Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Dog Story: God between walls

Friday, 25 June 2010

Monday, 21 June 2010

Movie Review: Raavan: Great treatment, fractured story

Raavan has some of the best opening minutes you will ever watch on a cinema screen. Much of its power lies in the visuals,courtesy the cinematographers Santosh Sivan and Manikandan. Its glitches are mainly the story and the lack of ample background to the characters.
The stunning locations form an apt background to the three main characters Beera - the wanted goon, Dev - the Policeman determined to catch him and Ragini - Dev's wife who is kidnapped by Beera. Then there is the Mani Ratnam touch that powers every scene, the actions and literature of each character, inspired as they are from the epic Ramayan, and yet they couldn't be more different...

The lead performances are a letdown though - Abhishek is shaky in the crazed act, Aishwarya looks jaded.  Vikram is effective in his Hindi film debut, Govinda so charming as the guide.Raavan is worth watching for the untraveled road it ventures to in story telling. If only the story was as resolute and rich.

A R Rahman's soundtrack that includes Beera and Behene De, the latter imbibing the visuals so uncannily. Rahman's experimentalist background music is effective too.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


The twitter format allows me to provide a round up of matches to my liking so for more FIFA WORLD CUP 2010 updates, go to

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

FIFA WORLD CUP 2010: Round One Match Round Up


15th June
Group E
New Zealand vs. Slovakia - 5:00pm (India Time)

Group F
Côte d’Ivoire vs. Portugal - 7:30pm (India Time)

16th June
Brazil vs. North Korea - 12:00am (India Time)

Let's look at the results and standings of all the weekend matches. Goal keeping errors are proving costly as England and Algeria found out.
GROUP C, June 12
England vs USA: 1:1
Algeria vs Slovenia: 0:1

Slovenia find themselves at the top of the table after the first bout of matches. England losing their lead to a goal keeper's error and not finding it again. Slovenia also benefited from lopsided goalkeeping to register their first ever win in a FIFA World Cup. 

GROUP D, June 13
Ghana vs Serbia: 1:0
Germany vs Australia: 4:0

Ghana won a penalty in a listless match to get through, while Germany sparkled with brilliant short passes to find the net four times, Australia had no answer to such brilliance.   

GROUP E, June 14
Netherlands vs Denmark: 2-0  
Japan vs Cameroon: 1-0

The 'group of death' saw emphatic victories been scored, now it is up to Denmark and Cameroon to make it tighter for the top teams. 

GROUP E, June 14
Italy vs Paraguay: 1:1 

In the most enthralling encounter of the World Cup so far, Paraguay might well have stunned the defending champions if not for (yet another!)  a goalie error that allowed Italy to level in the second half. Both teams kept at each other till the final whistle, the passing - quick, the pace, electric.    

Saturday, 12 June 2010

FIFA WORLD CUP 2010:Victory eludes Group A on Day One, Group B latest

GROUP B, June 12

Korea vs Greece - 2-0

at the time of posting
Argentina lead Nigeria - 1-0


GROUP A, June 11

South Africa vs Mexico : 1-1
France vs Uruguay :  0-0

Stuck up in a pouring monsoon shower and returning drenched to a home without electricity I missed the verve of the first match. A blog correspondent, so totally dependent on the television for coverage, has his limitations. Then, France played a lacklustre game against an average Uruguay. It took the entry of Thierry Henry as a substituiton in the 77th minute for France to spur them into action but it was too late by then. As the table stands for now - South Africa lead due to the goals scores, France and Uruguay trail. The next two matches become equally vital for each team now.   

Friday, 11 June 2010

Movie Review: Shutter Island: Nervy, surprising and potential classic

Set in the 1950's, we first see Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio - effectively edgy, nervous), a U.S. federal marshal, sea sick on a boat that is taking him with his new investigative partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo - complementing well) to an island that houses the criminally insane. A female inmate has disappeared from her locked room, "As if she evaporated through the walls," as the institution head Dr. Cawley (a superb Ben Kingsley) puts it.

Teddy has his own share of trauma, memories of his dead wife and nightmares of concentration camps. Things seem to get worse as a storm sets in and the investigators are unable to leave the island. As Teddy suspects, things are not as they look and there is something horrible that is going on in Shutter Island. Then there are hallucinations and nightmares, as the line between reality and illusion is dissolved, Teddy seems to be falling in to a deep dark well...

Director Martin Scorsese's first attempt in the psychological thriller genre holds our attention all through, even as he turns the tables on us in a shattering climax. There are, in retrospect, some convenient plot elements put in, but they pale in comparison to a movie that is surely worth revisiting.

The punch
The eerie, yet delicately positioned background music; the last mesmerising line of dialogue.



As every fan would know, two teams from each of the eight groups would go ahead to Round 2 (16 out of 32). One look at Group A tells us it could go anyway.

South Africa vs Mexico 19: 25 hours
France vs Uruguay 23:30 hours

Pre-match brief
Mexico are fancied against the underrated hosts in the inaugural match , but playing at home may just spur the home side on. The 2006 runners-up France may seem like an ageing side, but then so was it in the last edition, and can't be taken lightly - Zidane magic or not. Uruguay, on the other hand, may not boast of classy players on paper, but they are no pushovers either. Expect a tough contest.   

Other GROUP A Fixtures

South Africa vs Uruguay 23:55 hours   

France vs Mexico  23:55 hours

Mexico vs Uruguay 19:25 hours  
France vs South Africa 19:25 hours  

Thursday, 10 June 2010


Soccer fever is on the high and I couldn't escape its joy net too. So, have been catching up with various magazine specials like our very own Sportstar and the Indian edition of Sports Illustrated. In this post let me give you a brief about the first ever FIFA* World cup held in 1930.

WORLD CUP, 1930 
Only 13 teams participated in the 1930 World Cup held at Uruguay; most teams from Europe skipping the event because of the long, exhausting and extravagant sea journey it involved. Even as the host and defending Olympic champion Uruguay crashed horns with Argentina in the final, feelings ran high. There were now no doubt that the tournament had captured the public imagination. Jean Langenus, the Belgian referee for the final, who agreed to be part of the match just hours before game commencement, had a boat ready at a harbour close to the match venue, if things went awry. He didn't have to worry as Uruguay romped to a 4-2 win. Another feature of the final was that it was played with two different balls in the either half. Argentina bought the ball for the first half, the hosts picked one for the second.

The first goal of the tournament is still remembered, scored as if was by Lucien Laurent, a Frenchman, against Mexico, a match that France won 4-1. Laurent, speaking of it later, talked of snow that fell during the match. He also mentioned how muted the celebrations were then, "Everyone was pleased but we didn't all roll around on the ground - nobody realised that history was being made. A quick handshake and we got on with the game. And no bonus either; we were all amateurs in those days, right to the end."   

*International Federation of Association Football (French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), thus FIFA. An international governing body of association football - headquartered at Zürich, Switzerland with 208 'member associations'. Responsible for organization and governance of  major international football tournaments, most notably the FIFA World Cup.