Category Archives: Movies

Bol- A Review

What does a typical Pakistani household look like? How do they spend their day? What are the roles designated for the males and the females? What are their prejudices? What is the impact of society on their actions and choices? How do they express love? How do they make peace with their yearnings?

In many ways, a typical Pakistani household is similar to that of an Indian household. Yet they are very different. Poverty is more prevalent. The male-female differentiation is starker. The confinement of females in their homes is almost prison-like. The yearning for a male child is of obsessive proportion. The double standards in the name of God are incredible.

In this state of affair, would anybody speak up and let the better sense prevail?

Bol is a demonstration of all such things and much more. It’s hard to believe a filmmaker could pack so much in one movie. In 3 hours, we feel as if we lived a totally different life. The movie holds our hand and takes us deep into its world. It throws the distress in our face, so much so that, after the interval, we question if we should continue with this movie-world. Do we have the capacity to bear more? But the honesty of it all pulls us back in and we get ready for another ride through the tumultuous world of people who are similar in many ways to people on our own surroundings.

But can movies have any impact on the real life? Would people let go of the irrationality after watching just a movie? Perhaps no. But at least it can make some of us to think our actions through and allow us to make better sense of the world we live in. On this aspect, Bol does come up triumphant!

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Thanks Maa – A review

Is entertainment the only reason we watch movies for? What about the need to know different stories, issues & ways of life? Even if they are presented in a seriously serious way, without a tinge of humor? Would we lap it up?

I guess yes. At least if they are as relevant and eye-opening as Thanks Maa is. It is the story about a lost infant who is found by 3 street kids who make sure the infant gets united with the mother. Or do they?

In the journey, the movie makes sure it has checked almost every social issue- begging, stealing, death of innocence, pedophilia, the pain of separation, and many more. As if it was not enough, it all adds up to something grand, something shocking, something that leaves us transfixed in our seats that we are left with no energy to move. It blows us hard. And we needed to. We needed to be jolted out of our slumber and see the harsh realities taking shape around us.

Throughout the movie, we take the title to mean one thing, and its meaning turns out to be entirely different at the end.

It is sad that such movies don’t work well at the box office. Perhaps, some fault is of the marketing team. They don’t trust the power of such movies well, and thus don’t give them enough publicity.

But then that has been the fate of many other good movies as well. These mostly strive on word-of mouth publicity. So, here I am giving it the word-of-fingers publicity: Do watch it!

Thoughts after watching ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

Who are we? What is our purpose in life? What’s our calling? What’s our passion? What are we here for? What are we good at? How do we want to spend our time, our days? How do we choose our profession?

For some, these answers are determined by their education, the exams they crack and the jobs they land at. For some, it is their inherent talent- singing, dancing, painting, etc that takes them forward.

However,for some, it is through the accidents, occurring while they are running away from their lives or somehow pursuing towards their lives, that they find the purpose of their lives.

In Rango, the lead protagonist keeps wondering who he is. And he accidentally lands in a village named Dirt, where he is accidentally made the sheriff. After a series of events, he finally chooses to stay in the village, owns up his task of being the sheriff and declares that this is who he is!

In Kungfu Panda series, Po is accidentally adopted by a goose, and is accidentally chosen as the Dragon Warrior. He keeps questioning his existence and keeps looking for answers. After a series of events & movies, he finally realizes he is all of this- son of a goose, son of a panda, a student, a teacher and the Dragon Warrior!

In Dallas Buyers Club, Woodroof had been wandering through his life somehow, earning money, fixing electricity, cheating people and literally running. He gets AIDS and he wants to save his life. He is a fighter. He studies about the disease. He talks to the experts for advice. He weighs the different advice given by different people. He makes his choice. He decides to take the drugs that are illegal in the U.S. But he also needs money to survive. So, he smuggles the medicines into the U.S., and sells it to the needy. Having never dreamt of this, he becomes an accidental savior. He gets a purpose, and his name gets written in the annals of history.

What does it tell us about our lives and purpose? Can we purposely build a life and find a purpose? Or do we just have to continue living lives on day to day basis, giving our best, and not worrying about it being getting added to something whole? Perhaps, different people would have different opinions on it.

Dr. Death

If people are suffering, they should have the right to decide if they want to die. By forcing them to continue, we are only torturing them. In this regard, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande is a very insightful book. He advocates not putting people on ventilator, rather on pain reducing drugs, and just letting them die peacefully, and not prolonging their lives artificially. Atul Gawande is a doctor and a prize-winning author. A reviewer wrote that Mr. Gwande writes with a scalpel. Mr. Gawnade advocates palliative care and asks more people to become geriatricians.

Many people love their professions. Some are highly committed to what they do. But there are only a few people who can stand for what they believe in, who have the courage the fight the system, not for a day or a week, but for so many years. And Mr. Jack was indeed one of those. Hats off to him for his unflinching convictions, and his courage to take on everybody to defend those convictions!

What differentiates such people from other? What do they do extra? What are the reasons that make them what they are? Perhaps, one thing is their self-confidence in their ways, their defiance in the ways of others, their uniqueness, their unconventional take on life. For one, Mr. Jack didn’t marry. Perhaps, it explains his undiluted devotion and love for his profession.

Another, he hadn’t watched the most talked about film of the times- The Shawshank Redemption. Does that explain his singular focus on his profession, and not worrying about the general trends? Perhaps, it does.

Since he was so cut off from the ways of general people, does that explain his naivety in challenging even the law? The last verdict by the judge was really apt- that, one can debate the law, but one can’t take it in one’s hand. And it is surprising that Mr.Jack didn’t think of that. Perhaps, if he had, he won’t have been one of the most revered people of America. All great people have defied law and changed the course of history.

I just hope Mr. Jack didn’t repent his terms in jail, and that he felt proud in whatever he did, and whatever its consequences were. I hope his actions continue serving as a reminder for all of us in our future endeavours. And I hope euthanasia (active/passive) be soon termed as legal in all the countries of the world.