Weekend update

The weekend started with quite a bang with Raj falling very sick.  Pneumonia, as it turned out.  Friday evening we had been invited to a friend’s house for dinner.  When I called the friend to tell her Raj was sick and we may not make it, she kept insisting that I should go at least for half an hour, just a short time, tell Raj to wear gloves and a mask, not to shake anyone’s hands…thought it was strange considering there will be quite a few kids at the party, but didn’t give it too much thought.

Turns out, it was a surprise party for us and another couple in our circle, who both celebrated 20 years of marriage this year!!  Raj was too sick to go, so about 30 of us from the party kept calling him to wish him, and ask him questions! (“what would you change of the past 20 years if you could? other than the kids and the spouse?” – there go my top 2 options…just kidding :))

  Our dear friends had gone to so much trouble with no details missed.   We had Chinese themed party – complete with chinese home-cooked food (since we’re vegetarians and Raj doesn’t eat eggs, they had taken care to make everything at home – just to have Raj not show up!!), a white and emerald color-themed party decor, fortune cookies, chinese lanterns, the works!!

We were truly touched to have such caring friends!

Father’s Day Sunday:

My baby sis had her 2nd baby – girl, she’s going to name her Janhavi.  I do think this completes our family – 5 girls for my parents, 10 grandchildren!! Congrats, Jay and Kumar!!

The kids gave Raj his father’s day gifts – a hand-painted ceramic desk organizer and a book I suggested based on what some of my coworkers are reading: “How to influence people and win friends” by Dale Carnegie.  First published in 1937, still a timeless classic, according to the Sr VP and co-founder of the company I work at.

To make dad even happier, my kids agreed to go with us to watch ‘Raavanan’ on big screen with some friends.  We watched the Tamil version.  I have to admit, it was worth the $12 we paid for each ticket.  The last 2 that we went to the theatre and paid big bucks were totally worthless – Sivaji and Dasavataram (I love Rajni and Kamal, but come on, those 2 movies were the pits!!).

But Maniratnam didn’t disappoint us.  The movie had some spectacular visuals.  The gorgeous valley, the really green countryside (my friend thought it was shot in Kerala), the very belieable and realistic stunts…it was worth it!

Spoiler Alert!!!

The movie is a modern rendering of the epic Ramayan, based loosely on the Asokavan episode.  Ram played by Prithvi Raj the police superintendent who comes to destroy Vikram, the Raavan character, more like a Robinhood than a Raavan, and Sita played by Aishwarya, Pritvi’s wife.

The story follows the original plot line – Raavan kidnaps Sita, Ram is after him, Kartik playing Hanuman in the form of the forst guard, all the way up to the rescue of Sita.  And then comes the twist – Ram doubting her purity, and what follows is the twist that I didn’t predict, but Raj said he did.

In the end, without revealing too much, Ram ends up looking like the monster, and Raavan gets all the sympathy and the love.

Vikram has done a FANTASTIC job! He has become the character and creeps up on your hearts without being sentimental or obvisouly corny.  I had read in some online reviews that the dialogue was ‘twitter-like’ and had to laugh.  It’s true that the dialogs are short and crisp, but since most of the speakers are of Tamil-origin, I didn’t see the robotic delivery I have seen in some new movies (teh sister character in ‘Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya’ comes to mind).  Not a huge fan of Aishwarya, but I had to grudgingly admire her – the role was made for her.  My friend also mentioned she dubbed her own voice for this movie – don’t know if that’s true, but her Tamil was not too bad.

Pritvi doesn’t stand out – aside from being super goodlooking.  Vikram definitely steals the thunder.

What tickled me and Raj was my daughter telling my son what was going on in the movie – with her newly gained knowledge of Tamil that she took in her freshman year in college!  Even though they both understand everything we speak, they have had trouble following movies – maybe the twiiteresque delivery helped!! Whatever it was, it was super cute to watch!!

My verdict: Worth watching for the cinematography, stunning locations, melodious music, quick-paced and not confusing story line.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Vidhya
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 20:16:26

    10 grandkids..that’s awesome! CONGRATS! Did you get to see the baby pictures? Jahnavi is a very beautiful and meaningful name. I was told it means river Ganges.
    Congrats on your 20th wedding anniversary! What was the special gift you got? 20 years must have taught….ahem….someone to present his better half with something real special!!!!!!!!!!! (c’mon it’s about time!)
    Congrats for getting Raj back on his feet…I was shocked when I saw him at work on Monday after being so sick on Sunday but then I was glad that he soon realized he was not Hercules after all and took the rest of the day off…..LOL! Poor Raj!
    And finally Congrats to Manirathnam for delivering such a poetic movie. Even though the story wasn’t as powerful as Mouna Ragam ,Aalai Payuthae or Kannathil Muthamittal, he did carry us away with the heavenly locations he chose. Kudos to Santhosh Shivan for his incredible photography. Per online sources, the spots were Kerala (Atharapalli falls..I heard from someone that this place is truly a heaven on earth), Karnataka (Thumkur) and Maharashtra. However, I none of the sites mentioned anything about the location of the graceful Vishnu statue. It was amazingly beautiful..I couldn’t get my eyes off of it. I thought Ash was very powerful in this movie because Manirathnam subsided her fake mannerism (which I cannot stand in her movies!) to a great extent..although a tinge of it got out during the duet..but it can be forgiven .Oh, I am really not sure why several people thought the music wasn’t all that great..I LOVED IT!!! especially “Usurae pokugutae uthata nee konjam sulikayilea”..it was very powerful watching it in the movie. Overall it was a good movie and I really really enjoyed it. I should thank you for watching it with us. Best of all kids enjoyed it as much as we did! I hope Manirathnam makes more movies or his son becomes a director like his dad since I read somewhere that he is planning to retire after this movie.

    Anyway, looking forward to other good movies soon!
    Keep blogging!

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