Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Well, with all due respect to David Yates, I would like to say that The Order of the Phoenix came,tried,and failed. Now don't get me wrong, I am still a faithfull follower of Mr.Potter but I expected a lot more from OOTP.

Firstly, I want to make it a point that the start of the movie was 'great'. The opening with Dudley's ever growing belly and scary yet funny head, together with two Dementors who look like they've gone unfed since they first visited Hogwarts in The Prisoner of Azkaban, and a very fake scene where Harry sticks out his wand in front of a 'bunch' of Muggles, and then a chase down a sewer. There is nothing in the sequence that leaves a lasting impression. Nothing!

The opening sequence in Little Whinging is where Daniel, hanging in midair, his throat clutched by a Dementor, shows us that I'm Daniel Radcliffe and not Harry Potter. I am an actor, not a fictional character. Who would have thought one could deliver all that from just saying,"D-Dudley r-r-run"?? But then again, that piece of cinema is ruined by the entrance of Mrs.Figg who made me want to kick the casters for selecting such a moron!! She can't act. Mark my words! There was no feeling in what she said!!
But I've got to hand it to The Dursley's. They are brilliant in their little shot.

And then,the real bore. The movie jumps from scene to scene without us being allowed any time to think about what just happened. Reason why I think The Prisoner of Azkaban was the best movie in the Series(so far) is that Director Alfonso Cuaron made sure the actors were actually acting and that the audience got enough time to breathe after a sequence. He paid homage to the Dementors, the Whomping Willow, even something as small as a bat or a leaf, in between scenes. And the music was sublime. Here, however, the editing is so terrible that just after Harry is hit by a freak scene through Nagini's eyes he is thrown into a chair in Snape's Office and down to learning Occlumency. He hasn't even been allowed to stop sweating from what he saw!!

The training of Dumbledore's Army is shown better than expected and I still don't know what the big deal was with the kissing scene. It was poor rather than cute(and they did it in 16 takes!) The visual effects are great but they are a bit too abundant. Even when two characters are conversing there's something going on in the background which acts as a distraction from the real scene.

The only part of the 'movie' which deserves real praise is the climax. From the time the final battle in the movie begins the audience is treated to some solid acting and not to mention, special effects. The Death Eaters look great but they could have looked better. The Department of Mysteries is good, but overdone. Too many orbs. Too many shelves. But, a great fight sequence. The part which everyone wanted to be long and drawn out, wasn't. And then it all came down to Lord Voldemort. Now, whether you like Ralph Fiennes or not, he demands attention when he's carrying out the role of He Who Must Not Be Named. He is brilliant. The little time that he gets on screen is worth savouring. The way the connection between Harry and Voldemort's mind is shown at the end is perfect.

Discrepancies aside; hats off to Imelda Staunton who plays Dolores Umbridge oh so well with her little squeaky laugh and her voice and her Office and her eyes and her hair(I could go on forever). Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood and Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange deserved a LOT more screen time than what was given to them, but they pulled off their 'small' cameos flawlessly. Grawp is cute but fails to leave a mark. Daniel Radcliffe proves his worth as an actor. He even shouts out,"Look at me!" with demanding conviction. The sequence where the Weasley Brothers, Fred and George storm out of Hogwarts with a grand show of firecrackers in between an examination is one of the funniest ones in the movie and definitely deserves a kudos. But the absence of acting sequences just ruins the movie. More importance is given to Parvati and Padma Patil than to Ron and Hermione.

Their are no praiseworthy sequences here like that in The Shrieking Shack in The Prisoner of Azkaban or the conversation where Mad Eye Moody confesses his true identity in The Goblet of Fire. Even the Pensieve was given importance in the fourth installment. Here, everything is mute.

OOTP is more like an attempt at a movie than a real movie. It isn't even an adaptation. The acting is mostly dull. The editing is terrible. The length of the movie is ridiculous if not outrageous, and in the end all we get is 2hrs of hardly anything and 15 minutes of cinema. I mean,The Prisoner of Azkaban is a 300something paged novel and it got a 2hrs 20minutes adaptation, Goblet of Fire was 600something pages and that got 2hrs 40minutes of game time whereas Order of the Phoenix is 700something pages and it gets 2hrs 15minutes on screen?? Are you freaking kidding me?? You'd have been better off giving it to Ram Gopal Varma who would have mixed it up with songs and a turned it into a full length 3hrs 30minutes movie!!

Look at The Lord of the Rings. The first two movies are verging on 3hrs whereas the third one stretches to 3hrs 30minutes plus. The movies remain true to the storyline. The only reason why The Harry Potter movies aren't getting enough recognition as the LOTR movies is because it's more commercial entertainment than 'movie making'. The only movie which had 'movie making' in it was the 3rd one. And most fans call it the 'worst' film. Why? Because there wasn't enough special effects and there was too much of talking!!

6/10 overall. Enjoyed the 25minute closing sequence. That's about it. Nothing cinematic to see here. As for the next installment(due to release in November 2008), I hope that The Half Blood Prince isn't murdered like this.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Tyranny will rise. The rebellion will begin.

Above is the French poster for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The reason why I've posted the French poster and not an English one is because it looks better.
Lord Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange, Lucius Malfoy and the Death Eaters on one side. And Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny and Luna on the other. It's War!!

According to many(majority of the Potter fans I know)this book is the 'most-boring' of the series(so far - the last one soon to be released). Well,"Shut up" to them!! I mean look at it this way. This book has ..

1. Details about the 'history' of the battle against Voldemort.
2. History of the Black family.
3. The Order of the Phoenix(The sexiest bunch of Death Eater butt-kickers on the face of the ... uhm ... Wizarding World!).
4. Bellatrix Lestrange(One of my favourite characters.The only surviving lady Death Eater so to speak.The wicked appearance. Her 'murderous' history. She's just one amazingly crafted character).
5. Luna Lovegood(Aah now she's great.The whimsical-carefree little girl that she is. I just feel so warm inside whenever she's mentioned in the book. She just makes things seem more real by saying whatever she says. She's a misfit - Yes. She's the best misfit ever!).
6. The Prophecy(I won't even go into details there. If you don't remember what it is then 'shame on you'. Go read the book again!! You're a disgrace to the name of Potter!!)
7. Sirius Black,The Longbottoms,The Ministry of Magic,Dolores Umbridge(Ooooo),The kiss(Dont know why it's 'such' a big deal),Lestrange and Luna again,etc etc. Uhm -- Go read the book again will you??

For all of you "Potter-fans" -- All those points above(and dozens of others)are just unimportant eh? The book could have done without em right? What are you -- A bunch of freakin psychos who only want mushy 'under-mistletoe' kissing scenes?? Get a life "Potter-fans" -- Get a life.

And for the bunch who think this book is as important as the other ones -- Hats off!! You do proud to the name of Potter. I myself am a fan and I would like to say that I'm waiting eagerly for the fifth movie and the seventh book to come out.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

City leaks.

A third rainy day in a row.No school again.It's been raining almost non-stop for the past 60hours and it doesn't look like it's gonna stop.Just read the paper which arrived 4hours late - At 9:30am.Parts of the city are still inacessible.Dare you point to Mumbai Mr.M?!?!
Above all that -- The Met Office says there's a huge depression 150kms off the Bengal coast.And hey -- It's headed this way.And if it doesn't change course there's gonna be even heavier rains for the next two days.
My dad just got back from the market a few minutes ago.Food.The prices of vegetables have been multiplied by 1.5 their original price.Supply has gone down by 40%.Sexy huh? If this rain doesn't stop soon the city's literally gonna be reduced to what Mumbai had been reduced to 2 years ago.
Right now when I look out the window I see that it's raining quite heavily.I have my Economics tuition in an hour.If it continues like this I ain't going!
People in Kolkata hate leaks -- Shower leaks,basin leaks,etc etc.And to top it all off now there are sewage leaks all over the city.I have a friend who lives near AJC Bose Road.He says that the manholes are throwing up sewage waste there.Yesterday there were fishes swimming around thanks to the fact that a lake somewhere nearby had overflowed!
The sewage lines are leaking,the lakes are overflowing,prices of vegetables and fishes are rising .. All hail the rain!

And hey -- I still ain't complaining -- No school!!
P.S.: Sorry for the crapy photograph.Actually I haven't been able to get out much in this rain and that's the best I could muster.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Under the sky ..

Uhm.See the photograph? I snapped it on my digicam a few days ago.It was taken a few metres away from my house.There's this multiplex coming up there.I forget what it's called.It's big and in it's initial stages of development.The sky was a bit cloudy and all but anyways .. It looked pleasant,and that's why I snapped this pic.See the clouds? The formation .. Looks nice.And the big-big pillars that are coming up. With thick,strong steel rods for support.Solid metal and concrete!!
There was this worker there when I snapped this photo.He was eyeing me with great interest.He was about 30 or 35 years old.Strong,muscular,rugged.I looked back at him and he asked..

"Photo le rahe ho?"

I replied to the point.."Ha."

"Kya karenge photo lekar?"

I thought.."Kuchh nahi.Aisehi."

"Oh.Aap kya aisehi photo kheech-te ho?"


"Oh.Kheech lijiye.Shayed kal ye tasveer nahi kheech paenge."

I didnt know how to react to that. I was bewildered. I didn't know what he meant by that.

"Perhaps you wont be able to take this photograph tomorrow."

What was it that he meant by that?
What was it ..?

The Mon-soon is here.

Well,they're late.Given the amount of carbon emmissions etc etc that's being added to the atmosphere daily,it ain't much of a surprise that the mon-soon is lashing through the city almost a month late.There were just two days of proper rain before this.And now it's Venice!

School has been closed for the past two days.Over 250mm of rain in the last 36hours.That's something to talk about.And the M is pointing towards the present state of Mumbai.Why?
Here's why ..

Public : Mr.M,what are you going to do to ensure that the city is up and running asap?

M : Oh.We are doing the best we can.

P : Clearly that is not good enough.Look at the streets.They are all under water.

M : That is a nothing.Look at Mumbai.It is virtually inaccessible.Almost like what happenned in 2005.The commercial activities etc havent been running properly for the past week or so.

P : We are not concerned about what's happenning in Mumbai.We live here -- In Kolkata.

M : Oh not to worry.We are doing the best that we can to ensure that we are up and running in no time.

P : And that is?

M : Our officials have been sent all over the city to open up all the manholes.

You be the judge.But hey,what's it to me? I get two extra days off from school.Woo-hoo.All Hail the Rain!!

What's in a name?

Cliched question huh?
Well,as most of you will agree,there's a lot in a name.It is one's identity in the world.
The World -- Wow!! Big place huh? Well,you'll get to know exactly how big it is aif you just look at the picture to the right.

In the world I go by my name.I am not going to say what that is since you already know that.I will however discuss the name that's displayed on top of this blog.

Interstellar Overdrive.All those who find it familiar will be taken back to 9minutes and 41seconds of psychedelic music by none other than the masters of the art -- Pink Floyd.Syd Barret being the composer in this case.

Interstellar -- Between or among the stars.
Overdrive -- A state of heightened activity or concentration.

That is precisely where and in what state I always am.Simple as that.And that is what is in a name.It's a definition.

As for The World -- That's what it is...A Pale Blue Dot.