Saturday, August 1, 2015

Movie Review: Gone Girl

Having read the novel, I was happy with the selection of David Fincher as the director of the movie version of the novel "Gone Girl". David Fincher has given us dark movies before. Who else is the right choice to bring the darker side of marriage? The novel resembles a screenplay where events unfold in a non-linear manner for a major part. Gillian Flynn, the author of the novel, pens the screenplay for the movie that is almost a replica of the novel. When the novel gets adapted as the movie, the latter becomes darker and shocking than the former.

David Fincher sets a dark tone for his movie. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike plays Nick and Amy respectively, a couple who loses their jobs during the economic downturn and subsequently moves to a small town in Missouri when Nick's mother health deteriorates. In his hometown, Nick opens a bar with his twin sister. As the movie opens, Amy has gone missing, and the townfolks are frantically searching for her. As time progresses, we realise that Nick and Amy have been leading a less perfect life. The choice of the lead pair by David Fincher is unusual but right. As they are both beautiful people, the disintegrating marriage and violence on the screen turns disturbing for the viewer. Rosamund Pike has played bad girl before in Die Another Day. But Amy is a new territory for Rosamund Pike, and she easily slips into it. She undergoes physical transformation to match the various phases of Amy. Ben Affleck has a tougher role because he is the one always reacting to situations. Although he gets overshadowed by Amy at many places, he also brings out the suffering and confused husband ably.

As a person who has read the book, I am happy with the adaptation. David Fincher is back in form after the disappointing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The direction, the screenplay and the acting transforms this adaptation in an engaging drama told in a thriller format. There is an underlying theme of violence. When the violence erupts, the ensuing scenes repulse you. Hence, this is not a movie to watch with kids.
Language: English

Genre: Drama

Rating: ****

Friday, July 31, 2015

Planning and execution lessons of a different kind

The school is closed for the summer holidays. Since then my daughter have been excited to go out in the evening. At times, I have trouble matching up with her energy that I come up with excuses. As she is growing up faster than I want her to, my excuses are shot down at ease. While I struggle with reasoning, I also realize an important point. I should learn from her the aspect of planning. The way she planned a visit to the nearest Toys-R-Us taught me a lot more about planning and execution than all the on-the-job training and books.

Her objective was simple. She wanted to buy a pack of Yummy Nummies. She had already found out the price for a packet and also the shop. The shop was Toys-R-Us. The price effectively took out the first objection as it was reasonable. The next challenge was the actual trip. Before I could come up with traffic, she gave the distance from our house to the nearest shop. The shop is 9 minutes away by car, as there was no traffic. If you are wondering where is she getting this information, she is getting this information from the same place where we are getting it. Google Maps! She has done her planning well.

I had other errands to run that evening. When I returned to the car after the last errand, she had already set up the GPS with the directions to Toys-R-Us.

Tags: Parenthood,Toys-R-Us

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Photos: The lonely rider on Snowdon Mountain

The train journey was abruptly stopped. Although we enjoyed a clear and sunny weather at the base of Snowdon mountain in Wales, we encountered cold and fog towards the summit. As a result, the train stopped at the stop just before the summit. All of us in the train wandered about in the area. The visibility was low. While scouting the location, I found a lonely bike rider moving downhill. The whole act looked dangerous and adventurous.


Photos, Wales, Rider, Snowdon

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Photos: The mountains of Snowdonia

I had heard the name Snowdonia long before I visited it. After hearing the name, I thought it was a make-believe place as it was an apt name for an entertainment park. I was surprised when I encountered the place while visiting Wales. Snowdonia is a park but unlike the one I thought. It is a national park.

There are a lot of things to do in Snowdonia like walking, cycling, fishing, watersports, train ride and castles. I was interested in the train ride. There are a few different types of train rides. I chose the Snowdon Mountain Railway where the train took you to the summit of Snowdon. If you have the right kind of stamina and energy, you could also walk up to the summit. If you don't, then you could use the train for the journey. On a clear day with excellent weather, the train will take you all the way to the summit. Unfortunately for me, the visibility was low when we reached three-quarters of the way. So the train returned after spending some time at the highest point we could reach.

If you are planning a visit, I recommend you to get the train tickets well ahead in advance. I arrived there and found out the tickets were available for the late afternoon. I bought the available tickets and visited Swallow Falls instead of waiting there.

I took a picture from the train while climbing Snowdon.


Tags: Photos, Wales, Railway, Snowdon

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Photos: Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls is located in Snowdonia. The falls is near Betsy-y-Coed in Wales. I have no clue on how to pronounce the name. Since it is Welsh, you will be surprised unless you already speak Welsh. It was day with abundant sunlight. Hence it was easier to get a clear sky and a gorgeous waterfalls.


Tags: Photos, Wales, Waterfalls, Snowdonia

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Photos: Cliffs of the South Stack

This was taken on the way to South Stack Lighthouse in Anglesey. While climbing down the steps, I found a window made by the nature. I could gaze at the cliffs from this nature made window. The window also had a ledge where one could comfortably stand and take pictures.


Tags: Photos, Wales, Anglesey, South Stack, Lighthouse

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Be prepared for an introduction

Do you struggle when you have to talk briefly about what you do? At work, there comes many a chance where you have to talk about yourself. Many of us have a natural flair to accomplish this task. Unfortunately, the rest of us struggle. Personally, I have been swept into the vortex of this situation. I have bungled out of this with hastily constructed sentences and self-deprecating humor.

Humor is a useful ally that will shine light on the way out of a difficult situation. But while introducing yourself in a professional context, humor is not the right accessory. When you use humor to describe your role, you are in fact underselling yourself. The audience may smile. At the same time, they are likely to construct a negative image of you in their mind. If you are not sure about what you are doing, how can you expect the audience to trust your capabilities or even comprehend your significance in the grand scheme of things.

Over time, I have realized I will always encounter such a situation. What I did was simple. I wrote a few points on paper. I rehearsed. All these points come out in a sequence while making sure I didn't sound like a parrot saying sentences without understanding the meaning. This way, I have avoided a sudden increase in anxiety levels while the everyone is introducing themselves, and my number is coming up.

Before signing off, I would also like to tell you an anecdote about a friend who struggled. My friend was attending a telephonic call. He was unprepared for introductions. After a brief hesitation, he announced his name. Then he asked, "Do you need an introduction (about me)?". The other friends on the call squirmed on hearing this. They knew our friend was uncomfortable about the introductions and wanted to get it over as soon as possible. But they were not sure about how the rest of the audience would have felt about this unusual introduction.

Tags: Musings, Introduction, Rehearse

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