Tuesday, December 30, 2008

slumdog millionaire (spoilers warning!)

So I finally saw this movie in the theater. Friends visiting for the weekend was excuse enough to go watch a movie.
The first half hour of the movie was so depressing that I was almost ready wait outside the theater for everyone. In fact, I would have done so if I was sitting on the aisle. I spent at least ten minutes closing my eyes. More so because none of background they showed was totally unbelievable, except for the first bit where he jumps into shit. That utterly gross!

Anyway, as the movie progressed into a fantasy mixed with reality the tone changed. No more gory scenes. It was still sad but the worst was over. The dialogues were funny, especially bit about Taj Mahal being a hotel and the king dying before any of the rooms being built :) Fully points to all the actors and even for the casting directors. The character roles being played by bollywood veterans did the trick.

Street children talking in english was a little wierd at first but after while it just felt like a movie in english, thats all. All the hindi usage was indiscreet and at least not noticable to me..but then again they didnt put in subtitles very often. So am not sure how the non hindi speaking people liked it.

In the end, it was a well made/written fantasy tale of rags to riches.

The only thing is it probably had a sum total of the bad things that can happen in India to the poor. So not a fair representation of the reality, but neither is the commercial indian cinema anyway. I walk back home thinking at least I cannot point my finger at anything in the background which was untrue.

Final Verdict : Worth a watch.. with a strong heart...

Friday, December 19, 2008

my point of view

We were talking about healthcare system in the US at lunch the other day. And someone was telling me about the argument against having the government take care of it. One of it was it will become like DMV and my response was maybe I am used to standing in lines in India so I find nothing wrong in it.

But then, it occurred to me later, if that was the flimsy argument against it then I am not sure privatization is the way to go either.
Think about any non-essential companies like cable, phone etc... I have had to spend hours on the phone to order, cancel, fix any service I have had. Even though it might be in their interest to keep me happy, if they are the only company providing the service they won't care.

I know its not an argument for having the government take care of it...but I just had to mention it. Actually I my experience at the DMV at recent times has been quite simple. I have never had to wait more than an hour for anything. It was quite systematic last time I was there. For the amount of people they cater to, they do a fair job.

I have one more argument against the logic that private is the way to go. In all honesty, ever since I have come to this country, I have stood in lines to get coffee, to get food, at the checkout counter and, I have learnt to become patient.
Everybody seems to take their own sweet time to do things. I had always thought that its in the businessman's interest to get these lines cleared up quick. But no! you can stand in line for 20 minutes to get a cup of coffee, to check out your groceries..

Then again, I have never really tested out the health care system in this country and I am thankful for that. So I have no way to verify any arguments for or against government.
All the same, I hope the next decade brings new ideas, open mindedness, gives the "government vs private" a rethink.