After Get Out, Us proves to be much more than just a gripping horror movie

With just his first film, Get Out, Jordan Peele established himself as one of the most unique voices in Hollywood and a story-teller of many talents. Peele offered not just a great horror-comedy but also a film with enduring social commentary and critique that many hailed as being deeply relevant to race relations in America. Given the massive critical and commercial acclaim that Get Out garnered, as well as the lasting impact it will likely have on pop culture in years to come, there were always going to be high expectations from Peele’s sophomore effort Us. Lupita Nyong’o stars as Adelaide Wilson. ...

Read Full Post

Laal Kabootar is a strong, well-made film but fails at being a trendsetter

Films such as Laal Kabootar have a much bigger responsibility to cinema, particularly for Pakistani cinema, which is going through an interesting phase of its life cycle. Pakistani cinema’s revival is over; it is now in the maintenance stage. I don’t think it will go down to the disaster that it was, but whether it grows further or not remains to be seen. In order for cinema to grow, all kinds of audiences have to start coming to the theatres; the kind who would watch Kahaani or Andhadhun over Thugs of Hindostan. If you go wrong in making a Jawani Phir Nahi Ani or a Na Maloom Afraad, there ...

Read Full Post

Sherdil can talk the patriotic talk but doesn’t know where or how to walk

Patriotic films have managed to do well at the box office of late. Most recently, Parwaaz Hai Junoon came out last year and fared quite well. In fact, some theatres are still playing it, which obviously suggests that audiences are enjoying this genre. The most recent release in this genre is Sherdil, which has been in the limelight for a while now, mainly due to Pak-India tensions and the skyrocketing patriotism experienced by the country over the past month. Sherdil is Azfar Jafri’s fourth film after Siyaah, Janaan and Parchi. The film is written by Nomaan Khan and features Mikaal Zulfiqar, ...

Read Full Post

Triple Frontier is a refreshing and authentic take on heist movies

It was almost a decade ago when Mark Boal, the writer of Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, penned a screenplay for Triple Frontier. Initially, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp were supposed to headline the movie, but as the years went by and development on the movie halted, both Hanks and Depp backed off from the project. In 2017, Netflix finally bought the rights to the movie and got the ball rolling. Triple Frontier or Tres Fronteras is the point in South America where the borders of Brazil, Peru and Columbia meet. The movie revolves around a group of former ...

Read Full Post

In conversation: Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbar talk about Laal Kabootar and life behind the camera

This Friday, we will get to witness two new Pakistani films compete rigorously at the box office: the patriotic film Sherdil, and the thriller Laal Kabootar. I met the leading duo of the latter, Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbar, to talk about more than just the movie. In a light, fruitful conversation, I dig deep into their personal lives. So let’s get to know them like never before! Talking about your thrilling new venture Laal Kabootar, what is the film’s premise? Pasha: The movie centres on Karachi. It is sort of like a melting pot, with our characters belonging ...

Read Full Post

Captain Marvel is merely a fun pit stop to a promising Endgame

Carol Danvers (played by Brie Larson) is a game-changing addition to Marvel’s superhero canon. One wonders why the movie does not feel as momentous as it should. There’s much to admire about Captain Marvel. It’s a cookie-cutter superhero film, but with a female lead as its primary variant. Carol as Captain Marvel is breathtakingly unique among the comic series’ women characters. Unlike Mystique, Black Widow or Jean Gray’s Dark Phoenix, there is no reference subtle or explicit to Carol’s sexuality or feminine guile. The blockbuster passes the oddly elusive Bechdel Test with flying colours – which means there are at least ...

Read Full Post

Trying to find a middle ground in religion, Three Daughters of Eve raises more questions than it answers

The most pressing concern of an individual confused about his/her belief or faith is the instinctive attraction towards spirituality or religiosity. The path towards righteousness is often met with confusion. Though there is some clarity, the confusion is always there. Elif Shafak’s recent novel, Three Daughters of Eve focuses on three main characters, categorised in the book as, the Sinner, the Believer and the Confused. It also focuses on the character of the professor. The book constantly moves between the past and present, and between the protagonists’ feelings of confusion, reasoning and clarity. The book primarily deals with the character of Peri, a ...

Read Full Post

The Umbrella Academy: If Marvel won’t give us superheroes, Netflix successfully will!

Netflix is getting rid of shows based on Marvel Comics, mostly because Disney’s own streaming service exclusively streams Marvel content. This has, however, left a huge superhero gap in its line-up of originals. In this day and age when superheroes are a roaring success, regardless of anything, it would be foolish to not jump on the superhero bandwagon in order to keep viewers engaged. Netflix’s new original series, The Umbrella Academy, is a clear indication that Marvel or no Marvel, Netflix won’t be letting go of superheroes anytime soon. Based on the comics of the same name published by Dark Horse Comics, ...

Read Full Post

These 5 Pixar shorts are like little animated treats

Pixar has won our hearts time and again with its animated magic by putting together warm storytelling, delightful humour and dazzling visuals. Many of the studio’s films rank among the most charming movies that have ever been made. While its full-length features may get most of the attention, Pixar’s short films, too, are animated treats. Crafted with the same heart-warming touch that has made the studio a leader in its field, these short films – similar to their longer counterparts – make us feel for their characters, be they human, anthropomorphic animals or even objects. Mostly dialogue-free and reliant on sound effects ...

Read Full Post

Spinach-stuffed chicken: Easy to prepare and impressive to serve!

Chicken is always a popular and easy dish to prepare, especially given the fact that it comes in many variations, ranging from desi to non-desi. It is safe to say that for many people a week without chicken is not a satisfactory week at all. But because chicken is so easy to prepare, it gets a bit boring at times. So keeping in line with my 2019 resolution of trying out new things, I decided to prepare a non-desi variation, one that is both easy to prepare and impressive to serve: spinach stuffed chicken. Spinach is a superfood as it is loaded with ...

Read Full Post