Oct 1, 2015

Talvar - Movie Review

Talvar is based on the infamous 2008 Arushi Talwar murder case (though the name of the movie is not explicitly based on the name of the family involved). A content-driven, reel representation of what happened (and could have happened) in real life, Talvar, is a fast-paced movie that ensures that you don’t skip a scene or a dialog.

It is the distant cousin of the Japanese film Rashomon in trying to portray different versions of the same incident. For all those who have followed the case in media, this will be like a recap with an added layer of turn of events that was perhaps hidden from public view or is purely a work of fiction, nonetheless, fitting the story perfectly well and making it for an interesting watch.

With the major exception of names being changed (but easy to relate to), you get a feeling of knowing the story beforehand and just then it blends perfectly well with details you were not exposed to (or the work of fiction as mentioned above). The film highlights the shoddy first investigation which had worked against the investigation officers in constructing evidences to firmly establish the motive of the murder and zero down on the killer. This is followed by a reel life portrayal of the investigation being handed over to CBI (CDI in the movie) and subsequently to a different CDI team.

Call it fiction or depiction of ‘true rumors’, the movie touches upon the influence of bureaucracy, corruption and self-interests in the judicial system which force truth to take a back seat with selfish interests steering the turn of events. If into the movie you tend to believe that the incidents presented are indeed reality, you can’t help but chuckle at a lot of small actions, their interpretations and then their presentation as evidence and consequently going by the initial assumption, also pity the ordeal that the family went through.

Meghna Gulzar and Vishal Bhardwaj have weaved the story with extreme intricacy and it has been equally supported with some excellent performances by Irrfan Khan, Konkana Sen Sharma and Neeraj Kabi who ensure that you continue to discover suspense in a story you have read, heard and seen over and over again. 

Watch the trailer here 

Sep 9, 2014

Review - OnePlus One

And a few days have passed since I started using the OnePlus One. Quite a few people asked me to tell them how is the phone before perhaps they buy a lesser known Chinese brand phone, so here I pen down my views.

I'll start with positives and will start with the design. Its beautiful. The "Sandstone" back and the metallic bezel around the screen make it look awesome. And its not because I am biased, its indeed a very good design.

Hardware - Super fast, snappy. There are of course no problems usually in a new device with monstrous specs. This one is no exception. Its super fast. 

User Experience - This one comes with a custom ROM - CyanogenMod which is essentially Stock Android modified a bit to add some useful tweaks that make life simpler. For those who do not know about Custom ROM, it is Android, so no worries. 

CM (CyanogenMod) has provided 3 profiles to manage battery - Power Save, Balanced and Performance. I've definitely observed minor lags in "Power Save" mode and that's quite expected.

There is also a "known issue" with multi touch while typing, which effectively annoys the hell out of someone who is pretty used to typing on a phone with two hands and with decent enough speed. So what actually happens is that if I type with my usual typing speed, it tends to miss a few characters every few characters. There are workarounds, but at the moment they are just workarounds. Good thing is that its a "known issue" and a fix has been promised (because its been identified as a glitch which can be fixed via a software update).

Screen - Beautiful, wonderful, its a treat to watch videos on this.

Size - Its a big phone. I have big hands. Its not that easy to use. So keep that in mind. It took me time to get used to the size but still its not as convenient to use as was my Nexus 4. This is something I already knew, hence not complaining. One good thing that they've done with the design, however, is the placement of the power and volume buttons. Both are on each side of the device and placed in the lower half of the upper half of the phone. That makes it slightly better because it doesn't require you to stretch your hands all the way to click a button.

Battery Life - The next revolution in smartphones should ideally be the one which can promise a week's battery life (or at least 2-3 days). That, however, seems like a dream. OnePlus One does phenomenally well on this front. Attached are the pictures of my phone with yesterday's usage. With my Nexus 4 it would have meant charging it more than 2 times for the same usage. Bottomline - I don't carry my charger with me. And I don't remember where I kept my power bank. B-)

Its hard to buy One - All of you who are interested in buying this must be aware that it's not available over the shelf. They are following an invite-only system which honestly was irritating. Even after buying this phone, I haven't received any invites which I can use to share with others (which was ideally supposed to happen as mentioned on various forums). I have read that they would be moving to a "pre-order" mode of sale starting next month. No confirmation on dates, however, we can wait and watch.

Summary - Its an A+ or rather One+. Worth buying if you can. Alternatively, you could wait for the iAnnouncement tonight and pay double/triple the price for specs am pretty confident would fall short of beating the OnePlus One. The other big announcement is likely next month and that's the Nexus 6 (if at all). That I do think would have similar or better specs but getting your hands on that would at least take 4-5 months from now.

And without making any comparisons to any other device, just remember, its a big phone. If you are fine with it, get it else look for other options. As far as the multi-touch glitch is concerned, I am confident it'll be fixed before you could buy one. 

Nov 2, 2013

Best Butter Chicken in Delhi

I never knew that quite a few number of people are waiting for me to publish this. Though I have spent most of my life in Delhi (born and brought up here) but had been out of Delhi for for a good long period of 9 years with brief, frequent visits until I finally moved back to Delhi for considerably long period of time earlier this year.

Though this could be treated as a follow up of my last post on writing about my travel, places and foods, this is not quite that because as I said I have been in Delhi for most of life.

Nevertheless, coming here again after 9 years, one thing I was super excited about was the food. Right from the chaat to faluda to cholle bhatoore (paneer paa ke) to the world famous Butter Chicken. And for some reason, I decided to go on a quest to find the Best Butter Chicken in Delhi. I had earlier done something similar in Hyderabad last year when I wanted to find out the best Biryani (will write about it soon).

Getting back to Butter Chicken, I had in some conversations mentioned to a few people about this quest and I was surprised to see "follow ups" on the same and that is why I decided to pen it down.

Though the quest isn't complete, you'll know why, I write here about the results so far.

To make it sound rather 'cool', I'll rank the best places on "Butter Chicken Awesomeness" or BCA

So, here we start with BCA #1

BCA #1

Unfortunately, I haven't yet found a contender for this spot and that is the reason that the quest is incomplete.

BCA #2

This currently has to be Invitation, Ashok Vihar. They really have good tasting, appropriately sweet, aptly tangy Butter Chicken and if you were to ask me where should you go and try good Butter Chicken, as of now, this is what tops my list and would indeed recommend it. Mind you, this is not just based on one visit but has been ranked this high as a result of multiple visits to check on consistency in taste and quality.

Since its about Butter Chicken, this post is limited to reviewing that only, for other aspects of the restaurant, you can read my review here.

BCA #3

Number 3 right now has to be Galena, Connaught Place. As of now, yes this stands as the third best choice for Butter Chicken.

That's it. As of now that's how the top three stands. The quest is still on.

Will want to mention the other know names which I took as contenders in the quest:

- Minar, Connaught Place
- Moti Mahal, Daryaganj
- Kake Da Hotel, Connaught Place
- Kwality, Connaught Place 

The Butter Chicken that you get at any of the above three places is anything but Butter Chicken. They wouldn't be a part of my list, irrespective of how long the list is.

Another few popular names are
- Kwality, Connaught Place (tried)
- Mughal Mahal, Rajender Nagar

which I will be trying out, but given the reviews on Zomato, it doesn't seem like they would make a cut. Nevertheless, I will surely give them a try.

If you have any other recommendations, do leave a comment, will look forward to try them out too.