Thursday, November 19, 2009


The movie has India all over it - a young Indian Astrophysicist who connects the dots and realizes how the D-day is going to unfold. Without him we would all be sitting ducks. Just one scene in the movie when he sounded odd …. when he said something like "Hamaara Saaman Pack Karo" like Tom Alter (or any firang) would say in old DD serials. There was no subtitle for that, and I’m still wondering what the world would make out of that. India's brilliance also comes into the forefront when all the satellite networks in the world are down, and the scientist in the Arc or the ship in a godforsaken corner of Tibet, gets a call from this guy. Guess what????? Indian mobile networks are still functioning. What an Idea Sirjiii...

I liked the Russian - Yuri. And it's good to see an Antonov aircraft once in a while, when we only get to hear about Boeing and Airbus these days. One of the most poignant scenes in the movie is when Yuri walks off from the boxing match (being fought by his protégé) so that he could board the ship. One of the underlying themes in the movie is Karma. This guy ditches everyone and pays for it by falling off the concrete cliff while trying to board the ship. And for his girlfriend, the poignancy was displayed in the finger-raising scene. For that one bad karma, she had to pay…in water.

And then there was Gordon - the guy who took care of the Hero's (yawn) family for all these years when he had been writing pulp. He comes in as the savior again by doing some stunning aircraft stunts which where never done since the Wrong brothers. He saved them not once, not twice, but a gazillion times - and in the end dies an inglorious death. Where's the cosmic justice in that? May be none was needed, as the audience was also doing the "hmmm-ouch, that must have hurt...ok...whatever...let's get on with the movie" rout as he fell into an average mechanical engineer's dream death between huge gearwheels.

And then there was the hero's family. Can you believe it? The once estranged wife wouldn't let him be when he was the last hope for the planet. They had to do emo stuff. And his kid, that brat had the audacity to swim underwater leaving his mom and sis to help his dad (when daddy had rationally explained to the six year old kid that he needs to stay behind and take care of his sis). Wifey wasn't too bad either…she was about to go underwater searching for hubby and kid, when someone sitting near me thankfully remarked "poora family haraami hai yaar."

And those cardboard signs "The end is nigh" is so passé. And you expect more from the D Lama look-alike. Guess what the Zen story he had to tell his disciple was? "Your cup is full..overflow..keep it empty...learn." Grow up Hollywood.

Charlie (the radio guy – remember?) is good. And so is his blog video on U Tbe (

The President had to be good. So he stayed back (they had to bring in the captain sinking ship analogy…aaargh), and a lot us thought he would make it, when he came back alive twice, once after his transmission conked, and once after the whatchamacallit tower came down. He came back only to be royally done by USS Kennedy washing ashore. The script of his finale speech was bad, pathetic compared to the Independence Day President, if that was some sort of movie standard. He could have said, considering the pathetic situation, "No, we cannot" and asked everyone to repeat (yes we can, anyone?). Incidentally, I’m told that that's the same line that every distributor is using when someone asks him/her about breaking even.

If you get the drift of the movie, it reflects our times: Brazil as some sort of a country that deserves mention; Russia as the more-or-less “yes-Mr. US President” but still a force; India as the techno place; China as the manufacturing hub; UK, Germany, and specifically Italy as the goners, and the rest of the world as whatever. BRIC

Verdict: Don't watch it even if in-laws don’t pay for it.

Verdict for the unconvinced - Script: Yuri: You know Curtis, I wasn’t always businessman. I am a boxer. Was my only playing when I was a boy, back in Murmansk. My coach...... his name also Yuri... He always said: ‘Someone wants to beat you... he has to kill you first’. Kannada Translation: Thuuu

And this was brought to my attention by a friend at a sober party last week: "California is going down! Pack up the kids!"

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