Friday, 5 April 2013

Dinner is served

 ...and nothing here is vegetarian. If you get what I mean.

About more than a week ago, I was invited for the premier of the upcoming show Hannibal, based on the iconic character of the same name, by AXN India. I was already looking forward to the show since I loved Hannibal, had seen all the movies and went through the books by Thomas Harris, and this was a fresh take being a big prequel to the first book/story Red Dragon (which is going to be season 4 of the planned 7 season arc, followed by The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal eventually) I was very excited, although I also had my doubts how will the creators pull this off after the acclaimed movies and legendary performance by Anthony Hopkins. Well guess what? The show is terrific! With a strong cast and creative show-runners, this seemed to be the best move they made. A pretty cruel horrifying tale with seemingly no compromise on the legacy of this cannibalistic brilliant serial killer character is what was needed, and that is what we're getting.

And this is an original AXN production, which is one of the biggest English television channels here in India apart from HBO among others. So there was a premier party on 2nd April 2013 at JW Marriott, Juhu for which I was invited as I said already. I wasn't keeping well since some days, due to my state even considered canning my plans for the day, but heck I couldn't afford to miss it so I went anyway, and I'm so glad I did. Should say the good food of that hotel (which is one of my favourites actually) and drinks did cure me up for that time. :D

The ambiance of the venue place was great as was supposed to be for this dark show. I met the gal (Shivangi) who invited me here in the first place. Had a couple of drinks before the main course began. There was this booth where a psych revaluation was going on. Fun stuff, registered myself at the desk, and filled the questionnaire chilling on a sofa. At my turn I sat in front of the psychologist, who asked bit about me while reading my responses. While I don't remember most of the questions now (as that was the only thing they took back) he was quite surprised (and amused at the same time, in a manner of speaking) with my responses, remarking I was the first guy to give certain different answers than the rest. I remember the last question he asked of me, the same old 'is this cup half filled or half empty' one. I replied for me it's just a cup of water, irrelevant of it's full or emptiness. But then he went on to say that he could say the cup is half full. My response was the usefulness of the cup lies in it's emptiness. He was amazed (I guess?) I know I'm awesome :P After saying something of the sort you're one heck of a fella, he went on to give me a certificate, citing me a borderline sociopath. Not that I'm surprised, I was just a bit in fact as I think he went bit soft on me instead of declaring me a full blown psychopath. My parents and people around me would surely say that. :P

Dam I need friends. Speaking of friends, since I was on my own, as I didn't knew anybody, except for a brief moment I met one of the photographers from the media side there, a pretty middle age tall man called Mr. Vilas, who was also the photographer present at the Microsoft press event few days ago. Truth is, he recognized and approached me as I must have missed him, asking me I was one of the winners who met Aamir Khan right? Had a quick chat with him, asking what he does and the whereabouts of that day's press photos. :D You see why I wasn't surprised of me being a sort of sociopath? Well besides that and looking around waiting, having some starters and drinks *gulp* and smiling back at those few faces who actually bothered to look me and smile.

But a nice surprise which followed was met an old friend cum consistent winner companion Krutik there along with 2 of his friends. I had first met him back in 2011 when we both won a contest and got to meet Tom Cruise for Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol premier here in Mumbai. Felt good catching up. Soon after great starters consisting of the psych reval, drinks and well... starers, the main course was about to be served. Proceeded to the dining room with the screen and the usual you know what. An introduction by the runner of AXN channel here in India Mr. Sunil Punjabi followed by some footage of upcoming stuff at AXN, was pretty awesome considering some great shows were finally being aired here in India and hopefully general public would be aware of them at least. I was in particularly happy that Justified was being aired here too, pretty dam awesome show, acting and storytelling, the season 4 finale which aired recently was perhaps the best episode in the entire series yet and blew me away. Currently season 3 is about to be aired here. AXN is quite possibly among the best channels in the country.

Eventually the screening of the pilot episode began, which the entire audience was glued too, and received a bit of uproar upon it's ending. All the reviews which I've been reading since the past few days truly make sense of it now. Already couldn't wait for the next episode, and Mr. Punjabi joked about coming to his office to nab the rest of the episodes, at that point I wouldn't actually mind doing that shamelessly. We are the fans after all. A Q&A followed where fellow invited guests including me gave our feedback and enthusiasm for the show. The best part was this was the first time that a show that too of this great scale was airing almost at the same time of the US counterpart, with hardly 12 hour difference. Some more jokes followed on piracy subtly and seeing episodes back to back and waiting for weeks. Kudos to AXN for this move, this is the way for both ridding of piracy and spreading good shows/media to more people.

 Just a harmless turkey passing by...

Finally the desert followed after the main course, well aka dinner, and not to mention a few more drinks that is which was awesome for which this hotel I'm fond of. Got to have a chat with Mr. Punjabi and a few others, and congratulated him personally for the show's success and future endeavors. After a fine evening with Hannibal, good food, and an overload of cheesecakes, went back home (and well, fell sick again) :P Should have just stayed there I guess.

 'Trophies' (it's a serial killer thing)

As for the review of the premier itself, I need not add anything further as it speaks for itself. It was just the cherry on the cream of the cake, waiting for next week as it follows. You can check out the great reviews it has been receiving here and here. Hannibal premiers on April 4 - 10/9c on NBC in US and April 5 - 10 PM on AXN here in India. As I said hardly a 12 hour difference which is awesome in fact. Do not fail to catch it!

With that ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served.



Karishma said...

The silence of the lambs one of my favourite books. I was wondering if this series is about the book only, well now i know.

And you have met Amir khan and Tom Cruise?? O_O.. woahza..

Aditya Iyer said...

It's great do catch it if it's your thing.
Yes fortunate enough to meet them, and hey I've met you too ;)