Saturday, November 23, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Philips and the Monkey Pen is a children's film that showcases the innocence of childhood. The central character is Ryan Philips (played by Sanoop, actress Sanusha's brother), a mischievous school boy who has a special dread for Mathematics. His parents (played by Jayasurya & Remya Nambisan) are good folks who love him and generally let him do whatever it is that he does.
Ryan is exceptionally bad at mathematics. He is terrified of the subject and hates the teacher (played by Vijay Babu) who regularly mocks and canes him for not doing his homework. Ryan's quest for a solution to his maths homework chores first takes him to his love interest - Joan. After that route fails, he stumbles up on a magic pen - The Monkey Pen, from his grand father's (Joy Mathew) antique collection. The pen is believed to have magical powers and had even helped Robert Bristow to build Kochi's Willingdon island. The rest of the story is about how Ryan's days are transformed by the pen and the magic it does to his life.
Sanoop as Ryan Philips has delivered a decent performance although some of his lines seemed to be artificial and forced. Jayasurya has done a fair though not spectacular job while Remya Nambisan didn't have to do much with her role. Vijay Babu as the mathematics teacher was convincing while Mukesh's character as the school principle wasn't specifically noteworthy.
Overall I find the film only slightly above average. The film is notable for its great visuals and good performances by the child actors. However the script and direction weren't up to the mark and the story telling left a lot to be desired. The movie wanders off track in several places and the makers seem to be confused about the correct dosage of preaching to be stuffed in the movie.
When Ryan went to work at the school with his magic pen, I couldn't help but recollect Haley Joel Osment's performance in the movie Pay It Forward (just another kid-in-a-school story, no plagiarism accusations please).
PS: I wonder how they come up with the kids' names! Ryan Philips is perhaps one of those stylish (read western) christian names that have become popular these days (along with the likes of Rex, Max etc.). His friends have Amar-Akbar-Antony names, making it look like they want to maintain cultural balance in their panel for winning the next elections! The class topper is named Decimal! What's next, Binary?
PPS: മങ്കി പെന്, മങ്കിപ്പെന്, മണ്ടിപ്പെണ്ണ്.. ആ..യെന്ത്? ഛെ ഛെ..
Saturday, October 26, 2013
The restaurant is very well furnished and give off a comfy ambience. The place is not very big and sometimes it does feel a bit crowded and noisy depending on who your neighbours are. But the food is really good. All curries are served steaming hot and have a distinct freshness about them. Serving quantity is medium and even low for some dishes. All items are very reasonably priced - about Rs. 90-140.
I found all dishes (I mean the ones we had, of course) to be excellent, except for 'Irachi Puttu' which was a let down. The dessert menu is also quite limited. I tried the Coffee Vanilla pudding and Coconut pudding. Both were quite okay.
I wouldn't use the word exquisite, but it was the best dinner I had in recent times. So if you crave for some good food, do checkout Wishbone.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
കഞ്ചാവ് വിവാദങ്ങള്ക്കപ്പുറം, തരക്കേടില്ലാത്ത ഒരു സിനിമയാണ് ഇടുക്കി ഗോള്ഡ്. കൊള്ളാവുന്ന ഒരുപാട് തമാശകളും, ഉഗ്രന് വിഷ്വല്സും, നല്ല ഏഡിറ്റിങ്ങും, ഗാനങ്ങളും ചിത്രത്തിന്റെ മുക്കാല് ഭാഗം വരെ നന്നാക്കിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. എന്നാല് സിനിമയുടെ അവസാനം സാമാന്യം ബോറാണ്. ഇതെങ്ങിനെയും കൊണ്ടൊന്ന് തീര്ക്കണമല്ലോ എന്ന മട്ടിലാണ് ക്ലൈമാക്സ്.
കഥാപാത്രങ്ങളുടെ ബാല്യകാലം അഭിനയിച്ച പിള്ളേരെല്ലാം നന്നായിരുന്നു. രവീന്ദ്രന് (പഴയ ഡിസ്കോ രവീന്ദ്രന്) കലക്കിയപ്പോള്, ബാബു ആന്റണി, മണിയന്പിള്ള രാജു, പ്രതാപ് പോത്തന് എന്നിവര് ശരാശരി നിലവാരം പുലര്ത്തി. ബാബു ആന്റണിയെ ചിത്രത്തില് കാസ്റ്റ് ചെയ്തത് എനിക്കിഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടു. എന്നാല് വിജയരാഘവന് അത്ര ശരിയായോ എന്ന് ഒരു സംശയം. ജോയ് മാത്യുവിനെ ഇറക്കിയത് നന്നായെങ്കിലും സജിത മഠത്തിലിന്റെ അപ്പിയറന്സ് വെറുതേയായിപ്പോയി.
സിനിമ പൊതുവേ ഒരു തമാശ ലൈനാണ്. അവസാനത്തെ ഏതാണ്ട് അര മണിക്കൂറൊഴിച്ചാല്. ഈ അര മണിക്കൂര് തന്നെയാണ് ചിത്രത്തിന്റെ പ്രധാന ന്യൂനതയും. ഒരു കാട്ടാന ജീപ്പിനെ ആക്രമിക്കുന്ന രംഗമുണ്ട്. ന്യൂ ജെന് സ്റ്റൈലില് പറഞ്ഞാല് വന് ഡെസ്പ്! കുറച്ചുകൂടി നന്നായിട്ടഭിനയിക്കുന്ന മറ്റേതെങ്കിലും പ്രതിമ ആനയെന്ന് പറഞ്ഞ് കൊണ്ടുവയ്ക്കാമായിരുന്നു.
പിന്നെ ചിത്രത്തിന്റെ ക്ലൈമാക്സും അത്ര സുഖം പോര. കൂടുതല് പറഞ്ഞാല് സ്പോയിലര് ആകും എന്നതിനാല് ഒന്നും എഴുതുന്നില്ല.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Consider this so called 2D array:
Most people think of it as a two dimensional array - one that has 3 rows and 5 columns. We can index all 15 elements (3x5) by using double subscripts:
a gets us the first row, first column element and a gets us the last row, last column element. Right?
Although the row-and-column way of thinking works, it doesn't scale well when the number of dimensions are more. With three dimensions, we can still visualize the array in 3D space but beyond that, all hell breaks loose for most people.
A more convenient way to understand multi-dimensional arrays is to think of them as array of arrays. Actually, more than being convenient, it possibly is a more correct way.
In this approach, this is how you interpret an array declaration:
- Identify the array name
- The number that immediately follows the array name is the array length
- Whatever remains is the array object type
- The array name is: a
- The length of the array is: 3
- The type of each object in the array is: int
a now gets the first element in the array - i.e. the first int. a gets us the next int and a the last int.
Continuing with the above example of int a, what should be some-type for the following assignment to work?
some-type p = a;
It is common for people to try int** p; When that doesn't work, they try to get around it by doing an explicit type-cast of a. This obviously is the wrong thing to do.
To answer the question, remember that the array name can convert to pointer to array object's type. In our example, each element in the array is of type int. So a should seamlessly convert to pointer to int. Right?
How do we declare a 'pointer to int'? Here it is:
p = a;
The parentheses around 'p' is needed as without it, the declarion would read:
which declares an array of pointers (to int) rather than a pointer to an array.
Now, how about this:
some-type p = a;
What is some-type? Again, we know that a has type int. So p should also have the same type, right? However, int is an array type and C (or C++) doesn't allow arrays to be assigned to each other. So p couldn't be an int. But it can be something that an int gets freely converted to. Using the knowledge that an array type can convert to a pointer to object type, it must be an int*.
int *p = a;
*p = 5; //writes to a
p = 9; //writes to a
The advantage of this method is that it easily scales to higher dimensions.
a is an array of length 3, each element of which is an int.
Some sample pointer conversions follow:
int (*p1) = a;
int (*p2) = a;
int *p3 = a;
int x = a;
a = 5;
p2 = p1;
p3 = p2;
x = p3; //x becomes 5
- Be aware that an array and a pointer are not identical
- The type of array is different from a pointer to the element type
- Interpret a multi-dimensional array as an array of arrays
- Use the correct pointer types to access multi-dimensional arrays and avoid incorrect type-casts
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
a = *(a+9) = *(9+a) = 9[a]
- a[b] = *(a+b) = *(b+a) = b[a]
- You can add or subtract an integer to/from a pointer to get a pointer as result
- But you can't add two pointers since that doesn't make sense
- But you can subtract two pointers to get an integer result
- In all pointer arithmetic, the operand address and the resulting address must point to elements within the same array or at most one past the last element of an array
- (a+n) gets you the address of a[n]. i.e. it is equivalent to &a[n].
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Before writing further, I'll summarize my review: Raja Rani is a terribly stupid movie. It is torture to sit through 159 minutes, watching Arya and Jai fighting for the title of Worst Actor Ever!
Warning: Spoilers ahead....
It just feels dumb to watch Arya's act whether he's playing drunk or as bitten by the love bug. He just looks like a retard in most parts of the movie and his dialog delivery sucks.
But the award for the most irritating actor of the movie undoubtedly goes to Jai. I cherished the brief moments in the first half when his character would shut up. Having him dead in the first half itself brings some relief though. Its hard to believe he's the same guy from Subramaniapuram.
Nayantara was quite okay. She looks great and has done a decent job with her role. Nazriya, as always, looks cute and bubbly. A bit too cho-chweet line though (reminds me of Genelia). In fact, the female actors are the only bearable thing in this movie.
Sathyaraj's character doesn't need to do much, but he hasn't done bad either.
Why is Regina, the daughter of a ridiculously rich man (who drives his own Jaguar though) married to an ordinary car salesman? That too by arranged marriage? Couldn't the father find a more suitable groom for his one and only darling daughter? I couldn't understand this point even after finishing the movie!
The basic plot and story line is all too predictable. Several people have already pointed out the similarity with Maniratnam's Mouna Ragam. Is Raja Rani about eternal love, or is it about how time heals things? Well, I don't know for sure. It seems to be about a little bit of both, though that sounds contradictory.
In Raja Rani, people fall in love very quickly and sing songs and dance around before moving on to the inevitable tragedy that awaits them. And by that I mean death and not marriage. So you lost your one true love.. so what? Your next true love will come along and you can kick-start your life whenever you want. That's the message this movie tries to convey through these terrible actors and stupid scenes.
The climax was the worst part. This movie doesn't have a climax scene. It has a climax hour (does that sound like the punch-line for a brand of condoms?). It drags on between Arya & Nayantara without making any connection with the audience. The makers even try to push a twist in to this mess in the last minutes.
Overall, Raja Rani is a highly overrated movie. It's downright a bad movie that shouldn't have been made.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
ഛീ.. ഗ്വാ.. മനുഷ്യാ.. ഇതൊന്നും വീട്ടില് കേറ്റാന് പറ്റില്ല്യാട്ടാ.. പിന്നെ നമ്മള് ഹിന്ദുക്കള് പന്നിയെ തിന്നാന് പാടില്ല..
അത് മുസ്ലിംകള്ക്കല്ലേ? നമുക്കെന്താ കുഴപ്പം?
വരാഹം വിഷ്ണുവിന്റെ ഏഴവതാരങ്ങളില് ഒന്നാണെന്നറിയില്ലേ?
ങ്ഹേ? ഏഴ്.. ഏഴോ?
ആം.. എട്ടായിരിക്കുമല്ലേ? (വിജയഭാവത്തില്) അഷ്ടാവതാരങ്ങള് എന്നാണല്ലോ!
അതേയതേ... പഞ്ചപാണ്ഡവര് കട്ടില് കാലു പോലെ... (നിശ്വാസം ഫോളോവ്ഡ് ബൈ അട്ടഹാസം)
Saturday, March 23, 2013
It was in 2009 that I last noticed their request for donations. That time you had to see Jimmy Wale's face on top of every Wikipedia article. I had donated $10 then. This time, there's no photo, just a yellow banner on top of the article pages.
One interesting thing was that the donation amounts were specified in INR rather than USD. I really liked that and perhaps that gave the extra push for clicking the donate button.