Friday, October 22, 2010

Those Mysterious Happenings - Peril At the End House

Vidit Bhargava
Ingredients of an Agatha Christie Poirot classic, are simple.
Queer Happenings, Murder, Inquest (with no certain outcome), Japp, Hastings, Poirot's Special Remarks, Poirot's own style of Investigation, Talk -Talk, Arrest (of the wrong person), Poirot's Little Comedy, Murderer's Denial, Poirot's Explanation.
Occasionally when not Japp, some other Scotland Yard Officer comes up and is often correctly predicted as egoistic. The books in which Agatha Christie had shattered those ingredients and chosen new paths, she had succeeded, succeeded not only in surprising the reader but also turning those books into best sellers. (Take the examples of 'Murder on the Orient Express', 'ABC Murders', 'Death in the Clouds', 'Murder of Roger Ackroyd' they all were nice and of course the mysteries were 'Jaw Dropping').

Although, she might have been 'fed up with Poirot' (As christie's grandson explains), Agatha Christie never left writing Poirot Novels. This book, Peril at the End House was however one of her earlier creations (1932). Peril at End House, sounds haunting (thanks to the cover also, which makes it look like one). But, it isn't.

Bien!, the plot goes like this:
Nick Buckley has had three accidents (three escapes from murder) recently, (An Oil Painting that came crushing down on her bed, a boulder that just missed her and a car whose breaks had failed). She is fortunate to meat the great Belgian, Poirot! (Who is by the way on a holiday, with Hastings). What follows next, is Poirot's Attempts to find the murderer, before he commits the murder.

The murder mystery is narrated rather "Stylishly" by Hastings this time & is engrossing in most of the parts, even though you may know the murderer half-way through. Moreover the Novel always urges you to read more, 2 chapters a day won't help you, you're anyways going to read more to suffice your growing hunger of reading. The swiftness of the book is also a factor which acts a bonding agent between you and the book.

It is all well but what disappoints here is the mystery. As usual, Poirot plays his little comedy first (Like he has done in many others like the Blue Train mystery). There are a lot of twists, turns and truth to be blurted out till the last moment. Its all a mess in the end, till Poirot Explains and others listen. Though, out of so-much that's left to be unraveled by Poirot, you'll find a few things surprising and shocking but at the bottom of it all, the final solution is not very pleasing. Why do I say that? The Book itself reads at the back, quoting a critic's message that the final solution is ingenious. Its not. As a matter of fact, it can all be nice and surprising if you read this as your first Poirot Mystery, but looking at it in a sequence you're bound to know the murderer very easily.

There you have it, Poirot Investigated another murder after his apparent retirement, but failed to surprise me. I had known the murderer even before Poirot realized what had happened (you can say that I boasting to him here, but you see Mon Ami, even he is also not a modest chap!)

Rating: *** 1/2

Monday, October 11, 2010

Your Travels at Delhi

Vidit Bhargava
The CommonWealth Games are going on in Delhi. The Players, Officials and Supporters have arrived and as usual there are a few tourists also. The Games will be over by 14th, but i guess all others will love to take a break and visit places at Delhi.

Not Exactly dirt and filth: If you're prejudiced that you'll find dirt, filth and poor all around, break that. Delhi's is not all about that. It's got some really cool places that you can visit.

Connaught Place - If you wish to get the best-stuff in town, just come to Rajiv Chowk (The offiical name of CP) via Delhi Metro or any other transport. The Circular market is all about the best things in town. The best food joints, be it Indian or any other cuisine or maybe you'll love to have some entertainment? The best cinemas are here. About Clothes? You'll find all the pepe jeans, and levis stores, with the FabIndias in the main-circle.
Places of interest at Connaught Place:
Food - Indian
Haldirams - Gives you everything from North indian to South Indian
Sarvanabhavan - Delhi's best for South Indian food
Moti Mahal Delux - The Restaurant which got Tandoori to Delhi! The best place to eat North Indian

Food - Others
Zen - Traditional Chinese and Japanese Cuisine
Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza and McDonalds - You all know what's that for!
Parikrama - The Revolving Restaurant of Delhi!
PiccaDelhi - Mutli-Cuisine. Note: under a wonderful Cinema hall!

So that was Food: Now about Cinema Halls:
The Best in town:
PVR (Priya 'Village Roadshow'): Plaza & Rivoli
Big Cinemas Odeon
There is also a single-screen theater known as 'Regal', but i wouldn't personally recommend that.

Also you'll find shops to buy some Indian clothes everywhere in CP. I'd suggest FabIndia for Indian Outfits. Apart from that you'll get Pepe Jeans, Levis, etc.. also.

From the mega-market of Delhi, you can take a metro to almost anywhere. Even any CWG venue. So if you've got plans for watching the ongoing CWG 2010 (which i hope you do!) you can go to any stadium. If you have a ticket already, you'll also get a free Delhi Metro ride. And the venues, needless to say are wonderful! (and without any filth!), The Delhi Metro connects to every stadium!

You can also take a ride down to Noida and Gurgaon, and visit some fantastic malls. You'll find the Great India Place (Noida) and Ambience Mall (Gurgaon) particularly very interesting.

You can also goto the Akshardham Temple, a really very interesting place to visit. Its completely spiritual and a trip to Akshardham is bound to mesmerize you.

There are of course, many other monuments in Delhi. I've made a list of the best of them:
India Gate
Humayun's Tomb
Qutb Minar
Lotus Temple
Lodi Garden's
All of them can be Googled about and searched on Wikipedia.

There are some food's you otta have (even though, they might not please your stomach much! :) ). Being in Delhi, you won't want to miss the street food! You can have Chole Bhature, Bhel Puri, Matra Kulche anywhere in Delhi! Apart from don't forget the Dal Makhni, Shahi Paneer, and all the other Tandoori foods of Delhi, which you can get in any good restaurant of Delhi.

You can visit all these places of Delhi, without any problems. You can visit even more (if you've got time!) but these are the best places, particularly you won't find anything dirty or filthy here. You'll enjoy the visit throughout and find people very helpful. You can take a metro ride and go any where around the city. I hope you like your visit to Delhi! (Do share your experience in the comments box below!)
P.S : Up next my review on the mozart of madras' creation : the soundtrack of Jhootha hi Sahi

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Robot - Review

Vidit Bhargava
"Robot dekhne jaa raha hai? Best of luck!" That was the message by my friend to whom i suggested watching the movie with me. Of course this would have been completely different in Chennai, where these movies are a real hit. So what made me watch a tamil movie dubbed in Hindi. Bien Messieurs, it was the sci-fi plot and Alan Scott's special effects that attracted me.

The movie has a simple 'followed by many' plot, about the debatable existence of Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Vaseegaran (Rajni), creates an Android (A human like robot) named Chitti! (Also Played by Rajnikanth), which doesn't have AI and fails at many crucial tasks of human society. Vaseegaran, does that impossible thing (that every actor of a such a sci-fi has done before), and adds AI and 'Feelings' into Chitti. Guess what? The predictable happens, Chitti now loves, Vaseegaran's girlfriend (Aishwarya Rai) ... yank yank yank yank You can complete the plot mostly by yourself its mainly very predictable.

After I got used to the dubbed movie feeling, and Rajnikanth's Super-natural make up. The movie started taking its, shape and I started enjoying the movie. Robot is entertaining. The Rajnikanth Action, which gets more realistic as the character is a robot, is an experience you won't like to miss. What Robot also does, is add a slight sprinkle of humor. So, you're certain to have a few good laughs.

The first half of the movie is nice, its entertaining, action packed, and fun. It is also very interesting, even with its predictable plot. However, the predictable plot works against Robot in the second half, the movie slows down for about half an hour, and just when you start feeling bored, the special effects and the newly designed Rajnikanth comes to the rescue.

What follows next is a sequence of breathtaking super effects and brilliant action sequences. You can't just stop praising the special effects. You see, that's what they spent 162 Crore on! There hasn't been anything like those special effects in hindi movies before. The special effects also make the whole climax very interesting.

You can catch a glimpse of the effects, here in the teaser!

Talking of acting, Rajnikanth is the hero, villain or whatever you'd like to call, of the movie. It's because of him, that the movie is so engaging (needless to say that really!). Aishwarya Rai has not much of acting to here but whatever little she's got to do in the movie, she does it well. The wicked Bohra played by Danny Denzongpa involves some super acting on the actors part and makes his character much less monotonous.

Praises and Praises everywhere, eh? Well, not so, when it comes to music. It's A.R. Rahman's after all what bad can it be? Well, the tamil version is nice but it gets lost in translation in Hindi. The music is very melodious, not doubt! but when it comes to lyrics, Swanand Kirkire (of the 3 Idiots and Paa fame) fails bitterly. The tracks, 'Naina Mile', 'Pagal Anukan' and 'Kilimanjaro' still stand out because of sheer brilliant composition.

On the whole, the movie is an interesting one, which is well researched and meant for both the entertainment loving and sci-fi watching audiences. There have been sci-fi hindi movies earlier but this one makes an impact.
Rating: *** 1/2 [Interesting and Entertaining]