Mukti

Bond and the baddies

Posted in action, books, Drama, movies, sci-fi, sci-fi, thriller, thriller, TV by jrahman on November 17, 2015

Bond movies, even the forgettable ones starring Pierce Brosnan, are to be watched as soon as possible, with a group of friends, to be followed by an adda where you can dissect the said movie every which way.  The new movie opened here couple of weeks after the worldwide premiere, and it’s hard to avoid the chatter in our hyper-connected world.  So I was very keen to watch it during the weekend.  Needless to say, the Black Friday in Paris cast a shadow.  But to let that tragedy stop us from discussing movies and books would be a betrayal of the joie de vivre and La Résistance that we associate Paris with. 

Hence this post, which is not really a movie review.  I liked Spectre about as much as Skyfall — not good as Casino Royale, but much better than Quantum of Solace.  

Is this movie too sentimental or emotional?  Does Bond fall in love too easily?  Is he not ruthless enough?  Well, this is what you get from Batmanisation — you can’t give the guy a backstory with emotions without turning him, well, emotional.  But it’s also Sherlockisation — am I coining a term here?  Let me elaborate.  In one of the very first scenes of the BBC show, an eccentric chemist deduces that his potential flatmate, a complete stranger, is an Afghanistan vet — a scene straight out of the pages of the first Holmes novel.  While not a strict adaptation of anything specific of Doyle, every other scene in Sherlock harks back to the cannon.  So it is in Spectre, which continues Bond’s evolution from a thug-with-a-government-paper to mister-suave, paralleling the evolution from the earlier, younger, rough-edged Connery to the later, older, smoother Moore.  If anything, the forthcoming fifth Craig-starter (don’t believe the hysterics about him not doing another) is set up pretty well for a…. okay, we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Let me pause here and turn to one aspect of the Bond lore  — the antagonists, the villains, the baddies. 
(more…)

Comments Off on Bond and the baddies

Books

Some time ago, there was a facebook meme about 10 books:

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the great works of literature, just the ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends and me so I can see your list.

Over the fold, for archival purposes, are two lists — one general, the other economics related.

(more…)

Comments Off on Books

Alternate history

Posted in books, fantasy, sci-fi, what ifs by jrahman on January 13, 2013

Apropos nothing, let me talk about alternate history — you know, those fantastic tales where this or that even had or had not happened, leading to a very, or not so very, different history.

As the regular readers would know, there are at least two such series, perhaps three, running in this blog where Bengal, or India, had never been partitioned, or where partition had meant a different kind of Pakistan.  There was even a post about had there been a battle in Plassey.  But when it comes to the subcontinent, the big alternative history subject is about Mughal Empire continuing on beyond the 17th century.  Since the Empire exhausted itself during Aurangzeb’s reign, perhaps had his brother Dara Shikoh had been the emperor, things might have been different?

(more…)

Comments Off on Alternate history

On the Neanderthals

Posted in books, sci-fi, science, science by jrahman on June 18, 2012

The Ekushey Book Fair, 1988.  I was in Class 8.  What I really wanted was a 4-volume set of old Masud Rana novels.  Of course I didn’t have the courage to ask my mother, who bought a book on paleoanthropology — I think it was Amal Dasgupta’s Manusher Thikana, but a quarter century later, I can’t really be sure.

I was disappointed at first, but it didn’t take long to get enthused about the story of human evolution.  I finished that book in days.  I wanted to get English books on the subject from the British Council library.  This took a few weeks because the campus got violent around 21 February.

And then, as is usually the case with these things, my interest waned.

(more…)

Childhood’s end

Posted in action, books, desi fiction, movies, sci-fi, sci-fi, TV by jrahman on May 1, 2012

I have very fond memories of reading the Misir Ali novel Devi as a junior high student in the late 1980s.  Well, I should say I had.  I remember being, let’s say unsettled, reading it then.  I re-read it recently, and found it to be totally dull.

Now, it’s completely unfathomable to me why some things — Sheikh Mujib’s role in history, or Argentina vs Brazil in football — generate such strong reactions among Bangladeshis.  Humayun Ahmed falls in that category.  And I have no opinion on him.  But I was disappointed by Devi recently, which on re-reading turns out be rather boring, with Misir Ali not being a particularly memorable character.

(more…)

Comments Off on Childhood’s end