Soul Mates, DTPH & Statistics

Dating Pools

Going by the numbers on the What-if blog, Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit sure had it easy in Dil To Pagal Hai:

The odds of running into your soul mate are incredibly small. The number of strangers we make eye contact with each day is hard to estimate. It can vary from almost none (shut-ins or people in small towns) to many thousands (a police officer in Times Square). Let’s suppose you lock eyes with an average of a few dozen new strangers each day. (I’m pretty introverted, so for me that’s definitely a generous estimate.) If 10% of them are close to your age, that’s around 50,000 people in a lifetime. Given that you have 500,000,000 potential soul mates, it means you’ll only find true love in one lifetime out of ten thousand.

[Quora] The Dark Knight Rises through the plot holes

Time for a revisit to the concluding part

Q: What was the biggest problem with The Dark Knight Rises?

Answer by Rohan Pawale:

Lack of attention to detail!

When bane leaves Gotham stock exchange it is broad daylight…

I mean BROAD daylight..

It is consistent until the bikes are about to enter the tunnel…

…and when the bikes come out on the other side of the tunnel it is pitch dark, like midnight.

There’s no way in hell that is possible unless the tunnel was 100 miles in length and it took them at least a couple of hours to traverse it, even if we assume that broad daylight could be maybe (5:30 pm) to give Nolan some creative solace.

TL;DR : It is day when you drive in the tunnel, and night when you drive out a few moments later, really? what is that, an eclipse or something?

Now consider this one :

When they receive information about miscreants living in the sewer they send the entire police force down the sewers (Excuse the pun) Which sane police administrator sends down the entire force to tackle one issue? aren’t there other issues to tackle in the city?

Now consider this one :

The police are trapped underground for 3 months. It would be fair to assume that they might have barely managed to survive by sharing whatever meager resources they had (specifically referring to food). When they finally come out of the trap, NONE of them looks frail physically or psychologically. They all bounce out like happy jumpy telly tubbies who have been well fed and given a spa treatment. Try working a 9-to-5 job and you will be walking like a zombie at the end of just one day. These policemen sat there, with no exercise for 3 months straight, and their limbs seem very supple and motor responses are crisp. The best part? None of them has grown a beard!

Yo, ssup bro? glad we made it out. Pleasant weather too. Wonder if my Netflix subscription has expired? Scars of captivity? Pffff..what’s that? We’re always defcon delta bro, come what may..

None of them seem to be fazed, concerned, affected by the fact that they had been captive for three months without sunlight, food or exercise.

That’s not all. The very next day they are fully rejuvenated to charge towards bane’s army as if they’re just out of the gym and have been rejuvenated by a nice protein shake. (also note that they run like hooligans, no formations no strategy nothing) bro run, fuck all logic and run, we are getting paid to run…

Now consider this one :

When Gordon was awarded death by exile and the blokes were shivering and taking calculated steps so as to be careful not to step on thin ice and fall into the water, while our dude Batman just walks by *on it*, *towards them*, *from the other (unsafer) side of the ice* like it’s a cozy marathon walk. Then he proceeds to have a nice chat with Gordon while standing on the same ice.

Now consider this one :

Although he had found a successor in Robin, it seems counterproductive for Bruce to advertise to the people that ‘Batman’ had died with the explosion, because the core concept on which the inception of batman is based, and as repeatedly mentioned by Bruce in all the movies himself “Batman can be anyone, it is a symbol”, so why ‘kill’ the symbol and make a memorial to officially remind the people that Batman, who had been a symbol of hope until then, is officially gone?

Had the people not been made to believe that the persona ‘Batman’ had died in the explosion, they would have had a Robin AND a (new) Batman guarding Gotham in the future.

Now consider this one :

Bruce is officially declared dead with a memorial at a very public place (his mansion which was going to serve as an orphanage) and yet he sits in Italy with no attempt to conceal his identity. Plus, both Bruce and Batman are declared dead at the same time with public memorials, which is counterproductive to their mission to hide the identity of Batman. Although this does not directly link Batman to Bruce, but it makes the disguise less discreet.

I call BS on that one!

Now why do these seemingly minor details matter despite the fact that they don’t taint the core plot the way a plot inconsistency does? because these discrepancies get registered in the sub-conscious mind while watching the movie and make the plot seem less authentic. This hurts the overall movie experience more than an actual plot inconsistency which is subject to creative freedom.

This is a very big flaw in narration, movie or otherwise. The more of them you have the more the narration (plot) becomes difficult to believe on a sub-conscious level especially if you intend to narrate a fictional story where the audience already has a burdened obligation to assume a lot of conventions the way the director wants them to believe, which makes it all the more important to avoid the avoidable inconsistencies so as to not overburden the viewer’s mind with variables that don’t synchronize with each other. Otherwise the viewer comes out of the movie theater harboring a debate between his conscious and sub-conscious mind which looks like this :

Dafuq did we just see bro? Not sure bro…

As Bane would have put it : Once you have upvoted my answer, THEN you have my permission to mock Nolan!

Returning to Jurassic Park in 3D

You know that the raptor is going to jump and just miss her, but that doesn’t really help your heart when you’re watching the IMAX 3D version even though you’ve watched the movie umpteen times since its release nearly 2 decades ago. The scenes are just as spectacular and the T-Rex just as majestic. The colours do seem a bit faded compared to the recent movies, but the overall experience is just as good.

And then of course, there are the quotes. My favourites:

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

– Dr Ian Malcolm


Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.

Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man … woman inherits the earth.


John Hammond: All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked.

Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.


Alan Grant: Mr. Hammond, after careful consideration, I’ve decided not to endorse your park.

John Hammond: So have I.

Mr. Smith Never Made it to Washington

I guess the US Senate hasn’t changed all that much in over 70 years:

In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, however, the decent common man is surrounded by the most venal, petty, and thuggish group of yahoos ever to pass as decent society in a Capra movie. Everyone in the film — except for Jefferson Smith and his tiny cadre of believers — is either in the pay of the political machine run by Edward Arnold’s James Taylor or complicit in Taylor’s corruption through their silence, and they all sit by as innocent people, including children, are brutalized and intimidated, rights are violated, and the government is brought to a halt”.

via Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Chashme Baddoor past and present

I was pretty disappointed that I was not as disappointed by the Chashme Baddoor remake as I had anticipated from the promos. In fact, I had planned on skipping the movie altogether, but ended up watching it based on my parents recommendations. Also, the fact that Rajeev Masand gave it a fairly positive review helped (my tastes seem to line up with his on most Hindi movies). Also, just to make get my frame of reference right, I followed up the remake with the evening show of original classic.

So, here are my thoughts as usual:

  • The remake works solely due to the performance of the support cast with the lead actor & actress being eye-candy. This was the most jarring departure from the original where Farooq Shaikh & Deepti Naval are at the forefront and their chemistry is the backbone of the movie.
  • If the lead cast of the original is a cake with the support cast adding the layers of icing, then the remake is more like a kaju barfi with the hero & heroine serving as the silver foil for decoration without adding to the taste.
  • In the remake, Ali Zafar seems to be a Physics student, and that seems to explain the lack of Chemistry with Taapsee Pannu.
  • Watching the two movies back to back served as a good reminder of the way the story telling pace has evolved over the last 3 decades. The original has a fairly laid back pace, while the remake tries to maintain a laugh a minute pace.
  • The remake has adapted quite a few of the original’s scenes starting with the balcony sighting of the heroine, leading up to the fake kidnapping.
  • The money exchanging hands sequence also gives you an idea of the kind of inflation we have had – Rs 10 in the original vs Rs 500 in the new one. As a side note, this is also a basic economics lesson that we see floated on social networks where 3 people manage to settle debts without anyone getting richer.
  • I preferred the songs of the original, particularly the classical ones.
  • I wonder whether the “Andha Ghoda Race Mein Dauda” from the remake is a take on the “Kali ghodi dwaar khadi”. The timing in the movie is somewhat similar.
  • Cigarettes feature a lot more prominently in the original, but there were no warnings during the screening in the theatre unlike the remake. Of course, Saeed Jaffrey as Lallan Miyan makes a pretty good case against smoking to Farooq Shaikh in the original.
  • Omi’s shayari is a lot more sophisticated in the original.
  • The posters on the wall between the 3 friends had more variety in the original, especially for Omi and Siddharth.
  • They retained the names of the 3 friends, but changed it for the female lead in the remake (Seema vs Neha). Wonder whether it was only for the puns & shayaris.
  • They managed to force in the Miss Chamko bit in the remake, albeit not with the same impact as the original.
  • The remake definitely didn’t emphasize on employment on part of the lead characters unlike the originals where Deepti Naval works as a part time sales person to pay for her music lessons.

Bottom line is that the remake is a typical David Dhawan entertainer where you can give rest to the grey cells, while the original remains a classic and seeing it on the big screen was a unique experience.

Reflecting on Special Chhabbis (26)

Finally watched Special Chabbis. Good work on the props & effects to get the 1987 look:
– Old currency notes
– Old vehicles including the old ambassador models and Maruti 800
– Got the number plate colours right – white on black for private & black on white for commercial
– Getting the old look of Delhi, Kolkata & Mumbai, especially of the airports and the skyline
– Old ad hoardings
– Old telephone sets
– Indian Airlines logo along with the food trolley in cabin

However, a couple of goof ups that I noticed:
– Showing a blue coach at the railway station when they were all brown in that era
– A Maruti 1000/Esteem (launched in the 90s) parked on the road

What has The Dark Knight got in common with the Heroine?

Thoughts on the Heroine movie:

  • The background score has an uncanny resemblance to the Batman score
  • Follows the Madhur Bhandarkar movie template to a t, and makes it extra boring and predictable.
  • On the subject of predictability, no surprises whatsoever in the plot, except the ending. Probably shows how desensitized I’ve become to all the drama (have you?).
  • Talking of endings, that’s another uncanny resemblance to the Batman series – The Dark Knight Rises this time.
  • People seem to be finding solace in European countries these days, though the film doesn’t disclose the exact one (unlike ZNMD)
  • Lead character is slightly less demented than the Rockstar counterpart, though not by much. I’m beginning to wonder you need to be bipolar to become a star.
  • This ain’t no Sunset Boulevard.