Sunday, December 02, 2007

Book Review - Games Indians Play

Games Indians Play, by V Raghunathan, is basically a book which tries to explain the “Indianness” of us Indians. And for a change, the author uses scientific explanations instead of the usual philosophical ones!

Games Indians Play tries to use the Game Theory and behavioural economics to answer the question – why we are the way we are. This makes for an interesting combination. The book is sprinkled with juicy “games” and “surveys” – basically analogies to real-life situations. In these surveys, the author gauges the response of people to certain situations. These responses, when extrapolated to the collective context of one billion people, go a log way in explaining the Indian behaviour.

Although the book only explains the negative traits of us Indians (which are numerous to say the least!), I would not view this as a pessimistic book. After all, to solve a problem, one needs to know what is wrong in the first place. However, I was expecting V Raghunathan to offer some solutions too. It’s a pity there are none forthcoming!

All in all, although the book doesn’t tell us anything we don’t aready know, I would recommend this book for the interesting use of game theory to offer explanations for our Indianness. Also, the fact that the book is less than 180 pages helps!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rush Hour 3

What do you get when you combine Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker? Of course you get a bad stomach ache as a result of rolling on the floor for 2 hours; and you get to watch non-stop action at the same time! That’s Rush Hour 3 for you. To say this movie is hilarious would be the understatement of the year. If you wanna watch this movie; let me warn you – do not; I repeat Do NOT attempt to eat or drink anything while watching it. You’re sure to spill (or spit) it all over the person in front of you.

The plot is not all that fresh or anything. It revolves around a worldwide underworld alliance called the Triad. When the Chinese Ambassador announces that he has uncovered the identity of the Triad leadership, there is an assassination attempt on him. Jackie Chan, who plays the bodyguard-friend of Ambassador Han, now joins his old-time friend Chris Tucker in the search for the Triad and their leader. This search takes them to Paris, where most of the movie is shot.

There’s not much to write about the rest of the movie or the story. Its all up to Jackie and Chris. The non-stop comedy; and obviously, the stunts make the movie worth every penny and every moment that you spend on it. Its amazing how a 50-something Jackie Chan can direct and perform such wonderful stunts. There’s also some eye-candy in form of a cabaret in Paris ;-) The movie was apparently rated PG-13 in the US for violence, sexual content and foul language. How right they are. I would definitely rate it as A.

The verdict, just like the movie and and this review (I hope so) is short and sweet - don’t miss it for anything!