Liberal Arts (2012): A Very Biased Review

I watched Liberal Arts day before yesterday and it was a movie I had actually wanted to watch for quite some time. Liberal Arts is one of those movies that has actors that everyone just knows. The movie starts and the first thought through your head is, “Hey, thats the guy from How I met Your Mother!” – the protagonist of the movie is Jesse Fisher, played by Josh Radnor (who’s actually directed, and produced and written the movie as well). Jesse Fisher is 35 years old and has a degree in English and History that is getting him nowhere in life. Jesse Fisher lives in New York, gets dumped by his girlfriend, and then goes back to the university he graduated from – Ohio University, for the farewell of his second favourite professor ever.

If you’ve watched Avengers: Age of Ultron (which you definitely should have watched), the first thought you get when you’re introduced to Zibby, is, “That’s Scarlet Witch from Marvel –  but, where’s the accent?” – Elizabeth Olsen plays a 19 year old sophomore who begins a quick friendship with Jesse and makes him forget that he’s actually not 19 years old anymore.

The movie overall however seems to be quite random, but I enjoyed it very much for one very simple reason: Every single character in the movie is obsessed with reading! (And actually enjoys it shamelessly) The movie has endless book references and a TON of quotes to be used for various instagram posts. Apart from Jesse and Zibby’s friendship, the movie has quite a few complex characters and various sub-plots, and everything involves books! I loved the movie and I loved the fact that millions of people rely on millions of books. Additionally, the movie had some of the most relatable quotes.

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Me too, Ted Mosby, me too. 

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Quote: Dead Poets Society

I haven’t been here since way too long. Mostly because I’ve been at home (eating A LOT of mother’s cooking) and thus having no time to open my laptop once in a while. But also mostly because I’ve had nothing at all to write about.

But, college resumes on the 10th of July, 2017 – just for everyone to keep up: this starts my fourth year at law school. And in the spirit of that, here’s one of my all time favourites from a must watch movie.

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Dead Poets Society is a brilliant, simple movie that stays with you long after you’re done watching it. Yes, I cried. And yes, you will cry. But this movie is so good, you should not be not watching this movie.

Robin Williams plays an English professor at an all boys’ school and he plays it with such finesse that it will leave you wishing you had him as your professor. He comes to this school to teach teenagers and has a greater impact on them than the Headmaster asks for. Oh and also, he has a greater impact on you, that you asked for.

Fantastic Beasts :”)

This movie. I have no words.

One thing that possibly everyone knows about me is that I’m a crazed Harry Potter fan; and thus when JKR announced this brilliant movie she was planning to make, I flipped out and I’m still flipping out all day.

Spoilers below, but everyone should’ve seen this movie by now it’s so beautiful you’ll cry! 

I admit I was all ready to cry and weep in this movie. This all brilliant and beautiful movie starts with the Warner Brothers Logo and guess what plays in the background? HEDWIG’S THEME. Yes yes yes yes! That beautiful Harry Potter music :”) So yes, that’s where my goosebumps started. The last time I’d heard this music on screen was back in 2011 so you can imagine my emotional state.

Eddie Redmayne is everything all at once – Happy, and funny, and cute, and beautiful and bags full of bubbliness. I had goosebumps atleast a hundred times during the movie including the times when Newt subtly makes a Quidditch reference, when they show the first shot of MACUSA, and my absolute favourite was the part when Newt enters his little suitcase and you see a whole HUGE, HUGE world down there.

The biggest reveal of the movie is by far the fact that Ezra Miller, who plays Credence who everyone widely believes to be a squib is actually the dark force they’ve been hunting! And also, JOHNNY DEPP PLAYS GELLERT GRINDLEWALD YOU GUYS CAN WE JUST CRY AND BE HAPPY AND KEEP CRYING TILL WE SEE HIM AGAIN ❤

Oh and Newt carries around a picture of a girl named Leta Lestrange, someone who he clearly has very strong feelings for. (See the surname!)

This movie is so so so beautiful and amazing and everything I’ve waited and dreamed for since Harry Potter’s last movie and I couldn’t be anymore satisfied and happy. Eddie Redmayne is a dream come true and you’re lying if you don’t crush majorly on him. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will make you cry and jump and dance and if it doesn’t you’re definitely not human!

PLEASE GO WATCH IT

Now You See Me 2 Review!

When Now You See Me released back in 2013, my main motivation for watching the movie was Dave Franco. Now, however, it is, by far, my favourite movie. I love every single part of that movie.

Now You See Me 2 opens with Thaddeus Bradley ( Morgan Freeman ) threatening the Horsemen for putting him in jail and letting him rot. It soon moves on to show that ex-cast member Isla Fisher is replaced by Lizzy Caplan (and she’s got brilliant reviews for her sassy character, I missed Isla Fisher though!) The minute Lizzy Caplan’s character enters the screen, she relentlessly begins to flirt with Dave Franco’s Jack (and I hated that so much, ugh! These pretty girls can get away with whatever)

All in all, the movie delivers with a stunning cast as all the major actors returned for the sequel. However, Daniel Radcliffe playing the super bad villain doesn’t really sit well: All you really see is grown up Harry Potter doing magic without his wand. The movie runs the same way as its prequel, with the Horsemen exposing frauds and showing the world how their magic really works. For obvious reasons, my favourite part of the movie was Dave Franco and the gigantic amount of screen time he gets in this one as compared to the previous one.

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The movie revolves around Daniel Radcliffe recruiting the Horsemen to steal something for him in exchange for their lives out of hiding back. As the Horsemen reluctantly agree and race around Macau, Dylan Rhodes ( Mark Ruffalo ) realizes how much he cares for the Horsemen and has his own personal battle to save them.

Out of all the million tricks and scenes, I have two absolute favourite ones: The first is when Jack Wilder ( Dave Franco ) finally comes back to the streets and performs for the people and smiles so widely that you just want to melt away!

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The second one is when Daniel Atlas ( Jesse Eisenberg ) controls the weather! (Yes, he really does!)- Go watch the movie to see what crazy magic he does!

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I LOVED 99% of the movie, the only part I hated was a little reveal at the end. Other than that, Now You See Me 2 clicks all boxes and I say if you’re a fan on the first one, you should most definitely watch the second one. If you aren’t a fan, firstly, WHY ARE YOU NOT A FAN? And secondly, just watch it for Dave Franco!

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LOOK AT HOW APPEALING HIS FACE IS AND WHAT IS THAT JACKET. Seriously, why would you even need a reason when he’s in the movie!?

8/10 for this fun, happy movie!

Can India move forward with Fawad Khan, please?

Hello people who don’t reside in India and have no clue what this title refers to!  So this is by far one of the longest posts in recent times. If you don’t have the strength/time/patience to read the whole thing, you may skip to the end, I have zero problems!

So recently(about a week ago, I think), this movie titled Kapoor and Sons, Since 1921 released here in India. The trailers all showed that it was about a typical Indian family, with two sons, an extremely adventurous grandfather, and an overly bubbly girl-next-door.

Now, the two brothers are played by Indian actor Siddharth Malhotra, and his elder brother, Rahul is played by Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Now, a few things about FK: We, the Indian crowd saw him first in Pakistani serials, (and no, Indians and Pakistani’s do not hate each other), and more importantly, FK is a god given hot bomb who whenever he comes on screen makes you want to tear his clothes off; not even kidding. See for yourself:

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ARE YOU MELTING

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Can I tear off your clothes? Thanks

So, now since I’ve hopefully got everyone’s attention, I’ll get down to the actual point of this post.

Rahul, played by Fawad Khan is a model son. He has a perfect life in London where he’s a novelist with a bestseller and a possible second on the way. He also has a perfect girlfriend, or so it seems. This is the beauty of the movie. Rahul is in fact, gay! Gay character in Bollywood? Surely enough criticism would be received for this, for obvious reasons. However, Kapoor and Sons and Fawad Khan, showcase brilliantly how homosexuality is completely normal and a part of our society.

Now, I could sit and write pages, and pages about this, but I shall control myself for the sake of anyone who reads my posts. I have also read a million articles about Fawad Khan, his character and his overall brilliance since I saw the movie. So, instead of reviewing his amazingly well played character myself, here’s what I’ll do;

  1. In his latest interview, Fawad opened up about his character in the film and raised some of the most sensible points.
    He said: “Everyone has a tendency to be gay. But this movie is not about sexuality. It is just about a family that is trying to sort out their differences. A friend of mine gave me the example of Zia Mohyeddin, who is a very famous Pakistani actor who once played the role of a eunuch in one of his films. At a time when eunuchs were mocked in the society. So it was a very bold move. Mohyeddin thought that a normal person will get interested in a movie if the content is good. That interest would get heightened if one put an anomaly in it, like the unlikely character of a eunuch in a plot.”
    India Times, March 27th.
  2. It takes a lot for Bollywood to not mess up a character or a setting with any homosexual undertones. So it is no surprise that Kapoor and Sons is making us cry out in joy for getting it right. For a change however, it isn’t just the break from mediocre Bollywood depictions of gay characters that we are celebrating. In the (never-ending) times of Section 377, here’s a film that has a completely self-aware gay character. One who is not the only point of drama in the film. But is his personal turmoil more significant than the problems the other members face? The film doesn’t judge. And that’s the beauty of it. Kapoor and Sons normalises homosexuality by portraying Rahul’s character to be just as troubled as everyone else’s in the film. A cheating husband, a jealous wife, a lonely grandfather, a lonelier young woman, a wronged brother and a struggling artist, all come together in this film to rid Rahul’s story of stigma. We are all dysfunctional and far from perfect, the film seems to say, while establishing that imperfection is okay. Not once is Rahul Kapoor called “gay” or “homosexual”. And with zero labels, Kapoor and Sons showcases his character in the most human way. And yes, that is indeed a feat worth celebrating.
    Catch News, March 22nd.
  3. Sorry, I am not exaggerating when I say Fawad Khan is absolutely perfect, from his jawline to his brooding looks. Even if you are a dyed-in-the-wall Dawkinian atheist, his very existence will make you wonder if there’s a higher being. Surely, evolution, a random process, couldn’t come up with a creature this divine. It’s not just his acting in the movies. A female buddy described a chance encounter where she couldn’t stop gushing about everything Fawad, from his perfect sartorial sense to the way he pays attention when someone’s talking.
    But this isn’t about Fawad the person, it’s about his role in Kapoor and Sons. For too long Bollywood has helped perpetuate the worst clichés about gay people, as if a limp wrist and a career in fashion designing are prerequisites for homosexual men. Speaking about Fawad’s role, filmmaker Karan Johar said, “His energy in Kapoor and Sons is so magnetic. I have to say that he took up a role which many actors were worried to do, but it takes a brave man to play a brave part and brave part to make a brave film.” Fawad’s portrayal will go a long way in reinforcing that being gay is just like any other arbitrary characteristic trait like our skin colour, hair colour, height or weight. That gay people are just people and that doesn’t make them any less of a brother or son. It’s impossible for anyone who saw the movie to come away thinking that being gay is some sort of aberration or a crime, particularly in that scene where Fawad says to his mother when coming out: “How can I apologise for being me?” Think of the impact this will have on every family which comes to the theatre. If nothing else, it will help start a conversation. It is worth remembering that Fawad Khan comes from a nation where, like in India, it’s illegal to be gay, but looks far more harshly towards LGBT rights, refusing its existence and where a combination of Islamic and colonial laws make life very hard for the community.
    DNA, March 26th.
  4. When Rahul’s mother discovers he’s gay she breaks down and wonders what she’s done to deserve a son ‘like him.’ This is an opportunity to push an intelligent message and Kapoor and Sons seizes it. It’s an all-too-real tableau that many gay men in South Asia are forced to enact. In the absence of informed, non-judgemental conversations about male sexuality in mainstream Indian media and in the home it’s plausible that gay men of Indian origin abroad find it easier to keep questions of marriage at bay with vague mentions of entanglements with foreign women rather than with open admissions of gayness. Fawad plays a gay man minus the cliched camp that heteronormative Bollywood typically saddles gay characters with. The effect is that Kapoor and Sons places Rahul’s personhood before his sexual orientation, allowing him the complexity films so often deny non-mainstream characters. Fawad Khan playing a gay man is a game changer not only because his star power will draw attention to the difficult negotiations of being a gay man. What’s really key in his accepting the role is that Kapoor and Sons challenges notions of ‘ideal’ masculinity by casting a popular sex symbol as a gay man.
    Images Dawn, March 20th
  5. First, muster your Bollywood GK to picture a man called Rahul Kapoor in a mainstream Hindi film. Here’s what you see: a straight north Indian man, chasing his lady love down gardens and dance floors with one song too many. He also breaks a nose or two now and then to remind his audience that he ticks off the ‘protector box’ in the ‘ideal Bollywood man’ checklist. Now meet Rahul Kapoor in Shakun Batra’s Kapoor & Sons. Suave, soft spoken, the peacemaker in the family, perfect and gay. Rahul’s sexual orientation in the film is one of the many subplots in Kapoor and Sons, almost like that one story of the many stories that make up a real family. The life Rahul, played by Khan, leads in the film closely mirrors those of many gay men I know. It’s not one that could be called a double life by any measure, but one, in which various aspects of it have be kept at a distance from each other.
    The Huffington Post, India, March 22nd.

If you read all of this, or even a small part of it, THANK YOU SO MUCH AND HERE’S YOUR REWARD

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Don’t tell me you’re not going weak in your knees

There’s no knowing how India and it’s people will progress after Fawad Khan and his flawless character gets accepted by the community. However, there is no denying that India needs to move out of it’s stereotypical approach towards the LGBT community and move more along the lines of the developed nations of the world.

In all honesty, if you read this, thank you so much because even some of my bestest friends are homophobic and there’s probably zero people who would ever stand up for the LGBT community, and by reading this I sure hope people begin to change just a tiny miny bit.

If you didn’t read this, and just skipped to the last line here, at least have a look at the pictures.