Leeds!

It’s been three days since I arrived here in this beautiful city of Leeds. When I say it’s beautiful I mean it’s bloody beautiful. Its spectacular! Sure its not the loudest city, its not the busiest city but it is definitely bustling with students of all ages, shapes and sizes. It’s just lovely!

I felt a little homesick on my first day. I have to admit, I still do a bit. The people here though are so pleasant and thoroughly accommodating. Everybody on the street is helpful if you’ve gotten lost (which I did a whole bunch of times). Not just on the street, everybody everywhere is helpful. I needed help with these self-service machines they have in the super markets which I’ve never used before, help with a massive number of different coins, etc and everybody is just happy to do it.

One of my main objectives from my year in Leeds was to make friends from all over the world. I’m really making great headway into that. I’ve not gotten to know an Australian, two Brazilians, two Germans, an Indonesian, a Dutch, a Mexican, and a whole plethora of Indians. The mix of culture you can find here is just astounding and I’m learning so much already.

I hope to keep whatever readers I have posted with my adventures in Leeds and the general UK throughout my year here. Thanks for reading!

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The Double – A film review

I’m really sorry I’ve been away for so long. I was on vacation. Now that I’m back I’m rearing to get going once again. I’m definitely going to try and become much more regular.

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I’ve always been a sucker for Festival films. Though I personally haven’t been to any festivals, mostly due to the lack of a good one around, I hope to change that in the near future. The latest Festival film I watched, as the title will probably give away, was Richard Ayoade’s ‘The Double’. The Double is a fantastic example of the Avant Garde film genre that is I think slowly making a comeback.

The Double is a film about an entirely unimportant clerk whose life is turned upside by the arrival of his doppelganger. The doppelganger quickly befriends him and then slowly starts taking over his life. It’s the life of a nobody stolen from a sea of nobodies around. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as the clerk and his doppelganger and Mia Wasikowska as his love interest.

The first thing I noticed about the movie was the lack of ties in the office. Now the senior executives in Eisenberg’s office do wear ties and spiffy suits and they seam bent on making everyone wear the exact same thing. The clerks are not allowed to wear ties, maybe to make them feel inferior in the hierarchy. I believe the director, who is also the writer, is allegorically pointing out how senior execs would rather we all be robots who work without asking any questions. This is really highlighted when the head of his organization, The Colonel ( I think a reference to how the man of today has become slaves to his eating habits), calling every human being unspecial.

Eisenberg’s coworkers are all old; the ones that do similar work to him are, anyway. Is this, coupled with the constant transitioning into Japanese music, calling out to the unusual methods in Japan’s ageing workforce? I’m just spitballing here.

Another thing I noticed immediately was the lighting. Eisenberg’s character is always shown with a darker shade of light, or an almost lack of it to mirror his life. When he feels different emotions, a different colour floods the space he is in. The colour is also playing with our emotions a bit as it tries to hypnotize us into empathizing with Simon James(Eisenberg).

On a last note I have to say that the film reminded me of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange with its subject and constant use of classical music. It came as no surprise to me that this film was adapted from a Dostoevsky novella of the same name. It has a lot of the self-loathing, self-criticizing nature that is signatory of the Russian master.

It’s experimental, bleak and quite beautifully dark while not losing its prize asset – Jesse Eisenberg. It’s also not for everyone and requires immense patience to watch. The film also leaves the ending open for interpretation, much like our lives to us.

4/5 stars.

Gone Girl – A review

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I’ve been meaning to read this one book for so long. I have heard all of the blogosphere go crazy for it and I didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about up until around half way through the book when the twist hits you like a shovel in the face. And what a grand twist it is, at that. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the most surprising twist I’ve ever had the pleasure of letting myself be a part of(cough, Fight Club, cough, Murder on the Orient Express, cough, etc.), but it genuinely comes pretty darn close.

Gone Girl about a girl who goes missing from her home on the anniversary of her marriage and about how her husband is suspected for her murder and prompt disposal of her body. That’s the surface and I absolutely refuse to tell you anything more about the actual plot because it would be a blatant insult to the author.

This is a book of almost exactly two halves. The first half will most probably bore you but it does with good reason. Without that first half through, you would not be able to comprehend what is actually going on in the book. It’s a little tough to get through, the first part, because it seems like an everyday piece of mundane missing person fiction. Get through it, and trust me, there is a big prize in the end – the fantastic second half!

I think if you are going to read this book, you should read it without reading many reviews. It would just give away surprises, I’d say. Which is why I’m leaving this short and sweet.

Oh and on a last note, Rosamund Pike for Amy is a spot on casting choice, I’d say. Well done!

Chef: A Review

If I was asked to describe this delightful film in one word, it would be delicious. Nothing else can come close. Okay, maybe scrumptious too.

Chef is acclaimed director Jon Favreau’s tribute to amazing food. The viewer can clearly see, by the way the movie was shot (and by his waistline, something he isn’t afraid of making fun at repeatedly) that he is a genuine lover of food. I’ve always been a great lover of food myself, and I truly think that this is a film for food lovers to rejoice over. I can dare each and every one of you to watch this film and not come out with saliva filling your mouths, at the food or the gorgeous Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson.

Story wise it does well to down play on the fact that it is in its essence a narration of how a father finally takes out time for his son. It also gives us a look at how we can effectively use social media to boost virtually any business, something I found interesting being a Marketing student. As a friend of mine rightly pointed out, what the film does best is that it does not force any emotions on to you. You are left free to feel what you want to feel and that kind of independence is a little unexpected from Favreau.

It’s well acted, well scripted and deliciously directed. Special props to Favreau for really mastering chef moves, if he hasn’t had prior training.Oh and before I forget, the film is damn funny too.

Four stars!

Long Time

I always find myself going back on promises to keep writing for some reason or the other. This time it was because I got pretty badly addicted to a certain TV show called Doctor Who. Come to think of it it’s almost always because I get addicted to TV shows or get lost in books. I should probably look into that.

Doctor Who is, in one word, fantastic. I can’t believe I waited so long to start watching it. It’s not just a family show that provides you with an entirely lovable central character and a more than capable on her own side kick, it’s also used as a platform to do some deeply dark shit. A lot of allegory can be seen in the show to reflect human nature and how it has influenced history. I think the most fascinating aspect of the show is how they are able to make it all so fantastically believable. The word fantastic is one I noticed I’m using a lot nowadays because of the Doctor, a harmless side effect of my binge watching. Ahh, how do you do it, BBC?

So if you ask me what show you should be watching, I’d say, Doctor Who 100%. It’s for literally everyone.

The Book Thief – a review

I think The Book Thief is a very unfair book. Unfair in the sense that unless you have the habit of reading imbibed somewhere deep down inside you, there is really no point in you reading this book. The number of people who don’t read or read for everything other than the joy of reading are fast increasing and this book is one that can possibly prove counterproductive to that movement.

The Book Thief was clearly written by a man who has profound love for the written word and chose to tell a story that he knew not many would easily attempt – a story from the other side of World War II. Story wise it’s very simple – this is a story about a little girl and what happens when she is taken in by foster parents after her mother can no longer take care of her in war torn Nazi Germany. It’s a story, on the surface at least, about the various kinds of love a person can experience even and especially if they are not blood related. But in its heart lies the immense passion the author posses for reading and writing and it is astounding the level of beauty that passion brings out in his words.

As with many books, this one is labourious. It will take a bit of effort to finish but as with many others, it’s quite worth it. I also understand why the movie failed to make an impact; the thought occurred to me while reading why it needs to be made into a film at all.¬†Some books are meant to be read for their literary¬†value and not just for its narrative. Some books are just too plain beautiful not to be read and to be just watched on the big screen. This is definitely one of those books. Four stars for me on this one, out of five.

Explaining the name

When naming this brand new blog I thought of two things I love that have probably (there is a chance, I’ll admit, of it having happened) never been used in the same sentence until now. Banana chips are a true Kerala delicacy – salty, savoury and thousands of times tastier than their potato cousins. Tiramisu is an Italian coffee cake that is soft and just magical to eat. Coffee in a cake, I mean how could you possibly go wrong there?

This blog is meant to be, as the name suggests, about anything and everything I want to write about. I am not going to censor myself over the facts that some posts maybe ridiculously varied from each other because that’s the whole point! I am making the science fiction of blogs here where I am leaving so much room for my imagination, that now I’m thinking this may just blow up in my face. Or it won’t. I’m thoroughly looking forward to the ride.

Lastly I’d like to preemptively ask your forgiveness for sounding a little douchey or presumptuous sometimes. Trust me, I don’t meant to, it just sort of happens on occasion. Bear with me here.

So sayonara, person who clicked on this link. I hope I have sparked your interest. See, I didn’t even mean to sound douchey there and I did.