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Munroe Island (Mundrothuruth) - Review

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The premise of Munroe Island looked quite interesting. A father drops off his adult (eighteen-year-old) “sociopath” son at his ancestral home, where the grandfather still lives. What happens next?  This movie is categorised as thriller on Netflix. I think more than the synopsis, the title intrigued me. Malayalam movies, like Bengali ones, are way ahead when it comes to experimenting offbeat themes. I figured Munroe Island would be one such treat and I was not disappointed.
We are introduced to the grand patriarch (played by Indrans to astounding perfection) lovingly addressed as Appoopan by the grandson (Jason Chacko). We also get to meet the house-help Kathu (Abhija Sivakala). We follow them around the jaw-dropping (for city dwellers like me) ancestral home. It’s shot on location and it’s not a gaudy set. Neither is the place a new-age teak and marble monstrosity. It’s a sprawling house that’s weathered many elements. There is the unpretentious gate leading to a sheltered porch. If y…

Can You Smell The Rot?

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I've been disgusted with the screen grabs of a shitty soap opera currently being aired in India. - Pehredar Piya ki roughly translates as 'Guardian of my lover'. The protagonists in question are played by adult woman and 9-10 year old boy. In what can only be termed as mindfuck of recent times, the woman marries the boy. There is a now a petition doing the rounds to ban this perverse nonsense.

But I wanted to get to the root of this ugliness. Who is thinking of this shit? Who is writing this? Why did the boy's parents think this is an appropriate role for the child? On the whole, why do these production houses, actors, writers feel they have no responsibility?
The production house is run by a husband-wife duo - Sumeet and Shashi Mittal. The mission of Shashi Sumeet Productions Pvt Ltd is “to create quality content that enthrals and entertains audiences.” They have produced a number of popular soaps.
In an interview with the Scroll, Summet Mittal says -
"The boy is i…

The 21st Century Hero

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Yesterday a friend forwarded a home-made music video on Whatsapp . It has two women on the guitar.  Watch it. If you are a Kannadiga, you will go on karaoke mode for sure.  I was enraptured. It is a piece of music that you will listen to over and over again.

Please note: I don't know who owns the video since it came as a forward. 
More than the music, those two ladies made me indescribably happy. Clad in crisp salwaar kameez, they are truly the ladies-next-door you’d discuss mundane stuff over coffee and Mangalooru store kharaseve.  They are so wonderfully unassuming and understated despite their explosive talent. What’s lovely about the video is the lack of fuss; the sheer everyday-ness of it... what a breath of fresh air in the age of sickening social media drama! “Watch this advert and you will cry!” “Watch what happens when this puppy meets the kitten!” “Watch what the old man does...faith in humanity restored!” And on and on...endless tracks of barf-inducing  nonsense.
I have l…

A Cabbage And An Epiphany

There was a writing competition last week; the central theme was food. Ha. Food and an Indian - the theme was a landmine of choices. How much of our lives revolves around food! As someone who cooks at least two meals a day (three on days when I’ve run out of cereals), it can get exasperating. I hoped to write something deep, rich with emotional textures and symbolism. At least in an Indian household, food becomes a veritable battleground – the manifestation of motherly (and other forms of) love and of femininity. Indeed, the preparation of a meal can make or break relationships in many joint families—the cracks appear in the kitchen and the lava pours forth on the entire family. As I mulled over these complex themes, an incident occurred.
I needed to assemble a couple of flatpack furniture, so I had booked a slot with a fitter.  It was a cold but sunny Sunday morning when he arrived. Tall, lanky, hair slicked back, tattoos snaking up all over his arms. As is customary in any Indian …