Monday, 6 December 2010

Slumdog Millionaire

08.20. I have been up since 06.18 writing 24 and thinking about the rest of the day. I will wash and change around nine and go early into town to Smiths. I will go and see the 3.15 performance of Slum Dog Millionaire at Bolden and then restock the freezer, taking the cool bags with me. There will be time to do some work on getting my financial affairs organised so that my executors will not have to find time sorting out what needs to be done and where the information is.

09.30. Having played games and attended to e mails, I get ready to go out and do so. Porridge and coffee for breakfast. It looked as if here could be rain so I took the red gentleman’s size umbrella which also serve as a walking stick. It was cold again but not unpleasant, although I do not enjoy walking at this time. The DVD at Smiths is Sense and Sensibility. I crossed over to the bus station and obtained a copy of the free Metro newspaper. I considered go to the fish mongers up the hill towards the Town Hall but decided that I was not up to it and on reaching Azda via the escalators sat on the bench in the store. This made the rest of the walk home up the Hill manageable.

11.00 I decide on converting slides to pictures but for the next 50 minutes can not find the slide holder. Eventually it is found behind the shredder against the bookcase. I wonder how it got there? I have done some sorting out of filing trays, filing drawers and of stuff around the room as part of the searching. It then takes another half an how to remember how to use the slide holder, to scan, to resize and file. I will only scan the slides and decide later about which to print.

12.30. Decide on lunch, a stir fry having prepared a large onion, and one and half peppers with noodles to go with half the remaining pork. It is too large a quantity and so leave about a quarter. I also have a banana and watch Bargain Hunt. Then the Midday news is grim. So many firms are pruning staff on top of those closing I was able to commence the scanning of the slides.

14.15 I stopped work as I wanted to get prepared for the visit to the pictures and to supermarket afterwards, taking two cool bags.

15.00 In my seat with fifteen minutes to spare before the programme commenced I was able to snooze in the warmth and be fully alert for the big feature. The audience was good but not as big as I had anticipated given the award of the Golden Globe. The first thing to be said is that Slum Dog Millionaire deserves all the awards which will come its way and in so doing will establish a Bridge between Hollywood and Bollywood and between contemporary India and the UK in a way which all the call centres and the Mumbai bombings will not achieve. Secondly, as Mark Kermode emphasised in his review on Friday it is a Fairy Tale, a Fable albeit an adult one. Thirdly this is a very serious film despite the Bollywood style. I was engaged from the opening sequence and had tears of joy streaming down my face at the end.

The film works at all levels despite the spine story of the film and its structure being known in advance. The film opens as the central character Jamal Malik played by Dev Patel is in police custody accused of cheating having successfully answered the 10 million rupee question before the programme ended for the day and with only one question left for the 20 million rupee top prize. Despite treatment which makes Guantanamo appear a holiday camp he persists in saying that he knew the answers and is given the opportunity by the officer in charge to explain how an uneducated former street urchin came to know the answers. This then is main story of film, how he and is brother came to be an orphan, how he got to know a young girl also an orphan and how they were taken to the camp of a gangster where they are trained to spend their days begging or in the case of the girl to become a sex slave. The brothers are parted from girl during their escape and Jamal spends the rest of his life searching for the girl with his appearance on the show as a means of making contact with her again rather than any expectation of winning money.

Thus the film takes one through the history of Bombay, subsequently Mumbai, over the past two decades with racial terror, slum living, child exploitation and gangsterism, the development of the city as an international financial and tourist base, the international call centre and the game show, watched by an audience of 90 million.

The BAFTAS are usually given to a better film, as films go, than the Oscars, and often I do not regard the Oscar best film as in fact the best film experience of the year, In 2007 I like Juno and Michael Clayton more than No Country for Old Men, or Atonement which won the Globe. In 2006 I preferred any of the runner’s up to the Departed. Crash was OK in 2005 although there were half a dozen others I would have been happy with. I did not understand how Million Dollar baby won in 2004 and we have to go back to 2003 when my nomination won, The Lord of the Rings, the return of the King and then to 2001, for A beautiful Mind, with other films considered better than Chicago in 2002. There will be weightier films in competition for 2008 but I will be pleased if this film wins the top award at the BAFTAS, which tend s to go for the weightier film and perhaps the Oscar if distribution is widened after the Globe award,

I had expected the film to be good and was not disappointed. The surprise of the day was a radio interview with the Minister for Science

Baron Paul Brayson is an unusual member of the Labour Government, a self made millionaire with a working class ancestry with middle class aspirations not too dissimilar from Sir Alan Sugar another convert to new Labourism and whose parents preached the ethic of hard work, and in the case of Paul, of higher education, His mother ran a shop to enable his father to undertake evening classes. Having progressed he was able to send his son to Dunstan’s College with reputation for achieving top Advance Level results in the GCE. Among other famous pupils were David Jenkins who became Bishop and Durham and Lew Grade the head of ITV. They have one Noble Prize winner and a number of figures in business. the media and sport, together with the World War 2 fighter and test pilot Robert Stanford Tuck.

Paul obtained A Levels in science subjects and then attended Aston University Birmingham in Production Engineering, followed by a Doctorate in Robotic Science becoming the Managing Director of the Lambourn Food Company in 1986. In 1993 he co-founded a company making vaccines which made him a multi millionaire and able to buy homes in London and a Mansion in Gloucestershire which he bought from Prince Michael of Kent. After ten years as Chief Executive he sold the company to the Chiron Group and in 2005 he was brought into the Blair Government as the Defence spokesman in the House of Lords and two years later was appointed to a more senior government position in the same department, but he then stood down coinciding with the appointment of Gordon Brown who reorganised that Ministry in such as way that that his main functions were transferred. He was then brought back into the government with a position in the Cabinet as Minister for Science. He is married with five children and born near the Brands Hatch race track his wealth has enabled him to buy and run expensive and fast cars and has run a bio ethanol Aston Martin in the American Le Man series. His political life has not been without controversy having made substantial donations to the Labour Party and received Government contracts as well as appointed to Ministerial office without ever having stood as a candidate for political office.

Quite apart from his rise to wealth and power which was of interest, when asked about future energy policy he was very clear. The main electricity energy would have to come from Nuclear power and offshore wind farms. He also mentioned the development of second and third generation bio ethanol fuels which would become environmentally friendly.

It appears that the dangerous situation arising from Russia‘s dispute with is neighbour over gas supplies is close to being resolved in terms of ensuring that the supply to the rest of Europe is not disrupted It is said that the role and powers of international monitors has been agreed.

There was also counter propaganda following the news that the President proposes to issue an executive order on day one closing Guantanamo which officials are saying will take a year. There was a media report this evening claiming that there was evidence that released prisoner’s had returned to terrorist activities, even though the years of imprisonment and torture had failed to produce the evidence which would convict in a USA court of law. The indications are that the President will have a hard time from within his own party as well as from the existing controllers of government policy and management.

I was pleased with the restocking the freezer especially if I can stick to the way I have divided up packs of meats with for example only one pork chop with vegetables rather than two (6); I have divided a tray of lamp chops into 3 x 3 (9); and the medallions of steak into 2 meals from 3 (11) Two pork joints with provide 6 meals (17) and the three chickens 9 (23) with three lefts over for salads there was less good fish than I need as main courses, with Bream 2, Salmon fish cakes 4, halving the usual four to 2 per meal as I have had recently 29 so I shall get some more fish. However there was other fish with Mackerel for salads together with tinned sardines and tinned salmon already bought in, plus two large prawn cartons. I also have a large Gammon joint which will do for lunch, but salami is banned for the next month perhaps two and I am reduced the quantity of olives with the salad. This is to be an alcohol free month and next through until my birthday. Today I had a brown finger roll with the salad without soup, and if I have the roll with soup then there will be no spread. I bought some inexpensive small water bottle. Having used the same ones for several months I am concerned with their condition. I have no Pepsi or Coke in stock or fruit juice so I will have to drink more water if the caffeine is to be reduced. No cheese or eggs. I am not an enthusiast for hard fruit such as apples or pears or the orange as a desert. So I treated myself to a whole water melon and as fresh pineapple to supplement bananas and grapes. For breakfast as a change to porridge or cereal I bought some kippers. No pasta shells or rice although some small portion of inexpensive noodles without using the flavouring for stir fries which I will reduce from an average of two a week to one. The sweets peppers will be added to salads. I will have the occasional dessert treat with a well made bread and butter pudding or a piece of apple strudel no more than once a week. Azda had a special offer of HP baked beans 4 for £1 do I bought two packs. I should learn to make my own soups but in the meantime some tomato and cream of chicken. I have started to make two tins provide three helpings instead of using a tin a time. Azda was unusually quiet so I had a choice of check outs which meant that the assistant commenced to pack for me while I placed items on the conveyer.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I solved the mystery of the missing bank card as a large piece of it turned up at the front of the washing machine. I guess it was in a track suit bottom!

No comments:

Post a Comment