Monday, July 20, 2009

Why we like or dislike a movie?

I gave a very bad review to the Tamil movie "Achchamundu Achchamundu" and subsequently got spit on by 2 anonymous users of the internet who thought the movie was good. Their comments actually got me wondering as to why is it that sometimes we like a movie and sometimes we do not.

Many a times we find that a movie has received rave reviews and we rush to the theatres but we end up hating the movie. At other times we read dumb movie reviews and then find that the movie was really good.

In fact, the tamil movie which I mentioned in the below post - on hind sight - was not very bad. It is just that I was expecting a "thriller" - one which keeps me on the edge of my seat at all times - but the movie did not do that - and subsequently I failed to see some of the good aspects of the movie - such as , no thoppulla pambaram stuff, very naturally taken movie, atleast some concept which is not again and again based on puppy love, no "there has to be 5 song sequences and hence I am force fitting a dream song when the hero sees the heroine for the first time" nonsense etc. Movie was actually a matured, soft and easy on the brain one.

It was then that I realized that a movie gets a bad/good review based on the expectation you had from the movie before you saw it. If a lot of people say it is a "great" movie, then your expectation is already raised. So if the movie is not downright legendarily awesome, you think "Ah was ok". However, the moment someone gives a movie a bad review and then you watch it , your expectations are already lowered, and then you find that the movie was "ok", but then its all relative. From a bad -> ok, you tend to think that the movie was actually good.

This has happened to me many a times. I saw this movie "Thenkasipattanam" in tamizh. First time I saw it I laughed so hard, saliva came out of my nose. I recommended it strongly to all my family members, relatives etc. I gave such rave reviews which made them think it was the best movie ever. But after they saw the movie they literally scolded me. They were sorely disappointed :(...

I guess it is because I had raised their expectation so much - that the movie sucked.

I guess, in order to enjoy/appreciate a movie with the right spirit, one should go and watch the movie first and then read the reviews next and then compare and contrast. The moment we read some review, there is a chance we get biased.

That apart, another reason why we sometimes like or dislike a movie is because we might not be in the right mood to appreciate it. If you watch it after a tough day at office, or when you are really sad about something, or when you are busy thinking about something else, even a "Titanic" would seem worser than "Thali Katha Kali Amman". However, when you are in the right mood, and watching a movie with the right crowd, even a "Yarukku Yar Stepni" will seem like "Michael Madana Kama Rajan"...

So there it goes, ... the perception of a movie is largely dependant on
1) Expectation
2) Mood

That said -> in spite of the expectation/mood - a movie has to also be good :)...a director cannot simply get away with a movie like "Boom" or "Kambakht Ishq" hoping for all the audience to come with a bad expectation and great mood. :)...

Until the next post
yours truly

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A story that touched me

I had a visual treat on Friday evening when one of our office colleagues performed for us. He works in the HR Department of our company and he takes care of giving us our payslips. He is very calm and cheerful person and the last man you expect to possess the talent that he displayed to us.

He broke 10 bricks set on fire with his bare hands and he broke an ice slab with his head. When I went to congratulate him on what he did, he said that it was all childs play for him and that he wanted to give a much more grander performance. He has had a tempo traveller and a bus run over him and cause not even a scratch.

While he is a World Martial Arts member and 2nd Dan at Seisho Kai Shito , has some Guiness book of records to his name and has learnt pretty much all there is to martial arts, he is, unable to pursue his true passion. For reasons of familial pressure has stopped practicing his art. Meet our very own Sr. Executive Compensation and Benefits, K. Natarajan of Salem.

His family stands justified in that they want him to be safe (a couple of family members met with serious permanent damage while practicing this art). His family is concerned about his welfare while he is concerned about his passion.

I was truly moved by this mans story.

I humbly salute to his talent and I hope he is happy in the end no matter what the path he chooses.

I have seen it in the movies where the Hero does not get to do what he "really" wants to do and parents/in-laws put pressure on him to pursue something else (Arjun in Mudhalvan studies for joining a Government job because Manisha Koiralas dad wants him to have a stable job, when he is a TV reporter who could have had the Government itself in his hands).

I have not met too many such people in real life. This is one such man who had multiple offers in the area of martial arts, but had to finally settle for a life very different to the one he dreamed of.

When I think of this man I am reminded of the advertisement in where a cricketer uses his bat to wash clothes, and a dancer is showing signs to an aircraft etc.

I really do not know what I would do if I were in his place. When you have your family and passion conflicting with each other, it is a real tough choice to make! I hope things pan out well in the end for Natarajan and I wish him all the very best.

Your story really touched me.

Monday, June 01, 2009

"Oh you are from IIM- you must be earning in crores?"

This is the first thing I hear whenever someone hears that I am from IIM B. I do not know who I hate more - the person who pops this stupid question or the newspapers which mention all sorts of things painting a rosy picture about the IIMs.

First of all, an income of USD 100000 is not equal to f***ing Rs.50 lakhs. There are things like taxes, cost of living, purchase power parity and so on. So if some IIM grad is getting paid in foreign currency, then it is bound to appear like a huge deal when converted into Indian currency.

Believe, me, in India, you DONT get paid in crores unless you are in the board of directors of a company or some senior vice president.

Instead of converting the dollars/pounds to rupees, lets all do this. We will all go to Vietnam and convert the dollars there to the local currency Dong (present conversion is 1 USD = 17700 Dongs). So the Vietnam newspaper would report - "IIM grad gets Vietnam Dong 3 billion as salary. IIM Grads are billionaires.".

Calling us as crorepatis right now is as absurd as a Vietnamese calling an IIM grad a trillionaire.

What kind of a dumb mannerless (DM in short) idiot will you be to ask someone "Hey what is your salary?"

2 things you should never ask are, a woman her age and a man his package(we mean all packages btw). They just hate it when you do. So if you are reading this and you have already asked someone his/her salary, then you are a dumb mannerless idiot. If you havent, then dont be one.

Ok, now to the more interesting thing.

Ever since the recession started, all the people I meet seem to get some sadistic pleasure in popping the same "DM question" to me. They hope against all hope that I will cut a sorry puppy dog face and complain that this year the placement season was bad and that I landed up in a company where even my driver would not have joined last year. In case I reply in the same manner then they are elated. Their day is made. (remember, they are still wiping the same table but the fact that I am wiping the next table after coming out of IIM, makes them doubly happy)! What dumb mannerless sadists!

Oh man!, reminds me of a joke

It is Queen Elizabeths birthday and our dear Santa and Banta decide to take her a gift. Santa takes a bag full of coconuts and Banta takes a bag full of betel nuts. Once they reach the palace, they find that everyone has bought diamonds and gold and other jewellery as gift to the queen when our two dumbos have taken a really stupid gift. This infuriates the queen and she asks the guards to shove the nuts into their asses.

They get dragged off, and as the betel nuts are being shoved into Bantas ass, he keeps laughing. The guard is surprised and asks "Hey Banta, we are shoving these Betel nuts in your ass, and how is it that you are not in pain and are laughing?"

Banta says, "The mere thought that Santa is getting a bucket load of coconuts into his ass makes me feel so happy"
So if you are Banta - here is my reply to you

"This year also IIMs had a 100% placement record. The average salary has not gone down. The profile of the companies coming to the IIMs are different this year compared to last. However, everyone is well placed, and in very plum jobs - the kind of job your mom and dad want you to be in. So stop popping the stupid dumb ass mannerless questions and get back to work."

Jokes apart,

The times are bad. Everyone knows it. It is basic decency that you do not ask embarassing questions to a person who is already not in the place he/she would have ideally wanted to be. People eventually reach their goals - wherever they be. Please do not embarass a student from an IIM just because the times are bad. Remember, that any day, you yourself would want to study in such colleges if you had the opportunity. Before you make fun of a student from IIM - think for a moment what you would give to study in such an institution and then pass the comments.

In fact, what you are doing is really "Sour Grapes" - I do not want to sound arrogant here that I am from an IIM. However, there are so many instances in my life, where people say things like "you are from an elite institution, is this how you behave, is this how you blah, is this how you boo". We are also humans first. Secondly, we have proven our capabilities in many a sphere to be where we are. We are proud of what we are but not arrogant. If you are not where we are, then it does not make you any less special. So stop treating yourself like you are less special.

I can only speak for myself. I have met some of the most brainy people in the world at IIM B. I have worked the hardest in my 2 years there. I have put as many night outs as I have never in my life before. I have slogged so hard, that hard work is now a habit for me and for my 250 batchmates. It is not without merit that Sachin is who he is, Abdul Kalam is who he is and an IIM is what it is.

So finally, the lessons we have learnt today - in case you are one of those dumb mannerless idiot are:

1) Dont ask someone his/her salary and about how the placements were in his/her college

2) Dont laugh at someone because he/she is in the same misery as you. Instead you try to get out of your misery (you might want to think of Banta here)

3) Dont cry sour grapes