Stories about film industry

India’s problem is not Pakistan; India’s problem is India

A self-confessed Indian spy was caught in Pakistan to be sentenced to death, so some people in Mumbai went to an apparel outlet and stomped on clothes that were made in Pakistan. Sometimes, facts can be more absurd than fiction. The store, the ever popular Zara, that carries clothes made in multiple countries, was accosted by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Hindu hardliners and Indian nationalists all in one, the party is known to take extreme stances on multiple issues concerning Muslims, cows, Pakistan, etcetera. The violence that the party usually propagates is interestingly in direct contrast with the glossy image India reflects to the world; the land of breakthrough ...

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Did India just say it banned Lipstick Under My Burkha because it was too “lady oriented”? Seriously?

The deliberate silencing of women’s voices is a universal phenomenon; only the extent of it differs in different parts of the world. In a country like India, where women face a multitude of challenges, a desperate re-writing of the dominant male-centric narrative is required. And what better medium in India than the film industry to challenge the dominant narrative? This is what Prakash Jha thought when he set out to produce his latest movie, Lipstick Under My Burkha. The film is a sexual comedy, revolving around four independent women who, tired of being shackled to misogynistic norms, decide to break ...

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Enchanting magical realism exists in La La Land

The winner of seven Golden Globes and receiver of 11 Bafta nominations, La La Land is an aesthetically created, romantic yet sentimental melodrama with catchy music and orchestrated dances – all expressed through the indelible characters of Mia and Sebastian.   Director and screenwriter Damien Chazelle’s musical drama shines with affection, emotion, and ambition. Set in present-day Los Angeles, its fast-paced romantic plot revolves around friendship, love, dreams, and veracity. It reconnoitres the ecstasy and sorrow of pursuing one’s dreams and tests the vigour of the duo’s rapport. One thing that’s striking about the story is the way it deals ...

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The struggle has paid off – the Pakistani film industry is finally awake

There is certain redemption in resurgence. A feeling of hope and of renewal, of things starting anew, of setting the old wrongs right. Pakistani cinema has come up by leaps and bounds in the last few years. From a struggling franchise engulfed in out-dated ideas desperately clinging on in order to survive and become a booming industry reminiscent of the golden days and a slight peek into the wondrous possibilities that lie ahead. Pakistani cinema has finally arrived and as a keen devotee of this resurrection it is apparent that the film industry is here to stay. Although the current situation resembles ...

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The story behind my film, Maalik – From the horse’s mouth

Maalik is in the midst of a huge controversy; all kinds of motives are being attributed to my film and, although everyone is entitled to their own views, I thought a straight narrative from the one who knows Maalik the best may help. A brief intro before going further: I was born in Quetta and proudly call Balochistan my home. I am ethnically a Punjabi and my ancestral roots may be connected to a village near Nankana sahib in the district of Sheikhupura, near Lahore. Being a common man, I have little use for title, surname and caste and I have never used my ...

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Does the “Urdu problem” lie with Mah-e-Mir or us?

This Mother’s Day I took my mother out on a date to watch Pakistani cinema’s latest flick Mah-e-Mir. Luckily, it has not been banned as yet. I am not a movie buff per say, but I do end up going to the cinema every other week to take a break from reality. So, I hardly ever read movie reviews before watching movies. I like to watch a movie with a blank mind, having nothing to compare it with and judge it based on the entertainment value. I went in judging from the title that Mah-e-Mir would probably be based on the ...

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India and Pakistan both share the spirit of Bollywood

The recently released Bollywood movie Airlift, based on the evacuation of Indians residing in Kuwait during the Gulf War of 1990, has won much acclaim in both India and Pakistan. Rightfully so, for its brilliant cinematography, outstanding performances by all the artists (especially Akshay Kumar who has steered away from typically playing romantic comedy or action roles) and its excellent screenplay. The tragic scenario of a war zone and how it can take away everything you have is depicted in a heart-rending manner, along with how man’s survival skills are put to the test. The apathy of many politicians and bureaucrats, as ...

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Should we look forward to Nasir Khan’s Bachaana?

We eagerly await the upcoming Lollywood movie, Bachaana, which is set to release this month. Having said that, I recently interviewed the director of this romantic-comedy, to get a clear insight of what to expect from this movie. 1. Tell us about your previous work especially Made in Pakistan “I have always been inclined towards film making and Made in Pakistan was also a step in that direction. I have been focused on making movies my entire life, and the documentary helped me improve as a storyteller. I started with a sitcom Bus Yunhi on HUM TV, and then my telefilm, 14 ...

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Stories from 2015 that could only have made headlines in Pakistan

It is the first day of January of 2016. Yes, the New Year has begun. We are all a bit older, wiser, and sadly, a little closer to death. Naturally, this is the perfect time to look back at some of the news stories that made headlines in Pakistan and across the world. Girls at Dhabas: For Pakistanis worn down by the taxing life of the big city, nothing quite reignites the brain cells like a good cup of doodh pati (tea). Sold at dhabas (roadside restaurants), these delicious cups of hot tea brewed in milk are consumed by the ...

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Move over, Shaan: Dear Lollywood, please stop with your nepotistic ways

Nepotism has a new face in Pakistan. Can you guess who it is? No, it’s not Nawaz Sharif. It’s not the Bhutto clan. It’s not the politicians or the bureaucracy. All those institutions have been swept aside by that new lady in town. We fondly call her ‘Lollywood’, but she’s more formally known as Pakistan’s film industry. She isn’t really new, but her recently acquired contemporary ornaments have taken years off her face. She wears Bol around her neck, carries Bin Roye under her arm and has crowned her head with Waar. In step with her is her entourage; a horde of uncles and aunties, brothers ...

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