March 15, 2012

Hugo (2011) - Movie Review

Hi Guys,

After a long time, I am writing a movie review. After seeing Hugo, I decided I should write about the movie. Seeing the movie was such a wonderful experience. The movie had a beautiful story accompanied by superb cinematography and great music.

Directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese, the movie is a masterpiece set in the backdrop of Paris Railway Station in the 1930s. Starring, Asa Butterfield (Hugo Cabret), Ben Kingsley (Georges Melies) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Isabelle), the movie shows us the life of a young orphan boy, Hugo trying to unravel the mystery behind an automatic machine.

The movie begins with Hugo trying to steal things from a toy shop in Paris Railway station. Georges Melies catches him and accusing Hugo as thief, he takes a note book from Hugo. The notebook is filled with mechanisms. Hugo pleads for the notebook, but Georges refuses to give it.

He goes to Georges home, where he meets Isabelle who is Georges’ God daughter. They become friends. Meanwhile we are shown that Hugo’s father died in a fire and he left Hugo an unfinished automatic machine which is known as Automaton. Hugo believes his father has left him a message in it and desperate to repair it, he has done the stealing. He stays at his uncle’s home in Railway station and his uncle is the time keeper. He leaves the job to Hugo and flees.

Hugo steals food from the station and eats. There is a crimpled station inspector who hates orphans and sends them to orphanage. There is an elderly lady who has a cute dog. An elderly man comes to meet her every day but the dog keeps chasing him away. There is also a lovely young woman at a flower shop and the station inspector loves her.

After few attempts, Hugo comes to know that Isabelle has the key to turn on the automaton. They turn on the automaton and the automaton draws a figure and in the end the sign of Georges Melies appears. To solve the mystery they go their home and asks Georges wife about that. She is shocked and Georges return home at the same time. She tells the children to hide and while searching a cupboard they find huge number of drawings. Finding it out, Georges starts crying.

In a book at the library, the children find that Georges was a great movie director in the early 1900s and has directed more than 500 movies. A movie critic watches them and says that he is a great fan of Georges and he died during the world war. He takes the children to his place and shows them some of the things that belonged to Georges. The children plan to surprise Georges by showing him the only remaining movie of his direction.

Everything goes well and the children find out a few surprises about Mr and Mrs Melies. Hugo comes back to the station to take the automaton and hand it over to Georges, but the station inspector catches him. Does he escape and does he hand over the automaton to Georges forms the remaining part of the movie.

Dialogues are a big advantage to the quote. When Isabelle asks Hugo about the Earth he says, ‘I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason.’

When Isabelle sees the Automaton for the first time, she says that the face of the automaton is sad. Hugo says that ‘Maybe that's why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn't able to do what it was meant to do... Maybe it's the same with people. If you lose your purpose... it's like you're broken.’
Later Georges tells Hugo that he has learnt one good lesson in his life and that is ‘Good endings happens only in movies’ After seeing this movie I thought that this movie too follows the same principle.

We are also shown how people created movies in the early days when there were no modern equipments. The movie makers do changes in each and every frame. When Isabelle expresses here astonishment for the color pictures, her mama says that they tainted the movie frame by frame.

The visual treatment and sound effects are great and deserving the movie has won Oscar awards for Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. The movie has also won award for Art Direction and yes the art director has recreated the 1930 Paris so perfectly.

Martin Scorsese has given us some very good movies and he hasn’t disappointed us this time too.

Happy Reading!!!

March 3, 2012

IIM Shillong Interview experience

Hi Guys,

It has quite a long time since I sat down in front of my system to blog and much long since I read other’s blog posts.

I decided to pen down my experience of attending the Group Discussion and Personal Interview for IIM Shillong.

After getting a decent CAT score of 95.4 percentile, I thought that no IIMs would call me for the next process. A few days later I received a mail from IIM-S, stating that I have been selected for GD and PI and I was excited. And I was allotted the most special day of the year for GD and PI. It was February 29, a day that comes only once in four years. The venue was Bangalore and it ended up to be my first visit to Bangalore, after two failed attempts during the previous years which were cancelled due to various reasons.

I was in the afternoon batch and I reached the venue by 1 pm (we were supposed to be there by 1.45 pm). The venue was Institute of Hotel Management and the place of interview was maintained so well. I was the third person to reach and the whole atmosphere was so nice and fear started creeping inside. Slowly other students started coming and by 1.35 all the students were assembled. There were totally 20 boys and 4 girls.

A representative from IIM Shillong introduced himself and took attendance. I prayed silently that my name should come in the beginning and it came up at around 18th position and I was quite upset. He said that professors would come up and call the students for their respective groups. He also said the process may take time and asked us to comfort ourselves and there refreshments were available nearby the waiting place. A professor came out after some time and called Karthick and I was left shell shocked as I never expected this after the attendance list. After that he called seven other guys and took us downstairs. We waited for some 5 minutes before he called us in and arranged us according to the positions.

There were 6 boys and 2 girls. I was left in the corner as I was the first. The topic was related to genetically modified crops. There was a half page write up stating its advantages, disadvantages, etc. We had to write a case study for 10 minutes. It took me some 2-3 minutes to read and then I started to write. I started writing neatly and towards the end started scribbling. However I wrote for a page and concluded it properly.

Next GD started and the time was 15 minutes. After a good initiation by a boy, another boy and a girl started pouring and they were dominating not allowing the rest to come in. I and some other boys waited and then jumped in. The dominating persons had said all they had and then they were left empty minded. 15 minutes was a huge time for a group of 8 and so all others ended contributing some good points. I chipped in with 4-5 points with some examples. Everything was good except that no one took care of the time. No one summarized the GD and it ended abruptly.

After that we were asked to wait outside and we were informed that interview time were 25 plus or minus few minutes for a candidate and the order would be the same. I came out and was speaking with two of the neighbors and it relaxed my mind completely. Some 5 minutes later, a professor came out and called my name.

I went in, greeted the professors and they asked me to sit. There were three professors and lets call them P1, P2 and P3.

P2: Introduce yourself. Before that pass your file to P3.
Me: I started introducing within a minute I was stopped.

P2: So, you call yourselves an efficient blogger?
Me: yes sir, I have been writing a blog based on …….. for the past 30 months.

P2: So, how do you called efficient? Are there any parameters?
Me: Said about rankings, communities, hits, comments, etc.

P1: you have put you are interested in photography. What type are you interested in?
Me: general photography… went on saying few things… later, thought could have given a better answer, after thinking what I really do…

P2: farmers using BT Cotton are said to commit more suicides (related to GD)…. But it is not so… even other farmers do commit… what do you think is the reason?
Me: explained using government policies, climate change, crop price, etc

P2: some farmers commit suicide so that their family will get compensation. What do u think?
Me: expressed my thoughts on government policies.

P2: asked few questions on the farms…

P1: so, do you know about banking?
Me: yes sir

P1: so, what banks do?
Me: explained deposits, loans, etc

P1: what do banks do when someone fails to repay the loan?
Me: explained about securities they get when giving loan.

P1: what is RBI? What do they do?
Me: explained they govern all the banks… banks have deposits… can take loans, etc

P1: who prints the money?

P1: where is money printed? How much money is printed?
Me: at Nashik… it depends on lot of parameters such as economy, liquidity…

P1: so what is ISRO? What do they do?
Me: expanded and said about space research.

P1: government spends a lot of money on research… is there any use? Will we make any profits?
Me: said some of the possibilities of getting money…

P1: what is DRDO?
Me: explained…

P3: how do you manufacture a pencil?
Me: (luckily have seen the video on youtube)… explained…

P3: asked few questions on process planning which we haven’t studied…
Me: haven’t studied those things

P3: so, what did you study in process planning
Me: (suddenly everything went blank)

P3: so, what did you study in cost estimation?
Me: Suddenly remembered process plan and answered for that…

P3: so, how to calculate standard time?
Me: gave a half satisfying answer

P3: what are fixed and variable costs?
Me: answered with a good example…

P3: how to manufacture a gear cutting tool? Explain me the process
Me: (went blank for few secs)… said donot know

P3: what are the subjects you study now?
Me: said

P3: what is preventive and breakdown maintenance?
Me: (was in confused mood) answer idiotically for this easy question.

P1: gave a case study on products, maintenance, costs…
Me: didn’t understand and asked again…

P1: repeated more clearly
Me: answered quite well

P2: (was looking at clock… think it was 25 minutes)… Thank you Karthick. You may leave.
P3 (P1 & P2): please take some candies.
Me: thanked them, took an Alpenliebe and stood up.
P2: please close the door behind you.

I came out and everyone asked me how it was. I sat down in an empty seat and was speaking with the mates with whom I spoke before the interview. After ten minutes, I wished them good luck and came out. I was quite tired and ate a few biscuits, drank water and came out.

Overall it was a good experience.

Thanks to all the people who had earlier shared their interview experiences. It helped me in a huge way to perform well.

If any of my GD mates are reading this one, thanks to you people for being so friendly and creating a great atmosphere.

All the best to other call getters who are going to attend the interviews in the coming days.

Happy Reading!!!