Fame] on Hindi Reality show [EKLKBK]

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peter Parker a.k.a Spider-Man is Dead!!!

Of death and resurrection

Peter Parker, one of the most popular comic book characters, is dead! But, don’t worry, that doesn’t mean Spider-Man is dead. The comic world is full always finds a way to resurrect these stories back to life

Rayman Gill

    Peter Parker, the man behind the mask of Spiderman, breathed his last in the Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160, which released on June 22. Spiderman is a classic creation of Marvel comics that generations of kids have grown up with, and Peter’s death is already being mourned by comic nerds (ahem, graphic novel enthusiasts) all over the world. Writer Brian Bendis said, “He will
pass heroically, but he will die at the hands of the Green Goblin”. He told an international newspaper, “I wrote the story with tears in my eyes like a big baby.”
    But before you bring out your funeral garb, you ought to know that in the comic book world, there is always a catch. Marvel Entertainment editorin-chief Axel Alonso said, “Peter’s death doesn’t signal the end.... It’s the start of one of the most ambitious stories you’ve ever read in comics.” An all-new Spider-Man will
now debut in July’s “Ultimate Comics Fallout”, which picks up from Parker’s death, and according to Marvel, “You won’t believe who’s under the mask.”
    But this isn’t the first time that a superhero has been knocked off. In fact, an issue of a comic book series that features the death of a superhero often becomes an extremely coveted collector’s item. However, it’s always just a matter of time before the hero gets resurrected. Other very popular superheroes who have similarly and temporarily kicked the bucket in the past are Captain America, Bat
man, Spiderwoman and The Thing.

The Thing was shot but later returned to life as ‘the one above all’

Depiction of Peter Parker’s death in the latest comic

Captain America was fatally wounded and was revived later. Spider-Woman was killed in a sacrifice

Batman was apparently killed, but the corpse recovered was of a clone

Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon : Exclusive Movie Reviews (3 in 1)

Transformers 3 Review No.1

Rating: 3/5

By Neil Smith | Jun 26th 2011

Impress me!” demands horrible boss John Malkovich of Shia LaBeouf when the latter’s Sam Witwicky arrives for a job interview.
Those left cold by the last Transformers may well ask the same of Michael Bay before risking what looks likely to be his final orgy of Hasbro-inspired robo-carnage.
For them, good news. Transformers 3 (full title - Transformers: Dark Of The Moon) might struggle to equal the sheer exhilaration of Bay's 2007 trilogy-starter, but it’s a whole lot more coherent and fulfilling than Revenge Of The Fallen.
Yes, it’s punishingly long – the longest so far, in fact – and comes saddled with some excruciating attempts at comedy (the most painful involving The Hangover’s Ken Jeong as a LaBeouf-accosting conspiracy theorist).
Yet the clever hook (say, what if the Apollo 11 moon landing were a cover for some Alien-style exploration of a derelict Cybertron spacecraft?) provides a secure foundation for Bay’s customary bombast, while the devastation wreaked by snake-bot Soundwave makes it the most bad-ass Decepticon since Blackout.
Perhaps Ehren Kruger’s best move, though, is to ditch Fallen’s baffling, globe-hopping patchwork in favour of a straightforward earth invasion story that, like this year’s Battle: Los Angeles, adheres faithfully to the ID4 template.
Admittedly, it takes a while for the pieces to fall into place and for characters (flesh and metal) to reveal their true colours. But once they do, the stage is set for a final hour of über-destructive robot wars in the streets and skies of Chicago, complete with wing-suited commandos plummeting from the heavens, four climactic smackdowns and a terrific bit of skyscraper-toppling.
Now for the bad news. British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is awful – awful! – as LaBeouf’s new love interest, sucking the life out of every scene she appears in like some pneumatic Dyson sexbot.
Introduced with a leering pan up her Victoria’s Secret pins, she achieves the unlikely feat of making Megan Fox look like a proper actress, particularly at moments where she is required to be in peril.
Huntington-Whiteley is so terrible, in fact, she makes her co-stars bad too. LaBeouf, for one, has rarely looked so sweatily desperate than in scenes where he is obliged to simulate ardour. But then his own performance isn’t much to write home about either, pitched as it is at such a heightened level of consternation you fear he might pass out at any minute.
Elsewhere Frances McDormand gives good ball-breaker as a pushy Secretary of Defence (“Stop with the ma’am!”), while Alan Tudyk amuses mightily as the hair-trigger assistant of John Turturro’s oddball Sector 7 agent.
Leonard Nimoy, meanwhile, gets to recycle his “needs of the many” speech from Wrath Of Khan in his role as the reawakened superbot Sentinel Prime. Now that was a sequel...

A largely linear plot and some ingenious appropriation of 20th century history helps T3 correct most of T2’s deficiencies without really matching T1’s superior entertainment value and element of surprise.

Transformers 3 Review No.2 

Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro

When a mysterious event from the Earth’s past – and more ­specifically a discovery on the moon itself – erupts into the present day, it threatens to bring a war to the planet so deadly that the ­Transformers, ably assisted by Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf), may not be able to save the human race.

It’s big metal robot time... and the good news is that blockbusting director Michael Bay has delivered a high-octane bit of fantasy action-adventure that will have ­Transformers’ fans relishing the film’s vivid 3D entertainment.
Granted, the departure of ­Megan Fox has meant that the sex appeal quota has diminished. But the casting of some double-barrelled sultriness in the curvaceous form of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (British model and girlfriend of Jason Statham) as a love ­interest for Shia LaBeouf means that she is not massively missed... ­especially once the special effects kick in.
The general opinion – even from Michael Bay ­himself – was that the last film, Transformers: ­Revenge of the Fallen, was something of a disappointment.
So it’s a pleasure to say that this third film is a great improvement, with Shia ­LaBeouf ­really growing into the role of self-appointed liaison between the ­Transformers and mankind, and the film also benefits from the addition of some fine ­character actors – such as Frances ­McDormand, John ­Malkovich and Patrick Dempsey.
With a story that’s not as messy and muddled as the last film, Bay manages to bring a darker and more dangerous tone to the plot.
And when the ­action kicks off – and boy does it look great on 3D – the film offers up a veritable feast of special effects mayhem.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a fantastic feast of all-action entertainment... the first big ­summer blockbuster is one worth catching.

Transformers 3 Review No.3

A crime to see in a cinema!...The true definition of IMAX 3D has arrived!!! A spectacle 3D finale with the most amazing action sequences to be delivered on film since T2....The summer blockbusters are over except for HP.7 pt.2 its only contender!
  • OVERALL - 4.5/5 SUPERB
Its a secret invitation, reporters and journalists, film reviewers from multiple companies, all compound in their seats, contemplating why are they here for film to review they've no information on and sitting in BFI IMAX seats... The crowd sit and ponder, whats going on the lights dim and once the god-like figure of executive producer Stephen Spielberg & director Michael Benjamin Bay, step out lights shimmering on them like their angels sent from Heaven...everyone in the room knows why their here and what they're in store for. The introduction of an exclusive, exciting and explosive secret UK screening of Transformers: Dark Side Of The Moon begins.

The film opens up to the back story of another story about the war between the autobots and the decepticons on Cybertron and and the secret of the actual moon landings being a top secret investigation and the finding of the Ark.Transfer back to the wonderful life of Sam Witwhicky, who is becoming a man and yet still trying to get over his emotional beak-up with mikayela. But he has the beautiful Carly, by his side now, who played by the lovely Rosie Huntington Whiteley, who unlike Megan Fox can act. As their relationship blossoms, things take a tide for the worse as both the Autobots and the decepticons find out about the truth about the space landings and the ark. And in turmoil begins Earth's Last Stand and becomes a extravagant battlefield where its an all out battle for the truth and the powers behind he secrets of the ark. It becomes a sheer 3D visual extravagance and the best 3D ever seen, debris, cop cars transformers and all sorts blow out of the auditorium screen and a beautiful array of nicely shot destruction sequences and heightened moments in slow-mo courtesy of a f35 cam on 35mm film. But the what this movie contains is the most spectacular action sequences known to film, remember the first time you watched and indulged in the action sequences of Die Hard or Terminator 2, embrace to relieve that mind-blowinf feeling again that leaves your jaw scraping the floor.

The actors are all on top form, in this spectacular action finale and not one of them fails to fall out of character, with the new arrivals of some characters such as Sentinel, Carly and some new machines. In this final installment of Michael Bay's trilogy it feels like it can't get any better than this and this is by far the best of any of Bay's flicks. The actors are on top form and even the new contenders do a fine job up against the actors and characters we all know and love. These characters actually feel fully achieved and developed to the max, which is well unusual for a Bay flick and it almost feels as it isn't a Bay film and your only reminded that it is until you see an action sequence capable only by Bay.

While I'd love to indulge on how spectacularly crafted this film in the sense of directing, but I'm not.Now your probably asking...WHY? Because i'm going to let none other than Michael Bay himself do it, ask I got to ask him during the after Q & A, what it was like to do his first 3D picture.


Good question, when Stephen, Paramount and myself came to the terms that the 3rd and final Transformer had to separate itself from the other two predecessors. We decided it had to be different and by making it different, we decided to make it 3D it was different, I had to begin grasping what 3D was and what it could do, its limit and limitations, but I was up for the challenge... I did the implementation stage, you know doing all the research and then I found the perfect answer and flaw to 3D...And that was simple. If it ain't shot in 3D then there is no f*cking point of it being 3D, and thats about as blunt and beautiful as the answer gets. I mean did you see such films as The Last Airbender or Clash of the Titans, they were mockeries and shambles to the power of 3D and what it is capable of. In brief term, you can't turn a 2D film, which was initially planned and created as a 2D film into a 3D film,it just doesn't work, because it was never meant to be 3D, because it was perceived and created in 2D. Because your not gaining the full capability of what 3D is actually capable of, with a post conversion your getting like a pathetic 20% job with poor results. If it ain't filmed and shot in 3D then it ain't worth seeing it in 3D. And well that's how you have to look at it, its either 2D or 3D not both...Its like trying to turn a romance into one of my films, it just doesn't make, sense.

Back with your truly, Visually Transformers 3 is an amazing success and as with all Michael Bay films leaves the audience with the jaws dropped open by the amazing visuals and SFX. From the spaceships, to the outstanding explosions to the spectacular battle sequences are the most finest effects ever seen in an pure hardcore action flick. But the most outstanding final sequence of the destruction of chicago brilliant in its destruction that its just sheer beauty like watching the sun rise, then entering the destruction of the world, and the destruction just gets more climatic. The only tackiness of the effects is the risings from the moon but other than that Transformers 3 is a fine as it comes.

Overall Transformers 3 is as fine and beautiful as a spectacle as it comes and it sets down and destroys the majority of the Summer blockbusters setting the limits down and making it near impossible for any other film to step in the ring with it. Its laid the foundation and expectation of Summer 2011, and its a fine spectacle to the conclusion to Michael Bay's trilogy leaving confusion of what Spielberg can do with the fourth... But in final regards and as I bid farewell to this review, I leave you with this final note to gain the full pleasure and experience of Transformers: Dark Side Of The Moon....THIS IS NOT A CINEMA OR THEATRE MOVIE....ITS AN IMAX 3D MOVIE 

Forget 'Barcodes'...'Q.R Codes' are here !!!

ക്യു.ആര്‍.കോഡ് എന്ന അത്ഭുതചതുരം
Posted on: 12 Mar 2011


കുറപ്പും വെളുപ്പും കലര്‍ന്ന, തപാല്‍ സ്റ്റാമ്പിന്റെ വലിപ്പം മാത്രമുള്ള ഒരു ചതുരം. ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡിനെ ഒറ്റവാചകത്തില്‍ ഇങ്ങനെ വിവരിക്കാം. എന്നാല്‍ ഒരായിരം വാചകങ്ങളിലൊതുക്കാവുന്നതല്ല ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് നമ്മുടെ ജീവിതങ്ങളില്‍ വരുത്താന്‍ പോകുന്ന മാറ്റങ്ങള്‍. ഒരു വര്‍ഷത്തിനുള്ളില്‍ നമ്മള്‍ കണ്ണോടിക്കുന്നിടത്തെല്ലാം നിറയാന്‍ പോകുകയാണ് ഈ അദ്ഭുതചതുരം. പത്രങ്ങളിലും മാസികകളിലും ചുമരുകളിലും പരസ്യങ്ങളിലും ഇനി നമുക്കിവനെ പ്രതീക്ഷിക്കാം. പ്രശസ്തനാകാന്‍ പോകുന്ന ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡിന്റെ വിശേഷങ്ങളാണ് ഇവിടെ.

ക്വിക് റെസ്‌പോണ്‍സ്

കറുത്ത വരകളുള്ള സാധാരണ ബാര്‍ കോഡുകള്‍ ഏവര്‍ക്കും പരിചിതമാണ്. എന്നാല്‍, പ്രത്യേക രീതിയിലുള്ള ദ്വിമാന മാട്രിക്‌സ് ബാര്‍കോഡുകളാണ് 'ക്വിക് റെസ്‌പോണ്‍സ് കോഡുകള്‍' അഥവാ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡുകള്‍. പരമ്പരാഗത ബാര്‍കോഡുകളേക്കാള്‍ നൂറുമടങ്ങ് വിവരങ്ങള്‍ സൂക്ഷിക്കാന്‍ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡുകള്‍ക്കാകും. ക്യു.ആര്‍. റീഡര്‍ എന്ന അപ്ലിക്കേഷന്‍ ഇന്‍സ്റ്റാള്‍ ചെയ്ത ഫോണുകളില്‍ ഇതിന്റെ ചിത്രമെടുത്താല്‍ ഉടന്‍ തന്നെ അതിലുള്ള ഡാറ്റ നമ്മുടെ ഫോണിലേക്ക് വരും. അതു ചിലപ്പോള്‍ ഒരു വെബ്‌സൈറ്റിലേക്കുള്ള ലിങ്കോ, വീഡിയോയോ ആകാം.

മലയാളപത്രങ്ങളില്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞയാഴ്ച പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിച്ച ഒരു കാറിന്റെ പരസ്യത്തില്‍ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് കൂടി ഉള്‍പ്പെടുത്തിയിരുന്നു. ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് റീഡറുള്ള മൊബൈല്‍ ഫോണില്‍ അതിന്റെ ചിത്രമെടുക്കുമ്പോള്‍ ഉടന്‍ തന്നെ ആ കാറിന്റെ വെബ്‌സൈറ്റ് വിലാസമാണ് ഫോണില്‍ ലഭിക്കുക. ആ വെബ്ബ്‌സൈറ്റിലേക്ക് ഫോണിലൂടെ അസായാസം പോകാം. പത്രപരസ്യത്തില്‍ കാണാന്‍ സാധിക്കാത്ത കാറിന്റെ വീഡിയോകളിലേക്കും വ്യത്യസ്തമോഡലുകളുടെ ചിത്രങ്ങളിലേക്കുമെല്ലാം അങ്ങനെ വായനക്കാര്‍ക്ക് ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡിന്റെ സഹായത്തോടെ എളുപ്പത്തില്‍ എത്താം.

പരമ്പരാഗത അച്ചടി മാധ്യമത്തെയും പുതിയ ഓണ്‍ലൈന്‍ മാധ്യമത്തെയും ബന്ധിപ്പിക്കുന്ന പാലമാകാന്‍ ഈ ചതുരത്തിന് കഴിയുന്നുവെന്ന് സാരം. ഇത് ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡിന്റെ ഒരു സാധ്യത മാത്രം. ഇത്തരം നൂറായിരം സാധ്യതകളാണ് ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് തുറന്നുതരുന്നത്.

പത്രമാസികകളില്‍ വരുന്ന ലേഖനങ്ങളുടെ വെബ്‌സൈറ്റ് ലിങ്കുകള്‍ അതിനൊപ്പം നല്‍കിയിട്ടുണ്ടാകും. എന്നാല്‍ ലിങ് പലപ്പോഴും നീളമേറിയതിനാല്‍ മൊബൈല്‍ഫോണില്‍ അത് തെറ്റുകൂടാതെ ടൈപ്പ് ചെയ്യുക ശ്രമകരമകും. അതിനുപകരം ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡാണ് നല്‍കുന്നതെങ്കില്‍ ആവശ്യക്കാര്‍ക്ക് മൊബൈലില്‍ ഫോട്ടോെയടുത്താല്‍ ആ ലിങ്കിലേക്ക് ഉടന്‍ പ്രവേശിക്കാനാകും. മലയാളത്തില്‍ ആദ്യമായി മാതൃഭൂമി ഡോട്ട് കോമിന്റെ ടെക്‌നോളജി പേജില്‍ ഈ സൗകര്യം നടപ്പിലാക്കിക്കഴിഞ്ഞു. ല്‍ വരുന്ന ലേഖനങ്ങള്‍ക്കൊപ്പം ഇപ്പോള്‍ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് കൂടി നല്‍കിവരുന്നുണ്ട് (ഈ പേജിന്റെ വലതുവശത്തെ ബ്ലാക്ക് ആന്‍ഡ് വൈറ്റ് ചതുരം ശ്രദ്ധിക്കുക. അത് ഈ ലേഖനത്തിലേക്കുള്ള ലിങ്കാണ്. മൊബൈല്‍ വഴി മേല്‍വിവരിച്ചത് പോലെ ചെയ്താല്‍ മതി). ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ മിഡ്‌ഡേ, പി.സി. ക്വെസ്റ്റ് തുടങ്ങിയ പ്രസിദ്ധീകരണങ്ങളാണ് നിലവില്‍ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നത്.

ന്യൂയോര്‍ക്ക്, ടോക്യോ പോലുള്ള മഹാനഗരങ്ങളിലെ തെരുവു പരസ്യപലകകളില്‍ ഇപ്പോള്‍ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡുകള്‍ വ്യാപകമായി കണ്ടുവരുന്നുണ്ട്. വലിയൊരു ഹോര്‍ഡിങില്‍ ചിലപ്പോള്‍ ആകെയുണ്ടാകുക ഒരു ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് മാത്രമാകും. എന്താണ് അതെന്നറിയാന്‍ മൊബൈലില്‍ ഫോട്ടോയെടുത്താല്‍ മതി! വിദേശരാജ്യങ്ങളിലെ ലൈബ്രറികളിലും ഹോട്ടലുകളിലും ക്രൈസ്തവദേവാലയങ്ങളില്‍ പോലും ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡുകള്‍ ഉപയോഗിച്ചു തുടങ്ങിക്കഴിഞ്ഞു. ഒക്‌ലഹോമയിലെ എഡ്മണ്ട് ഫസ്റ്റ് ബാപ്റ്റിസ്റ്റ് ചര്‍ച്ചാണ് ആദ്യമായി ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് ഉപയോഗിച്ച ദേവാലയമെന്ന ചരിത്രനേട്ടം സ്വന്തമാക്കിയത്.

നമ്മുടെ അഡ്രസും ഫോണ്‍നമ്പറുകളും ഈമെയില്‍ വിലാസവുമെല്ലാം അടങ്ങിയ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡുകള്‍ വിസിറ്റിങ് കാര്‍ഡുകളില്‍ ഉള്‍പ്പെടുത്തുന്നവരുമുണ്ട്. ഫോണില്‍ ഒരു ഫോട്ടോയെടുത്താല്‍ കാര്‍ഡിലെ മുഴുവന്‍ വിവരങ്ങളും ഒറ്റയടിക്ക് മൊബൈലിലെത്തും.

ഉത്ഭവം ജപ്പാനില്‍

കണ്ടുപിടുത്തങ്ങളുടെ ആശാന്‍മാരായ ജപ്പാന്‍കാര്‍ തന്നെയാണ് ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡുകളുടെയും സൃഷ്ടാക്കള്‍. 1994-ല്‍ ടൊയോട്ടയുടെ അനുബന്ധ സ്ഥാപനമായ ഡെന്‍സോ-വേവിലാണ് ഈ സംവിധാനം ആദ്യമായി നിലവില്‍ വന്നത്. വാഹനനിര്‍മാണത്തിനാവശ്യമായ സ്‌പെയര്‍പാര്‍ട്‌സുകളുടെ സുഗമമായ നീക്കം ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തുന്നതിനായിട്ടായിരുന്നു ആദ്യം ഉപയോഗിച്ചിരുന്നത്.

സ്മാര്‍ട്‌ഫോണുകളുടെ വരവോടെ ഈ സാങ്കേതികവിദ്യക്ക് പുതിയ മാനങ്ങള്‍ കൈവന്നു. എല്ലാവിധ ലൈസന്‍സുകളില്‍ നിന്നും സ്വതന്ത്ര്യമാണ് ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ്. ഇതിന്റെ അവകാശങ്ങള്‍ ഡെന്‍സോ-വേവ് കമ്പനിക്കാണെങ്കിലും ഇത് സ്വതന്ത്രമായ ഉപയോഗത്തിന് നല്‍കാന്‍ അവര്‍ തീരുമാനിക്കുകയായിരുന്നു.

നിര്‍മാണം വളരെയെളുപ്പം,, തുടങ്ങി ഒട്ടേറെ സൈറ്റുകള്‍ നമുക്കാവശ്യമായ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡുകള്‍ നിര്‍മിച്ചുനല്‍കുന്നുണ്ട്. കോഡില്‍ ഉള്‍ക്കൊള്ളിക്കേണ്ട വിവരങ്ങള്‍ ടൈപ്പ്‌ചെയ്താല്‍ സെക്കന്‍ഡുകള്‍ക്കുളളില്‍ കോഡ് തയ്യാറാകും. ആ കോഡ് നമുക്കെവിടെവേണമെങ്കിലും അച്ചടിക്കാം.

ആന്‍ഡ്രോയ്ഡ്, ബ്ലാക്ക്‌ബെറി, ഐഫോണ്‍ അപ്ലിക്കേഷന്‍ സ്‌റ്റോറുകളില്‍ നിലവില്‍ നൂറുകണക്കിന് ക്യു.ആര്‍. േകാഡ് റീഡറുകള്‍ ലഭ്യമാണ്. അവയിലേതെങ്കിലുമൊന്ന് ഫോണില്‍ ഇന്‍സ്റ്റാള്‍ ചെയ്താല്‍ ക്യു.ആര്‍.കോഡുകള്‍ വായിക്കാനാകും. i-nigma, Kaywa, QuickMark, BeeTag, ScanLife എന്നീ വെബ്‌സൈറ്റുകളില്‍ നിന്ന് ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡ് റീഡറുകള്‍ ഡൗണ്‍ലോഡ് ചെയ്തും ഫോണില്‍ ഉപയോഗിക്കാം.

സ്മാര്‍ട്ട്‌ഫോണുകള്‍ സാര്‍വത്രികമാകുന്നതോടെ ക്യു.ആര്‍. കോഡുകള്‍ നമ്മുടെ നാട്ടിലും വ്യാപകമാകുമെന്നതില്‍ സംശയം വേണ്ട. ആദ്യം പരസ്യമേഖലയിലും മാധ്യമരംഗത്തുമാകും ക്യു.ആര്‍. സാന്നിധ്യമറിയിക്കുക. പിന്നീട് ജീവിതത്തിന്റെ സമസ്തമേഖലകളിലും ഇവ സ്വാധീനം ചെലുത്തുമെന്ന് ഉറപ്പിക്കാം.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

'Spy Kids 4' world's First 4D film with 'AROMAscope'

Looking back at some of the films in his career, it's no secret that director Robert Rodriguez is a fan of over-the-top, B-movie spirit in films like Machete, Planet Terror, The Faculty and even Sin City. Now he's bringing another cheesy gimmick back to theaters with his franchise sequel/reboot Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World that will utilize Aroma-Scope, which is basically a different version of the infamous Smell-O-Vision from the 60's which allows audiences to experience the film with not only their eyes, but their noses as well. That's where all this promotion of Spy Kids being in 4D (see the poster) is coming from.
I doubt this will become a trend as popular as 3D (though Spy Kids 3D: Game Over was one of the earlier films to utilize the dated technology before Hollywood became obsessed with the third dimension), but for a big, fun family film like this, there's the potential for a really entertaining theater experience. Rodriguez told USA Today, "After Spy Kids 3, I had to do something new, add another surprise." So how does it work? The surprise will come in the form of an Aromascope card (which comes free with each ticket) containing a series of numbers to rub when the corresponding number flashes on the screen. And then you'll have a scent from the scene in the movie thus putting you deeper into the world of Spy Kids.Here's the new Spy Kids poster really hitting home the 4D and Aroma-Scope aspect of the movie:

It's nice that this kind of feature won't inflate ticket prices anymore than they already are, but it'll be interesting to see if audiences enjoy the moviegoing experience any more (or less) with this kind of pseudo-interactive element added. Honestly, it really is one of the cheesiest gimmicks to hit theaters in awhile, and it seems strange considering Smell-O-Vision was apparently named one of the 100 Worst Ideas of All-Time according to a recent TIME reader survey. As much fun as it will be, I don't know if it will get more audiences into the theater. After all, I don't know if I would see a movie based on a recommendation from a friend saying, "That movie smelled great!" But what do you guys think?

A few more tidbits from the press release: The introduction of scent in the movie going experience adds to the outrageous fun by enhancing the action, adventure and comedy to take you where no film has gone before. Let's hope that's true. "Families are going to love the interactivity of this new addition to the movie going experience. And best of all, you won't have to pay extra for 4D Aroma-Scope, which will be provided to every theater whether it be 2D or 3D," said Robert Rodriguez. 4 times the gadgets, 4 times the adventure and 4 times the dimension. Audiences can get a whiff of the bigger, better experience on August 19th when Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D opens in theaters.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Diesel costlier by Rs 3/litre, kerosene by 2 and LPG by 50 per cylinder

     Get ready for a major shock! Diesel -- from Friday midnight -- will cost Rs 3 per litre more, while the price of cooking gas cylinder has been increased by a whopping Rs 50 per cylinder.
The price of the poor man's fuel -- kerosene -- too has been hiked by as much as Rs 2 a litre.
The decision to hike fuel prices was taken by the Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The increase was announced by Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy in New Delhi late Friday evening.

Reddy also said that excise duty on diesel reduced from Rs 4.60 a litre to Rs 2 a litre. Customs duty on diesel has been cut from 7.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent, while the 5 per cent customs duty on crude has been abolished.He said that the revenue loss to the government due to cut in excise and customs duties would be to the tune of Rs 49,000 crore (Rs 490 billion) for 2011-12.The increase in fuel prices will see the public sector oil companies' under-recoveries decline by Rs 21,000 crore (Rs 210 billion), Reddy said.This is the tenth hike in the price of fuel in just over a year. With this hike, inflation is likely to rise sharply once again.

Just a month ago, on May 14, in the largest-ever price increase of petrol, the state-owned oil companies hiked the price of petrol by Rs 5 per litre.The revision in prices would come into effect from midnight on Friday. Any price increase is announced closer to this deadline to avoid hoarding by petrol pump owners, who have in the past shown a tendency to put up 'no-stock' signs so as to earn quick money by selling fuel they bought at the old price, after the new rates have come into effect.

With global crude oil prices rising and domestic public sector oil companies suffering huge losses due to fuel subsidy, the government was left with no option but to increase fuel prices.
With inflation already going through the roof, forcing the Reserve Bank of India to increase interest rates at the risk of slowing down the booming Indian economy, this hike in fuel prices will bring more suffering to the people.

Efforts to control soaring prices and runaway inflation have not yielded any positive results for a long time and this major increase in prices of diesel, cooking gas and kerosene will add further fuel to the inflation fire.
Already reeling under rising inflation and high prices, the common man was given an unprecedented jolt. Although a fuel price hike was inevitable, significantly, the government had then held back the increase because of assembly elections in five states. Experts say that had fuel prices been hiked earlier, voters would have punished the UPA by voting against it.

With diesel prices rising, many major sectors will be badly affected. Among them are fast moving consumer goods, transport, textiles, automobiles, etc. This will have a cascading effect on the prices of general and essential commodities as everyone will pass on the burden to the common man.Even as the Reserve Bank of India struggles to control rising inflationary pressure by tightening the monetary policy (in other words, hiking interest rates), the increase in the price of fuel will almost put paid to its efforts to control rising prices of all commodities.
Vegetables and food prices have already gone through the roof and while the common man waits for the government to take steps to provide some succour, the fuel price hike promises to keep the common Indian in pain for some time to come.Rising prices are like a fire feeding on itself. As they erode the incomes of wage-earners, they give rise to labour unrest.That, in turn, brings down productivity leading to further inflation. Thus a vicious circle is established.It's a tough time for the common people in India. Indians are gasping for breath as prices of essential commodities are spiralling out of control.

With the United Progressive Alliance government deregulating the prices of petro-products, things have got even worse.Prices of pulses have gone so high that many households have stopped consuming the protein-rich but almost unaffordable dal.Earlier, the meeting of the high-power panel of ministers on raising fuel prices was put-off by a few hours during the day 'to study more options'. This followed an hour-long meeting Mukherjee had with Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy at noon where various scenarios were discussed."We are working on more options (on fuel price hike and duty rejig as an answer to spiralling crude oil prices). A decision will be announced after the meeting," Reddy had announced.

He, however, refused to divulge details of his discussions with Mukherjee and the options before the government. "I will not indulge in speculation," he said.The brief postponement may also have been to take on board the opinion of the ruling Congress party's highest decision making body, the Congress Working Committee, which met later in the day.Raising diesel, domestic LPG and possibly kerosene rates is a politically sensitive decision and the government wanted to take all sections on board before taking a decision.
Earlier in the day, Reddy had stated that his ministry had not made any specific proposal on the quantum of increase or the duty cut desired.

He said only a detailed analysis of the scenario developing from a spike in rates of international crude oil, on which India depends on to meet more than three quarters of its energy needs, has been submitted to the EGoM."My ministry has given no proposal (on fuel price hike or duty reduction) to the EGoM," Reddy had told PTI here. "We have offered an analysis and the same will be discussed at the EGoM meeting."
State-owned oil firms are together projected to lose a whopping Rs 1,66,712 crore (Rs 1,667.12 billion) in revenues this fiscal on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at government-controlled rates, which are way below the market price.The EGoM deliberated on measures including an increase in the retail price, duty reduction and government subsidy, to tackle this loss.

Oil firms currently lose Rs 15.44 per litre on diesel, Rs 27.47 per litre on kerosene and Rs 381.14 on the sale of every 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.Besides Reddy, the EGoM headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee includes Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Road Transport Minister C P Joshi, Chemical and Fertiliser Minister M K Alagiri and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.Pawar and Alagiri did not attend the EGoM meeting as they were not Delhi.

Mamata opposes hike 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee opposed the fresh hike in fuel prices, saying it will put the common man in great difficulty."We do not support the repeated rise in fuel prices. This will put the common man in great difficulty. We have conveyed our view where it needs to be conveyed," Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is a key UPA ally, said.Pointing out that fuel prices were already high, she said, "Kerosene and domestic gas are used by common people. The price of petrol was also recently hiked."
The government should think "many times over" before hiking fuel prices, Banerjee said.

Adaminte Makan Abu: Movie Reviews (2 in 1)

Simple is beautiful; that is the thought that crosses one's mind as one watches the National Award winning and much celebrated Malayalam film Aadaminte Makan Abu directed by first timer Salim Ahamed.

Salim Kumar plays the title role of Abu, which won him the best actor award at the National as well as State level.

The beauty of the film is that the director, who is also credited with the story, screenplay, and dialogues, has woven a psychedelic yarn out of a simple thread, which is the wish of an aged and poor couple to go on pilgrimage to Mecca.

Abu, a septuagenarian attar seller who plies his business outside mosques, has been saving his earnings to go on Haj accompanied by his wife Aishumma (Zarina Wahab). His efforts to fulfil his wish and how those surrounding him and those he comes across help him, is the core of the film.

One of the endearing aspects of this story is that there is little negativity or even negative characters. The only negative character is Abu's son Sattar, who has migrated to the Middle East with his family and virtually discarded his aged parents. He is just mentioned in conversations between the characters and does not appear on screen. A policeman (Sasi Kalinga), who does the police verification for Abu's passport application, could have been the villain of the piece, but once he gets his bribe he becomes quite helpful.

Other characters that come into the narrative are the school teacher played by Nedumudi Venu, an intelligent friend of Abu's who is there in his time of need, and Hyder (Suraj Venjaramoodu), the local teashop owner who empathises with Abu.

It goes without saying that it is Salim Kumar who has the towering presence and hovers above the story. Make-up by Pattanam Rasheed helped, but it is Salim Kumar's acting skills that have made him enact perfectly the part of a 75-year-old man with blood shot eyes and a tendency to fall off to sleep in the middle of a conversation.

Director Salim Ahamad, who is also the scriptwriter, keeps things simple, though sometimes we do feel that he is trying to deliberately tug at our heart strings. The other thing that jars is the promotion of a travel agency and its Haj trips. These are just minor blemishes in an otherwise enjoyable movie. Aadaminte Makan Abu deserves every accolade that has come its way, for its simplicity and charm.

Rediff Rating: 
Paresh C Palicha in Chennai

Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times
Chennai, June 21, 2011

Rating ***

Director Salim Ahamed once acted on stage, mimicked Kamal Hassan and dreamt of making films. But cinema played hard to get, and he ended up as a travel consultant, sending people to exotic places, on pilgrimages and for rushed business meetings. That is what he did for five years, but in those apparently dreary hours of coping with visa deadlines, missed flights (of others) and presumably the temper tantrums of his clients, Ahamed watched people as they passed by his desk, making mental notes of the more interesting ones.

Finally, he got that chance to make that movie he had long yearned to. Ten years to be precise it took him to pick the megaphone and call for lights, sound and action.

The hurdles he faced seemed almost insurmountable at one point of time. His hero was 75, and his heroine 65, not attractive in the conventional sense. Not only did Ahamed have to find producers, but also men who would understand the subject.

Finally, when the movie emerged from the cans, it created a buzz all right by winning four national and four Kerala State awards this year. It is now ready for theatrical release.

And here is what I thought of the film when I watched it recently.

Adaminte Makan Abu/Abu, Son of Adam (Malayalam and winner of this year’s National and Kerala State Award for Best Picture), first timer  Ahamed paints the sorrow and suffering of an elderly Muslim couple living in Kerala’s Malabar, forsaken and forgotten by their son in the Gulf and struggling to find money to fulfil their dream of going on Haj.  With advancing years, their desperation also grows.

Rooted in realism, and photographed with feeling by Madhu Ambat (some of the shots are divinely beautiful, conveying a deep sense of loneliness and gloom), the movie unfolds its plot through Abu’s (Salim Kumar, who won the National and Kerala State Award for Best Actor this year) travails as he goes about collecting money for his and his wife, Aishumma’s (Zarina Wahab, that sensitive actress who once gave us hours of good cinema in Chit Chor and Gharonda in the 1970s) pilgrimage. He sells Unani medicines and “athar” that nobody wants, and, finally, in frustration and terrible distress gives away his cow and an old jackfruit tree.

And when the passports and the tickets are just a bus journey away in Kozhikode, the sawmill owner while handing over the money for the tree says that its wood turned out to be rotten and hence useless. He insists that Abu still take the money, since it is for a noble cause. But Abu refuses it, saying that it would be “halal”, and hence could anger Allah. (I do not know whether such men live today, but Ahamed, who penned the story, says he was inspired to write a character like Abu based on his experiences as a travel agent.)

Adaminte Makan Abu while being a rare study in restraint often plays out like a placid stream. Except for the old couple’s son, who is never show and who turns out to be the cause of all the misery and disappointment, Ahamed portrays too idyllic a situation. The schoolteacher essayed by Nedumudi Venu, the manager at the travels (Mukesh), the sawmill owner and just about everybody else are goodness personified, with the result that there is very little drama in the movie. What is more, it is quite predictable. I certainly knew what was coming. 

But, yes, Adaminte Makan Abu did engage me with its fine directorial skills and marvellous performances, particularly by the lead pair. Isaac Thomas’s background score does add up to create the mood that swings between despair and hope, between despondency and cheer.

However, the essential fault with Indian cinema, or much of it, is its inability to strike a fine balance between drama and exaggeration, between sound and silence, between verbosity and understatement, between garrulousness and taciturnity.  Often, we are left watching a bit too much of one or the other. “Adaminte Makan Abu” fails to hit that right chord that could have lifted it a notch or two higher.