Sunday, March 25, 2007

Review: Open Your Eyes

I picked up Alejandro Amembar's 'Open Your Eyes' (Abre Los Ojos) from Netflix, since it looked sorta like 'Road' from RGV's Factory (whatever happened to them...they've been more run-of-the-mill than even Karan Johar for sometime now!). I mean, the hero's miffed, deranged ex-girlfriend offers him a lift that he never should have accepted - sounds similar, doesn't it? But o-boy, was I mistaken!

'Open Your Eyes' is as close to a mind-fuck as you can get. If you thought 'Eternal Sunshine...' played games with your mind, wait till you see this. The director takes one of our most common filmi cliches, the horrific dream which the hero suddenly snaps out of, and weaves a teasing, tantalizing tale out of it. I really can't say any more about the plot, without divulging the crux of the movie. However, take it from me, this is an exhilarating movie experience - sorta like watching 'Matrix' for the first time, minus the mind-blowing action sequences.

Eduardo Noregia does a terrific job as the protagonist. He is never over-the-top, and plays his role with just the right amount of frustration and menace. Penelope Cruz, as always, is a treat to watch on screen (especially topless!). But the true hero of this film is the director Alejandro Amembar, who's also credited for the writing. He's weaved together the psychological thriller and sci-fi genres seamlessly, and magnificently at that.

The movie bears quite some similarity to our own B&W classic 'Yakshi', starring Sathyan-maash (as he is popularly known) in one of his more famous performances. The psychology of somebody who's face is grotesquely mutilated, and their attitude toward sympathy (especially from women) is quite similar in both these movies. There are other similarities too, but I can't give those away without divulging the plot. Of course, the Malayalam movie is a lot more melodramatic, and it hasn't aged tremendously well. However, 'Open Your Eyes' gives us an idea as to how 'Yakshi' could be remade as today. However, if the remake is gonna be like what Hema Malini made with Madhoo (I think the name of the movie was 'Mohini'), then I think they'd rather not even try.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Why I Don't Like Cats

Yeah, I know that cats are more of gal-pets; but my aversion toward cats goes even beyond the usual Mars-Venus theory. And believe it or not, as far as I remember, it all started after reading a darned Mandrake comic-book!! When I was a kid, Diamond comics weren't into the market yet (yeah, am a dinosaur). IMHO, Diamond comics destroyed some great comics like Phantom (and let's not even talk about that dumb movie), Mandrake etc with their loud, large drawings; the whole element of mystery was not there anymore. Diamond comics weaned me off Phantom, and made me gravitate toward Asterix instead (now, that is some comic book!).

Am veering off the topic here, let me get back. The Mandrake tale was kinda stupid, when you think about it. It dealt with how cats have a separate planet of their own, and how they all get together after midnight to share tidbits about their owners. Yeah, I know...crap of the highest order. But this stupid story made me realize two things:

a. Cats disappear after 10:00 PM. I have never seen a cat after 10... God knows where they all go, but they do all go somewhere. I mean, think of all the dogs that have chased you when you were sneaking back to the hostel after a movie...have you ever, ever seen a cat at that time? No, I bet!

b. Cats are not naturally affectionate. Sure, they purr when you fondle them, and they rub against your legs when they are hungry; but they don't really need humans!

So...why this post? Well, I hate to admit it, wife saw a cat at 12:00 AM two nights ago. There goes myth #1 :(.