Stories about Queen

Anushka Sharma, Alia Bhatt, Sridevi – Is there a void beyond the L-word in Bollywood?

Once he gets over how annoying she is, in every second shot, he stares at her as if to uncover her hidden magic, her power of bewitchment, her secret ability to make the ground shift beneath his feet. As he keeps up his pontification about how she must protect her virginal, doe-eyed, wild-haired self from his big bad sex-riddled being, she mocks him before sunset, and hugs him tighter than a cross-stitch at night. His discovery of good facets of his sinful soul is the culmination of her airy comments, her clueless maiden act, and her demure body trying to ...

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‘Simran’ is to Kangana Ranaut what ‘Dabangg’ is to Salman Khan – clichéd, boring and weak

There are only handful of filmmakers in Bollywood who truly focus on storytelling, character build-up and distinctive perceptions of societal pressure. Hansal Mehta is one such director cum writer, who always picks subjects which aren’t common yet have something interesting to offer. With movies such as Chhal, Shahid, Citylights, and Aligarh, he has proved his mettle and made his place in a certain kind of cinema that is majorly termed as thought-provoking. Mehta’s latest venture, Simran, features the most controversial and most talented actress of Bollywood, Kangana Ranaut. With a team comprising of individuals such as Mehta and Ranaut, expectations naturally tend to escalate. The storyline of Simran revolves around Praful (Ranaut), a divorcee who works ...

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Kangana Ranaut will have none of this sexism nonsense, making her the real MVP of Bollywood

If I had Rs10 for every time someone in fifth grade told me I was ‘bossy’, I would probably not need a job right now. There are certain labels that when attached to women, automatically become an unattractive quality. Men are aggressive while women are angry, men are tough while women are bossy, and men are protective while women are clingy. Men are free to be many things while women have to fit into predefined boxes. You can be the girl next door, the femme fatale, the other woman, or just ‘one of the guys’. These are some of the ‘types’ ...

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Atomic Blonde rethinks the action hero template from a feminist perspective but never overstates it

With John Wick’s release, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski reminded people that action movies could still rise above the current mundane Hollywood template (lazy editing and toothless action) which most blockbusters follow. Unfortunately, the two former stuntmen turned filmmakers parted ways last year. But their penchant for projecting gritty, unrelenting and superbly choreographed violence on the big screen is matched by very few people in Hollywood. This impeccable work is still visible in Stahelski’s John Wick: Chapter Two, which came out earlier his year, and is also evident in Leitch’s recent release, Atomic Blonde. Leitch’s violent and densely plotted Atomic Blonde has all the low-key intrigues ...

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Karan Johar, Kangana Ranaut and male privilege

There is no doubt about Karan Johar’s immense talent. He sees Bollywood from a unique eye that captures its essence as well as its soul – what he creates on the big screen is nothing short of magical. In a gargantuan $4.5 billion industry like Bollywood, Johar and Dharma alone stand at $200 million. Johar combines the idyllic with the marketable. He is truly a dream merchant – whether it is when Shah Rukh Khan runs towards Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor dance at a wedding –Johar has a unique eye and an ...

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Boys will be boys but Qandeel was defiant – so she must be eliminated

The first video I watched of Qandeel Baloch was shared by a friend on his Facebook wall. She was clad in a skimpy grey dress showing off her voluptuous curves. Swaying suggestively and looking straight into the camera she said, “I’m 99% sure you hate me but I’m a 100% sure not even my shoe gives a damn about it.”

In one fell swoop she not only fully asserted herself as a sexual being – a space denied to women in our society – but cocked a snook at everyone unwilling to acknowledge her agency. I instantly fell in love ...

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Mommy tips: How to raise a mini activist

When we hear the word “activist”, we immediately think of khadi clad, jhola carrying men and women braving water cannons and lathi charges. But an activist is one who campaigns for social change of any kind, someone who identifies the rot in society and speaks about it. There are various degrees of activism and similarly various ways of showing dissent. Thomas Jefferson said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” and any thriving society needs such voices. Such conscientious persons are not born but raised. One might feel that preteens are too young to grapple the socio-political dynamics of a complex society, ...

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Shaandaar, or more like far from it, is a forgettable and sagging affair

Shaandaar is a romantic comedy revolving around the subject matter of matrimony and nuptials, combined with the concept of a destination wedding set in London. Think of it as a big, fat Greek Shaandaar Indian wedding.  It is directed by Vikas Bahl of Queen fame and is produced by Fox Star Studio. This movie would appeal to the younger generation as they may find it relatable to some extent. Starring the newlywed Shahid Kapoor and the girl next door, Alia Bhatt, the movie is combined with what seems like a family affair. The cast also includes Pankaj Kapoor and making her acting debut, Sanah Kapoor.  Veteran actress Sushma Seth is also casted in ...

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Aamir Khan cried because ‘Katti Batti’ was just so (un)moving

Directed by Nikhil Advani, Katti Batti is a romantic comedy at its core! The plot isn’t ground-breaking or something the audiences haven’t experienced before. In fact, it’s a typical rom-com, perhaps even inspired from a Hollywood romantic comedy, like many Bollywood movies of this genre, repackaged in such a blatantly palpable manner that one can predict the end in the first 10 minutes of the movie, if not five.  So the story goes something like this – a middle class young architect Madhav (Imran Khan) is smitten by Payal (Kangana Ranaut) who is looking for a ‘casual relationship’. At numerous occasions, the ...

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Presenting the top 10 Bollywood films from 2014 that made our hearts flutter

2014 was a year of experimentation for Bollywood. Actors rediscovered themselves in terms of performances and directors went the extra mile to showcase movies and tales which provided sheer amusement to audiences. This roundup is about the 10 best Bollywood movies of 2014 and the only movies which, in my opinion, gave us the whole package – great performances, great songs, applaud-worthy scripts, fantastic storylines and capturing dialogues. To clarify, I am not talking about the highest grossers here, just quality entertainers. So here is my take on the top 10 Indian movies of 2014: 10. Finding Fanny –  Photo: File Finding ...

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