Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The king is back!

The king is back. Just a day after the edge-of-the seat thriller at Imola, i happened to see another similar thriller. This time near my home in a huge cinema hall , packed to the brim , crowds screaming in wild ecstasy. I dont know what it was : my very low expectations or a really superb movie that made me feel that i had just seen one of the best tamil movies i have seen in recent times. I may be exaggerating here but thats how i feel.

To begin with 'Chandramukhi' is not another all-Rajini fare. Rajini plays a role just like any of the others in a really well spun suspense yarn that keeps you rivetted till the end. Apart from fight scenes that defy gravity and all Newtonian laws (i loved those too!), the rest of the movie has been neatly dissected logically. This is not a charade but a carefully thought out screen play.

To begin with the Rajini factor was subdued and beautifully used in the movie. He looks good and is back at his charming best. A day after the king of f1 made a bid to claim his rightful place, i saw the king of tamil cinema not just make a bid but claim his place as a charmer of the masses. There is never a dull moment when he is there. Such is the vibrancy of this man.

The movie begins with a usual dose of Rajini's bravado. It was disarming and enjoyable if you are not the type to cringe at the sight of super human heroics. Come on folks! We can make this happen only in movies so lets do it. I am not going into the story and the plot of the movie but another member of the cast who needs special mention is Jothika. She has done a great job especially in the second half. Watch it for yourself.

There are moments in the movie where you jump up and there are moments when you laugh heartily but overall the movie runs smoothly keeping you engrossed all the way. Dont miss this one folks! A must watch......

Monday, April 25, 2005

Imola conjures up a screamer ; Alonso holds his own against a blitzkreig

Red hot racing
Imola was about one man only. One of the greatest racers of all times , Michael Schumacher showed the world what he is made of in one of the most exiciting races of this season. Fans couldnt have asked for a more nail biting , nerve wracking finish to the race that welcomed the f1 bandwagon to Europe. As the race climaxed into the last fifteen laps the tension built up to the point of a huge explosion and was kept all the way through to the chequered flag. Schumacher , red-hot and charging hammering away at the back and a determined Alonso doggedly refusing to buckle under pressure kept a gap of just about two-thousanths of a second through the entire stretch of their dog fight.Alonso definitely is a man of steel and a man to watch out for.

The 'Tifosi' and the resurgence
The sea of red at Imola signified that Ferrari's resurgence was on the cards. Every lap of the red car was cheered. There was an early dissapointment when Schumi screwed up his second qualifying to end up in the fourteenth place. However it hardly seemed to matter. In what can only be described as a stroke of a genius the ferrari jumped a long way to land in the third place. Hats off to the masterful thinking of the team. Then on the race was on. The predator began to lurk. Button was clearly on the firing line. Schumi put on consecutive laps faster by two seconds to Button until he was right behind him. From then it was just waiting for the big man. All he needed was a little distraction in the form of williams and he swept past the clueless bar driver. Then the final encounter.

A great racer's tale of annoying equipment.
Kimi raikonnen might possibly have had his victory here had it not been for his car. Again , Mclaren failed him. He was very quick and i think as fast as Schumacher. Another dissapointment for the finn , who looked nothing short of spectacular during both the qualifying sessions and the race day. His team mate Alex Wurz , however must be mighty pleased to end up at number four. A great start for him.

A little worry package for Briatore?
Fisichella bungled up a great chance to finish at the top right from the first qualifying. His car supposedly had enhanced engines compared to Alonso who was driving on his bahrain engine but he looked insipid. He was slow in both the qualifyings and didnt complete the race. After the first race he has been going downhill , a little something to worry for the Renault.

Button is smilng again
Its happy to see the BARs back. They have a great team of drivers and having looked so promising last year just couldnt get their juices up this year.It looks like they are back.Button must be releived to be back on the podium much less finish the race. With BARs getting their act up the action is getting thicker this year with a crowd of contendors for the top honours.

Slam Bam Dunk. Not exactly a public transport
Williams just didnt have it to go for it. The car was bumpy and aerodynamically inefficient compared to the smooth flowing Ferrai ,Renaults and McLarens. Webber was dissapointing and Heildfield could have done better but then they must be having swollen necks having endured the bumpy ride in the hard carraige.

Marking his Territory
Fernando Alonso made a hat trick a feat made more dramatic by the way it was acheived. He had one of those great clashes you see once in a while in f1. Two drivers trying their best to get better of each other. Alonso had a point to prove and so did Schumacher. Alonso proved it and so did Schumacher. Both were winners although Fernando can claim that he got the better of Schumi. Alonso is a great talent ; a potential champion. Schumi looks faster and it is quite possible that Alonso might not hold on to his step in the podium but he is a champion prospect.

One last word on Bonkers
Oh and I nearly forgot : Captain Bonkers ; Villeneuve may have just managed to convince his bosses to retain him for the next race. He drove with purpose and grit. Massa must be annoyed but Villeneuve was flying. His sixth was commedable - crap!it deserves an applause. Well done bonk, you've still got it. Perhaps.

So Schumi is back. The BARs are back. Alonso is still up there. and the McLarens are flying. As we move on to Barcelona ; Alonso's home ground the action is reaching a cresendo.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Alonso is the new king of Bahrain;Renault on a high-drive

Life always comes a full circle and no one would have realised it more than Michael schumacher. Bahrain was supposed to be ferrari's watershed this season. Their new car was expected to propel them up to where they belong : at the top.Schumi would have wanted to get back to champagne spraying. But the tale is different.For the millions of ferrari fans it was deja-vu ; another anti-climax.Ok,enough lamenting...let's focus on the winners....

Fernando Alonso had announced the arrival of a new champion by scorching to the third place from nowhere in the australian gp. After three races he has arrived,camped and fortified his territory. He is the man to beat and he is holding on to the first step of the podium like a child to a new toy. Alonso and his renault have been a treat this season setting alight the f1 tracks so far and i dont see why it wouldnt continue the rest of the season. In bahrain,the focus on him was meagre and in a good sense. He was in the hot seat only as long as schumi stuck to his tail in the way he is known for- like a crouching predator ready to pounce. But once schumi spectacularly lost control and spun of track he was no longer the center of attention. He was in his zone and with no threat it was like a practise lap. Its a dissapointment that schumi's car failed else it would have been a keenly fought contest for the first place. Schumi lovers would claim he would have won but i stick with "keenly fought" because i beleive alonso and his renault were an equal match. Whats would have been interesting was wheather alonso would have buckled under pressure.Now we have to wait.

The next man i can think or rather the team i can think of is McLaren. Kimi's car held the race and he had a great race finishing on the podium after starting at the back.His was a sublime race; calm and composed. However his team mate had what can only be termed as a whacky race. Aggressive and with nothing-to-lose pedro de la rosa swept past a number of drivers overtaking them at will. He is one exciting prospect.

Well i think heading this really long list of surprise winners are the toyotas. The car is performing next only to the renaults(which by the way are right up there with the new ferrari. It has been fast and reliable and have a couple of excellent drivers to make use of it. Jarno truilly who had an impressive run with the renault last year looks amazing this year. There hasnt been much focus on him yet with ferrari's failures making more news than toyota's successes.But thats the law of media they follow identified winners no matter rain or shine. With two second place finishes his is no freak victory.

For me another big dissapointment is barrichello. He had a spectacular start running through from his last place(20) to 10 in just 9 laps and progressed well to come up to 6 but then his ferrari faltered and he dropped and finally ended up at 9th.I expected him at the podium. He is that sort of a driver.Well,ferrari's worries still remain.They have got their car fast alright but they've got to infuse that all important reliablity factor into it.Hope they come good at Imola.

At last the biggest dissapointment if you are an indian. Narain got a taste of what it is like to retire in his third race when he stopped due to mechanical failure. The first race without finishing. More of that will happen in his career and he is mature enough to handle it.Meanwhile his team mate Monteiro did well for himself by completing the race. He has been eclipsed by the attention on Narain but for that matter no one really cared about jordan drivers until Narain came in.

Well , Bahrain in many ways was a repeat of Sepang.Alonso confirming his greatness,Truilly holding on to his place,ferraris dissapointing...lets hope Imola conjures a twist in the tale.