Prasad’s Blog

Everything under the blue sky…..!!

The Prestige – Review

Posted by Prasad on March 16, 2008

Coming back with a review after a very long break indeed.. This time, I saw the movie titled “The Prestige”.

About the Movie

The Prestige is a 2006 film directed by Christopher Nolan of Batman Begins fame. It features Christian Bale (as Alfred Borden and as Fallon) and Hugh Jackman (as Robert Angier) in the lead roles. Both the actors have done a wonderful job in their roles as upcoming magicians. The film is set in the late 1890s and includes characters like Tesla (the scientist credited with the invention of Alternating Current) which makes the film interesting.

My Review

Angier and Borden are assistants to the famous magician of the time, Milton. Both have dreams of successful individual careers in their hearts. However, in an unfortunate incident, Angier’s wife Julia loses her life during a trick by Milton, and Angier puts the blame squarely on Borden for tying a complicated knot over Julia’s hands. They part ways, with Angier ruing the loss of his wife and wanting to seek revenge on Borden for the same. Angier becomes The Great Danton, and Borden becomes The Professor, as they start their professional careers.

Both Angier and Borden try to bring the other down by sabotaging each other’s shows, and the competition between them reaches its peak with both turning violent. Angier loses a leg and Borden a couple of fingers, in their rivalry. When all things appear to be going Angier’s way, Borden resurfaces as the best among the two, with a new trick that he call The Transported Man. This is the turning point in the film. Angier becomes obsessed with finding out how Borden manages this trick, and that leads him to Nikola Tesla, who constructs him a machine. Using this machine, Angier performs The Real Transported Man trick that catapults him to the top spot above Borden.

Angier also does something so cunning with the machine Tesla gives him, and Borden is convicted of his murder and sent to jail in death sentence. What exactly happens after this, and how much Angier and Borden sacrificed to make their careers successful, forms the end of the movie.

The lead actors have done an astonishing job, playing their roles to perfection. I was especially impressed with the acting of Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier. The supporting actors too have done a good job in lending support to the leads. All in all, the cast selection couldn’t have been any better. Music is subtle and merges with the film’s flow, and cinematography is also good.

What really captured my attention was the way in which the life of magicians has been shown. All of us, at one point of time or the other, have been piqued and have wondered about how magicians really create all the illusions. This film depicts that wonderfully. Whether all these methods are still in practice, I don’t know… but if they really kill pigeons and animals every time they get on stage, just to show us a trick.. then that’s really bad…!! Like Borden says in the picture, if they get their hands dirty during every show… ūüė¶

I haven’t really given much details or posted a spoiler in this review.. ūüėÄ The film has a really nice but unbelievable twist towards the end, so watch this movie and let me know. And it has a very fresh and a not-so-often-seen storyline. Overall, I would rate this movie as a Must Watch. You will not regret it.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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Back to blogging again..!

Posted by Prasad on March 16, 2008

After over a month long break, I’m back to blogging ways again. Eventful things happened in this previous month and a half, and I am happy for most of them, and feeling bad for a few unsavory incidents.. Anyways, hi to all of you who had missed me, if at all there are any of you. ūüėÄ

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Choose the best..!

Posted by Prasad on February 5, 2008

Do I write this post or do I not? Okay, I’ll do it.

We always have a choice. Each and every action we do, is something we decided ourselves. I chose to do dentistry. I decided to do Oral Pathology. True.. I had some pressures and advises and goadings and promptings. But ultimately, all my actions were a result of my own decisions. I know you are wondering where this is all leading to..

Let me explain. At no point of time in life are you forced to do something. There is not a single situation in life where you were left with no options. We always have a choice. That is why I find it troublesome and worrying when someone decides to end his/her life for lack of choice. I don’t know what triggers someone to take the extreme step. But I do know that, even at that point when he is decided in ending his life, he has a choice.. a choice to live and face the world, come what may..! People who know me personally, now obviously know the reason why I wrote this post. This is not the first time, its probably the third or fourth person I know at least by name, who has decided to end his life for some reason or the other.

I do not suspect their reasons. They might be having deep sorrows and unbearable pain that triggered them to do this. But they never have the opportunity to realise how much pain and sorrow they are inflicting on their near and dear ones. They had a choice to make things right.. face the world.. overcome obstacles and prove themselves. Sadly, that was never to be. Every year, at the time of exam results, I find newspapers filled with reports of students committing suicide. Is a failure in examinations something so big that it cannot be faced..? I pity them. Some people never understand their potential.

However, now¬†that¬†I¬†have¬†poured¬†out¬†my¬†thoughts,¬†I¬†do¬†feel¬†that¬†death¬†was¬†something¬†they¬†chose,¬†not¬†wanting¬†to¬†face¬†life. You see, even at death you cannot say that you had no choice.. a sad irony…!

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The Worst Building in the History of Mankind…!!!

Posted by Prasad on February 4, 2008

It’s the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea, where the world’s 22nd largest skyscraper has been vacant for two decades and is likely to stay that way … forever.

Even by Communist standards, the 3,000-room hotel is hideously ugly, a series of three gray 328-foot long concrete wings shaped into a steep pyramid. With 75 degree sides that rise to an apex of 1,083 feet, the Hotel of Doom (also known as the Phantom Hotel and the Phantom Pyramid) isn’t the just the worst designed building in the world — it’s the worst-built building, too. In 1987, Baikdoosan Architects and Engineers put its first shovel into the ground and more than twenty years later, after North Korea poured more than two percent of its gross domestic product to building this monster, the hotel remains unoccupied, unopened, and unfinished.

 News Source

More pics and info here  and here

Doesn’t¬†really¬†look¬†good…!¬†Looks¬†ominous,¬†like¬†a¬†scary¬†house..!

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The art of compulsive overshopping…!!

Posted by Prasad on January 22, 2008

Number¬†of¬†items¬†in¬†the¬†shopping¬†list¬†–¬†24

Number¬†of¬†items¬†in¬†the¬†shopping¬†cart¬†–¬†45

This happens to me many a time. Probably to you too. Every time I go shopping for some groceries or apparels or anything at all, for that matter, I end up spending more than what I had planned initially. What was supposed to be a trip to the nearby shop for essential items, becomes a full-fledged shopping mania. Why does this happen? Is it a disease? Let me analyse this from my viewpoint.

Today, in my opinion, I feel there are a lot of factors that force us into buying things. We can find a variety of reasons to buy something; but we have hardly any reason not to buy it.

  1. Peer pressure: My friend has an MP3 player and a mobile phone with GPS. Let me buy a high-end mobile that is an MP3 player, a 5MP camera, a GPS unit and a mobile, all put together in one. My friend says it is a good buy. (If you are married, replace or add spouse pressure to peer pressure)
  2. Financial position: I make enough money to spend, why do you care? I’ll spend all my money the way I deem it fit.
  3. Credit Cards: Well, I don’t have enough dough for this pen drive now, but I always have a credit card. So I can pay it later next month…. happy..!
  4. EMIs: I’ll pay for this mobile in EMIs – flat interest rate of 24% per annum.. But still, the monthly bill comes to less than 3K.
  5. Offers: Buy 3 bedspreads for the cost of one.. or buy a fridge and an oven, and get Rs.1000/- off. Of course, conditions apply.. ūüėÄ
  6. Very rarely, we might really have a habitual disorder requiring medical assistance.

On the contrary, getting reasons for not buying things is very very difficult. More and more ads on the TV, better economic status, easier access to shops, all these further compound things, to make matters worse.

How¬†do¬†I¬†overcome¬†it?¬†Well,¬†the¬†answer¬†to¬†this¬†question¬†is¬†tough.¬†One¬†way¬†would¬†be¬†to¬†decide¬†on a¬†no¬†credit card/EMI¬†purchase policy, and adhering to it sincerely. Also, make a proper and well-planned budget every month, and do all the shopping at a single go. The number of things bought is directly and logarithmically proportional to the number of visits to the shop.. ūüėÄ Also put in your views, and the methods to overcome this habit of compulsive overshopping.

A simple google search revealed that we are not alone in this. Compulsive overshopping and overspending has now become more of a norm, rather than an exception, especially in the generation X. Our parents were definitely spending less and managing funds more efficiently than us. So what are we missing here?

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Blissful Sundays..!

Posted by Prasad on January 20, 2008

My creativity was on an all-time low for the past few days..! Busy and hectic days at the workplace didn’t help it either. So after a long and stressful week, I was happy to have two full free days for myself.. ūüôā Holidays are blessings, especially for bachelors who live alone. There is no one to wake you up at 7 or 8 in the early morning. You decide your routine. No rules to follow, no schedules to adhere to.

My¬†typical¬†Sunday¬†routine¬†actually¬†starts¬†a¬†little¬†earlier¬†than¬†Sunday, with a¬†late night movie on Saturday. I usually spend the first five days of the week downloading movies, and save them for watching on a Saturday. After watching the movie¬†(yesterday I watched Once in a Summer on visio’s suggestions… a review will follow soon) in a home-theatre effect late into the night, I sleep for about 9 to 10 hours to wake up late at about 10.30 in the morning. Self-made tea or coffee with newspaper is¬†the¬†usual breakfast. Then some surfing and downloading.. Lunch follows soon enough. Having a mess that provides palatable food in time helps me a lot. I need not depend on my culinary skills to save myself from starvation. Post-lunch session depends on my mood… either it is sleep or just some TV or internet or loud songs. I might hangout with friends in the evening, depending on their plans, else the post lunch session extends till dinner in the same mess. Again some internet surfing…. followed by sleep at around 12 midnight, with the threat of Monday looming large in my head..!! ūüė¶ Other routine household chores get inserted anywhere in between. No strict schedules there.. ūüėÄ

Probably, most bachelors have similar schedules. Post yours too…!! I personally know many of my friends living in hostels who have schedules worse than mine.. ūüėÄ But yeah, all this lasts only for a certain period of time…. And of course, it is not always as good as it seems to be.. I start feeling lonely sometimes.. ūüė¶

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The Colours of Life….!!

Posted by Prasad on January 13, 2008

I remember a few days ago, one of my colleagues wanted to know what each colour symbolises,¬†for¬†an assignment for her Spoken English¬†classes.¬†Her¬†question¬†triggered¬†a¬†series¬†of¬†thoughts¬†in¬†my¬†mind. I¬†wanted¬†to¬†know what each colour means to each of us. Each of us are individuals in the true sense of the term. My way of thinking, my personality traits, my actions, all are different from every other person’s. The same way, what one colour means to me, might not be the same to you or your mom or dad or friend.

Let¬†me¬†be¬†straightforward.¬†I’m¬†not¬†a¬†philosophical¬†sort¬†of¬†guy.¬†I¬†don’t like lectures on philosophy, I’m not into things about soul and heart and their effects etc. But I get more thoughtful and¬†deeply immersed, when I’m in a mood to, about the beauties of nature and about the way things go on in life. Sometimes I try to find explanations for unexplained things. Colours are one such thing. Its a mystery why man was gifted with the ability to distinguish colours, while many lesser animals cannot do so.

Let me put forth what some of the basic colours mean to me.

Blue: To me, blue symbolises beauty. Anything blue is simple and beautiful. Blue also symbolises purity. I try to picture things which are beautiful, people who are pure at heart, nice occasions, everything in blue. It is of course my favorite colour, and you could probably see that in the colour of this page itself. My wardrobe is mostly blue, and so are most of my other possessions.

Red: It is a colour that means life. Red also symbolises illness or danger, as most of you would agree.

Green: It represents youthfulness. Anything tender and fresh, and lively, is green

Yellow:¬†I¬†do¬†not¬†know¬†why,¬†but¬†for¬†some¬†reason,¬†yellow¬†always¬†brings back memories¬†of childhood¬†to¬†me.¬†I’d¬†prefer¬†to¬†call yellow as a colour of the past, of things you’d probably like to forget.

Black: It represents silence, a sense of calmness and relaxation, and of course finality. Probably that is the reason black is also associated with death and mourning.

White:¬†Rather¬†than¬†peace,¬†to¬†me,¬†white¬†is¬†all¬†about¬†omnipresence. White is present anywhere and everywhere. Rather, I’d say that you remove any colour, and all you are left with is white. White is universal… just like the omnipresent One who decides everything happening everywhere.

Those¬†were¬†just¬†my¬†views.¬†I’d¬†love¬†to¬†know¬†how¬†each¬†one¬†of¬†you¬†feels about¬†different¬†colours. That was in fact the purpose of this post. As for my friend’s assignment, I just googled and made her a print out of the meaning of colours. ūüėÄ

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Gigasmilies rocks…!!

Posted by Prasad on January 13, 2008

Gigasmilies is¬†a nifty little application that makes posting smilies in forums or blogs, a very easy task….¬† Created by Santhosh and Charan, both of whom I know through the Digit forum, this application is small and easy to use.¬†

Check it out at Gigasmilies

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“My Sassy Girl” – Review

Posted by Prasad on January 13, 2008

This is my first official blog, so I’d like to start with saying a big HI to everyone reading this..! After reading raving reviews about the Korean film “My Sassy Girl” for long, I finally had an opportunity to watch the movie yesterday.¬†A¬†short¬†review¬†of¬†the¬†movie,¬†in¬†my¬†opinion,¬†follows.

Info about the movie 

My Sassy Girl is a Korean movie released in 2001, directed by Kwak Jae-yong. The lead characters (and the only characters you would notice) are played by Cha Tae-hyun (Kyun Woo in the film) and Jun Ji-hyun.

My Review

The¬†movie starts¬†with¬†Kyun¬†Woo¬†waiting¬†to¬†meet¬†his¬†girlfriend¬†(whose name is never revealed in the movie for some reason)¬†after¬†a¬†period¬†of¬†two¬†years.¬†He¬†narrates the story of how he met his girlfriend for the first time in a train, and how their relationship gradually developed. I’m not going to post a spoiler here, so nothing more in detail about the plot.

Kyun Woo is depicted  as a typical college student with no aims in life, living life as it comes, until he meets a girl of his dreams. His life changes drastically after that. The girl at first disgusts him. She is drunk to the full at their first meeting; later he also finds many annoying characteristics in the girl. But still he is attracted towards her, and he slowly understands that behind the mask of that annoying and drunk girl, is a pretty girl with a very painful sorrow. I must say that the hero (its very difficult to spell these names.. :D) has done an excellent job, be it in the emotional scenes; or in the funny parts. The way he gets slapped, beaten and abused by the girl is really funny at times; and makes you feel bad for him at times.

The girl’s character, in my opinion, is the pillar behind the success of this film. Played excellently by the Korean star Jun Ji-hyun, she disgusts you at first, makes you angry, attracts you, and finally makes you feel sorry for her. You just can’t predict the way she’ll talk or behave in the next scene. I’m not sure if the actor got an award for this performance or not, but I feel she deserves one. Most of the credit to the film’s success goes to her.

Storywise,¬†the¬†film¬†is¬†no¬†different¬†from¬†many¬†of¬†the¬†Bollywood¬†movies we¬†are¬†treated¬†to¬†each¬†year.¬†It¬†is¬†a¬†romantic¬†comedy. The first part is filled with more comedy, and the second half gets more melodramatic. Towards the end you start praying that the film¬†should have a good end, and that’s exactly what’s in store. But¬†the¬†way¬†the¬†film¬†was¬†made,¬†and¬†the¬†way¬†the¬†characters¬†were depicted, makes¬†this¬†film¬†a¬†class¬†apart from the others. The characters stay in your mind long after the film is over. That, to me, is an identity of a well-made film.

Summary

Though¬†storywise I’d say the film in not very different, this is a movie that one should not miss. Excellently made with just two main characters, I’d recommend a Must Watch rating to this movie. Do not miss this. And if you have a girlfriend, watch it with her by your side.

Rating

8.5 out of 10

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