Victoria and Abdul: An enthralling story of Victorian taboos and secrets of love, race and class

In most biographical dramas, the notion of adaptation is never fully exercised; it is often an amalgamation of history, art, rhetoric and entertainment. Every once in a while, filmmakers craft their historical and biographical pieces very critically; filtering factual bits and pieces to create rigorous dramatic composition that eventually gives superlative performances. For instance, Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Roman Polanski’s Pianist, Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, Marc Forster’s Finding Neverland, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, James Mangold’s Walk the Line, and Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor. Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Grifters (1990) and The Queen (2006) famed English director Stephen Frears’ freshest project is also a carefully crafted realistic biographical drama about the ...

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Half Widow: Not Pakistan, not India, but the world through Kashmir’s eyes

Throughout history, cinema has functioned as a voice against oppression. Be it films such as Mississippi Burning or Fruitvale Station that highlight racism in the US’ past and present, or films such as Schindler’s List and Life is Beautiful which focus on the Holocaust and the oppression of Jews during World War II. The Battle of Algiers is yet another movie which focuses on the oppression of the Algerian people by the French, and their subsequent struggle for independence. Photo: Facebook Cinema has always played an important role in connecting the viewer with these moving stories. Kashmiri filmmaker Danish Renzu aims to do something similar with his latest film, Half ...

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Same old cast, same old war, same old producers – will Yalghaar be any different from Waar?

Forget sawaiyan and prepare yourself to feast on three sumptuous cinematic delights this Eid instead. We have got the Salman Khan starrer Tubelight vying for our attention against two local offerings. While Yasir Nawaz’s Mehrunnisa V Lub You might sound like a safe bet, owing to its over the top Bollywood vibe, it is Hassan Waqar Rana’s Yalghaar which has gotten yours truly all psyched. Seasoned stalwarts like Shaan Shahid, Humayun Saeed, Ayub Khoso and Adnan Siddiqui are all part of the incredible roster along with Bilal Ashraf, Umair Jaswal, Gohar Rasheed, Ayesha Omar and Sana Bucha amongst many others. The huge ensemble cast reads like a dissertation on the who’s who of the Pakistani entertainment industry. Photo: IMDb [caption ...

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Speaking in English may not be Pakistan cricket players’ fundamental job, but it should be a part of their job

In a world where there are numerous issues to be addressed, we get carried away by unnecessary matters a little too often. This is evident through the recent case of Sarfraz Ahmed’s off-the-record comments on the absence of Urdu reporters in a post-match press conference. Ahmed made these comments after Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in a nail-biting match due to heroic efforts by the captain himself. Even in his wildest dreams, Ahmed could not have imagined being mocked over something so insignificant, let alone becoming a trolling trend on social media. Most of our Pakistani cricketers do not have a strong grip on the English language and being able to speak in ...

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Black Panther seems to be diversely epic and will fare better than Captain America

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)  doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down anytime soon, despite the fact that many were disappointed by their recent streak of films after Captain America: Civil War. But I suppose that’s understandable when you set such a high standard. Regardless, their upcoming line up of films starting with Spider-Man: Homecoming looks quite promising. But one particular film you should get excited about is Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler and featuring a talented cast led by Chandwick Boseman as the titular character, the film follows Boseman’s  T’Challa character. He is forced to return home to the fictional and technologically advanced African ...

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Will ‘Voldemort: Origins of the Heir’ answer the questions we’ve been asking about Tom Riddle?

Voldemort: Origins of the Heir is a fan film that has set social media abuzz and could be the Voldemort film that we’ve always wanted to watch. The trailer, released by the production company Tryangle, received more than two million views in just 48 hours. The official website of the film says that the idea was inspired by reading the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. The book made them wonder: “What made Tom Marvolo Riddle become Voldemort? What happened in those years, and what really went down at Hogwarts when he came back? There are some clues in the books which have not been transposed ...

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Game of Thrones season 7: The great war is here

When we last left the world of the Seven Kingdoms at the end of season six of Game of Thrones, many narrative threads were resolved. Cersei Lannister blows up the Sept, vanquishing many of her enemies including the High Sparrow and the Tyrell siblings, and becoming Queen of Westeros in one fell swoop. Seasons-old questions were finally answered. Jon Snow is indeed the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and the major contenders to the Iron Throne seem poised to finally battle for it out once and for all. Daenerys Targaryen finally sets across the Narrow Sea towards Westeros, having established allies ...

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Wonder: An important film that may genuinely pull at your heartstrings

These days, it is rare for children films to tread waters that aren’t edging towards the more sappy and sentimental side of life. But if first impressions mean anything, Wonder feels like a much welcome change of pace for this particular genre and seems like a film that may genuinely pull at your heartstrings. The film, based on The New York Times bestselling novel of the same name written by RJ Palacio, focuses on the story of a young boy named August (Auggie) Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a fifth grader who is starting school for the first time and is also ...

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Hasan Minhaj’s ‘Homecoming King’ tackles racism, bullying and the effects of 9/11 on desis one joke at a time

Hasan Minhaj is a writer, comedian and actor, but he is mainly known for his political satire. He is a senior correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and recently hosted the White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) for which he got much applause since it was a hard gig to pull off without the presence of President Donald Trump himself. Homecoming King is his first stand-up special aired on Netflix, in which he mainly talks about what it is like to be an immigrant in America. The show is the story of his life, lit with photos and seasoned with Urdu/Hindi phrases which make it all the more entertaining. From the pressure of immigrant parents to being bullied at ...

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Will American Horror Story season 7 reveal America’s worst nightmare?

Ryan Murphy was unusually forthcoming about the upcoming season of American Horror Story (AHS) during an appearance on Watch What Happens: Live in February, announcing that the theme of the new season will, in fact, be the most horrifying concept imaginable – the 2016 presidential election. Murphy said that he’s pulling inspiration from the November 8, 2016 election that saw President Donald Trump pull off a surprise victory over democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Yesterday, Murphy dropped his latest teaser on Instagram, revealing the new cast member Billie Lourd with the caption, “Winter is coming. Can’t wait for everybody to see what the incredible Lourd does this season on AHS.” Winter is coming. ...

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