Escape Room may not be the smartest movie but it surely delivers the thrills

The excitement of the escape room has captivated people around the globe, including celebrities like Ariana Grande and former President Barack Obama, and it’s easy to see why the trend has become so popular – it must surely be fun to unravel mysteries, solve puzzles and find your way out of the room(s) by completing this adventure game. But what if someone deliberately made the adventure deadly? That’s the idea behind the film Escape Room, a horror-thriller in which a group of strangers find themselves trapped inside a lethal maze and must fight for survival. A shy student Zoey (Taylor Russell), ambitious ...

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Audacious, hypnotic and intense, Kangana Ranaut was made to play the Queen of Jhansi

Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi chronicles the tale of one of India’s most prominent historical figures. Manikarnika, better known as Lakshmibai or the Rani of Jhansi, was one of the foremost freedom fighters of the 1857 rebellion. The allegory of Rani of Jhansi has personally fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Hence, writing even a review of a film based on her gallantry gives me great bliss. A warrior queen riding a horse, a sword in her hand, a child strapped onto her back, Manikarnika is an old-fashioned, simplistic film underlining the core values of bravery, valour and ...

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Glass: A forced marriage of Unbreakable and Split, has M Night Shyamalan lost his mojo?

Glass, the final chapter in writer-director M Night Shyamalan’s Eastrail 177 Trilogy, brings together the worlds of Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016). David Dunn (Bruce Willis), the plane crash survivor with superhuman abilities from Unbreakable, is now a vigilante known as ‘The Overseer’, who is taking down criminals with the help of his now-grown son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark). The superhero finds himself on the trail of Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), the kidnapper from Split, who is referred to as ‘The Horde’ and who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. As soon as the two men clash, they are arrested and sent to ...

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Chilly, rainy winter? This besan roti and muzaffar will surely warm you up!

Pakistani winters always remind me of winters spent in my village, the simple life as I call it. No artificiality, no hypocrisy, just contentment. Since I have only ever spent time in a Punjab village setup, I can vouch for their sociability, entrepreneurial skills and of course the food! This is not to say other provinces do not have these characteristics,  just that I wish I can someday explore the unique elements they too are sure to have. Bringing our attention to the food, my mind recalls one village winter delight among many – besan ki roti (gram flour bread). Almost ...

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Move over, Pixar! Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has set new benchmarks for animated movies

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a superhero animated movie that pays the ultimate homage to the comic book of its namesake and ticks all the right boxes in the process as well. Miles Morales’ (Shameik Moore) rise from being a confused adolescent teenager to the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man has been exhibited with the best of animation. The story arch combines the 3D computer animation and comic book sensibilities and tendencies, and churns out a well-rounded package that seems different yet is familiar. The movie is a breath of fresh air among the vast sea of the same Pixar-esque animation style we ...

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12 entries that were definitely worth the long queues at Karachi Eat Festival 2019

Karachi Eat this time around was bigger and better when compared to previous editions. But was the food worth the massive crowds, seemingly never-ending queues and overall chaos one faces at a food festival in Karachi? No doubt, Karachi Eat this year was better managed (thank God for that huge parking space) but the space wasn’t utilised properly and the event seemed unorganised. The ground space from the park entrance to the actual festival entrance was left unoccupied where people were just hanging out. In our opinion, the unused space should have been utilised as there was hardly any walking space, ...

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With not much to offer, ‘Gumm’ sure knows how to lose its audience

It’s rare for Pakistani filmmakers to attempt something different in terms of making unique, unusual and off-track films. Luckily, Ammar Lasani and Kanza Zia have tried to offer something different to Pakistani cinemagoers in the form of Gumm. Gumm stars Sami Khan, Shameen Khan and Shamoon Abbasi in the lead roles. With a fresh star cast, unique storyline and not a lot invested in promotions, Gumm seemed to have almost everything it takes to appeal to audiences. The plot revolves around Asad (Sami) who regains consciousness after an accident. He seems to have completely forgotten what has happened to him and looks towards the ...

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Lacking poignancy, ‘What Will People Say’ could have been more nuanced and relatable

In her second movie, What Will People Say, Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker Iram Haq tries to relay the experience of a teenager who is caught between the fairly conservative background of her family and the liberal atmosphere of the country she calls home. The film – which is apparently inspired by the director’s own life – is centred on the story of 16-year-old Nisha (Maria Mozhdah), who is a typical Norwegian girl when she’s out with her friends but forced to conform to her parents’ strict rules when she is at home. After being caught fooling around with her boyfriend in her ...

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive illusion of free will

Charlie Brooker’s anthology series, Black Mirror is known for exploring the dark side of technology with an appetite for the bleak and satirical. Each episode serves as a cautionary tale on how technology of today could be the end of us tomorrow, but what makes the show so intriguing are the increasingly creative and compelling stories that each episode is crafted upon. This time around, instead of a new season – which usually releases towards the end of the year – Netflix has released Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. This is an interactive movie that staying true to the creative nature of the show allows you, ...

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Heartfelt and cheery, Mary Poppins Returns will take you on a magical spin down memory lane

It seems that a new era of modern musicals has started in Hollywood. Directors are experimenting with this cinematic form that accentuates song and dance sequences as a form of expression within the storyline. Box office hits such as La La Land (2017), Les Misérables (2012), Hairspray (2007), and The Greatest Showman (2017) are testimony to the fact that filmgoers love this genre. Another film in point, which has been very well received, is the recently released fantasy musical with an unconventional, escapist sort of realism – Mary Poppins Returns. Based on P L Travers’ children’s book series of the ...

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