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The Biggest Myth of India
That Gandhi gave India freedom is as common/major a misconception/myth among the common people as the myth that potatoes make them obese or that the human male was meant to be monogamous by nature.
First, did Ahimsa give India independence? No.
-(An Excerpt from an article by Sanjeev Nayyar, Hindustan Times)- It was none other than Lord Clement Atllee, the British Prime Minister responsible for conceding independence to India, who shattered the myth that Gandhi and his movement gave India freedom. Chief Justice P.B. Chakrabarty of the Calcutta High Court, who had also served as the acting Governor of West Bengal in India , disclosed the following in a letter addressed to the publisher of R.C. Majumdar's book 'A History of Bengal'. The Chief Justice wrote: "My direct question to him was that since Gandhiji's Quit India movement had tapered off quite some time ago and in 1947 no such new compelling situation had arisen that would necessitate a hasty British departure, why did they have to leave? In his reply Atlee cited several reason, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British Crown among the Indian army and navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji. Toward the end of our discussion I asked Atlee what was the extent of Gandhi's influence upon the British decision to quit India. Hering this question Atlee's lips became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, "m-i-n-i-m-a-l!" ('Subhash Chandra Bose, the Indian National Army, and the War of India's Liberation-Ranjan Borra', Journal of Historical Review, no. 3, 4, Winter 1982.) Atlee's thoughts were echoed by Fenner Brockway, political secretary of the Independent Labour Party of England, "There were three reasons why India became free. One, the Indian people were determined to gain independence. Two, was the revolt by the Indian Navy. Three, Britain did not want to estrange India, which was a market and source of foodstuffs for her." By the way, what did the concept of Ahimsa as expounded by Gandhi mean? "When a person claims to be non-violent, he is expected not to be angry with one who has injured him. He will not wish him harm. he will not cause him physical hurt.Complete non-violence is complete absence of ill-will against all that lives."(History and Culture of Indian People Vol. 11) Sir Aurobindo said on Ahimsa, "You can live it in spiritual life, but to apply it to all life is absurd." Gandhi did precisely that and more by stretching the ideology of Ahimsa to a ludicrous extent. Few know that even Britain braced itself to face a Nazi invasion in the mid-1940 Gandhi published an "open letter" to "every Briton" urging "cessation of hostilities". Excerpts: "No cause, however just, can warrant the indiscriminate slaughter that is going on minute by minute... I do not want Britain to be defeated, nor do I want her to be victorious, in a trial of brute strength... I want you to fight Nazism without arms."(H. M. Seervai, noted constitutional authority, in 'Introduction' pp.143-144 of his book 'Constitutional Law of India', Supplement to Third Edition, 1988) Speaking on the Defence Budget in the Lok Sabha in 1957 noted Gandhian, Acharya Kriplani said in the Lok Sabha, "The mounting expenses on the Indian Army must be cut down. The followers of Gandhi and adherents of universal peace should not increase military expenditure." What followed was the humiliation of the 1962 in the war against China's invasion of India.
Gandhi had admirable qualities but the problem was that he wanted to be everything to everyone. With Tilak's death in 1920 he assumed leadership of the Hindus. Through the Khilafat movement in 1921 he tried to enlist the Muslims. When Ambedkar championed the cause of the Depressed Classes he sought to become their leader too and coined the term 'Harijan' . For a brand to be successful the consumer must be clear about its attributes, what it stands for. So also for a leader.
...And finally yes, Potatoes do not make us obese and the human male was made for more than one woman ... by nature.
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
A very good adaptation of a Shakespeare comedy.
Shakespeare's plays are always a challenge to be adapted as a movie especially with the type English they exhibit. And Comedies are always pose tougher questions than Tragedies. But director Kenneth Brannagh pulled it of very skillfully both as a director as well as an actor. Heavyweight Oscar winner Denzel Washington had nothing much to do in this movie as Don Pedro. Clearly the movie belonged to Kenneth Brannagh as Benedick, Emma Thompson as Beatrice and the surprise package Michael Keaton as the constable. His performance was so expressive and impressive that it's hard to believe this is the same guy who played the role of Batman in 'Batman(1989)'. It's a very cool enjoyable flick and almost as good as any Shakespearian comedy play. Well worth the time engaged in it.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The Only Positive : The Special Effects
Full and Final:
Much Hype and Hoopla. Low output.
The Only Positive aspect of this movie : The Visual/Sound Effects.
CANNOT match the aura/tough ground-work of the previous Spiderman Prequels as well as 'Batman Begins(2005)'. The most pleasing aspect to watch in a Spiderman movie is not the extravagant fights but just to watch Spidey swing on his ropes among the urban landscape.
And even that was better in Spiderman:1 & 2. Anyways, its an unwritten rule that a Spiderman can never be better or equal to the Batman as a personality; however good the visual/sound effects may be. As much disappointed watching this movie as I was watching 'The Da Vinci Code'. In both cases the material was worthy of a movie adaptation but the execution was poor. I hope Sam Raimi doesn't mess with Spidey 4 and so does not Ron Howard with the truly great novel ' Angels and Demons '.
Swades: We, the People (2004)
One of the TWO Sharukh Khan movies all Indians must compulsorily watch ...
I'm a young but a very Critical Indian (Maharashtrian)guy. I'm a self-confessed movie-buff. And after watching almost 460 non-Indian International movies (Yes, I have watched those much Non-Indian movies.Right from Sir Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' to Benigni's 'Life Is Beautiful' to Spielberg's 'Munich'.I keep a record of every movie I watch) and some important Hindi movies, I give my opinion : 'Swades' is not only Gowarikar's Best but also the Most Optimistic and Practical Indian movie ever made. This movie is undoubtedly spreading Light in the hearts of many Indians and also many non-Indians too.
This movie is present in 'My Top Ten Bollywood Movies of All Time' along with Kamal Haasan's 'Hey Ram(2000)- India's Official Entry to the Oscars for the Year 2000-2001', Farhan Akhtar's 'Dil Chahta Hai(2001)', Bhansali's 'Black(2004), Kukunoor's 'Dor(2006)', Nair's 'Monsoon Wedding(2001)'- (even though it officially Canadian) and still other four movies. I liked Shaharukh's Performance in this movie as much I liked it in 'Hey Ram'.Even though he may not be a Denzel Washington or a Tom Hanks or Robert De Niro still he did do a great Job.
...and justice for all. (1979)
Pacino is Great
This is the 23rd movie of Pacino that I have watched today and it's amazing he still continues to surprise me with his power performances. He is definitely one of the Best if not THE Best. He is right up there along with the contemporary Heavyweights like Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, and Robert De Niro.
The movie too is an intelligent movie if not a very great one. This movie shows a Lawyer, an advocate in a very positive light and do not project them as the 'Sharks' among the Humans as they usually are.
And this movie comes from a director who has gave us at least 2 memorable movies : 'The Hurricane'(1999) and 'The Fiddler on the Roof'(1971).
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Of Angels(Dan Brown,Goldsman,Howard,Hanks) & Demons (You Know Who) ...
1. If personalities like Ron Howard, Akiwa Goldsman and Tom Hanks, all of them talented, together make a movie based on a script from which the whole world has a lot of expectations, and then suddenly from somewhere these 'so-called' critics in some festival, pan the movie, then there's a lot of room to say that the critics are up to some 'conspiracy' themselves.
2. The story may be fictional but it has merely been used as link-up to connect various historic, proved facts of the past.
3. There is nothing been said/done blasphemous against the Great merciful Jesus Christ either in the book or the movie.Both of them contain just some interesting facts which can be pondered over.
4.Some powerful Religious institutions already have their hands full to fight against. They have no time to face Dan Brown. These institutions made a similar ridiculous attack on the master Martin Scorsese's "Last Temptation Of the Christ" few years back.
5.Gods from EVERY religion all over the world are subjected to Exaggeration every now and then all this years and so happened with the Great Jesus. But then it applies and holds true for any Religion in the world.
6. Whether Leonardo Da Vinci (was/was not) a Grandmaster of a Society that (does/does not) exist, he was still a pioneer of Science. He was one of the greatest anatomists, architects, painters, mechanical engineers, geologists, hydrologists of the world. His views in those days may not have been accurately correct but in those days he was looking at the future we see as modern times today.Its logical/ reasonable to put Science that feeds us today ahead of any religion in the world. So its possible that Da Vinci must have been trying to convey something significant and 'hidden'fact to the common people around. 7. The novel "The Da Vinci Code" is a great, in fact an exceptionally great thriller right at par with novels like "The Fourth Estate" by Jeffrey Archer, "The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho,"Nothing Lasts Forever" by Sidney Shieldon and "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown himself.I hope these novels fall in the hands of some talented directors, scriptwriters, actors and producers.(Universal Studios has bought the movie rights to "Angels and Demons."). I hope one of the directors from Howard, Steven Spielberg, Manoj Shyamalan, Jonathan Demme, David Fincher or Ridley Scott works on "Angels & Demons" because all of them are masters and adept at handling darker shades of life in movies. 8. Finally something about the film. A movie is only a two-hour movie and cannot cover what a novel covers mainly due to time limitations. Still Howard, Goldsman did a decent job. Tom Hanks, Audrey,Reno did the best of what was provided to them. The two guys who deserve a standing ovation are Sir Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teibing and Paul Tibbany as the masochistic albino killer. If only Goldsman had introduced more details from the novel into the movie related to the events he has put in the script, vital for the story to move forward, it would have been much better. Like Something more about Mona Lisa, Madonna Of The Rocks, etc.
My Ratings For- i)The Novel: 5/5 ii)The Movie: 3.5/5
Now Waiting for "Angels and Demons" ...
Batman Begins (2005)
'The' best superhero movie of all time.
The 'Dark Knight', the big black bat has returned and returned with a blast. Believe me, when I say,... nothing gets better than this.This movie truly justifies the great spirit of The Batman, whether it his his human nature, his will power, his physical & mental strengths or whether it is his unbelievable abilities to deliver.This movie explains the strengths & weaknesses of Batman like no other previous movie was able to. In fact the previous movie versions were only the comic book versions of the Dark Knight where Batman played only a second fiddle to the campy villains. But 'Batman Begins' takes the legend of Batman to an altogether higher realistic mature level.Of course, the fact that the Batman himself is a lot more realistic and yet extraordinary than all the other so-called 'Magical Superheroes' also helps to the success of the movie. This movie is worth the long wait we had to bear from 1997 to 2005. Christopher Nolan (Insomnia(2002),Memento(2000)) has done the greatest justice to the concept of this legend. Christian Bale's overall appearance and performance in the movie makes him look like he was born for this role. The one aspect astounding enough about 'Begins' is its unbelievable heavyweight star cast. All the Who's Who right from Morgan Freeman ,Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Tom Wilkinson are present right here in the movie delivering great believable performances in a superhero movie. The great Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, one the most lovable actors of all times has been truthful to his role and so was the veteran Michael Caine. Cillian Murphy as the 'Scarecrow/Dr. Jonathan Crane' was real scary stuff and that is what a Batman movie should contain because Batman is a hero for a real grown man and not only for a child. Even though this is a Batman movie, thankfully this is not a child's or a childish movie like the previous versions which were only degrading Batman. The visual and sound effects, the cinematography are at there stunning best. May be there is a little lack of action considering this is a Batman movie but still the error can be rectified in the next installment. And last but not the least ... Chris Carbould and Andy Smith, the British automobile engineers have really created the strongest believable Machine of all time - The Batmobile. A Hell lot of efforts must have been put to create that Beast. This Batman is dark, ruthless and serious and that is what a Batman should be. I am hoping Nolan makes at least five more well-planned Batman movies in the future because he is a great/well- respected director which has been proved previously by 'Memento' and 'Insomnia' and now by 'Batman Begins'. Now one thing's for sure ... there's no stopping this Big Black Bat. The Batman has only just begun ...
Hey Ram (2000)
Best and the most Mature of all India's Official Entries to the Academy Awards (even today).
I had already said what I had to about this particular movie long ago in the previous version of my review of mine.
Here I am going to clarify on a few aspects about this movie which some of the so called critics have put forward :
1. Critic No.1 argues: What has Kamal Haasan shown so different in this movie ? This critic says, Kamal has shown Muslims at first, offending Hindus of all castes and types including the Sikhs,the South Indians,the Maharastrians and others AND this particular Hindu gets into the 5th gear, does an act of revenge and then blames this poor guy Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. According to the critic,Kamal instead could have shown the other way round.
My reply, as a representative of those millions of fans of 'Hey Ram(2000)':
I would recommend this Critic No.1 to watch movies like "The Legend Of Bhagat Singh(2002)", "Veer Savarkar(2001)", "1947: Earth(1997)". In the "The Legend..." the great Bhagat Singh has a foresight that this Congress is gonna do nothing. The only aim of Congress is to acquire power and then the sentiments of Indian public go to Hell. Now this Congress which believes in so called Equality of Religions in India always looked upon Muslims as nothing but a Vote Bank. M. K. Gandhi was no doubt genuinely interested in the welfare of people but politically protected the Muslims and deliberately overlooked the behaviour of his so called Muslim Brethren. Due to this political immunity the probability that in the freedom riots, the ratio of Muslims offenders to other non-Muslim offenders was 8 : 2 will be the most possible probability and nothing less than that. In "Veer Savarkar(2001)" the great revolutionary Savarkar explains how this Khilafat movement is nothing but a joke, a farce.
In fact, the Britishers knew that revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Veer Savarkar were the REAL danger compared to the moderate M.K. Gandhi. That was the reason why British tortured them like they were in hell ,like they were some pigs in a slaughterhouse. Meanwhile the sweet spotlight was on Mr. M. K. Gandhi and his fasts.
Deepa Mehta's masterpiece "1947:Earth" reveals the attitude of the minority. But the other Star of the movie was of course the ever-talented Aamir Khan revealing his pure acting brilliance.
Mr. Critic No.1 should pick any newspaper from any stall from any locality from any Country and he should find major news on the lines of rivalry between America-Iraq, India-Pakistan or Israel-Palastine, the Babri Masjid issue and other such news. You will notice that one of the rival pairs is always a Islamic MILITANT group.
This problems have been existing since Mr. Mohammad Gajni, then Aurangzeb and Osama Bin Laden and Dawood Ibrahim today.
2. Now this particular Critic No. 2 argues : This movie contains unnecessary sex.
My reply,as a representative of those millions of fans of 'Hey Ram(2000)':
Sex depicted in this movie is at least a lot better and REALISTIC than the UNrealistic rain-dancing of those idiot actors(???) and saree-clad actresses(???) in those nonsense '3 out of 5' star rated movies. Also let's not forget the running around trees in fully forced rain. Did somebody say Influenza ?
This movie is only made for adults no doubt, but it is meant for ONLY MATURE THOUGHTFUL REASONABLE ADULTS.
Sex is a nature's creation necessary for propagation of life and a KISS in particular is a universal symbol for expressing Love among living creatures including all animals but definitely NOT flowers as some Indian directors show in their nonsense '3 out of 5' star rated movies something UNNATURAL like flowers kissing each other instead of the hero and the heroine. All these efforts are to please our 70 years old censorship 'virtuous' members. The fact is : We don't need 'virtuous' censorship members but mature,scientific, understanding, reasonable thinkers. BUT one thing I admit : This movie is NOT meant for family viewing where teenagers or children of lesser age are present. Even some adults can be considered as children if they don't possess a proper scientific view while watching movies like this. If sex and violent scenes are removed from this movie it will become a truly visual effects family movie with a message at the end,middle and the beginning.
In fact, I found a lot positive aspects in 'Hey Ram(2000)' :
1. The technique used to show blood oozing out of Rani's throat was brutal but was a technical achievement in an Indian movie. The ONLY other time I observed the feat being used was in the legendary Steven Spielberg's Classic Masterpiece 'Saving Private Ryan(1998)' starring the great Tom Hanks.
2. Visual Effects during the marital bliss(Saket Ram/Maithili) and during the TWISTER scene were visual pleasure to watch.
3. At the climax, Kamal shows a child representing all the riot affected children and their problems. It's a pity rioting demons don't spare even innocent children.
4.The so called Astrological expert is blown to smithereens by Saket Ram. If every Indian follows his ideal, those 'Ponga Pandits' will never cheat us of our money.
5.Even milk goes for a kick and a toss when Saket Ram explains how it was meant only for children and not adults. Then follows a truly hilarious joke by Maithili.
6. One more myth like millions of others which was prevalent in India was buried that M.k. Gandhi uttered the words 'Hey Ram' moments before death. If a bullet traveling at a speed of 800 miles/hour is shot at you at a POINT BLANK range, your eyes will simply pop out. And here, M.K. Gandhi was a 79 year old man and he was shot by not one but TWO in the chest. If your lungs are that open forget about uttering any words at all.
7. The only fault Kamal did was a technical one. He shouldn't have shown Gandhi flying backwards when hit by the bullets. FORENSIC STUDIES have positively proved that if a live body is hit by a bullet, the body will simply slump down to the ground.
Some Other Things : Vasundhara Das, Atul Kulkarni and Shahrukh have performed in an OUTSTANDING way in a life-time role. Shahrukh doesn't over act and this proves Kamal's Effective Direction.
And now for those who say that this movie is disturbing or controversial :
All great masterpieces right from 'The Godfather(1972)' to 'Schindler's List(1993)' and to the recent 'The Sixth Sense(1999)' and 'Artificial Intelligence(2001)' all had been controversial but TRUTHFUL EYE OPENERS.
In fact, according to me, an individual should watch only TWO types of movies :
1.TRUTHFUL EYE OPENERS : These types expose real facts but violence and sex are not necessities to be depicted. Examples:Kamal Haasan's Hey Ram(2000), Denzel Washington's Cry Freedom(1987), Al Pacino's Godfather(1972/74)series or The Insider(1999), Robert De Niro's The King of Comedy(1983),Morgan Freeman's SE7EN(1995),The Usual Suspects(1995) etc.
2. PURELY FICTIONAL DREAMLAND FEEL-GOOD MOVIES : These type of movies relieve us of our daily stresses and tensions when watched for fun keeping our brains aside for a while. Example : Steven Spielberg's E.T. : The Extra Terrestrial(1982) or Hook(1991),Beauty and the Beast(1991),The Lion King(1994),Casper(1995), The Batman Movies etc.
As for the remaining run-of-the-mill type of movies which do NOT belong to any of the above TWO types,I call them DUMB movies made for the similar types of individuals.
Eg. The extremely torturous The Mummy(1999),MouseHunt,I Know What You Did Last Summer... etc
These movies are, as Saket Ram says, as SEMI-FICTIONAL as M.K.Gandhi's autobiography.
... and I don't prefer semi fiction.
Arnie has done his Best with Action & Comedy, but...
This movie was definitely the most anticipated movie of the Decade. I like millions of others, definitely watched this movie, whether a Schwarzenegger Fan or not.
FROM A SCHWARZENEGGER FAN'S POINT OF VIEW I GIVE THIS MOVIE A "FOUR out of FIVE" BUT AS A CRITIC'S ROLE, I GIVE THIS MOVIE A "THREE out of FIVE".
And I say:
NOBODY,infact NOBODY who is in his/her right sense of mind and who thinks Sensibly, will ever Deny that ARNIE HAS DEFINITELY PERFORMED HIS BEST ON HIS BEHALF and the 56 year old Golden Globe winner was by any means, NOT responsible for the movie being an average "3 out of 5" movie and not a classic masterpiece as we had expected.
If anybody is responsible for it then it definitely has to be the Plot of the movie or rather the Absence of It.AND THE OTHER CULPRIT IS POOR DIRECTION provided by Mr.Jonathan Mostow.
This movie is a classic example which exposes the GAP OF TALENT between Master Directors like James Cameron,Steven Spielberg, Manoj Shayamalan,Edward Zwick and other Mere Ordinary Mortals like Mr.Mostow here.
Mr.Mostow once in his interview SAID : "I am a fan of Arnie and also the Two Classic Prequels made in 1984 and 1991 respectively and I would only create in the 3rd installment what other fans would LIKE to expect or see."
Well, Mr.Mostow, as Arnie's one famous one-liner goes : "YOU LIED."
Mr.Mostow merely LIFTED EXACTLY everything from "T-2(1991)" and put it in T-3.Unfortunately It DID work.
I definitely did NOT expect this movie to be a great Denzel Washington Classic or a Tom Hanks Masterpiece or a Shyamalan's "The Sixth Sense(1999)" or a Spielberg's "Schindler's List(1993)" BUT I definitely expected it to carry forward from where it's Classic Prequel had left(the plot).But It was not to be.
This movie may have been a major hit but I think everybody should care for Quality over Quantity.Mr.Mostow has missed the chance the TITANIC director had given him. Had this movie been any better,the director would definitely have been showered with accolades,flowers.But not here.
This movie merely survives on Arnie's Charisma/Performance and State-of-the-art Visual/Sound Effects and NOTHING more.
For me, THE MOST SENSIBLE AND REALISTIC SCIENCE FICTIONAL MOVIE EVER MADE WAS AND IS "ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE(2001)" BY STEVEN SPIELBERG. NO OTHER SCI-FI MOVIE DESERVES A BETTER RATING THAN "A.I.".AND THAT'S FOR SURE.
Mr.Mostow,the great Schwarzenegger and the great James Cameron will SURELY give a Blockbluster Hit in the near future.They are FOREVER but... What About You ?
(All those Fans(?) or Critics(?) who are responsible for this funny movie being rated as high as EIGHT, DO NOT deserve to vote merely because they use only Emotional Intelligence. Everybody HAS to utilise Reasoning Power too.)
(I request the Respected IMDB Officials for the first time in the period of my long attachment with IMDB, to put my review on the T-3's Main Page if possible...Obviously after deleting this Request Part of the Review ofcourse.)
Christian Vieri and Oscars...
LIFE'S NOT FAIR!!!
Amistad(1997) and Denzel Washington not being nominated at the Oscars for the Best Picture (1997) and Best Actor (1995) respectively, is just like watching Italy being thrown out by Cheating AGAINST it at the Soccer World Cup 2002 just because WC president Joseph Blatter is a corrupt man who want to see more ticket sales in the host country South Korea.And Italy was just facing South Korea in the pre-quarter finals.Not even Spain was spared in the quarter finals in order to show off the "talents(?)" of South Korea. Thank God,At the end, Sanity prevailed SOMEWHERE and we got to watch a Germany Vs Brazil final and not a S.Korea Vs Brazil one.
Unfortunately,just like Italy,Amistad and Denzel Washington too couldn't make it to the Final Five.
Something to ponder over by everybody.