Resistance – My own tale of 2017.

At the start of a year, usually, people like to take resolutions, determining what they want to achieve, in order to be better, either for themselves or for their closed ones. Beginning of 2017, I didn’t take a resolution, I took a vow to do something for someone really close to me in my family, and somewhere, maybe, for myself too. I took an oath, to also prove to the world that I AM someone who they presume I am not.

I always think about the good things my parents have taught me since the time I have started understanding what life is all about and one of those things is that before laying a finger at someone else for anything, always notice that three of your fingers would be pointing towards you. And before blaming other people for their habit(s), first check your own.
So what exactly is a habit?

An aquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.

I challenged myself to crush the word ‘habit’ into a thousand pieces, so much that it is mixed well in the desert sand, becoming almost unnoticeable. You must be wondering, what did I do?

I didn’t consume a single bit of alcohol or tobacco for three hundred and sixty five days. Now, OBVIOUSLY, it is the most difficult thing I have ever done. You would also think that you understand what I have gone through. Trust me, you don’t. Having a surrounding of ninety percent people drinking and ninety nine percent drinking & smoking and telling your mind not to do both, in bars, clubs, at pre-drinks, at SHISHA CAFÉs, house get togethers, with family, on birthdays, on anniversaries, IS NOT EASY.

First few months were the toughest. They usually are! Then I started getting used to it. I started driving around people more. I didn’t stop going to shisha cafés because thats mostly where my friends would hang out! Yup, I was helpless. Nevertheless, I went lesser, ergo, met them lesser. So many of my close friends, even my parents insisted me to drink at an occasion or even normally, but I just wouldn’t agree. I am glad that I am blessed with a STRONG mindset.

Back in the day, I had had moments where I had consumed limitless alcohol, SO MANY times. I had heard people talking about me being an alcoholic [when I wasn’t], in my EXTENDED FAMILY and FRIENDS OF FRIENDS. Behind my back, I was being made fun of about my alcoholic habits. I was aware of everything, yet, never uttered a word.

WHAT I HAVE ACHIEVED IN THIS YEAR, is also for ALL OF YOU.

We all are in the era of sharing every single detail on social media. My main purpose of sharing this (as mentioned above already) is for someone close to me, who is addicted to tobacco. I know you’re reading this and I want you to QUIT. It CAN be done. Plus, it is not only for motivating you all to resist your habits but also for setting your mind to the right things and not towards the wrong. I am not telling you to be an extremist like me, but only not to do something so often that you’re sick of it one day. DO NOT let your habit turn into an addictive nightmare.

Never have I used so many I’s in my life, while writing or speaking, but I think it is obligatory here. The question which arrises now is, what henceforth? I don’t know whether I will start again, consume lesser or be normal, like I used to be or even go extreme towards the opposite direction (well, because it HAS been VERY LONG). But, one thing is for sure now that, I can stop it whenever I want to. And now, no one can point that finger at me. Hence, I would like to conclude by saying that,

Addiction is JUST a state of mind and YOU have all the power to change it.

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Tiger Zinda Hai – Behold! A new genre in films.

There has to be a tragedy in my life to ruin my year end, every time. Last year, it was the enormous amount of traffic fines and this year’s credit goes to the actor who literally does nothing and gets all the money and attention.

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If an actor, who shamelessly makes preposterous films as such and the blinded fans are still promoting them, then I don’t have even a little hope left in the Indian moviegoers and their common senses. TZH crosses 200crore mark in a week? Are you crazy?! On the other hand, those beautiful low budget films are out of the theater immediately after a week of their release which have way better stories.

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This film possibly has the worst screenplay of the year. And just to grab a little attention, Ali Abbas Zafar, the director, along with one of the story writers, Neelesh Misra, adds in a true event to his plot. What about the execution? The cinematography is literally a joke. Apart from being very easily predictable [which is a usual scenario], the action too proves to be disastrous. EVERYTHING has been made so easy in the world of Salman Khan that he just has to mark his attendance and the rest follows, literally. However, I would definitely commend the supporting actors, who are the real heroes of this flick. Not a couple, but all of them including, Paresh Rawal (as Firdauz/Tohbaan), Angad Bedi (as Namit), Kumud Mishra, Nawab Shah (as Pawan), Paresh Pahuja (as Azaan), Gavy Chaahal (as Abrar) and Danish Bhatt (as Javed). Infact, the foe, Sajjad Delafrooz (as Abu Usman) too, has excellently performed. I loved his screen presence, his calm yet firm posture and outstanding expressions.

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Music is catchy, but cannot be categorized under “Good”. The two super-hit songs are fed with immature lyrics. But of course, how can I forget, they are a part of a SK film. In fact, there are scenes which are so illogical that people who aren’t fans of him, will understand and literally laugh. I am disheartened that people didn’t have any option apart from Tiger Zinda Hai on the releasing weekend, resulting in the overflowing earnings.

1/5

Fukrey Returns – Back with a bang!

Idiosyncratic from the prequel, Fukrey Returns joins the league of sequels which have proven to be better films than their average or poor first parts. The list, which is inclusive of films like Don 2 and Tanu Weds Manu Returns.

Four years later, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, the director, comes up with a tad better story and did the smartest thing by NOT altering the cast OR even stuffing it with more-than-required characters. Instead, he revamped the script, obviously. Now, we all knew that the backbone of Fukrey, Varun Sharma (as Choocha) was the only reason the film did, well, what it did in 2013. And now, he’s gotten better and more funnier! Plus, his friends, Hunny (played by Pulkit Samrat), Lali (played by Manjot Singh) and Zafar (played by Ali Fazal) had augmented roles and a better dialogue too.

Three other people in the cast I would specially mention because of their excellent performances would be, Richa Chadda (as Bholi Punjaban) – being the most dangerous, effective and powerful; Pankaj Tripathi (as Pandit) – the one with the most perfect timing in the film and the new addition, Rajiv Gupta (as Babulal Bhatia) – who has gained recognition in a lot of low budget Bollywood films with his mind blowing work in supporting roles and nails it in this one as well (playing the foe).

This character driven film has now managed to cross the much deserved 100crore mark. Well, I got to laugh a little late, but I made sure I saw this great sequel before it vanished, off the theater. Those who STILL haven’t seen it, this is the one for the festive season as it going to leave cramps in your stomach after so much laughter.

3.5/5

Justice League – Not so DC entertainer.

After watching this really good spectacle, my question is that why are people negatively criticizing it? I mean, yes, it has it’s own little glitches which don’t make this film up to the mark but it is definitely not bad, at all.

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Let’s agree to one thing, DC Comics has been giving us great films which have undoubtedly been darker than Marvel Comics. I am not weighing in both the humungous franchises but just stating the very conspicuous difference. By darker, I mean the stories have been a little away from being children friendly and lightheaded.

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I had gained a little respect for the character of Superman (played by Henry Cavill) after a couple of scenes in the previous film from DC Comics, Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice but after Justice League, my liking and respect for him has gone straight up till the rooftop. [Psst. that’s also where batman hangs out]. Oh come on, I didn’t give you a spoiler, we all knew Superman is going to come to life because there is no Justice League without him. I have literally become a fan and Batman for me, is fading away, slowly.

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The portion of action is sufficient and quite thrilling too. The background score is great. Flash/Barry Allen (played by Ezra Miller) adds the amateurish comedy. But I still feel, Grant Gustin would have done a better job. Gal Gadot is extravagant in every way, as usual. After their cameos in the Dawn Of Justice, Cyborg (played by Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (played by Jason Momoa), they get lengthier roles here, wherein their full introduction is done. It is also because, now, their individual films have a green signal – which, by the way, are already in the making. Notwithstanding, both are apt for their roles. From Daredevil to Batman, Ben Affleck is an excellent actor, but not so fit to play the HUGE Batman. Christian Bale was perfect.

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Very preeminent part of the film, the plot, is actually made easy. The cinematography is the wow factor here. The screenplay, however, could have been more intense, more complicated, more DC Comics-like. It is so easy to foretell. All in all, this film is sold! I felt the gripping action was enough to keep me inclined. And it is sad that Zack Snyder couldn’t finish the film and Joss Whedon had to complete it. Oh, and where is Green Lantern?

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3.5/5

Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana – By invitation!

The low budget films are really trending nowadays. They are really proving to be better stories too. Tch tch. Hear something 100-Crore clubs?

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The preferred hero of these small scaled films is mostly Rajkummar Rao. Previously surnamed Yadav, he is really setting the bar level up, till the sky, possessing all the possible talents and qualities. Kriti Kharbanda, who has good recognition in the South film industry, makes her third appearance in a Bollywood film. With her opening in Raaz: Reboot, followed by Guest Iin London along side the monologue king Kartik Aaryan, she didn’t really get that exposure because of the films’ failures but Shadi Mein Zaroor Aana should really help her out because of her applause-worthy performance and the fact that she is one of the leads here. Also, the veterans who played as the parents and a few newcomers as siblings in the film delivered their acts magnificently.

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Showcasing the small town life of Kanpur and how orthodox, backward-minded some parts of India and their people STILL are, debutant Ratnaa Sinha gives us yet another wedding film in the season of weddings BUT with a nasty, retributive twist. Writer Kamal Pandey, with the help of Sinha, does a good job of carefully showing all aspects of the film in the right quantities, instead of rushing through a particular part. Every element of the film has it’s own spice and should be displayed in the correct manner.

Although, SMZA for me, was moving along very well until the end arrived. I got up from my seat to leave the theater, twice, thinking it’s over. The film just refused to end. It just protracted, which is a let down, really. Furthermore, there are just three songs which play during the film which made a good background score, hence, full marks for that.

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Lastly, it did remind me a little of Badrinath Ki Dulhania. It isn’t the best of the low budget films out there this year but it would definitely outdo a lot of SKFs, T-Series’ and Bazmees.

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3.5/5

Ittefaq – Guess who?

How can I possibly write a review on a film that has been so secretive since the start? The producers didn’t even promote the film because they didn’t want the smallest chance of a leak. In fact, there was short video posted on social media by Shah Rukh Khan himself, conveying the same message of avoiding spoilers. I am really glad that people listened.

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Let me confirm that all the fellow actors who had seen the premier of the film earlier or even those who saw the flick after it’s release and tweeted praises, weren’t wrong. At first, even I thought maybe this is a new way of promoting the film. And trust me, until a particular point even I had decided to give this film a fairly average rating but then.. Ittefaq stroke.

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You really have to see it to make yourself believe that it actually is a very good film. Although, I shall be honest here, I was just keen to see Akshaye Khanna. I missed him in films all this while. He has this certain persuasive nature and the kind of role he is given in this one, suited him so well. Plus, I had lesser expectations from Sidharth or Sonakshi. But they did quite well too. Directorial debutant, Abhay Chopra, who is also one of the story writers and the man behind the screenplay, wrote some amazingly blunt dialogue for Khanna. Not to mention, Chopra‘s friends Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Mehrotra also penned down to help him with the writing.

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It is based on the 1969’s film of the same name, starring Bollywood’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna. I am really curious to watch the old one now, especially after witnessing a masterminded spectacle as the current one. Furthermore, there is no need of any music in this film and there isn’t any, thankfully.

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Without revealing anything, I would really recommend you to NOT miss out on this excellent suspense movie. It won’t even take so much of your time. Just a hundred and seven minutes.

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4/5

Thor: Ragnarok – It is THORvelous!

Funniest Thor movie? Yes. Funniest Marvel movie? No. Ragnarok is fully inclusive of action, comedy and more comedy. Not that anything else is expected of a Marvel film, right? Correct.

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I loved the way how the whole flick, actually, is constructed with a thick border of humour AND has additional humour within. You know like a chocolate-chip muffin, which is already made of chocolate and has chocolate bits inside of it, to enhance the feel and make it yummier. In fact, even the antagonist is of a sarcastically funny nature, instead of the usual, grumpy, dark, ferocious monster.

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Here, Cate Bianchett (as Hela) just has a touch of evil-makeup but her powers speak louder than anything else in the world. And doesn’t she kill it with just her first scene! Her presence in the film and the kind of role she is playing makes you wonder that how a powerful villain like her would be defeated. Chris Hemsworth (as Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (as Loki) are wittier, making them more effective as the screenplay demands.

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Mark Ruffalo (as Hulk/Bruce Banner) is innocently funny. You will get to witness more of Hulk than Bruce Banner because his situation in the film is actually taken from the comic storyline Planet Hulk. Apart from this, there are the helping hands, Jeff Goldblum (as Grandmaster) – who has a weird, temporary foe’s character, Tessa Thompson (as Valkyrie) – isn’t quite essential in the film but performs well, Idris Elba (as Heimdall) – the gifted and strong Asgardian, who was the sentry for the bifröst bridge until Karl Urban (as Skurge) – replaces him due to the then-circumstance.

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Director Taika Waititi, the man behind the voice of Korg and the person responsible for all the laughing you would do in this film, surprises us with so many talents. Every Thor film has been directed by a different director making them so idiosyncratic [yet outstanding] from each other.

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From start to end, it is the Marvel film you’d expect. Of course, there are after credit scenes you don’t want to miss. Oh and if you’re a Matt Damon fan, you will like his cameo. Lastly, I am really loving the hardcore metal/rock music being used as the background score, especially during the action scenes nowadays. It is definitely adding a vigorous feeling to them.

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4/5