by Luv Mehta
Welcome to State of Media Consumption: September edition!
This series of articles has been really good for me as a writer - with most of the rest of the days being spent at work, this series gives me some good incentive to try out new stuff in my free time. It’s been especially great this month - nearly everything I went through was fantastic, and I found another all-timer of an experience, like I had with Outer Wilds two months ago.
This was also a fun month because I subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, which has insane value for money. It’s basically a Netflix for games you can directly install and try, and it has a whole bunch of new and old games that keep coming and going. To give you an idea of the value, every new game on this list is from Xbox Game Pass, which I spent a hundred rupees on, and if I had bought them on Steam it would set me back by around three thousand.
(Xbox Game Pass is not sponsoring this article)
(but if they want to, I accept all currencies)
by Luv Mehta
Welcome to August.
I’m not quite sure about the title for these series of articles. They’re supposed to have a mix of various types of media for consumption, so I can’t really say “here’s a list of things played/read/listened to”, but “consumption” isn’t a word I’m that comfortable with.
Either way, let’s see if I find a new title or stick with this one. If you’ve noticed, I’m not great at names - this blog is named “The Amateur Media Blog” because I only thought about making the most literal name for the website.
Anyway, here’s a ranked list of all the things I consoomed this month.
by Luv Mehta
Two months have gone by since that last post! Work’s become even harder, this pandemic-stricken world has no change in its new status quo, and I’ve had a lot of trouble writing anything about any of the stories I’ve seen/played through.
But work’s winding down, and I finally have some time. I haven’t written anything but code in a very long while, so I wrote all of this in a span of two hours.
So here’s a bunch of impressions of some media I’ve consumed, ranked in order of least to most enjoyed.
The year is 2007. Unbeknownst to the world, cinema will be changed forever.
The year is 2007. Himesh Reshammiya is a superstar. He's everywhere - from music channels to reality shows (back when they were distinct), he's embedded in the public consciousness, a fountain of songs and memes (back before we called them memes). He possesses the most famous cap in India, in addition to the most famous nose.
And all that is before he gifts the world with a decade-long career as a movie star.
I've always wondered - why did he suddenly decide to become a movie star? What drove him to acting? Did he need more fame? Did he require more adulation? Was he simply full of money and willing to spend it on vanity projects?
The answer to that can be found in the very first entry in the Suroor Cinematic Universe - Aap Ka Suroor - set in the picturesque location of Somewhere In Germany.
by Luv Mehta
Guru is a Mani Ratnam movie, released in 2007, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. While Abhishek Bachchan isn’t always considered to be a great actor (something I occasionally disagree with), very few people dispute that his performance in Guru is fantastic, one that holds up even today.
This is a fairly popular movie. It’s also a movie I had a lot of conflicted feelings about, back when I saw it twelve years ago. Because of some recent circumstances, I recently sat down and watched it, to see if all those problems of mine would resurface.
They did. But not in a way I was expecting.
by Luv Mehta
Dhoom 2 is, if you have any doubts even after seeing the title, the second movie in the Dhoom series. It’s an interesting trio of movies, with each being quite different from the other. The first is more of a standard heist movie with bikers introduced for some sweet chase scenes, while the third completely ignores the heist part to focus more on the antagonizing forces in the movies and their backstory. It’s the second, however, that I’ve watched more than thirty times, and am mildly (or, in the words of my friends, unhealthily) obsessed with it.
I wanted to talk about why I like it so much - but I couldn’t really put much of my reasoning into words. Frankly, the only times I’ve written anything nowadays have been when I’ve composed mails in the office. Life’s moved on like a racecar on a highway, and I’ve been chained to its bonnet as dragged behind it all the way through.
But as I opened the Google docs tab on my laptop at night, ready to write something, anything, no matter how rushed it was - the transformer in our locality went off with a silent, unassuming boom, and I was left in a PG room, with the lights and fans off, and a laptop with steadily decreasing battery. So I went to sleep, woke up the next morning, and spent the whole day touring Bangalore, with a mobile at 3% battery capacity and no one to accompany me but my thoughts.
Here are those thoughts, compiled below.
by Luv Mehta
So this little indie low-budget movie called Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out, and fan reactions are… split, to say the least. It’s an incredibly risky movie that adds a lot of introspection and deconstruction to the series, calling into question the way the Force, the mythical space-magic that has been a mainstay of the series, has been treated, interpreted and taught across the whole saga.
For better or for worse, this has ended up being exactly the kind of movie that the franchise needed - a risky installment that shakes up the whole series and invites discussion and analysis. There have been quite a lot of debates on the matter, and there are so many great takes that have been spawned that you can spend the whole day getting to know new perspectives on it.
Through this article, I’m trying to do something different. Because all this deconstruction and introspection isn’t new to the Star Wars universe - it’s something gamers have experienced back in late 2004, when Obsidian developed and released Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords - a title that split fans to the core, in many of the same ways the current movie fandom has experienced right now. And I feel it might benefit to compare them both, seeing how the decisions they took are simultaneously critical of the central morality play of the series, and why these end up making for a stronger story.
Mild spoilers for The Last Jedi follow, and I’ll do my best to avoid any spoilers for the Knights Of The Old Republic series (referred to as KOTOR afterwards for convenience). Because the analogy can be extended best to a Light Side playthrough of KOTOR II, I’ll primarily deal with the plot on that side.
by Luv Mehta
So there was this BuzzFeed article I saw recently, another one of those quizzes designed to bait you in by making you say, "Wow, I remember that!" And while it does always work on me, this case included, I was pretty miffed with the title - How Many Of These Ironically Fuckall Movies Have You Seen? Because I have seen quite a lot of the movies listed in this article (fifty, to be exact) and I do genuinely love a lot of them.
Sure, they may not be paragons of quality - hell, a lot of them have genuine problems that can't be ignored. But, in my own humble opinion, it is possible to enjoy and appreciate flawed movies, even while acknowledging their faults.
All this is basically my excuse to start talking about all those weird and amazing movies I hold close to my heart. And I can’t possibly think of a better example than Nayak.