Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Children of Hurin: Book Review

"A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it."

Many of us have read ( or seen ) the Lord of the Rings. Most of us would agree that J.R.R. Tolkien was a genius. But it’s The Children of Hurin that will separate the true fans from those who have just put up LOTR among their list of favourite books and movies on Orkut. The Children of Hurin throws more light on the genius that was J.R.R. Tolkien.

The book is as different as it could be from The Hobbit and LOTR. First and foremost its set in the day of the Eldar or the First Age while the former are set in the Third Age. First Age was the period in Middle Earth when the original Dark Lord, Morgoth was the 'Great Enemy'.

The book had been written by J.R.R. Tolkien before LOTR or The Hobbit. It was conceived during that days of the First World War, and that’s perhaps the reason that the book is so grim and humourless. It has been edited by his youngest son Christopher Tolkien who had earlier presented us with arguably the best book on Middle Earth, 'The Silmarilion'.

The story starts on an optimistic note as Men and Elves assemble a huge army to overthrow the Dark Lord. However the optimism and hope soon end and the book follows the course of Hurin's son, Turin's joyless life. Hurin bravely tries defy the Dark Lord and is taken prisoner, a curse laid upon his children. Turin finds the curse laid upon him and tries everything from denying his identity to hiding in distant lands to evade it. But the curse somehow manages to catch up with him at every turn.

Despite all odds Turin refuses to be bogged down, to bow down to his doom, instead he assumes the name Tarumbar meaning 'the master of his doom' and his determination to fight on is evident. In what could be the last book on Middle Earth, Tolkien has painted a sombre picture and the book is not everyone's cup of tea.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ahha its Diwali! And is the trend Diwali tends to see some of the most anticipated releases in Bollywood. While it was Veer-Zara a couple of years back, this time it were OSO and Saawariya that were doing the rounds.

Well orders from high command (read my mom) had made it absolutely clear that i was going with the family for at leats one flick this diwali. Which one was left up to me. And well, i chose OSO simply coz of one reason: Deepika Padukone! Any ways will deliberate upon this angle a little later, first let me put forth some of my observations and opinions regarding the movie:

  • As with most of the bollywood movies, you would do well if you don't think a lot during the movie. In fact it would be great if you could switch your mind off before watching it!
  • SRK has no doubt worked hard in the gym but his much anticipated six pack fails to impress. He would have been better off keeping his shirt on.
  • If you have not been in touch with bollywood and have forgotten who are the movers and shakers, go and watch OSO right now! From Subhas Ghai to Farah Khan to Amitabh Bachchan to Priyanka Chopra, every one is in there. Farah must have called in favours by truckloads!
  • Though around 40 stars have been showcased in the movie, there's a glaring omission: the sensuous Sush. After her breath taking performance in Main Hoon Na, i was waiting for Sush to appear again in a Farah flick, just to see as to how would Sush be portrayed this time. Alas, it was Shilpa Shetty in the red saari this time.
  • Although the movie wasn't meant to provide any food for thought, it inadvertently did so. Though you would have to read between the lines for this. The showcasing of the irresponsible attitude of big stars, the pampering and unnecessary attention that all star kids tend to get is a case in point. I was particularly touched by SRK's observation to his dad "Agar main Om Kapoor na hoke sirf Om hota to..."
  • 70s have always been a sort of enigma with our generation. We often end having conversations with our parents "hamare zamane mein..." . For the first time we got to see that zamana form a different angle. Those long side burns, bell bottoms et all.
  • A couple of tracks are simply great. A taste of the enigmatic 70s once again. Its refreshing.
Hmmm... Now i return to my favourite aspect of the movie; Deepika Padukone! Boy is she hot ? You bet she is! And not only hot, she is sizzling hot! Blessed with grace and poise, this beauty has an ethereal feel to her. Barring Sush, I haven't seen such grace in any of the present day actresses. Hope she betters the achievements of the other Liril gal in bollyowwd, namely Preity Zinta.