Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Arjan Bajwa, Nikita Dutta, Suresh Oberoi
Director: Sandeep Reddy Vanga
Why are we still making movies which normalize toxic masculinity in 2019?
Kabir Singh directed by Sandeep Reddy is one such movie. It is a remake of a Telugu movie Arjun Reddy (2017) in which a short-tempered house surgeon becomes a drug addict when his girlfriend is forced to marry someone else.
This short plot of the movie must have portrayed a character like Kabir as someone who is madly in love and could not tolerate a heartbreak and gets transformed into a heavy drinker and a drug addict but wait, there is more to the story.
Kabir Singh is a character who is a combination of male ego and toxic masculinity with anger management issues. A character like Kabir Singh who refuses to consider anyone’s opinion and thinks he has the authority to downplay a woman needs to be shown as someone who needs help and needs to go to therapy.
“Woh meri bandi hai,” Kabir threatens his juniors, in one of the scenes. Additionally, there is a track in the movie, “the hi to Mera Haq hai (I have the right on you)”. Here the woman is deprived of any agency at all. She is like a property, marked and owned by the man. She will quietly follow him wherever he takes her, allowing herself to bear with his violent ways.
There is one scene when he picks up a fight and punches his opponent. The Dean suspends him but only after acknowledging him as the topper of their University. The entire base of the film is to somehow make his toxicity striking, explain it away as “unusual” and give him zillion more chances without him facing any consequences. Well, he is a genius at everything after all which is why his behavior is justifiable at all times.
He is shown molesting a woman, threatening her to take her clothes off. In one of the subsequent scenes, his maid breaks a glass and he runs after her. These instances reflect on his angry uncontrollable behavior and the saddest part about it is the fact that audiences are laughing on it in a theatre completely normalizing such behavior.
Shiva suggesting Kabir marry Shiva’s sister to get some steadiness in life portrays that women are meant to be sacrificial goats for male wrongdoing. It speaks a lot about the way women are seen in our society. This shows that they are a victim of patriarchy and the fact that it’s been so internalized in us that we don’t find it wrong.
There is another scene where Kabir asks his lover to sit next to a healthy girl in the classroom because ‘healthy chicks are like teddy bears: warm and cuddly.’ If this is not body shaming and objectifying a woman then I don’t know what else is.
This movie is a blend of issues that currently prevails in our society. Instead of making Kabir the hero of this movie, ignoring all his wrongdoing, he should have come across as someone who either realizes that he has got issues and gradually seeks help or as someone who faces the consequences for his behavior.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
The Social Dilemma: The Lesser-Known Pandemic
Edward Tufte said, “There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software”. The new Netflix original documentary by jeff Orlowski “the social dilemma” brings to you the dark side of the social media that keeps you addicted to a virtual world. It is a well-documented and a very staunch portrayal of social media.
It explores the spooky side of these platforms which has the capability to manipulate and psychologically affect human beings from people who have closely worked in these industries. These people talk about the distress they felt when they worked for something. How it is taking hold of an individual’s life and play around with it to earn profit to become the most successful industries in the history of humankind. This group of people is from social media giants like Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and many others.
What is the “dilemma”?
As the name suggests, it talks about the dilemma that is social media. I talked to one of my friends from school today, she is doing fine and told me about this new show she is watching. Well, I also saw stumbled upon celebrity news casually scrolling which by the way, has no use for me. Now, that is the dilemma we are talking about. The documentary talks about our heavy dependence on social media in today’s world and how we fell prey to this trap. In today’s world, it is not possible for one to totally isolate themselves from social media.
All our work has come to Gmail, Pinterest is the world of ideas, and for much social media is the workplace. We found all our old friends on social media and stay connected with our family and friends. But at the same time, we can’t put our down at the dinner table to have an actual conversation with our family. This dilemma is really where we can’t go with just the good part, we will take along the repercussion as well. This is the question this documentary puts out there. The dilemma of good and bad. But the question is, “is the payoff of good is enough to compensate for the cost of bad”?
What are these “bad”?
Now, how this social media is affecting you? Manipulation of the Human brain, social media is a world of ideas and how these ideas are presented to you is based on an algorithm that is up to the maker of these platforms to decide. This sequence and control over what one is coming across leads to restricting the way one thinks and builds is the point of view.
Social media has been used as a weapon by many people to pour out false information that is provocative, degrading, and spread negativity across communities resulting in things like riots, violent actions, and sometimes even things like mass killings. We came across this kind of news almost every day. Content related to ideal beauty types, body shaming, hate comments, and constant exposure to advertisements are all constantly floating on social media specifically affecting teenagers and the young generation.
These algorithms work to keep you looking at your screen and is an addiction that needs to be addressed. Unknowingly, social media is affecting all aspects of our life It puts a threat on democracy, increase depression, and even suicides, mob violence, etc. it has also lead to people losing contact from the actual world. Addiction to devices has distanced families and also affects other relationships which are totally opposite to the way humans are supposed to behave, humans as a species are supposed to be open-minded, dynamic, and communicative. Not to just hide behind screens.
Jeff Orlowski has very rightly called it the social dilemma. But at the end of the day, it’s in our hands that how do we want to live How do we want ideas to come to us and how we decide to act to them. All of this can be summed up in one last question – whether we want to live a life that is influenced by people around us, with a wide range of ideas on all aspects from all sources, not just a few selected ones, or a life that is operated by an algorithm.
Dolly Kitty Aur Who Chamakte Sitare: A Movie Review
Alankrita Shrivastava needs no introduction, her Lipstick Under my Burkha gained lot of positive feedback and rightly so. This year she came with a Netflix release this time, Dolly Kitty Aur Who Chamakte Sitare which written and directed by her.
Dolly’s (Konkona Sen Sharma) life seems to be picture-perfect from the outside. She lives in a small apartment with her husband and two children and like any other middle-class family is playing EMI’s for another apartment. The monotonous life takes a turn with the entry of Kajal ( Bhumi Pednekar) who came to live with her Cousin. She shifted from Bihar and took a job in a dating app company. Through this job she meets Pradeep (Vikrant Massey) and falls in love with him which leads to a lot of complications. Even cracks seem to appear in the Dolly’s house with the appearance of Kitty.
Plot, Cast And Review
The movie addresses a plethora of stereotypical notions that needs to be addressed. It addresses the issue of female desire, to be more specific, female carnal desires. It criticizes the notion of “pure” women which is created by the nation where the women in the society must follow strict societal norms to maintain her purity. One such thing is female sexuality, they are taught to represses it. The movie also exposes the hypocrisy that is prevalent in the society and the many layers of repression that does not allow women to act according to their own accord. The same situation when applied to men can always be ruled out with the classic phrase- “Boys will be boys”, so much for equality.
The film is packed with other references to contemporary situation that is extremely prevalent. We see saffron clad goondas targeting people who talk about liberation and want to bring a change; they are also the ones who are quick to shut down more progressive ideas. It also paints a picture of the present job market; people like Dolly and Kitty are involved in jobs which provide no security and are typically a means to end. A situation that most of the audience will relate to.
Konkona Sen Sharma has always been a prenominal actor and she does the role of Dolly justice so does Pednekar (kitty). The supports actors like Vikrant Massey (Pradeep), Aamir Bashir (Dolly’s husband), Amol Parashar (the delivery executive) and Kubra Sait ( Sazia) performs beautifully on the screen. When the cast is all put together, they all put up a phenomenal performance. Even though the plot and events were quite predictable, the execution was well planned and kept the audience engaged throughout the film.
It must be said that Dolly Kitty Aur Who Chamakte Sitare is a bold attempt made by shrivastava, but it is not surprising seeing her previous movie, Lipstick Under My Burkha. In more than one sense the recent movie seems like the follow- up of the previous one as that too spoke about some critical issues. The new release gives voice to the women and raises the feminist bar.
Cargo Review- A Must Watch Sci-fi Netflix Movie
Cargo is set in the near future 2027 this movie is a unique attempt at making a sci-fi movie. The story encompasses a philosophical outlook as well which makes it even more beautiful. An original idea by Aarti Kadav, awe-inspiring art direction by Mayur Sharma and the uniqueness and freshness of the story makes it a must-watch.
A peace treaty is signed between Homo-Rakshas and humans. The Rakshas are pretty advanced with futuristic Interplanetary Space Organisation. They provide the transition service for the deceased humans and prepare them for rebirth. Much like the mythical character Yamraj does. This transition and the further procedure is looked after by Rakshas Prashasta, the character beautifully played by Vikrant Massey.
Interestingly Prashasta is the chief commander of Ravana Army and Pushpak the infamous airship of Ravana is the name of this futuristic spaceship where all these procedures take place. Prashasta faced aberrations from his monotonous daily routine as he meets new humans, peculiar humans who are dead and received as “ Cargo” hence the title of the movie. Major changes occur as a newly inducted intern Yuvishka (played by Shweta Tripathi) came into Pushpak”s life. Along with came some turbulence in the quiet mono-tone life of Prashasta.
From the Sci-fi standpoint, it fails to make some real impact on the audience. But it has manifold themes to which it does justice. The satirical take on the monotony of life either in human or rakshas is one of those. Everyone is stuck in mundane activities. In the process of preparations for reincarnation, the memories are wiped from the human mind. This is where the biggest question popped, Can memories be completely erased? Can we be completely healer? Will there be no traces left? Watch it on Netflix and find it for yourself.
Some drawbacks of the movie
The pace of the movie is one big demerit The movies progress very slowly. The set for the movie lacks the plush awe-awakening futuristic look. I feel the lack of brainstorming for the creation of set is pretty evident. It looks tacky and not so futuristic. The storytelling is an advanced form where viewers are dependent on characters for knowing about their lives in future, as it is not so obvious. Though there are very clever details used in the movie to project ideas and emotions of characters. Photographs, lampshade, doodle on walls play a very important role in the depiction of the story.
Somewhere it also lacks to create a real human connection. It lacks the relatability with character in some places. Something more could be done to evoke more empathy and emotional attachments. The audience may not be able to feel the crisis that deep as it is intended.
Acting is praiseworthy and it’s one of the most adventurous stories written in India for the film so far. I feel Aarti Kadav has tried to convey some really important and complex messages in a beautiful manner. The limited budget has impacted its quality I feel. Given ample funds, it could have been a wonder! Certainly not denying it to be a gem. Go watch this amazing movie and share it with others.
Review of The Gone Game, A Lockdown Themed Thriller
The popularity of thrillers on OTT platforms can be calculated by the fact that a number of thriller series have been released in just a matter of time. If you are a thriller enthusiast, you can consider watching The Gone Game on Voot Select this weekend. The series is somewhat one of its kind on India. Though many thrillers have been released The Gone Game has a different vibe. It is highly relatable as it is lockdown themed which helps the audience to connect more. The concept has been highly appreciated by the critics. The Gone Game is one of those series which you can watch in one go. Let us have a detailed review of the series.
The Gone Girls is a lockdown themed thriller which has been released on OTT platform, Voot Select. It has been directed by Nikhil Bhat and the cast of the Series include Arjun Mathur, Sanjay Kapoor, Shweta Tripathi, Shriya Pilangokar, Lubna Salim, Rukhsar Rehman and many more.
A man named Sahil Gujral returns from Bangkok with the symptoms of Covid-19. He tested himself and turns out to be positive. Soon he died of the virus. But the story takes a turn when his sister Amara Gujral began to feel as if Sahil is alive due to some strange occurrence. Soon the whole family began to feel the same and they also felt the wife of Sahil and ex-boyfriend of Amara are behind all this.
The Gone Game is one of those series which fulfils are the requirements of the audience in terms of presenting a good thriller. The story will make you guess things. It will also bring out the hysteria within you and you feel as if you’re the part of the story. It will end at a cliffhanger and you will pray for the next season to be released as soon as possible. The Gone Game having introduced elements of a recent pandemic is able to connect more effectively to the public. The whole scenario is very familiar. The actors have done a fabulous job.
There are also some minor mistakes in the series. They have not shown the disinfectant policy that is mandated for corona patients. The CCTV cameras in rooms seem a bit exaggeration. Also, a few roles are seen to be cut short and also confusing. The major grievance of the public is the number of episodes. The season features only four episodes while more episodes could be made out of a similar plot to keep the audience engaging.
Overall, The Gone Game is something which you can not resist watching even after all the minor mistakes. You can easily ignore those mistakes and enjoy the intense plot of the series and wait for the next season to release.
The Gone Game is a perfect watch for this weekend. It is just four episodes, so binge-watching is also not a bad idea. The acting of the cast members is appreciable, especially of Shweta Tripathi. If you really want to explore a thriller, go for it.
Review Of Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl
Gunjan Saxena! A name which raises the chest of every Indian with proud and fills the eyes of every Indian woman or a little girl with dreams of achieving greater heights in their life. The recent movie based on the life of our warrior, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl has beautifully portrayed the life of Gunjan from a young girl aspiring to become an IAF Officer to IAF Gunjan Saxena. Gunjan Saxena is the sole inspiration for present 1,625 female IAF Officers in Indian Air Officers. The movie depicts two big wars that Gunjan faced in her life. The Kargil War is known to everyone but the war she had to wage against the mentality of society is not known to most of the people.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is based on the life of the first woman IAF Officer of India. Everyone knows the role Gunajn Saxena played in Kargil war but only a few know the background story of a life where she struggled very hard to join the Air Force. The Cast of the movie includes Jhanvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi, Manav Vij, Vineet Kumar Singh and Chandan K Anand. The movie has been directed by Sharan Sharma while the producers are Karan Johar, Hiroo Johar and Apoorva Mehta.
The movie takes to bake in 1984 where Gunjan as a young girl sees a dream to become a pilot. But her brother at the same time made her aware of the prevailing social mentality and remarked, “Girls do not become pilots”. Here began the struggle of Gunjan Saxena, a fun-loving girl who aspired to become an IAF Officer but the society criticized her at their best. This was the first war that Gunjan had to fight before Kargil. But her father, Colonel Saxena supported her best and always motivated her whenever she decided to give up. Gunjan being the first woman IAF Officer entered her workplace but it did not assure respect from her colleagues. She was often mocked for being a woman but she never gave up. And obviously, the most iconic part is the Kargil War where Gunjan Saxena proved her worth to the whole nation.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is beautifully directed to reflect the struggle of a young girl who is struggling hard to achieve her dreams and demanding respect in society. The role of Gunjan Saxena as an efficient officer has also been brought out in a quite strong manner. The beautiful and supporting relation between a father and his daughter brought out effectively in the movie. Gunjan Saxena is full of emotions, fun and inspiration for the viewers. The cinematography and direction deserve applauses. The acting of Jhanavi Kapoor as Gunjan Saxena was up to mark. The emotions in her eyes were reflecting the demand of the situation. The acting of Pankaj Tripathi was beyond words. He played the role of a motivating father who taught her daughter to never give up. Overall, Gunjan Saxena deserves to be watched.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is the story of a young woman who is today inspiration for every Indian. The movie describes her story from the beginning and forces the viewer to stick to the screen. The acting of the cast members is authentic and the emotion expressed them are genuine. In a nutshell, the movie is must watch.