Archive for October, 2007

We watched A Mighty Heart this weekend. For the uninitiated, this is the story of Daniel and Marianne Pearl, made into a movie by Brad Pitt. The film stars Angelina Jolie, and for the most part was shot in India. So, there has been tremendous curiosity surrounding the film here.

Having seen it, I must say that the film must be commended for keeping alive the story of a unique family and an incredibly strong woman. The world needs a bit more of both.

It must also be commended for the mature handling of what could could have easily degenerated into a graphic, sensational display of a brutal murder. Instead, the story is told from Marianne’s perspective, and when the video that captures his death is revealed, we don’t see the video. We only see the audience’s response, and that is more powerful.

I also like the manner in which the film captures some of the contrasts of the subcontinent. Yes, there is the poverty and the crowds. But, there is also the quiet of spacious bungalows and open avenues. The elite circle, the liberal Asian intelligentsia, the taxi driver, the fixer, the religious extremist, the committed investigator… they all find place within the frame.

In more ways than one, the film steps beyond the cliche. Pakistan is never the enemy. It is only a nation torn and in the front line of the war against terror.

Yet, while this was a good film, I couldn’t help feeling that something was missing, preventing it from being an outstanding film. In retrospect, I can’t help feeling that this was in the telling of the tale. The script could have been better written and tighter editing was required to hold it together more completely.

This is also not the best performance that I have seen from Angelina Jolie. While she was quite good, her performance still lacked the brilliance of Gia, where she was the character. There is a moment of greatness in the film though and that was the scene where she hears about her husband’s death. Gut wrenching, yet never melodramatic.

So, it must be said that even if there are places where it falls short, I would still recommend that this movie remains on your ‘must watch’ list. If for nothing else, then to revisit the story of an extremely ordinary and remarkable family.

Watching the film has also made me very curious about the book. I can’t help feeling that there is something extraordinary there.


My book

Posted: October 27, 2007 in Ginger Soda Lemon Pop

Well, almost. That’s actually the cover of my book, which goes into print today. And finally, I am excited.

Till I saw the cover, I had this deep rooted suspicion that something was going to go wrong. But now, even me the eternal pessimist has an inkling that this is going to happen. Two years after I penned the last page and 10 years after I first conceived the idea, this book is going to be a reality. It would be an understatement to say that I am happy.