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Archive for the ‘bhaskar awards’ Category

In 2002, after a long period of absence from the cine field, yesteryear actor Ramarajan got himself tangled in a minor controversy by being one the catalysts that pushed Open Source applications towards extinction. During early 2002, a Wiki enthusiast, Walter Kannadasan, innocently added a page for Ramarajan on Wikipedia that sort of exaggerated the actor’s achievements and accolades. By dubbing him as a “Box Office Emperor” and a “dream hero”, young Walter set off a series of events that eventually ended up in a lot of people getting really pissed off with the fallacies of Open Source.

open-sooresIt was said that on June 8, 2002…the age of Wikipedia and Open Source officially came to a screeching halt with Ramarajan at the epicenter of the whole mess. In 2008, when the actor thought he finally understood what was going around, he called for a press conference and announced that his next film was going to be called “Open Sorres”.

When the tagline Enga Orru, Ellarakum Sorre leaked out a few weeks later, along with the rumoured storyline, it became pretty obvious that the thespian had not understood what the hell had happened. Official press releases made matters worse by claiming that it was going to be a touching story of one villager’s search for someone who has “studied computers” and who can help him “build software” that will produce soore (rice).

Bearing a quizzical look every time a member of his crew tried telling him that Open Source has nothing to do with sorre (rice), the actor often quipped that having played the role of a milkman approximately 543 times, he learnt a few lessons in life. One, apparently was to never use “Got milk?” as a pickup line and the other, was to know that if you don’t have a clue as to what’s happening around you, just thrust two fingers inside your ears and scream “La la la la la la I can’t hear you la la la la”.

Despite all the negativity that surrounded Open Sorres’ release, the film did spectacularly well at the box office and to everyone’s surprise, the man who once milked cows for our entertainment finally got his day in the sun by almost immediately receiving a Bhaskar Award Nomination for Best Actor. With a harrowingly brilliant performance as Shenbahumagain, a 60-year-old man who rides to nearby towns on a TVS Vespa, desperately hoping to meet a “software genius” who could help him figure out how to create an “software type thing” that would generate rice grains…somehow.

A few months ago, Ramarajan was featured in James Lipton’s In The Actors’ Studio and we feel that it is fitting to let the curtains fall on the 2008 Bhasakar Award for Best Actor with an excerpt from interview.

James Lipton: Whot is your favourite noise or sound?

Ramarajan: La la la la la

Lipton: Excuse me?

Ramarajan: La la la la

Lipton: Mr R-AM-AAA-RAJUN?

Ramarajan: I can’t la la hear la la you la la la

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In 2005, with America on the throes of being engulfed in its own xenophobia, something remarkable happened. Director Paul Haggis witnessed an act of racism at a local pub that would change the landscape of blaxpoitation films forever. A Chinese kid was caught jabbing his arm and asked politely to leave the premises. Despite his protests that “the heroin was (r) leal mellow”, the bartender, a white man, insisted that he should leave without a fuss.

Haggis, unwillingly to let such blatant racial discrimination slide, smashed a beer bottle over the bartender’s head and ran out to the streets, covering his face with his palms and sobbing. “Why, God, Why,” by-standers heard him scream. “It’s been over two decades since Beastie Boys released their seminal Licensed to Ill album…an album, which I thought cross-pollinated hip hop and punk rock in an effort to bring races together….Oh God, Why!!” he mumbled on, apparently. After wiping the snot off his face, it struck him like something lighting quick. He realized how he felt when confronted by acts of discrimination. Paul Haggis wanted to smash racist fucks.

smashSet in fictional suburbia, Smash follows the lives of random people who randomly have inane encounters with each other and randomly share random facts about how NOT random life actually is. Starring Denzel Washington as black dude #1, Morgan Freeman as older black dude #2 and John Woo, making his on-screen debut, as irrelevant Chinese dude # 11, the film broke racial barriers as much as it did box office collections. In fact, it even broke Bruce Willis’ face for no apparent reason. The film, however, was not without controversy as many questioned the rationale behind casting a cardboard cutout of Sydney Poitier as older black dude #1…considering that Mr Poitier was still alive. But with the complete support of Hollywood and NCAAP, Smash was released promptly and within three months, became one of the year’s biggest grossers and its director Paul Haggis was no longer referred to as that Canadian-American moron who co-created Walker, Texas Ranger (which he did, by the way).

bhaskar-awards1The Bhaskar Awards proudly features the critically acclaimed Smash for smashing misconceptions about how tear-eyed, melodramatic, redundant and sentimental bullshit will no longer be tolerated by the masses.

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When Baasha was re-released in 2001, little did anyone think of the impact it would have on how Americans perceived Indian cinema. Once Hollywood realized how remarkable ‘ishstylish” thalaivar was, the proverbial floodgates were flung open as Paramount Pictures teamed up with AVM Productions to work on a couple of cross-over movies. Despite failed ventures such as the dubious Shankar-Peter Jackson science fiction film – Tasmac Shop At The End Of The Universe and the dubious Ramarajan melodrama More Milk in which Ramarajan played a gay psychiatrist who psycho-analyzes cows by milking them, this South Indo-American venture proved to be a very successful one.

rajni-and-norrisIn 2002, director Sam Mendes got high with lyricist Vairamuthu and together they created a buddy comedy that brought together two of the biggest ass-kickers in world cinema’s history – Chuck Norris and Rajnikanth. At one point, the combined awesomeness of these two legends was so awesome that many in the set felt that the word ‘awesome’ should be edited to cite Rajnikanth’s standing triple sommersault and Chuck Norris’ lethal roundhouse kick as examples. Legend even has it that the awesomeness resulted in temporary blindness for people in the lighting department. In spite of all the awesomeness, still the question lingered on – Could Rajni and Norris pull off the comedy shtick?

Kaanaa, no one remembered Bloodstone…that izzz why Hollywood doubts my star power,” quipped Rajini during a pre-production media conference. When reporters claimed to have not seen Bloodstone, a fat blob of flesh descended upon them at high velocity, killing three reporters instantly. The blob was later recognized as once popular actor Prabhu as the authorities led him away, kicking and er…rolling. Despite the triple murder, the events leading up to the release were controversy-free and more importantly, viewed as being culturally significant.

A year and a half-later, I Walker English, I Talker English was officially released. The fanfare, as expected, was preposterously humungous and the eventual box-office collection, even bigger. With subtle homoeroticism out of the window not to piss off the South Indian populace and religious overtones avoided due to the fact that 90% of Los Angeles were under the impression that Shiva was that dude who distributed Hare Rama pamphlets at the airport, the film ended up being universal enough to garner both critical and populist acclaim from all parts of the globe.

Set in Chennai, the film followed the trials and tribulations in the lives of two friends – Peter (Rajnikanth) and Peter England (Chuck Norris). Peter, as we find out, has been trying to get into the United States for over the past fourty years. From the age of twelve, young Peter starts frequenting the US Embassy near the Gemini flyover; and each time, he has more of a pathetic excuse to fly to the US of A. But thanks to red tapism and a bunch of mean, bald people, he is denied a visa every time he goes there. At the age of fifty-two, Peter has a chance encounter with Peter England – an aging martial arts guru who is battling an addiction to painkillers – and the rest, as they say, were incredibly unlike anything else the world had seen before.

bhaskar-awardsThe final scene of the film, in which Peter England roundhouse kicks all the IT employees who stand in the Embassy line before Peter as Tamil Nadu cops lathi-charge everybody within 100 meters, is not only one of the best ending sequences ever, but also a gentle reminder that a kind word and a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick work better than just a kind word.

Without further adieu, we present the 2003 Bhaskar Award for Best Film to I Walker English, I Talker English for transcending misconceptions about cinema and South India itself.

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I once tried channeling the disdain I have nurtured for every source that celebrated the grandeur of the Oscar Awards. I ended up with a severed fingernail and a bad taste in my mouth. Papa Bear tried it once too. But then he flew into a rage, smashed his neighbour’s light bulbs and killed several moths.

Knowing that it is futile to hate something for which we don’t even have an ounce of respect is not going to help. Even if it does, we don’t need therapy. Mostly because frustration is fun. And fun always leads to funnies.

So in the spirit of fun, funnies and our general disdain against golden statuettes, we give to you…

THE BHASKAR AWARDS


bhaskar-awards

Yeah, that’s right. The friggin Bhaskar Awards.

At random intervals, Papa Bear and I would be spoofing films, actors and actresses who have won the Oscar Award over the years. And not just the ones we hate. We plan to spoof what we love too.

Visit the Bear’s lair for more details sometime next week.

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