Category Archives: Travel

The Dark Knight Rises – A thorough entertainer

The trilogy could not have had a better ending. This one was a thorough entertainer. You name it, the movie has it… Great director, cast, background scoring, screen play, and amazing use of technology, imagination, and I can go on.. Frankly all credit to Christopher Nolan for his direction. After a not so entertaining Batman movie (1st in the sequel) he has bounced back with fantastic direction on 2nd and 3rd…

Some highlights on the cast:

Christian Bale as the Batman has done perfect justice to the role of the Batman as he has done in the past. His physic and looks makes a perfect combination of Bruce Wyne and the Batman.

Tom Hardy as Bane – The bad guy with the mask. The well built Tom was perfect for the role. Also the slow dialog delivery makes his character have a special bad guy. I think the director has consciously chosen to do this and has been quite successful in that attempt. But it is a good thing that Tom Hardy has a mask on for this movie to be Bane. Otherwise his face does not fit the description of a bad guy at all. So good decision to go with the mask.

Michael Caine playing the role of Alfred has actually done better in this movie than the previous Batman. In the previous one, he is more of an advisor and nothing more. In this movie there are a lot more emotional conversations with Bruce Wayne which he has done really well.

Morgan Freeman – Needless to say. He has done his little cameo role very well.

The ladies of the movie Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard have been presented very well. Special mention about Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle a petty thief, with an attitude has done really well and done justice to her role.

The movie itself:

The plot of the movie is very simple – While Bruce Wayne (the Batman) has been away into a self exile for 8 years and the Gotham city seems to be under control without any organized crime. But there are efforts going on to create fear and destroy the city. Batman comes back and saves the city.

Right from the beginning  to the end, except for the one twist on who the actual person who leads the bad people, there is absolutely no surprises. Atleast to me most of it was predictable. But yet, the screen play has been stunning to keep the interest despite being straight forward.

Things that I thought could have been done better:

a) The initial flight chase sequence and bad guys escaping which was almost like a James Bond or Mission impossible type stuff. I thought it could have been short or may be done differently.

b) Some dialogs from the Batman was very predictable and typical hero type dialogs. Although in the flow of the movie it did not sound too bad. But for a guy like Christopher Nolan, he could have paid some attention to removing stuff like that.

c) The football ground scene. With the whole ground behind the kickoff return guy going done, and bombs going off on all sides, the kickoff return guy seems to realize that everything behind him is gone only after he stops running… It sounded funny but did not seem intelligent at all…

There were a few other small blips in the screen play that I noticed but getting into the details might give away the story…  but those could be ignored as well.

What I really liked about the movie:

a) The fancy super toys that the Batman uses.. 🙂 Ofcourse the motorcycle and the hover craft that he uses were absolutely amazing.

b) The director’s imagination: Some of the things that he has shown are fantastic. Especially the motor super cycle chase sequence. When he wants to turn the opposite direction, the way the wheels turn and he gets back is absolute jaw dropping. I loved that scene. Infact it happens twice in the movie. Dont forget to watch that.

c) Music (background score) is mind blowing. There was not a single scene where the music director Hans Zimmer has not left his mark. Every scene had a perfectly balanced scores. I loved this.

d) Last but not least, most part of the movie was shot in Pittsburgh. I was actually in Pittsburgh when the movie was shot… To see all that in the actual movie was very heartening. After all Pittsburgh is my extended home town… 😉

I know this review comes a little late but these are just my thoughts without telling the actual story.  I would give 8 out of 10 for this movie.

Hope you like my comments and are helpful. Do leave a comment if you liked it.

Where a law abiding citizen is considered impractical

Like many I wanted to own a property in a city where I grew up. I came back from the US with a lot of promise and aspiration to buy an apartment (Condominium) in Chennai, India – The place where I grew up and lived most part of my life… But it has been 6 months since I returned, the aspiration or dream has not come true.

Well there are several constraints such as location, size, layout, price (of course) that I have to play with to strike a balance make some compromises. If these were the only one, I would have been already living in my own apartment. But there is one constraint I did not think of and is outside of my ability to manage that still prevents me from buying a house – Deviation: Floor plan approval vs actual.

What is a deviation – There are several types of deviations in constructing a house. But in simple terms it is called ‘breaking the law’. The local government authority (in my case CMDA) stipulates guidelines on how a house/apartment needs to be constructed. If you see most of these rules are primarily for safety reasons – i.e. If a house catches fire it should not quickly spread to other houses, if there is an emergency people are able to exit easily and safely, if there is an emergency a rescue vehicle is able to reach the spot, etc…

Unfortunately almost all the builders do not comply with these guidelines. They believe these rules are not practical and cannot be followed. As a matter of fact, I booked an apartment with a leading builder. When we started verifying the papers, there was a difference of 147 sq feet between the CMDA approval and the salable area (Thanks to my wife for the good catch – If not for her thorough verification, I may have missed it). When enquired, they were candid and mentioned that deviation is very common and that I was the only person to make a big deal out of it. Well I did make a big deal out of it and got my money back.

One of the main reasons this is happening is because buyers ‘don’t care’. There is a lot of money out there in the hands of people and they just want to invest. There is absolute madness with respect to real estate in Chennai. There are a lot of issues with this attitude which I want to deal with in another blog. But the least I would expect people to do is to check if what they are buying is according to law.

It is a horrible and nauseating feeling that people care so much about Vasthu compliant houses but not approval compliant houses. You may even see builders advertising saying that their apartments are Vasthu compliant but there are very very very few who can claim that their house as approval compliant.

Well am not going to give up. I will continue to insist on CMDA approval compliant apartment/house. At worst what could happen?? I may not be able to buy a house, people may call me impractical. Atleast I know I did not break the law and that I was a good citizen who does not think that the rules are only for others and not for me.