Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal
Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar" journal:
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Mukesh Kathakal Veendum|
Read the book Mukesh Kathakal Veendum
, another collection of memoirs by actor Mukesh after his hilarious first book, Mukesh Kathakal
The book has a few amusing memoirs on Mukesh's school and college days similar to the first book, along with a few on his later days in the field of Cinema. There is one section dedicated for the adventures of his childhood friend Unnithan. The stories can easily be read in one sitting for its humor content and interesting narrative style.
Watched Malayalam film Kammara Sambhavam with minimal expectations, but was pleasantly surprised to see it to be an interesting one-time watch. Scripted by Murali Gopi, the first half of the film tells the "real" story of Kammaran (the villainy role brilliantly played by Dileep, probably his career best performance), while the second half shows a "film inside film", made based on Kammaran's life which flips his character and transforms him to a "hero". An anticlimax follows, showing the after-effects of the film in a sarcastic way.
Director Rathish Ambat has made the film neatly, and nowhere in the film I could feel that it is work of a newcomer. He is greatly assisted by the technical department, and the period scenes in the first half as well as the train scenes in the second half show that he is a director to look forward to.
Sherlock Holmes - The Secret Files|
Read the book Sherlock Holmes - The Secret Files, a pastiche collection of seven Holmes stories by June Thomson.
It was interesting to read more about Holmes and Watson, but the stories don't have much of deduction process, and some of the themes are very far-fetched, like The Case of Abandoned Lighthouse, in which a scientist makes unbelievably elaborate arrangements to transfer some information to spies of another country.
KGF Chapter 1|
Happened to watch a Malayalam dubbed version of Kannada film KGF Chapter 1 quite by accident during my Kerala trip - I had gone to watch another film at the theater but realized that it was being shown for an evening show, and I just bought the tickets for this one.
The film has a typical "stylish" hero worshiping narrative of mainstream films, but still I felt it to be an entertaining film, probably because of the effects of watching on big screen. The second half of the film showing the scenes in the gold mines looked very atmospheric, with its dark sepia toned visuals and art works.
Read Snow Country, one of the most acclaimed novels by Yasunari Kawabata. The novel portrays the love affair between Shimamura, a wealthy man from Tokyo, and Komako, a geisha living in a rural mountain town of Japan, over his three visits to the mountains in two years, during which he sees Komako going through major transformations in her life. Shimamura already has a wife and family, and though he likes Komako, he is also drawn towards Yoko, another girl living with Komako, giving a touch of tragedy to the whole narrative.
What I liked most in this novel was the detailed description of visualizations - Like in the first section where Shimamura sits on a train observing the snowy landscapes passing monotonously through the glass windows of the train, when he sees the reflection of Yoko's face (who sits diagonally opposite to him) getting superimposed on the landscapes, and the occasional lights from distant hills overlapping with her eyes and creating otherworldly glow, etc.
Elephants in the Room|
Read the novel Elephants in the Room, written by Suraj Laxminarayanan. A pickpocket and his five friends who are desperately in need of money make a plan to rob a bank in Chennai, but they are in for a surprise when they start their operation, as there are more people who have reached the bank at the same time with ulterior motives. The book narrates the events of around a week, describing the planning of the robbery and the happenings on the day of the robbery.
Spanning to 600 pages, the book spends a lot of time describing the inner thought process, and group discussions of the characters - the members of different "gangs", police officers and hostages - in great detail. The analysis and discussions on "what if"s and "why not"s often look far-fetched, and the naming of some of the characters with codes like 800, 801, A1, A2 etc. doesn't help either, making the book a tedious read at times. Nevertheless, it is a well written book overall and I enjoyed reading many of its sections.
Watched Odiyan, which was probably the most "eagerly awaited" Malayalam movie of last few years, because of the hype that was created during its making spanning multiple years, and its trailers and stills showing Mohanlal in a much younger look.
The film was a disappointment. The story is just a rehash of the typical "hero absconding from hometown because of misunderstanding and returning after a long gap for revenge" storyline which Mohanlal himself has done in several of his movies. The theme of "odiyan" which forms the backdrop of the story brings some freshness to the narrative along with Mohanlal's energetic performance, but that was not enough to make up for the clichéd script.
Watched Christopher Robin, a feel good film that touches upon "reinventing the pleasures of childhood - finding happiness in simple things of life..", "work life balance", etc.
Christopher Robin, now a middle aged workaholic man, is visited by Winnie the Pooh, his childhood friend from the fantasy world. The innocent Pooh is unable to understand the meaning behind some of Christopher Robin's behavior and actions, while Christopher Robin is unable to give satisfactory responses for many of Pooh's simple and straight-forward questions. Some parts of the film remind of A Christmas Carol, and it was a good watch.
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.
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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