La La Land Is Three-Quarters The Beauty Of Whiplash

La La Land is three-quarters the beauty of Whiplash.

Coming across “From the makers of Whiplash” was more than enough for me to look forward to La La Land. The beauteous screenplay, gripping direction and impeccable performances are all the things that I eagerly looked forward to.

As soon as La La Land got over, I insisted that my friend, who had accompanied me for the movie, watch Whiplash right away. And as we sat in front of her laptop, my revisit to Whiplash began. As the movie continued, I noticed a  lot of similarities between it and La La Land.

The biggest similarity was the addressing of the issue of jazz dying. Both the films depicted intense passion; passion for one’s dreams. Both had love being placed below aspirations. Both had the mention of Summer, for some reason. Both had the cameras zoom into edibles and drinks (coffee, etc in La La Land and soft drinks and popcorn in Whiplash) which essentially brings out the peculiarity of the director. Both had JK Simmons being an ass hole.

 

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Most importantly, both kept reality intact.

However, the dissimilarities between the two led Whiplash to secure the top position for me. Whiplash had the intensity which LLL lacked. Whiplash made me cringe everytime Andrew (Miles Teller) picked up the drumsticks. Every time that he bled his fingers to perform his best, I felt it. Really! One has to see it to feel it.

LLL had more colours and brightness than Whiplash. The usage of light was more nuanced in LLL. For instance, the way only the character that sang or spoke was spotlighted totally captivated me. I knew I had to pay attention; I had to look into the eyes of the character, just like, I felt the building nervousness with every manoeuvre of Fletcher’s hand in Whiplash.

As for the performances, Emma Stone’s matches the intensity of Miles Teller’s while Ryan Gosling is good in his own way. It’s Teller’s performance that outshines the other two’s for me any day, though.

 

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Another person who needs a mention is Damien Chazelle, the director. Man, is he amazing! TBH, I was sort of astonished to discover his age (32) since I’d thought such intricate handiwork would belong to some aged, experienced person.

Both films undoubtedly had outstanding performances; LLL had more dreamy sequences and more filmy drama while Whiplash had all its seriousness taking me for a ride.

Music, which is a significant part of both the films, was peppier in LLL, of course, but the way it intensifies in Whiplash is noteworthy. Still, it’s the songs of LLL that find a better place in my heart than the drums of Whiplash. The way Andrew bashes his drums and Mia puts life into verses is abso-frikking-lutely commendable.

Coming to my conclusion and that of both the films, that of Whiplash wins hands down.

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I know it was great to see Mia and Sebastian resolutely move on in their lives, which was a very realistic thing to do. However, Andrew’s unflinching perseverance and taking an extremely good control of the situation, which takes Fletcher (and us) for a hell of a ride, is one that leaves a stronger impact.

Although LLL ended on an unexpected yet fair note, the ending of Whiplash was stronger. All in all, La La Land is three-quarters the beauty of Whiplash.

And that is all for now, folks!

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YES, A ROAD TRIP WITH SIBLINGS IS A BLOODY DAMN GOOD IDEA

I have grown up with four siblings- the eldest being 9 years elder to me and the youngest (our only brother) being 1.5 years younger- with me being the fourth child out of five.

From being told that I’m adopted (jokingly, of course) to being loved and cared for, I now cherish all those years I spent with my siblings- The Famous Five- as we proudly used to call ourselves. Now that we’ve grown up and moved away (NOT grown apart) from each other, I reminisce and sometimes sob over all those years of togetherness that I took for granted. Perhaps it’s true, distance does bring us closer.

Every year’s summer holidays would bring a family vacation for us. From North to South to West, we covered most of India, leaving the East to conquer later. However, that day never came since two of my sisters got married.

Every trip to the different states that we’d visit would include customary Road trips between cities. Ammi, Papa and the five of us would have the best times away from the responsibilities of home, office and school. 

Oh how I wish for those days to come back!

Well, some parts of those days did return with TVF’s webseries, Tripling. A number of memories resurfaced and left me wanting for more.

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Tripling brings out all those emotions that a love-hate relationship entails. And you know what? A sibling relationship best exemplifies a love-hate relationship. 

Yes, we had our moments when we absolutely hated each other’s presence and also when we longed to see each other. TBH, I sometimes wished for my eldest sister, Fatima appi*, to get married soon. Y’know, she was mostly in the character of Hitler who’d whip us on not studying or make us do her share of work. Yet she was the one who set great examples for us to follow, at the same time.

My second sister, Hadia appi, was mostly quiet and reclusive. She was the most organized EVER! I would hate it every time she would command me to assemble the naashta tray whenever guests would arrive (which would be 24×7 since Papa is a journalist and our day would usually commence in the night). But I can never forget all those times when Hadia appi became that Angel who’d lend us, the poor famished souls,  Rs 10 to buy 3 samosas from the canteen during the lunch break in school.

Maryam appi, my third sister, has always been more like a friend and confidante than a 2-year-older sibling. Although I cannot really behave disobediently with her, I can share every little detail of my life with her without caring about judgments.

Annnd, Saif- our younger brother- still remains that guy with whom I can openly fight and yet not be able to remain angry for long owing to his absolutely irksome habit of becoming too nosey whenever I put up the get-lost-I-ain’t-gonna-talk facade to teach him a lesson.

Despite our differences, I haven’t been too vocal or expressive like Chitvan, Chandan or Chanchal (episode 4). Respect, you see. But these three show us that the more vocal about clearing doubts you are, the better your relationship with others will become. (Just make sure to voice arguments politely and not scar your loved ones for life in the process.)

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I relate with Chitvan the most. Although I’m not as callous and IDGAF-ey as him, I do like simplifying things. “Hamare beech issue kya Hai mere toh yeh he samajh nahi aa raha” is what I resonated with the most. I just don’t understand the need for complication. But again, I cannot coolly turn up with blue hair as much as I’d love to. Y’know, I don’t want Ammi’s flying Chappal to reach me from Lucknow to Mumbai.

This brings me to the parents. Man, this trio’s parents are surreal! How many super cool parents have you come across? By super cool, I mean those that drug their kids with cookies. So yes, they’re like surreal or something. TBH, my father who had resentfully remarked at my brother’s side-trimmed hair, would’ve thrown him out had he stepped in with a blue head.

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As for Ammi, I can’t say whether she’d be able to keep her cool on learning that her children have major problems to deal with, (thankfully,  we don’t) like Shalu (the mother) does.

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Shalu / video screengrab / tvfplay app

But yes, we have been allowed to go on trips over phone calls and, at the same time, we’ve been disallowed stay-overs at our friends’ places IN THE SAME CITY for some reason that we’ve never learned. Yes, we have been let loose to live, study and work in different cities but we have also been bound to wear clothes that Ammi picked for us without daring to rebel. Isn’t that somewhat like Chitvan who, in spite of having super cool parents and all, cannot smoke up when they’re around? Respect again, Y’know.

To conclude, Tripling gave me several reflections of my life and brought back my long-forgotten road trip memories with my family. I totally loved it! And yeah, Chitvan’s M*****f***a performance was amazing [can’t say it because my elder sisters are gonna read this. Respect, Y’know. ;)]

YES, A ROAD TRIP WITH SIBLINGS IS A BLOODY DAMN GOOD IDEA.

*Appi means Didi

We SO Wish We Had These Teachers In Our Schools

We think of most teachers as strict and unapproachable generally. We fail to gather enough courage to go and speak with our teachers about why, honestly, we failed to finish our homework. How often does a teacher really take out time from their busy schedule and sit and talk to us?

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It’s that time of the year again when we feel heartfelt gratitude for the ones whom we cursed in classrooms and mocked behind their backs– our teachers. It’s a special day for all teachers nationwide. Schools will have children performing special songs and dances for their teachers, no classes will be held, sweets will be distributed and students will be thrilled.

Yes, we took our teachers for granted. We didn’t listen to them then but now, as we’ve grown up and moved on in life to face the real world, we are reminded of all the lessons that our teachers gave us. But you know, there would always be some teachers who, let’s be honest, weren’t as thoughtful as they should have been.

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We wished they had not humiliated us in front of the whole class for making a small mistake. We wished they had told us that it’ll be all right instead of putting pressure which would always take the better of us and make us gloomy and hate school. In short, we wished we had these teachers in our school:

Johnny Matthew (Nagesh Kukunoor) from Rocksford 

A sports teacher who doesn’t just whistle and shout… NO, you think? You’ve gotta watch Rocksford and see this amazing sports teacher who doesn’t only build your physical strength but your mental strength too. I mean, which teacher sets you up for a date with a person you’re crushing on?

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Vincent Sir (Vinay Pathak) from Hip Hip Hurray!

A teacher who holds classes outside of the monotonous classrooms, Vinay Pathak, who plays the role of an English teacher, is as romantic as a teacher as his lessons of Shakespeare are.

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Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) from Taare Zameen Par

Nikumbh is such a teacher who looks beyond a weak student’s notebook mistakes. He figures out what the real problem is, and isn’t that what we all want- To be understood? A teacher who pushes you to live your worth, do what you do best instead of pressurising you to fetch good marks, is not one that we come across often.

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Raj Aryan (Shahrukh Khan) in Mohabbatein

How many times have you witnessed a teacher who pushes you to break rules (as baseless as they are)? Don’t we all wish for a teacher who would tell us to run out of the school premises just to show that conforming to baseless stuff is not logical? And it’s for all that that we love Raj sir from Mohabbatein.

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(Republished from Being Indian)

Yeah, you can call it a review of TEACHERS. 😛

 

TVF Does It Again With ‘How I Raped Your Mother’- A Satirical Take On Marital Rape That Will Leave You Thinking

Marital Rape topic seems like Voldemort from Harry Potter– You know, you just can’t name it. It’s like one despised yet viciously powerful entity. Unfortunately, marital rape’s power is not recognized, unlike Voldemort. The depth of the topic is quickly and conveniently disregarded with this-is-another-feminist-rant kind of counter opinions.

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Well, TVF Girliyapa’s new video titled How I Raped Your Mother takes a stand on the topic with as much wisdom-coated-insensitivity as the insensitive responses that this topic garners. Thus, it makes a befitting reply to the absolutely illogical approach that people generally put up against marital rape. You know, like lohe se loha kat’ta hai, this video will show you howinsensitivity should kill (or at least attack) insensitivity.

The video presents the family as a microcosmic society which is indifferent to the “alien” concept of marital rape. There are some takeaways from the video that we all NEED to consider.

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We do not recognize marital rape: When the female protagonist, Devika, complains about her being raped, the family gets in a defensive mode- ready to bash up the rapist. However, when the girl reveals that she is pointing towards her husband, Arun, it leaves the family perplexed. They ask “What is marital rape?” while referring to it as new-age rape.

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We refrain from even talking about it: The video’s euphemism for marital rape as ‘intense love making’ speaks volumes about how ignorant we are. The girl’s mother half mentions that she has faced rape herself. Even if they go closer to the recognition of marital rape in their heads, they back off and address it as another form of expressing love. No wonder the family keeps digressing from the topic to talk about other things, like health benefits of sex.

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We agonize the victim to the extent that they start feeling guilty: The video satirically puts out how insignificant sacrifices of husbands like eating baigan curry against their will are weighed more against the major sacrifice by the victimized women. The petty sacrifices are thrust into her head until she becomes complacent and admits the fact that she might be wrong.

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The justifications against criminalization of marital rape are outright unreasonable: They look down upon the reasons given by Women and Child Development Minister, Maneka Gandhi, against criminalization of marital rape and you won’t even realise it. Of course, how can illiteracy, poverty or culture be responsible for the unsuitability of a law to curb marital rape? These reasons are unacceptable.

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How heavily patriarchal our society is: The fact that Arun’s inconsequential contentions are given more value against Devika’s mirrors the patriarchy prevalent in our society. It’s so ingrained in us that we overlook the objectification of women. Rape is just another way for men to fan their fragile egos.

So when you laugh while you watch the video and listen to the hilarious dialogues, just pause for a moment and think about what they are really trying to convey behind all the subtle jokes.

We got to sleep harder and SOFY tells us why.

We Indians have seen ample ads that make us laugh more than they make sense. I’m sure you would recall the phrase ‘Tapaaa Tap’ when the topic of discussion is bad advertising. BTW, sanitary pad ads also rank quite high in the list of nonsensical advertisements.

Admit it, we hate seeing ads on menstruation which consider the natural cycle as a confidence-dwindling thing. Moreover, we’re tired of watching these sanitary napkin brands sticking to the trite way of marketing their products.

*Reality Check* It doesn’t work.

Sofy had released a rather annoying two-ad series on a love story which could be completed only because the girl who is low on confidence otherwise, given to her periods, decides to use Sofy.

Seriously?

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That made me wonder who could have allowed such a hideously idiotic thing to pass as an ad. However, Sofy has now corrected its mistake by releasing this new ad called Girl Uninterrupted. The ad refers to menstruation with an absolutely fresh approach and I love it! It’s good that they realised that periods are more than just the worry of stains and wearing white pants in “those five days”.

They have even started the campaign #GirlUninterrupted which trended on Twitter. So, you got to “sleep uninterrupted to stay uninterrupted.” And honestly, I love sleeping so I’d give this ad one extra mark anyway!

Wanna know why? Watch the ad here.

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Now that’s the way, Ahaa Ahaa!

Why you should not watch Ki & Ka

“I would like some realism please.”

“Sorry Ma’am, we cannot offer that cause we lack it big time.”

That’s precisely the response you’d get from Ki and Ka. It’s a case of severe metaphor-fail and you can see it’s disappointing repercussions in the new Kit Kat ad featuring Ki (Kareena Kapoor) and Ka (Arjun Kapoor) besides the film itself.

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Courtesy: songsbajaao.com

Despite being a film that aims to promote the fresh idea of a progressive ‘housemaker’ man who is wedded to a working woman, Ki and Ka fails to bring about an impacting message. The over-the-top unrealistic dialogues, screenplay and acting smothers the message to a painful death, much to the extent of irking me.

The only ‘R Balki’ trait that I found in the film was Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan’s cameo which served the purpose that salt would serve in tea- it just didn’t make sense. Not only the film was bad (read intolerable, at most instances), the music was no less a sucker. I mean, what’s a film without hum-worthy songs?

Ki and Ka was unnecessarily dragged into double conflict resolved with the obviously and extremely annoying happy ending (I’m sure you’ll know why extremely annoying after watching it). Kareena acted too bad in Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon but this film struck as a more annoying one than that even though the actors did pretty well excluding Swaroop Sampat who played Kia’s mother. Now I’m sure you can imagine the impending two-hour-horror if you’ve booked tickets for this one.

Watched it already? Do share your thoughts in the comments.


Feature Image courtesy: songsbajaao.com

#HospitalityFail

So it is after moving to Mumbai that I realised how much I love Pizza. It was just another of those pizza-craving-days when I urged my friends to join me for one ANYWHERE. Since they were already going to Phoenix and there’s Domino’s over there, we decided to satiate my Pizza hunger at Dominos.

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Ohh that thought of extra cheese extending between my mouth and a pizza slice considerably reduced the levels of patience in me during all the shopping my friends had to do. Little had I known that the crowded Dominos would end up leaving me wondering why it was crowded in the first place in spite of the rather disappointing hospitality.

Well, being welcomed with unwelcoming countenances has been a common experience for me, here in Mumbai. “Does cheese burst option apply to Pizza Mania pizzas?” asked Shivani only to be responded with a nonchalant non-verbal rude mouth gesture. You know that ‘click’ kind of sound that you make while responding in the negative to a question about whether you have finished your work or not? That.

I was kinda past caring and wanted my pizza in front of me. We ordered. It took a good twenty-five minutes for our order to be prepared. Fine. You can wait for a tasty pizza to melt in your mouth at the cost of those minutes and a hole in your pocket (in Dominos’ case), can’t you? I did.

The moment they served the pizzas without ketchup and even a single tissue was the moment when I realised how badly they lacked common sense and etiquette. Man, when somebody orders a cheese burst, tissues are compulsory to catch hold of all the cheese that flows out from the corners of the mouth. But no, these people seemed least bothered in that regard.

Coming to the pizza- Well thankfully, it was good although damn heavy. I wish these Domino’s people were beyond their grumpy faces and impolite hospitality. It would improve their service to a great extent, you know. The tasty pizza saved their asses, though. And to think of it, I think all that haughtiness comes from the scrumptious pizzas lest they be bashed up hard.

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Courtesy: talesfromthewetsuit.wordpress.com

Care to share similar bad experiences? Do it in the comments below.


Banner Image Courtesy: foodguruz.in