Stories about comedy

What I learnt from Robin Williams

Robin Williams- when I hear that name I think of my childhood. Watching Robin portray amazing characters like in the film Jack, a young soul trapped in an old man’s body or being stuck in a board game in the movie Jumanji. When you watched him on the screen, it did not feel like you were watching a comedy legend, it felt like you were watching a kid, just like yourself, going through these extraordinary obstacles. He was never an old man trying to act young in a family comedy film, like most of the actors you see nowadays. He owned every ...

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The Fault in Our Stars: Completely faultless

Based on John Green’s bestselling fiction novel of the same name, The Fault in Our Stars is profoundly a sweet, romantic, sensible, expressive drama expressed with warmth, poignancy and humour. It will definitely inspire you to contemplate and not give in to the grief and misery of your misfortune. The title of both, the book and the movie, has been taken from Shakespeare’s famous play ‘Julius Caesar’ where the character Caesar says, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” It is a heart-wrenching love story of two attractive, quick-witted and lively teenagers with dissimilar types of cancer who share their personal ...

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Total Siyapaa: Despite a Pakistani groom and an Indian bride, the movie could have been better!

Ali Zafar’s fifth Bollywood film, Total Siyapaa, is an outlandish comedy of errors which unfolds on a single, wild night. The movie is another version of the popular cliché of what happens when a boy meets the girl’s parents for the first time. Things are going great for the couple, Aman, played by Ali Zafar, and Asha, portrayed by the talented Yami Gautam, until Aman is persuaded, with much protest, to meet Asha’s parents. Chaos ensues as the couple face characters ranging from a Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)-obsessed child, baseball-bat wielding youngsters, a chronic complainer (played skilfully by Kiron Kher), trollops with tooting accents and a ...

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Gunday: A macho masala from the 70s

Director cum writer, Ali Abbas Zafar waited a couple of years after the release of his debut ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, a comedy hit of 2011, to entice filmgoers with an action packed crime thriller. This time, Zafar has replaced the genre of a light romantic comedy with a nice mash-up of 70s’ action films to present the perfect commercial movie – Gunday. If you are a fan of Amitabh Bachchan, particularly of his angry, young man image and classics like Sholay, Don and Kala Pathar, then Gunday is a big treat for you. It’s all about action, double-dealing, revenge tangled with friendship, deceit, romance and betrayal. The film ...

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Bulbulay: When a poor man’s distress is funny

The TV-show ‘Bulbulay’ enjoys a sizable fan-following in Pakistan, but I’ve never really been a part of that base. On watching its most recent episode, my face appears to have been restructured to bear a permanent grimace. The story went something like this (needless to say, you’ll find spoilers here!): A penniless man arrives at the family’s doorstep begging for food. He stays at the door for several hours, sobbing uncontrollably about his woeful condition. The fact that the show’s writers managed to squeeze jokes into the episode with such a background story, is a remarkable feat. But wait, it gets funnier! ...

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Ghanchakkar: A dark comedy in disguise!

The new movie, Ghanchakkar had driven me really and truly Ghanchakkar (confused) – up until I started writing this review! Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta and starring Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan and Namit Das, Ghanchakkar is not what most people would have expected it to be. I booked the first-day show for the movie, thinking that I am going to watch a rom-com with the ‘serial kisser’ Emraan Hashmi and the great Vidya Balan! Sure, we had known from the pre-release synopsis that it was a story about a bank robber who had forgotten where he had hidden his loot and the mayhem that ensues ...

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Hangover 3: The Wolfpack bids adieu, the end of Hangover?

In 2009, when The Hangover hit big screens around the world, it created a ruckus about the characters of the movie and set a new standard in Hollywood’s screwball comedy genre. The sequel to Hangover, Hangover 2, released in 2011, received a similar response. Hangover 3 now brings the franchise to an end. Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper), Dr Stuart “Stu” Price (Ed Helms), Doug Billings (Justin Bartha), and Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) reprise their roles from the previous two installments as the ‘Wolfpack’. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD   The first few minutes of the movie focus on Alan, who is still a child inside the body of a 42-year old man. ...

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Fukrey: Uncontrollable laughter guaranteed!

Indra Kumar followed a simple formula for success  back in the 90s. Typically, the first half of his films would be based on comedy, while the second half would be a tear jerker. David Dhawan followed a similar approach in some of his films. Additionally films like Dil, Ishq and Shola aur Shabnam were along the same lines. Karan Johar with his Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham improvised on the same formula. We can find similarities with Priyadarshan’s brand of humor as well. Then, on the turn of the millennium, Raju Hirani took this method to a whole new level. In ...

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Aangan Terrha: The theatre lover’s fix of nostalgia and entertainment

The chance to watch the most awaited play in the theatrical history of Karachi came to me by the sheer luck of getting some free passes, as Rs1500 for a ticket seemed too steep a price. I was greeted by an excited crowd that had gathered even before the gates opened. There was palpable excitement in the air. Everyone was hoping for a worthy show that could make them relive their old memories. Being a die-hard fan of Aangan Terrha and having almost rote-learned the entire show – thanks to the presence of old DVDs in the house – I was sceptical about whether my expectations ...

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Chashme Baddoor: Another sad attempt at a remake

It seems Bollywood is on a remake spree. A weekend after the release of the Himmatwala remake we are offered Chashme Baddoor, a remake of a 1981 comedy of the same name. While with remakes, one inevitably ends up comparing it to the original, I am going to try and be fair to the 2013 movie, and not pitch the two versions against each other. Chashme Baddoor  is an out-and-out David Dhawan comedy – full of cheesy shayari (poetry), slapstick (and sometimes over the top comedy) and exaggerated situations. This is not a movie for those expecting any form of sense in ...

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