Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Darn MBBS Movies

I did not see "Munnabhai MBBS". I dont like Sanjay Dutt. Ya! I have heard that the movie was good and sort-of funny! But I personally think people like Sanjay Dutt and Salman khan should be in jail instead of dancin' around with Bollywood chics. As a principle I think we should all stop goin to movies that have people with a criminal record in the lead.

"Vasool Raja MBBS" is the Tamil remake of Munnabhai.. and Vasool Raja is a bad movie. A really really bad movie. KamalaHaasan should seriously consider not making comedy movies for some time. Kamal starring in "F" grade movies such as this one is like a person with PhD in astrophysics trying to take 2nd grade mathematics quarterly exam on multiplication tables.

The movie in a nutshell is; "Vasool Raja" played by kamal is local gangster and a rowdy. He recovers money from people who fail to repay their debts. If people borrow money from Citibank or a nearby Marwadi Pawnshop and refuse to repay the loan, Kamal is the dude who will collect the money forcibly from these defaulters ( and in the process pocket a neat little commision for himself). Kamal's parents are obviously not aware of his noble profession. They think he is a doctor and try to "arranged marriage" him with a doctor-daughter of a very famous doctor in Madras. The doctor-father finds out about Kamal and exposes him in front of his parents(who are terribly shocked to find out that their son isn't an MBBS inspite of knowing fully well that Mr.Vasool didnt pass his 5th grade exams). Kamal then gets into Med School by cheating in his exams and the remaining 70% of the movie is dedicated to Kamal's antics as a misfit student in Med School.

The movie fails because of poor acting ( especially by KamalHassan and Prakash Raj) and because its cheap. It doesn't spend money to make any of the sets look real. The make-do hospital which kamal creates to cheat his parents looks more real than the sham sets purpotedly depicting a real hospital.

Not even one scene has been given the time and space it deserves. No scene looks real or allows any scope for audience involvement. By the time you start warming up to a scene its gone..whoosh!..The movie gives a theatre drama look where actors jump in and jump out rapidly. Several times during the movie I got the feeling that people who made this movie were in such a real hurry to finish the movie that vomitted the dialogues and ran away to catch their trains.

Take this sham artificial scene for instance. Prakashraj has Kamal's photo ( as a possible suitor for his daughter) on his coffee table. Out of nowhere a lady claiming to be his servant maid takes a look at that photo , rapidly says a few inane dialogs, then says something to her kid about marrying her to "mysore maharaja" and literally runs away from the frame. In less than a minute she vomits some dialog which seems to convince Prakashraj about Kamal's character. This forms the basis of the entire movie and its been given 1 minute.

The Actors:

Kamal:

This could probably be Kamal's worst performance as an actor. The bad framing of almost every scene in this movie adds on to his woe. The scene where the cancer patient Zaakeer clings on to Kamal during his dying moments is the worst executed scene in this movie. I was thinking, does Zaaker look like a terminal cancer patient? (he cud participate in a boxing match) Is this the way cancer patients die. The movie, and I am not exagerrating, shows the doctor telling the cancer patient " dude you have cancer! your gonna die soon. please check in to this lodge/hospital where you can die". The cancer patient dutifully checks in and dies. Not even a pretense of any treatment being done on him.

Shouldn't he die atleast in an ICU with 2 doctors nearby or maybe thats too much logic being expected out of the movie. Zakeer dies in a dormitorty sort of place, a couple of nurses and Dr.Sneha keep looking at him and he spits some dialog (very fast) to kamal and rapidly dies. We feel no pity for him. Why? zero character development my dear folks. Just show Kamalhaasan's face on screen for 3 hours and develop no other character. Thats the thinking behind this movie; show Kamal and do everything else fast. This sense of haste is what kills this movie. Now this whole zaaker dying scene takes about 4 minutes. From the time somebody comes and says to kamal that zakeer is dying till the time zakeer dies; all happens within 1 minute. Then Kamal cries his head off for 3 minutes. Thats the distribution. I didnt feel a pinch!

Kamal is neither convincing as a goonda nor as fake-med student. He was never Vasool Raja for a moment but always Kamalahaasan. Thats sad.

Prakashraj:

This guy was horrible throughout the movie. He talks like people talk in the old manirathnam movies. The laughing-for-cure routine makes him look like a mental patient or even worse. Now Prakash Raj is a really good actor but here he looks and acts like Janakaraj (or) actually more like that dog shit moron Jayaram in Thenali. Come to think of it, I was convinced nobody could acts worse than what Jayaram did in Thenali. Prakashraj beats Jayaram by miles. His voice and tone stand out jarringly and is completely out of sync with other regular voices. Watching him act felt like watching a person being caught on camera digging his nose with his fly open. Do college deans behave this way ? Is that how medical classes happen? Is there anything even remotely original in this movie? Man!!.. what about his " I have turned a new leaf" dialog in the climax. Can anybody look more unconvincing. Puke!

The support cast:

Rohini Hattangadi is wasted. No need for her to play this role. Gandhimathi would suffice. I like Nagesh, you give him anything he does it with Panache. Is that nasty thing with a wig prabhu?? eeek! I cant belive it!. Prabhu has been reduced to a senthil-like role.

Direction:

This year's worst director award has already been decided. Cheran has wasted a very good material by botching up on almost every aspect of the movie.

Conclusion:

This movie could have been a good movie. The story that had all the makings of a good movie. It even had "crazy" Mohan (who was dissapointing.. but frankly didnt do as bad a job as I thought he would do) to write dialogs. screenplay and time devoted to develop scenes and characters were non-existent! Nobody in the movie could act to save their own lives.

Good comedy movies in the past had an original thread interlaced with a abberrant thread. The foundation should be laid on a real looking scenario ( in this contect a real looking hospital/med-school) and comedy should be extracted from an abormal/odd person (in this context mr.vasool ) being introduced into the real-looking scenario which results in chaos. Here the supposedly real-world thread looked even more clownish than comedy thread. "crazy" Mohan thrives on chaos but he needs to have some situational comedy helping him. All he gets is a few abrupt scenes with bad actors in it!

Infact.. u know what??? among the actors shown in the movie "crazy" Mohan was the best!

Don't go to Vasool Raja after lunch. The Theatre restrooms aren't built to support the after effects the movie can cause you.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Symphony at Odyssey

Now folks! I pamper myself. I seriously let myself have a good time even when I dont need one. Such things stem from the opinion that I do a lot of hardwork by just waking up and living everyday. Left to myself I won't go to work, won't bath, won't even brush my teeth. If I start out to go to work in the nude.. then the whole world will follow my example ( not me ..just my example). I could start a nude revolution in no time! snap.. and there you have it gzillion naked workers. The reason I dont do all this because I wanna keep the society sane. 90% of the things everybody does, they seem to do so because everybody else does it. The society demands that I do stuff, which left to myself , I would discard them because they are too much of an overhead-maintainence just to get through to the next day! But I still do them.. its for the general good of the society. So, I brainwash myself that I am integral cog in giant wheels of the society. . My whole life is a sacrifice! I deserve to pamper myself.

( ya! i am reading too much calvin and hobbes :-) and getting delusions of spaceman spiff! )

All this is a prelude to my trip to the haircut salone/saloon/parlour. Before I go to the haircut place, I think all the above and decide to reward myself. Kumar is the dude. He works in a place called Odyssey. Odessey is the salone/saloon/parlour which apart from doing a haircut does so many other things to people. Most married men visit this place because it fills the gap in their married life. This shop is sort of the next best thing to marriage. Nobody gets the perfect wife because 20% of the pages in a "perfect wife" rule book requires her to be a barber/masseus. It's the 20% gap where no woman has gone before.

But I digress.. ( which is okay since i also am taking requests :-) )

I am regular at that place and probably the only guy who orders the kitchen sinc every single time. Kumar knows my haircut preferences and the order of my orders. The man is an artiste. His work is divine, the sound of his scissors is pure music. He tut-tut's and ahm-hem's most of my weird requests and gets to work like an a possesed man.

If the haircut is divine wait till you experience the new "seedhakalpegya legiyam" Herbal Head Massage. Its 20 minutes of pure dlight. The side of the head is first put through a strenous pounding and then there is that raising movement from the ear to the center and then that both-hands-locked-and-tap-head routine. The finale has a electronic massager that really puts you to sleep. For folks who havent experienced a massage, there is a face massage, body massage. wow!

Chorus: now most of the guys would be thinking.. man.. "can I get this @ home"... "can they train my wife". Not so easy.. my dear sirs! .. not so easy! but its possible !!! gotta work at it!

(end of chorus)

I tried out 2 new things called pedicure(care?) and manicure!?. It came highly recommended. never done this before. And it was awesome. No shame fellas. If you havent got one.. just get one! There is a person who cuts your nail, does something to make sure all nails are left/right/center justified ( MS word stuff). Cleans the gaps between the leg finger. He managed to cut my pinky toe nails. Then the insides of the legs are cleaned. Whoa! Then there is a leg massage (they have invented a machine which massages legs.. can u believe that). And the "sodaak!!..sodaak!" of the leg fingers ( you know the pull-and-fingers-make-a-sound routine). Wooo..man!!!! its sexyyy!

(repeat chorus)
(repeat chorus)

Then he "sodaak-sodaak"'ed my hand fingers, shoulders, neck!. Made sure I was comfortable. You know how much the head massage costs ..just 50 bucks! the whole thing cost me less than 500 Rs. Damn cheap.. in uncle sam's land you gotta need country club membership to do this!
Walking out! I felt like a new person. I was ready to make all the sacrifices for the society. Superman has returned to save the world from the Lex Luthors!

Wouldnt it be a wonderful world if someone could do this to us everyday (atleast weekly!!!!)

(repeat chorus)
(repeat chorus)

P.S: As a sidenote, I was wondering how these hair-cut folks seems to generally enjoy thier lives. Its a tough job, cutting other people's hair washing their feet etc. Its good that people feel the need to let other people work on their hair fingers, leg etc.. it generates employment for folks who otherwise would be on the streets begging. But having said that, the people in the shop seemed to be generaly happy, cracking office-humor kinda jokes etc. Their happiness and enthisiasm was refreshing. How much would they earn a few..lousy bucks a day! but they have spirit. And thats a lot!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Fast week

okay! time is running fast this week ( almost at the rate of 60 secs per minute). Have cousin's family visiting me with uncle and aunt. They have 2 little kids ananya and aneesh ! Aneesh is a riot and has one clear objective " destroy". He is a miniature terminator. Already all electronic objects, which I had carelessly strewn along the floor, now reside safely on top of tables, TV's etc. Aneesh keeps a constant vigil at the floor-level and destroys anything that falls down!

The best thing about last week is that my aunt seems to be able to cook food with virtually no utensiles. Given that my house really has no vessels, cooker etc and the kitchen is merely ornamental, I was surprised to see industrial quantities of food being produced . Some people are straight out of the chandamama book where all you need is for the old bearded man to wave his hand at a magic pot and food will start to flow from the pot until the whole village gets drowned in food.

Took a walk with Aneesh, Ananya and my cousin in the streets of bangalore yesterday. The thing about walking in bangalore with an infant is that when it rains you aren't really sure if the drizzle from above is rain on someone spitting from the bus. In bangalore people have an obsession to spit every nanosecond and most of them are brain dead enough to spit from the bus window without really caring what or who's underneath. Two wheelers in bangalore really have to watch out. If they think its raining but they see that little jhonny( from the nursery rhyme for u perverts:-) ) is still playing outside then its really not raining!

Okay so I made my way to the shop and back with little Aneesh and in the process dodged about a 100 spits directed at me by strangers who really had no reason to spit on the road (or me).

Baby language is strange! They speak in opcodes

goo = shoes
bow = ball

so if you dont have a baby reverse compiler, which is the pregnancy residue for slightly plump(not-fat just plump) moms after the baby is delivered, its difficult to understand what babies are saying. And the babies always want to go out! even when they are out they want to go further out!

The olympics have begun;

I have this feeling about olympics. ITS BORING. no seriously ITS BORING!. I talked to 5 people who said they watched the opening ceremony, I asked them what particular thing they followed the most. Most of them were either clueless or vaguely interested if the wind in greece would be strong enough to blow up the skirts of ice skaters. They all lost interest in olympics when they were told that ice skating was primarily winter olympics.

Ofcourse there are a few people who could name four athletic events( real name not names like pentacathlon) and I know of a person who remembered last years triathlon winner. I was watching Ian thorpe swim from one wall to another and didn't give a damn. It's not as if Jennifer Lopez is swimming, its a guy!!! He seems to be confused as to where he wants to be and so he keeps moving (quickly) from one end of the pool to the other, while other people measure how quickly he can change his mind on where he wants to be. I think swimming is essentially a measure of how quickly you can confuse yourself.

Why is the olympics boring for most of us ?

The big reason being ; India suck in olympics. The only items we can reasonably come close to winnning a gold is (a) tennis-doubles. We suck in hockey, archery is a mirage, weightlifting has never improved from being a possibility. In short we are a geek manufacturing industry. We can raise .7 billion couch potatoes with pot bellies. Thats it!. Thank god for cricket, India can claim some relationship with sport. If other countries lost interest in cricket, India would probably settle for an annual cricket match between the bollywood idiots and the ranji losers.

I usually watch the 100 meters sprint if somebody tells me which day the event is scheduled ( otherwise I catch it in the news). I watch the pole vault thing ( from the sergei bubka days). If Leander Paes can create some magic, ya tennis doubles would be interesting! but thats it. I think the same applies to about 90% of the people who have a life ( and a job).


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Interviews et. all.

The recent blog concerning interviews seemed to have generated a lot controversy. So I decided to have a separate blog for "interviews".

Definition:

Now! not many folks would agree with this definition, but I think its true. The fundametal assumption of an interview is mistrust. The employer is simply saying; "I dont entirely trust your resume, I dont entirely trust the kind of education your college has provided. I have decided to check it out for myself"

This is true and can even be considered an axiom. By default, if a company badly wants a specific skillset, you are assumed not to have it unless you can convince otherwise during your interview.

the interview:

Now interviews are done for many positions. The rice shop next to my house interviews guys before allowing them to lift their rice-bags. Then there is the Microsoft interview. Having knocked quite a few company doors in the past, I know a thing or two about interviews. I know a thing or two about what not to do. So pearls of wisdon flow henceforth!

The first question 98% of the time (unless you're facing a slob like me) invariably is " Tell me something about what you have done so far". This is what we call out-question paper. The question is out. The answer to this question in a good interview should decide the future course of questions. Bland answers that start with "I've always wanted to work in your company xyz" This evokes puke. Its like dumpin durin the interview. Nobody always wanted to do anything. You aren't a Nobody but still you didnt aaaaaalways wanted to do anything. Even if you did don't say it like that. use illustrations and events which actually makes the interviewer infer without you spelling it out that you "always" wanted to do stuff.

Usual answers that show you are just about average, start like "I did my engineering in kichadi-gumbalpatti community college of technolgy textiles and science... bla bla bla". When you are answering like this the interviewer is thinking "yaaawn! let me think of catherine-zeta-jones while this fellow is making noises".

One should really come up with a different answer to this question to get the interviewer interested. Ofcourse, if you have a poor product division, keep the marketing division under leash. So! dont hype yourself to make the interviewer think you can run a 4 second mile. Its better to start innovatively with illustrations; for example say something to the effect (in real interview-english) "when I was doing abc course in nth semester, I wanted to know what problems the person who develop xyz concept faced and so I took up efgh book and looked it up. before I knew it I was neck deep inside the subject and voila! my area of interest was born".

This question is best anwered using the above modular template. If you have done enough research about the open job position, replace xyz, abc, efgh etc with appropriate key words from job description itself. It helps if you believe in the system. Sometimes the interviewer asks ridiculous questions. But doesn't happen like that all the time. The problem arises when you second guess the interviewer, trying to create a mental ball-by-ball commentary of what sort of impression he is making out of you. Keep it simple, keep it stupid. Answer the damn question to the best of your ability and move on...

How it works

Okay in some companies the interview atleast appears planned. The HR guy/ Hiring Manager takes care of the planning. A clear plan on who asks what to the candidate is decided. Companies like Microsoft is like playing jeopardy in my opnion. Its double-jeopardy once u clear the Phone interviews .

Like what suresh mentioned in his comment, people ask different questions for different reasons. While some people always ask a very specific questions which they faced the very morning of the interview, a lot of folks (in good companies) have good technique.

For example, I like Microsofts interviewing technique. I have never been successfull but I still like it. Its because its a well defined process allowing the kind of people they want to get in and the kind of people they dont want to not like the interview at all. They make sure most of the time its a case of "grapes are sour".

Good interviews should have problems to solve. Fundametally, what a person does at work is; solve a problem. Languages like C, C++ are merely tools to solve it. So if a person can use both common sense(which includes basic math, communication skills) and some knowledge he claims to know in his resume, to solve problems posed during the interview he is good enough. A 70/100 should be good enough in an interview. Because in work conditions it will improve to 80/100.

Misconceptions:

There are many pre conceived notions about interview; " xyz are good questions, abc are stupid questions." All these are subjective. This whole blog is subjective. I am right and so are million others who disagree with me.

There is always a small subset of people who get caught with odd interviewing experinces and dont get through for misc reasons but 80% of the time you flunk in an interview because you aren't right for the job (yet). So the best things would be to constantly refine oneself based on interview experience. It is better to find the problem within us and alter it rather than blame it on a faulty interview process and not evolve at all.

Left to me, I would keep the whole process in just testing what the person learnt from his work experience than actually testing specifics (when they arent required). Usually jobs in a divison keep flowing and changing over time, a person is selected based on the general theme of what the org does rather than to finding out how to set a specific bit in a interrupt vector table that would cause a fan motor to whirr in a toilet thats in a galaxy far far away.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Campus Interviewing

Had a chance to visit an Engineering college campus and conduct a day full of interviews. It was a long time since I had been to a college campus, usually the people I get to interview are 2 year experienced people with fake resumes or 4 year experienced people with even fakier ( if thats a word) resumes.


The only good motivation for agreeing to go to this college campus interview was, I could get away from the drudgery of work and the college was close to where I stay( evil plans of returning back at 2:00 PM and get a 2hr sleep). There were other perks that were lurking around in the back of my mind but lets not get into those now.


The HR folks ( ah! bless them! for being so beaut!) sort of nudged us engineers by saying some thing equalant to "now don't get too geeky on these kids! they are just normal people". I was looking for a place to bury myself, when I found out that a couple of engineers who came with me actually took it as a compliment. The HRs must be thinking "thanks to hawkeye's short-circuit law... we can fool these geeks anyday.." I interviewed 20 college kids and oblidgingly selected 19.


Okay! I cant hold it back no more! Guess how many hot chics were there among those 20 people.. guess.. hmm.. guess again..! yup! you are right a big ZERO! The lazy old cow, who accompanied me for this interviewing thing, who is gzillion years old and already looks half dead kept interviewing chic after chic. I was thinking, "God! what you doin to me! maaan". There was one just one girl among the 20 i interviewed and all that was hot about her was her lunch box.


I decided to make the interview process very interesting by framing the first question as follows "Can you tell me 2 questions which you would like your interviewer to ask you". As soon as the candidate says those questions, I asked those to them back again ( its a neat way being lazy without looking like it). most people were surprised by this question and kept stupidly blinking like " do you want me to tell subjects or programs".


I noticed several interesting things during the interview


1) Right answers were directly proportional to confidence.

If a person got a tough question first up, he invariably fumbled even the easier questions that followed later. I decided to make one guy sweat it out by giving him a tough programming question, he expectedly fumbled. Next I asked him a fundametal question in co-ordinate geometry (distance between two points equation). he couldn't answer it. Then I hand held him ( not literally..for those smart alecs!!) through pythagoras theorem etc.. he was slowly able to solve it. Then, he slowly picked up momentum as I increased the level of difficulty he was able to answer everything.

Human Brain takes time to ramp up

2) Dont ask them what they want to do. they don't know!!!!


Okay! I have been through this phase so I could understand these folks. But I wanted to humor myself before giving em' the job. So I asked them. "Tell me atleast 1 thing which you know really happens in the software industry". The best answer I got was "they execute projects". No one knows what happens inside a company. They dont know what sort of designations are available ( except CEO and Project Manager). They dont have preferences " I 'll work on anything Sir!". Was the popular answer I got!.

3) You get random, outlandish, tense & nervous people! Beware!


I had the most bizzaire interviewing experience! Ya! I got folks at all points in the spectrum. But there was one guy who showed up unkept with an unshaven beard, torn T-Shirt and some faded Jean thing. The panelist who was supposed to interview him was so scared of him that she wanted me to join her in interviewing this fellow. From the looks of it, I thought he just survived some tornado outside and straight away came to attend this interview.

The girl stupidly asked him why he showed up in such a dress ( it doesnt really matter). He bluntly replied that she should be interested in what he had to say than his dress ( boy! did I agree with him). On seeing his marks, I found out that he was School first in his XII Std but he had sacked and given-up in his college and consequently ended up with some pretty average scores. Before I moved to my standard first question ( "can you tell me 2 questions"), the wretched creature next to me yelled " why are your marks so low ?". Apart from being indecent, it was completely unnecessary for the interview. If we selected em based on the marks why have an interview at all. His reply made me shout aloud "Lord! love Howard Roark". He said "I don't believe in numbers , if you feel I can do the job give it to me". Boy! this kid had balls!. Ignoring ackward stupid gasps from my other panelist who wasn't coming to terms with this person at all, I asked him "can you tell me 2 questions "( yah! I am obsessed). This kid didn't expect this and said "Operating Systems and Data Structures".

The anti-climax was that the kid had stacked up everything on his ability to answer anything that was thrown at him. He had removed marks et all from the equation and put too much pressure on the tech interview. He probably backed himself to do something he wasn't ready for. He ended doing the interview poorly and didnt answer fairly easy questions.


Well..it was a good experience in anycase. Nothing wrong with this fellow, just that before you chose a tough path you have to make sure you can survive it. The latter is more difficult than the former. If he were to pick up on his tech strengths I am sure he would be a valuable asset.


Ramesh whose reads this blog ( Hi Ramesh :-) ), interviewed me for my first job and we both knew I didn't do that well in his round, but I was selected (I wonder why! :-) ).Well... the underlying point is interviews are mostly random and unless you spread out the evaluation over many factors and many people you may not get a consistent evaluation of a candidate. The reason is tenseness and tough first questions can throw off a person and thereby cause aberrations in performance!


There was another tense person who was attending his first ever interview, he was so tense that he started stammering horribly, I asked him to calm down and write whatever he wanted to say. He was technically good and I wrote in my assesment comments "forget the talk! he is really good"


On my way out! I heard my co-panelist and a HR person dicussing; the HR was saying "you know what, this guy was stammerring so much that I rejected him. what would he do in client telecons". To which this girl replied " ya.. even we had one very arrogant guy for the interview! we rejected him because of his bad attitude! "


Well! it takes all kinds to make up this world!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Spider-Man 2

With a title called Spider-man 2 its really difficult for a movie to take itself seriously and believe it can work like a real movie. Spider-man 2 brushes aside these difficulties and goes beyond what is expected of it. What works for Spider-man, and I have to say the movie works very well, is that it stays away from mindless special effects/stereo typical villians. It steers clear of the banality of showing new kinds of superpowers and gadgets.

Having read tons of Marvel/DC Comics and gulping down my fair share of comic book nerdity, I have to say Marvel Comics envisioned Spiderman much the same way as what director Sam Riami potrays. Infact Riami's version seems to create a much better impact and is more believable than the comic books inspite of coming out half century later. At the time when Marvel came up with the notion of spiderman, the initial skepticism was something like "whats so great about a man who resembles a spider? whats so great about a spider anyway ?". Surprisingly Peter Parker and his famous alter ego hit it off very well with the public much the same way as Clark Kent & Superman did. It was not because of their similarities, both Parker and Kent worked for newspapers, one for the Daily Bugle and the other Daily Planet, but because of their contrasts, Superman was an alien called Kal-El from planet Krypton whereas Spidey was just a boy next door. Even though Superman claimed that its characters were based out of a city called Metropolis, it was evident that Metropolis was just an alias for NewYork City. Marvel comics kept it simple by basing Spiderman out of New York.

For people who know a thing or two about movies based on comic books; In 1977, when Alexander Salkind flirted with the idea of making a superhero movie, He roped in Mario Puzo (yah! the Godfather dude) to write the screenplay for the first ever Superman movie. The first Superman movie bolstered by a wonderful cast remained one of the best superhero movies to have ever been made. That is until Spider-man 2 came out. So far there have been 4 Superman & Batman movies, 1 Supergirl movie, and thousand and one misc movies like Shaft, The Mask and X-Men.

Spider-Man 2 stands as tall as Superman1. Its an eerie coincidence that Novelist Michael Chabon figures in this movie as screenplay writer much the same way as Puzo did in Superman1. Spiderman2 then goes beyond what Superman1 tried to acheive and stays away from all the pace-related pitfalls that made Superman 3 a flop. All 3 movies deals with the conflict involving a person finding out that he is not a normal person anymore. These movies extensively deal with the central character's struggle to cope with the pressure and thanklessness of being a superhero and balancing a superhero life with their regular life.(In batman Bruce Wayne broods the hell out of his misery to create a whacky abnormal self-sympathising creature called Batman) . I would have been dissapointed if Spider-man2 was a linear movie with a clear black and white villian, who is merely filled with delusions of world domination. I would have walked out if the movie just dealt with the trite schemes by the villian and merely show how Spiderman thwarted them.

Every teenager who has grown up on comic books from Tintin to Richie Rich knows that, its not the action or plot that brings home the thrills, its a creation of fantasy world where kids wallow in their dream of being a superhero themselves. That capacity to identify is what establishes success. In that way Spiderman sometimes scores over Superman because, the latter was born differently and was destined to be a Superhero whereas Spiderman could happen to just about anybody ( well! it could!).

In this movie, Peter continues to deal with the travails that teenagers in Uncle Sam's land get to face. Living on their own, out of a part time job with barely 1 relative to care for and 1 girl-next-door to yearn for. Peter's setup itself is good enough to squeeze out every last bit of teenage dollar that Sam Riami was assigned to do. Spiderman infringes on Peter's life and we as fantasisers realize that a superhero gift is not so much a gift after all as much as it is a burden ( I would still take that radio active spider and make it bite me if i got a chance!). This is why I liked the movie, being able to fly or climb walls and spin webs is a huge change to a person's life. The changes aren't just about newspaper headlines and flying across the world with Louis Lane. This movie focuses wonderfully well on how a person's life could be impacted by such changes.

Peter knows how his uncle died and in this movie finally reveals the full truth to his aunt. He is also caught between the responsibility to protect Mary.J.Watson's safety and his desire for her. His life is not simple and the complication hurts. It is true that some movies inspire and influences kids in a big way.This movie makes sure there is a positive twist in the philosophical arena with neat little phrases on intelligence and hardwork. There is humor in this movie too, the elevator scene especially, where Spiderman complains about his costume being too tight near the crotch, that scene was a riot in the way silence was used to provoke humor.

The movie keeps a fair pace, Sam Riami balances the emotional part and the animated CGI part wonderfully. The CGI part still jars when its merged with the real movie but I suspect it will become seamless in the next spidey installment. When viewers begin to wonder if the plot was declining (like bernoulli's equation) to resemble that of a MegaSerial/Bollywood melodrama crap, Riami immediately energizes us with action. And the action is not mindless, it involves personal characters (like Peter's aunt caught by Doc Ock in a thrilling high rise building action sequenece). The train sequence is amazing for the special effects. Certain action sequences like Doc Ock throwing the doors of a Taxi Cab on Spiderman has been taken remarkably well!

Finally! the movie is bold enough to expose the identity of Spiderman to everybody without a care in the world. Yes! everbody from Doc Ock, MJW to the kid on the train knows who spidey is. Spiderman doesn't make them forget what they saw by kissing them, like the way Superman does. He doesn't need to protect his idenity the way Bruce Wayne does with frightening paranoia. The movie ends with enough scope for another Green Goblin to terrorize NewYork and we can also look forward to how Mary Jane copes with the pressure of being a super hero's girl. Hopefully her character should be more real unlike that of Louis Lane. Sam Riami has done enough to inspire such a hope