Born to Run

Born to run

I heard a lot about this book. Whoever read the book said that it was about a tribe. For long, I was putting off reading this brilliant book. I finally read it and came off having my mind blown.

There is not a passage which is literally brilliant, but there are a lot of passages where the research of the author shines through. He builds the book systematically. Nowhere does there appear to be a discord in the narrative. It flows smoothly. No wonder that it’s being made into a movie now. If it stays loyal to the book, there is no need of a separate screenplay.

The book starts off in the quest of Caballo Blanco and sets off on an interesting journey culminating with Caballo’s fulfilled state of mind. In this journey we are introduced to a lot of characters as well as their own back stories.

We live in a blessed world. So, the information that McDougall provides in the book can be easily searched and you can know more about the person. Each and every person mentioned in the book is interesting and warrants that you know more about them.

Grandstanding isn’t something that McDougall does well. So we are provided with facts rather. The writing is simple and the research is monumental. Every person who gets introduced in the book also has a primer on him that follows. Of course, Tarahumara are given the pride of the place in the book, but there are others who earn the respect of the author – none more so than Scott Jurek 

The book promotes barefoot running. It’s not at the cost of putting the running shoes down. Yes, he does present us with facts that might make us want to throw the running shoes into the bin, but never does he advocate barefoot running in the book.

One of the best parts, and because it is also explanatory, and the lengthiest parts of the book is the portion where he writes about how human beings evolved to run. Though it seems very lengthier than what it actually is, it gives us information on why we run the way we do.

Before I started out to read this book, one of the people who already read it said, ‘You will want to run once you finished reading the book’. I can’t say the same because I am a lazy bum but what I can vouch for the fact that you will want to know more about the people that McDougall writes so brilliantly about.

I will let you rest with one of the facts that I found out – Luna Sandals were named in honour of Manuel Luna, one of the Tarahumara runners.

Image Courtesy – amazon.co.uk

Advertisements

Bengal Tiger movie review

wp-18bengaltiger1280

I am an unabashed fan of Ravi Teja. I am. Nothing ever stops me from watching a Ravi Teja film. Not the criticism that he features in similar kinds of movies all the while. Not the fact that with the passage of time his movies are getting sleazy. Not the fact that it has been a while since he has tasted success at the box-office. There are many others like me.

I have crossed a stage where the success or failure of a Ravi Teja bothers me. But for a few, the thing that he has been doing similar movies might wane them away from his movies. He has always said that he gives importance box-office performance than displaying versatality in the roles he plays.

I heard that Deva Katta had offered the role finally played by Sai Kumar to Ravi Teja first in Prasthanam. Just roll back the time and imagine what a game changer it could’ve been for him. The lure of being a hero is more than lure of playing good characters. It’s so for many of the actors in the industry.

******

The script of the movie relies on a single thread (?) The plot of the movie is a little similar to that of ‘Run Raaja Run’. Well, the actor playing the pivotal part in both the movies is same too!

It has become the wont in Ravi Teja’s movies to boast about his growth from nothing. His earlier movies had it too. In those movies, you were reminded about it once or twice, but now it goes on and on and on and on ……

To base an entire movie on a 5 minute flashback thread is being foolhardy. A lot of the scenes in the movie are reminiscent of Racha, the previous movie of the director. I have always felt that some directors are lucky than others when it comes to the chances that land in their lap. Tollywood works on a strange formula. This movie, the way it was made, had the potential to peg back Sampath Nandi’s career by a bit if it didn’t gross a lot of money.

To say that the heroines were wasted would be a massive understatement. You got to feel for Rashi Khanna as her midriff and bosom area have more airtime than her dialogues and acting. Tamannaah has a lot more to be disappointed about. This is her follow up to Bahubali and she would be disappointed that her character was limited to evoking a meaningless reference to Bengal Tiger. In fact, a lot of the dialogues and the constant comparisons to weather, tigers, common man etc are pointless and devoid of any meaning.

As with a lot of Telugu movies in the recent past, the directors lays waste to the talented performers at hand, including Ravi Teja. The only person who can come out unscathed, in terms of performance, is ’30 years industry’ Prithvi. He does manage to make people laugh whenever he appears. This movie acts as a reminder to Brahmanandam of his depreciating abilities. In the past, the character played by Prithvi would be played him and the chemistry he has with Ravi Teja would’ve burnt the house down.

******

Ravi Teja acted in a brilliant movie called Neninthe  and there is a brilliant passage where Subba Raju, playing a hero tells his fans about the reality of the Telugu Film Industry. Immediately after that there is a scene where various people air their views about movies  . One of my favourite bits there  is where a wheel cart vendor says ‘Meeku eve theeyadam vachchu kabbati memu ave choosthunam. Memu choodankandane ‘Shankarabharanam adesindhi enti’. Ravi Teja gave a superb performance in the movie and people still remember the dialogues from the movie. Even today, if it plays on television and I chance upon it, I sit and want to watch for 5 minutes. 5 turns to 15. 15 to 30. 30 to 60. For all that’s good about the movie, it was a commercial failure. That probably set Ravi Teja back a bit and he relied on the beaten path.

There is a tinge of sadness in watching this movie as a Ravi Teja fan. The scenes where he parodies Posani Krishna Murali are a pale shadow of what he performed while teasing Sunil in Mirpakay.

Ravi Teja had a barren period, between Mirpakay and Balupu, where he went from a flop to flop. Ask any fan or critic for the most appreciated part in these flops and they would scratch their head. After scanning their brain, a lot of them would come up with the 5 minute portrayal as an evil Home minister in Daruvu. That’s the actor that Ravi Teja has hidden away as an actor in search of constant box office success.

******

Verdict : Watch this movie only if you are a Ravi Teja fan. By now, you would be used to these performances by him

Image Courtesy – idlebrain.com