The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Dont get any ideas with tattoo and girl, or the dragon 🙂 The original title of the Swedish book/movie – Män som hatar kvinnor – is a spoiler, so it’s good they changed the name for the worldwide release.

The main story is about a middle aged investigative journalist hired to probe a disappearance that happened 40 years ago. The parallel track is about the punk girl who helps in the search. And how they make unlikely partners during the detective journey. But the real story is about the darkness surrounding each character. The mystery is exceptionally well handled till the can-figure-out point. Then it slips a bit into the clichéd genres, but thankfully doesn’t follow the beaten path to the end.

Enhancement to some of the sub-plots may look unnecessary on hindsight. But I am told that the novel is written that way. Some of the scenes are not for the weak hearted, but the movie is a must watch (8/10)


The Secret In Their Eyes

Movie is the story of a retired attorney from the homicide division in Argentina. Divorced, living alone with nothing much to do, he is contemplating writing a novel. And decides to base it on a 25 year old murder mystery that has haunted him since.

The movie is the interwoven story with a backdrop of murder, about his revisiting the past, meeting those people now and trying to find clarity with the hindsight. He explores and discovers layers that were fearfully left untouched. Depicted in a scene is where a phrase that came up in the dream, TEMO (i fear), changes with one stroke to TE-AMO (i love you).

The mainline story is brilliant for most parts, but perhaps too easy for the Lynch fans. But the real movie is about the other stories. The movie won the best foriegn language Oscars, pushing out some of the favourites. And I think they got it right this time. Must watch. (9/10)


What Customer Wants

A sales manager was deciding which of two salespeople to recruit. Passing over a ball point pen, he said, “Sell me one of these.”

The first salesperson took the pen, examined it and said, “This is a very good pen. You will note the transparent barrel which indicates the color of the ink as well as showing when it is about to run out. There is a stopper at the end to prevent the ink seeping out. The top fits well on the pen and covers the nib so that you can clip it in your inside pocket without fearing ink will stain your shirt. When you remove the top, it fits neatly on the other end so ensuring that you do not lose it. It also balances the pen well for writing.”

The sales manager was impressed and passed the pen to the second salesperson. He took it, snapped it in half and said, “You need a new pen.”

Source: Ken Langdon | TheWorkingManager


Efter Brylluppet (or After The Wedding)

Jacob, Dutch, works with an orphanage in Mumbai. A prospective donor, a millionaire calls him to Netherlands to discuss funds for the project. The rich man wants to know more about the project but is busy with his daughter’s marriage. He invites Jacob to the wedding. Jacob reluctantly agrees.

At the wedding, Jacob runs into someone from his past that brings out a big family secret which threatens to shake everyone’s world. After the wedding, he is torn between his love for orphanage (and his adopted son there) and call of duty. Movie is all about his situations, decisions and reasons.

Brilliant acting by everyone – Jacob, the millionaire, his wife and especially the daughter, absolutely fantastic. The cinematography method of extreme closeup to get deeper emotions from people’s faces was sometimes jarring and definitely flow breaking, but works great. It has some clichéd moments, but the movie is a short workshop on how to build a scene, the players, situation, dialogues and its impact on story.

Loved it. (9/10)


Shutter Island

Marty seems to have lost it in a ‘yeah-i-got-it-all-so-why-care’ spell of film making in Shutter Island. It begins like a typical period thriller, but once some facts are established, it turns into a very juvenile (and very predictable) storyline like Identity, or Hide and Seek.

Some unnecessary loud score, characters, and sub plots – all make the movie jarring, confusing, tiring and artificially complex. All to fizzle out at the end. Direction is good, so is acting – a brilliant De Caprio as usual, but even for Scorcese fans, the advice will be to stay away. But for others, it might just bend the genre. (2/5)


Eye for details?

They say that if you get too much into the details, you will miss the bigger picture. Perhaps, that is right. But that doesnt mean that you cannot be creative. If you have an eye for the details, or you are a keen observer of the facts, then wouldnt you naturally see the missing facts as well? Isnt that one of the key of solving a problem (ever read Sherlock Holmes)? Will that also be an inventive, or innovative way to see what’s missing on the planet? Isnt that what we call creative?

Who was that said, “God is in the details”? I would add to that: “God is in the non-details as well”. (Aw, did I just prove that God is everywhere? I hate relational algebra, but I love indexed)


3 idiots, or is it more?

Finally after so much pressure from everyone (must watch/ you dont know what you are missing/ i was born to watch this movie), I watched 3 idiots yesterday. yes, it’s fun, and has some really good moments. The casting was spot on, outstanding. But in summary, what stood out was all the unnecessary stuff, like a sore thumb.

Many of the sequences would have done with better context building. The revengeful comic friend comes back to campus and calls everyone to meet, OK so far. And within minutes, they are on a long journey. And the day also is the very same day where friend’s father dies, and also another friend’s marriage. And the group finds the latter out late, but take a detour and manage to spoil the wedding and then go find the lost friend. Too much of a coincidence. And all their destinations finally end at the super friend. All in a day/trip? Too much to handle.

Many jokes are slapstick. Many interludes/ sub plots of Joy, pregnant sister, the sudden change of character of mother, surprise at interval, and cliched family scenes etc are misfits or under developed. Some of the jokes actually spoil the moments. The baby birth scene was sheer trash. Thankfully, Kareena has only 5-6 scenes.

In short, it isnt path breaking, rather it is far from perfect. Why do the directors always have to tie all the loose ends and complete the story to a full circle? Perhaps they think that the audience is stupid, in this case, idiots. How many, is the only question.