Stories about performances

Manjhi: An exceptional portrayal of man versus nature’s injustice

It takes ages to find a plot that has the tendency to showcase different emotions, scenarios, and the journey of life i.e. transformation of one’s identity.   Manjhi: The Mountain Man is one such story that shares a tale of a man who believes in love, humanity, arrogance, friendship and doing what’s needed in his capacity as an individual to bring a change. It is based on the true story of Dashrath Manjhi, an unsung hero and legend who proved that nothing is impossible to achieve. The film is directed by Ketan Mehta and features Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the lead role of Manjhi. Manjhi has an able team to ...

Read Full Post

Why Good Morning Karachi fails to rise and shine

Good Morning Karachi, for Pakistani cinema, is amongst the few unconventional, path-breaking movies that we’ve come across in recent years. The reason is very simple; Good Morning Karachi is a female-oriented film with a female protagonist. Unfortunately, except for this bit, there is little else that is extraordinary about this film. So far, the movie has received mixed responses based on different factors. Perhaps an exploration of this movie is required. Before we begin, however, let me clarify that this film is not the Pakistani version of Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra-starrer Fashion (as many may insinuate). The entire movie is based on Rafina (Amna Ilyas), who belongs to ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

Bobby Jasoos: A volcano of talent… wasted!

Keeping the taste of Bollywood fans and critics in mind, director Samar Shaikh and producer Dia Mirza came up with a great formula for their new movie, Bobby Jasoos, one which they thought would be a hit movie. To understand it better, the formula is a mix between women-centric movies, like No one killed Jessica, Hate Story, Dirty Picture, Gulaab Gang and English Vinglish, and detective thrillers, like John Day, Samrat & Co., Kahaani, Mr Joe B Carvalho.  So what is the movie about? Bobby Jasoos is about Bilquis Ahmed (Vidya Balan), also known as Bobby Jasoos, who aspires to be a detective ...

Read Full Post

‘Catching Fire’ with The Hunger Games!

With its dark and powerful plot coupled with an abundance of fantastic performances, Francis Lawrences’s Catching Fire is as gripping a watch as its former film. But unlike The Hunger Games, the latest instalment in the franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ popular books, portrays a much darker world and leaves no stone unturned to show the horrors people suffer under totalitarian regimes. Catching Fire takes us back to the dark, despairing country of Panem. After winning the 74th edition of the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return to their home in District 12, the most suppressed sector of Panem. They are on their ...

Read Full Post

Concerts in Karachi: Bring back fun to this city!

I was at a Strings concert a few days ago. It was one of those fancy sit down affairs, with hideous white sofas and people taking selfies of each other to upload on social media. Bilal Maqsood began singing “mera bichra yaar” and the LCD screens behind him played a very old video from the 1990s. It was then that it hit me. Suddenly I wasn’t nodding and smiling politely to the music, but in a half built amphitheatre, I was screaming as the crème de la crème of the urban rock phenomena in Pakistan belted out their numbers. Coming up… ...

Read Full Post

The Wolverine: Everyone’s favourite clawed mutant is back!

Set against striking  Japanese backdrops, with action and strong performances, The Wolverine claws you in from the first reel. The latest instalment in the X-Men film series is a must watch. The film centers on Logan’s aka The Wolverine (Hugh Jackman)’s, struggle to come to terms with the burden of immortality and the loss of Jean Grey. The opening scene is set in 1945 near Nagasaki, where Logan is held in a POW camp, with B-29s flying overhead to deliver the atomic bomb. During the atomic explosion, he saves the life of one his captors, a soldier named Yashida. In the mayhem Yashida learns of Logan’s self-healing abilities. ...

Read Full Post

Jannat 2: True Bollywood cinema

Thrill and adventure is the concept that embodies the work of the Bhatt camp (Mahesh Bhatt and Vikram Bhatt) and this particular invention they managed to churn out is phenomenal. The Bhatts have produced many movies that have been lauded by viewers, some controversial and some with a message. One thing is for sure, they know the mindset of the audience and how to penetrate it. The story line depicted in the movie lifts the audience out of their comfort zone and helps to view a different aspect of mainstream cinema. Movies like Arth, Saraansh, Naam, Daddy, Awargi, Zakhm, Tamanna, Jism, ...

Read Full Post

The Hunger Games: Stimulate your mind

If the best games stimulate the mind and the body, then The Hunger Games belongs near the top of the pile. Adapted from a novel bearing the same name by Suzanne Collins, this first installment in a trilogy is a superb dramatic action film, which engages the grey matter on various levels, thanks to its rich depth in characterisation, as well as a subtle multi-layered narrative. Set in a dystopian future in North America, things start with 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who feeds her little sister Primrose (Willow Shields), and her widowed mother (Paula Malcomson), ...

Read Full Post

What to learn from the series against England

The Pakistan vs England series has finally concluded in the UAE and as the records state, we managed to beat England 3-0 in the Test series. However, England were good enough to beat us 4-0 in the ODIs and also 2-1 in the T-20s. Sadly, the latest defeats have spoiled the show for us big time. The losses have undoubtedly exposed our batting line up. If we look at the stats, we owe the Test series win to our spin bowling and the England side’s inability to play our bowlers. But here is what we have been doing in the batting department ...

Read Full Post