All your friends try to kill you? – Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko)
Eventually. – The November Man (Pierce Brosnan)
Source – The November Man
I rubbed my eyes in disbelief during the closing credits of the new Hollywood spy thriller November Man.
Names like Sriram Das, Raj Brinder Singh, Vishal Rungta, Ankur Rungta whizzed by.
WTF was that!
Where did this desi swarm spring from?
Hey, didn’t I just watch a Hollywood film (directed by Roger Donaldson with screenplay by Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek).
I rushed home, to Google.
Of the countless action films these fading eyes have swooned over the last few decades (James Bond, Jason Bourne, Batman, Superman, Supergirl, Iron Man, Lucy, Kickass etc), I now declare unequivocally that my favorite is the new Hollywood film The November Man (Pierce ‘James Bond‘ Brosnan, Olga ‘Bond girl‘ Kurylenko).
Why? Why November Man?
Because it’s a Hollywood action film produced by Indians (along with Beau St. Clair and Pierce Brosnan). 🙂
Oh, No. Not by that C-grade businessman Anil Ambani or that brain dead mass of steroid pulp a.k.a. Uday Chopra.
OK, I can sense your impatient angst boiling over.
Let me explain the “Indian” part of November Man before you Chutiyas start wetting your langots and panties in impotent rage.
Sriram Das of Das Films (Santa Monica, California) is co-producer of The November Man.
Sriram Das – Co-Producer
A Harvard and Yale alumnus, 36-year-old Das (born in NYC) has produced seven films and has another seven in the pipeline.
Honey, who gives a rat’s ass about Sriram Das or Gobar Gas.
Tell me ’bout the movie.
And what do you have to say about the ‘other’ critics who have savaged the film (35% on Rotten Tomatoes).
Well, it should come as no surprise to you schmucks that the only critic I’ve ever found competent or taken seriously is I, Me and Myself.
In my movie lexicon, action films are seldom great.
With rare exceptions like The Dark Knight Returns, they usually fall on the spectrum between bad to above average.
November Man falls in the class of Above-Average Hollywood films.
Based on Bill Granger’s novel There Are No Spies, the film is a spy thriller set in Belgrade with guns blazing, cars zipping on narrow European streets, a dashing ‘decent’ hero (Pierce Brosnan), a sexy babe (Olga Kurylenko), double-crossing CIA agents and, of course, the rotten Russian bastards.
Nothing exceptional about November Man.
And nothing terribly bad either about November Man.
Our hero Peter Devereau (Pierce Brosnan), a former CIA agent and now a small cafe owner in Switzerland, is lured into a dangerous assignment by a former CIA colleague.
The task involves the extraction of Natalia, a close aide to a top Russian politician Arkady Fedorov who was previously a Russian general in war-torn Chechnya.
Things quickly go awry during the extraction. They usually do in these kind of films thanks to double-crossings, betrayals and violent responses from the betrayed people.
Between the double-crossing CIA agents and the rotten Russian pig Fedorov, I had a hard time figuring who’s worse!
Only God knows if the Chechen war had its origins as per this movie! 🙁
Overall, I was not disappointed with November Man (even before I knew about the Indian connection).
Action scenes were more than adequate and the pace fast enough to keep my adrenalin on high for the entire duration of the film.
Brosnan (now a young 61) is still the charmer.
But sex kitten Olga Kurylenko, a ripe 34, is starting to show her age. Still, any day I’ll take the twilight charms of Olga over the Bollywood emetics, the Katrinas, Priyankas, Anushkas, Sonakshis and Deepikas.
Folks, November Man is playing in theatres across the U.S.
Your favorite blog SearchIndia.com strongly encourages you to give Sriram Das a leg up with his Hollywood dreams.
Hey SI, how’re you?
Busy reading a book?
teaser of the upcoming film – Kaaviya thalaivan. Not sure how it ll turn out though.
1. Yes, reading a bunch of books – Close to finishing a fine novel Panic in a Suitcase by a Russia born American author Yelena Akhtiorskaya.
In my opinion, the three most interesting Ethnic groups are Indians, Russians and Chinese. The rest of the world seems bovine, hopelessly boring compared to these three groups. America has entered a ‘bureaucratic’ stage with little cultural ferment seen in civic society except in stray pockets on rare occasions.
Yelena Akhtiorskaya brings a Russian family in Brooklyn (and the uncle/brother in Odessa, Russia) to life beautifully in Panic in a Suitcase.
Also embarked upon Hindu Equilibrium (the interconnection between caste system & Indian Economy 1500 BC -2000AD) by Deepak Lal. Very good so far.
Recently finished Nietzsche’s AntiChrist but must read it again.
2. If the Kaaviya thalaivan trailer/teaser is so boring, I fear the movie will run along similar lines.
oh! Panic in a suitcase, I heard about it on NPR and want to read it since!
How did you like it?
Panic in a Suitcase is brilliant, hilarious …Since the author is of Russian/Ukrainian origin she’s able to bring the idiosyncrasies of the community/their cities to life extremely well.
Every page crackles with humor.
The story deals with a Russian immigrant family, ergo the book is set in both Brighton Beach (Brooklyn) and Odessa (Ukraine).
The main character Pasha (the poet) is nonpareil even by nonpareil standards. 😉
SI, Speaking of Russia, what do you think of Russia/Ukraine Crisis right now.
I really feel Vladimir Putin at present is by far the best leader amongst the current crop. Its heartening to see a patriot wage a lone battle by standing up for his country against the aggressors. (US,.EU) when most other leaders are solipsistic nation-sellers.
Some Interesting links about the current Ukraine crisis
Sweetie, nations are like people – They act in their self-interest (which often conflicts with other nations’ self-interest).
If history teaches us anything, it’s that you must deal with the world as it is not as you’d like it to be.
On Russia/Ukraine, Putin is acting in what he think is the best interests of Russia in preventing a pro-West, anti-Russia nation on its border.
And U.S. is acting in its best interest in expanding American circle of influence for commercial and strategic purposes.
Morality, and right and wrong are quaint notions that are fine and dandy in theory but serve no useful purpose when you’re dealing with the cold reality of amoral human behavior/nations’ actions.
If you look at history, you’ll see that USSR/Russia behaved no better in its relations with Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968), creating the artificial famine in Ukraine in the 1930s, building the wretched Gulag system where millions perished etc etc.
The life stories of saintly men like Gandhi, Buddha, Mahaveer etc prove that those who refuse to accept the world for what it is and focus on what they’d like it to be lead a vain struggle achieving nothing at the end.
Bottom line – US-Russia feud is a clash over competing National Interests. Neither side gives a fig over Ukraine, which is just an ant caught between two Elephants.
As the wise former Indian President Abdul Kalam put it accurately – Power respects Power.
To survive in the world, people and nations should constantly strive to become powerful. Everything else is fantasy.
To add to the above links, I believe he’s right. Its funny he mentions, the word “Anglosphere” when the others nations just act as if its their duty to oblige to Uncle Sam’s actions.
Unipolarism will always bring out a global catastrophe, given the human tendency to be self-centric.
A balanced multipolar world is what is essential to keep imperialism, global hegemonic ambitions in check.
1. Your links make for interesting theoretical reading.
But Russian civic society under Putin is no more independent or an Utopia than American society under NSA is.
2. As long as more than one nation owns nuclear weapons (and many nations do already), the world is multipolar.
If Pakistan had not had nukes, Manmohan Singh would have annexed Pakistani Punjab (Lahore etc) after the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
What we need to be urgently concerned about is the proliferation of biological/germ weapons. That might be difficult to handle because a nuclear program is big and easily identifiable through spy satellites etc but a small germ warfare program is difficult to stop when non-state actors resort to it because of its smaller, compact nature.
I agree that an ideal nation being a utopian dream.
But one has to keep in mind that Putin is repairing a nation that was ravaged by perestroika and following oligarchy under Yeltsin.
He has kept the oligarchs under check and had been pro-people after all, but i am not sure whether i can say the same about Obama. Most of his policies seems just as an extension of his predecessor. I humbly refute your point of view of world being multi polar.
After the Soviet union split, It’s Uncle Sam who’s ruling the roost by wielding iron grip over other nations on several issues. From Iraq, Afghan, Iran-Nuclear fiasco and now to Ukraine, USA seems to dictate the terms, most nations are forced to act upon American interests.
Toothless entities like EU, UN just act as mere spectators, just toeing what Uncle Sam does. If the world was multipolar, then it could certainly halt American aggression and hegemonic behavior.
1. It is true that Obama’s actions follow that of his predecessor despite his campaign rhetoric.
Much as we like to think that leaders are free to strike their own path, it is not true.
Leaders are circumscribed by their environment as much as the people are by their circumstances.
It was naive on the parts of many (including by yours truly) to expect Obama would strike a different path. In America, power lies with Whites and unlikely to change any time in the next 100 years. Obama himself is White in socialization (upbringing, life experiences etc) and Black only in color. Let’s not forget Obama’s mother was White and grandparents were White. Obama had almost zero contact with his Black father.
On Obama or any other leader not being pro-people, why should they? After all, they get their financial backing and campaign funding mainly from large corporations and billionaires. So it’s in Obama’s self-interest to support his benefactors than Joe Schmuck down the street.
Wall St was one of the biggest backer of Obama before his first term (over $47 million). So it was inevitable Obama failed to rein in Wall Street’s worst impulses.
The notion that Democracies exist for the benefit of the masses is naive pishposh. Churchill was right to say that Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
2. On American foreign policy, let’s be realistic and look at the picture on the ground. Foreign policy is always an extension of a nation’s domestic policies (but few realize that and look at it as separate element).
America has outsourced much of manufacturing to China, Taiwan, Japan etc and most of services to India, Philippines, Mexico etc.
What does America have left now – Defense companies and Hollywood.
Hollywood is against subject to the whims of pirates and a cold public that wants everything free. A movie is pirated within hours of release or sometimes even pre-release.
So what America has left essentially – Military contractors.
We have millions of Americans working in the military-industrial complex (companies like General Dynamics, Lockheed, United Technologies, Booz-Allen, Boeing etc), Army, CIA, NSA etc. If you take into account the employees’ families and other dependants (accountants, lawyers, nannies, gardeners, plumbers, retailers etc) we’re talking several million Americans affected if the country stops producing, replacing and exporting weapons.
So America will not and must not stop making, using and exporting weapons because it’s ‘immoral’ to destroy so many of American lives when viewed through the prism of national interest and interest of American citizens.
3. You write: If the world was multipolar, then it could certainly halt American aggression and hegemonic behavior.
UK, Canada, Australia, Japan follow US lead not because American boots are on their heads but because it also suits their interests (there’s a race element too here). They need access to American markets, technology, free US intelligence, latest weapons etc. US soldiers are not marching into Australia or UK and dictating to Aussies/Britons what to do. British and Australian leaders elected by the locals opt to do so because it suits their national and self-interests.
Second, take Pakistan for example. People think it’s a US puppet although the reality is both the Paki people and Pak Army constantly work against American interests (often in league with the Taliban) despite the billions the Paki beggars get in American aid. If Pakistan were really a U.S. friendly nation, Osama bin Laden would not hide there.
US is constrained vis-a-vis Pakistan and can’t do much because the Paki curs have nuclear weapons. If a nuke explodes over Pakistan, the radiation can travel far via wind and impact so many other countries including the oil-rich Middle East on which U.S. depends for cheap oil.
US is powerful but not omnipotent because of nuclear weapon proliferation.
Possession of nuclear weapons by countries to a great degree has created a level playing field and turned a bipolar world into a multipolar world.
4. Bottom line, I’m not in favor of US stopping military entanglements outside.
US must strengthen and expand its defense business. Because if America does not then someone else will.
It’s not as if the rest of the world is filled with Pacifist Buddhas. China, Russia, France, UK etc are already investing significantly in their military companies with the goal of exporting them elsewhere.
Nobody in India, China, Philippines or Bangladesh protested when countless Americans lost their jobs to Indian programmers, Filipino call center workers or Bangladeshi textile workers. Many American programmers who lost their jobs were compelled to train their Indian replacements before they could get their severance pay. So they have forfeited their right to protest when American Predator drones rain missiles or supports Ukraine.
People think military, expansionist policies, sabre-rattling, drones, cheap oil etc are isolated elements of a nation’s policies. In reality, they’re not. They’re inextricably related to domestic policies like growing jobs, keeping unemployment under control, trade deficits, controlling whacko elements etc.
After meeting Narendra Modi in January this year, Salman Khan was right to tell the crowd (in Modi’s presence):
Perhaps Salman Khan understands human behavior and rational self-interest better than most of us do.
People and nations act mostly in their self-interest and once we grasp that aspect and the notion of ‘Power’ we can respond to and formulate better policies at the individual, group or national levels.
5. Perestroika did not ‘ravage” Russia but years of decrepit economy that was hidden. That is the reason Gorbachev introduced Perestroika (to strengthen the economy) but the law of unintended consequences came into play and the Russian economy collapsed, public companies were grabbed by Oligarchs on the cheap and then Putin came in and nationalized the oil sector.
@ SI If you look at history, you’ll see that USSR/Russia behaved no better in its relations with Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968), creating the artificial famine in Ukraine in the 1930s, building the wretched Gulag system where millions perished etc etc.
Not exactly sure of the former two, but i’ve come across theories that Holodomor ie terror famine never happened, what happened instead was harvest failure, followed by other problems. Most died of disease in their malnourished state and there were few actual deaths of hunger. But then again, i am not exactly sure, i’ll leave the answer to you.
There are far more crazies up in websites like stormfront even denying the holocaust.
Nobody takes the deniers of the Ukraine famine or the Holocaust seriously.
Ukraine famine was largely a result of Stalin’s economic policies just as the Holocaust flowed from Hitler’s Nazi racial policies.