Books and Movies

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  • Maximum City by Suketu Mehta: Why did it take me so long to pick it up? There are books which are fillers and then there are books like these which make the hobby worthwhile… which add to your life… which you remember forever… which mark your life. Like, I remember when I read “The bridge across forever” by Richard Bach. I remember the book… stage of life… the exact mind frame I was in. I remember reading Shantaram… remember gifting it to KC (who never finished it but thats another story. While we were dating, he would pretend to read it) … remember exactly how I felt. Coming to the book, it is about Mumbai… everything that has defined the city- underworld, bomb blast, bar girls, Bollywood etc. What makes this book different is the in-depth research. Suketu has met the underworld guys… he has even interviewed Chhota Shakeel; to the point that when a person was shot dead… Suketu knew who killed him, where he was hiding, who his accomplices were, what was his real name. He could not give this information to the police and so decided to stop the research. He has also interviewed the cops. So, you get both sides of the story. Brilliant book. I wish I could do something like that. Would make my life worthwhile. One book like this… awards… and money from royalties all my life. And of course, the job satisfaction- most important of all. Please read it. I will loan you my book if you don’t want to spend money.
  • I’ll do it my way – The Incredible Journey of Aamir Khan by Christina Daniels: When I bought the book I posted a pic on fb with the update that it is next on my reading list. A friend commented that the author did not even speak to Aamir while writing the book. He did not entertain her. That was a pro and a con. Pro- the author would have been able to touch upon rumors about him and give an unbiased, factual opinion. Also, Aamir would not be able to edit things out. Con- what the author writes may not be correct at all and we will never know how Aamir feels or thinks or who he is. Sadly, the book is a praise about Aamir… it is based on interviews with people around him… those who have worked with him… directors, producers, his uncle etc. There is nothing negative about him at all… which is so strange. He had a divorce… he remarried… he was accused of neglecting his brother… he is rumored to be high handed and a control freak. It is like the author was so scared that the book will not get published that she decided to play safe. Pathetic.
Current read: Girl with the dragon tattoo
  • Ishaqzaade: We watched this movie last weekend. I read mixed reviews online and on fb that first haf is good and momentum is lost in the second half. Did not like the movie. The story of first half is different from 2nd half. I mean, it could have been 2 movies and it seems the director decided to club both and make one. In the first half, heroine falls in love with the hero even though they have been sworn enemies since childhood. It was not clear why she falls for him. Why? How? Then, he sleeps with her and dumps her. Ideally, it should have been better in the 2nd part with her taking revenge or something. Instead, they fall in love. Will you fall in love with a guy who lied to you, married you, slept with you, dumped you and then spread the pics all over? I would murder the guy. But, I am not making Bollywood movies… I just watch them. What do I know? So, they fall in love and the story becomes about honour killing which could ideally have been the end to an entirely different movie. What I liked- Arjun Kapoor- great acting, dancing and physique. Parineeta- Not good looking at all but can act. Music- rocks. Amazing. Love Amit’s music- Dev D, Aisha, Udaan etc. He is truly a genius.
  • Dark Shadows: I was excited about this- Tim Burton and Johnny Depp make a good pair. The story is about a guy who sleeps with the maid who turns out a witch. She wants him but he is not interested. He marries the love of his life and the witch kills her. She turns him into a vampire and buries him. When he is revived, it is the modern world. It is funny to see a vampire in the 21st century. He goes back to the family and tries to revive their flagging fortune and defeat the witch. Thats when the mind fuck starts. Pathetic. How can anyone give it a good review? Do Indian reviewers get intimidated by Hollywood biggies and just give random stars? Avoid. We felt like the weekend had been wasted.
  • Paranormal Activity 3: I watched this one finally. I made KC sit with me even though he wanted to watch the match instead. Hated the movie. I was so disappointed. Sure, as a horror flick it works fine… but not as a ‘Paranormal Activity’ movie. PA was more scary for the simple reason that it had no prequel or sequel. It was about a normal couple in whose house demonic activity starts happening. While watching it, you are scared because it could happen to you… to anybody. When there is a prequel, it means there is something else going on. Now, it is just another horror movie but is not linked to me. I am removed from it so the fear is lesser. The fear is only through the special effects. It does not scare me like PA after watching which I could not sleep for 2-3 nights.
  • Black Friday: I finally watched the movie. I don’t remember the bomb blasts. I was probably in school removed from normal life without access to TV or news. The movie was an eye opener and based on facts. I read about it in Maximum City and the facts were the same. In MC, the gangsters and the cop investigating it has been interviewed. Anyway, great movie. Worth a watch.

3 thoughts on “Books and Movies

  1. ishaqzaade- the song kinds grows on you.. sounds like a bad movie though.

    I cudn’t bring myself to read maximum city after few pages- whats the outcome of all the research that author did?? somehow i felt if there was such an open account with clearly stated names and all there shud have been an outcome…somehow it doesn’t fit? why wud he write a book on it and y it needs to be published if it gives such big footage to the underworld or the wrong doers…a lot of wrong deeds are done nowadays for 15 minutes of fame which the author provided!! this book according to me should never have been written!

  2. @ Anita: She is a good actress

    @ RT: You are getting the book wrong. It is not about underworld or making them famous. The book is about Mumbai. If someone writes a book about Mumbai today, it may not have anything on underworld or Shiv Sena or dance bars. It will definitely talk about Kasab… the terrorist attack etc.
    Same is with this book. It also talks about the cops, their investigation methods, how connected they are to underworld… it is also about Shiv Sena and their propaganda.
    One way of writing is researching… another is to actually meet the people. Are you not curious what makes people kill??? Commit crimes? What drives them? Thats what the author has done and I appreciate it. He has put his life in danger for this.
    One interesting thing was he had asked some Muslims about their views on the bomb blasts. Many of them felt that it brought their dignity back after the riots. They thought it was a fitting answer to Hindus. Shocking!!!

    Give the book another try. You will change your mind.

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