Sunday, November 17, 2013

Job Interviews + Tamil Movies

Interview scenes in Tamil cinema, especially when our hero attends a job interview is always an important scene. These are the scenes where our hero’ view towards the world, their own mental state and their family situation is expressed. I’m just listing few memorable job interview scenes in Tamil cinema in no particular order,  

Agni Natchatiram - *ing - Karthik and VK Ramaswamy.
Dir.- Mani Ratnam

Let us start with not much seen or telecasted scene in TV. Although this is a famous film, you can't see this scene in any TV channel like short-clips. When the interviewer VK Ramaswamy asks Karthik about his father, he gets angry and assaults VKR. While coming out of the room, he says to others “Nothing to worry, he is alive”. Most of the Mani Ratnam’ lead-characters are smart and cool. IMO he used this scene, which is the first scene in the film to convey the frustration of the hero and also a kind of coolness after the incident. 

Mouna Geethangal - *ing - K Bhagiyaraj
Dir.- K Bhagiyaraj

The big daddy of screenplay during his initial years. As usual, innocence mixed with smartness, Writer Bhagiyaraj jumps into the interview right in the middle. The interviewer, from nowhere throws a beemer, “What do you think about Nirodh ?”, the reply from the interviewee and way it is done is quite a memorable cinematic moment. But wait, do they really ask about condoms in a real interview ?

Thillu Mullu - *ing -  Rajanikanth - Thengai Srinivasan
Dir.- K Balachander

An evergreen scene and if I want to rate, then I would put it in the top of the list. The scene is set even before Rajani-Srinivasan meet-up. When the other interviewees getting rejected, we almost get into a conclusion that Rajani will get selected, but how will be a big question.  Hmm, he got the cheat codes!!  

Nanne Raja Nanne Mandri - *ing -  Vijayakanth
Dir.- Balu Anand

For a change our hero, Vijayakanth will be the interviewer. He is the head panaiyar of the village and he is recruiting for someone to manage the assets and property. He is portrayed as so dumb, that he doesn't even know the difference between 12th Standard, B. Sc. and M. Sc. By seeing his ridiculous questions, the group which came to interview run away.

IMO this scene might have been used by the director to portray how dumb and dumbest the hero-character is, since later in the film, our heroin changes the character of our hero.

Varumaiyin Neram Sivapu - Kamalhassan
Dir- K Balachander

Usually a interview scene will be placed in first 30-40 mins of the film. Which is used to establish the main character. This timing is applicable in above all films. But, in this film the interview scene comes almost after 70% of the running time. The viewer is already aware of our hero’-character, who speaks from heart and doesn't like to beat around. So with this hot-headed character, it is obvious that one can't get a job, which is known to the viewer, so why need of this scene ?. His anger and frustration goes up to the point that at the end of the interview he will tear his certificate and throw at the faces of the interviewers.


Placement of the scene:- All the listed films went on to become big hits. IMO, I would say these are perfect examples of using the cinema as a visual medium, rather than just using it as a “talk-based or preachy” medium. In the case of Varumayiin Neran Sivapu, the character has to go his highest-point of frustration, by doing something nadir, which a normal job-seeker can't even imagine to do. If, the same scene is placed in the initial 30 mins, then there is nothing to tell in the rest of the film.

Job interview scenes involved with a female interviewee mostly ends up in sexual exploitation. A female character taking as a main-lead is very less. I could have missed, if there is something inline with the above scenes, would love to discuss about it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mad Detective ( Hong Kong, 2007 )

If you like complex story-telling movies like Memento, Irreversible and Inception, then add Mad Detective to your list.

Language : Cantonese | Staring : Lau Ching-Wan, Andy On, Lam Ka-Tung | Direction : Johnie To | Country : Hong Kong | Year : 2007


Please don’t come into a stereotypical conclusion, by seeing police, bullets, chase sequences in the poster of this film. If this is a routine cop-film, this shouldn't have featured in FilmBulb. As promised before, FilmBulb tried to breach the Great Wall of China, but can’t get into the mainland, so just passed through Hong Kong. Mad Detective is directed and produced by Johnie To. Released in 2007, this film went on to win many awards in the screenplay category.

Plot ( Spoilers maybe )

Inspector Bun (Lau Ching-Wan) has an unusual way to solve cases. He literally puts himself in the shoes of a criminal, we see an example in the opening scene- He lets himself inside a big suitcase and asks his fellow detectives to roll it through the stairs to identify a killer in a murder case. This answers why the name of the film is Mad Detective. 

Bun (Lau Ching-Wan)
The actual story begins when a young detective Ho Ka-On (Andy On) seeks Bun’ help in solving a “missing person” case, but Bun is now not with the police department. The missing person is a police officer Wong and the suspect is another policeman Ko Chi –Wai (Lam Ka-Tung). 

Ho (Andy On)
Bun agrees to help Ho, in spite of his imaginary wife, May Cheng, asking Bun not to work on the case. Wait, did I say imaginary, yes, initially we (& detective Ho Ka-On) assume that Bun has lost his wife and he just makes up an imaginary wife, but as the story move on we see that Bun has this special abilities to see the inner personalities of others. 

Bun sees seven-personalities in the suspect Ko Chi-Wai and he also sees a week-kid personality in Ho Ka-On. The rest of the story is how Bun solves the mystery of the missing person.

Ko Chi-Wai's Seven personalities 
My experience
You can’t see this film once; it takes two viewing, at least for me, especially when you are viewing through sub-titles. No wonder, why this film got accolades for screenplay, because after Bun team with Ho to solve the case, the personality thing comes up. So whenever Bun sees a character, we are forced to see their respective personality. 

First viewing for me was a half-digest. I ate the food (film) again, because I sensed this was a good one to re-watch. I’m sure you can find some after effects inside you after seeing this film. After effects is in seeing the hidden personalities in others. There is a small Indian connection in this film; one of the characters is an Indian.

I’m sure you can find some after effects inside you after seeing this film.

The orchestration of the climax is very innovative, when see all these personalities are reflected in the mirrors, but in reality it’s different. If you like complex story-telling movies like Memento, Irreversible and Inception, then add Mad Detective to your list.


Friday, November 8, 2013

To Let or not to let

Relocating home can be a daunting task, but before you decide to move, there is another Herculean, Gondodaran, Kumbakarnan... task- which is to find a right house, especially in big city like Chennai.
I'm a guy who chose things in a matter of few minutes, who doesn't research a lot, I just go by the gut feeling, instantly picking things and never regret later, no matter if it's good or bad.
Last time I moved a few years before, we saw two houses and picked one. This time, it was on and on and on...10 houses, it is like a marathon run.
The word started to spread that our present house owner had sold this house and we (3 tenants) had to vacate the house. Starting from the paperboy, grocery store anachi, vegetable vendor- all wanted us to look for home in the same neighborhood, as they don't want to lose a customer!
Now, let's jump into some house-seeing-episodes.
  1. One owner even before letting us inside the vacant house asked me- where I work and where is the office. Then he continued by partially hearing my reply; oh so long, ok ok, I think your company will provide you bus, I see a lot now-a-days. I politely replied, no sir that is a different company.
  2. In another house, which was in the first floor, we climbed the stairs and before realizing where we are, we were standing in the living room !!. I asked the broker, where is the main door to this house. He pointed out to a grill gate! and said “Sir, this is the main door!!”.
  3. There was this smart landlady. I asked is it a two-bedroom house ?, she replied “ There is a big hall and one room, so you can use the big hall as another room”, I - ahhh what !!!
  4. There is no sense of architecture or planning in most of the houses. In one house, which was 2BHK, there was no window in any room, including the kitchen!! Most of the house owners don't care a damn about the bike and car parking. Their standard answer to this query- Just leave it in the street!!
  5. Another house, I saw a pinnacle of interior architecture, a bathroom is attached to the living room, ok fine, no problem, as it was in a corner, but when I looked up, there is only one ventilation for the bathroom, which is facing the living room!! Yack!!

Finally the EB bill, 6 Rs/unit… 8 Rs/unit, as if they are generating the power. My average consumption is 150 unit/cycle, normal govt.  rate I would pay Rs. 230, if it is Rs 6/unit, then I had to pay Rs 900 !. Daylight robbers.
Share your experiences here.