In Simmba, a half-baked message is buried deep under Rohit Shetty’s typical potboiler

Loosely based on the Telugu film Temper, the cop action saga Simmba is directed by Rohit Shetty, produced by Dharma Productions and Rohit Shetty Picturez, and stars an ensemble cast of Ranveer Singh, Sonu Sood and Sara Ali Khan. The film is about Sangram ‘Simmba’ Bhalerao, a poor orphan who aspires to become an unscrupulous police inspector. As an officer of the law, he unapologetically indulges in corrupt practices to have his pockets lined, as he believes that corruption and dishonesty are indispensable to live a perfect life. The film starts on a comic note and is mostly about fun, tricks and games, ...

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To binge-watch or not to binge-watch – The highs and lows of TV in 2018

There is no doubt that we are living in the golden age of television. With loads of new enticing televisions shows being produced every year and keeping us hooked throughout, there is no doubt that we are witnessing ‘peak TV’. Every year countless television networks and streaming services produce their own TV shows to attract as much audience as possible. The competition amongst them gets tougher by the second and we the audience, couldn’t be happier as we are treated with more and more entertaining content with each passing day. To mark the end of the year, below is a ...

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8 game changers of Bollywood that wowed us in 2018

The year 2018 has been one of the most surprising ones in recent Bollywood memory, for it has been one where content ruled above all other elements in films. This year in particular, movies with unique content found solidification in Bollywood. While big-budget films (those with a lot of expectations associated) tanked at the box office, smaller films with lower budget and lesser known faces triumphed massively. One of the most shocking things about this year was that films with massive stars such as Salman Khan and Aamir Khan underperformed against the hopes and excitement of their fans, while lesser known faces ...

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Unconventional yet inventive, Aquaman puts a struggling DC Universe back on track

The ‘DC Extended Universe’, or the ‘World of DC’ or whatever it is being called these days, hasn’t had a good start which is quite obvious judging by the critical reception its movies have been receiving. Although DC movies have done well financially, (except a few misfires like Justice League) they were attacked by critics and fans weren’t impressed either. Wonder Woman is the only DC movie to date which ended up being both, a critical and commercial success. Post the debacle that was Justice League, DC needed a revamp and all hopes were on James Wan’s Aquaman starring Jason ...

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Tis the season for some easy, exotic and lip-smacking Christmas delicacies

Finally, it’s that time of the year again. Christmas, as traditional as it sounds, is reminiscent of many childhood holidays. From stuffing the chicken and turkey to baking fragrant ornaments for the Christmas tree, hanging up stockings and decking up the living room, some of our favourite festive memories have come from this holiday.   Cooking for Christmas is the way many share the joy of this holiday with their friends and family. You cannot just serve the Christmas bakes on the table; you should wrap them, adorn them with beautiful embellishments and send them to your loved ones as ...

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Zero: Too many flaws and not enough ink

Newly released Zero, starring Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in lead roles, reminded me strongly of Shahid Kapoor’s Mausam. Similar to Mausam, Zero has a strong premise.  However, the 20 subplots it takes to explore this subject in a lengthy 165-minutes narrative makes it a tedious watch. It is a film with a good heart but the body of the film has a more acute case of cerebral palsy than the lead character of the film does. Zero has a misleading title. It should have been called six. Or seven. This is the number of stories the ...

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The best of the best from Tinseltown: And the ETBA goes to…

As the year winds to a close, and the awards season begins to honour the best films of the year, there seems to be an ever-growing disconnect between what the people expect and what awards shows like the Oscars deliver. The Oscars are meant to be a night on which the most important films of the year are honoured but what about the other unimportant but highly watchable films that Oscar voters simply don’t care about? What about the genres that the Oscar voters simply don’t consider important enough and look down upon? Well, this list aims to provide ...

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From the moneymaker to the ‘accidental hero’, 2018 has been a booming year for our film industry

The year is almost over, and there is no doubt the ‘revival’ of Pakistani cinema continued in 2018. It would even be fair to say the so-called revival phase is over and the industry has stabilised to a degree. It should only go up from here, as our filmmakers have now understood the basic needs of the modern cinema going audience. While production values, music and the film treatments have significantly improved, the stories remain the weak link. However, this is a problem with most large-scale films, even across the border. Yes, there are still some black sheep insisting ...

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Darker and drearier, ‘Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle’ lacks its bare necessities

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, the latest live-action cinematic take on Rudyard Kipling’s story of a boy raised by wolves is a peculiar beast. It’s the old familiar tale but with a dark, gory spin. Mowgli (Rohan Chand), an orphaned infant, grows up in an Indian jungle after being rescued by the panther Bagheera (Christian Bale) and adopted by a family of wolves. The pack offers him protection from Sher Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), a fierce tiger who killed the child’s parents and now wants to devour the man cub as well. The young boy is mentored by the bear Baloo (Andy ...

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Despite its talented cast and progressive story, Pinky Memsaab could not shatter the glass ceiling

Whether it’s Hollywood, Bollywood or Lollywood, film industries around the globe are investing in women-centric stories. The progressive voices are much louder than ever and are effectively paving the path for change. Women filmmakers are now more often seen in the limelight and movies with multi-dimensional women protagonists are encouraged. One of the main and common concepts behind such audacious characters is self-discovery by killing stereotypes. For instance movies like Wild (2014), Zubeidaa (2001), English Vinglish (2012), The Devil Wears Prada (20016), Queen (2014) and Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016) highlighted a sense of self-worth and depicted female power. Dubai-based indie ...

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