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Showing posts from January, 2020

Netflix Saturdays : Android Kunjappan Version 5.25 (Malayalam)

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Trust Malayalam movies to skewer movie tropes on Robots saving the world! After having subjected us to horrors like Robot 2.0, I think Android Kunjappan Version 5.25 (AKV5.25) comes as a refreshingly original take on the robot-myths in Indian movies. Treating AI/robotics as it should be, rather than muck around in murky waters of ethics and robo-genocides, the movie keeps it simple and straightforward. One of the best movies I have seen from 2019. Period.



An odd-ball comedy of errors, AKV5.25 is set in a small village in Payannur, North Kerala. It follows the life of grouchy old man Bhaskaran Poduval ( Siraj Venjaramoodu knocks it out of the park with his searing, heart-rending performance!) and his electronics engineer son, Subramanhiyan who's forced to give up good job prospects in cities like Bangalore and Kochi, as he is duty-bound to take care of his old father. Both their lives are turned upside down, when Subramanhiyan decides to risk it out in a Japanese robotics company …

Cry Pilot by Joel Dane

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Cry Pilot came out in 2019, a debut military sci-fi novel set in a futuristic bleak version of Earth filled with threats like sentient (Ascended) AI, bio-engineering and mutant forms that arise out of a terraforming process, intended to bring back the older greener form of Mother Earth.


I admit, I haven't read much of military sci-fi. In a long long time time now. So Cry Pilot was a welcome leap back into this genre for me. But I admit, it took it's own sweet time working its charm on me as a reader. For most of the first quarter of the book, I was aloof and disenchanted by Maseo Kaytu, the "cry pilot"  who headlines the act and is our single first-person POV to the narrative. I was a bit disappointed, thinking that if I don't bond well enough with our main 'hero', rest of the narrative is going to fall by the wayside. But thankfully, with an adroit handle on the pacing, I was soon cruising into the exciting and gruelling training camps that Maseo had man…