Stories about cinema

If you’re a die-hard Hrithik Roshan fan, watch Kaabil

The plot is simple. The clichés are common. There is an A-list actor in the lead. The Bollywood formula is locked and loaded. Aim at a public holiday and fire. Kaabil hit the screens on Indian Republic Day and gathered around 20 crores in its first week. *Minor spoilers ahead* Directed by Sanjay Gupta, of the Kaante (faintly copied from Reservoir Dogs), Zinda (Old Boy) and Jazbaa (the Korean film, Seven Days) fame, comes Kaabil which seems to be loosely adapted around the Korean film, Broken, where the protagonist’s teenage daughter is raped and murdered. In Kaabil, Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) vows ...

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Is Shyamalan caught in a Split between his one hit wonder and the rest of his films?

Once upon a time, there was a young talented filmmaker who created a cinematic masterpiece despite merely being in his 20s. This particular piece of his can rightly claim to have one of the most shocking twist endings ever in the history of cinema. A couple of movies later, he was still churning out decent thrillers but the decline in his craft was starting to show. But now it has gotten to a point that whenever his name and filmmaking are mentioned in the same sentence, rather than gasping in unison with anticipation, the audience just simply walks away from ...

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10 films from 2015 that you should not miss!

Are we on the brink of total lack of creativity in the art of film-making? The year 2015 proved to be otherwise. One just needs to broaden their horizons in their perception of cinema and what it could accomplish. Last year, the world of cinema saw many films that broke preconceived notions of Hollywood and filmmaking in general. A sequel/ reboot that defies critics and audiences expectations, a period piece proving that melodrama can narrate strong storytelling and a stop motion animated film that proved to be more ‘real’ and touching than most live action films out there. After reviewing countless ...

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Aligarh: Gay love in the time of Bollywood

All right, I am holding my hands up and I admit I was a homophobe back in the day. Like any typical Pakistani youngster, a lot of my cussing and swearing involved slurs against the gay community. Even the word ‘gay’ itself turns pejorative since it’s used with a derisive attitude in our society and considered as a general term of disparagement amongst Pakistani youth and ashamedly, I was no different. But for me personally, my days as a typical homophobic youngster changed for good when I happened to stumble upon Brokeback Mountain (2005). I am not a big fan of movies ...

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(Full review) The Hateful Eight: Even if it’s a flawed Tarantino film, it’s always worth a watch

Violent, bloody and unapologetic; that’s why I love Quentin Tarantino films. His work entrails a certain love for cinema which sadly lacks in many major Hollywood productions today. The Hateful Eight is a good reminder as to why his vision is still relevant in the world of cinema today. Photo: Publicity With The Hateful Eight, Tarantino marks his second take towards the Western genre. The story starts off a decade (or so) after the American Civil War. An American landscape that may have, for the time period, resolved the issue of slavery but the social/racial backdrop still ...

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The Force is sound asleep (and snoring too!)

Every now and then I am asked to critique a movie and I am happy to oblige. Because good, bad or average, these films that I am asked to evaluate are nonetheless cinema. However when I was asked to review a Disney merchandise advertisement masquerading as a cinematic endeavour, I was a little perplexed. My first instinct was to politely refuse, considering I wasn’t being paid by Disney to write hack reviews. I mean, how else could you justify all the rave reviews that this seventh episode of the Star Wars franchise is garnering? Let’s get this clear right from the ...

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Operation 021, taking Pakistan cinema further

First and foremost, before getting down to the brass tacks of the movie Operation 021, those that have the slightest of doubt or inclination that Operation 021 mimics or is made along the same lines as Waar can put their doubts safely to rest.  Operation 021’s principal plot, overall theme, script, character build up and dialogue are poles apart from what was previously seen in Waar. For that reason, Waar and 021, apart from having Shaan Shahid as the main lead, do not have an iota of commonality in between them. 021 is created under the umbrella of One Motion Pictures and the Azad Film Company; produced by Zeba Bakhtiar and her son Azan Sami Khan. ...

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Karachi’s comedy scene – Can you handle it?

If you’ve lived in Karachi, you’re sure to have heard the complaint about there being a lack of entertainment options in the city. Eating out represents the obvious choice for entertainment but there is always the “and now what do we do?” question that hangs in the air after the meal. It’s too early to go home and unfortunately the debate about ‘what next’ rarely moves beyond dessert options. The thought of why there aren’t more regular entertainment options in our city has been annoying me for a while now. If one looks at the thriving theatre industry or the packed ...

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Why Fawad Khan is so ‘Khoobsurat’!

Jutt and Bond was where most of us first saw Fawad Afzal Khan. He was a skinny, lanky, clean shaven guy with bangs. Soon after, we were surprised to see him as the lead singer of Entity Paradigm (EP), a Pakistani nu metal band, with his husky, soulful voice and that pained musician look. That was when we, the female population of Pakistan, said to one another, “Hey, this guy’s not bad looking.” But little did we know that he would soon be making waves and creating magic on TV and the big screen. By frequently featuring in commercials, a few songs and TV serials ...

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Mary Kom: A punch in the right direction

When you think of movies under the Sanjay Leela Bhansali banner, you think of epic romances, of the colours blue, grey, and black, of love and passion, and women dancing in the most extravagant of lehngas. But the last thing you would expect from a Bhansali movie is a story about a young girl trying her luck in the patriarchal field of sports. This is why the movie Mary Kom was pleasantly surprising. But Mary Kom coming from a big production house is not why I liked it. I liked it because of the following reasons: 1) It is a biopic. This kind of cinema is really inspirational and it ...

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