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Archive for September, 2009

Reservoir dogs, anyone?

No not the movie, I’m referring to the stage-play half-movie-half-play half-home-video-half-talk-show by ASAP playing in Chennai this weekend. It was a rather interesting attempt to bring a video footage on screen – nice try guys, but it didn’t work. I’m not a great critic and all – but hey this is my thoughts on your screen – just take what you want. So here’s my comprehensive review on what I feel made the performance, err, just about average.

The stage. You guys got the museum theatre in Chennai to run your show. The place is beautiful: air conditioned, with wonderful acoustics and a nice big stage. Use the darned stage, even if you didn’t have a prop to put up. The lighting was hardly on the players – I really don’t know why Mr. Blonde was forever in the dark leaving the audience to keep guessing which part of the theatre he was in.

The video. Oh come on! We came in to watch a stage-play: some live action. Yes, there was some gun firing, blood oozing, and head slapping (well executed in fact). But when the flyers said that it was an 80:20::stage:cinema thing, I thought you guys had action packed sequences filled with stunts. However, all I saw was casual home/office/roadway conversations that could have been performed on-stage.

The opening video. I couldn’t make out if it was a promo or some opening advertisement or something. Four guys at a hotel discussing tipping waitresses – I personally found it totally irrelevant. If it had more to it, I’m sorry it was just beyond my level. The font used for titling was awful, and the camera kept shaking. Ever heard of what a tripod is?!

Sound editing & language. This is supposed to fall within the video heading, but it was big enough to be discussed separately. What was your idea behind muting all unparliamentary language?

  1. It didn’t censor whatever you attempted to censor. The muting was like how they used to do it in WWF (yes, while it was still WWF), “why can’t you part with your f*cking <beep> money?”
  2. If you were planning on censoring the language, why use it in the first place?! But this is more of a general theatre-group directed question: do you have to be so harsh while you’re up on stage/recording-a-video? Every f*cking word is preceded and followed by a f*cked up swear. I see you want to exercise your freedom of stage-speech, but it’s just stupid to swear every two words. Am I not right, a*hole?
  3. Lousy sound editing on your videos – too much background usually, making what the artists spoke incomprehensible, or too jarring. If possible, run a separate re-recording session. Even better – do away with playing a video.

The characters. Mr. Red, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown . . . totally out of sync with Ram and all the other Indianized names you had up there. Either pick pachai, manjal, etc. or something on those lines. Everyone was speaking peter English though (esp. Michael Muthu – loved his accent) – so I suppose bringing in Indian names didn’t really help.

The genre. Humour? Not really – one of the guys was being funny at times (the one with the ponytail, talking on being professionals). Tying the cop to the chair was funny – don’t know if it were intended though. Action? Perhaps – there was some kicking around on stage, there was some gun firing (very well executed), some blood oozing (equally wonderfully timed), fighting once in a while. Slapping that cop on the head was nicely done. But that video on the cop-fight was pretty poor, and the play never lived up to the action-drama it claimed to be. And those two cops discussing their drug-snatching while Mr. ?! went to pee was fabulous – loved the language! Overall, I feel that had you guys included romance in part (that psycho guy jumping on the cop was pretty BDSM-gay kinds), it would’ve been a perfect Bollywood masala flick!

The media-people. You had NDTV covering your performance?! And unfortunately, the camera guy they brought along didn’t know he wasn’t to be flashing light at the audience. I don’t really know if you are to blame for it, and it’s cool if I got to be on TV (yes I was the idiot waving at him – I thought I was asking him to turn it off, don’t know how he interpreted that as though). The computers you used to play your videos from should have been shut except when required or at least covered from the rest of the lot inside the theatre. It was very distracting and yes, annoying.

I did like several parts of your play though, especially your concluding remark: “if you liked the play, tell your friends; if you didn’t, tell your enemies.” Either way you make your business. 😛 Ashes felt your play lived up to how it were in the movie, but I haven’t seen QT’s Reservoir dogs yet. And assuming you guys put in a whole deal of effort to put this up, I’d like to say that you still have a long way to go. Good luck!

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Here’s my rough understanding of how the Indian education system works:

  • Kids are pushed into school when they’re three two-and-a-half two one-and-a-half.
  • They’re grown up to believe “studying” is the only way they could come up in life. All those sports people who became billionaires through endorsements playing good sports are cheats, and aren’t good enough to be considered role-models.
  • Class 10 is when their intellect is tested the first time. From parents to teachers, kids hear: “this is the most important exam in your life: it makes or breaks your future. Don’t screw it up.”
  • Now every parent’s kid needs to get into a science stream, to become a doctor or an engineer. Those who go into commerce rot in hell.
  • So whether they fare well or not, whether it could be afforded or not, whether the kid wants to go or not, they put them into some engineering colleges (and for the more flamboyant, medical schools).
  • Students pursuing engineering degrees usually get tired of the methods by the end of their first year at college, and branch out into two three kinds:
    • ones that understand the system, and just run smooth. These have bigger plans in mind, and they aren’t really bothered about the system: they just run along till they get out.
    • ones that just care about big grades, and to make maximum worth for the tuition they’ve paid. These arguably pursue it for the sake of holding a degree in hand, and for a job at the end of it.
    • ones who really don’t care a rat’s arse, who eventually rot in those institutions till they clear their exams later or get kicked out.
  • So if you’re a parent, you’d probably argue saying, “at least my son/daughter has passed out with a job in hand. On campus placements make the degree totally worth it. Even if it is an IT job (which in nine out of ten cases has nothing to do with the course endured).”

Or so you think. Step out of the college utopia (?!) and you’d be slapped by the harsh reality of the corporate world. Since folks are hired in bulk (much like contract labourers who go to the middle-east), they’re made to wait.

This is to inform you that your senior batch has just been called. Do keep your fingers crossed, we will call you in due time. In the meanwhile, spruce up your computer skills and be prepped for an eternity of damnation.

After the painstaking wait is done, the call finally comes. And to help the newbies, the previous batch of people who made it to the same company give them tips on how to face the first year:

Dear Friends,

Pls carry these documents when you are going to join the company. These are very important, please dont leave behind anything.

  1. First to Last Semester marksheet (attested xerox + original)
  2. Consolidated marksheet (attested xerox + original)
  3. Transfer certificate (attested xerox + original)
  4. Provisional degree (attested xerox + original)
  5. 10th(X-th) marksheet (attested xerox + original)
  6. 12th(XII-th) marksheet (attested xerox + original)
  7. Birth Certificate should be in ENGLISH ( attested xerox + original) if in case u don’t have your birth certificate u have to get an affidavit from a lawyer towards ur birth place and
  8. date of birth (affidavit should be in a 20 rupees Indian non-judicial stamp paper bought in ur name). NOTE: any other proof is useless as they are very specific about this Birth certificate or affidavit.
  9. Passport, Pan card  (attested xerox + original),
  10. An affidavit from a lawyer that there are no criminal cases pending against in u (affidavit should be in a 20 rupees Indian non-judicial stamp paper bought in ur name).
  11. Ur service agreement in a 100 rupees Indian non judicial stamp paper. NOTE: The person who gives this surety must be an income tax payer.
  12. Form 16 of the surety giver’s attested xerox must be brought and attested passport xerox of the surety giver or PAN card attested xerox of the surety giver must also be brought. these are the supporting documents for ur service agreement and are mandatory.
  13. Call letter and Offer letter.
  14. Formal dress is a must inside the training campus. better have atleast six set of formal dresses.(for gents full slag formal shirt ,formal pant, leather shoes ,belt, tie is must).
  15. Passport Size Photograph.

The person who didnt get the call, u pls check the mail atleast once in a day. Mail may come in Spam Folder also, so check the Spam Folder too.

First to Last Semester marksheet (attested xerox + original)
Consolidated marksheet (attested xerox + original)
Transfer certificate (attested xerox + original)
Provisional degree (attested xerox + original)
10th(X-th) marksheet (attested xerox + original)
12th(XII-th) marksheet (attested xerox + original)
Birth Certificate should be in ENGLISH ( attested xerox + original) if in case u don’t have your birth certificate u have to get an affidavit from a lawyer towards ur birth place and
date of birth (affidavit should be in a 20 rupees Indian non-judicial stamp paper bought in ur name). NOTE: any other proof is useless as they are very specific about this Birth certificate or affidavit.
Passport, Pan card  (attested xerox + original),
An affidavit from a lawyer that there are no criminal cases pending against in u (affidavit should be in a 20 rupees Indian non-judicial stamp paper bought in ur name).
Ur service agreement in a 100 rupees Indian non judicial stamp paper. NOTE: The person who gives this surety must be an income tax payer.
Form 16 of the surety giver’s attested xerox must be brought and attested passport xerox of the surety giver or PAN card attested xerox of the surety giver must also be brought. these are the supporting documents for ur service agreement and are mandatory.
Call letter and Offer letter.
Formal dress is a must inside the training campus. better have atleast six set of formal dresses.(for gents full slag formal shirt ,formal pant, leather shoes ,belt, tie is must).
Passport Size Photograph.
The person who didnt get the call, u pls check the mail atleast once in a day.
Mail may come in Spam Folder also, so check the Spam Folder too.
Note: This guideline is sent based on Last years call letter format. This mail is meant only for prior preparation for ur joining.

Note: This guideline is sent based on Last years call letter format. This mail is meant only for prior preparation for ur joining.

And this informative mail is followed by a lousy all the best (but the guy who sent this should be thanked: at least he gave an insight to those dorks who’re oblivious of what’s coming their way). Read once through and you’d know how preposterous the corporate world is. The apparel: wearing a full-slack formal shirt with a tie in Indian weather is the single most excruciating thing one can be subjected to. They want attested copies along with the originals? Just doesn’t make sense: if you’re going to show them your original certificates, why do they need to be attested? The intellect of these dumbass corporate bosses are just too incomprehensible. It isn’t just bureaucracy, it’s plain dumb. So at the end of it all, I’m convinced into saying, “is this really worth all the pain?!”

God save those who fall into this trap!

And another of my pet peeves: xerox is the name of a company, the copier makes photocopies. Get your English right!

P.S.: Yes, my descriptions of the corporate world have been made based on my knowledge about one IT company (biased perhaps?!). No, I’m not falling into the same trap by signing up for that offer. And yes, I’m glad to pursue academic research.

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