Friday, November 19, 2010

Potter Finally Spells LIVE Magic on ME!

A very ‘longly’-long wish fulfilled- that’s what I can say about today! Truly, I haven’t been so happy and so excited in days!

Let me recollect some old memories first. Before I came to Delhi in June 2008, I had never hoped to see a Harry Potter movie in a theatre. Last year in July when ‘Half-Blood Prince’, the 6th Harry Potter movie released, I was in Delhi and could have easily watched the movie on the big screen had I not had restrictions in my hostel. My friends were so good that they saw the movie and texted me to tease me “Antarik, guess what, I am watching Harry Potter” and I must have been probably the biggest ‘jealous’ in the world at that time! And after almost 3 months, I had been finally able to watch the original print of the movie!

This time, being in college, restrictions were minimized. But I got to know that I am having my exams in the coming week and I was least prepared. That meant I was planning to see the latest instalment of the series, after my exams got over on 26th.

Somehow yesterday I was growing more and more excited about this upcoming movie by seeing the innumerable posters of the various cinemas in the newspaper. And yesterday another great thing happened with me. I forgot my laptop’s charger in my classroom at college where I had used it to charge my notebook. As a result of this I was not able to pre-book my tickets for a show today. I asked my father and he tried, but due to some technical errors, he was unsuccessful as well. And then I was sure that watching the first day show was going to stay as a dream for some more time now!

Today morning I checked the PVR Cinemas website for tickets for PVR Saket and I could spot many vacant seats. Around 1 PM, a school friend of mine called me up and asked if I had booked the tickets for the show. I hadn’t. I went to Saket and booked seats for us for the 4.45 show. Next was what? My excitement level just grew and grew by the minute.

The movie started. Oye…now hang on! I am not writing a movie review here! If you haven’t seen the movie you wouldn’t like your experience to be spoiled right? Hehe… So my views on the movie? Umm…the best Harry Potter movie yet, should I say that? I guess yes, that’s completely true! For the first time ever, I loved a Harry Potter movie on the very first viewing. Probably I was too excited because of my first ever theatre experience of Harry Potter, but job hi…the experience was awesome!

The way this movie starts is a completely new style adopted for a Harry Potter movie. A sense of despair after losing something important is clearly evident right from Scene 1! (We lost the Hogwarts headmaster at the end of the previous movie, remember?) The main thing that puts this movie aside from the previous instalments is the absence of Hogwarts, the sole background for each of the 6 previous stories. Throughout the movie a sense of restlessness and the urge to finish a quest is on the minds of our beloved trio, Harry, Ron and Hermione. Well, I wouldn’t like to go in details of the story, as the story is not something new for any of us who have read the book!

Seriously, David Yates has learnt a lot from his experiences with the previous two instalments of the series. “Order of the Phoenix” and “Half-Blood Prince” were big disappointments for Harry Potter fans but “Deathly Hallows (Part 1)” has surely been able to camouflage this easily.

The decision of the producers to split this last book into two films is not going to be questioned any more. For the first time it seemed that each scene was getting full justification from the camera. I personally found the first half of the movie a bit ‘dragging on and on’ kind, because the scenes were long, filled with action at the very right times. The second half seemed much better with most of the story being covered here. The story has been kept true to the book this time with minor changes here and there and with addition of some really exciting new scenes which J K Rowling’s brain probably didn’t cook up 4 years back when she was writing the book. My personal favourite was the visual incorporated during Hermione’s reading of ‘The Tale of Three Brothers’- I just loved the animation there! Wonderful!

This time there was a clear synchronization and linkage between the scenes and no haphazard placing of elements was felt, as was the case with the ‘Goblet of Fire’. I was surprised at how cleverly Steve Kloves, the screenplay writer had been able to balance the utterly serious scenes with the satiric and comedy-filled dialogues! The one scene thinking about which I can’t control my laughter still is probably that of Dobby’s on the chandelier at Malfoy Manor. That was ridiculous and seriously unexpected. Hahaha…! And I was not surprised when I saw the complete theatre go silent in the moments that succeeded our little elf-friend’s death. Alexandre Desplat’s background score seriously was able to create a magical aura throughout the movie! Wow! Loved it!

This article has seriously become quite long and my word count says 915 words as of now. I guess you are already bored and are wondering why you read this boring stuff! That is none of my concern, I guess. But I am able to write this so long probably because I am too happy and too excited and too overly-excited after seeing this movie! Seriously the ending of the Part 1 leaves the quest mid-way and the viewers wanting for more! The epic scenes of the “Battle of Hogwarts” in Part 2 now seem to be like they will actually be epic!! Let us see what records this movie is able to break at the box-office worldwide: the most successful Potter movie ever may be?? Or an Academy Award Best Picture nomination. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! All the Best!

Do leave your comments! I am waiting. How did you find this movie? What else did you expect? Could have been better? If you haven’t seen it yet, when do you plan to see it?? Excited?

P.S.: I have broken all my previous records and am ending this longest ever blog entry of mine with a total of 1108 words! That’s saying something, isn’t it??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

I wrote this entry on "Creative Call", the official learning platform for MBITEC's Creative Young Minds. And after getting positive reviews from many, I thought I ought to share this with a larger audience. So here it goes...

On 13th of this month, I visited “Manjusa”- The West Bengal State Emporium in Connaught Place as part of a college activity. The traditional richness of the fascinating culture of the state came out in the form of the innumerable traditional handicrafts, sculpture and clothing. I, not being one who has ever been interested in this ‘cultural’ stuff, preferred to roam about the area a bit. As soon as I moved out of the building to the State emporium’s filthy pavements, the down-side of life in a metro which had just hosted the 70k rupees CWG was not going to be unnoticed. 

Children, who I don’t think would be more than 8-10 years of age, in tattered clothes were ‘begging’ for money to have a square meal for lunch. Being considerate to them is something I have never felt since the time I saw Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Traffic Signal” some two years back. But then, I saw a scene which I don’t know why moved me so much. A person, I guess she was a middle-age lady (I am not sure), in a badly worn out salwar suit, was ‘resting’ on the pavement near a wall that connected the emporiums of two states, with a tattered piece of dupatta covering her battered face. I guess there is nothing new for something like this being spotted in India- they are found in every other railway station. But the thing that left blood in my heart rushing was the fact that hundreds of ‘house-flies’ had also found a nice, cosy place to rest on the whole body of the ‘sleeping beauty’ and our hostess didn’t even mind to shoo away these little guests! She slept coolly, unmindful of what was going around her.

For a few minutes, I was surely left bewildered and I noticed that only when a friend enquired why I had grown so silent and was not talking. I had no answer to his question, but surely somewhere this visual had made a deep impact on me, otherwise I don’t think I would have ever thought of making a blog entry of this kind on such an un-noticed topic!

Do leave your comments and let me know what you think about this…

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kuch Yaadein Ankahee...

In the early morning hours of 31 October 2010, my friend Kshitiz and I decided to make a short video clip that would include our photos of the 2 months that we have now spent a t college. We didn't plan out anything. And within 3-4 hours starting from 1 AM at night, we had this 14 minute music video in hand:

As not expected, this video was already senti-stuff and so, we did get appreciation for it. Do have a look at it and please leave your comments so we know what was good and what was bad, where we committed mistakes and what better we could have done.

Take care.
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