Stories about films

Mother! is an extremely confusing riddle wrapped in a mystery, hidden inside an enigma

Every once in a while, there comes a piece of visual art that is bashed and praised in equal measure. A movie which has the remarkable potential to infuriate and stimulate at the same time. Facing an intense backlash from the audience, Paramount Studios had to release a statement defending its latest release. There is no denying the fact that Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! is an extremely confusing riddle wrapped in a mystery, hidden inside an enigma. Aronofsky’s current girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence, plays the titular character. In the movie, she is the better half of Javier Bardem, who plays a famous ...

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Lucknow Central: Jailhouse rock or jailhouse schlock?

I really have to hand it to Farhan Akhtar. I am sure that the son of the renowned lyricist and screenwriter, Javed Akhtar, must have faced a huge dilemma when casting for Lucknow Central. As an actor, if you sign up for a lot of average B-Town masala flicks, you will watch your promising career fade into oblivion. Choose your projects and characters wisely and patiently, and you might just be able to carve a niche out for yourself. Farhan Akhtar opted for the latter and the rest, as they say, is history. Since his first acting debut film in Bollywood, Akhtar has ...

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Mubarakan: Sit back, let go and enjoy the ride

Anees Bazmee’s latest film, Mubarakan recently hit the theatres. Knowing that it was directed by the king of comedy, who also directed movies like No Entry, Welcome, Ready, Singh is King and more, I honestly expected a mind-numbing comedy. These movies are high in entertainment value and that’s exactly what I expected. As I walked into the movie theatre, I was all set to laugh. And boy did Anees pull through this time. The cast Who doesn’t love a good Anil Kapoor movie? We have seen the Anees and Anil duo before, thus this film was already high on the expectations ladder, given the humour we witnessed in the last ...

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Jumanji returns after 22 years, but with a remote-controlled twist

If you were a kid growing up in the 90s, chances are you saw Jumanji and loved it. Following the story of a sinister board game whose gameplay affects real life, the film was one of the benchmark children films of the 90s and for many people, one of their first introductions to the late and great Robin Williams. Now some 22 years later, it makes a return in the form of a sequel but there’s a twist. Instead of a board game, this one is about a Jumanji videogame which when played, consequently sucks its players into its world and transforms them into the characters of ...

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Lack of emotion and recycled jokes fail to elevate Despicable Me 3 from a cartoon to an animated film

Despicable Me 3 is the latest entry in the hugely successful Despicable Me franchise. And although the last two prequels have done well in regards to delivering good humour, fun characters and enjoyable set-pieces, the latest release falls short of being even slightly good. The latest film follows the now-reformed Gru (Steve Carell), who still works for the Anti-Villain League. His failure to apprehend the new baddie, Balthazar Brat (voiced by South Park’s Trey Parker) – a child star from the 80s who is seeking world domination because of the pre-mature cancellation of his show – leads to him being fired from the Anti-Villain league. Furthermore, ...

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Half Widow: Not Pakistan, not India, but the world through Kashmir’s eyes

Throughout history, cinema has functioned as a voice against oppression. Be it films such as Mississippi Burning or Fruitvale Station that highlight racism in the US’ past and present, or films such as Schindler’s List and Life is Beautiful which focus on the Holocaust and the oppression of Jews during World War II. The Battle of Algiers is yet another movie which focuses on the oppression of the Algerian people by the French, and their subsequent struggle for independence. Photo: Facebook Cinema has always played an important role in connecting the viewer with these moving stories. Kashmiri filmmaker Danish Renzu aims to do something similar with his latest film, Half ...

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War for the Planet of the Apes is hitting theatres this summer, and it is no monkey business!

Despite all these years, I can still vividly remember one of the climax scenes from the original Charlton Heston starrer, Planet of the Apes. I was a kid back then, but the sight of an utterly decimated Statue of Liberty from the finale had this bizarre depressing effect on me which lingered on for days. It wasn’t just the shot itself, it was the notion that dumb humans co-existing with their advanced simian cousins as the dominant species was a little too peculiar for my impressionable self. Photo: IMDb My dad was kind enough to answer my curiosity ...

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I am a die-hard SRK fan, but I won’t watch Raees

The much-awaited Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) starrer Raees, released in January 2017, seems loosely based on the life of notorious Gujarati Mafioso Abdul Latif. Latif was a gambler, a hired assassin, bootlegger and extortionist par excellence. He was also involved in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and on the run till he was killed by the police in an encounter in 1997. Raees has, perhaps, sketched Latif’s life with all the charm and halo one expects from an SRK starrer. Like all other SRK fans, I wait for his films with bated breath. Such is my King Khan mania that I have never missed ...

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Sullivan’s Travels: A deliciously dark comedy and far from ordinary

The golden age of Hollywood has produced numerous memorable films, ones that even decades later, still influence filmmakers from around the world. But Sullivan’s Travels (1941) is not any ordinary film. This delicious dark comedy by Preston Sturges was highly controversial for its time that brought a special sense of humour to mainstream American filmmaking. This is the first of my ‘Bucket List Pick’; A film that you have to watch before you kick the bucket. The film stars Joel McCrea as a famous Hollywood director Sullivan who feels like he hasn’t created anything of value for the common masses. ...

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will not let Harry Potter fans down

When I first heard about a Harry Potter spin off prequel, I was a bit sceptical about whether any other wizarding fantasy could fill up the wizarding cloaks left behind by Harry and the gang. But little did I know that JK Rowling has some more dazzling magic left for us muggles (or no-maj if you are American). From the get go, this imagination-tickling flick nostalgically took me back to the magical world of wizards and witches with James Newton Howard’s famed title theme and the symbolic silver fonts used in the opening title. Fantastic Beasts and Where to ...

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