Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I am not a big fan of SCIFI. So my initial view on this movie was totally on the negative side. I refused to watch the trailer but made a judgement based on my short-sighted perception. How wrong? Oh, so wrong I was.
But when I started getting good reviews from friends, I started reading about it. Looked up that somewhere the movie talks about everything being one energy & how the Navi people live in tune with their world. That one thing made me say "OK" to G who was actually hoping I would turn over to his side.
Thanks again to my mother who stayed back home to watch over the sleeping bundle while we hit AMC. The crowds were all oohing & aahing. At 8pm we were in the middle of the long queue(show timing: 8.45pm) that started to take shape.
I haven't visited a theatre in almost 2 years. So seriously, I did not know if I would be able to keep myself awake & in one place for 150+ minutes.
Then the movie started. I am not sure if the 3D(or even the IMAX) made a big difference. But it certainly felt good to watch a movie on the big screen. And this movie, made me sit in one place for all that time, without making me bore/sore even for a minute. A fantastic movie & I am glad I budged myself to watch it on the big screen. The Navis that seemed "yucky" from the 1 scene of trailer I saw now look cute & sweet to me. Oh, my monkey mind. A lesson well learnt.
I learnt so much from the movie.
And these English movies that solely run on the story/director is truly amazing. Either these directors make anyone act well or there are wonderful & talented actors all over Hollywood, I don't know. But somehow most movies end up with the right combination of both. Avatar is a must see, people. Truly a fantastic movie.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Into Thin Air

I came across this movie somehow. The movie is pathetically made. The Everest 1996 expedition is apparently very famous for being the worst season ever. The movie failed to show important details behind each person. In the movie, the disaster seemed avoidable in simple ways. They made it look that each person was incompetent in whatever they were doing. A classic recipe for no one doing their job.
But once I heard that it was from a book, I reserved myself a copy. The book is by far better than the movie. Rather, it depicts the day's events & the history behind everything. These guides, Fischer & Hall were extremely unique people in their own way.
Everything seemed to have gone wrong on May 10th 1996. So many people lost their lives.
I love mountains, nature & generally adventure. But after reading this book, I had this feeling, "Maybe Everest is not meant to be climbed". Some questions too...Why do people do this? Why to leave behind their family for 2 months only to feel extremely happy to get back to them? Why suffer all that nerve racking weather & climb a mountain? After all, at that altitude, your body cannot digest anything. So, when you are on top of the world, you are hungry, tired, bitterly cold & extremely scared about getting back down alive in one piece. So many people have lost their limbs, other parts of the body to frost bite, have fallen awfully sick & most of them seem to have strained relationships back home.
But then, if they knew all this but still wanted to climb Everest, it is something like Do or Die for them. But this book made me realize that every person on this mountain wants to turn back alive. They fight the forces of Nature with so much fear & some eventually succumb to its fury.
Jon Krakauer has written this book more like a catharsis, as he wanted to get it out of his system. He was affected mentally, physically & emotionally(he probably still is-that's Everest) at seeing his friends lose their lives & unable to do anything.
This book has been criticized by many. Nevertheless, it was a page-turner for me. One of those books without finishing which I could not get to anything else with a committed mind.
Culture-wise, Buddhism is so close to Hinduism & the books details on Sherpas prove this. And any day, I would bow down to these hauling Sherpas. As Rob Hall said, "Climbing this mountain would be impossible but for them".
Maybe I should take a hike to this base camp(I just read that it takes 9-10 days). I met a man who did & he mentioned that he was breathless at the base camp itself(17600 ft on the Nepalese side; The base camp on the Tibetan side is 500 ft lower, but being in China, they have a road that gets you there)
It should be something just being there. But I am sure(today) that I will go no further than that :-)