Stories about love story

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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Mr and Mrs Jinnah: A story of love that wasn’t enough to save an ill-fated marriage

For the masses of the subcontinent (India and Pakistan), Sheela Reddy’s Mr and Mrs Jinnah tells the fascinating tale of a small yet poignant romance that some people might experience in life (if fortunate enough). The book explores some of the most vivid details of the lives of Rattanbai Jinnah (Ruttie) and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jinnah’s political stalwart for projecting his career above communal rights, and the doomed marriage that ended in separation despite the unusual love that lived on. Colonialism and the pre-Partition history of the subcontinent still enthrall the minds of both the old and the young. Since the populations of both India ...

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Zero: Too many flaws and not enough ink

Newly released Zero, starring Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in lead roles, reminded me strongly of Shahid Kapoor’s Mausam. Similar to Mausam, Zero has a strong premise.  However, the 20 subplots it takes to explore this subject in a lengthy 165-minutes narrative makes it a tedious watch. It is a film with a good heart but the body of the film has a more acute case of cerebral palsy than the lead character of the film does. Zero has a misleading title. It should have been called six. Or seven. This is the number of stories the ...

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A brave, untamed, reckless kind of love

She looked up at the swaying inferno over her head and wondered, ‘did the flame in my heart… set the trees on fire?’ A lazy chill creeped into the air. Not the bite of winter, just a nip to announce that a brand new season was at hand. A lonely streetlamp cast an artificial glow onto the French pavement, illuminating fallen leaves in a garish of warm yellow light. Twilight bathed the Seine as the streets of the most romantic city in the world gilded in gold. The walkway ahead of her twisted like a silk scarf; twirling, leading into the horizon. The ...

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The final goodbye

My biggest secret was the letter written by my former husband, that now sat in my nightstand’s bottom drawer. The letter that had come along with my divorce papers. The letter that was my guilt, my regret. Even if I tried, I couldn’t ignore the fact that we had been dishonest. Salaar had always been a good person – kind and considerate. The biggest proof of this was probably the fact that despite my many shortcomings and mistakes, my husband had chosen to divorce cordially. But he had also chosen to lie to our parents about what happened rather than ...

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It was meant to be, yet it wasn’t

On this beautiful summer morning in the Sultan Khel village, everything was in bloom. Flowers lazily tumbled along the pathways, butterflies and bees buzzed at blossoms, and the spindly green trees rose impossibly high into the clouds. For this day, Noor chose a pale lilac shalwar kameez strewn with floral embroidery, and wore her sparkly new golden heels underneath. Her black hair cascaded down her back in waves, and her big brown eyes twinkled. Noor looked beautiful – a vision to behold. No wonder all the village boys were after her. She opened the windows of her room, and breathed a lungful of ...

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Crazy Rich Asians may not be Oscar-worthy but it definitely is as captivating as it is entertaining

As I walked into a packed theatre in Birmingham, Michigan one evening, I was somewhat excited to see so many local ‘white Americans’ and ‘African Americans’ gathered to watch a film about ‘Asian Americans’ aka ‘immigrants’. Our stories do matter, after all. Technically, I am also an Asian American; South Asian American to be specific. The movie Crazy Rich Asians is specified as a comedy, but according to my humble opinion, it is more of a comedic satire. A bold sarcasm on the handful of ‘brand conscious’, ‘wealth managed’ crazy rich people who are found not only in Singapore (where ...

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Home Fire: A Muslim love story for the modern world

The latest novel by Kamila Shamsie has won numerous accolades, the most recent one being the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction. The novel, based on the Greek tragedy Antigone, delves into the modern-day spasms of jihad and terrorism, and also examines the concept of loyalty, belief and love. Not having read Antigone, Home Fire came across as a juxtaposition of the notions that have been shuffling in religious and political debate of late. The cover of the book – one of the most profound covers out of the books in my possession – is a simple maze of red-orange fire with two ...

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You will love Dhadak, as long as you don’t compare it to Sairat

Dhadak is an adaptation of the celebrated Marathi film Sairat, based on the deep but doomed love story of two youngsters who, because of their class differences, have to pay a heavy price for being together by the hands of political and societal tyrants. The basic plot of Dhadak plays out the same way as the original, where Madhukar (Ishaan Khattar), a lower-caste boy, and Parthavi Singh (Janhvi Kapoor), an upper-caste girl, fall head over heels in love with each other. Parthavi is evocatively a fearless, boisterous and spoilt daughter of a Rajasthani political kingpin, while Madhukar is the shy son of ...

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Sorry Karan Johar, but Dhadak lacks the rawness and simplicity of Sairat

The much-awaited trailer of Dhadak, starring Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter dropped on the Internet a few days ago, and gathered responses and reactions from people that reached a feverish and vehement pitch instantly. Dhadak, much to the disbelief and disappointment of people, could not strike a positive note and received cruel social media grilling and flak. Dhadak is an adaptation of the critically and universally acclaimed, hard-hitting Marathi blockbuster Sairat. The movie revolved around the deep and unconditional yet forbidden and doomed love story of two youngsters from different classes of society – Archana (Archie), the indulged daughter of an ...

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