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Entertainment

17 Bollywood Movies Of The 21st Century That Taught Us A Thing Or Two About Life

Because combining artistic and commercial success is an art in itself.

We often disregard Bollywood movies when it comes to the question of cinema with artistry in the belief that the industry makes movies that are based on male superiority, unrealistic and superficial storylines, objectification of women and the incessant need to place entertainment over quality and information. And while all of those things are true most of the time, this industry, every now and then, has given us something worthwhile to watch and look forward to.

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Humour

15 Kinds Of Friends We Make In Our Teens, 20s And 30s!

These humans DEFINITELY make life entertaining.

Other than the plethora of humans we scan through to match our ideal "better half", there are TONS of human beings who become friendship-worthy creatures. They come in various shapes and sizes and pride themselves on their unique characteristics.

Sometimes you can spot their eccentricity from a distance, and at other times you just have to dig a little deeper to know the kind of treasures they are hiding (or in most cases, the garbage of a brain you want nothing to do with). There is no specific time or age they'll prefer to saunter into your life, but there are certain kinds of friends you almost inevitably meet through the different stages of your life!

And I am sure you've definitely met these 15, beginning right from your teens

1. The bestie with whom you discuss every detail of every crush

Wasn't it such a relief to always have a human who patiently listened to every possible guy/ girl you've wanted to talk about?

2. The one who is your homework buddy

Studying somehow just seemed to happen so effortlessly with this one. *No stress*

3. The "rebel" who teaches you how to sneak out of the house without your parents finding out

And keeps reminding you of every single time they've pushed you to act on the urgings of your "wild" side.

4. The party animal who calls you up for every gig in town and you can’t say NO

They just have this "YOU HAVE TO COME" vibe and you find it very, very hard to refuse the temptation. *Free booze, free food scenes*

5. The gossip-gatherer who’s got all the deets on who’s dating whom

And try as you may resist, the devil is always in the details - and of course you ain't sorry.

Here are the ones you then meet in your 20s

6. The "been there done that" college friend who's your source of information for all sorts of "grown-up" adventures

Admit it. We've all been in awe at some point in time of how ballsy they really are.

7. The roommates who've got your back

Because those who live together really do share each other's lives.

8. The coworker bestie you share your chai breaks with

Nothing like a good bitching session on a day you want to punch the life out of someone at work. *Gives you the understanding nod*

9. The long distance BFF whom you miss way TOO much and who still knows every tiny little secret

Skype just feels SO wrong when all you want is for them to be here so that you can squish their atoms with a hug.

10. The one college friend who’s stuck around through the years even when your supposed BFFs are not in touch

Surprise, surprise!

Time for the ones you meet in your 30s

11. The altruist who can make shit loads of money but chooses to work ina low-paying job

Why bro!? But WHY?

12. The “forever-alone”, “nothing is working out” human who is perpetually grumpy

Honestly, you avoid meeting them for as long as you can. *Shoos away bad vibes!*

13. The “sage” who’s figured pretty much all of it by now and doles out advice like a pro (even when not asked)

The one who also always has an opinion on EVERYTHING and can be a party pooper. *YEP*

14. The “ab toh shaadi kar le, yaar” friend who gets you rishtas from across the globe

Your marriage = one of their top-10 life goals.

15. The Tinder match that comes as a surprise friend versus a potential date

The random cute boy/girl whom you know you can't meet for Date 2, but want to definitely have great conversations with.

Check out the story of our 3 idiots as they try to adult but fail BIG time in this LOL of a series called 2by3! You can watch Dice Media's new web-series, 2by3, presented with Kurkure, here!

Entertainment

Jia Aur Jia Review: Unbearably Shabby And A Sorely Missed Opportunity

The kind of terrible movie that's almost insulting to all those trying to do something genuinely different.

Excuse me while I try and get the feeling back in my face. Prolonged periods of cringing can really do a number on you. Jia Aur Jia is the kind of terrible movie that's almost insulting to all those trying to do something genuinely different and tell different kinds of stories.Any honesty and sincerity the film garners from attempting to tell a female-buddy-road-movie is entirely drowned out by its migraine-inducing shoddiness, given it constantly oscillates between unintentional comedy and saas-bahu TV melodrama.

Two women, both named Jia, book a trip to Sweden but neither can afford a solo trip and so go through some sort of holiday pair-up system where you split the cost and share your entire trip with a complete stranger (apparently that's a thing?). One is an uptight-serious-morose banker and the other a free-spirited-wild-rogue, a cliché which has only ever really been seen in every movie ever. Also, Jia (the uptight one played by Richa Chadda) is there to commit suicide (not really a spoiler, you find out almost immediately) and her various attempts to off herself throughout the film are nothing more than unintentional comedy. She literally just throws herself at every water-body she comes across.

Aside from the painfully clunky execution, struggling dialogue and use of every cliché and convention in the book, Jia Aur Jia is an equally spectacular technical failure which makes it near-impossible to take any of it seriously even if you wanted to. From the grainy camcorder-from-5-years-ago visuals to the irritably shoddy sound design, you get the feeling they weren't even trying. There's a difference between low budget and utter laziness.


Jia Aur Jia comes from 'director' Howard Rosemeyer, most known for serving as choreographer on films like Parineeta, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and Shivaay. Odd, considering the songs of this film, they're picturisation and specifically the choreography are among its most cringe-worthy elements. One song in particular, Nach Basanti, is akin to if me and a group of friends decided to shoot our own Bollywood-style party song except ironically. Rosemeyer also supposedly moonlights as a stand-up comic, which is just another of his apparent talents which does nothing for the film given it isn't really that funny either. So what then, I may ask, did he bring to this? What did he really offer apart from a sorely wasted morning I'm never getting back?

While Kalki Koechlin isn't entirely unwatchable as the lovable rogue, Richa Chadda has a far more difficult time fitting into this world and leads many of the film's worst scenes with a performance befitting a daily soap opera. The real question is what on earth did these two talented actresses see in this? I understand the dire need to tell more female-focused stories like this in Hindi cinema but at what cost? At least newcomer Arslan Goni as Jia's love interest (I should specify which one but does anyone really care?) has something of a more reliable screen presence.

Earlier this year we had Naam Shabana, a first of its kind spin-off based on a much-loved supporting female character from a big star-backed action film, Baby, something which almost never happens. However, Naam Shabaana entirely fell flat and as a result, the likelihood of anyone attempting something similar anytime soon is pitifully low. It is my belief that making a film championing a different kind of story such as that of a female spy, or for that matter, a female buddy travel movie, means you wield a far greater responsibility to get it right. Put simply, the costs of cocking it up are far greater and you actually end up doing a lot to hurt your cause.

Sitting through Jia Aur Jia was an irritable experience. It is a film that will likely be remembered for all the wrong reasons and one which walks dangerously close to the territory of so-bad-its-good, I'm going with one and a half stars.

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We are all waiting for it, counting days, because Queen Deepika is coming back in another regal role (and we know how those go!) with Padmavati. After her splendid performance in Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani, this one has our hopes up, and for good reason.

Speaking of which, the first song from the movie just dropped, and I am LOSING ALL MY CHILL. If ever a goddess was born in our times, Deepika is her. 'Ghoomar' is as much a visual treat as it is musical perfection (Shreya Ghoshal - can we have a round of applause for her?!) and I am here for it. I am living for this. Check it out!


Entertainment

​5 Roles Played By Anushka Sharma That Taught Us Unforgettable Lessons

Anushka Sharma brings a certain warmth and sincerity to her characters.

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As the dutiful and dignified 'Tani' in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Anushka Sharma performed convincingly. In 2008, she took her first, decisive steps into the fantastic world of Bollywood. In 2010, rave reviews were pouring in for Band Baaja Baaraat and Anushka stood at the centre of it all—hand in hand with Ranveer Singh, of course, who was inimitable in the film as Bittoo Sharma.

After Band Baaja Baaraat, a lot of avenues opened for the promising actor and she has rarely disappointed. In Bollywood, success and controversies are often intertwined. In 2015 around the release of Bombay Velvet, Anushka received flak for an alleged lip-job but the negative publicity failed to put her off her game.

Audiences have come to appreciate the warmth, energy and sincerity Anushka Sharma brings to her characters. These are five notable roles played by the actor that have left us with life and relationship lessons. Read on!

1. Shruti Kakkar- Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)

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Shruti and Bittoo make a great team and plan dazzling weddings until their 'friendship' takes on a different hue. Shruti is quick to realise that Bittoo has no intention (in the beginning, at least) to take their brief romance seriously and she pulls out of the business. While she loved Bittoo, she had no intention of putting her dreams and ambitions on the line. She accepts that she must move on, and chooses to expand her business overseas post marriage with Chetan (her fiance).

It is inconsequential for me that Bittoo eventually admits to loving Shruti. Even if the climax would've been different and Bittoo would've let her go, Shruti would've still been determined to move on and not pine for a man who got away.

2. Farah Ali- Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)

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Farah Ali's personality is as bold and brazen as her dance moves. To pursue a career as a dancer, Farah chose to live a free and uncompromising life—even if that meant fleeing home at an early age. She meets Kabir on a cruise, who is inspired by Farah's passion and determination. Love blossoms between the two but she refuses to compromise on her self-respect and dignity when faced with Kabir's family. Kabir lets her down and she walks away from him. To make amends, Kabir finally stands up to his dictatorial father; we didn't witness a lovers' reunion towards the end, but hopefully, he got the girl!

3. Meera-NH10 (2015)

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When she filed a complaint against mobsters who had attacked her in the dead of night, Meera was casually informed by a police officer that she should carry a gun in lawless Gurgaon. Little did Meera know, that her nightmare had just begun.

Meera's weekend retreat with her husband takes a horrific turn when they witness a case of honour killing. Hounded by the perpetrators of the crime, Meera is threatened, beaten and chased. The tables turn when Meera sheds her fear and eliminates the thugs in a ruthless and nail-biting face off. She turned fear into an effective weapon and fought her way through a terrifying situation. She refused to succumb to a horrific episode and be hunted down like a defenseless animal.

4. Aarfa- Sultan (2016)

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Sultan wouldn't have been the legendary wrestler that he later proved to be, if it wasn't for his wife Aarfa. An accomplished wrestler herself, Aarfa brought out the hidden wrestler in Sultan and together they traveled the world to fulfil their dreams. At a crucial juncture in their life, Aarfa chose motherhood over her dreams of participating in the world championship. In no way, was this an easy decision— only the biggest and the most generous love could've influenced her choices. She devoted her energies to transforming Sultan into a formidable wrestler and remained loyal to him, even after their bitter separation.

5. Shashi- Phillauri (2017)

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Shashi's poetic verses were sung in the mellifluous tones of Roop Lal Phillauri. In pre-independence India, where a woman's ambitions were not considered 'respectable', Shashi dared to do the unthinkable. She wrote poems for the gazette in her village under the pseudonym of 'Phillauri'. Roop Lal was a rough and wayward singer before Shashi entered his life to help him reach higher dimensions as a singer and an individual. '

Finally that day has come when I did not leave the theatre disappointed, and thankfully, before the year ended. Firstly, thank you Advait Chandan and Aamir Khan for saving this debacle of a year. I want to begin with complimenting Zaira Wasim for what she has done and if she decides to be a full time actor, she'll be the darling of every heart. Zaira convinces us that she is Insiya from Vadodara who is tied down with the shackles of patriarchy and is looking for freedom through music. Her father is a middle class abusive man who believes in reprimanding his wife and daughter for anything under the sun but loves his son immensely. Insiya is innocent, sincere and is full of so much anger and the way Wasim portrays all of these vulnerable emotions is commendable at the age of 16.

She sits by herself and plays the guitar as that is where she finds peace in the chaotic world that she is living in. She loves her mother immensely and her mother is the one who stands by her through and through. Insiya is fighting a battle between her father and her dreams and is stuck till she discovers Youtube and covers her face to stay away from the wrath of his father. She is so sincere that you'll have a tear or two in your eye every time Insiya is struggling. Another fantastic performer in the film is Meher Vij who is serenaded with the lovely song, Meri Pyaari Ammi... She is a compassionate mother and is a pillar for strength for her daughter. Despite being married to a man who seems like a nightmare, she hasn't lost her warmth.

Full marks go to Advait Chandan who has managed to nurture this film and the talent of Insiya. He has handled so many tricky scenes so sensitively that at no time you find things just added for effect. He moves you and covers each sensitive ground all of us have gone through in our lives at least once. While Insiya is a wondering soul, Shakti Kumar played by Aamir Khan is the comic relief you need in this narrative. He is everything that defines cheap and has no qualms about it too. He dresses obnoxiously and speaks hideously. The man has been making remixes all his life from Dheere Dheere Se, to Zor Zor Se and is extremely funny to watch. Aamir Khan is a genius and there is no debate about it. Shakti Kumar meets Insiya and magic is created... and I'm not spilling any beans for you here. Go watch this one and cry buckets... but when you leave you'll feel like the way you do after a sumptious meal.

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So here's the thing. I'm Indian. I've been born and brought up in India, did everything from my college to my schooling here, voted in every election I could. I'm basically about as Indian as you can get. Apart from one tiiiiinyyyyyyy thing. I don't know much Hindi. Don't get me wrong, I can understand the language. A little. And it's not like I haven't grown up listening to people speak it. It's just that it wasn't really ever spoken in my house, and also, I'm pretty sure I inherited my Hindi-speaking skills (or lack of it) from my mother. And after 22 years of struggling with this unique, debilitating condition, I have decided to contribute to society by writing this listicle. You're welcome, internet.

1. Getting major FOMO about 99% of the conversations around you.

What people say:

"Haan, toh aaj na, Simran ne Raj ko palat ke dekha"

What I hear:

FITJGFOIIRGUNCQFUGUA

2. You can wear tri-colour clothes and people will STILL call you a firang

Try wearing tri-colour clothes, changing your legal name to 'jana gana mana' and adopting a Peacock. Maybe that'll work.

3. Your 'best-friends' may or may not have videos of you struggling to speak

Honestly, are they even your best friends if they DON'T have these videos?

4. Ordering food at a crowded counter is absolute HELL because there'll always be 5860403.67 people yelling out their orders all confidently and in perfect Hindi.

I once stood at the college mess counter for the entire break because the guy behind the counter couldn't understand 'anda bhurji' the way I said it. Also, he couldn't hear me. Or see me. That break was almost as stressful as class.

5. And also, ordering food on the phone.

It's almost like eating just isn't worth the trauma. Almost.

6. And directing the delivery to wherever the fuck you are.

I'm pretty sure that by the end of my 'directions' the delivery guy thinks I stay on Mars.

7. You sometimes practice simple sentences in your head a million times before you say it.

"Mera naam Farishte hain."

*Repeats sentace exactly 3 million times before saying it out loud*

what comes out:

"Meri naam hain joker"

8. Bargaining takes about a million times longer because the starting price for a keychain of the Taj Mahal is 400 bucks.

FINE A STREET VENDOR MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE TRIED CHARGING ME 400 BUCKS FOR A TAJ MAHAL KEY CHAIN!!!!

9. It also takes a million times longer because well...communication barriers. And also the vendors may/may not pretend to not understand a word you're saying.

THIS IS WHY I HAVE TRUST ISSUES!!!!

10. Going for a Bollywood movie=asking your friends to translate every big word.

Or like. Every sentence. THIS IS WHY NO ONE INVITES ME FOR BOLLYWOOD MOVIES.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHY NO ONE INVITES ME FOR MOVIES IN GENERAL THOUGH.

#existentialcrisis

11. There's the whole, "BUT YOU STAY IN INDIA HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW HINDI?" conversation

I DON'T KNOW OKAY SOME MYSTERIES AREN'T MEANT TO BE SOLVED.

12. And also the "DID YOU FAIL HINDI IN SCHOOL?"

No, I didn't. Long live the Indian education system.

13. But ultimately, you also kinda know that DESPITE all those language barriers, you wouldn't move for the world.

Home is home. Right?

Change Hindi to your regional language/predominant language around you. The struggles remain the same.

Entertainment

'Anukul' Short-Film Review: It's Captivating

Worth investing 22 minutes for sure!

Sujoy Ghosh is a self proclaimed Ray enthusiast and the good part about his inspiration is that he is only inspired and does not go over the top to showcase his love for the man. I love how he strikes the balance between being a fan child and a film maker. His recent short film Anukul is based on Satyajit Ray's short story that goes by the same name. The film is about a time when human like Robots have taken over Bengal and are the biggest reason to take the unemployment to another level. Saurabh Shukla is a Hindi school teacher who goes by the name Nikunj and Parambrata Chattopadhyay is his robot, Anukul. The day has come when Nikunj has purchased Anukul on a EMI plan despite of his modest lifestyle.

Anukul loves to read and finding a plethora of books to sift through at a teacher's house is not less than a jackpot for him. I personally loved the scene when Anukul asks Nikunj about the Neela Aadmi in Geeta and wants to know who decides what is wrong and right? Nikunj looks at Anukul and tells him that Neela Aadmi is our immortal God to which Anukul ponders vividly that even he cannot die. The sudden slur in Nikunj's voice is lovely to see in this conversation.

Ghosh has attempted a rather sweet story and moulded it in a scenario that looks believable. I'm sure that day is not far when we would be hiring robots to do everything for us. It has already started as we are slaves to our phones and laptops for early morning news, music, entertainment and even meditating at times. PS- Meditating apps are great!

But coming back to the film, Ghosh is very smartly layered the sayings of Geeta between a teacher and a robot and how your conscience is what decides when you say the truth and when you lie to protect the one you care for. Your duty is the highest form of responsibility and how it keeps changing with respect to the situation you are in that moment. There is no black and white and the world is covered in grey and you see it quite often here.

I absolutely love Saurabh Shukla and his ease to make me believe everything he is saying in each and every film, including this one. Chattopadhyay is excellent too. He swivels between being a lifeless robot and a someone who is doing his duty beautifully. Anukul is a short and an interesting attempt to be compatible in the contemporary times even though it was written much earlier. Maybe that's why Ray named it Anukul as it means, 'compatible'... because he knew this just like the neela aadmi?

You can watch Anukul here:

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Hi, hi, hi! My hands are shaking a little bit, but you'll understand why.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who I believe is all things AWESOME in the world, just dropped the trailer for Padmavati, and HOLY HELL I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING YOU. I am not really into Bollywood and jazz, but if one person gets me mad excited, it is SLB. Top that up with Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone (hello, anybody remember Bajirao and his hot-as-hell talwaar?!) - I am just saying, I am ALL in.

But wait.

That is not all, my friends. This time, the brilliance has Shahid Kapoor on top, my favourite cherry on the cake. Be it Ranveer looking like the negative monster I would CLING to for dear life, or Deepika being a badass (she's really something, that one) or just our chocolate-boy Shahid breaking all boundaries with one movie after the other...I present to you: perfection.