Sunday, 25 March 2012

Move over CID! Castle's here to stay!

Two weeks ago, Crime at 10, kicked off on Star World. Season 4 of Castle began in India. I am a huge fan of the Castle series and more so because the only action thriller series we have here in India is the long standing and seemingly never-ending CID.

CID has been going on, on Sony TV, for what seems like forever (15 years, to be precise!). The core team of ACP Pradyuman, Daya, Abhijeet and Freddie has probably remained the same and sometimes even actors portraying the criminals have been repeated! Every case has the same action sequences with Daya breaking doors, Abhijeet jumping around, ACP giving away orders for even the smallest of jobs like making a phone call (all the while practicising Fleming's left-hand rule! You know what I mean? For details search CID PJs on Google!) and the entire team taking potshots at Freddie! Even the so-called banter between the Forensic lab doc and the Head of the CID department has now lost its flavour. 
And have you noticed how all the CID officers stand in a semi-circle around the criminal in the last scene of the episode facing the camera instead of facing the criminal?! Every Indian, whether as a critique or fan, has at some point or the other definitely seen CID. I, for one, am a critique.

One night, while flipping channels, I stopped at Star World. That was my first glimpse of Richard Castle. He was, as usual nagging Katherine Beckett with his out-of-the-world theories. One episode was enough to make me fall in love with them both! That was the first series of Castle being shown on Indian television. Voila! My search for a good detective series on TV was over! I wouldn't have to satiate my thirst by watching CID now!

Castle is funny, has mystery dipped in a fair amount of the stomach-churning butterfly moments of romance between Kate and Richard and a huge platter of human drama and emotions. All without losing the main plot of a being a thriller. Maybe it's not the best of its genre but I love what I see and all else doesn't really matter. Not just Castle and Beckett, but the rest of the team also add to the fun! The banter between Espesito and Ryan, the bonding with the old Captain and the fear of the new one, the small scenes of Castle with his family — they all add to the essence of the series.
The portrayal of both the lead characters has been done beautifully. While on one hand, Kate is the always-confident and ready-to-give-it-all for the department, she has her own share of pains and insecurities. Castle, however funny and child-like he might seem with his weird theories and just-too-active mind, is mature enough when it comes to his daughter, Alexis. He is his family's support system even when on the move with Beckett. Their characters have flaws and thus seem more human and closer to real life than reel life!

Even today, when my dad and sister sit and watch CID, I sit with them just to pass time by finding loopholes in the plot, pass comments on the acting or just to see how funny these guys look every time they enter empty houses with guns, all ready to be fired, held at shoulder level! My dad tries doing the same with me while watching Castle but within five minutes he gets so engrossed in the show, he forgets all about irritating me!

It's time CID ended and the Indian masses were given a more decent, modern and watchable crime thriller to watch on Friday and Saturday nights!
Till then, at least I have Castle!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Murdering the Messiahs?

Until recently the headlines would read about the killings of common men, thugs, state MLAs, terrorists...

Last week, they bore the news of the gruesome murder of an IPS officer, Narendra Kumar. An officer of the 2009 batch, he was young, honest and very promising! And whats more he was doing his job rightly! In relation to the sand mining case going on in Madhya Pradesh, he was trying to stop a tractor to check its contents. He even lunged on to the tractor to stop it. But the driver, simply drove on and crushed Narendra under the wheels! How inhuman can they get just to earn a little more money! His wife an IAS officer, is on maternity leave, as the couple was expecting their first child! Yet I saw her talking to journalists the other day recounting the lukewarm response of the politicians towards the shocker. One of them even dared to call the incident an accident! What kind of a country are we living in? Where the law does not withhold anyone, where wrong deeds have no repercussions, where the makers of law themselves break them?! The driver definitely has strong political and financial backing, or else how could a mere driver have dared to kill an IPS officer. What hurts more is the stir it has failed to create in the junta of India. Had it not been for the constant reporting by the media and the questions being raised by them, all sand mining activities wouldn't have stopped in Madhya Pradesh for the time being.

Another such incident came in the light two days ago. On the day of Holi, a constable in Calcutta, Ashim Kumar Dam, was beaten up and stabbed, at his own house by youths of his own locality, for trying to stop them from forcefully smearing colours on his niece. He died of cerebral haemorrhage three days later. What is worse is that the police officers at the nearest police station refused to lodge a complaint against the eight youths who had murdered a fellow of their own ranks!
The complaint was accepted the next morning. As it happens always, the men are absconding and our police hasn't been able to find them yet. As for our Chief Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, who calls all rape and assault cases to be shajano (planned), there has been no comment from her in this case, yet. And the other politicians? The CPM says the youths are Trinamul supporters and The Trinamul calls them CPM activists!

Such is the curious case of India...

Thursday, 8 March 2012

They change the game!

Advertisements have always fascinated me. And good ones can keep me hooked! They say so much in just 60 seconds! Two of the new ads which caught my mind recently --- because they are quirky, very now, and fun to watch!

Pepsi — Change the Game! In a country where people (at least me!) are now getting fed of our cricketer demi-Gods, this ad hits you right on the spot with a tagline which has never been so apt!

What better way of showing how efficient, customer friendly and any time availability your call centres have!

To their creators I'd like to say only one thing - you guys make commercial breaks a better part of television now! ;)

Others will soon follow!