Stories about direction

Boring and annoyingly predictable, Secret Obsession sinks into a puddle of tedium

Netflix has released a string of terrific web series over the last few years, but the streaming giant hasn’t been quite as impressive when it comes to its feature length offerings. Barring a few standout exceptions – the most prominent of which is last year’s acclaimed Roma – the original films produced by Netflix have mostly been underwhelming and paled in comparison to their big screen counterparts. It isn’t surprising then that its latest thriller, Secret Obsession, ranks among the worst additions to its online library. We meet the protagonist, Jennifer (Brenda Song), as she is fleeing an unidentified pursuer on a rainy ...

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Escape Plan 2: Hades – the only escape you should be planning is one out of the theatre

When Escape Plan came out in 2013 nobody really expected it to be good. And it wasn’t. But it did enough with its premise to create a relatively fun prison break movie. And with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone starring opposite of each other, the film succeeded at being what it was; a dumb but enjoyable B movie that doubled as the long-awaited big-screen team-up of two of the biggest movie stars of the 80’s and 90’s. It was about cashing in on the nostalgia that these stars brought. And the studio duly cashed-in. But nothing about the film could have pointed ...

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For better or worse, Janaan is a step in the right direction

The Macmillan Dictionary defines a romantic-comedy as, “A funny movie, play or television program about a love story that ends happily.”  Janaan is just that, but it’s not funny in the ordinary sense of the word. The film, directed by Azfar Jafri and co-produced by Reham Khan, is a latter-day ode to Pakhtun identity and heritage. It is a story about Meena, played by Armeena Khan, who returns from Canada to attend her cousin’s wedding in Swat, but falls in love with her adopted cousin. On paper, it sounds appreciable to the Pakistani viewer, and for the most part, the outcome on the screen is adequately gratifying. The stunning introductory shots ...

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5 reasons why no one will be screaming during the ‘Scream’ series

Screams are not quite in the air yet. The freshman TV series ‘Scream’ is an adaptation of Wes Craven’s classic film franchise of the same name debuted on MTV last month to poor reviews. However, this not-so-innovative show lacks a number of elements including the unpredictability factor, interesting character profiles, and the list goes on and on. Nonetheless, the first six minutes of the pilot episode were entertaining given Bella Thorne’s stellar performance. She owned her character, no questions asked. I was hoping that the series would bring in fresh plot twists and more heat but was greatly disappointed with the premiere episode. Here are ...

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PK – A movie buff’s delight!

PK has undeniably been the most anticipated movie for the last few years. Apart from Aamir Khan’s fans, even film critics have been waiting to see producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s and director Rajkumar Hirani’s combination of magic. PK revolves around a wide-eyed, rebellious yet innocent stranger in a city who goes by the initials of PK (Aamir) and the people he meets whilst exploring the new city. His journey starts from the middle of Rajasthan where he befriends a man named Bhairon Singh (Sanjay Dutt). Bhairon makes PK feel right at home but eventually, PK has to move on with his journey ...

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O21: Comically bad?

Perhaps the most impressive thing about O21 is that it was made at all. Aside from the fact that this bi-lingual Pakistani film boasts a talented cast of both Pakistani and foreign actors, and is helmed by filmmaker Jamshed Mahmood Raza, aka Jami – who here has directed his first feature length film – O21 also takes a risk by featuring a narrative that avoids all the cliché-ridden trappings of a Pakistani film. A bigger risk, however, is the pacing of the film, which at times is so slow that it makes the deliberately paced cinematic Steven Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey seem like Usain Bolt running on angel ...

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#HeForShe will not make you any less of a man

In an era where celebrities predominantly exercise an almost magnetic influence over their fan base to promote products and virtually dictate the way the populous dresses or behaves, it becomes exceedingly rare to see an individual stand up and talk about a pertinent issue. Emma Watson, an actress known mostly for her performance in the Harry Potter series, showed how celebrity power can be used in a positive way. Speaking before a UN conference, Watson kick started her ‘HeForShe’ campaign, a movement which aims to achieve gender equality by including men in the fight against female oppression. Although as a race, we have ...

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Mary Kom: A punch in the right direction

When you think of movies under the Sanjay Leela Bhansali banner, you think of epic romances, of the colours blue, grey, and black, of love and passion, and women dancing in the most extravagant of lehngas. But the last thing you would expect from a Bhansali movie is a story about a young girl trying her luck in the patriarchal field of sports. This is why the movie Mary Kom was pleasantly surprising. But Mary Kom coming from a big production house is not why I liked it. I liked it because of the following reasons: 1) It is a biopic. This kind of cinema is really inspirational and it ...

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Tamanna: A step in the right direction for Pakistani cinema

There has to be something about a movie where a Pakistani audience sits silently in cinemas, where mobile texting and chatting during a movie is the norm otherwise, and watch two lead characters dominate the story in a single location for 83 minutes. Billed as Pakistan’s first ‘Film Noir’, Tamanna is definitely in a league of its own in the context of Pakistani cinema. Prominent film critic Taran Adarsh raised an important point upon release of the film Barfi!, “You don’t formulate movies (like Barfi!) targeting its box-office potential or its commercial prospects. You create such films for its passion of cinema.” This statement applies to Tamanna as ...

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I walked in the opposite direction when One Direction won the People’s Choice Awards

The People’s Choice Awards are undoubtedly, one of the most famous American awards shows to date. These awards exhibit what people think of certain actors, bands, artists and the like. Of course, it also exhibits how these people are somewhat challenged when it comes to choosing their favourite actors, bands, artists etcetera. Not that they should be judged or criticised for their weakness since they are, after all, called ‘People’s Choice Awards’ and not ‘My-Opinion-is-Obviously-Better-Than-Yours’ awards. But here in this article, I am free to give my personal opinion which is not all that eyebrow-raising since as I am one of the ...

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