Friday, February 27, 2015

"East, West" - Salman Rushdie (6/10)

A bunch of short stories, the first part based in India and the rest based in the west. Wonderful, simple writing. Without touching the heights of writing that he is capable of Rushdie still manages to capture so much in so little words. Being an Indian, I particularly appreciated and enjoyed the stories set in India. The villages, the people and their habits, the very specific problems of those days. Rushdie manages to capture the essence of the Indian culture so effortlessly. He truly is a great writer.

A very good read.

Monday, February 09, 2015

"Animal Farm" - George Orwell (5/10)

I don't like books with political connotations. So no surprise that this book did not blow me away. I read it because it is on one of the lists of the top 100 books of all time.

A farm is taken over by the animals residing there who drive away their human masters. The book talks about how the animals manage the farm by themselves and the different roles that different animals perform.

The story is written in a very simple and direct way. The writing is good. The political messages are a bit too much and thats why I didn't like it much.

The Imitation Game (7.5/10)

I really wanted to like this movie. After watching it, I did, just about.

But it did not blow me away. Its strange. I thought it was missing something, but I can't put my finger on the exact reasons. I just got the feeling in the end that it could have been better.

This is the story of Alan Turing. A brilliant mathematician who cracked the code the Nazis used to encrypt all their military communications during the second world war and consequently helped shorten the war.

The film has few obvious shortfalls. The inter-layering of the past and present could have been better. Perhaps they could have dispensed with it altogether. The acting was good overall.

Cumberbatch! Such a good actor. And for most of the movie he is outstanding. But sadly, a few times it seems like he's trying too hard. He should have been more restrained. Some of his emotional outbursts, while very good examples of acting, just seem out of context with the scene being played out.

On a more general note, I was shocked to find out that homosexuality was a criminal offence at that time. And even worse, there were hormonal "cures" for it. Seems absolutely barbaric!