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Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar" journal:

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November 11th, 2018
08:54 pm

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In This Corner of the World
Read the manga In This Corner of the World by Fumiyo Kōno, which tells the story of young girl named Suzu living in and around Hiroshima during 1934-1946. After a few initial chapters on Suzu's childhood days in Hiroshima, the story jumps by 7 years, to show her marriage and relocation to Kure, a few kilometers away. By then, the World War II has started, and the story shows the hardships of citizen as seen from the perspective of the girl, and is a slightly less grimmer version of Grave of the Fireflies in some aspects.

The illustrations are beautiful, and many of the panels showing portrayals of landscapes are very detailed. I am looking forward to see the animation film based on this book.

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November 7th, 2018
02:18 pm

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Ikigai
Read Ikigai : The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, book by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. The book focuses on the Japanese concept of ikigai, a source of inspiration for each person which would help him to "get up from bed every day and keep going". Ikigai ideally should be (though would rarely be for most of the people), the overlapping zone between four regions - "what we love doing", "what we are good in doing", "what we would be paid for doing" and "what the world would benefit from". Along with several theoretical studies and data-points, the book also includes notes on experiences from the author's travels to Ogimi village of Okinawa island, which is known as the "Village of Longevity", and illustrates the lifestyle of people in the village, and their following of individual ikigais.

I was thinking that this would be a book related to philosophy, but it is more of a self-help book, with several tips on diet, exercise, lifestyle, sharing, helping others, etc. The concepts are presented in a very repetitive way, and what could have been written as a short essay is stretched to a 180+ page book.

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November 6th, 2018
05:19 pm

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Ratsasan
Watched Ratsasan, a Tamil thriller film on yet another "serial killer investigation" theme. Though the film reminds of several similar films, overall the narrative was very engaging throughout.

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November 4th, 2018
06:51 pm

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Andhadhun
Watched Hindi film Andhadhun, a typical Sriram Raghavan thriller with several twists and turns and good performances. It was an engaging film.

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November 1st, 2018
06:38 pm

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Pashmina
Read the graphic novel Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani. The book tells the story of Priyanka, a teenager art student living in the US, who tries to discover the reason behind her mother immigrating to the US when she was of her age. She finds an old pashmina shawl from her mother's box, which has certain magical powers, and the narrative involves elements of fantasy.

Pashmina follows the typical immigrant-rediscovering-roots theme, and the illustrations are simple but good. The book makes and interesting reading.

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October 21st, 2018
07:09 pm

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Good Morning
I liked Good Morning (1959), a feel good comedy directed by Yasujirô Ozu. Though the basic premises of the film are similar to other films by Ozu (scenes showing happenings in family, conversations, interactions between characters, etc.), Good Morning has a much lighter tone, as the focus is mainly on two children who start a revolution at home for purchasing a television. The children stop talking to others, which is interpreted by others in different ways. For example, there are gossip-loving women around, and they consider the children's behavior to be linked with their parents attitude to others, etc.

The expressions of the children are priceless, and the film makes a very pleasant viewing.

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October 6th, 2018
04:48 pm

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Aravindante Athidhikal
Malayalam film Aravindante Athidhikal tells a simple feel-good story in a straight-forward way, and I felt like watching one of those feel-good Doordarshan tele-films of old days.

The best I liked in the movie were those couple of songs in it, the tunes of which are repeatedly added and developed in the background for a good effect throughout the movie.

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October 1st, 2018
09:23 pm

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Tik Tik Tik
Watched Tamil film Tik Tik Tik, a brilliant and hilarious spoof on various films including Armageddon and Gravity from Hollywood and Don from Bollywood.

Tik Tik Tik starts with the discovery that a huge asteroid several kilometers wide is going to hit Chennai within 7 days (apparently, the asteroid has escaped the eyes of all other space organizations in the World). The asteroid is going to wipe off multiple states in India, and the only way to save India is to break the asteroid into two in a timely manner so that the two pieces pass Earth on its two sides at a safe distance. Unfortunately, India doesn't have enough nuclear weapons in stock for cutting the asteroid.

The news of the asteroid is still kept as a secret, and is known only to a few select people in the ISRO and the Indian military (??) lead by Chief Mahendran (played by Jayaprakash, so that the audience will have no difficulty in guessing on who the crook is, at a later point in the movie, thanks to many other similar roles he has done in the past). Chief Mahendran makes some quick inquiries in the black market, but is unable to procure the necessary nuclear weapons. But he gathers that a missile is in stock in a Chinese space station, which can be stolen on the way to the asteroid and then deployed to get the job done easily.

Now the hunt begins for building a team for the mission. Since some stealing is involved, Mahendran and team first makes some secret explorations in Chennai jails to see who would be a decent petty thief who can be released for a short period for picking up the missile from the Chinese space station. They finalize on Vasu (Jayam Ravi) who knows a bit of magic as well, which can come in handy during the mission. Vasu is brought to the secret camp, and as per his recommendations, Mahendran also arranges to add two of Vasu's assistants to the team, picked up from Chennai streets. One of them is a Computer hacker wizard, who does some piracy related thing for living; But we are shown a glimpse of his capabilities through a short scene in which he hacks and modifies the video of a cricket match to alter the decisions of a third umpire.

As a skill-test, the trio are given a short assignment to open a high security safe within 60 seconds. For most part of the 60 seconds, Vasu just chit-chats with his friends, and then casually tears off a page from a book to make a paper-cone (like the one used for selling peanuts by street vendors), using which he listens to the vibrations in the locking mechanism of the safe, and unlocks it within a couple of seconds!! Chief Mahendran is astounded by this feat, and all get a feeling that their mission is already half accomplished.

The next couple of days are spent in training Vasu and his friends as astronauts. After a quick crash course, they are given the necessary gears and packed in a space shuttle. To assist them (just in case they need some tips while operating the shuttle), two army officials are also sent along with them (one of them a young lady, so I was hoping to see some romantic angles evolving between Vasu and her, but that didn't happen in the film). Due to some minor hiccups, they had to crash-land on the Moon, but that gives Vasu an opportunity to become the first Indian ever to walk on the Moon. They relaunch from Moon using some special techniques as per Vasu's suggestions and then reach the Chinese space station. It is just a child's play for Vasu and team to hack the security systems in the space station and steal the missile.

That is when the nefarious plans of Chief Mahendran are exposed (though the attentive viewers might have got a wind of it earlier). Chief had a secret plan to pocket the missile for himself, and then sell it in the black market to make some money (we now come to know that the inquiries he had made in the beginning of the film were for fixing a good price for the missile). He had already kidnapped Vasu's son, and has been blackmailing him during the space trip via a secret communication channel, to transfer the missile to another space ship, for further delivery to his personal account. But Mahendran had completely underestimated Vasu's capabilities, and the climax of the film shows how Vasu saves both India as well as his son using his unmatched wits.

There was only one point in the film which looked slightly confusing to me: Why did Chief Mahendran station himself in Chennai even though he had full confidence in his secret mission getting fulfilled - which would have meant that the asteroid would hit Chennai and destroy it? Or as a Plan B, was he hoping to catch some parts of the unexploded nuclear missile at it fell from the sky? It was not very clear to me. Hope the director will avoid such minor confusions in his next film.

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September 30th, 2018
10:12 am

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Eeda
Eeda is debut film from director B. Ajith Kumar, and tells the story of a love affair in the backdrop of political rivalry between the CPM and RSS in Kannur. The boy's (Shane Nigam) relatives and friends are RSS leaders while the girl (Nimisha Sajayan) is from a CPM family where even weddings are conducted in the Party Office.

Eeda has a freshness in its narrative, and the rustic village locales of Kannur add a special feel to it. Performances are all brilliant, and Nimisha once again shines with an expressive performance, after her debut in Thondimuthalum Drikshaskshiyum. Shane, though was adequate in his role, looked a bit repetitive in his expressions and body language, may be because he is being typecast in such roles all the time (Kismath, C/O Saira Banu)

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September 29th, 2018
05:33 pm

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Ee. Ma. Yau.
Lijo Jose Pellissery's Ee. Ma. Yau. is a brilliant film that shows the events unfolding after the death of an old man in a coastal Kerala village. The narration style is very realistic with a touch of dark humor and satire, and the excellent camera work involving mostly low-light sequences sets the mood for the film. With Ee. Ma. Yau., Lijo Jose Pellissery once again proves his versatility and skills.

One scene looked a bit odd in the otherwise well-executed movie - The scene which shows the death of the old man was not edited well. We see him going into the house in a moment, and in just a few seconds we hear cries from the ladies announcing his death - Looked a bit too short for them to conclude upon that.

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