Belle is beautiful, but just a little too perfect to be completely relatable

“My dear Belle, you’re so ahead of your time. This is a small village, and it’s small-minded, as well. But small also means safe”. Emma Watson radiates positivity as Belle in her new movie Beauty and the Beast. This 2017 remake of an 18th century French folk-tale manages to maintain the familiarity of the story while also paying attention to modern progressive thought. Due to her strong feminist values and natural elegance, Watson is an effortlessly perfect Belle. As a Brown University graduate, Watson is an intellectual with a passion for reading and learning and is known for her work in ...

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Badrinath Ki (very predictable) Dulhania

If you think Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a comedy movie with witty scenes that will make you laugh, then you may be in for a surprise. While there is plenty of humour and entertainment, the film also shows its viewers a rather different side of society. Dharma Productions, the company behind this movie, is popularly known for its glitz, glamour, fast-paced story-lines, something about this movie is definitely different and you sense that immediately after the interval. Badrinath Ki Dulhania has every element that makes a Bollywood movie memorable, if not successful; it has social commentary forcing viewers out of their comfort zones. With ...

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Why every Karachiite will be able to relate to ‘Karachi, you’re killing me’

Last month, I grabbed a copy of ‘Karachi, you’re killing me’ by Saba Imtiaz. The title was quite relatable and I knew I had to get my hands on that book. Since I live in Karachi, and have the privilege of going through the same misery (and joy) that was written at the back of the book, I knew I had to read it as soon as possible, even more so because Mohammad Hanif recommended it. The story opens with the happening life of a female journalist named Ayesha. The book illustrates the agonistic life of a journalist who has to wake up early for a work ...

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Collide is nothing but mindless action built around a threadbare plot

A number of subpar elements come together to form the film Collide. It is an action caper that covers the ground from frustrating inconsistency to mind-numbing stupidity within its 99 minutes of running time. The movie remained shelved for years (due to Relativity Media’s bankruptcy), a fate that was quite appropriate for such a shoddy project. Felicity Jones in Collide (2016)Photo: IMDb Two British actors play American characters who have moved to Germany in the movie. A reformed car thief turned drug dealer Casey (Nicholas Hoult) and a bartender Juliette (Felicity Jones) fall for each other, as the former ...

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Gulab Jamun: The quintessential Pakistani dessert

It’s March 1 and Isloo is on lockdown. Since my brain is fine tuned to waking up at 6am, I decided to make my mid-week sudden day-off as productive as possible. I am of the firm belief that it is important to treat yourself – it’s the philosophy I follow in my cooking. However, too much of anything will not make anyone appreciate the time and effort that goes into making a dish. Hence, for me, moderation is key. Now I am not a huge fan of desi sweets but if there are two desi delights I would pick over any ...

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Manchester by the Sea is a striking portrayal of grief and loss

Grief’s a b****. There’s no getting around it. I have been lucky enough to not experience it in my adolescent life thus far, but I have seen the profound impact it has had on people close to me. It isn’t an easy thing to go through and can threaten to entomb anyone in a coffin of sorrow and despair. Most movies, in attempting to depict this, fall into an abyss of melodrama and manipulation. Such is not the case with Manchester by the Sea, which paints a striking portrayal of grief and loss, whose rock-hard essence lingers in the ...

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Will Wolverine ever be the same without Logan?

With his pointed beast-like hairstyle, rugged facial expressions and lean body, X-Men enthusiasts knew Hugh Jackman was the right choice to play the role of Wolverine in all X-Men movies released in the last 17 years. Although Jackman’s lead roles in Van Helsing (2004), The Prestige (2006) and Real Steel (2011) are commendable, his portrayal of Wolverine has made him a superstar. Now Jackman reprises his role as Wolverine/Logan in the latest movie Logan, the 10th edition of the X-Men franchise. Director James Mangold, who directed The Wolverine (2013), has done justice by keeping the movie in line with Logan’s character while ...

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Moonlight is cinematic poetry

Issues of identity, sexuality and masculinity have always been fascinating subjects in cinema, but rarely have they ever been explored with such beauty, mastery and eloquence as they are with Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight. A film that simultaneously feels both grand and intimate and a film that leaves a lasting impact on you, whether it is through its subtle, fleeting touches or it’s vibrant, vivid images. Mahershala Ali and Alex R. Hibbert in Moonlight (2016)Photo: IMDb From the first frame to the last, Moonlight is a balancing act that never falters. It introspects the life of Chiron, a young African-American boy in Miami, through three ...

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Rangoon is an example of how a gifted director is wasting his talent

There’s a line in the film where Saif Ali Khan tells a British officer, “We’re actors; we know how to convince people.” I am sorry to burst your bubble here Chote Nawab, but regrettably your statement falls completely flat on its face if the said performers are asked to work with a wearingly long and complicatedly patchy screenplay. Saif Ali Khan in Rangoon (2017)Photo: IMDb At 167 minutes, Vishal Bharadwaj’s Rangoon isn’t just a drag but also tediously stuffed with a hotchpotch of multiple storylines. Rangoon takes us back to 1940s Hindustan, against the backdrop of contrasting independence ideologies of dovish Mahatma Gandhi and hawkish Subhash Chandra ...

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To all my ‘berry’ special someones, these recipes are for you

I shall start off by highlighting the importance of the strawberry emoticon in my life. For me, hearts are over-rated. So if I have ever used a strawberry on someone – even once – it must mean they have some special significance in my life. I know it’s cheesy, but I’m possessive when it comes to using this particular emoticon.   Now when rairi wala (fruit cart) stands are laden with bright red fruit, you know the season for the king of berries has arrived! Strawberries are by far my favourite fruit. I could eat them all day long and there are so so so (I cannot put enough emphasis ...

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