Stories about Oscars

And the Oscar goes to…

For better or for worse, the Oscars are undoubtedly the biggest movie event of the year; the award show followed and discussed in all corners of the world. You don’t have to have a film nominated from your country to care about these awards; Hollywood’s allure ensures that all your favourite celebrities being under the same roof are reason enough for you to care. What’s made this year’s Oscars even more newsworthy is the fact that it has been a right mess even before it has started. Kevin Hart was initially announced to host the Oscars, but after some homophobic statements from ...

Read Full Post

Creepy and ominous, Us is not like your average, run-of-the-mill monster movie

Once known primarily for his comedic exploits, Jordan Peele is rapidly becoming one of the most iconoclastic filmmakers around. His debut feature Get Out gave us an idea of his talents as a filmmaker and a storyteller, for besides earning over $250 million at the box-office, it also earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Not too bad for a director making his first film, and that too about the deep-seated issues of race in America. Therefore, it is no surprise that there is a fair bit of anticipation for his next film Us, and while the first ...

Read Full Post

With an unrecognisable Bale as Dick Cheney and a gripping story, Vice is headed straight for the Oscars

You aren’t likely to recognise Christian Bale in the trailer for Vice, an upcoming biographical comedy drama about former US Vice President Dick Cheney. You’d even be forgiven for thinking that was Jeff Daniels or Chevy Chase in the titular role instead; it certainly looks more like either of them than it does the iconic Bale. The chameleonic actor is simply unrecognisable here. His extreme makeover, the latest in a string of incredible physical transformations, sees him take on the role of the controversial politician who served as George W Bush’s second-in-command for eight years. Vice charts Cheney’s political rise and invites ...

Read Full Post

Captain Marvel may be the superhero to end all superheroes, but Shazam is the clear winner

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been on a record-breaking streak for 10 years now, and this marvellous (pun intended) train seems unstoppable. However, if you look at how many female superheroes this universe has introduced over the past decade, you’re in for a shock. Apart from Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson), the MCU does not have any other bona fide female superhero, which is quite strange. No, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) does not count in this comparison, and neither does Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Technically, Black Widow doesn’t count either, as she has never starred in her own movie and ...

Read Full Post

Journalism vs sensationalism: The Front Runner explores how the media can make or break a politician

In the era we live in today, we have made peace with the fact that no matter where we are or what we do, we are surrounded by the media. Politicians in particular have a love-hate relationship with the media, a relationship that clearly leans more towards the ‘hate’ aspect. The media’s job is to keep a close eye – perhaps too close – on politicians, especially since they never match up to the public’s expectations, which in turn is why politicians hate the media. The media will call its constant hounding and meddling ‘journalism’, while the politicians call ...

Read Full Post

Two years and two bills later, Qandeel Baloch and honour continue to turn in their graves

It has been two years since social media sensation Qandeel Baloch was brutally murdered by her brother in the name of honour on July 15, 2016. Her death – much like her life – attracted wide publicity in Pakistan and abroad. It galvanised legislators to make superficial changes to the honour killing legislation in Pakistan. In reality, these changes have had little (to no) impact on the number of honour killings in Pakistan. Six days after Qandeel’s death, a parliamentary committee approved an honour killing bill that sought to bridge the gap in the existing honour killing legislation in Pakistan. ...

Read Full Post

The bittersweet reality of a meth addict: Can ‘Beautiful Boy’ win Timothée Chalamet an Oscar?

Based on the harrowing memoirs of David Sheff (Steve Carell) and his son Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet), Beautiful Boy chronicles the bittersweet real life story of a father trying to help his troubled son overcome an addiction to methamphetamine, something that threatens to bring ruin to both their lives. The official summary describes the film as, “A heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.” Judging by the trailer and the film’s fall release date, it’s not hard to see that Beautiful Boy is intended to be an Oscar contender. But the trailer also offers ...

Read Full Post

Why ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ deserved to be snubbed at the Oscars

After a meandering and predictable awards season, The Shape of Water’s victory at the 2018 Academy Awards comes as both, a pleasant surprise and a relief. The former is because it is not often that genre-bending fantasy films are garlanded by the Academy, and the latter is because it breaks the clean-sweep streak of the godforsaken Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; a film that is hopelessly bad when it comes to portraying race in America. Starting with the Golden Globes in January, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri embarked on a laurel grabbing frenzy, picking up the top honours at the Golden ...

Read Full Post

‘Victoria and Abdul’ wittily and poignantly portrays the bond between an authoritative British queen and her Indian-Muslim munshi

Victoria and Abdul, the latest offering by director Stephen Frears, is a cautiously patterned yet realistic biographical drama about the deep friendship between the Queen of England and her Indian-Muslim servant. The story of this rather unbelievable bond is all about reminiscence and loss, making it immensely pleasing to watch a historical narrative presented with such convincing solemnity. Based on eminent author Shrabani Basu’s book of the same name, Victoria and Abdul is set in 1887 against the backdrop of the queen’s golden jubilee – the 50th year of her ascension to the throne of England. Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), ...

Read Full Post

Bollywood is a cartel which has been thriving on plagiarism and nepotism

I realised what a waste of time Tubelight was only after wasting nearly three hours of my life watching it. I searched for reviews of the movie to see if I was the only one who thought along such lines. While searching for video reviews on YouTube, I came across a young movie critic’s review. This review pointed out that Tubelight’s storyline was extremely similar to a Hollywood movie called Little Boy. Thus, apart from being a terrible movie, it turned out to be a distasteful copy as well. During the 40s and 50s, movies with strong scripts and innovative storylines were being produced. ...

Read Full Post