Mickey Spillane died. Damn. I used to love the guy’s work, ever since Max Allan Collins mentioned him in the letters pages of an issue of Batman and I happened to chance upon I, The Jury – incidentally the man’s first novel – in one of Guwahati’s second-hand bookshops. True to the way my life has always been, I couldn’t find any other Mickey Spillane novel anywhere until after graduation. A Sunday trip to Abids gave me 20 Mickey Spillane novels, which were being sold at the very competitive price of 10 Rs each. Some collector must have sold off his entire Spillane set at a go, because there is no human way for me to explain that haul. Went on a Spillane binge for about a month, finished 17 books one after the other, and I remember quite vividly that in my thoughts, I constructed Mike Hammer-ish sentences. Probably the only other character I can compare to Mike would be Andrew Vachss’s Burke.
Did you know that there was a Mike Hammer comic strip in the 1950’s? Ironic, considering that Spillane had originally concieved of Mike Hammer as a comicbook character named Mike Danger and was turned down by quite a few companies. After the success of the novels, the comicbookization was easier.
Spillane managed to do something no other writer has ever done – he played his the role of Mike Hammer in a 1963 movie. ( No, Stephen King as Jordy Verrill does not count) This bit of information, unfortunately, came to me after a rather gripping prelim round in the A/V quiz of an instalment of IIT Madras’s cul-fest Saarang. We missed out qualification by half points, bah. There was also a comic called Mickey Spillane’s Mike Danger published by Tekno comics ( the short-lived company that did the excellent – ah, well, in my opinion anyways – Mr Hero The Newmatic Man.) written by Max Allan Collins and featuring Mike Danger in the future. Haven’t read it, though I have seen house ads in the pages of Mr Hero.
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I saw this excellent Telugu movie this weekend. Anukokunda Oka Roju, which translates to Suddenly…One Day. Rather neat concept, and nearly flawless execution. A friend brought it up first to me, during a long walk. The premise was this – this girl, at the insistence of a close friend, goes to a party during a weekend. Someone drugs her drink, to the strains of Sunidhi Chauhan and Dominique’s I Wanna Sing ( I will talk about the music, hold on a bit), and the next morning she wakes up in her bed and finds out that she’s late for her college. Only, when she gets to classes, she finds out that there’s no one around, and the lone clerk on duty asks her why she’s come there on a Sunday. Yes. There’s a day missing from her life, and she cannot remember anything about what happened to her between the night of the party and the time she woke up in her bed.
Which is rather bad, because there are random people trying to kill her. A guy accosting her for money she owes him. A scary recording that gives an ominous portent of what might have transpired that night. And a couple of disturbing dreams.
Throw in a juice-swigging police officer who has a crush on the lady, a confused taxi driver, a gentle giant with a penchant for theatre of the mythological variety, a rather cryptic old man who stays in the same apartment complex as the lady, and a series of odd incidents that are more connected than you could ever imagine. To that, add a hilarious bunch of dialogues that are subtitled really well ( now that’s an issue I have with watching Tamil DVDs, the subtitles suck. This one had pretty good subs in comparison), MM Kreem’s peppy music, and completely down-to-earth performances by everyone concerned. You have a movie that makes me want to go and buy everything Chandrashekhar Yeleti has ever made and watch them back to back. The guy shot into prominence with his first film Aithe, which Sasi raved about for quite some time. Erm, actually, I’ve already gone and bought Aithe – the original DVD is available for a measly 99 Rs. I am eager to see it, but I doubt if I can, before the weekend. Ah well.
A note about the music. There are not too many songs, this is a thriller after all, but all of them are potential earworms. In particular, ‘Righto Lefto’ by Shreya Ghoshal – the combination of the melody and Charmy’s expressions in the film are just TOO much. The party song ‘I wanna sing’ is like a stripped-down item number, if that makes sense to you. Excellent.
Stop smirking, vrikodhara.
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I had a couple of book coupons for Walden, and redeemed them for a book called Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb by Jerry Pinto. No, this is not a modern retelling of the Illiad or anything – it’s about our favourite dancing lady of the fifties, sixties and the seventies, and it’s somewhat disappointing because the writer could not really involve the lady herself in his enterprise. I am halfway into the book, and there are no remarkable insights into Helen’s career other than the ones we already know courtesy stray Filmfare articles. What the book managed to do was to get me to listen to old cabaret numbers early in the morning, ensuring that I spend quite some time at the keyboard plonking away ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo”.
And I finally got my hands on the Omkara CD last night, heard the first song, and I decided I needed some quality time to listen to the album. Fun awaits, yeehah.
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And an OS crash ensured a reformat of the primary drive, followed by a Windows reinstallation. Stuff lost: saved game files, stray images, all installed programs, and, worst of all, the FL Studio files from last year, some of which I was rather proud of. Ouch.