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Friday, July 24, 2009

Vicky Cristina Barcelona


If I am to write about this movie in one line, then it would be – The struggle that extremely creative people go through to find peace and harmony in their life. Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a story about two girls, Vicky and Cristina who spend a summer in Barcelona, Spain; it is about the two interesting, extremely creative artists (Juan Antonio & Maria Elena) they meet during this time and how they influence their life.

Characters:



Vicky (Rebecca Hall)- Vicky is a very practical thinking, realistic person, who is very confident about what she wants out of her life, or at least thinks so in the beginning of the movie. She is engaged to a decent, committed man back in the US. According to me Vicky represents a class of people who in the name of society and its rules hide away their emotions. Judy (A relative in Barcelona) in a way is what perhaps Vicky will turn out to be.

Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) – Cristina on the other hand, unlike Vicky is passionate, romantic and loves to flow with the moment as it comes. She enjoys experimenting with life in search of something she or many of us do not know. She according to me is the other kind of people who are unconventional with life and welcome the unexpected tied with no cliché’s.


Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) – Antonio, an artist, is first shown as a Casanova, a charmer but as one gets to know him more through the movie, he discloses himself as very creative and caring individual, very expressive of his emotions. He criticizes and at the same time idealizes his ex-wife Maria.

Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz wins oscar for this role) – A replica of Antonio, matches his spirit and creaivity like a mirror and like a mirror image, they are a perfect match but at the same time can never live together. She is extremely spontaneous and inspiring.

Art:


The movie is rich in portrayal of art. It captures one of the most beautiful locations in the world and beautiful architectures by Antoni Gaudi.

But most interestingly it talks of art as a subject; about painting, photography and Poetry. One is thrown into the life of artists like Maria and Antonio who admire each other’s work and get inspired by them. Maria thinks that Antonio stole his style of painting from her, which Antonio later confesses with Cristina. The two inspire and influence Cristina to take up her interest in Photography seriously by setting up a dark room in the basement. Antonio’s father is an interesting character, who denies speaking in any other language than Spanish; he believes a poet should not pollute his tongue. He hates the world and hence creates wonderful poems but never publishes them, denying it to the world which he thinks, even after so many years of civilization has not learnt to love.

Relationships & Sex:



Relationships & Sex are an important element of this movie. The movie speaks of different types of relationship that exist in the world. It shows how three people are experimental about love; it discusses one night stand; it talks of unhappy marriages and guilt of infidelity. It experiments with bisexuality.

One of the interesting scenes in the movie is when Antonio approaches the two girls for the first time and directly asks them to accompany him to a city called Oviedo, where he would expect them to enjoy a beautiful work of art and later share his bed. Vicky is amused by his arrogant bluntness but Cristina is impressed and accepts the invitation.

A unique relationship is formed between Cristina, Maria and Antonio; all three in love with each other. Maria and Antonio think that their love had a missing ingredient and hence they loved and hated each other at the same time but until Cristina arrives and completes their love. The movie talks of a different, eccentric approach towards love and relationships than the common clichés of love.

Maria even thinks that only unfulfilled love can be romantic.


Summary:

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a poem. It’s beautiful and creative. Most of the movie uses a voice over to describe thoughts and complex emotions. It is straight forward, fast paced and wound with beautiful Spanish music and locales. Definetly one of Woody Allen's best direction. It is a movie about extremely creative people and their eccentric thoughts and lives, which I think is a life beyond domestic chores and paychecks. It is about the artistic part of life, where humans are still in the process of understanding themselves and this nature.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Savandurga

On a cloudy, beautiful Friday morning (Jul-3rd) we (Team at work) drove out of the city towards Magadi on two tempo travelers; playing chess; cheering to the James Bond movie stunts. The driving distance from Bangalore is about 60Km's.

Savina Durga...Fort of death, is formed of two hills, Biligudda (White hill) and Karrigudda (Black hil). We climbed only the Biligudda this time. The first sight of the rocks was amazing, especially as it formed a backdrop to a beautiful lake on the way.



After refreshing tender coconut drink, we started the ascent. Initially it was very difficult for most of us. There are no steps and one has to follow a vaguely painted direction on rocks. The climb is steep and not an easy hike. But once we got a hang of it, the rest of the climb was fun. And when you are in large group, with friends and laughs over even the silliest of jokes, then nothing seems like a hurdle. On our way we met some military trainees, running down the hill.



At summit is a small shrine with Nandi idol. The wind at the summit was vigorous. A small imbalance, it would have just taken us rolling all the way down. But this situation is what made it enjoyable to stay at the top of Biligudda.




We had Chappati’s and Mangalore buns for lunch which had been packed for the trip. I think I have repeated this several times, but it is true always though; that once you are at the top of a mountain, hill or rock, and look down, the feeling is unmatchable and one realizes how small man is as compared to this vastness and of course the pain you took to climb this magnificent creation, vanishes out in a second by the magical healing power of the nature.


I spotted this bird at the summit. Anybody to help me identify this?


And of course some sparrows at the base.