Stories about film

GI Joe 2: On censorship and movies based on children’s toys

Censorship. The worst enemy of intellectual freedom. The worst enemy of creativity. The worst enemy of an egalitarian, democratic society. And the best friend of the establishment. Censorship is why people in this country don’t know the history of this land. Censorship is why any reliable information construed as critical of Pakistan’s power players will vanish from the airwaves. Censorship is why Pakistan will not see the GI Joe sequel. The upcoming movie has been banned by the Pakistani censor board for its ‘fictional’ portrayal of Pakistan as a failed state and the also fictional theft of Pakistani nuclear weapons by Cobra. Max ...

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Race 2: Not as good as Race, but still enjoyable!

With Race being a mammoth success, Race 2 brought on all sorts of expectations and hype with it. However, did the film live up to all of this? In contrast to Race – which was based on a conflict between two step brothers – the sequel is aimed at getting revenge. Ranveer Singh, (Saif Ali Khan) wants to ruin the money-minded Armaan Malik (John Abraham) because he killed Ranveer’s pregnant wife, Sonia (Bipasha Basu). If you haven’t seen the movie yet, let me warn you of some spoilers ahead! The story starts with Ranveer stealing 5 hotels from Vikram Thappar (Rajesh Khattar), a ...

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Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola: I’m not impressed

Just when I was convinced that there is nothing that the supremely talented Vishal Bhardwaj can’t do well, he co-writes Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola.

PHOTO: REUTERS

The film, a romantic comedy, has a trite plot with an equally trite leftist message jammed in where something fresher could have made MKBKM a much more enjoyable experience. Matru (Imran Khan) is a law graduate from Delhi University who, like his father before him, works as an all-purpose servant for the wealthy Mandola family, Harry Mandola (Pankaj Kapur) and the apple of his eye, his daughter Bijlee  Mandola (Anushka Sharma). Although Matru ...

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The bond condename theory

Since the first James Bond film, Dr No., there have been 23 official films and for 50 years, Bond has foiled terror plots, crashed cars, seduced women and defeated the process of aging; but then there is this theory… Known as the Codename Theory, it suggests that there is no one single James Bond, but that “James Bond” is a codename passed on from one agent to the next as each retires (just as the titles of M and Q are awarded to their replacements.) The theory explains the agelessness of Bond – note that Daniel Craig’s Bond became 11 ...

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Dabangg 2: Crass, idiotic and senseless

Reading that Dabangg 2 had made close to Rs150 crore in less than 14 days perked up my interest. After all, I wondered, what would it take for a film to become one of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all times? With enormous curiosity and an absolutely open mind (I haven’t seen its prequel, Dabangg.) I marched into a near-packed theatre armed with a bucket of popcorn. The first kidnapping sequence reminded me of senseless south Indian action films which are omnipresent on movie channels these days. The mindless violence and a desperate attempt at comedy already began to irritate my ...

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Student of the Year: A trip down memory lane

 It is the mash up of the year but still somehow manages to be its own film.  Karan Johar’s Student of the Year (SOTY) will remind you of at least four films: Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, Main Hoon Na and Aisha. There’s also a bit of Rang De Basanti somewhere (rich father constantly putting down his eccentric son) and Dostana (gay principal; gay editor). However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing when a film is as entertaining as SOTY and has the vintage KJo feel to it without being a tear-jerker. Contrary to popular perception before the film’s release, SOTY is not a souped-up version of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. In fact, it ...

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If the King of Romance, Yash Chopra was Pakistani…

I watched the Yash Chopra interview with Shah Rukh Khan last night. It had been conducted on the great director’s birthday just a few weeks ago when he turned 80. I recommend you watch it. This man is not just talking about his achievements but giving real life pointers and the whole one hour 48 minutes held me captivated and left me motivated to do more in my own life. Although we mourn his death, let there be no doubt that he must have died in peace having fulfilled many of his life’s dreams and ambitions. I won’t go on ...

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English Vinglish: Definitely a must-watch!

Yeh bar bar usse judge-mental keh raha hai, laiken mujhe toh bilkul theek lag rai hai. Mental, mental kyu keh raha hai phir? (He keeps calling her judgemental, but I think she looks perfectly normal. Why does he keep calling her mental, mental then?) These are the bewildered words of Shahi – a simple woman from India played by Sridevi in her comeback film English Vinglish – as she tries to follow an English movie on TV.  Made you smile didn’t they? Such is the tone of the entire movie – innocence and simplicity – under which lurks the very meaningful theme of ...

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Rajesh Khanna: Your human side made you a superstar

It has been exactly a month since the world lost the superstar, Rajesh Khanna. However, I feel that when an obituary becomes adulatory, it stops being honest. Does an obituary need to be a blind obeisance of the person who died no matter how big or small he or she is? Why take the human out of an obituary and make a person look like an infallible supernatural force? If you read the pieces written on the film star Rajesh Khanna after his death, most of them ignored his human frailties, his weaknesses, his failings and his tragic and lonely ...

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‘Firaaq’: When the suppressed resort to terrorism

Since the year 2004, Pakistan has seen its North-West tribal agencies recurrently get bombed by American drones. After a total of around 300 drone strikes, about 3000 people have lost their lives. Though the United States proudly claims these attacks to be instrumental in eradicating the terrorist activities in the region, drone strikes still invite the debate as to whether they actually serve this purpose and this purpose only. More so, a wide majority of Pakistanis─ the tribal population included─ question the casual use of Pakistani air-space by the American military. Though people complain that these attacks ridicule the sovereignty of Pakistan, there ...

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