The Mortal Instrements

Monday, September 26, 2011

Devdas

Yesterday I spent three hours watching an epic Indian movie called Devdas, from my research I understood that this story has been made into more than 15 versions through the years.


So to make it clear I watched the 2002 version, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, starring Shahrukh Khan as Devdas, Aishwarya Rai as Paro, and Madhuri Dixit as Chandramukhi.


I loved the filming, directing, costumes and the forbidden passion between Dev and Paro. The conversations were great, and very romantic. Especially the parts before Paro got married. I loved what Dev said the first time he met Paro after years of absence when the fly was bothering her: "I can't stand anything touching you, Paro." Even the fly!! It was very romantic! And then I loved the first time he actually saw her face under the moonlight. How he almost burnt his hand so her hand will rest while she slept. I loved the dance beside the river when everything was changing, Dev and Paro dream of a future together. The dance scene was passionate and very hot even without one kiss.


What I didn't love was that Dev was so weak and stupid about his choices. He could have married Paro against his family wishes, because you see that later on he comes drunk to his father's funeral, acting and saying how much he loathed the man. So I don't get why he didn't marry the woman he loved and disobeyed his family's wishes. So he was weak and then he turned stupid! Started drinking himself into oblivion and ended up dramatically dead.

The person I felt sorry for was Paro, she ended up alone, unloved, with a husband she doesn't want, and the only man she loved died humiliated and she couldn't even reach him. Paro broke my heart. He first abounded her with the letter and then he was too weak he left her alone in the world.

They should have named the film Paro. Her love is the greater than his, she even accepted another woman's affections for the man she wanted the most. Another woman wouldn't want that.

The Plot:

Sir Narayan Mukherjee (Vijay Crishna), a zamindar, and his wife Kaushalya (Smita Jaykar) have heard that their younger son, Devdas (Shahrukh Khan), is coming home from a law school in England to their mansion in Tal Sonapur, Bengal after an absence of ten years. 


When Kaushalya tells her neighbor Sumitra about Devdas' impending return, Sumitra is as overjoyed as Devdas' own mother, and with tears in her eyes she reminisces with Kaushalya about Devdas' and her daughter's deep childhood friendship. She describes how when Devdas was sent off to England at the age of ten, her daughter Paro had chased his carriage weeping, trying to return to him 3 rupees that she owed. The young girl Paro had then lit a lamp for Devdas, which she tended throughout her childhood in honor of her dear friend and never allowed to extinguish.


On the day of his return, Kaushalya insists everyone in the family close their eyes so that she will be the first person to see her son. Her plan backfires, however, when instead of coming straight home, Devdas goes to see "Paro" Parvati Chakraborty (Aishwarya Rai), his childhood sweetheart, first.


This incident makes Kaushalya jealous and at first she refuses to receive her son when he arrives, but he cojoles her and they joyfully reunite.

 In the ensuing weeks it becomes clear that the years apart have turned Devdas' and Paro's friendship into love. It seems to everyone, including Paro's mother Sumitra (Kirron Kher), that Devdas and Paro will get married, but Devdas's scheming sister-in-law Kumud (Ananya Khare) reminds Kaushalya of Paro's maternal lineage, which consists of mujra dancers. This is considered inappropriate for an alliance with the Mukherjee family.


When Sumitra announces her desire for Devdas and Paro to marry, Kaushalya rejects and humiliates her in public. Devastated, Sumitra vows to ensure that Paro will get an even better marriage, and soon arranges for Paro to marry Thakur Bhuvan Chaudhry (Vijayendra Ghatge), a forty-year-old widowed aristocrat with three grown children.

Meanwhile, Devdas' harsh and ambitious father also rejects Paro and tells Devdas that both Paro and her mother belong in a brothel.

Devdas leaves his parents' house and takes refuge at a brothel with his college friend Chunnibabu (Jackie Shroff). He leaves a letter for Paro, falsely stating that love had never existed between them. At the brothel, Devdas meets a good-hearted tawaif (courtesan) named Chandramukhi (Madhuri Dixit), who falls in love with him.


Soon, Devdas realizes his mistake in abandoning Paro. He returns to Paro at the time of her wedding to Bhuvan Chaudhry and asks her to elope with him. Paro refuses, reminding him of the way he had discarded her so easily. Grieved, Dev leads Paro to her bridal procession and Paro, still holding the lamp, sobs as she is carried away.


Paro learns from her new aristocrat husband that he has married her only to be mother to his children and lady of the estate, but that his love is only for his late first wife and he has no plan to have a true love relationship with her. Paro dutifully fulfills all her responsibilities, serving as a kind mother to the children and exemplary lady. Devdas, having lost Paro, is heartbroken. He moves to Chandramukhi's brothel permanently and becomes an alcoholic.

When Paro hears that Devdas' father is on his death bed, despite his past cruelties to Devdas and herself, she rushes to his bedside to offer comfort. He asks to see his son Devdas, but Devdas only arrives later, drunk, at his father's funeral.

Eventually, Devdas becomes so ill that the slightest dose of alcohol could kill him. He returns to the family home to heal, and discovers that his sister-in-law has stolen his mother's keys to the family safe. He confronts his sister-in-law and brother demanding they return the keys. An altercation ensues, and when his mother appears asking what is going on, the sister-in-law claims that Devdas had stolen the keys. His mother again believes the sister-in-law and sides against Devdas. Without denouncing the true culprits, Devdas leaves, banished.


News of Dev's alcoholism reaches Paro, who arrives at Chandramukhi's brothel and angrily accuses her of manipulating Devdas into drinking. She soon realizes, however, that Chandramukhi deeply cares for Devdas. Chandramukhi urges Paro to convince Devdas to stop drinking; Paro attempts to persuade him, but Devdas remains stubborn. He promises Paro that before he dies, he will come to her doorstep one last time.


Paro invites Chandramukhi, whom she has befriended, to a celebration of Durga Puja at her husband's home and introduces Chandramukhi to her in-laws without revealing her profession. However, Bhuvan's ill-natured son-in-law who turns out to be Kalibabu (Milind Gunaji), a frequent visitor to Chandramukhi's brothel who made inappropriate advances towards Paro, reveals Chandramukhi's background and humiliates her in front of Bhuvan and the guests. He also tells Bhuvan of Paro's relationship with Devdas. As a result, Bhuvan punishes Paro by permanently forbidding her from leaving the mansion.

Devdas tells Chandramukhi that he loves her but that she must let him go. He decides to travel the country; while on a train, he meets his old friend Chunnibabu, who urges him to drink in the name of friendship. Devdas drinks knowing fully well it will be fatal.



On the verge of death, Devdas travels to Paro's house to honor his promise, collapsing under a tree in front of the main gate. Paro at first is only told that the man outside is an anonymous traveller. She performs prayers inside the house, and as she throws flower petals on the icon, flower petals likewise fall on Devdas outside. Paro then learns that it is Devdas outside the gates, and, screaming his name, runs through the mansion and grounds attempting to reach him. Bhuvan sees this and orders the servants to close the gates, leaving her sobbing inside the gates. Devdas sees a blurred image of Paro running to him, but the gates close before she can reach him and Devdas dies. At the same time, the lamp that Paro had lit for him flickers out.


The Plot of the Novel:

Devdas is a young man from a wealthy Bengali Brahmin family in India in the early 1900s. Paro (Parvati) is a young woman from a middle class Bengali family belonging to the “merchant” caste. The two families lived in a village in Bengal, and Devdas and Paro were childhood friends.

Devdas goes away for thirteen years to live and study in a boarding school in the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata). When, after finishing school, he returns to his village, Paro looks forward to their childhood love blossoming into their lifelong journey together in marriage. Of course, according to the prevailing social custom, Paro's parents would have to approach Devdas' parents and propose marriage of Paro to Devdas as Paro longed for.

When Paro's mother makes the proposal to Devdas' mother, the latter insults her, plainly saying that the marriage is not possible in view of her own higher caste and financial status. To demonstrate her own social status, Paro's mother then finds an even richer husband for Paro.

When Paro learns of her planned marriage, she stealthily meets Devdas at night, desperately believing that Devdas will quickly accept her hand in marriage. Devdas meekly seeks his parents' permission to marry Paro, but Devdas' father agrees with his wife.

In a weak-minded state, Devdas then flees to Calcutta, and from there, he writes a letter to Paro, saying that they were only friends. Within days, however, he realizes that he should have been bolder. He goes back to his village and tells Paro that he is ready to do anything needed to save their love.

By now, Paro's marriage plans are in an advanced stage, and she declines going back to Devdas and chides him for his cowardice and vacillation. She makes, however, one request to Devdas that he would return to her before he dies. Devdas vows to do so.

Devdas goes back to Calcutta and Paro is married off to the betrothed widower with children, who is still in love with his previous wife and is therefore not interested in an amatory relationship with Paro.

In Calcutta, Devdas' carousing friend, Chunnilal, introduces him to a courtesan named Chandramukhi. Devdas takes to heavy drinking at Chandramukhi's place, but the courtesan falls in love with him, and looks after him. His health deteriorates because of a combination of excessive drinking and despair of life—a drawn-out form of suicide. Within him, he frequently compares Paro and Chandramukhi, remaining ambivalent as to whom he really loves.

Sensing his fast-approaching death, Devdas returns to meet Paro to fulfill his vow. He dies at her doorstep on a dark, cold night. On hearing of the death of Devdas, Paro runs towards the door, but her family members prevent her from stepping out of the door.

The novella powerfully depicts the prevailing societal customs in Bengal in the early 1900s, which are largely responsible for preventing the happy ending of a genuine love story.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

Two posters for the movie Twilight

Twilight:

Twilight

Publication date October 5, 2005

Plot summary

Isabella "Bella" Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, while her mother, Renée, travels with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, a minor league baseball player. Bella attracts much attention at her new school and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys compete for shy Bella's attention.

When Bella is seated next to Edward Cullen in class on her first day of school, Edward seems utterly repulsed by her. He disappears for a few days, but warms up to Bella upon his return; their newfound relationship reaches a climax when Bella is nearly run over by a fellow classmate's van in the school parking lot. Edward saves her life when he instantaneously appears next to her and stops the van with his bare hands.

Bella becomes determined to find out how Edward saved her life, and constantly pesters him with questions. After a family friend, Jacob Black, tells her the local tribal legends, Bella concludes that Edward and his family are vampires who drink animal blood rather than human. Edward confesses that he initially avoided Bella because the scent of her blood was too desirable to him. Over time, Edward and Bella fall in love.

Their relationship is disturbed when another vampire coven arrives in Forks. James, a tracker vampire who is intrigued by the Cullens' relationship with a human, wants to hunt Bella for sport. The Cullens attempt to distract the tracker by splitting up Bella and Edward, and Bella is sent to hide in a hotel in Phoenix. There, Bella receives a phone call from James, who claims to be holding her mother captive. When Bella surrenders herself, James attacks her. Before James can kill her, Edward, along with the other Cullens, rescues her and defeats James. Once they realize that James has bitten Bella's hand, Edward successfully sucks the poison from her bloodstream and prevents her from becoming a vampire, after which she is brought to a hospital. Upon returning to Forks, Bella and Edward attend their school prom and Bella expresses her desire to become a vampire, but Edward refuses.

The Arabic advertisement for Twilight

My Review: 


When seventeen-year-old Bella Swan leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human.

I decided to change my whole review because I read the series and watched the movies hundreds of times... This series is beyond a doubt my favorite, though I read so many stories before it and after it.

I remember the first time I walked into a bookshop and I saw the attractive black/red/white cover of Twilight, it was winter, 2007. I read the back cover:

"About 3 things I was absolutely positive.
First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him -and I didn't know how potent that part might be- that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him."

That was all it took, I bought the book and finished it in the same day, I hurried to the bookstore before it closed to get New Moon, which I too, finished in one day, went and got Eclipse and looked for Breaking Dawn until I found it in Hardcover form, this I spent a week reading, I didn't want to finish it when I knew there weren't any new books to follow.

Afterward I was in a Twilight trance; I couldn't stop thinking about the story or not fantasizes about Edward coming through my window.

I know so many people dislike Bella, but I got to say I'm one of the few that absolutely love her. Her delicacy and silent stubbornness and how much she loved one guy is so beautiful, she made me want to  read the classics once again and cook healthy food.

When people criticize her, I think it's strange; she was one of the strongest factor for me to love the series, Edward and even Jacob.

But I think I like when a girl needs a boy, I don't think it's a weakness but it's love. Love makes us need the person we feel so strongly about.

Twilight: I am in Love with a Fictional Character

New Moon:

New Moon

Publication date September 6, 2006

Plot summary

On Isabella "Bella" Swan's 18th birthday, Edward Cullen, the vampire she loves, and his family throw her a birthday party. While unwrapping a gift, she gets a paper cut, which causes Edward's adopted brother, Jasper, to be overwhelmed by her blood's scent and attempt to kill Bella. To protect her, Edward tells Bella that he does not love her and the Cullens move away from Forks. This leaves Bella very heartbroken and depressed.

In the months that follow, Bella learns that thrill-seeking activities, such as motorcycle riding, allow her to "hear" Edward's voice in her head. She also seeks comfort in her deepening friendship with Jacob Black, a cheerful companion who eases her pain over losing Edward. Bella later discovers that Jacob and other tribe members are werewolves. Jacob and his pack protect Bella from the vampire Laurent and also Victoria, who seeks revenge for her dead mate, James, whom the Cullens killed in Twilight.

Meanwhile, a series of miscommunications leads Edward to believe that Bella has killed herself. Distraught over her supposed suicide, Edward flees to Volterra, Italy to provoke the Volturi, vampire royalty who are capable of killing him. Alice and Bella rush to Italy to save Edward, arriving just in time to stop him. Before leaving Italy, the Volturi tell Edward that Bella, a human who knows that vampires exist, must either be killed or transformed into a vampire. When they return to Forks, Edward tells Bella that he has always loved her and only left Forks to protect her. She forgives him, and the Cullens vote in favor of Bella being transformed into a vampire, to Edward's dismay. However, Jacob reminds Edward about an important piece in the treaty; if the Cullens bite a human, the treaty is over.

My Review:


When the Cullens, including her beloved Edward, leave Forks rather than risk revealing that they are vampires, it is almost too much for eighteen-year-old Bella to bear, she finds solace in her friend Jacob until he is drawn into a "cult" and changes in terrible ways.

This book was filled in pain and surprises, maybe because I never read this genre before, the whole werewolves aspect was a shock.

When Edward left Bella I couldn't believe this is really happening. When she surrounded in the woods and fell and stayed down, I cried, her broken heart broke mine. One mistake and he left.

The quotation from Romeo and Juliet really suits the story, Bella's feelings were in the highest place in love, when Edward left her, she fell hard and felt broken:

"These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which, as they kiss, Consume."

"Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me."

When Jacob entered the scene I felt angry! I didn't want him to take Edward's place. But at the same time, I wanted Bella to move on a bit, so I couldn't be angry for long. But when she ran so save Edward though he abounded her and broke her heart, I knew she is an amazing person. She just loves him. And forgiving him was not a question. His presence removed the emptiness.

I felt sorry for Jacob at the end but the heart can't lie. Bella was always honest with herself, she only loved Edward.

Eclipse:

Eclipse

Publication date August 7, 2007

Plot summary

The story opens with the revelation that Seattle, Washington is being plagued by a string of murders, which Edward suspects is caused by a new vampire that is unable to control its thirst for human blood. As Edward and Bella apply to colleges, Bella explains to Edward her desire to see her friend, Jacob Black, a werewolf. Although Edward fears for her safety, Bella insists that neither Jacob nor his wolf pack would ever harm her, and she begins visiting him occasionally. On one of these visits, Jacob tells Bella that he is in love with her and wants her to choose him instead of Edward, but Bella says she just sees him as a friend. To that, Jacob forcibly kisses her and she reacts by punching him in the face, spraining her hand while not even leaving a scratch on him. Meanwhile, Alice Cullen has a vision that Victoria, a vampire who is hunting Bella for revenge, has returned to Forks. A few days later, Edward proposes to Bella and, despite harboring an aversion to marriage, she accepts.

Bella and the Cullens soon realize that the Seattle murders are being committed by an "army" of newborn vampires, controlled by Victoria. The Cullens join forces with the wolf pack to combat this threat. As everyone else prepares for battle, Edward, Bella and Jacob camp in the mountains, hidden during the battle, where they are later joined by Seth Clearwater, a young wolf pack member, to wait out the fight.

In the morning, Jacob becomes upset when he overhears Edward and Bella discussing their engagement and threatens to join the fight and get himself killed. Bella stops Jacob by kissing him, and she comes to realize that she is in love with him as well. During the battle, Victoria tracks Edward's scent to Bella's forest hiding place, and Edward is forced to fight. Edward manages to kill Victoria and her vampire army is destroyed. Afterwards, Bella explains to Jacob that while she loves him, her love for Edward is greater. After receiving a wedding invitation from Edward, Jacob runs away in his wolf form to escape his heartbreak over Bella's rejection.



My Review:


When I read Eclipse, I was absolutely deprived of sleep; I read Twilight and New Moon in two days without much of sleep, so I read the first chapter and I slept, later I woke up and read the whole book.

I felt very bad for Jacob, it's hard to love someone who doesn't return your feelings equally. Bella loves Jacob but not the way she loves Edward.

“He's like a drug for you, Bella. I see that you can't live without him now. It's too late. But I would have been healthier for you. Not a drug; I would have been the air, the sun.”



“The Clouds I can handle. But I can't fight with an eclipse.”

Jacob is the sun, the natural love that Bella could have had. Edward is the paranormal event that occurs once (in Bella's life, once in a lifetime), he hides the sun completely. Jacob could never compete as long as Edward is in the picture.

I was glad Victoria died, she was one mean vampire!

Breaking Dawn:

Breaking Dawn

Publication date August 2, 2008

Plot summary

Breaking Dawn is split into three separate parts. The first part details Bella's marriage and honeymoon with Edward, which they spend on a private island, called Isle Esme, off the coast of Brazil. Two weeks into their honeymoon, Bella realizes that she is pregnant with a half-vampire, half-human child and that her condition is progressing at an unnaturally accelerated rate. After contacting Carlisle, who confirms her pregnancy, she and Edward immediately return home to Forks, Washington. Edward, concerned for Bella's life and convinced that the fetus is a monster as it continues to develop with unnatural rapidity, urges her to have an abortion. However, Bella feels a connection with her unborn baby and refuses.

The novel's second part is written from the perspective of shape-shifter Jacob Black, and lasts throughout Bella's pregnancy and childbirth. Jacob's Quileute wolf pack, not knowing what danger the unborn child may pose, plan to destroy it and kill Bella. Jacob vehemently protests this decision and leaves, forming his own pack with Seth and Leah Clearwater. The fetus in Bella's body grows swiftly and Bella soon gives birth, but the baby breaks many of her bones and she loses massive amounts of blood. In order to save her life, Edward changes her into a vampire by injecting his venom into her heart. Jacob, who was present for the birth, almost immediately "imprints"—an involuntary response in which a shape-shifter finds his soul mate—on Edward and Bella's newborn daughter, Renesmee.

The third section of Breaking Dawn shifts back to Bella's perspective, describing Bella's painful transformation and finding herself changed into a vampire and enjoying her new life and abilities. However, the vampire Irina misidentifies Renesmee as an "immortal child", a child who has been turned into a vampire. Because "immortal children" are uncontrollable, creating them has been outlawed by the Volturi. After Irina presents her allegation to the Volturi, they plan to destroy Renesmee and the Cullens. In an attempt to survive, the Cullens gather other vampire clans from around the world to stand as witnesses and prove to the Volturi that Renesmee is not an immortal child. Upon confronting the gathered Cullen allies and witnesses, the Volturi discover that they have been misinformed and immediately execute Irina for her mistake. However, they remain undecided on whether Renesmee should be viewed as a threat to vampires' secret existence. At that time, Alice and Jasper, who had left prior to the confrontation, return with a Mapuche called Nahuel, a 150-year-old vampire-human crossbreed like Renesmee. Nahuel demonstrates that the crossbreeds pose no threat, and the Volturi leave. Edward, Bella, and Renesmee return to their home in peace.

My Review:


Breaking Dawn was hard to find at the time, but I found it!! When I knew there will be no more books in the saga, I decided to prolong the experience; I spent a week reading it.

The jump from per-wedding preparation, the wedding ceremony and the hot honeymoon was amazing. Bella getting pregnant though was a shock! But what surprised me more, is the 2nd part of the book that it was told by run-away-werewolf-Jacob!

Jacob is aggressive and wild, I didn't doubt his love for Bella, but she already picked her guy.

The giving birth process was so painful to read about, you feel that Bella was ribbed to pieces by her own baby.

When I read Twilight I always thought that Bella's powers might be (if she turned Vampire) seeing visions like Alice, because she always dreamed about events, and things to be. But her power is cooler!

The last battle was amazing, but not bloody enough. When I was done, I kept on wondering what will happen with Renesmee, Jacob and Nahuel. I wish the series would continue telling us how it would go from here.

I felt sorry for Charlie, the shocking surprises and revaluations were too much.

My Twilight collection, again

The Graphic Novels:


Twilight: The Graphic Novel is a graphic novel by Young Kim, an adaptation of the first thirteen chapters of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Volume 2 was released on October 11, 2011.

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume I:


The plot describes Bella Swan's move from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, while her mother, Renée, travels with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, a minor league baseball player. Bella attracts much attention at her new school and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys compete for shy Bella's attention. She is immediately struck by the extreme beauty of the Cullens, who appear pale and different.

When Bella is seated next to Edward Cullen in class on her first day of school, Edward seems utterly repulsed by her. He disappears for a few days, but warms up to Bella upon his return; their newfound relationship reaches a climax when Bella is nearly run over by a fellow classmate's van in the school parking lot. Seemingly defying the laws of physics, Edward saves her life when he instantaneously appears next to her and stops the van with his bare hands.

Bella becomes determined to find out how Edward saved her life, and constantly pesters him with questions. After a family friend, Jacob Black, tells her the local tribal legends, Bella concludes that Edward and his family are vampires who drink animal blood rather than human. Edward confesses that he initially avoided Bella because the scent of her blood was too desirable to him. However, he admits his true nature and when this doesn't scare away Bella, they begin a relationship.

They begin questioning each other about their lives, and Edward decides to show Bella why he and his family can't be in the sun. They go hiking for a day, where Edward tries once more to show just how dangerous he really is, but it turns out that neither can stay away, culminating in a kiss. This first part of the novelization ends with Edward taking Bella home.

My Review:

When I got this book my hands were actually shaking with excitement! The art is beyond beautiful! All the way through the book I kept wishing they made the movie as accurate as the graphic novel! Especially Twilight, it's my favorite book in the series. It started my "Vampire Frenzy"!

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume II:


The graphic novel continues Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume I. It picks off when Edward Cullen takes Bella Swan home from seeing his house and family. It contains chapters 14 through to the Epilogue.

My Review:

I just got my books shipment and Twilight II was there among the great collection!! I just finished it and I plan to reread it again an hour or so afterward!! I read Twilight I more than 10 times! The art is gorgeous! Even my mother bought the book and read it and fell in love with the art, now she wants to read the actual book!! My mom and I are now "Twilight-ers"!!

Let me just say that the book is fabulously, breathtakingly, gorgeously BEAUTIFUL!! Just like Edward!!