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Saturday, November 25, 2006

A visit to the Traditional & Modern city…

Last weekend, the decision which was eluding me for couple of previous weekends (due to bad weather) was finally taken.

The visit to Malmo (one of the biggest Swedish city) just across the Oresund strait….

The earlier reason for avoiding it…. was to experience the journey on the Oresund Bridge by bus (not by train) when the sky is clear.

This bridge-tunnel seems to be the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. On the Danish side, a tunnel has been constructed under the sea starting from Kastrup Airport (Copenhagen) upto the reclaimed land in the middle of the sea. Then the bridge starts…

Pic courtesy: Wikipedia
I didn’t have the infrastructure to fly up and snap this :-(

Even though the climate was still hazy, the trip was exciting… Seems, the bridge has one of the longest cable-stayed main spans in the world at 490 metres. The total length of the bridge is around 8 kms.

The height of the pillars are around 200 metres…..

(Somehow, this structure reminded me of the Penang Bridge, the length of which is longer than this by another 6 kms connecting the Penang town with the Mainland Malaysia)

The road lanes are on the top of the bridge and the rail tracks beneath them… Now, you know my reasoning for the bus option… :-)

Indeed, the design was extraordinary....

Pic courtesy: Malmo Tourism

I went around couple of places in the Malmo city, like the city square and shopping district.. which were more or less like what I experienced in any other European city.

But the main attraction was this Turning Torso, which seemed to be unique to this region…

Isn't it a perfect Desktop picture?

Sometimes, my digicam does some good job :-) :-)

Designed by one Mr.Santiago Calatrava and opened a year back (Aug-05), this claims to be the second tallest apartment building in Europe. [Pl. note.... this is not a commercial building; So,obviously the place around the building was very calm]

The tower has 54 stories with a height of 190 metres…

The twisting is too much….. isn’t it..

The top-most segment appears to have a twist of ninety degrees clockwise with respect to the ground floor.

Since I had visited couple of other castles in Denmark by then, decided to skip The Malmöhus Castle.

However the park around the castle was beautiful … So, had a pleasant stroll around the park.

I liked those yellowish/brownish leaves… which were ready to fall anytime.

This traditional wind mill in that park, reminded me of the one which Bharathi Raaja showcased in ‘Captain Magal’…

Whatever be the post, I couldn't resist myself from linking something or the other to a movie, which I had seen... :-)

The tiring but wonderful day ended with those ducks in the canal.....

and some more subsequent shopping :-)

My other Copenhagen Posts:
Getting Colder….
Can we adapt one more day?
That entertaining one hour…?
Sea side, Lake side and what else?
289th post

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sky is the Limit - வானமே எல்லை

Seems Tamizh Muthalvar has decided to shower concessions on the film industry without any limits….

Couple of weeks back, I mentioned about the latest trend of chasing for attractive tamil titles, to cover the audience in a different way. Almost 100% of the movies which are being announced nowadays, are following the trend. Obviously, they don’t want to miss the concession bus.

Few days back, the Muthalvar announced concessions for old movies too… the film community was happy with this as well.

The point which was always irking me was the thin line which they may draw on couple of titles. For example, take the titles with some personalities’ names. How do they judge the origin of a name, now that the names have become universal by adapting from different cultures?

As it was lingering in my mind, the gossips have started coming out as to whether the two top movies of the Tamil new year will go for name change. They are none other than Sivaji & Dasavatharam. After so much of publicity around them, if they go for a name change because of the interpretations of the new rules, it will definitely sound funnier to the outside states.

In the near future, there will be some good demand for the tamil scholars to vouch the authenticity & origin of certain titles like ‘Mahesh’ or ‘Ramesh’…. Once they are dried up, we may end up having some more interesting titles like ‘Kuppan’ ‘Suppan’ … the day is not very far.

Anyhow, we can wait and watch how far it goes on like this….

BTW.. how come Minister Stalin is not going for a name change still?
288th post

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Increasing expectation for a rural outing …

Even though, Ameer-Surya’s ‘Mounam Pesiyadhae’ was not a commercial hit, it brought out a director with a different calibre under the lights. His next venture ‘Raam’ proved that his recognition for his debut movie was not a fluke. In addition he revealed his ability to bring out an actor out of Jeeva. We know the current standings of Surya and Jeeva in the market.

Now, even before the release of his next movie ‘Paruthi Veeran’, his debutant hero Karthi’s stock has soared up. It is a known fact that Karthi has signed up for ‘Ithu Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam’ with Selvaraghavan. That’s a noticeable achievement for a debutant. Credit needs to go to Ameer, for the confidence he reposed on Karthi and making him into a saleable stock, so soon.

Now lets go back to Ameer-YSR combination. YSR delivered some memorable numbers in both their earlier outings – ‘Mounam Pesiyadhae’ and ‘Raam’. The latest album in not an exception. ‘Paruthi Veeran’ has also couple of noticeable rural melodies, which are sure to stay on top of the chart for a long time.

It’s a good break from YSR’s regular peppy songs and some of them bring back those memorable numbers of his Dad in ‘Alaigal Oaivathillai’ ‘ Muthal Mariyathai’ etc.,

Aiyaiyo..’ by Shreya & Krishnaraj tops the album with the romantic rural tunes & the mood of the lead roles expressed thru the lyrics. The song brings out the characters of a rough macho hero and a soft rural belle, perfectly.

Maestro Ilayaraja has once again expressed the lead pair’s mood very well in the ‘Ariyatha vayasu..’ number. Reminded me of some of his numbers of yesteryears.

‘Sari kama…’ by Madhumitha, will capture your attention even though it plays for less than 3 min only. You may enjoy the confrontation between the older & newer generation of the rural area, delivered in it.

Apart from the above, YSR has included two more folk songs to fit the rural background of the movie. Delivered by the real drama artists, you may feel like sitting in front of a 'koothu'[drama] which is part of the rural festivals, most of the time.

This latest offering by Yuvan is definitely adding value to the rural product and increases the expectations for the content.

Ameer has so much confidence on his output, that he has now taken over the project from Surya’s home banner ‘Studio green’. Hope he delivers something different rather than the regular rural confrontations which we had seen 'n' no. of times...

It is likely to compete with Ajith’s ‘Aalwaar’ and Vijay’s ‘Pokiri’ during their Pongal Outing. If it does so, let us wish Ameer to get his confidence paid off...
287th post

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sea side, Lake side and what else?

It would be hard to stay in the hotel, if the weekend begins with a fantastic weather outside. You hardly see a day like that during this winter season. So, I never let the chance go away, if it appears to be a day with less rain and little bit of Sun.

That way, I ended up seeing couple of interesting Tourist attractions. Indeed they were unique with some Danish flavour…

Den Lille Havfrue

The Little Mermaid

The main character created by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, 2 centuries ago, is occupying the harbour side nowadays. Even though I had come across similar fairy tales, I have never read about the exact one behind this Little Mermaid.

For its height of approx 1m plus, it was surprising to notice its crown as one of the major attractions in the city. May be the curiosity to visit their fairy tale heroine, pulls in so much crowd.. from across the globe.

The statue seems to have been vandalized several times during the last couple of decades. Head / arm sawn off few times, dynamite blast attacks, graffitis… blah blah.

Incidentally, the last attack was on 11-Sep-2003..

Still she is surviving and pulling in more crowd…

The canal ride which I had afterwards, should have been impressive if it was during a summer season. Due to high tides and water rise, couldn’t enjoy the canal ride much.

One more weekend arrived…..

Decided to visit something exciting and big.

Since the day was bright, Frederiksborg Castle was shortlisted.

Frederiksborg Palace is located in Hillerod [40kms away from the city] in the middle of a lake and can be dated back to 16th century. Seems this is the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia and preserves lot of royal arts collections and plenty of historical events behind it.

“The Great Hall” [a typical Durbar style hall] resembled couple of interesting palace halls which are still existing in India, with some glittering work.

Looked like yesteryears’ Elevator…

Since there were no guides and the descriptions were in Danish, this is what I presumed.. :-) :-)

The view of the garden behind the palace, was fantastic as captured from within the Palace.

The weather appears to be supporting the authorities very well to maintain the gardens around the Castle, in this fabulous form.

A Pic of the Castle from the Garden…..

This is considered to be a splendid castle in Denmark. And indeed, it looked so…


Way back to the entrance, I had plenty of opportunities to shoot some exciting pictures… This was one of my favourite

Even though the above castle satisfied my appetite for some exciting locations, I was looking for something more on the same day.

I was told that Fredensborg Castle which is located some where closely, will remain open for the public only in the month of July. Being the current residence of Prince Frederik & his family, public are restricted from visiting the palace.

Still I wanted to visit the castle, since I was mislead by some brochures with an attractive top angle picture of the castle.

Even though it was not that massive as I expected, the location appeared to be peaceful, appropriate to its so-called name of ‘Castle of Peace’ [The name 'Fredens Borg' dates back to an historic event, when Denmark & Sweden entered into a peace treaty here, way back in 1700s].

This palace had some wonderful gardens around it and I enjoyed walking thru them.

This pathway was too good to walk thru, when the day was sunny with a temperature of around 6 degrees. On top of it, no rain… :-) :-) :-)

Few more weekend pics are yet to come… watch this space.

My other Copenhagen Posts:
Getting Colder….
Can we adapt one more day?
That entertaining one hour…?
286th post

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Poor soul awaiting rescue…

It is a pathetic situation that Bharath has been trapped in between two strong producers Shankar & ‘Kalaipuli’ Thanu.

Seems, both the producers would like to release their movies [Veyil & Chennai Kathal] featuring Bharath in the lead role on the same day – December 8th. Looks like Shankar is postponing his movie to Dec-8th for known reasons [lucky day, being the ‘Kathal’ release date].

If ‘Chennai Kathal’ gets released at a later stage, atleast it can ride on the success (assuming!!) of ‘Veyil’. Now, there is a possibility of getting burnt for ‘Chennai Kathal’, since soft romantic movies are new to Vikraman and he is back after few years. ‘Veyil’ will have good opening definitely, since the movie is from Shankar’s production house with some good tunes by GV.Prakash.

Hope the Producers’ association or Distibutors/Theatre Owners’ association will intervene to sort out the panchayat between the producers and rescue the poor soul… Bharath.

Given a chance, I would prefer to experience the ‘Veyil’ effects, in spite of Genelia’s presence in ‘Chennai Kathal’ :-) :-)
285th post

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Will it be another memorable one?

Most of the recent headlines on Satyaraj are more or less related to his role in ‘Periyar’….

As you all know, Gnana Rajasekaran is recreating the history of the Dravidian movement’s pioneer in his third movie. Many of us may not know much about Periyar except his thoughts as an atheist, as spread out by his movement and disciples. Ironically, those atheist thoughts seem to be the main reason for Ilayaraja to decline the offer for this movie.

It was a surprising development when the news was out that Satyaraj will be enacting Periyar’s role. I don’t remember him doing any serious roles with heavy subject in the recent past….. I mean, for the last couple of years.

It’s also news to me that he has completed 175 plus movies. I could hardly count memorable movies from his lot. As a matter of fact, it has been a long time since I watched his movie completely.

I could recollect only the following movies, where he had done something people could remember.

Nooravathu Naal – For that Cameo henchman role.

Kaaki Chattai – For that ‘Thagadu Thagadu’ and funny dialogues. As mentioned in ‘The Hindu’ interview, he might be the pioneer in mixing the villain characters with some humorous stuff.

Mr.Bharath – For the ‘Ennamma Kannu’ style confrontations with the hero..

Mudhal Mariyathai – For that Cameo role as the lover of Vadivukarasi…

Pagal Nilavu – For the soft spoken villain role, in this Maniratnam’s debut tamil movie..

Vedham pudhithu – For the characterization of ‘Balu Thevar’

Kadalorak kavithaigal – Surprise portrayal as a full stream hero..

Kadamai Kanniyam Kattupaadu – A different movie in that period, from Kamal’s production house..

Paalaivana Rojakkal – Different portrayal once again, with Kalaingar’s dialogues..

Poovizhi Vaasalilae – Fazil made this one memorable to Satyaraj with the screenplay

Nadigan – Must be a starting point for his humor blended hero roles

Vaalter Vetrivel – Even though he tried to emulate ‘Thangapathakam’ Sivaji, he was still distinct.

Amaithi Padai – For the politician character…

In some other movies like Brahmaa, Saavi, Ennamaa Kannu, Adithadi also he had delivered something different from the run-of-the-mill stories.

Irrespective of the proportion of memorable ones to his total, he has not failed his producers much because of his knowledge on the pulse of his audience. That's how he could deliver successful stuff like Looty, Englishkaran etc., even though they are just other entertainers.

However, the stills of ‘Periyar’ seem to be different & promising. Whether it is worth watching, depends on the director's presentation. Let us wait and wach… whether Satyaraj could include this movie also into his list of memorable?

Btw… what kind of songs are they shooting in Malaysia for a theme like ‘Periyar’? Had Periyar been there in Malaysia? I hope the director is placing the song perfectly into the movie, which is not like the commercial movies.. where they fit any type of song anywhere!!!!

Pic Courtesy: The Hindu & Tamilgallery
284th post

Thursday, November 09, 2006

That entertaining one hour…

Got an email couple of days back with a message…..

“Ok Guys, let us go for a Car race with some Carlsberg & Tuborg at 4 PM on……....”

The mail was received by all those who were working on the project with me.… Danes, Germans, Swedish…. Since, I had never participated in any car race (never had an intention to damage a car!!), I was eagerly waiting for that day. Several posters (in A3 paper!!) were pasted everywhere visibly in the office hall, with the picture of a crowded outdoor car racing track.

The day arrived… I was waiting for the other guys to call me, to leave the office. My expectation was that I will be taken for a nice drive to the location of those racing tracks. Didn’t want to miss it…

Till 3:50 pm, nothing happened. Then a guy came down with a big box, plus lots of Carlsberg/Tuborg cans.

Cleared some tables in the hall and made enough space.. for what?

To build the car race tracks!!! Hmmm…. So much build up for that..

The track which I anticipated very eagerly was finally ready!!!
The list of those willing to participate was ready…

Oops; my name was included for the first race with a Norwegian.

Everyone of them had some nick names....

I was given the remote of the Blue car… Nice color, though.

Few guys were ready to help those in the race, in case the cars get out of the track…

This guy was there to help me!!

The white car was racing ahead… We had 20 laps to complete and I was in the 17th lap, when my opponent completed his 20th lap. :-( :-(

Then, I really felt the lack of training with these toy cars!!

We had lot of other interruptions, organized by the project leader, disrupting the racing!!

Finally, the winner with the Champagne….

All these stuff were nothing but to motivate the team, to achieve the project goals. But I never expected to have these things during office timings, even though I enjoyed the break. [For them, after the race, the day was over….. It was already getting darker outside!!]

My other Copenhagen Posts:
Getting Colder….
Can we adapt one more day?
283rd post

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Are those few seconds worthier than the life?

Most of you would have received lots of forwards about those people who achieve / miss to achieve some remarkable things, in a matter of few seconds’ intervals.

One nano-second miss..
One second miss…
Ten seconds’ miss… etc.,

Let me not repeat them again.

But, definitely it is worthier to wait for few more seconds for the train to cross, rather than risking the life.. as captured in this video, which is floating around the Desi mailboxes for the last one week.

It is a crazy crossing…

282nd post

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Can we adapt one more day?

Seems it’s the season to adopt all International days in Indian soil. Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day etc., have already found roots in our cities.

Now, the next one has started to emerge and being celebrated in few schools. I am talking about Halloween Day. Seems last Tuesday, My son had some celebrations (!!) in his Bangalore school for Halloween Day.

What’s next? ‘Thanksgiving day’…..!!!
[Even though, we have a similar one in January every year!!]

It is not only Indians. Seems, Danes are also getting obsessed with US culture. Last week, I visited a theme park here in Copenhagen. The Theme was nothing but ‘Halloween’ adapted for few weeks. My son could have enjoyed that environment, a lot. Missed him… :-( :-(

Entrance of Tivoli…

Only Beauty among the beasts

Seems, they do have the right to enjoy all these rides…

When you see so many pumpkins in one place, the color becomes more attractive… inspite of the one kept on the centre for ‘thirusti’…

One more lesson to the kid..

The final product… of another kid.

My other Copenhagen Posts:
Getting Colder….
281st post

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Titles are becoming attractive, though….

the contents are yet to…

It is a well known fact that Tamil movies are benefiting with the concessions showered by the Tamilnadu Government and eating the collections of Hindi & English movies. Read somewhere recently, that non-tamil movies are not getting enough theatres due to those concessions.

However, an interesting play field has been created for those vying for some attractive Tamil titles, to avail those concessions. Just check out the following titles of upcoming movies and the new movies yet to be started… Really seem to be interesting, isn’t it?

Pachai Kili Muthu Saram (titled earlier as ‘Silanthi’)

Udal Porul Aavi

Sivappu, Manjal, Pachai

Desiya Nedunchalai

However, the same topic on which we debated earlier comes to the fore again?
280th post