Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chak De India - Brilliant

It's not often that a movie brings tears to your eyes without being sentimental, makes you smile without being patronizing, makes you feel proud without being jingoistic. It is to director Shimit Amins' credit that he has created exactly such a film. 'Chak De India' is one fine film, and even more credit worthy - it has come out of the Bollywood factory, more famous for over the top fantasies.

The story of a rag tag womens hockey team reaching the pinnacle of achievement on the world stage is mildly allegorical - it is easy to extrapolate the setting to the national level, and the challenge facing us of aligning our billion plus population to work together for the greater common good. It reflects the challenge we face of not having a charismatic leader, who has gone through suffering, learnt from it and willing to share his learnings so that the others benefit. And it definitely reflects the desire of many of us of excelling in team sports, and to see sports other than cricket get its due.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Steve Irwin - The Crocodile Hunter

I first heard about the Crocodile Hunter from my 80 year old grandmother. She stays in a small town in Kerala, watches mostly Malayalam TV channels. For her to discover Steve Irwins' programme, and to continue watching it regularly, only conveys the effect he had on the millions of viewers of his TV programmes. For me, this incident explains the massive outpouting of grief when the popular person met his tragic end a year ago.

I confess that I personally was not completely fascinated by the programme. I prefer the old fashioned David Attenborough kind of nature programmes to the modern trend of action packed 'live' shows. But I do know that certain people exude that special something, that draws audiences, young and old, across the globe, to their art, and Steve had that something.

The world misses you, Steve.