Shining Corners

Chiseled in times, ravaged by war, a witness to the independence movement and surviving amidst troubled celebration.

The monument stands and shines, devoid of percussion, beneath and over.

Sans you, sans me. What is left of is platelets of the past and some enormous little moments.

A Revered Adieu

“Tread not in the by-lanes of the belittle ones, you will only be ripped off of your untainted glory and the very reason for your sublime existence”. @msksmiles

“Vultures can hunt, eagles can prey, tigers will prowl. Only a saint will consume all the adultery and exude sanity for the baffled minds”. – @msksmiles

I saw him in Kanchipuram-1993, all smiles with a spark in his eyes. Much later, in Calcutta-2014, we visited Ved Bhavan to seek his noble blessings.

Let the world remember you for all the goodness and humanity you have engulfed each of us in.

Chandni. Forever.

Sridevi’s demise marks an an end to a celebrated era of woman talent and perseverance.

One of those mercurial and prodigious actors who was able to transcend boundaries successfully and with so much grace, Sridevi used her strong foundation from Tamil films to foray in to Hindi cinema and was able to hone her way through with panache.

The transition was hard work, transformation was stunning. From the next-door-girl image down South, Sridevi became the undisputed queen of Bollywood.

And, fearlessly, she never looked back.

My ‘Sridevi’ moments are many, but I will review few performances that totally, completely defined the legend of ‘Sridevi’ and which will tell us in abundance, the reason for bestowing the tag of ‘First Woman Superstar’ over this leading lady.

Sridevi Ma’am, you were born for Cinema. You will be missed.

Varumayin Niram Sigappu

A KB film, she was cast along with a young and talented Kamal Haasan. Despite big names along side her, she holds her own in a sublime and hard hitting script. Early glimpses of an emerging star.

16 Vayadhinile

Another memorable classic from Bharathiraja, a very young Sridevi is pitted against Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth (a rank newcomer then). Set in the rural backdrop with simplicity being the biggest whistle blower, Sridevi has her own space as a shy, resplendent and brave girl who manages to survive in a male dominated society.

Moonram Pirai/Sadma

Sridevi’s powerhouse performance as a girl suffering from retrograde amnesia who fights off a battle that remains one of it’s kind in Indian Cinema. She matched Kamal Haasan in every frame, and remains one of her finest in this Balu Mahendra classic.

Chaalbaaz

1 wasn’t enthralling enough, we had 2. Sridevi’s knock out performance in this entertainer was a testimony to her comic skills. In the presence of heavyweights like Sunny Deol and Rajnikanth, she held her own in a roller coaster role that elevated her to a commercial status.

Mr. India

We remember this classic for ‘Mogambo’ but Sridevi was the other icon of this film despite Anil Kapoor being the lead. Her stupendous energy and those sensual moves in ‘Rate Nahin Katthe’ are some brilliant Sridevi moments in this classic. A superstar is here to stay.

Chandni

Who can forget Sridevi in the white silk chiffon, laden by snow mountains in the Alps?

‘King of Romance’ meets ‘Queen of Hearts’. Sridevi became the quintessential goddess of Yash Chopra and ‘Chandni’ established her as the numero uno in the industry.

Lamhe

A film much ahead of its time, this Yash Chopra classic was another feather in Sridevi’s hat. A dual role, Sridevi was top notch as mother and daughter. Again, in the presence of a formidable Anil Kapoor, Lamhe was a Sridevi film.

The Curious Case of Netaji

The last couple of weeks saw Google bestowing tributes on a Russian filmmaker and a Mexican Diva.

Today, I saw a Nigerian football icon grabbing this honor.

Google Doodle, thank you!

But I was surprised and disappointed to see that we conveniently forgot to acknowledge that today also happens to be the birthday of a National Hero and a true revolutionary of his times – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

But, you know what, I understand the reason behind such a gross omission.

Google Doodle, it isn’t your fault. It is, entirely ours.

Netaji remains one of those icons who is largely forgotten and ignored by a country which has been a land of folklore and gruesome battles. I think the very reason to believe that he could single handedly bring Independence to a ravaged sub-continent from the ruthless colonial rule was in itself, so scary and hard to believe that we ended up on a tentacle based opinion and denied him the very chance to become that elusive legend that he never graced upon during his lifetime.

With all due respect to the Mahatma and Congress, Netaji was one of the first to voice out and propagate the concept of ‘Complete Independence’. His ideologies and vision to achieve this through the unthinkable (Getting Russia’s attention, speaking to Hitler and the idea to use Japan for INA to make inroads in to the country) is unsurpassable. For all his daring exploits and an inspiration that he was to the young guns, he was shamelessly accused of fascism and betrayal.

Political propaganda, vested interest or personal disdain, Netaji never got his due. In fact, he continues to be a regional colossus with statements of uncertain resonance.

Netaji, Happy Birthday!

I am sorry, it’s not that we have forgotten you, it’s just that we are yet to learn the art of absorbing marauding greatness.

Netflix – My New IMAX

I love Cinema. Cinema is education and emancipation in the same terrain.

Big screen cinema is what I live for. But in the last 18 months, I see it differently.

You call it priorities or indulgence, big screen doesn’t woo me any more.

Streaming is the new moolah in the streets of movie goons these days.

It has it all – Movies, TV Series, Documentaries and some good content for kids.

I confess, am hooked on to Netflix. Totally, completely.

Local cable operators, private set top boxes and channel based content is all gone for a toss, big time.

Cinema halls don’t look inviting anymore, when I know that a ‘Narcos’ or a ‘Marseille’ is waiting to provide all the goosebumps I need tonight.

That compels me to mention how Netflix has kept me busy over the last few months.

My applause could be yours, so please post your comments if any of these enthralled you as much as it did to me. I am listing the toppers only, the complete list might consume you.

Narcos

It tops the category in ‘Netflix Originals’ and remains my personal favourite, head over heels.

Never has been a Drug Mafia’s life been so provocatively captured and produced on screen. Some outstanding performances from lead actors, enviable location shots and some heart pounding sequences makes ‘Narcos’ a blockbuster product.

All 3 series are available in Netflix, gearing up for the fourth in 2018.

1922

I am not a huge admirer of Stephen King, particularly for his approach towards insanity and the subsequent strangulated ways. That said, ‘The Shining’ is one of my most watched films and I don’t think I will ever get over it. ‘1922’ is a close shave to mortality, or may be even immortality. The very thought of killing someone is a sin and sends shivers down your spine, worst if that person happens to be your wife.

The story of a man saddled between his overtly ambitious wife and a nubile son, 1922 takes you on a ride you will never want to go.

The fanatical desire of a man to kill his disinterested wife and protect his son for a prosperous future takes an ugly turn and ends with the demise of the glorious clan – humanity.

I won’t say it is a must watch but if it’s your genre, then go for the kill.

The Sinner

It started off as another run-a-bloc story till it turned me upside down.

A riveting thriller which tells the story of a woman who withstood agony, pain and submission to unravel her own identity. Showing off combination of subtle and powerfully etched characters, this original series will keep you in the edge of your seat, for sometime to come.

Streaming in Netflix.

Diana

The charming princess of people and the most coveted jewel in the British crown, or rather the opposite of it.

The story of Princess Diana is a fairytale one. From her wedding to Prince Charles to that fateful night in Paris, she was an enigma and an angel to this world.

‘Diana’ propels this image and takes a tumultuous look in to her personal life. Quintessentially, this was a bold attempt to crash in to the curious life of one of the most watched individuals in history during those times.

Though controversial and panned by British media for obvious reasons, Naomi Watts delivered the performance of her life as the adored Princess. If there is one reason to watch this docu-drama, it is her.

Streaming in Netflix now.

Full Metal Jacket

I have a penchant for war drama and epics. Not for the blood, but for the passion and madness to protect something which is so universal and vicious in its existence.

‘Full Metal Jacket’ stands out for execution. Discipline can sometimes get to your nerves, it can take you places if you survive the initial hell.

With the Master at work, Kubrick’s trademark exploits remain stunning. And remember, this film was shot a long time ago.

The blood stains, the fireworks, dilapidated locations, edgy characters and the oath of a marine.

By all means, FMJ is a must watch. Remember, it’s a Stanley Kubrick film.

Streaming now in Netflix.

Suburra – Blood on Rome

Another mafia series rolling up your sleeve is interesting. This time, in Rome.

Shot extensively in the streets of Rome, ‘Suburra’ provides a stunning account of the politics and organized crime which treads a web of deceit, corruption and greed inside the Vatican.

Gobbled characters, the struggle for power and nepotism with an overdose of lust, propaganda and extermination is a perfect foil to fuel your inner sanctum.

Come, watch the blood flow in the streets of Rome.

Streaming in Netflix now.

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