Monday, July 28, 2008

Why is it called "The Dark Knight"?

This movie should be called "The Joker - the rise of the most sinister villain ever seen on film". He is so dark that Batman (Christian Bale) seems a pale shade of grey in comparison! Heath Ledger's Joker is the consummate anarchist, creating chaos just so that he can revel in it, cackling with glee as the morally uptight Batman struggles to prevent disaster after disaster. The Joker casts such a powerful and menacing shadow over The Dark Knight that its easy to overlook the central theme of the movie - how far can a man go up against evil before he either gets tainted by it or loses his humanity in an attempt to persevere?

In The Dark Knight, Nolan's vision of Batman expands into a struggle of man versus vigilante as Bruce Wayne tries to grapple with an alter ego that is increasingly taking over his life. As old flame Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhall) puts it, Wayne needs Batman more than Gotham does. At some level, Wayne realises that, which explains his misguided attempts at giving Gotham a legitimate hero. But even as Batman resists the The Joker's temptation to cross the line, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhardt), Batman's candidate for Gotham's hero succumbs to the same. In other words, Dent's humanity makes him cross over to the dark side, even as Batman's own is compromised by his refusal to respond to similar emotions.

A lot of the movie's underlying message gets eclipsed by an electric Heath Ledger, whose interpretation of the Joker is beyond all glowing descriptions. Unlike (a highly overrated) Jack Nicholson's buffoon, this Joker is by no means a cardboard villain. He is the kind of guy who shoves grenades into mouths and rigs up bombs inside stomachs. To top it all, he is totally insane. One of my favourite Joker moments is when he tells Batman, "you make me complete" - a great spin on the cheesy Jerry Maguire dialogue played to extremely interesting effect. Absolutely perfect!

The Dark Knight leaves some dramatic opening cues for the next Batman movie - TwoFace, a grittier (and possible more embittered) Batman, and a potentially more interesting female lead. I'll leave you with my favourite lines from the movie:

"Do I really look like a man with a plan, Harvey? I don't have a plan. The mob has plans, the cops have plans. You know what I am, Harvey? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one. I just *do* things. I'm a wrench in the gears. I *hate* plans. Yours, theirs, everyone's. Maroni has plans. Gordon has plans. Schemers trying to control their worlds. I am not a schemer. I show schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. So when I say that what happened to you and your girlfriend wasn't personal, you know I'm telling the truth!"

Verdict: I want to watch it again, and again!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Stuck in office on my birthday, waiting! Its all that I seem to be doing these days!!!

Fascists in the family

Today, my 12-year old cousin called me a "Brahmin betrayer". Now, this raises several interesting questions:
a) Who, or what, is a Brahmin?
b) What then is the definition of a Brahmin betrayer?
c) Why is a 12-year old so infused with caste related sentiments?
d) What gives a 12-year old the spunk to talk to a grown up like this?
e) Should this kid be talking about such things in the first place?
f) Where does he get such ideas from - a balanced, informed source, or some fundamentalist news letter ? (yes, there is such a thing as a Brahmin fundamentalist newsletter!)
g) How does his family feel about this?

And, in a separate conversation, I asked my 14-year old cousin (first cousin to the aforementioned 12-year old) if there was any local news in Bangalore about suspects in today's bombings. Pat came his reply, "Muslims!".

Well, potential fascists at any rate.

What did I get?

The complete Calvin and Hobbes collection that I have been lusting after for a while now! Hooray for the hubbysaurus!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mulder and Scully will be back tomorrow

The new X-Files movie "I want to believe" will be out tomorrow. I am one of those who are fervently praying that it wont destroy the special memories that we carry inside our heads of one of the best TV series ever. Meanwhile, Salon has a great story on Scully. Now, now guys, be good and do one on Mulder as well. Please?


Anybody but me, anywhere but here, anytime but now...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm sick of the routine, sick of the rat race, sick of meeting deadlines and expectations. Morrison offers me comfort with similar sentiments:

I'm sick of dour faces
Staring at me from the TV tower,
I want roses in my garden bower; dig?
Royal babies, rubies must now replace
Aborted strangers in the mud.

That, and the hubbysaurus' habit of waiting for me to disappear into my office building before he takes off!

Been meaning to review Rocky Balboa and Kungfu Panda. Will do that sometime soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Or Mahastupid, or Mahasilly. Call it whatever, but Ekta Kapoor is determined to destroy one of India's most beloved epics, one that still inspires numerous interpretations. I missed the over hyped first episode (glad that I missed the oily Aryan Vaid as Duryodhan, Puneet Issar must be preparing to roll in his grave!), but had the misfortune to catch the second one.

Episode 2 (the Bhishma story) is true blue Balaji soap opera. Extreme closeups that illuminate every single pore and wrinkle on the woman playing Ganga, a really weird guy playing King Shantanu, horrid special effects, extremely clunky dialogue and worse delivery of the same, weird Greek costumes ... I could go on and on. Even more unbearable is Makarand Padalkar as Ved Vyasa - his constant interruptions are terribly irritating! The amazing thing is that all 7 kids are thrown into the Ganges in one single episode - I thought that each one would get a whole episode!!

Verdict: Stay miles away!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


The hubbysaurus keeps ruminating on how everybody seems to be stopping to smell the roses. Everybody but us, that is. I can't help but agree - everyday is a race against the clock. Sometimes, it feels as if life is passing right by my window, while I am stuck at my work desk. More so when the hubbysaurus is out of town.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why I got off Facebook

After ignoring multiple invites, I signed up at Facebook a few months ago out of sheer curiosity. Most of my friends were raving about it (Except one, who said "whats a facebook?". Smart guy!), and I didn't see any harm in checking it out. But after a couple of months of being poked, super-poked and walled, I have had enough. For all its merits, Facebook failed to excite any interest.

What really got my goat was the fact that I couldn't shake off that nagging feeling that every time I added an application, a small bit of my privacy was being eroded. After a few applications, I started to resist adding applications, which in turn took away all the fun from being on Facebook. Plus, I really couldn't stand the clutter - why tell me what someone I barely know did to/with someone I haven't even heard of ? So last week, I concluded that Facebook was not for me. And I got off!