Academy awards


While the nation cries for war, what happens to the families left behind? Read a Defence kid’s perspective on coping, loss, and war, in lieu of the Pulwama violence.

When I try to recall early memories of my mother, I can remember that my mother was 27 years old when she had to single-handedly take care of one child who cried a lot, and another who ran away a lot. All this time my father, serving in the Indian Navy, was often away sailing for months. I was four when the place my father was posted in got hit by an earthquake, and my mother had to care for us while my father was away protecting other families hit by the disaster.

Despite all this, I am one of the most privileged children. While the news of the Pulwama attack enraged many, and talks about ‘revenge’ and counterattacks began, newspapers almost immediately dug out stories of their families. While Thaka Belkar was one of the lucky ones, who got out of the bus which was hit because his leave was sanctioned at the last minute, this was not the fate several others met with. Rohitash Lamba, one of the men who lost their lives, left his two-yearold behind at an age too young to understand the notions of politics and warfare. Only a year after his marriage, Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhondiyal was killed in Pulwama. Constable Kulwinder Singh, the sole child and breadwinner of his family, also did not return home. A thousand tears, forty-four families, and the love for one nation; these are stories of valour and the uniform they wear.

Being a Defence child, I have lived in the best places with the best facilities. Having seen from a young age how my father had to stay away, how he lived the same life when my grandfather, in the Indian Army, was posted in the smallest of regions, I have known that this sacrifice is incomparable to the sacrifices of many others. The Pulwama attack is devastating for the families of the martyrs who will now have to live away from them forever. Garima Abrol, the wife of Martyr squadron leader Samir Abrol of the Indian Air Force asked the nation in a post shared on Instagram- “How many more pilots have to give up their life to shake you up and make you realise there is something really wrong in the system? A pilot is not made in a day, it takes a decade of training for their souls to get moulded for the job… I need answers.”

The Pulwama attack has stirred the nation, but the politicisation of this issue for benefits to accrue in the elections is saddening. While the fingers of the families of these jawans wipe their tears, others’ only point at the ‘anti-nationalist’. We are proud to belong to Defence families. We are proud to have our parents working for the country, and love for the country holds a different meaning to us than it does to many. We demand justice. We do not demand bloodshed, and a war destructive to humanity.

Feature Image Credits: Defence Lover

Shivani Dadhwal

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Nominated for three academy awards including the best picture award, Call me by Your Name was one of the most critically and publicly acclaimed movies of last year. Labelled as a revolution in queer cinema, the movie, based on a novel of the same name, depicts romance in the rawest way. Elio’s Uncle Oliver is visiting the city and is going to stay in his room for his visit. With each moment they spend together, the sexual tension between the 17-year-old and his uncle keeps growing. Elio explores his sexuality and by the end of the film, he realises who he truly loves. Sadly, such love is a taboo, not once but twice. One might argue about the incestuous and pedophiliac plot of the movie, but truth be told, the film does nothing more than delving into queer lives and their honest truths. Unlike, the Bollywood movies where one look at the person makes the character fall in love, Call me by Your Name shows how attraction and desire really works. Not only Armie Hammer (Oliver) and Timothée Chalamet (Elio) did a great job with their characters, the city of Italy played added its own seductiveness. In its plot, there is nothing starkly novel but, the acting, direction, and setting add a transcendental quality. The run-down colour palette of the film elevates the movie to the likes of an art film. One such beautiful use of colour is in the excavation scene ‘Truce’ from the film. Though the scene uses the same sea green colour, its depth and beauty are immense. The film’s direction team did a terrific job at using colour to depict the coolness or warmth of the scene. One thing that I personally did not like in the film is the end. No matter how emotionally charged it is, we’ve had enough sad endings in queer movies. On one end, the honesty can be appreciated but on the other hand, it takes away the hope of ‘happy ever after’ for queer relationships. Fun fact: Though the actors are heterosexual, they play the characters of gay men on-screen! Feature Image Credits: The Playlist Raabiya Tuteja [email protected]    ]]>

Which movies made it to the list and what to look out for?

Since the Academy Award Nominees were announced recently, we bring to you a list- along with a short synopsis -of the Nominees in the Best Picture category.


Synopsis: Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple’s bond of love is severely tested.


Synopsis: Argo is a 2012 American thriller film directed by Ben Affleck; it is a dramatization of the “Canadian Caper” based on an article published in 2007, in which Tony Mendez, a CIA operative, led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran,Iran, during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.


About: Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 American fantasy drama film directed by Benh Zeitlin and written by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar’s one-act play, Juicy and Delicious.


Synopsis: Set in the antebellum era of the  and Old West, the film follows a freed slave who treks across America with a bounty hunteron a mission to rescue his wife from a cruel and charismatic plantation owner.

Les Misérables:

About: Les Misérables is a 2012 British musical drama film produced by Working Title Films and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film is based on the musical of the same name by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg which is in turn based on Les Misérables, the 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo.


Synopsis: Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.


Synopsis: Lincoln is a 2012 American historical drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The film is based in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln’s life, focusing on the President’s efforts in January 1865 to have the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the United States House of Representatives.


Synopsis: Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything — his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months is a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet-and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.


Synopsis: For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty reunites the Oscar winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man.

Official websites of the respective movies.


Anugrah Gopinath
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The month of February is host to Hollywood’s most coveted and star-studded event of the year-The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars. Celebrities walk down the prestigious red carpet, veterans basking in the brilliance of their successes while newcomers flock around in expensive gowns and tuxedos, eyes shining with the dream of being nominated in the future. However, looking beneath the glitzy surface, one can’t help but notice the politics and carefully selected patterns visible in the yearly choice of movies, actors and directors.

If the past 84 years were any indication, the movies that usually win the Academy awards are steeped in predictability and contain a truckload of clichés, while meritorious wins are few and far between. An award ceremony that goes on longer than the Lord Of The Rings trilogy combined, the much awaited awards are kept for the end when most people dream of curling up under a warm blanket and falling off to sleep. Apart from that, any slightly observant person will have the ability to notice that the movies that are usually nominated for the Oscar consist of gay men, a war-torn Afghanistan or Iraq, or a loveable character with some sort of mental disability. Forrest Gump, Milk, Hurt Locker, Rain man, Brokeback Mountain, And the most recent Argo, anyone?

Despite the fact that these movies are undoubtedly viewable, some even being good enough to be placed on the average movie lover’s list of top 50 movies to watch, this doesn’t change the fact that brilliant flicks such as Saving Private Ryan have lost out to the more safer option, Shakespeare in Love, in 1998. Ten years later, the trend continues with the highly overrated Slumdog Millionaire sweeping up 8 out of 10 Oscar nominations in 2008. It was indeed a proud moment for India, but considering the fact that there have been so many movies produced about Indians, for Indians and by Indians, one wonders how brilliant this movie would have been if it had been compared to others such as Salaam Bombay. Furthermore, it continues to emphasise strongly on how clichéd the Academy award nominations tend to get, with the stereotypical representation of India as one gigantic slum with loving people who base their lives on fate and destiny.

The Indian hype surrounding the Oscars is no less bizarre when we consider the quality of the movies sent in for review. Paheli, containing some ridiculous mumbo-jumbo about a ghost and his human lover was chosen over more powerful movies like Black in 2006 and Ekalavya, which deserved an award for humanity’s most wasted and boring 3 hours, was sent as India’s official entry for 2007. Regional films don’t even come close to being selected. As movies are also not spared, one does begin to wonder why everything has to have a political element attached to it.

As we sit down to view the much-awaited 85th Annual Academy Awards on the 24th of February, get ready to predict which movie has a chance at winning the prize at the world’s most overrated award ceremony. However, despite all its poorly disguised faults and politicized wins, the board definitely receives credit for its ability to attract the attention of people across the world to celebrate the irresistible power of entertainment.