Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal
Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar" journal:
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Watched and liked Downsizing, a science fiction film. A scientist invents a way to "miniaturize" people through medical procedure, which helps to conserve resources, reduce wastage, etc. Over fifteen years, the "Downsizing" operation, as it is called, gets commercialized and becomes very popular. Townships of small people get developed at many places. Meanwhile, the scientist is on another project - To create a sort of Noah's Ark to preserve human race inside a vault deep beneath the surface of earth, to protect it from a possible mass extinction event which he predicts.
The intention of the film is not to tell an amusing story about the small people focusing on the funny aspects of being small. So, such things come as a natural background for the narrative, and are shown with a different perspective compared to typical "science fiction entertainers".
Enjoyed reading Craig Thompson's brilliant autobiographical graphic novel, Blankets. The book narrates Craig's childhood days in a rural village of Wisconsin, and his first love as a teenager, with a philosophical undertone on how his experiences alter his viewpoints on traditional teaching systems of Christianity.
The book is wonderfully drawn, and the frames give the experience of watching a touching film.
I watched the animation film The Breadwinner which is based on a novel by Deborah Ellis. The film tells the story of a young girl named Parvana, living in Kabul under the Taliban regime. Her father is arrested and put in jail by the Taliban for no particular reason. There are no other men in Parvana's family consisting of her mother, elder sister and a baby brother. Since women are not allowed take up work or even to go outside their homes, Parvana disguises herself as a boy and takes up small jobs to support the family, and also to try and get her father released. Along with this main story thread, there runs another story, a folk tale which Parvana tells to her brother and friend, which has some parallels with her own life story.
The Breadwinner is a touching film, and the simple but powerful drawings and the colors brilliantly capture the landscapes of Afghanistan, and the emotions of various characters.
Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth|
Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth, debut novel by Aruna Nambiar, is set in a Kerala village of early 1980s, and narrates the happenings during a summer vacation, when the children and grandchildren living in different parts of India come to stay at the ancestral home of the Nair family.
One thread of the novel, a kind of coming-of-age story, is narrated from the perspective of 10 year old Geetha, while the other thread is about the affair between Kamala, a maid servant at the Nair tharavadu and a village boy. In a subtle way, the author brings out of some of some of the aspects of the gradually dying feudal system of Kerala through this novel.
The underlying humor that is present throughout the narrative makes the novel a very delightful reading, and I liked the characterizations too. The book is a very promising debut from the author.
Liked Wonder, a touching film telling the story of Auggie, a boy with facial differences, as he spends his first year in a public school.
The narrative is structured in such a way to include the perspectives from different people surrounding the boy, and in general tries to underline the inherent "goodness" in every human being despite their behaviors during transient states of mind. The positivity in the film is heartwarming, and the film makes a great viewing.
Malayalam film Minnaminungu
shows the struggles of a single mother (played by Surabhi Lakshmi) to support her daughter's education. The daughter has secret plans to get married and immigrate to Canada, which she hides from her family, though she feels guilty about it throughout the time when she makes her mother run here and there to arrange the required funds.Minnaminungu
looked like a serious version of Udaharanam Sujatha
, a light hearted film which portrayed a similar scenario involving a mother-daughter relationship, a friendly employer (who also happens to be a writer in both the films), etc. We see a forceful and tiring depiction of contrasts of "poor and rich" repeatedly coming up in Minnaminungu
- like a scene showing a traditional stone grinder quickly follows an electrical grinder; An old mobile phone and a high end smart phone, a pet dog getting fed a liter of milk every day, and so on. Though the narrative is realistic, the film mainly gives nothing but a déjà vu feeling. National Award winning performance by Surabhi Lakshmi is the saving grace of the film, which makes the climax scene especially touching.
Watched animation film Coco and liked it, for its interesting imagination and concept of the "Land of the Dead", people getting "dead forever" after their living relatives forget about them completely, etc. The narrative was engaging with plenty of humor and some twists.
Luckily the sky was very clear and could get beautiful views of lunar eclipse from terrace today, and it was amazing to see the moon coming out brightly, with some parts still covered in brown.
Goodbye Christopher Robin|
Goodbye Christopher Robin tells the story of writer AA Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh, and his son, the real life Christopher Robin.
The film specifically focuses on the time period between the two World Wars. In the beginning we see Milne, a writer, trying to return to a normal life after participating in World War I, the psychological effects of the War still tormenting him frequently, and even things like the sound of a bursting balloon throwing him into pain. He finds himself unable to come back to writing. The film later shows how Milne connects with his son, building characters, stories and a whole world surrounding the boy's stuffed toy animals.
The World of Winnie the Pooh and his friends was meant to be a private family thing for the child, but soon, Milne publishes books on those stories, and Christopher Robin, who features as a main character in the book, becomes immensely popular. The film attempts to show how such a public attention affected Christopher Robin's childhood, and how he felt a bit lonely and betrayed during his childhood in spite of being projected as a happy child in those stories, living in the "Hundred Acre Wood".
I felt that Goodbye Christopher Robin had a great theme, and a much superior movie could have been made based on the theme. The film is still a good attempt, with some very touching moments, great camera works, and some good music.
Read El Deafo, an autobiographical graphic novel by Cece Bell.
Cece Bell lost her hearing when she was four years old, and she had to use hearing aids then onwards. The book narrates how she felt a bit lonely in her schooldays in the beginning because of her constant apprehensions regarding what others may think about her disability, and how she managed to slowly overcome her inhibitions by imagining herself as a superhero called "El Deafo" with special powers provided by her hearing aids.
El Deafo is not a grim book that concentrates on aspects of disability, but is filled with gentle humor surrounding the world of a Child, which was very enjoyable. People are drawn with "rabbit faces" in the illustrations, which are simple but very effective.
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