I have deliberately stayed away from reading about Dangal because I wanted to watch it with an open mind. But some controversies have trickled in through Twitter, some discussions on feminism and how preachy Aamir’s character is in the movie.
I watched it with low expectations because Aamir does get preachy. Lagaan and Taare Zameen Par are my favourite flicks, other movies I can barely stand.
Thankfully, Dangal has surpassed all expectations and I loved every minute of it. So am not sure what the hell the Internet ranting about.
- Somebody complained that Aamir’s character pressurised his kids into following his dreams. Well, that is how athletes are made. Nobody is born with a dream or commitment and discipline. Someone else has the vision for you. He wouldn’t have been able to push his daughters beyond a certain point if they didn’t want it for themselves. They do come to that point.
Feminism. Behind every successful woman is a person who pushed her there. It could be a tyrant father who chops their hair or a family who threatens to get their daughter married off if she doesn’t score well in her exams. Women of my generation didn’t get where we are on our own. We had a lot of help. We were pushed into standing up for ourselves. We were pushed into going beyond the normal. Maybe 10 years down the line, women will be able to make choices independently from what everyone wants them to do.
Tyrant coach. All coaches are tyrants. The first trainer who asked me to do 100 squats is a tyrant. So is the one who wouldn’t let me stop in TRX class and ensured I completed each set. That is how athletes and champions are made. By a tyrant driving them.
I loved the fact that the movie talked about how training has to be customised. Everyone is different and the training has to take into consideration each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
Loved that Geeta won the finals on her own, without her father guiding her. The victory was hers. It would have been easy to show Aamir in the last scene coming to help her like a regular Bollywood movie. But Aamir graciously let Geeta shine.
People have criticised Sakshi Tanwar’s character. Her staying home instead of travelling to see her daughter’s match has been criticised. The explanation is simple- finances. Who was going to fund the trip? Aamir was needed there else he wouldn’t have gone either. And I assume she was working and supporting Aamir while he was in Patiala/Delhi.
Dangal is perfect. There is no false note and nothing Bollywood-ish about it. One of the best movies this year.
I guess it is time to make an year end list on Bollywood.
I just read this book. There has been a lot of hype around it what with a movie based on it starring Daniel Craig. The book is good. It is a usual thriller with unusual characters. It is a regular suspense cum thriller book. I have not read one in ages and it was a welcome change.
I then downloaded the movie and watched it on the same day. KC was going to come home late and I decided to watch it without any distractions around.
The movie is a page by page copy of the book except for some incidents which have been changed. They are insignificant changes. I did not like the movie. It is a copy of the book without adding anything new. Also, many things have been lost in translation. I don’t think the female herione’s character comes out too well. But that will always be a limitation of movies vs books.
I have picked up 2nd part of the book and am crawling through it like a tortoise. Need to find sometime to read. Need to travel on the metro.
I have been meaning to write about stuff we have been upto over the weekends…
Here it goes…
- We watched stand up comedy “Nothing Like Anything” by Kunal Roy Kapur and Anuvab Pal. Its is the first stand up comedy I have seen live. I hate the shows on TV. They are so pathetic with Archana Puran Singh and Sidhu laughing over nothing. Kunal is the actor in Delhi Belly… but I know him better as Jay’s friend in ‘Just Mohabbat’. It was ok… not bad… not earth shattering… a welcome change from dreadful movies. I like that Gurgaon has a cultural hub called ‘Epicentre’ where plays, cultural programmes are screened as often as in Delhi. I also wondered if I was over dressed for a play but the glitterati put my mind at ease. Epicentre is where the high class come for a dose of culture. After all, the tickets are priced higher than multiplexes. There were ladies with LV bags and stuff.
- We had dinner at Drift- the restaurant at Epicentre. I have read rave reviews about it. We had Indian non veg. It was very, very good. Service is very slow but otherwise its good. Oh, and it is priced high. I would visit again on a special occasion only.
- The Hunger Games: I had overlooked this movie but a friend’s review on fb got me interested. We watched it last weekend and I liked it. It is a kids movie… it had the potential to become a thriller for adults but kids are the target segment… so, it is slow and violence has been toned down. I read that it is based on a book and I purchased it today. Very excited about reading it. Please do watch the movie…
- Godaan by Munshi Premchand: I have grown up reading Hindi stories in the textbooks in school by Munshi Premchand. He is a very famous writer. I picked up the book from the library and have taken my time finishing it. It is the story of the farmers and zamindars before independence. I don’t think the situation has changed much- for the farmers, at least. It is a very touching book… Initially, I thought it would be quite depressing but its not. Despite the storyline, it is not depressing. Worth a read.
- TGIF: I really like TGIF…. not a place I would visit every weekend, but maybe once in 2-3 months. The other day- KC, a friend and I met up for lunch there. They have a seperate menu for lunch where you can order any 6 dishes (3 have to be main course) for 300 bucks per head. The quantity is lesser than the normal menu but its a good deal. Do try it. Btw, it is only for lunch- Monday to Friday.
Hey, there is a lot I have wanted to talk about… movies, restaurant, food, books, dance…. this post will cover everything I have been upto.
- Movie: We watched ‘I am Kalam’ last weekend. Loved the movie… don’t know why we didn’t watch it in the theatre. Worth a watch.
- Restaurants: I went to Mamgotto in Select City Walk Mall last week with colleagues. It serves Asian food and has some very innovative dishes. We ordered Thai Basil Chicken rice, Veg pan fried noodles and Cantonese chicken noodles. The food was so amazing that I have been looking for another opportunity to visit the same. Maybe this week. The next day, after working in the market at Green Park we headed to Hauz Khas village for lunch. Hauz Khas is a different place. You have to park your car outside the gate and walk down lanes… so many lanes, you can easily get lost. It is full of artists, designers etc. We didn’t explore and headed towards Gunpowder. It is a South Indian restaurant on the 4th floor (stairs, no lift) of a building. It overlooks some ruins and a lake. Beautiful view. Sitting there on a summer evening will be amazing. On a weekday, the tables near the balcony were reserved. We had to sit inside. The food is yummy… we ordered a pork dish, rice, spinach daal, dry chicken and parotha. The pork was too good. I am going to take KC there this month.
- Food: KC has been travelling every week to different parts of the country. It gives me a lot of free time… once I am home at 7 or 8 pm, I have little or nothing to do till bedtime (11 pm). I have spent the time baking… Chocolate chip cookies- the recipe was taken from here (Kalyan’s blog). The only problem was that I do not have the mould and when placed on a tray, the batter melted in the oven. What I got was a flat base of cookies. I had to cut them into uneven pieces. It did not look too good, so no pics. But they did taste good. For once, KC and I polished them off in a week. I tried baking mini fruit and nut loaves. Recipe taken from here (Anita’s blog). I went on an elaborate shopping trip for the fruit and nuts- cranberries, raisins, blueberries etc etc. The first time, the loaf was uncooked at the bottom. Same thing happened the 2nd time. The 3rd time, I baked it in large size muffin moulds instead of big cake pan (like I was doing earlier). The loaf turned out to be decent… but not as good as Anita’s pics were. I guess, I should have used smaller muffin moulds.
- Books: I finished reading another part of True Blood series and have picked up Delirious Delhi. It is a book written by an expat on his experience during the 18 month stay in Delhi. Very funny. It is an eye opener… the efforts expats make to understand the culture and fit in.
- Dance: Today was my first day in the class in the basic elementary. Till now my biggest problem was getting a full split. Not anymore… now, I have to worry about other exercises which are extremely difficult. The class was from 4.45-6.45 pm. Till 6 pm, we were doing exercises. I need to go to the gym from tomorrow to become more flexible. Practicing only on Sundays will not help too much. I had become completely comfortable with my current instructors… batch mates… dance routines. I could let go. I listen to the songs played in class all the time. I used to practice with my batch mates before class everytime. Now, everything is new. The new instructor has his own style… his kind of music is different… his steps are more hip hop. It will take me atleast 3 months to get comfortable. But thats ok. It is a new challenge.