Should the historically skewed representation of women in pop culture stemming from male dominance in media suggest the need for their alienation from the field, or does the solution lie in battling the age-old perpetuated stereotypes? Do men make insanely horrible movies on women’s stories? Is it intentional or is it a byproduct of our flawed socialization? How do we combat this?

There is no denying that Men have historically been the gender with the upper hand in every avenue known to humans. This historical gendered privilege has not hesitated to trickle down into contemporary scenarios which have resulted in men still assuming control and leadership in both public and private spheres. Mansplaining is a product of this skewed social construct. Many men have, and even today, continue to believe in the superiority of their gender. Even if this complex has been watered down, the mere assumption that their perspective and decisions matter more still thrives.

It is irrefutable, to say the least, that plenty of mass media, since its inception, owing to the lack of female perspective and the obvious dominance of men in filmmaking have repeatedly objectified women. Such media largely caters to the male gaze and is deeply patronizing. Women’s bodies have been commodified and capitalized upon since times immemorial in advertisements – be it selling Maaza, bikes, or the angels falling for a macho man in axe deodorant ads. The narrative of a “good woman” and a “bad woman” also largely stems from the historically perpetuated male-dictated ideals of an ideal woman. Be it our soap operas or the big screen media, a good woman is always shown fully covered from head to toe, draped in a saree, adhering to all customary norms. Whereas the villainess is always shown to be wearing promiscuous attires with a “pick-me-girl” demeanor. The latter is also the women who generally are independent, shamelessly unapologetic, and break away from the shackles of stereotypes. But does this historical defect justify the absolute abstention of men from making movies on women?

Let us first talk about what these women-centric films look like. These definitely as the name suggests are films with female protagonists, aimed at breaking the age-old gender stereotypes. They move away from the conventional ancient media which has largely portrayed a cis-male as the hero. Such media become channels for marginalized women whose stories have long remained unknown. Witnessing the long-due representation has been nothing short of empowering for all women.

The primary argument presented by proponents of those who believe men shouldn’t make women-centric movies is that men being the historical oppressor will fail to understand the nuances of the struggles of being a woman. They barely share common experiences, and any man attempting to recreate their story on the big screen is bound to trivialize their hardships. Also, men have a greater propensity of projecting women in a way that sexualizes them, thereby creating something appealing to the male gaze and patronizing women in general. But, one also needs to realize that media as an entity is itself vulnerable to being scrutinized or called out for anything problematic being exhibited. The onus then falls upon the general audience to hold the troublemakers accountable. This is a struggle against gendered stereotypes and not gender. Mere exclusion of men from a particular domain will not solve the problem.

Also, the sheer assumption that everyone belonging to a particular gender identity will have shared experiences is flawed. A rich upper-class woman will never be able to actualize the harsh realities of the life of a poor Dalit woman. Intersectional identities cut across and shape the experiences of people from the same gender in very diverse ways. The thriving misconception that a woman will always be empathetic to the oppressive experiences of another woman is broken when one looks at how in many parts of the world, it is women who have kept age-old patriarchal misogynistic traditions alive. Be it child marriage, dowry, sati, or female foeticide – women often emerge as the biggest perpetrators in these crimes against girls.

Additionally, the exclusion of nearly half the population from indulging in making films on a particular subject does more harm than good. The number of people indulging in unraveling the stories of these women immediately gets reduced to half. Secondly, when one propagates the narrative that – only women should be allowed to direct women’s movies because of their shared gendered experiences, all women’s issues get reduced to being only “women’s problems” and not the “society’s problem”. Combating deeply entrenched patriarchal norms requires society to take a stake. Such issues cannot be solved in isolation by one gender alone. Be it the feminist movement, LGBTQ movement, Dalit rights movement or Black lives matter; no battle can be won by a single identity alone. Collective action is critical for a successful outcome.

It is also important to note that many of the strong female characters that we celebrate were either written or directed by men. Be it Kangana’s character in Vikas Bahl’s Queen, Katarina Stratford in Gil Junger’s 10 Things I hate about you, Elle Woods’ in Robert Luketic’s Legally Blonde or Mark Andrew’s Brave – the female leads in these movies are known to be headstrong, unapologetic and at every step assert their autonomy thereby breaking stereotypes.

Furthermore, when men who take up the initiative to make such movies gain accolades and appreciation for their work, the resultant domino effect leads to a greater number of people now pedestalizing sensitive feminist men, as opposed to idolizing a patronizing Macho man. Come on, who doesn’t love Imtiaz Ali for giving us characters like Geet from Jab We Met or Veera from Highway? Such movies with strong female leads often have a caring, sensitive, and extremely lovable side male character. Be it Shah in Dear Zindagi, Irrfan Khan in Piku, Vikrant Massey in Chapaak, or Pankaj Tripathi in Mimi – all these male characters are very hard to not fall in love with. Writing, and directing such roles becomes a cathartic and liberating experience for the scriptwriters, movie makers, and in general everyone involved in the movie-making process. The amount of sensitization delivered through such experiences is unmatchable.

Ergo despite conceding to the fact that to date, even though some men continue to be the biggest flag bearers of male chauvinism, others willing to change should be given a chance for redemption. Our battle lies in fighting the stereotypes, and not the gender. Simply denying men such experiences only based on their gender would be nothing short of criminal.

Feature Image Source: Pinterest

Rubani Sandhu

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 A nerd’s deeply personal take on social media vilification of the nerd archetype across pop-culture . Read on for more. 

Humour is tricky business. Tracing back to the rasa theories of sentiments and emotions, every humour has an origin and the origin of our laughter too can be traced to different causalities. It can either be sourced as a something that makes us laugh through the display of deviance in an attempt to domesticate something that is wrong with society, or in what I wish to term as humour of a low order, it can emerge from a need to make a standing example of a non-conforming entity, who happens to stick out due to a deviance inherent to their character.

Such humouring of identities of “other” often unconsciously result in vilification of archetypes in popular culture which fuels social media content which on the grounds of generating humour to run their dubious algorithms end up putting on sacrificing social responsibility at the altar of parodying the non-conformist – in the case of this article the figure of the nerd. The nerd figure has long been relegated to a realm of marginality in popular imagination, one which has resulted in social media content creators to repeatedly generate humour at their cost. The normalisation of the same has become so exceedingly widespread that the archetype of the nerd figure now borders on the level of almost being a villain despised by one and all.

Take for example the widely popular film from recent years of Indian cinema – 3 Idiots. The supposedly antagonist in the film is the typical nerd figure as seen through the character of Chatur Ramalingam is repeatedly made to be the butt end of jokes due for no fault of his. He simply has a vision of academic achievement which is not in concurrence with that of the protagonist and in order to prove the point of the protagonist the nerd figure is not only made an example of the in the most vile ways possible but also made to take part in one of the most insensitive dramatisations of a rape joke in recent cinema history. Even in a film like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani or something as cult as Kal Ho Na Ho the heroines are nerds who have their hair tied in buns and wear glasses and spend their days engrossed in books and academia. In order for them to be desirable by the hero, they have to shed their persona of the “typical nerd” and have hair flowing, while sequin dresses grace their lithe bodies. There is no room here for appreciation of a life spent behind the pursuit of knowledge – be it out of individual will or out of societal pressure, a deeply pertinent argument which is often relegated to non-existence.

Social media pages dedicated to generating humour based out of educational spaces and the lives of people involved in academia thrive on humour which emerges at the expense of nerd archetypes. Meme carousels take great pride in criticising students who spend hours devoted to studying and suffer from severe bouts of depression and performance anxiety by reducing their issues to the simplistic phrase – they are a topper and they always lie about the preparation. The truth of the after more often than not is different. The idea of the nerd as someone who deliberately gaslights their own readiness in order to feed off the mediocrity of others is a problem which completely exterminates the immense expectations – familial, societal and professional – the students have to cater to. To be someone who chooses to win and internalises winning comes at the cost of knowing that one is consciously ascribing an identity of marginality to oneself – an ascribing which should be free of any sort of shame or stigma.

Such humour further perpetuates a cycle whereby these students not only end up doubting their own self worth but are never allowed to take pride in what they believe to be a philosophy of life that must be adhered to. Humour for the sake of entertainment is of course something that should be and must be encouraged. But humour that is indulged in without realising the exact impact it has on marginal identities in society is something that should be shunned especially in our largely current virtual world where a single meme transcends time and space and more often than not does more harm than good when left unchecked.

Anwesh Banerjee

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Cinema plays an important role in shaping the minds of people. Although it aims at covering every rare and extraordinary story, which includes some toxic concepts, it simultaneously provides the general public with unusual characters to look up to.

One of the many aspirations of Cinema is analysing the creation of psychological ties between movie characters. It is worth noticing that this is not only the objective of practical and psychological movies, but also any movie that honestly wants to demonstrate interpersonal relationships, to explain often controversial choices, and to bring various different types of relationships to the audience – even the less obvious and impenetrable ones.

The most interesting and also very controversial, one that provokes lots of conflicted emotions, is relation called Stockholm syndrome. 

Stockholm syndrome, also known as ‘capture bonding”, is a condition which causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their capturer during captivity. It is considered as a “contested illness” due to doubt about the legitimacy of the situation. When one is taken hostage by an abductor, over the course of time after trying to fight back and be rebellious, eventually the captive, forms a fondness towards the abductor. This takes place unknowingly and is all part of a psychological manifestation. When the captive doesn’t have a prospect of any other human contact and as a means of survival, he or she falls prey to the Stockholm Syndrome. This impression is so powerful, that even when the captive is set free, they prefer their alliance with the abductor, completely disregarding the suffering.

The idea may sound charming and alluring but is, in fact, toxic and unhealthy. The two people falling victim to this phenomenon don’t know that their fondness is forced and purposeful, and not out of love. They will always stand to be distinct from each other in a harmful way, with discomforting past. Not comprehending the fact that this “admiration” is nothing but a mechanism of survival.

Cinemas these days have romanticised this idea of “affection towards your abductor”. The notion of exhibiting such relationships with happy endings on Cinema is abominable. The juncture of “just for entertainment” doesn’t make it acceptable.

Movies like Highway, in which Meera, a rich beautiful girl was abducted by Mahabir, an arrogant village man. Both of them eventually fell in love and found solace with each other. Meera was a naive girl who found freedom with Mahabir. Being restricted to living like an ideal child all her life, she started to grow fond of her life as a captive, which ironically gave her more liberation. Whereas Mahabir, a seemingly tough guy, falls for Meera’s childlike and gullible nature, as she acts as a catalyst of change for him. Despite being from two different worlds, they fall for each other as a result of being in the presence of each other for so long and helping each other discover themselves. An intense case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Another highly prominent movie with a similar concept is actually a Disney movie, forming young minds. Beauty and the beast. The movie comprises of princess Belle, being held captive by the beast, who mistreats her, forbids her from seeing her father and expects her to get adjusted to this life. Belle fights back in the beginning but eventually, she develops sympathy towards the beast-like king, and they both fall in love eventually. Completely disregarding the past in which, they both tried making each other’s life miserable. Yet another case that low key focuses on Stockholm Syndrome.

Majority of Indian youth is not like us, who sits, discusses and comprehends the basic things like Cinema. Majority of Indian Youth is struggling for education and finds inspiration and illogical respite in cinema. Perception and introspection come into place here. Ours is a third world country where people worship stars, and there is a healthy percentage who cannot differentiate or rather, do not differentiate between real and reel. The portrayal of such romances not only encourages unhealthy behaviour but it promotes a mentality that makes ill-treated relationships plausible proclaiming that they represent true love.

Feature Image Credits:  Variety 

Avni Dhawan 

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Due to the sheer magnitude of mainstream music, talented young artists can get lost in its cusp. Here are some of many such artists who deserve recognition:

1. Hayley Kiyoko
This California born singer rose to fame in 2010 with her role as Velma Dinkley in a Scooby Doo movie. But her big musical break came in 2015, with her single ‘Girls like Girls’ which has garnered over 80 million views on YouTube. Her musical genre is synth pop and her recent singles ‘Curious’, ‘Feelings’, and ‘Gravel to Tempo’ are worth adding to your playlists.

2. Florence and the Machine
An English indie rock band that rose to fame in 2009 with their song ‘Dog Days are Over’ that went up to win an MTV VMA award for best art direction in 2010. Florence Welch, the lead singer, has a captivating, and soothing voice that will definitely give you goosebumps. Their music is ethereal, videos are artistic and lyrics, deep. Welch was also featured in Calvin Harris’ popular song ‘Sweet Nothing’.

3. Declan McKenna
Declan McKenna has been called the sound of the upcoming generation. With antics inspired by David Bowie, his music is gloomy yet aesthetic. After winning a talent competition in 2015, he soon signed a deal with his record company and set off for world domination, one song at a time. ‘Brazil’, ‘Paracetamol’, and ‘Why do you feel so down’ are some his best songs.

4. Conan Gray
Conan Gray is a YouTuber and singer, who is yet to release an album or EP. However, his covers and self-made songs are better than many mainstream songs. They are original and so are the videos. ‘Idle Town’ is one of his fans’ favourite songs.

5. Broods
This New Zealand brother-sister duo is among the quickest rising duos in electronic pop music at the moment. Their success of ‘Bridges’ gained them interest from music labels and they released their self-titled EP soon after. Their EP entered at the fifth position on Billboard’s Heatseeker Charts. Songs like ‘Free’, ‘Mother and Father’ and, ‘Bridges’ are extremely catchy and resonant.

6. Marina and the Diamonds
With one of the unique voices in the music industry, Marina’s music is a mix of dance-pop and dizzying vocals. She has released three full-fledged albums and gained raving reviews from critics. Her album ‘Froot’ became one of the highly acclaimed pop albums of the year.


Feature Image Credits: MondoTunes

Raabiya Tuteja
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It’s commonly said that Bollywood makes movie stars and Hollywood makes star movies.

Bollywood and Hollywood rule hearts of billions of movie-buffs worldwide. Despite various similarities, both the movie industries draw their inspiration from varied sources, which provide basic ideas for commencing with a celluloid venture. Indians are always shy when it comes to comparison between Hollywood and Bollywood. Now, it’s fair to say that Bollywood is behind Hollywood when it comes to experimenting with a variety of genres. India has been making films for a hundred years; getting started just ten years later than America. Storytelling is a craft as much as anything else.  So is screenwriting.

As the film industry grows, so does the list of film festivals and awards ceremonies across the globe. What better way to spend two to three hours of your day than to watch a masterfully-written movie? From the good old movies to today’s featured flicks, film industry has something for everyone. From the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Cannes Film Festival in France to International Indian Film Academy Awards, there is an awards ceremony for various types of films. There are awards distributed by critics, the festival and industry professionals as well as the general public. But here comes another comparison between the Hollywood award shows and the Indian award shows. First, Hollywood is inclusive of films and artists from all around the world which tends to be encouraging for the artists for being recognized in a global platform. But, as the trend goes with awards of Indian Cinema, most of them include Bollywood actors only.

Of lately, Indian viewers have turned to appreciating Hollywood and to tuning to International Award shows to keep track of the best films released globally. Hollywood studios put out between 200-250 movies a year and own 85% of the world market share, while Indian movie industry puts out about 1000 movies and has 4% market share. This is not to say Hollywood always makes better movies than Indian industries.  It just means Hollywood is able to tell more universal stories. Not one Indian movie has been a mainstream movie that audiences all over the world have flocked to see.  Every year, Hollywood puts out a handful that the whole world, basically, pays to watch.  If a comparison is to be made standing on neutral ground, Indian film makers rarely venture out to tell universal stories that everybody in the world can understand. Thus, Indian viewers in the present time have turned to Hollywood as a large part of Indian Cinema is about conventional song and dance sequences whereas Hollywood rarely follows the trend of relying on music heavily, except for a few movies and it drives its motivation from a diverse set of emotional, fictional and non-fictional subjects with a universal appeal. Bollywood in general is a genre as recognised by the world but, Hollywood is a style. Also, B-Town actors like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone are creating news because they got into Hollywood. It is an achievement to enter Hollywood. Is it true vice-versa? Not really.

Image credits: india.com

Radhika Boruah

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Continuing the glory and glamorous spectacle of the award season, the British Academy Film Awards were held on February 12th 2017 to honour the brilliant pieces of work portrayed in the last year. With La La Land, Nocturnal Animals, Moonlight, and other movies bagging series of nominations and subsequent awards, the starry night witnessed wins, fun, frolic, and reverence to the brilliant performers. Here’s recounting the night gone by, and reliving the highlights!


Stephen Fry and the Trump gags

Twelve years ago, a golden-voiced actor hosted the British Academy Film Awards for the first time; a practice which would be repeated eleven more times in the succeeding years. Sometimes bordering on the verge of controversy and ruffling feathers here and there, it is difficult to fathom a BAFTA where Stephen Fry doesn’t manage to make headlines. Cut to 2017, when the world is still nursing its wounds from the US Presidential Elections, and the host indirectly mocked the orange elephant in the room, received by bouts of laughter. “Let’s find out who the Russians have decided has won,” yes, let’s do it!

Dev Patel won Best Supporting Actor for Lion and Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress for Fences

Rising to fame through his spine-chilling performance in Slumdog Millionaire, Dev Patel was nominated for the prestigious award along with the likes of Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins and Mahershala Ali for Moonlight. On winning the award, Patel commented, “I would be lying if I say that awards are not amazing. Awards can really change someone’s career. You get recognition.” Zoomed into the limelight because of her performance in How to Get Away with Murder, Viola Davis shot to instant fame and emerged victorious in various award categories, a tradition kept alive in this year’s BAFTA too.


La La Land’s Stream of Success

?After bagging seven Golden Globe Awards, receiving eleven nominations for BAFTA, and maintaining a successful trajectory on the winning streak, La La Land managed to claim the Best Picture award once again in the BAFTAs amongst other honours. The musical which is being collectively appreciated by the world for its direction, screenplay, and acting, continues to sway people off their feet and is anticipated to be a major winner in this Academy Awards.


Tom Holland wins BAFTA Rising Star Award

All set to play the titular character in Spider-man’s reboot with Spider-man: Homecoming, Tom Holland’s notable debut in The Impossible invited praise and appreciation towards the newly inducted movie star. Nominated along with Laia Costa, Lucas Hedges, Ruth Negga, and Anya Taylor-Joy, the actor was also honoured for his work in James Gray’s The Lost City of Z.

Prince William facilitates Mel Brooks with a Fellowship Award

Celebrating his contribution to the world of cinema, Prince William honoured the legendary actor Mel brooks with the Fellowship Award during the BAFTAs. Playing a plethora of roles in the industry as an actor, comedian, composer, filmmaker, and song-writer, Mel Brook’s achievements in the films remain unparalleled. The actor commented, I am not overwhelmed, but I am definitely whelmed by this singular honour.”

Feature Image Credits: BAFTA

Saumya Kalia

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The Bollywood film industry has been the largest producer of drama, action,comedy and romance for over a century now. Owing to its growing popularity, there’s hardly someone who hasn’t watched a Bollywood flick in all its “masala” glory at least once in their life. Creating its own genre, our country’s film industry has served masala in all its possible mix that has been received “with love” by the audience.


The genre, which is like an overdone assortment of all the four major genres, whilst sewing the fabric of the main plot of the film, serves to the Indian audience a fool-proof entertainment formula. A “macho” do-it-all hero, a pretty sidekick whose role is to display her beauty and incompetence to the hero, a villain in a constant tussle with the invincible “Bhai”, these masala flicks never fail to take home bags full of earnings and applause from the audiences. With the increased love for this genre, Bollywood’s filmmakers and audience have found their comfort zone here and do not seem too inclined to be taking a turn from serving the cinemas with this overused yet lucrative recipe.


It would, however, be unfair to not acknowledge the emergence of a more meaningful and content based cinema in the recent times. It is in fact, heartening to know that a certain section of the audience regards and immensely appreciates the presence of such cinema. This paradigm shift has been visible only in the past few years, beginning with box office success of movies like Rang de basanti, Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Taare Zameen Par to name a few.


Although, the demand for “masala” still fares high due to the diversity of interests and expectations of the audiences. People from all backgrounds look up to cinema with their own expectations of it. Interestingly, a large chunk looks up to it as a respite from their daily struggles where Shahrukh Khan’s romance or Salman “Bhai”’s effortless action pulls them away from the stresses they’ve burdening themselves with, albeit temporarily, thus creating a constant demand for masala. Despite this, there has been a remarkable shift in the audience’s choice of cinema. This shift can be observed from their increased inclination to Hollywood in the recent times. Primarily observed among the youth, viewers may not always be as excited to watch the latest SRK or Salman Bhai release, but they might be inclined towards picking the latest Hollywood flick. Moreover, the very rise in the supply of content based movies like Udta Punjab, Masaan or Dangal proves the changing demand of the Indian audiences.


This shift, must make us Indians proud of our evolution from an escapist towards an enlightened audience.


Priyal Mahtta

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CAST: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Frances O’Conner and Madison Wolfe.


As I sat immersed in the joy of having bought the perfect seats for the first-day-first-show of the most awaited horror movie of the year, I was all set to enjoy the experience with my nachos and coke, and a perfectly good company of my friend, who despite having never watched a horror movie in a hall before promised me of her complete ineffectiveness to them. Ah well, only time could tell!

Being a complete horror movie buff (a loyal one of Hollywood) what really fascinates me is the way they get your adrenaline pumping and provoke a response, either physical or psychological, so strong that they instantly make you react with fear. So was The Conjuring 2 successful in doing so? Pretty much!

Contrary to the popular belief, a sequel doesn’t always have to be worse than the first one. What I learnt through James Wan’s amazing direction in The Conjuring 2 and his remarkable skills of turning illusory into reality, is that while the sequel couldn’t really turn out to be better than the original, he did, in fact, manage to continue the saga in an equally terrifying and remarkable manner.

Set in the decade of the late 1970’s, a major portion of the film takes place in the Enfield town of London, England where a single mother of four young children is found troubled by a series of supernatural occurrences in their house and is compelled to call for assistance to those specializing in the field of paranormal activity research. Here’s when the dynamic duo of demonologists, Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) enter in the picture as they sweep us all away with their incredible chemistry and brilliant performances one after another. Despite Lorraine’s irrefutable decision to avoid solving anymore cases, especially after considering her recurring visions of Ed’s death and sinister creatures as unavoidable signs of danger, she is however, successfully convinced by Ed to fulfill the purpose for which they believed to have been brought together by God, and thus head for London to help the Hodgson family.

The retro English setting allows the director to play with different gothic, spine chilling styles of the era in recalling one of the most controversial paranormal activities of the time and thus, basing the movie on the true story of Enfield Poltergeist- where an 11 year old girl, Janet Hodgson (Madison Wolfe) was known to come under the possession of the spirit of an old man named Bill Winkins, a former resident of the house in which they currently lived. The role of Peggy Hodgson is pulled off quite smoothly by Frances O’Conner who not only portrays the concerned and lovable side of a hardworking, single mother but also of an extremely brave woman, propelled with enough courage to do whatever it takes to protect her children from the barriers of suspicion or danger.

Labeled as the “Amityville Horror of England”, the whole town begins to view it either as a haunted house or a family’s clever form of hoax to receive grants from the government. Madison Wolfe in her attempt to play the character of Janet Hodgson switches from an innocent, clueless child ruled by the constant fears of her surroundings to a wicked, self absorbed demon so effortlessly that one is compelled to remain fixated on her irrespective of the predictability of a few scenes. Her powerful acting is what makes the entire plot so much more believable, thereby proving that nobody else could have done better justice to this role than her.

As the story unfolds, not only is the spirit of Bill Winkins successful in terrifying all the members of the family (and everyone around me, including my friend) through shaking beds, moving objects and crashing doors, it soon gets followed by Janet’s unfortunate demonic possession as well. While a few clips such as that of flipping television channels or the self moving fire engine toy at night becomes absolutely unnecessary in a sequence which is already well aware of a demonic presence in the house, what really does manage to overpower them is Janet’s sudden teleportation across her unsafe home as soon as she closes her eyes and her alarming levitations sending chills down our spine. The special effects and cinematography of the segments were so well constructed and effective that they even aroused a fear in me to prevent shutting my own eyes for the first few nights, only to be awaken in a completely different and unnatural setting with no assurance of returning back.

Despite the movie’s storyline being focused on the role of Bill Winkins in hurting the Hodgson family, his ghoulish voice and laughter alone was nowhere powerful enough to frighten us and neither did the silly appearance of ‘The Crooked Man’ hold any useful relevance. The most ominous and horrifying element of the movie though was something much more inhuman and unforgettable than the rest, and this was an addition of the ‘Demon Nun’ who’s mere sight in Lorraine’s recurring visions and in the second half of the movie emerged grotesque and sinister enough to easily make us lose our grip on ourselves and frighten us to death.

The sound direction also remained quite impressive throughout the movie and powerfully complimented the eerie atmosphere wherever needed. With the most suspenseful and stunning end to the story, leaving us both happy and satisfied, this movie of 134 minutes despite being dragged at some parts in the first half, gladly repays it with its own share of light hearted moments such as that of Lorraine’s beautiful reminiscence of having found Ed- the only one who believed in her more than anyone else, Ed’s playful guitar session on Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love with all the children gathered around him, to reinforce their love for each other and the overall journey of having an irrevocable faith and trust on everyone you love.

Thus, what seemed like an exceptionally good blend of both, fine horror creeping us out more than just once or twice and the parting of lips into smiles during several intervals between wide-eyed alarming reactions of fear makes you stay glued to the screen all throughout the movie, as it certainly did with me and my friend who now longs to watch such movies more often, even at the price of being unable to sleep at night. So, watch it if you’re a horror fan or those wishing to experience a little thrill in life as this sequel is more than just praiseworthy- it’s Scream-worthy!

Image Credits: www.lensmenreviews.com

Shagun Marwah

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What makes a truly good movie? Is it the script, the direction, amazing actors or catchy music? This is that one question which everyone ponders upon while judging a movie, whether watched in the luxury of a theatre or in the personal comforts of home. But, wasted money and wasted time, as much as foolishly repeated, can never be forgotten. So, this year, while we faced much disappointment from movies like: ABCD 2, Badlapur, Katti Batti and Shaandaar. Some brilliant films involving Salman’s breathtaking performance in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, the beautiful story of a daughter-father relationship in Piku, Kangana’s hilarious love escapades in Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Imtiaz’s amazing direction in Tamasha, have proven to mend our broken hearts and make us fall in love with movies all over again.

Thus, overall one cannot deny that 2015 has been a terrific year for movie buffs and there’s no doubt that the coming year will too, produce equally, or hopefully, even more unforgettable movies for us. Therefore, here’s a list of the most anticipated Hollywood and Bollywood movies of 2016:


1.) Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Okay, you honestly can’t tell me that you haven’t been waiting for this to happen on the big screen ever since you read comics or watched cartoons of your favorite superheroes as a kid. No matter how you feel about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel or Ben Aflleck’s performances, it’s hard not to get excited about watching Batman and Superman- two of the biggest superheroes of all time, at war with one another and then eventually forming a team, alongside Wonder Woman to fight against evil. Whether it will be an epic blockbuster experience or a major disappointment, it’s definitely the one you wouldn’t want to miss out on. 
Release date: March 25, 2016

2.) Deadpool

With movies like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Green Lantern repeatedly letting our hopes down, it’s going to take much more than just Ryan Reynold’s drop dead gorgeous looks and rock-hard abs to fight his way through all the non-convincing arguments of people to watch this one. But then again, the lesser we expect, the more we’re surprised, aren’t we? I say, give Tim Miller’s debut feature film a chance. In fact, for Ryan’s insane love for superhero comics and never-ending spirit, I’d even say a thousand times over.
Release date: February 12, 2016

3.) Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

If you’ve seen the first part, you’re certainly not missing this one. If you haven’t, well then, all I can say is that you’re in for a treat. With the amazing direction of Nicholas Stoller, the gang’s all back, including Zac Efron’s charming personality, Seth Rogen’s effortless acting, and Rose Byrne’s unmatched cuteness, along with the surprise arrival of two new sorority sisters in the neighborhood such as Selena Gomez and Chloe Grace Moretz who are bound to bring their own promising share of crazy uniqueness to the sequel, making it even better than the previous one.
Release date: May, 2016.
The trailers of Neighbors 2 haven’t been released. So, here is a trailer of the fun and frolic life of the Neighbors’ first movie. If you enjoy this, there’s no way you wouldn’t love the next one!

4.) Finding Dory

Thirteen years after the release of ‘Finding Nemo’, which yet remains one of the most loved and best works of Pixar productions, the wait is finally over. Remember that forgettable yet unforgettable cutest little blue fish, we all fell madly in love with? There’s only so much we can adore a character and Dory goes beyond any ordinary limits. So, watching a movie based entirely on her, further voiced by the famous personality, Ellen DeGeneres seems like the most perfect splash of happiness we require this summer. No matter how old you are, you’re sure to keep this one in the very first priority of your wish list.
Release date: June 17, 2016

5.) The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist

Who doesn’t love a little horror? Especially if it’s directed by James Wan who may be well known for his movies like Saw and Insidious, but mostly for his critically acclaimed 2013 release ‘The Conjuring’ which was considered as one of the best possession movies ever created and as a result, also succeeded in keeping us terrified for several sleepless nights. The sequel thus, continues the roles of the paranormal activity researchers, Ed and Lorraine Warren, but in a new spine-chilling tale (which also seems to be based on true events- till some extent) revolving around the lives of two sisters, held in a town of Enfield, England. I don’t know about you but I’m ready to get spooked all over again, and as much as possible. Are you?
Release date: June 10, 2016




1.) Fan

Produced by Aditya Chopra, and directed by Maneesh Sharma (who’s best known for his debut film: Band Baaja Baraat) this is a story about a man and his obsession with his favorite movie star , Aryan (Shahrukh Khan) with whom he shares identical looks, further centering on his journey to meet him in Mumbai, India. It seems like this movie is made for every possible fan of Shahrukh Khan, thereby exceeding the expectations increasingly for all. The movie also stars Vaani Kapoor (known for her debut role in Shudh Desi Romance) and Ileana D’Cruz.
Release date: April 15, 2016

2.) Jagga Jasoos

Written and directed by Anurag Basu, this one’s a detective-comedy drama starring Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, and Govinda, who embark on a classic Indiana Jones’ type adventure, in search of the missing father of a teenage detective with the help of his friends. So not only does the story sound fresh and interesting, but with lovebirds like Ranbir and Katrina to pair up once again after APKGK, that too, under Anurag’s superb direction (as revealed in Barfi! with Ranbir), the movie seems very promising and definitely worth watching.
Release date: June 3, 2016
Trailer not released.

Jagga Jasoos
Jagga Jasoos

3.) Fitoor

An adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beautiful classic novel, Great Expectations, this romantic-drama will be starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and Katrina Kaif as the lead. Directed by Abhishek Kapoor, this movie hopes to inspire the very true idea of love, thereby focusing on not just the aspect of happiness, but a little bit of drama, sadness and passion to go along with it too.  All we can hope is that it lives up to our great expectations as well.
Release date: February 12, 2016
Trailer not released.


4.) Raees

Hasn’t it been long since we saw Shahrukh Khan in an intense role? Thus, with the release of this crime-drama, we’ll finally get to watch the King of Romance play an extremely powerful character of a cruel and clever bootlegger whose business is obstructed by a tough policeman (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). The movie also stars the Pakistani actor, Mahira Khan who’ll be making her screen debut in Bollywood.
Release date: 8 July, 2016

5.) Kapoor and Sons

As if just one pair of dreamy eyes of Siddharth Malhotra wasn’t enough to mesmerize us, this romantic-comedy drama starring Alia Bhatt as the lead, also brought the Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan into the picture to charm us all. Produced by Karan Johar and directed by Shakun Batra, whatever the outcome may be, this movie’s cast alone is too lovable and irresistible enough to not make anyone watch it as soon as it’s released.
Release date: March 18, 2016
Trailer not released.

Kapoor & Sons
Kapoor & Sons

6.) Udta Punjab

Directed by Abhishek Choudhary and starring Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor (who’ll be seen sharing the screen after a very long time) and Alia Bhatt in the lead, this drama-thriller chronicles the story of the issue of substance abuse among youth in the Indian state of Punjab, and thus, promises to bring us something dark and thought-provoking along with an experience entirely different from the ordinary plots of most movies. Now let’s hope that’s a good different!
Release date: March 2016
Trailer not released.

Udta Punjab
Udta Punjab

Picture Credits: www.movienasha.com, www.foundpix.com, www.justbollywood.in, www.36.media.tumblr.com, www.hdwallpapershams.com, www.makelifeeasy.in, www.wittyscoop.in

Feature Image Credits: i.ytimg.com

The VIIth Episode of the series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened almost a week back capturing the heart of fans and critics alike. Disney and LucasFilm’s sci-fi adventure has earned several box office records to its name already. Owing in no small part to this impressive opening, the movie was eagerly awaited by the Indian audience. So did it live up to the anticipation and the fans’ expectations?

The overall review of the Indian fans, in general, will be determined in the coming weekend, but it’s safe to say that this episode truly compensates for the decade long absence of the Star Wars series. While Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher reprise their roles from the original trilogy, the movie features several newcomers as well.

As regards the storyline, there are some overlaps with Episode IV: A New Hope, but the plot distinguishes itself rather tolerably. While some people found the episode too close to the trilogy’s roots, I’m going to go ahead on a leg and call it a unique combination of the director’s vision and the essence of George Lucas’s original characters. The plot does justice to the characters, and lives up to the brilliance of the saga.

Seeing Han Solo in action again on screen, in all his glory, was worth the expensive 3D tickets and the younglings bring energy with their rapid fire lightsaber action and sarcasm. The movie’s a treat for those awaiting aerial battle and TIE fighters action scenes!

While some questions remain to be answered yet, several more have emerged. Is Ren really a Darth? Is he ‘villainous’ enough? What we witnessed in the movie was only a conflicted and weak character who got seduced by the Dark side. Very much like his predecessor.

Just as it seemed he was about to redeem himself, he goes ahead and does something befitting a Vader. In Spite of that, I’m going to go ahead and hold a torch for Solo. I know the chances are bleak (very bleak) but the one rule about the death of our beloved characters is: no body, no death. Case in point: Poe Dameron who was shown all but dead and alive next, and Anakin Skywalker who was resurrected by Palaptine.

While Ren is clearly not worthy of being called a Sith lord (yet), Rey does justice to all that the Force stands for. It’ll be exciting to see the war continue, this time between the Supreme Leader Snoke and the last Jedi knight Luke. Each with their protégés, Ren and Rey respectively, will battle for supremacy in the upcoming episodes.

Next up, the countdown begins for the first spinoff Rouge One: A Star Wars Story scheduled to be released December next year, and Episode VIII of the series slated to arrive by May, 2017. Suffice to say, Disney has no plans to slow down anytime soon. May the Force be with them!

Surbhi Arora
[email protected]