Stories about films

“Failing state”? Even Indians think Swara Bhaskar should stop confusing Pakistan with her career!

Given the current milieu of tense relations between India and Pakistan, an Indian contemplating the comments made by a relatively unknown Bollywood actress regarding Pakistan being a “failing state” may not be the most reasonable exercise. However, her statements bring forth something very typical about an average Indian’s perception of Pakistan. Over in Pakistan, actress Urwa Hocane’s posts calling Swara Bhaskar out for her contradictory statements on Pakistan have already gone viral on social media. Pakistan is the country that you @ReallySwara referred to,in 2015, as the “Best country you have ever visited” and it has only gotten better in the last few ...

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Wajood’s trailer fails at its one job – attraction

Trailers or previews are unarguably the most significant gizmo to lure and persuade filmgoers to anxiously wait for the upcoming movie. Thus, filmmakers put extra effort in releasing flawlessly edited and timely trailers for their films, in order to build the buzz and attract audiences to the theatres upon the film’s release. They concentrate on adding weighty scenes, salient dialogues and amalgamating different vistas in their trailers to heighten the buzz. The blockbuster trailer of the highly anticipated Bollywood film Veere Di Wedding is a textbook example of this. With lots of juicy and garish material, yet still not ...

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Why quality war movies are not Bollywood and Lollywood’s forte

South Asia’s film industries have failed to produce a war film of international impact that would contribute to the myths indispensable to a culture’s self-image and provide a viable soft power platform. Films narrowly focused on jingoism and self-righteousness only preach to the choir. They quickly degenerate into self-indulgence. The paucity of South Asian war films and their quality leaves much to be desired. Whining about Hollywood cultural assaults discounts the entertainment quality of its movies and the innumerable, politically anti-American, Hollywood war-movie fans worldwide. The Naked and the Dead, The Great Escape, From Here to Eternity, Platoon, Full Metal ...

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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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