Archive for September, 2006

Léon The Professional

Posted: September 20, 2006 in Movie Reviews

Watched this movie, after a long search for it in all the nearby and/or accessible video rental shops. The search began with me watching ‘Bichoo‘ a hindi remake of it featuring Rani Mukherjee and Deol Junior. though this had bombed in the box office, the story line was powerful. The casting was as loose as it could get, with Rani resembling a hooker more than a spoiled brat.

The original movie however is a class apart with Jean Leno rendering a classy performace in the act as Leon the ‘Cleaner‘ as he likes to call himself. His rendition has the perfect mix of sutlety and power, encapsulating with its depth and yet touching the finer aspects of it. Leon tries to keep his emotions completely suppressed, yet Matilda (in an extraordinary performance by a young Natalie Portman) brings out in him a new-found joy for life that accompanies his growing paternal instincts.

The film follows the story of Léon, played by Jean Reno, a professional
hit man for an Italian Mob crew run by Danny Aiello. He lives next door
to a ferociously independent 12-year-old girl named Mathilda – played
by then newcomer Natalie Portman, whose father is involved in drugs and
crooked cops. One day, a crew of the cops – lead by Gary Oldman in an
over-the-top performance – kills her entire family while Mathilda is
out buying groceries. Taking pity on her, Léon hides her in his
apartment when she returns to save her life. Mathilda learns of Léon’s
hit man profession and decides to follow in Léon’s footsteps as a
“cleaner.” She then falls in love with him and manages to reawaken
emotions within Léon he has kept locked away as part of his profession.

The most dynamic element of this film is undeniably the complicated relationship between Matilda and Leon. With adolescent Matilda more tha onece identtifying her saviour and her hero as her lover, there is an occasional low-key hint of sexual attraction, however as becomes evident from the character potrayed as Leon, for him this is basically a father/daughter or mentor/apprentice relationship.

The less traditional role belongs to an impressive Natalie Portman, yet
another member of the highly-talented, recent group of youthful actors.
Portman portrays a victim of society’s ills, the perfect example of
innocence corrupted. There are likely some viewers who will be
disturbed by Mathilda’s predilection for profanity.

Because of the non-American flavor brought to this film by Besson, The Professional
is anything but typical fare. It is stylish, darkly humorous, and
almost artsy in its approach to the genre. Nevertheless, it delivers
what viewers want from any thriller: lots of action. With some
surprisingly strong character interaction, there’s a lot to like about
this movie, at least for those willing to look beyond all the
bloodshed.

At one point, Leon comments to an attentive Mathilda that “the closer
you get to being a pro, the closer you can get to the client
.” Through
the intimacy of the link forged by Besson with his audience, there’s no
doubt that he’s as much the consummate professional as his implacable
title character.

A point important to note is the follows:
The film was released in two versions: as Léon  in USA with about 30 mins of footage clipped off and as Léon The  Professional elsewher. The later is the longer and complete version containing a lot of senes which dwelve deep into the relationship beween Matilda and Leon. this contained certain sexual overtures which was considered promiscuous considering the fater-daughter external relationship by the US Censor board. The most ironic thing about the International version of the film is
that with the inclusion of the missing scenes, the film becomes
primarily a heavy, emotional drama punctuated with big action scenes at
the beginning and the end of the film. The film betters reflects the
serious drama of French cinema but is laced with pieces reflecting the
brutality of American cinema.

Awakening Buddha Within

Posted: September 19, 2006 in Gibberish Blabber

Reading this wonderful book by, ‘Surya Lama‘. My dad picked up this book sometime during his waiting period at Heathrow and according to him transformed the way he looks at life. I have actually seen a percievable change in the way dad looks at things these
days; now that’s not what I would admit in front of him, but that’s a different
story altogether.

I just started reading this book yesterday evening as I ran out of episodes of JOEY to watch (now that’s another interesting one .. will talk about that later). Believe it or not I found myself deeply engrossed in the key concept by the
time I had finished reading the 6th page.

Reproducing some lines from the original text, which forced me to get
contemplative about the purpose of my life.

In a very real sense all our day to day problems can be linked to spiritual issues and understanding. For example, I have frequently spoken with men and women who complain that even though they have painstakingly followed Life’s Little Operating Manual they feel as though they as though they are coming up Empty Handed

Spiritual Life has always been in quest of answers to two existential problems, “Who am I?” and “Why am I?“. A search for truth, personal authenticity and reality, a search for ‘what is’ a search for purpose.

Too often life’s path seems paradoxical and confusing. Even in the brightest daylight the atmosphere is Murky; the guide posts are barely visible; the arrows and direction symbols when and if we find them seem to be pointing every other way.

When I look at my life in retrospect some obvious things stand out.

  • Whatever happens; happens for a good cause I got admitted to DPS and then one visit to the school premises, that my parents got disillusioned about the most hyped school in town. I was pulled out by my parents and put in Don Bosco. I have a strong belief that whatever little are my speaking and writing skills have a strong Bosco influence to it. The fact that my language is spontaneous and I am able to use it while focusing more on content rather than correctness of delivery is due to the incredible English teachers that Don Bosco provided. I clearly have to thank the likes of Uma Sirkar, Shobha Prasad, Dolly Mazumdar, Meenu Bajaj and Grace George. Similarly at every point in my life, I found that that every thing seemed to fit in the ‘Bigger Picture’ something that was only visible in ‘Rearview Sight’. Going ahead you got to believe that each step that you take and each event that happens is like a dot which you keep joining in order to get the complete picture (Rmember the Join-the-Dots Game)
  • Nothing in the life is ‘MOST IMPORTANT’
    • My Parents had me believe that the ClassXth was very important. Then it was the IIT JEE and on went the story. At every point I was made to believe this is the single Key Factor to success in life. And every time I negotiated the turn successfully, did I realize that there was one more awaiting right ahead which was even more difficult, even ‘More Important
    • In many ways life is much like a video game. You keep playing the game until you reach your level of incompetence, then you stop progressing and start fighting the odds!
    • There is no one Lock with that one ‘Key Success Factor’. Life is a treasure chest in which every time you open it, you will find some riches smeared around and another ‘Cast iron’ Chest hidden within with an even bigger padlock protecting its contents.
    • The idea is to keep finding the Keys and keep opening the chests!
  • It will always be a MIXED BAG
      • The experience, whole plethora of them have always been a healthy mixture of sweet and sour. For every Uma Sirkar I had an Alice Anson. For every kind Grace George I had a rowdy and rambunctious Uma Thomas.
      • The Hopes have always been interluded with despair. The happiness with sorrow, the friendships with enmity, the exhilaration with crestfallen times.
      • IIIT was something of a treasure. While at it I never knew what it gave, while out of it I know that I can’t imagine what It meant. Treasure the friendships with most of my pals there. People with whom I rarely interacted, are the same ones who do unthinkable to me and for whom I would do almost anything.
      • My achievements have always followed my failures and vice-versa. A silly careless error on the part of ETS, saw my MS(computer Science) from Cornell
        University get squashed. But likewise, a successful tenure at Kanbay followed by an almost undeserving performance t my first CAT attempt saw me soar back up again
  • Trust in the Almight
  • I always found that whenever I called his name with all my devotion, with a solitary objective of asking him to help me out, he always delivered. Whether it is saving me from principal for not getting my English textbook (thanks to Thomas Sir), or whether it was getting into IIIT for computer science Engineering.

    I still remember the night, when right after paying for admission at Delhi College of Engineering(DCE) I was crying in bed, because I did not want to study anything other than computer science, and REC Trichy was not the place I wanted to go ( My all India Rank for REC was 23).

    And the next day early morning I got the news that IIIT results were out. A quick check confirmed that I was in!

    I can go on and on, but this writeup already has become quite long. And I have been forewarned by some of my ‘well-wishers’ about writing boring long and cumbersome blogs. So I think I will put a pause here (Not a STOP; just a Pause!!).

    I would sincerely and strongly recommend you to read this book.

    Buy it, Beg it or Steal it….! its Worth all of that and more!

    Neutral Riddle

    Posted: September 19, 2006 in Gibberish Blabber

    Been busy with a fairly interesting thing the past couple of days. Its called ‘Neutral Riddle’..
    The game goes like this, its a riddle which is open for all and open with all. As in, the key idea is to reach the next level by any means possible. You can ask a friend, look up a dictionary, enquire in a forum or simply google it out. In fact the riddle assumes athat you will do all this and more!

    So the difficulty level is so set that you would really need to whack your brains, tease your senses and appease your temperament in order to proceedyour way through the labyrinth.

    Sometime, I was pleading for answers, but most of the forums that you’d find will not allow any direct answer revealation. So beneath I will do some ‘Charity’ and give soe answers for those who have reached that level of desperation where the means no longer matter… Only the end does!

    ** Spolier Alert :: Explicit Answers Mentoined **

    1. Change URL directly to level2.htm
    2. keyboard.htm
    3. golden ratio.htm
    4. wheel.htm
    5. animals.htm  5b dice.htm
    6. ronaldo.htm
    7. sunset.htm
    8. trashcan.htm
    9. creative.htm
    10. hole18.jpg

    For more on assistance at any level these two are very wonderfully informative sites

    Do give it a shot and let mw know till what you reached !

    powered by performancing firefox

    One semester down at IIM Kozhikode

    Posted: September 13, 2006 in MBA Ramblings

    Finally dust settles on MBA Sem-I at IIM Kozhikode. With the commencement of the end-term breaks people can be seen fleeing faster (from the campus) than from a burning house. The past three months have been one of re-discovery.

    Students started on a journey which would change their way of life, and this is in no reference to the career prospects. They would emerge better and stronger individuals; with a wiser overalls.

    With an open mind replacing an empty one; with a co-operative growth replacing a competitive one.

    One a lighter note, people now truly know the power of information, with the SPAMMING being the fastest mode of communication. In case you are wondering what you are referring to, the Kampus has an inbuilt messaging facility, a special messenger which is used for file sharing, message passing and any kind of data exchanging in general. This is both highly productive as well as counter-productive. 🙂

    Whether you are looking for some critical business information or looking for the latest music video; whether the search is of some urgent software or that of a spare bike for a quick outing; Spam everyone with your problem/requests. And yes, do not forget to attach the TIA at the end (TIA: Thanks In Advance)

    Some other ‘useful things’ that this wonderful application, affectionately called ‘IP’ by us is used for:

    1. Staying awakeat nights by catering to the chain of PJ’s (Poor Jokes)
    2. Finding out which all K-Dio ( IIM Kozhikode Radio ) stations are playing what
    3. Finding, who all are game, from your hostel for a Maggi, at 2AM in the night at the Night Canteen (NC)
    4. Locating a person who is required immediately
    5. Ensuring all Birthdays are duly honored with the traditional Birthday Bumps 😀
    6. The Menu at the Mess on any particular day  😦
    7. Passing the latest Gossip doing round, the ‘Taaza Khabar’ straight from ‘Unconfirmed sources’  😉
    8. The expected pattern of questions in the next Quiz or evaluation (Purely speculation: the more weird your speculation the higher will be its TRP rating)
    9. Finding out who was the DCP champion of the day (DCP: Desperate Class Participation)

    And last but not the least .. killing time in any of the class lectures, in the case of a TOHT (Total Over Head Transmission)   😀