Monday, April 21, 2008

Untraceable(2008): Review

Untraceable is yet another serial-killer flick with mediocre plot. This movie is about about a serial killer, who streams each of his victims murder on his site named As the name of the site suggests, more the traffic to the site, quicker the victim dies, which makes viewers kill the victim along with him.

Jennifer Marsh, a secret agent who works with cyber-crime department spots the killers site and finds him stream live video of a cat being killed. She immediately reports it to her higher authority and tries to shutdown the site. Even after several attempts, she was not able to shutdown this site(servera directa NASA space shuttlea vechurupaan pola). Finally her boss asked her to do some useful work rather trying to shutdown an useless site.

Next day, the site again streams a live video. This time its not a cat, but a man, who is chained and some poisonous chemical is injected on him. She frantically tries to locate the server only to find out that the server is mirrored in different countries! Eventually the victim dies as the viewers swarm to the site.

The killer finds his next victim. He chains him and places him in front of high voltage bulbs. The intensity of the bulb increases with the number of visitors. This time, her boss tries to use his head and comes up with a dumb idea of telling the press about it. After the press release, the visitors to the site increase in an alarming rate. Just before he looses his consciousness, he tries to tell the address, but the killer escapes from there before cops zero down the place. As a progress, the agent finds out that the killer is allowing viewers only from US. But failed to know an obvious fact that they can ban a particular site in their country!!

His next victim is our agents partner. He is kidnapped and is kept in a big glass tub filled with water. It is connected to a tube passing sulphuric acid. As usual, the rate at which the acid flows in to the tub is directly proportional to the amount of viewers to the site. This time, the victim being a secret agent, he tries to convey something in morse code using his eyes. The agent tried to tell the word 'our suicide'. Using these words alone, our super agent Jennifer Marsh finds out that the killer is the son of a suicide victim(iva oru pombala Vijayakanth!), whose death video was broad-casted in many news channels.

His first victim was the person who sold this fathers skull for a big sum. His second victim was a TV reporter who broadcasted the video and his third victim was the agent who did not do anything to stop the broadcast. All these details are surprisingly derived from the morse code!!

After solving the case in a jiffy, she drives home. For some reason she rides back(i actually fell asleep by this time). On her way back, her car stops on its own and the killer speaks with her through some wireless connected to her car. She breaks the window to escape out of the car and talks to her friend and asked him to pick her up. But, all of a sudden, the car starts on its own again, but this time the killer is hiding in the back seat! As usual, the killer kidnaps her to some garage where he hangs her upside-down with some chopper motor spinning below her head.

The rope is released with the number of visitors to his site. She being a secret agent, uses her training skills and tries to swing the rope to get hold of a pole in one corner. The killer being really smart in creating untraceable sites, failed to note people tied upside down could swing! When the killer goes near her to release her grip, she attacks him using a fire extinguisher and cuts the rope to release herself. She then attacks him vigorously and finally kills him with a gun lying on the floor. After killing him, she flashes her badge to the camera(enna oru budhisali thanam!).

On the whole, this movie is again a mash-up of movies like Saw. The director expects the viewer to be totally dumb(untraceable sites are ultimate fantasies). Looking at the poster of the movie, which pretty-much looked like Silence of the lambs movie poster, i really expected much more from this movie.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cleanliness: An Indian view

Ever wondered why European and American Countries are cleaner/tidier/neater than India? Is it because cleanliness is groomed to them from the childhood and its it their blood or they use simple common sense? We(Indians) tend to learn every thing from foreign countries, but eventually missed out the most obvious and essential stuffs like sanitation and cleanliness.

Last Friday i was traveling back home from my office. It was late and traffic was unusually high at 10pm. Was patiently waiting for the traffic to clear near Vadapalani signal. I was near a tempo van. Whatever idea ran into the tempo driver is still opaque..he opened the door, and started spitting on the road. As i was near him, my foot was also not spared! I gave him a wtf-look and he gave me a i-am-an-ass-look and asked apologies. Probably he mistook my leg looked to a wash-basin ;).

Even though his intention was not to spit on me, he didn't even realize he should not spit on the road. Like vivek says, its very true that, "In our country we should not kiss in public, but can piss anywhere!".

While driving back home, with a stinking leg, was questioning myself why the Indians don't prefer a cleaner way of living and why most of the places in India is dirty and filthy...the first thing came to my mind was the illiterate and economically unlucky lots.

Most of them either open up biriyani/food stalls and wash the plates and throw the waste in the streets or encroach the platform. Couple of years back, when i was traveling in a PTC bus, i had a brawl with a passenger who was coolly smoking his beedi. I did not want to complain to the conductor like a baby, so i handled him myself....though he did not stop smoking afterwards:). I could realize now that cleanliness and sanitation is not brooded with us.

Thinking deeper, its not only illiterate people who turn streets in to garbage pits, every single citizen plays some part or the other. We drink tea from tea shop and throw the cups in the street corners, buy things and throw the trash/plastics on the road, take our pets out for a walk and make them use the road as their toilets, cleaning vehicles on the road, use the road as garage to store things while constructing a house etc.

Government does their part by not providing enough public toilets, not cleaning and maintaining the roads properly, not enforcing proper/stricter sanitation rules, allowing buses with pathetic condition to pollute and ruin the roads, allowing garbage trucks to be driven with a open top(so that they can spread garbage), unmaintained drainages, uncleared slums etc.

As a result of these, we get dustier, bumpier and dirtier roads. I am really not sure whether this condition will ever change. We are really getting degraded each year. Few years back, i still remember chennai with somewhat cleaner roads. Today, one can not stand or drive near a bus, because someone will spit on you certainly. We will keep wondering(for years) how foreign countries are spic and span, while not knowing that its in the hands of we people!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cannibal Holocaust(1980): Review

This is one of the sickest film i have ever seen. After seeing the controversies surrounding this particular movie(ex. getting banned in 50 odd countries and director Ruggero Deodato getting arrested etc.), i thought of giving it a go. Even though the movies title mentions about cannibals, the movie is more or less like an animal-snuff film! *This film is surely not for any light hearted persons*

The movie started with a basic statuary warning stating that the movie contains unedited gruesome clippings. The movie is about a missing crew of ambitious documentary film makers, who set their foot in dangerous Amazon jungle to make a documentary about the cannibal tribes living there. A highly reputed professor is sent to recover the missing crew.

With the help of a local guide(who himself looks like a dressed barbarian) and his assistant, they start their search. The first 15 minutes went off without any bloodshed or killing. Then came first killing scene in which the assistant kills a Coatimundi for their lunch. He gives its stomach parts for a local tribe fellow(kaatu vaasi), who gets caught in the earlier scene, to eat(which he relishes eating raw).

After tracing 2 tribes, they finally found the Cannibal tribes who are locally referred to as Tree people(as they lived in trees). The introduction scene of tree people itself was gruesome. They were shown catching a cave woman(from a tree) for their dinner.

The crew attends their ritual meeting where the tribe leader chants something for sometime which the professor records. After sometime he plays the chanting to the tribe after which they are invited for the dinner(yep! the lady they caught earlier). The professor was offered the liver(or kidney or looked sick) which he had to eat(else he will be their side-dish). Finally they were able to recover the camera used by the documentary film crew along with their skulls.

Rest of the film deals with video recorded by the film crew which reveals their crueler intentions. The footage contains killing of a turtle, snake, monkey, spider and a pig. Warn you, these are real killings of animals filmed. I found really hard to watch the turtle killing scene. It was the goriest of the all(even now i feel like vomiting if i think about this scene).

In the video, the documentary crew members are shown terrorizing the local tribes, raping a local tribe girl and burning their houses. They finally meet the Tree people(who are like the head tribe of the jungle). The Tree people show them the final highway to hell. They are surrounded, beaten to death and finally torn apart and eaten by the Cannibal tribe.

I did not enjoy even a single minute of the movie(i now hope i never had watched this film). The only thing i enjoyed in this film is a background score that comes once in a while. I regret seeing this movie basically because of the animal killing scenes. I feel the essence of the movie would not have degraded even a single bit even without these animal killing scenes. They could have atleast faked those scenes! Shame on director Ruggero Deodatos part on killing helpless animals for the sake of trying to add power to the storyline(which he ultimately failed).

Finally, this movie is not worth a watch. There are better movies and better things to do for one and a half hour rather watching this sick film. Many consider this movie as a classic(the director himself considers this as his best film). I could directly relate this movie as sick. Miss this one for your own good!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mobile purchase

I had to get one mobile for my mom. I was asked to do it 3 months back. Due to few obvious reasons(one of which is, me being lazy) it was slightly delayed and i finally got one yesterday. As this is my first mobile purchase, i didn't have any idea on what are the criteria to look for.

Me and my brother discussed for few minutes and finally decided on a model(Nokia 2630). Now the problem is, where to get it. There are 4 mobile shops near my office(Subiksha, Nokia Priority, UniverCell and Mobile Store). I was not in a mood to go to all the four shops and decide on the cheapest one. I was advised not to purchase in Priority as it was the costliest of the lot. The very name Subiksha itself did not attract me (and off-course their mobile shop doest have good reviews eaither).

So the choices were rounded-off to UniverCell and Mobile Store. I had been to Mobile store 2 days back to see their quote for this mobile. Before going to UniverCell, i checked their website for their price. Their price was 150 bucks lesser than what mobile store quoted. So i thought UniverCell would be the right place to get it.

After visiting UniverCell, i regretted the decision of getting a mobile here. The price what they have quoted in their website and what the sales person said differed by 250 bucks! When i asked about it, he said its only for online purchase(which was never stated in their website)!! After saying this, the sales person stared packing the mobile to where it belonged and gave me a if-you-want-get-it-or-walk-off look. So i chose to walk off. I am really taken by surprise to see the crowd UniverCell is getting with this kind of service.

Since i badly needed this mobile to be bought, my next stop was in Mobile Store where i had a totally different experience. Their sales people were friendlier than the one in UniverCell. Even though they didn't reduce the price, i was totally satisfied with their service.

Bottom line is, purchasing a mobile is a 10 minutes job, so no point being lazy :) and never choose UniverCell for getting a mobile even if you are in a remote place with UniverCell being the only store for getting mobiles.