Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kannathil Muthamittal ?!

I will say this is one of those movies which will have a fresh appeal every time you see it. The fresh appeal is because of the stories that you hear due to war. I get more critical about the movie every time I watch it. The whole movie revolves around a small girl who comes to know on her 9th birthday that she is an adopted child. She also learns that her biological mother is from a small village in Sri Lanka and she gave birth to her in a refugee camp at Rameswaram. One aspect of the movie that makes me feel that it could have been still better is the way the 9 year old girl is portrayed. I felt she was acting way above her age. I certainly could not imagine how a 9 year old girl will perceive the truth about her parents. Especially when it comes to the longing to see her biological mother. Sometimes it made me feel that the 9 year old is portrayed as a girl in her mid-teens.

One of the scene that moved me and also at the same time made me feel "that is an excellent portrayal of the script" is when the writer writes his piece for a magazine about the new born baby and the condition of the refugees. Showing the background scene in black and white and the writer's words in his own hand writing appearing in blue ink - captures the whole emotion of the article. The black and white images slowly becomes frail black figures on the back drop of the glittering waters of the sea.

The climax of the movie where the child finally meets her biological mother along with her adopted parents is packed with emotions. I would say no one in the climax scene would have acted. The performance of each actor in the climax scene at Subramanyam Park, was excellent. Even though the scene is packed with emotions all they had to do was - react to the situation. The only spoiler, in my opinion in that scene, is the music that accompanies in the back ground. I felt like gosh - silence would have punctuated the scene perfectly. Silence would have conveyed to the audience the collective emotions of all the characters in that scene. Silence would have conveyed the pain of both the mothers and the child and others.

If I had the opportunity to decide the ending for this movie, I think I would not have opted for the meeting of the mother and the child. The meeting at the park should have to be arranged but the actual meeting should not have happened. Part of her wants to jump off and run toward her child. But the caring and sacrificing nature of any mother, makes her stand at a distance and see her child. She leaves from there with that indescribable pain. But she gets on with her life with the satisfaction that her child is having a peaceful life. That realization will give her the courage to deal with her guilt and continue with her struggle to ensure peace in the land she was born. It sure will be a disappointment for the child, but with the unconditional love of her adopted parents she would have gotten through just fine. I think this would have been a more realistic ending. The song "Vellai pookal ulagam engum malaravey" would have been more apt to this ending. That song bubbles with hope for a better future, which is what she wants to ensure in that war torn land for many children including hers. What do u think???

But on the whole, the movie is simply GREAT!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Green Initiative - hmmm???

Nowadays many companies spend a lot of money on portraying a "Green" image to the public - the current customers or potential customers. One day there was an email from my credit card company asking me to switch to electronic statements and also asked to kiss good bye to paper statements! The reason stated in the email - it is their new "green" initiative. If I switch to 'e-statements' the company will plant a tree on my behalf, there by aiming to offset the carbon emitted to the atmosphere by somebody else or by their own office buildings. The email also had a nice digitally enhanced picture of a tree. The bottom line is to reduce their expenses on paper statements - which includes the cost of paper, printing, envelope and mailing charges. But the email puts a "green" cover to all those hidden motives. The credit card company collaborates with some tree planting initiative and they will give money to them to plant the trees. God only knows whether the tree actually gets planted or not. Instead of all these efforts, they can make some real efforts to reduce the energy bill of their multi-storied office complexes. That will be a true effort.

For the sake of argument, lets just say that they in fact gave the money for planting a tree for my simple action of switching to e-statements. Generally, it takes 5-10 years for a tree to grow to a decent size to start consuming some decent amounts of carbon. Just imagine how much carbon would have been emitted during that time. As per Greenfleet it takes about 7-17 trees to offset the amount of carbon emitted by 1 passenger car. Doesn't the marketing campaign by many companies like my credit card company seems to be a blatant lie covering their intended bottom line?!

But I did end up signing to e-statements with a hope that they do give some monetary help to improve the environment.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Are we out of an assembly line?!

Often I wonder why some people fight madly when it comes to the matter of faith or religion or caste or whatever you want to call it. So many things happen simply because of this one reason. If I just consider the events that happened after I started to get a grip on these matters, the apparent fact that stands out is lives of millions of people are ruined. Rwandan massacre, religious and caste based conflicts in India, Middle east problem and the list goes on...

One question for which I do not have the answer yet is this - from which stage in life does a man get that strong bondage with religion or caste? And what makes him feel so proud about it? If we simply take a look back from the day we were born, I wonder at what stage or age does that feeling gets such a strong grip mentally! At birth we do not choose a religion or caste or sect or whatever. We don't even choose our parents. We inherit few things from our parents genetically. Apart from that every child is told by their parents that they belong to a certain sect or religion or caste, when we don't have any idea about what it means to belong to a certain faith or caste. Even our parents were told about it, when they were born. So religion or caste or sect is not a conscious choice made by everyone. That being said, when does one get that intense feel about the faith or religion. Needless to say about a lot of people who do harm to others for that cause. The same argument applies to race or color too.

I am sure that we are not a product out of an assembly line for which the options are chosen by some one. God or the supreme power that holds everything in this universe together does not have an assembly line to churn out various forms of life. He does not have a supply chain to fill in orders - 3 million cat fishes, 400000 trees, 500000 male human babies, 600000 female human babies, 70000 ants and so on... He does not have a manufacturing process in place to classify like this - of the 500000 male human babies 200000 of them are Christians, 100000 of them are Muslims, 60000 Hindus, 50000 Buddhists, etc... And of the 200000 Christian babies 100000 of them are Catholics and the rest Protestants.

Every man at best lives for about 60-70 years on an average. This is a minuscule period when compared to the grand scheme of time. Why couldn't we just live our life and let others live and enjoy?!