Friday, March 29, 2019

Why is Kerala Crazy about Lucifer?

Multiple reasons can be found why people take this film so seriously. This film had two of their most beloved and blessed actors - Mohan Lal and Prithviraj. It is taking so long to get back to work with our normal sane mind while so much energy is shared around this film. The whole of Kerala is brimming with celebration. 

It is reported in social media that Lucifer collected almost 10 crores on the first day of its release itself. This is no small achievement when we consider other recent films done by actor Mohanlal or even by the Megastar Mammootty. 

Films by experienced directors and debutants alike crashed like a house of cards. What Prithviraj Sukumaran has done is to use the existing space of Malayalam cinema to leverage his creativity. Very few film makers have found that perfect balance recently. 

I believe Sreekumar Menon wanted to find that balance. But he was swept away by his over confidence as an ad film maker. He should have unlearned that skill to balance the creative dance of film making. But let me confess, I am a big fan of Sreekumar Menon. I watched Odiyan. I liked every frame and every second of that film. Honestly, I couldn't understand why the whole of Kerala (apparently) was unhappy with that film. 

Best wishes to Prithviraj Sukumaran and Mohanlal on their future ventures. I haven't watched Lucifer yet. I can't wait to see it on big screen!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Killing Time in Delhi by Ravi Shankar Etteth: A Review

Ravi Shankar Etteth has a remarkable gift as an author. With his words, he can take the reader's subconscious self to places he wants the reader to see, feel, and experience. Whether the amaltas tree that we see at the beginning or the tomb of the deal Mughal that appears as a recurring image, the reader is taken into the vista of colourful images and portraits that enrich the taut narrative of the life of a young protagonist.

The protagonist of Killing Time In Delhi is Charlie. His real name is Chaithanya. He is one of the young super-rich of New Delhi. The story of Killing Time In Delhi revolves with Charlie at its centre. Also, you’ll find the city of Delhi appearing as a solid character in the story.

In his recent novel, The Brahmin, Etteth had attempted a historical saga of a mysterious Brahmin that left readers spellbound and wanting for more. If you are a fan of The Brahmin, it’s certain that you’ll expect a story in the same vein, at least in terms of its narrative schemata. However, Killing Time In Delhi sets the versatility of Etteth as a writer, once and for all. The language of Killing Time In Delhi is not at all the same way lyrical as the tone of language used in The Brahmin.

However, Killing Time In Delhi is a superb read. The language used by Etteth is contemporary, inherently satirical with a shade of dark humour.

The crimson front and deep blue back cover of the book hold the reader for a moment. It is certainly a well designed prompt for making any reader pick up the book. It is not just the cover though. Once the pages of the book turn, every reader is sucked into the whirlwind of conspiracy and danger along with the protagonist.

The advantage of Etteth over other writers of the conspiracy, crime, and thriller genre is that the books he writes are not merely genre fiction. Although one may find all these factors clearly as an entertaining undercurrent in his books, they are never merely about what they are on their surface. In its scope and breadth, Killing Time In Delhi is a remarkable achievement.

“Ravi Shankar Etteth is a Delhi based journalist, satirist, graphic designer and author. He has worked as the editorial cartoonist of Indian Express, creative director of the Observer Group of Publications, editor at India Today, and Sunday Standard, and CEO and editor-in-chief of Voice of India and Millionaire. In 1996, Etteth Published his first book of short stories, The Scream of the Dragonflies.” (From the data on the book cover flap) His recent book is The Brahmin, which I reviewed on my blog at WritersMelon.