Observing the Movies: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

I consider myself a person with some ability to think. As is natural, this ability finds itself applied to all things that have for me even the remotest fascination. Movies do, which is why I have thought about them, discussed (and dissected) about them, and occasionally written about them hither and thither. I’ve wanted to do so in some long form for the longest time, and am finally doing so.

‘Gravity’ was probably the first movie that I realised I couldn’t write sufficiently about in just a Facebook post. But writing about the movie seemed tougher the longer time I spent on it, especially since the writing kept getting pushed. Ultimately, it was after watching Dibakar Bannerjee’s ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!’ that I realised that this was it, I had to get started.

The piece is fragmented into sections – as best as native WordPress and my limited knowledge of it allows me – so feel free to skip to the headings that seem interesting. I’ve tried to ensure you won’t miss much if you do.

 

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The 14 Best Cast Superheroes and Villains

Cinema!

That great level playing field of dreams, where all that we see and all that we dream in our most intimate thoughts find a voice, a playing out. It is the last great bastion of magical idealism left open for the masses – books are too exclusivist, sadly, and television in this country, well, the less said about that the better.

Hollywood has been dream merchant at a noticeably greater scale than our Hindi film industry, if you set aside cultural preferences (you know, we have colours and a hundred different traditions, and song and dance at our weddings. And chiffon sarees.) And, of late, they’ve gone all out after discovering that big-budget superhero films – in which everyday people (like us) have extraordinary powers (that everyday people like us wish we had) and available beautiful women (that everyday people like us wish we had), make do without really working at a mundane job (that everyday people like us wish we could) battle villains who aren’t really menacing and have a long-drawn, almost bound to fail due to its sheer scale and idiocy, plan to conquer the world or thereabouts, which is usually some version of New York City.

See, that’s what I said earlier: their scale of being a dream merchant is greater! Being the master marketers they are, they’ve hit upon the perfect formula: take the quarter/half life crisis fantasy of the majority of the population, and show them the awesomeness they could have unleashed. Instant, seven-figure bling! Sadly, much like all other excesses of capitalism, the product of these efforts are quite poor. Paper thin plots, mostly repeated and rehashed by several other films, plastic acting, and the inevitable victory of the hero over a villain.

Anyway, the point of this post isn’t to malign the superhero film genre (it is one by now, no?), it is to celebrate it. More specifically, its thespians: adults who have worn tight suits, mouthed things that don’t really mean anything most of the time, and battled with more bad guys in a movie than they have met normal guys in their lives, but done so with a great deal of dedication, courage, and even a little panache.

It is the end of the year, and the season of lists (in addition to the season of celebrations, of course). A little over a couple of years ago, I made a list of the most beautiful women I’d encountered in cinema, this is a list of the most inspired casting in superhero films. All images, of course, are used only for representation with no commercial gains, and their rights belong to their respective owners.

In some specific order, then:

 

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The 20 Similarities Between Interstellar and Inception

Interstellar

Interstellar (All rights belong to their rightful owners. Image used for review and representational purposes without commercial gain, hence believed fair.)

 

“Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled.”

So, ‘Interstellar’, eh?

When Cutter utters (sorry!) the above words in ‘The Prestige’, it is almost as if Christopher Nolan is teasing all of us. I think the majority of us who’ve seen ‘Interstellar’ won’t really understand the hardcore Physics this movie is built around. We may certainly grasp some of it, and if you’ve read a little (which, really, you ought to), its terms won’t sound entirely alien (ha ha, see what I did there?).

What will also not feel quite alien – especially if you don’t have a life, and are the kind to think about a film long after leaving the movies – is the film’s plot. Because, as the title of this piece tries to tell you, you’ve seen it previously as ‘Inception’. How, you ask? Here’s how! Needless to say, spoilers follow…

 

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My Beautiful Women

The woman who appeals to a man’s vanity may stimulate him, the woman who appeals to his heart may attract him, but it is the woman who appeals to his imagination who gets him.

– Helen Rowland.

I consider myself to be an avid viewer of movies. Though I haven’t really seen most – at least those the “intellectuals” go insane about – genres of cinema at work,  I do have a few favourites. Much like with everybody else, there’re favourite films, favourite directors, favourite actors, and, as the title of this piece suggests, or should suggest, favourite actresses. And, on Women’s Day, what better way to celebrate Nature’s most awe-inspiring creation, eh?

Now, by no means am a critic, neither do I carry the mantle of creating something that is universally greeted and accepted. We all have our favourites, and these are mine. So, on the 8th of March, eight of my favourite leading ladies. Obviously, the images are all property of their respective owners, were sourced with help from Google, offer me no commercial gain, and the rest of the legal blah.

In no specific order of ranking:

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