On the assumption that I will see it if it was released in India because Tom Hanks is in it, Tammy advised me that she would be interested in reading my views about Sully before she actually saw it. In my book, what Tammy wants Tammy gets and so off I went to see Sully earlier this afternoon at a “Luxury Recliner Lounge” as it is called, paying three times the normal price for the ticket, just to sit for an hour and a half to watch Tom Hanks in a movie. Tammy, I shall shortly be sending you a bill.

Straight off the cuff – Tammy don’t miss it. It is worth every minute of the 96 minutes that it runs. I had not known that it was produced and directed by Clint Eastwood. He and Tom Hanks together is a potent mix and I applaud both of them for producing a bio-pic that brings out the human element so well. There is nothing negative about the film that I can come up with and I have great pleasure in giving it a five out of five rating.

I don’t want to influence your viewing experience. Don’t miss it.

Movies And Me.

This post has been inspired by two comments left on earlier posts by two friends. One on the blog itself by Shackman on my post Mystic River. I quote him – “It is an excellent film. Luckily I am not handicapped by my dislike for performers personal lives/politics so I wil see movies regardless of my dislike of them personally. I am no fan of Penn’s but the guy can act. As for Eastwood’s directorial abilities, the man tells a great story while respecting the material and the audience. I’ve been a fan since his debut Play Misty for Me.”

The other was by another friend Mahesh on my facebook wall where a link to my post on Jazbaa was given. I quote him – “You see a lot of movies I can’t keep pace with you.” And I responded – ” Mahesh, unlike you, I have no other unmanageable distractions!” Mahesh has grand children!

During my post education days, I would catch movies regularly on my so called upcountry tours as there was no other entertainment those days. This meant that I went to theaters in small towns and mostly saw Hindi films and occasionally some English reruns. While back in town, on Sunday mornings, theaters would show some English movies apart from just a handful of theaters that regularly showed a limited number of English films. Back home movie going stopped after our son was born and never really re-started as the advent of TV saw to it that once home, I would be too lazy to get dressed again and go out. Further with smuggled VCRPs being available in plenty and video tapes being loaned from libraries at ridiculously low rentals simply got me out of the habit of going to theaters. Except for some really important films, like Star Wars we did not go to watch movies.

After retirement, I should have been seeing movies regularly, but my late wife’s health and after her demise my caregiving duties for my late father prevented any further forays into movie going. During this period I also lost interest as I was more involved in reading and had even stopped watching TV. The old VCRP was junked and I never got a DVD player till providence came my way and I was given one in exchange for a favour I did for a friend about two years ago. I still did not connect the player up till about a year ago and since then I have been seeing films regularly at home via the DVD route as online buying and renting DVDs is so easy. Meanwhile, multiplexes closer to home and a footloose friend in Ramesh ensured that I started going out to theaters to watch movies as well.

I am actually catching up with a lot of movies that I had missed during the period that I was away from them and whenever I get a lead from a friend I immediately see it one way or the other. For instance, many of my recent DVD viewings have been old movies referred to by someone or the other in some context to something else. For instance, I learned from Shackman quoted in the first paragraph that Clint Eastwood has been directing films since 1971! And his reference to Play Misty For Me had me scooting to buy a DVD online. I saw it last night and was quite impressed!

There are others waiting to be seen, mostly old Hindi films that I had not seen when they were released and I do not generally review them as my readers are unlikely to be interested.

Now that I am retired and have the wherewithal to indulge, why not? And, Mahesh, I repeat, unlike you, I have no other unmanageable distractions!

Mystic River.

Mystic River

Once again my friend Abhaya came up trumps and led me to this film which was simply mind blowing.

The story revolving around three childhood friends coming together again as grown-ups due to a murder of the daughter of one of them is riveting and the final twist made it simply fantastic to watch. I am getting increasingly more respectful of Clint Eastwood’s directorial ability too.

While Sean Penn won Best Actor and Tim Robbins won Best Supporting Actor for the film in 2003, I would like to reverse the order.  In my opinion the latter comes up with a very natural and compelling performance, while the former tends to overact in places. Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne produce professional performances.  Quite why the former’s domestic problems had to feature in the story however,  is beyond my ken.

One of my favourite actors from way back when, Eli Wallach,  puts in a cameo appearance which was delightful too.

Overall, a picture worth seeing despite its running time of 137 minutes, and I was glad that I watched it at home and could pause at will for breaks.

Two observations. The Redhaired Jimmy grows up to be dark haired and I simply could not figure out why the title had to be Mystic River. While a river is shown on and off it does not play any role in the narration!

Despite the two observations, I would still give the film a [rating=5] rating reserving one for the two.


When my friend Nandu posted this on his facebook wall, I was intrigued after seeing the clip that was attached. “Recently watched the movie ” Hereafter” on DVD having missed it first time round ( released 2010 ) – unbelievable that I did , considering it is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Matt Damon !! Here is the most awesome ( near ) opening scene which should whet anyone’s appetite to see the brilliant movie if they have missed it!”

I promptly sent for a DVD of it and even briefly mentioned it in my post “Too Strange.” In that post, I had mentioned that I will eventually review the film and this is the review.

Let me start off by saying that with the hype of Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon being the motivating factors behind the decision to send for the DVD, I was a bit disappointed with the whole experience and in my post on “Too Strange”, this is what I had said – “Seeing “Hereafter” was a very unusual and indescribable experience. It is more so because it has been produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and one naturally wonders as to what prompted him to do so on a film with such an odd theme. Be that as it may, it is not a film that I would have seen had it not been recommended by someone I knew and so the surprise.”

The film revolves around three individuals whose various experiences eventually bring them together and two of them to a romantic relationship as well. The common thread that does this is one individual, played by Matt Damon being able to “connect” with dead people. That is what would have normally put me off from seeing the film but I was intrigued enough to see what it was all about.

That connecting with the dead part plays a small role but portrayal of the three individuals by Matt Damon, Cécile de France and a young lad Frankie McLaren is of the highest order and I must credit the director Clint Eastwood for getting such performances out of them. He has also avoided over use of the mystery aspect of the story and has brought the human elements to the fore which is creditable.

The story however lacks credibility, at least with me and therefore, despite it having been produced by another icon Steven Spielberg, I cannot see myself giving the film more than a [rating=4] rating.  Had I investigated a little more before I rushed to buy the DVD, I would not have spent the 130 minutes watching it.  There are however people who are intrigued by the occult and mediums and such paranormal phenomena to whom this it likely to appeal, particularly with such a famous producer/director/actor team.

Too Strange!


On the 22nd of September, my cousin who shares my passion for reading, rang me to advice me to get a copy of “Proof of Heaven: by Eben Alexander”.  I ordered for it immediately with Amazon and it was delivered to me on the 23rd inst.

hereafterI could not put the book down and finished reading it on the 25th September. In between, on Facebook, my friend Nandu reviewed a film “Hereafter” and since it was the first time that Nandu had recommended a film, I sent for it too and it was delivered on the 26th inst. I was able to see the film only today though as I was preoccupied with other matters including seeing some other films both at home and at the theater.


While I was reading about Dr. Alexander’s experiences and wondering whether I should go back to read Fritjof Capra, Amazon, as it is wont to, sent me a list of books that may be of interest to me and it was Quantum And The Lotus by Matthieu Ricard, and Trinh Xuan Thuan. I have sent for this book instead of going back to Capra and it is expected to be delivered tomorrow.

One recommendation leading to two others and all tying up nicely into a subject that has suddenly occupied my mind.

Seeing “Hereafter” was a very unusual and indescribable experience.  It is more so because it has been produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and one naturally wonders as to what prompted him to do so on a film with such an odd theme.  Be that as it may, it is not a film that I would have seen had it not been recommended by someone I knew and so the surprise.

While I reserve a review of the film for later, this post is to comment on the chain of events that is as mysterious as the subject matter of Near Death Experiences and Life Hereafter!

American Sniper.


It was a family outing yesterday.  Manjiree and Ranjan decided that the two old bandicoots ie, yours truly and my partner in crime, Ramesh, needed to be given a treat and so off we went to see American Sniper.  It was a great outing and we completed some urgent shopping too after the movie.

I have been following  the American press about the controversy regarding whether the hero depicted was really a hero or a psychopath.  Since I have not read the book nor do I have any access to intelligent information about the Iraq campaign, I leave that aside to share my views on this film.

My friend Ramesh had not known that it was produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and was quite impressed.  He was frankly surprised that such a movie could have been produced and directed by CE as for Ramesh, CE represented a gunfighter in old Westerns. That was another icing on the cake aspect of our outing.  And despite sitting through the credits at the end of the show, none of us were familiar with any other name in the list! Despite that, to get such a favourable reaction from all of us is an indication of the inherent merit of the film.

The four of us were unanimous in our opinion on coming out after the show that it was worth our while to spend about two and a half hours of sitting in a theater to watch this movie.  We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of seeing a real life hero in action on screen.  The photography, characterisation, direction, editing and locale all meshed well together to offer a very enjoyable outing.  I have no hesitation in giving [rating=6] rating.

No Chuck, there was no popcorn but what coffee!