The Frayed Side of Friendships

He left and didn’t say anything.

And it led me to musing what went wrong in the five years that we’ve known each other. We met as colleagues, became friends, and in one simple spell of miscommunication, fell out of it. This, within the span of a year. And, like most emotionally settled individuals do, I should have let this go and outgrown it.

Of course, I’m not like most emotionally settled individuals. I’m someone who’s acutely self-aware and wants to, for lack of articulation, “get shit done”. I’m a sucker for closure and completion, and I just realize I never ended up getting the feeling of a chapter ending I needed out of this. So I desperately begged him for forgiveness for the next six months, and blamed myself for the next few years. I am aware I shouldn’t have—heck, I was aware I shouldn’t have, but I did it anyway—although, in my defense, I really, really considered him a good friend. In the time I held myself responsible, I actively denied any possibility that I didn’t deserve this behavior.

Sometimes he’d reach back, and I’d be quick on my feet to respond, in hopes (against hope itself) that there would be a return of sorts of the friendship; the bond we had. I’d conveniently choose to ignore the purely self-centered reasons he’d end up calling me for.

Last year, though.

I met him twice last year. Once at a party where the both of us were knee-deep only trying to maintain professional visibility, and the other time with a group of mutual friends. The former, as usual, gave me a very silly sort of hope. But it’s the second time that I realized that this was the last time I was seeing him. It wasn’t necessarily supported by any facts whatsoever; my gut just gave way to this strange, finality-ridden cognizance.

He turned quickly into an appearance in someone else’s conversation, vaguer and vaguer until one fine day, I got to know from a mutual friend that he was leaving for good. Eventually, however, a few days after he did leave, I had to make a choice—between letting his posts show up on my newsfeed, giving me the kind of pain only I can realize, and shutting him out altogether. From everywhere.

I chose the latter.

Did it help? I don’t know. I would never know. This isn’t a film, but real life. All I do know is that I’ve made my peace with it. It’s something that’s been way easier, considering—you know—the fact that I don’t have to risk bumping into him anymore. I still can’t realize why I decided to waste the last four years of my life continuously overcompensating for my follies. But that’s what humans do. They jump into unpredictable, often dangerously self-destructive patterns when they’re left with very little self-esteem to hold onto.

I’ve learnt something out of this though—it would be sad if I hadn’t. It’s good to keep your ego at bay if your relationship has any chance of being saved. But the lesser chances you see, the lesser you must think about it. Hell, I might even make this mistake again. But at the very least my self-awareness is going to motivate me enough to make me stop someday sooner.

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So How About That Redemption?

WARNING: READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED

I won’t lie. Life after last November has been the worst.

It’s had its silver linings, but it’s been the fucking worst.

I repeat: the fucking worst.

My depression, which was in its highs last April, came back last month this year. Celebrities have been dropping dead left, right and center. Everything I’ve been trying hasn’t been going anywhere. My attempts to break my socially anxious self have failed spectacularly, leading to the automated creation of new walls. I officially gave up on a friend after all of my attempts to send out an olive branch, and my hands are tied as I can see another dear one giving up on themselves.

Yeah. The fucking worst.

The easiest thing to respond to this is to tell me to be positive, or to “not be depressed”, which is a very common phrase I’ve heard over the past year and a half I’ve been actively battling it (to which I want to use the choicest of words, but really don’t because hello perspective).

And now I’m in London.

And to be honest, it’s been a lot, lot better than how life usually is. But to be fairly honest, my… episodes… still exist. The hard realization that you can never switch it off despite the much needed change of scenery… it’s heartbreaking. It really is.

But this isn’t about tragedy. No it isn’t.

Because in spite of my life being the fucking worst, it’s not all bad. It’s never all bad. I’ve grown a lot closer to a few friends. I’ve become freer in thought and in my assertiveness. My sarcasm is back in full form; hell, my ability to crack the most terrible of jokes is now back in spectacular form. I got the guts to ACTUALLY stop thinking and start traveling for once. I found the emotional strength I thought I never had to give up on the friend. I’m finding the emotional strength to stand by my friends and support their choices. And if that’s not enough, despite the spectacular failure, I actually attempted to be less socially anxious in possibly the worst place to begin with. If that’s not great, what in the name of delicious Phuchkas and Pizzas even is?

So, how about that goddamn redemption? Well, there’s no redemption.

Or are there? Because there’s also a possibility of redemption coming in small doses so we can take the shit-storm of emotional decay the next time any such episode is back. Or maybe I don’t know and this is just a ramble. I’d like to think it’s not and there’s some meaning to it.

Unfinished Businesses or (Discoveries Amidst Chaos)

IMG_2976The trip had reached its inevitable end. And I was sitting in Travel Club, waiting for my flight to announce its departure, contemplating.

About mostly why I didn’t want to come. And why I’m here. And why, despite leaving – the one thing I most desperately was waiting for when I reluctantly arrived to the progressive chaos that practically is my family – it just doesn’t feel right. There’s a lot that feels unfinished, and a lot unrequited.

There’s that unfinished place I couldn’t go to; that unrequited moment I couldn’t live in. There’s that unfinished conversation with my sister, and unrequited routine talk with my aunt. There’s that unfinished rasmalai, and an unrequited sense of pleasure; not quite complete, but having arrived with a breath of fresh air nevertheless.

It’s not like the movies though. No, the holidays weren’t ever going to be perfect. And they weren’t. Not because I didn’t want them to be, but because there was always going to be that gap between understandings and ideologies. Between states of mind and of consciences. Between rights and wrongs. And none more aggressively than within this trip.

This particular fucking trip.

IMG_2805It’s funny however, you know. Morbidly. On how influential travel is when meant for the sole purpose of travel and nothing else. We’re one person when we get on that plane, unsure of what to expect from possibly even a destination we’ve been to infinitely. There’s that nervousness. That then turns into a newfound curiosity for all things new, and – of course – a blast of nostalgic goodness as we come across the familiar. We leave our baggages of the routine and repressing and become the paradoxically immortal curious cats, always wondering. Always wandering.

And then you get on that plane. But instead of leaving all of that baggage of memories behind to better prepare for the dive back to the rigmarole called daily life, we take it. And it makes us a different person; probably one that you’ve always wanted to be, or perhaps – PERHAPS – one that you’ve always feared you’d be and tried your level best not to reach toward.

But that’s the amazing thing about what happened during the course of my trip: I met both the human I’ve dreamed to become, and the human I’ve feared I’d be in equal doses. There was anger. There was passion, and fear, and resentment, and apology, and hatred and love. There was all of that. And THAT was me in many forms. In many splices of the one dynamic personality I wouldn’t even know half of a few months ago.

IMG_2942And here I am, wondering if I have to turn back to the same person I’ve been confused in dealing with for particularly the last half of my life, or to imbibe within me these newfound splices of my personality within the course of my daily life, with obvious consequences.

Whatever my decision in the near future, however, there’s one thing that’s absolutely clear. Though my love-hate relationship with the city of the Phuchkas and the Pujo is pretty well-defined spiritually, reaching a crux like it did with my repeated rendezvousing with the estranged love of my life that – for now – is Bombay, you, Calcutta, are still unfinished business to me.

And I’m coming back for you.

Trusting You/Trusting Myself

This is strongly based on something I’ve been going through in the past week or so, so I just decided to write it down. It might not be a masterpiece, but i thought it was beautiful enough to share:

***

I can’t trust you anymore.

Because that’s the thing about trust. Despite all the justification, and all the extra justification, you’re left with the abundance – or the lack of – trust. Funny, because I still love you deeply. I love you like I feel love in every part of my body, every beating of my heart, and every crevice of my brain. I care for you, and will possibly continue to for the rest of my life. Because that’s how I am; I can’t simply stop caring about you. It’s just that I can’t get too attached to you anymore, because it’s detrimental to my health when it comes down to each (similar) cycle’s final minutes.

We meet, I get incredibly attached to you, I offend you, and we part. And I get it that you’re hurt. I really do. Because I am too. I’m ether angry at you for being the way you are with me – or with everybody. Or at myself, for being myself to you – or to everybody. There is so much self-doubt and hurt that I have to deal with that it turns into borderline insanity. And with the rather broken phase I’m going through (and you know it), you’d know better than anyone else that this is just a ticking time-bomb waiting to happen. That’s why you and I became friends: because we knew each other more than anything else in this world.

But I can’t trust you anymore.

Despite the fact that I love you deeply. Because I keep feeling that being around you is like an unusual kryptonite.

But that’s the thing, right? My trust issues or my desensitized emotinal core were always going to fuck this up. And I realize that now; it’s either those, or just… my being myself. And that hasn’t come to any good either. Maybe, the day I’ve successfully worked on myself toward being the person you’d like me to be, I’ll be ready to do this. Maybe, the day I’m ready to create a perfectly finalized customized relationship for us, I’ll be ready to trust myself to be around you. Because by then, I’ll probably be you – and be in sync with you. But right now, I’m myself.

And I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to change that anymore. Because I’ll continue hurting you time and again till I realize I’m only hurting myself from the aftermath of it all. The thing is, I can’t trust myself. And maybe that’s why I can’t trust you. Or whatever we have. But I’ll still – fortunately or unfortunately – continue to care for you on a rather painful level.

And this – whatever this is – can only be the impending end of it all.

R… Rajkumar or Welcome to Uncomfortable LalaLand

Some films deserve a review – good, bad or ugly. Some of them are devoid of anything and basically deserve a non-review, if need be. R… Rajkumar is one of them.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have an issue with crass language, you may as well avoid the following post, because this is how I’m going to voice my feelings. This is a rant, not a review, so stop being picky and get the fuck off if you are. It’s a blog, and it’s my opinion.

So two days ago, I landed up at the cinemas to catch Shahid Kapoor’s R… Rajkumar for three main reasons, and here’s why I wanted to watch it:-

  •  The trailer made Shahid Kapoor look like a badass. And I’m not even kidding.
  • Prabhudheva’s last three films were basically remakes, the last one in particular going through a very heavy dose of remake-ception (Maine Pyaar Kiya gets loosely remade into Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana gets remade into Ramaiya Vastavaiya). This film was supposed to be Prabhudheva’s first original story in the Hindi language.
  • Gandi Baat and Saree Ke Fall Sa. Yes, I know I’m supposed to have a better taste in music, but what the fuck- the whole tune was catchy enough for me to tap my two feet.

So there I was, sitting in the cinema hall, grounding my expectation levels from the film, and preparing myself for a masala movie devoid of any logic. This exercise was an added necessity for the fat that Bullett Raja, released a week prior, had let me down so bad I needed a serious break.

So the film starts off with Shahid Kapoor almost dying, which immediately starts off with a flashback, having some slo-mo action involving Shahid Kapoor saving Sonakshi Sinha in the most fake-ass way. You know what, I could still do with that. Couple of action sequences later, you have him getting involved in Sonu Sood’s gang and lecherously hitting on rival gang leader’s niece Sonakshi Sinha. Guy calls it love. I call it guy being plain horny and desperate. And then Sonu Sood notices her and decides to marry her. Because he’s obviously plain horny too. After that you have two people fighting each other out for a chick. Wow, that’s totally new. Honestly I would listen to the kingpin Ajit Taka and kill the chick for all that matters. He was kinda practical.

Call me biased, but what’s with masala entertainers having an overdose of boob-heaving and desperate dudes? Shahid Kapoor kisses Sonakshi Sinha as she slaps him in slow motion. The fuck? Seriously, the fuck? More importantly, Sonakshi, why the fuck would you want to choose films like these? I simply adore your ballsy performances, and you’ve done Lootera, for fuck’s sake, but what the fuck is this?

Let me be honest here, I’m no saint. I have a perverted sense of humor sometimes. I can go far. But god, I DO know where to draw my limits. Here, the movie is devoid of any. And sometimes in films, it can turn around with treatment and execution prowess. Delhi Belly with it’s near-flawless adult humor is a fantastic example of the same. Sometimes, even if the humor is cheap, it needs timing to catch you off-guard. Kyaa Kool Hai Hum is an example. But this – fucked up – film, is such a mess, it needs to join the likes of Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum.

Ballu Saluja is normally a great editor, but here he kinda messes shit up real bad. Something tells me it’s not his fault at all though. He’s otherwise known for Ashutosh Gowariker’s films of epic proportions, but here, he loses it. Also, a tip. If you guys want to shoot action sequences with high-speed recording, can you stop with the level of over-the-top expressions you’ve got on you? Unfortunately for Boss, it was better with it’s action, visuals and colour temperature throughout the film. Here, the editing, compositing and packaging was so over-the-top I was flabbergasted.

I know what’s Shahid trying to do here. Seriously, I feel the shit he’s going through with the kind of films he’s in not working, but after a spate of fantastic film like Jab We Met, Kaminey and the likes, what the fuck are we expected to do? Simply be comfortable with him making all the wrong decisions and allowing ourselves to go through all the torture? Gosh man, you’ve got to change your decisions quickly, else you’re gonna land up where you were in the year 2004. Or even worse.

And what’s with the item songs? Yeah, let’s force chicks with big boobs on your faces, let’s do that. I don’t get what’s the films of now trying to prove. With adult film celebrities like Sunny Leone making their entry, all I can see is crass shit being shown in the name of “bold cinema.” An intelligent filmmaker would try to make her act and give a push for her performances, but noooooo! Let’s just put big boobs on people’s faces, that would work! Well you know what? IT FUCKIN’ DOESNT.

Not for the more grounded people. But I’m pretty sure the kind of audience that watches the films are those that actually like it. Dicky males who look at women as their playthings, these guys watch the films and have fun and revel in all it’s glory.  This fact kind of makes me feel even more depressed.

Shit.

There are no two ways of saying that this film is pure moneymaking strategy. It might work even. But looking at Besharam, it may not. And I really hope it doesn’t. Masala films can also have some coherence, people. Just sayin’. I enjoyed this film very few people ended up knowing about – Commando starring Vidyut Jammwal. It was pretty simple, had some great fight sequences and is a great one-time watch. Catch it if you can. Kinda fun.

My take? Please, for the love of God (Allah aur Bhagwaan?), do NOT get in for R… Rajkumar. Unless you’re that guy who has no respect for women. At all. Or can’t watch porn publicly – because log kyaa kahenge and all that bull – and out of all desperation get aroused by this. Of all things in the world that have a better measure of arousal.

I’m still having hopes of watching a better Prabhudheva masala film with Action Jackson. Yes, I know I shouldn’t, but I think I can handle giving another chance. I’ve watched one entertaining film and one half-decent film of his. This one was just plain bad.

I’m done here. And I’m not rating this film. Nope. Not rating it at all.

The Power of Being a Closed Book

Emotional disconnect has been both a weapon and a bundle of mess for me; at different times though. My friends totally diss me for the fact that I can’t sympathise with situations, events and people dying; even if it is close ones. I don’t know what it is that disallows me to react. I could call it a wiring defect, I guess. I weep solidly when I watch movies, but as soon as I’m out of the movies, I become this solid mass of weird, emotional awkwardness that I don’t know whether to laugh off or ponder upon. Introspection usually brings me to this point. However, when I focus on it any further, I realise it’s one of my biggest strengths. People might regard it as a weakness, but at the risk of repeating myself, I think otherwise. Interestingly though, the last week has been a bundle of discovery, both good and bad. With an interesting revelation I made today.

The world is divided into two timelines, B. C., and A. D.; however, I consider the timeline of my life so far to be divided into three. One, where life’s personal matters were life’s personal matters to me. The second, where I wanted to share my problems with everyone, and the third, where I consolidated myself to become this closed book. In fact, similar to the timelines of two of my favorite films – The Lake House and Deja Vu, the timelines of the second and third phases of my life witnessed a peculiar overlap wherein the change was gradual. This change was brought about by various events, experiences and discoveries of mine, where I found strength in adapting to new situations and newer complications, each more challenging than it’s predecessor.

But of course, this brought about with it a whole set of complications that came by with it. Obnoxious frankness has usually been one of my main defects, and though I do manage to control this for almost eighty percent of the time, it usually comes out of it’s cocoon when it has to. People end up getting hurt thus. My insensitivity has an almost similar impact on people. Almost ninety percent of the people I know seem to have an issue with these problems of mine. Although I wouldn’t blame them, I’d however never explain myself. I’m of the idea that a person sees only what he/she wants to. Thus, if somebody would want to understand me, they would. If they wouldn’t want to, hey wouldn’t; howsoever I’d try aimlessly wasting my energy trying to clear.

The fact that I don’t explain myself; that quite a few people now know almost nothing about me; that gives me the strength to move further in life. Of course, there’s going to be curious, judgmentally conclusive eyes upon me, but as long as they’re satisfied with their opinions on me – howsoever positive or negative – I should be satisfied too. And I am.

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook timeline, “Start explaining yourself and you’re trapped living your live the other person’s way.” And with this, I conclude these muddled thoughts of mine here.

June the Eighteenth

Some things you can never forget; never move on from; never get closure of.

And June the 18th is that one date that continues to ride high in this category. More than two years ago, on this very date, I was pulled out of a never-ending vortex of a mess that had reached a saturation point of intolerable heights. That day continues to hold a paradoxically special place in some part of me. Yes, I lost someone I blindly trusted, but yes, I was on the road to self-confidence and a buildup of experience. But on this very date, last year, I was faced with an incident that continues to haunt me. My past had decided to come back on me with a force unfathomed, a power unprecedented. The people whom I trusted in decided to stab me in the back with such brute force that it keeps coming back to me like a dirty, shivery nightmare. And while I claim to have moved on from quite a lot of things, this one incident decided to mess up my already terrible trust issues.

Why don’t I let people in, some ask. Why do I push people away, some ask. Why do I need a gratuitously gargantuan amount of space, some ask. Thankfully, I do not feel the instant urge to explain myself to them like I previously used to. But of course, deep down I knew. I just knew the answer, and had decided to make the wise decision of going against the tide and answering with an unsolvable crypt-like secrecy.

Making myself unavailable – emotionally, physically, mentally – to others seemed to be my only option. The strength of experience and the power of confidence whirred in me to adapt myself to a world I needed to work as badly as one would want to watch a Christopher Nolan movie after watching it’s first mysterious teaser. This worked. And it worked like a charm. I built upon myself like no other. I found a ladder that was right in front of me, and easiest to climb. I found the obstacles moving away to make way for my journey to a brighter, happier, satisfied side of me.

A couple of incidents then happened last week which led me to land up in a place where I saw a face and was reminded of Celine’s impulsive emotion in Before Sunset:

I was fine, until I read your fucking book. It stirred shit up, you know?

That face brought back so much of anguish, so much of undying hatred; that mad rage that I was unable to control or tame. I spoke with my father – the only one who can understand me – about this. I told him, “I thought I had moved on, that I had become the better person. but you know, sometimes you just can’t. That incident keeps coming back all the fucking time. I saw his face, and it reminded me of SO MUCH CRAP I couldn’t take it anymore. I feel like such a shitty person for not moving on in life.” The rest of the discussion sets a pedestal for another story in itself, another story I would reveal if I had the mood and the waning away of personal reservations to divulge the readers with.

June the Eighteenth came to me with a ray of hope. Two years off, June the Eighteenth returned to bring me hatred, a sense of fiery, yet petty, vengeance, a deepening sense of hurt. Intolerable hurt.

Today morning though, when I woke up, I woke to a new sense of hope. A new sense of belonging reached out to me and told me that I’m better than this. Strangely enough, there are still people who love to instruct us to live our lives to their likings and their standards; probably an issue I still cannot get to understand. But then it dawns upon me that judgmental as they are, I have my own share of dislikes for people and their eccentricities I would love to manipulate, to change.

Then I remembered. I remembered that regret was the last thing I’d want to live with. Acceptance and appreciation of your own quirks, your own obnoxiousness; they matter a lot. And once that seeps in to you, regret and resentment hang far away. Also, the fear of being judged, of dislike, of being confronted or hurt – it all goes away when you stop caring for ninety percent of life’s factors that affect you.

And when I faced that face again this evening, I laughed at myself. And at him. And at the situation. And I walked out a winner. A winner who might not have found closure, but reason. It’s true, you can’t move on from some things. But it’s also true that it is those very things that lead you to new surprises in life.

The Unexpected

When the grave news of this shocking incident dawned upon the general public, it became an outrage. Everybody on Facebook was ablast, giving their judgement on the issue, while I personally felt I had nothing significant to offer by posting up anything anywhere. Two weeks of watching news reports and the dubious progress of the movement, her deteriorating health and the capture of the perpetrators of this heinous crime had done enough to shake me up, but I prefered to bottle it in. In normal cases, this blogger would have a tolerance level enough to let it pass. The cynic inside me was clashing with the updates of the revolting political agendas and statements made by some disappointing people in power, no end to the ever consistent rate of rapes and the never-ending attempt to distract the protestors and the media desperately with other comparatively insignificant news that would pop up.

Honestly though, I really didn’t know it would come to this. I didn’t know I would be urged by my passive aggressive self to write upon it. There was this little voice inside of me that always prayed she would live on, but this morning as I woke up, only to read this news, I knew I could bottle it no more.

More than a year ago, I had given my but cynical views on the fight against corruption by Anna Hazare. Some of my vague predictions ended up coming true; as phases like these have come and gone time and again. Then again a week ago, some of my repressed anger on this issue gave way to some absolutely pissed off statements with a friend and this is when I realized that a new update as such had given such a radical effect on me that I couldn’t control. I however did manage to, until today.

I would normally understand that decisions made on complicated matters as these takes quite some time, but in these two weeks, all I’ve been seeing is politician after politician playing nothing but the blame game. We understand you are overwhelmed, but we don’t understand why would you be so wholeheartedly driven to distract the media, the protesters and the outraged from something as topical as what has happened now. We understand that you’re pretty pissed off with the kind of outrage people are now showing up in the public, but we don’t understand why the hell would you want to suddenly put all of this on women and pass remarks as “dented and painted” on them. We understand that you’re public figures who have the authority to speak in public, but we don’t understand why you have to label some rapes as “misunderstandings.”

You’ve blamed the women most derogatorily, check. You’ve hurt the protesters as much as you could have. check. You’ve desperately distracted the media and squeezed in your political agendas wherever you could have, check. You’ve placed disparagingly uncouth remarks over public platforms and then withdrew them like it would suddenly vanish the pain you’ve caused the public, check. But where is the effort to make India a tad safer for women? I repeat, WHERE?

I had flicked through some news channels, and stopped on one where a news-reporter was asking a social activist on this saddening incident, and this person replied to something that goes like this, “It’s but saddening to know that it takes the death of one person to awaken India and open their eyes as a whole.” Yes, most of the youth have been trying hard, despite the obstacles, but this sudden movement would probably take a turn for a possible (?) conclusion only now that this brave one is no more. Or maybe not, considering everything has faded away for a while.

But what if I don’t want this movement to fade? I’ve been accepting of all the random shtick happening around India for a pretty long time, because I’ve known this usually build up, and ultimately pass. But this is one thing I sincerely hope and pray continues as a movement till there is that silver lining of conclusion amidst this never ending struggle on both sides.

Another thing I’ve managed to take notice of is the continuation of rapes on a shamefully consistent scale in other parts of the country, where no conclusion is reached and sometimes the affected have to go to lengths of killing themselves. Some blame the societies. Some will blame the glorification of rapes and the derogatory placement of women in Indian cinema. Some will blame the women and the way they dress when they’re out (which is COMPLETE BULLCRAP). The blame-game has now become a tried-and-tested rule for both distraction and washing their hands off the whole issue. Unfortunately we have nobody to blame but ourselves in these matters. If we want to stop this, we’ll have to look inside ourselves and create an understanding in us, about us and for us. This will create a long-term solution that may not have immediate effects but will find the light of day later in time. But of course, that won’t happen unless for a select few.

In conclusion, I’d like to quote a popular figure in India who states, “This is a moment of shame and sadness.” Of course it is. But the question is, is shame really a part of those who deserve to be ashamed for what they did, what they’re doing and what they’re about to do?

I’m done here.

Argo : Movie Review by Ankit Ojha

Ben Affleck stars in and directs ARGO

Ben Affleck stars in and directs ARGO

Ben Affleck has always proved himself to be a versatile celebrity, having been ever-focused on widening his horizons with his notable writing – and more recently, directing – credentials. Now already an established actor and writer (having co-written Good Will Hunting and television show Push, Nevada), Affleck’s slow, but sure advances in the role of director and co-screenwriter (Gone Baby Gone and The Town) have produced nothing but critical acclaim and commercial success. And now, returning to the silver screen as director-writer, giving the reins of screenwriting to Chris Terrio (Heights), Affleck has never been more confident. Based on a Wired magazine article by Joshua Bearman (Escape from Tehran), the source of inspiration being a classified true story that later found itself declassified for good reason to the public by then president Bill Clinton, the movie has already formed a positive buzz with it’s teasers and theatrical trailers inducing the right reactions in the audience. The fact that the expectation levels have shot up to dizzying heights is proof enough that the only direction this film had to take the potential viewer was the right one.

The year is 1979. A volatile situation in Iran puts the lives of six people in danger. Many more Americans are taken hostage. A CIA specialist comes forward with a plan that’s both unique and dangerous – to protect potential hostages and transport them safely back to America in the garb of a film crew.

As unique as the screenplay as it is realistic, it is supported by powerful character arcs and a brilliant sense of execution. Terrio, with only one film to credit, is now supported by Affleck’s strong direction to the vision. This is what makes the film pack a large amount of punch. There have been a truckload of films based on real-life dated events, but this one proves it is different because of the silent depth Affleck shows as a performer, and shares as a director. A slew of scenes are present in which silence does all the complicated talking. Tony Mendez’ character arc is that of the strongest, as this is the very character that leads the whole movie to the direction it gets toward in the end. The screenplay has been garnished with apt dramatization to give the movie an extra boost. The soul of the film – the true story – has been kept intact, however; and this has successfully ended up in a film that moves, entertains and makes us think hard once we’re out.

Technically, the movie is top-notch. It is supported by superior production design (Sharon Seymour; The Ides of March, The Town) through and through. Rodrigo Prieto’s (Brokeback Mountain, Babel) cinematography gives the movie a distinct marriage of the rugged and the slick at the same time. Academy Award nominated William Goldenberg’s (Gone Baby Gone) edit allows enough space for some moments to linger on, whilst also turning the speed up a few notches with fast cuts in the more dramatic sequences. His edit is supported by Alexandre Desplat’s (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) striking background music composition that aptly goes with the flow.

The movie, howsoever technically bang-on, would never be complete without its array of brilliant performers. Affleck handles his performance with as much passion as he handles the whole film. Bryan Cranston does a fine job, but his time as a performer shines in the penultimate moments of the film. Alan Arkin is brilliant; no further words can describe the way he changes the dimensions of the screen. Watch out for the scene featuring his face-off with MGM, and you’ll know what this author is talking about. John Goodman is efficient as Chambers, delivering the right punch lines without overdoing any of them. The performers supporting the roles of the houseguests are efficient. Others are amazing.

In the end, Argo turns out to be one of the best films one could ever have come out with. It’s got the right mixture of fact, dramatization, and that brush of ironical humor that’s enough not to gross you off the film. As also being technically sound and amazingly well-packaged (anyone else notice the brand identity of Warner Brothers in the film matches the one used between 1972 and 1984 to make the film more connected to the times?), this film is a must watch for all of those who are looking for some terrific cinema. Strongly recommended.

Some More Unimportant Ramblings

It’s interesting how a few months give you so much to think about that it’s sometimes very difficult to sit down and think about how things have been going; to calm down and wonder if this has been going right. But somewhere down the line, I’m happy it’s finally happening. I’m happy my passive aggression has gone off for a long walk, leaving me in peace.

I’m too young to look at life like a grumpy old hag, but you know what? I ended up being one. Almost a year ago, when I took a drastic step forward, I spiraled down into months of paranoia. I wanted a way out, i got a way out. However, when things just don’t have to go well, they don’t. That’s the rule of life. And that’s probably been the rule of how your thoughts rule you as well. But somewhere along the line, people enter your life. And when they do, they can go for either. You meet them for a while, and then you never meet them again. Or you meet them, and you keep meeting them and so on and so forth. Some of them end up becoming your friends. And some of them end up becoming your best friends. One of these dear friends had told me, “I think you let the people into your life too much. You need to stop doing that before it destroys you.” Obviously, at first, I was in a state of denial. but like I usually am, I come to a conclusion at some point of time. It might either be too late; or too early; but I do tend to admit what’s right. Yes. I opened the doors of my life too wide open for people to scrutinize it. Yes, it was one of the worst things to do. Yes, it made me vulnerable. But then, I had learned my lesson. Thankfully, it wasn’t too late, and this is when I decided to pull up my socks and clear off the clutter.

It went amazingly.

But the time it took to get back to faithful blogging took sometime. This very friend of mine asked me, “Why haven’t you blogged in such a long time?” I told this person a truth that surprised me; after much hesitation; that I didn’t really know what to write about anymore. And I really didn’t. I’d come back to writing a post, and my hands would freeze in the very thought if I would incite further questions in the minds of people. But then that little voice inside of me said maybe you’ve shut your door a bit too tight. I guess that really took things forward.

And that’s how I decided to blog about some really strange things; my feelings totally. Some more chronicles of inaudible noise that I try converting into letters, trying to vainly express them, trying to let them free!

It’s been so long since rainy Bombay and introspective quietness. Now it’s time for a balance of both.

Like the cafe latte to start my day, this blog finally makes me feel welcome! And hello people, once again!