Baahubali 2 Wowed Me


Baahubali 2 wowed me but not mainly for the visual effects (which are great) or the fight scenes. I was bowled over by the portrayal of Devasena’s character and her love story with Baahubali.

There has been criticism of the portrayal of the love story between Shiva and Avantika in Baahubali 1. I noticed that Avantika turns from a warrior to a docile ‘my Shiva will do my job‘ after falling in love. Looks like the director did take note of the criticism.

Note: No spoilers ahead.

Why was I so happy? Because for the first time in a mainstream Indian movie:

  • The woman is the same before and after falling in love/marriage. She does not tone down in her retorts or become obedient and servile.
  • She dares to talk back to her boyfriend/fiancé/husband ‘s mother in front of everyone several times and there are no repercussions from her partner.
  • Her partner never once says – ‘You need to apologize  to my mom‘ or ‘She is like that. She is old. Forgive her and adjust‘. Not once.
  • The guy is a total momma’s boy from the beginning but he dares to oppose his mother in the court in front of everyone in support of his wife/fiancée/girlfriend.
  • He still stands by his wife even when his mom ignores him and stops talking to him.
  • Arrogance in a woman is not punished.

Usually, the only women who can get away with arrogance or talking back in Indian movies are villains or women who don’t get the guy in the end (think Padayappa). The lead women usually don’t talk back like that after falling in love. Of course, the rest of the movie goes into clichés like having men to the rescue and revenge.

The reason it is so ground breaking in my eyes is because everything from popular culture to our society don’t endorse or showcase such behaviour. It is always about respect and blind obedience to one’s parents. I have heard a lot of times about how Indian (and other Asian) sons do not support their wives or speak up for them in front of their families and instead tell their wives to adjust or along the lines of ‘sorry, I can’t do anything‘. Check IHM’s or Madh mama’s blogs for examples of letters from women whose husbands don’t support them and instead keep mum when it comes to their parents.

I tried to think of an Indian movie where a similar thing happens and I could not think of any. Do you think there are other examples in Indian movies where the lady is rude/talks back to her partner’s parents and still has her partner’s full support and is not portrayed as reformed or remorseful after that?

What I’m Into – May + June 2016


Books

You can follow me on Goodreads here. Books I really enjoyed reading in the last 2 months are:

  1. Habits of a Happy Brain – Interesting take on modern Neurobiology and helped me connect several of my ideas.
  2. Reclaiming Conversation – I thought this book would be boring but  I liked it a lot! It is about talking in today’s age of emails and avoiding face-to-face conversations
  3. Gut – I really liked this. I miss scientific books put in a fun way. I got so many ideas from reading this.
  4. A man called Ove 
  5. D.I Kim Stone Series – I really loved this and can’t wait to read book #3

TV Series

  1. Game of Thrones – This week’s episode was one of the best this season!
  2. Full House – I love it!

Movies

  1. The Conjuring 2 – Was a good horror movie

It is summer time and I have lots of books to read. So, I have cut down on my movies and TV series!

What I’m into – April 2016


A summary of media I am taking in.

Books

You can follow me on Goodreads here.

Books I really enjoyed in the last 2 months include:

  1. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
  2. Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
  3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

TV Series

  1. The Night Manager – I really enjoyed this short series and thought the lead actor was great (He played Loki in the Avengers).
  2. Quantico – I wouldn’t really recommend this. It is like they thought of extending the series after a few episodes and came up with a botched up story line with unbelievable twists.
  3. 11.22.63 – Started out great, fizzled out in the middle and the ending was better. Could have done with fewer episodes. Not bad overall.
  4. Game of Thrones – It is back and I am glad because I love it. I want to binge watch all the episodes and all the future seasons at a go now but I can’t bear waiting till all the episodes play.
  5. Fuller House – Full on nostalgia factor here. I felt it was above average.

Movies

  1. Kung Fu Panda 3 – It had its funny moments and I liked it.
  2. Captain America – Civil War –  I felt it was definitely better than the previous Avengers movie-Age of Ultron but slightly less great than the previous Cap movie. It is humor and heart and I cared about the characters. Some scenes were great but there were moments the camera spun too fast.

What I’m Into – March 2016


I have been wanting to write a summary of what I’am reading, watching or listening to after seeing many other bloggers write about it. I love reading such posts and because I consume so much media, it is a great way to reflect and track for me. I wish to post at the end of every month as a summary but I can’t wait to get the first post out of my head!

Books:

You can follow me on Goodreads here.

Roller Girl: It is technically meant for 8-12 year olds but I liked it. Nice story. I was introduced and learnt a new thing – roller derby!

Roller Girl

Spark Joy: I loved her previous book and I liked this one too. It had sections I wished the first book had- about kitchen and other parts of the house. I did not find it weird because in a way I am exposed to Japanese culture.

Spark Joy

TV Series:

One Punch Man: One punch manI watched this in February and loved it. In general, Japanese anime does not interest me but I found this interesting and funny. It mocks all the superhero genre movies (like the Avengers) and show the superhero doing mundane stuff like grocery shopping. Do note that there are barely any good female characters and if they are there, they are pretty or crazy. No normal ones which again is typical in a way of this genre. I watched it in Japanese with Eng subs.

Walking Dead: Walking DeadAfter watching every single episode from Season 1, I finally decided to stop watching this series. I am tired of the repetition and lack of hope. Every time it is the same story – find a new place to settle > Some crazy guy comes in > They lose the place > Move to a new place.

Agents of SHIELD:

Agents of Shield

Another TV series, I decided to stop watching. It is not great. We initially started watching it because it was mean to be tied to the movie universe but somehow, they have decided to not link them at all. So, out it goes.

Agent Carter:

Agent Carter

I liked this TV series because it has a strong normal woman as the lead and her chemistry with the butler – Jarvis is awesome. Hope they continue and move ahead in terms of how SHIELD was founded.

Movies:

Lately, I have been into R rated comedies.  Kindly don’t watch if you have a problem with people cussing.

Deadpool: It was funny and different from most Marvel/superhero movies. It made fun of  Marvel Superheroes and of X-Men. Interesting because it broke the 4th wall.

Deadpool movie

Spy: Funny and I loved how it mocked James Bond movies.

Spy  2015

The Heat: Was funny and I liked the female buddy-buddy detective theme.

 

I feel both Spy and The Heat pass the Bedchel test, especially The Heat. You have a not-skinny woman dealing with not-love problems. That is rare.

On Tom Cruise


I watched Mission Impossible 5 and I was thinking of how Tom Cruise’s career went down just because he jumped in excitement on the couch in Oprah’s show. It is amazing how he performs many of his own stunts.

I don’t really see that as reason for ostracizing him. Maybe he was acting. Maybe he was over excited. However, I do not really get why his would damage his career in such a fashion.

Meanwhile in Bollywood, you can (maybe) kill someone and still have the entire industry visiting you and coming out in support. Now, that is an act that should result in someone’s career being damaged irreparably but seeing from the response to Bhajrang Bhaijaan and all his other movies, I don’t think so.

Now, I am not really into knowing or admiring movie stars because in real life they all tend to disappoint you in some way or the other. Why is that some people get away with killing and some can’t get away with jumping on a couch in excitement?

It is a messed up world.

Bollywood Boycott


Bollywood BoycottBy now,  I am sure everybody knows about the Salman Khan bail saga. I am not going to discuss the issue in detail but the elitist attitude of the movie industry left a bad taste in my mouth. I know they don’t give a shit about the homeless people but I couldn’t believe they way they flocked to Salman’s house as if somebody had died to show their solidarity. 

In India, movie actors go beyond the movie. They are worshiped like stars. They reach these heights because of the money and adulation of the very people who are thought of as scum. The prevalent attitude among Bollywood (whether they express it or not) seems to be that lower classes shouldn’t be in ‘their’ city. 

I do not generally follow movie gossip but this issue was largely unignorable and made me want to do a ‘Bollywood Boycott. I do not see why I should participate in funding these jerks’ lifestyles. I don’t want to pay to watch a single of these guys movies in cinema. I don’t want to spend a cent on them and help them fund their elitist lives. Oh, the industry is so very sexist, I cannot even describe it.

Just as I made the resolve, out came “Tanu weds Manu Returns” and I did watch it in cinema because it has Kangana Ranaut.

I don’t mind supporting people like her but the rest? I don’t think so I am going to be doing that in a long while.

On Blackhat


I watched Blackhat the other day.

In one line – Don’t bother watching it. I like Chris Hemsworth aka Thor (Nick in the movie) but his good looks couldn’t save this movie. It is slow. The plot was weak. The villain didn’t seem to have enough motivation to do what he was doing. The ending is unbelievable. Do people think they can be on FBI + NSA hot list and take flights to other countries without problems? And who the hell goes about shooting FBI agents in public with machine guns unless again, they have strong motivation?  I dozed off during the climax scene and woke up asking ‘What happened?’ 20 minutes after the movie ended ha ha