Monday, April 11, 2005

Bits and bobs...

I'm reading "The Dante Club" by Matthew Pearl right now - a very interesting book, very literary but still pretty riveting. What I like best about reading (apart from the obvious like a good plot, good characterisation, snappy dialogue, yada yadayada) is the occasional phrase or colloquialism that grabs my attention... perhaps something that makes me laugh when I think about it (Terry Pratchett is excellent in that respect), perhaps a description of a scene or place that I can literally visualise even as I read (Stephen King, believe it or not, does some fantastic descriptive writing that is sheer poetry - better than poetry, even), etc.

The Dante Club provided me with one such phrase - "the violet hour". The moment I read that, it was like deja vu - it describes exactly what I've always felt about the twilight hour but never realised in words. Twilight was (is) always my favourite time in all the years I was in Chennai. The colour of the sky during that short, perfect but intangible phase when the sun is nearly set but night hasnt quite fallen - an indescribable blue/violet that just cant be duplicated... that, THAT is the "violet hour". I've known this all my life but discovered the words for it only now. It might be insignificant to everybody but me, but oh, the pleasure gained from this sudden, unexpected epiphany... it rounds off something in my personal universe and makes me feel a little more content. It makes me feel orange, to put the feeling into colour. I'm a happy woman today :)

***

Anybody who hasnt seen "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" should try and see the movie at least once. I saw it a long long time back - probably on TV at some point, although I dont remember when exactly. Or even where. It's an old movie (early 1990s, I should think), starring Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates and Mary Stuart Masterson. I saw it again yesterday, and it was as watchable as I remembered it. It's such a lovely feel-good movie... and yet it isnt mushy romance. There is a core of reality that makes its presence felt through each scene.

Set in Alabama, the movie incorporates the serious social problems of 1930s America (racism, for starters) ... but it is also about friendship, loyalty, women's emancipation and - surprisingly - a murder that is solved only at the end of the movie.

I found the movie absolutely compelling... it moves you to tears, it makes you laugh, it shocks you, it makes you rage against racism in the Deep South, it touches you - it completely involves you in the plot. Could anybody ask for more? Actually, yes, fans of mindless action could ask for more. But for the discerning movie-buff,
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
is a gotta-see.

***

While I'm on the topic of movies, "Hitch" is another one that's worth watching. Especially for fans of Will Smith, which I indubitably am. I'll say that again - indubitably. That's a satisfying word allright. Indubitably. Anyway, the movie is very funny and yet Will Smith manages to carry off a moment of deep emotional hurt without overdoing it - I guarantee it will bring tears to your eyes. It did to mine. Eva Mendes is his lady-love - she's very very girl-next-door. Good time-pass, this movie. (No, I'm not going to swell the already hefty ranks of amateur movie reviewers. I stop here.)

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