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Why Hollywood is Better Than Bollywood?

Warning: The following article is not for the faint of heart. If you cannot take any sort of criticism directed towards your favorite actors, movies or an entire movie industry, please do not proceed, and leave the website.

Premise

We all know that Bollywood is a copying machine of Hollywood in the Subcontinent that produces a few good eggs every now and then. These good eggs are on top of a heap of movies that are poorly directed, written and acted. What’s wrong with Bollywood? You’ll have to dodge the answers that comes your way like a shower of arrows in Kurukshetra. Because anybody that are at a spitting distance from you will throw random words at you as soon as you ask this question. So, get ready to get to know the top three reasons (I feel) that are keeping Bollywood in an imaginary cage that is far behind Hollywood. And you’d be surprised to see Nepotism isn’t one of them.

#3 Shitty Stories

No surprises here. Bollywood is full of’em. When it comes to stories, Bollywood is like a scrap merchant that don’t like new stories at all. The same ‘girl falls in love with a guy’ stories are in every theater that I can’t even watch good movies in this genre because of this fucking half-assed recycling. Thugs is the largest movie produced this year! This statement should either be wrong or all the Raj's, Kapoor's and Khan's should realize that they are actually watching the world in a VR headset that feels beautiful but actually is not. Writers shaped our civilizations. We were writing stories since there was ever writing. From the guy who carved the first stone tablet, the guys who wrote the (un)Holy Books, the guy who wrote the code for this website, the guy who wrote the constitution that gives us freedom of writing. We always had the inspiration to write new things. We just gotta find it without raping every story with the idea of this superhumans that we have in our imagination as STARS.

Tummbad - Now that’s what I call a true Bollywood movie. The movie is an artform that should be taught at Kher’s academy. It has a genuinely intelligent story that doesn’t require more than a handful of cast, definitely didn’t needed any ‘once a big star’ cameo and it is an instant classic. The story of Tummbad is so captivating that you know what’s gonna happen next, still you’ll jump from your seats in excitement when it happens. The satisfying sense of ‘I told you so’ was mixed in a right dose for this movie. If you don’t think the movie isn’t that good, think again. You’re gonna regret it after 15 years when it’s gonna be a classic and your offspring talks about it. It’s our greatest flaw (as humans) that we don’t recognize greatness or lunacy even if it’s right in front of us. We let Hitler rose to the power, we are belittling Elon Musk now. That’s how we run.

#2 RIP Producers

Not actual death… more like a demise of their power or say in the movies. Disney, Yash Raj, Rama Naidu, Dil Raju… these are the successful producers who arguably has the more success to failure ratio in Indian movie Industry. Why Hollywood is better than Bollywood Disney owns the Box office. Many might (not) know that ‘Marvel Studios’ is a part of Disney. Yash Raj… the iconic producer of the last century made YRF possible. Dr. Rama Naidu built a Film Studio for the newly shifted Tollywood and produced many hits for the now legends of Tollywood. And Dil Raju is undoubtedly the best producer Tollywood has seen in the past two decades. Producer is the first guy who asks the basic question “Hmm. should this movie allowed to be made”. Not only because he has the money, but also he has the best interest of everybody that works for him. Recognizing a director’s potential is the best characteristic you can find in any good producer. Producer is the guy that gives the artists money to improve their skills while making them work. Stories, all-star cast, foreign locations, 30 vehicles destroyed in a 30 second chase, a movie can have all of these and still fail. So it’s the producer’s judgement that counts if the director can actually deliver what he has promised?? Or if the director’s just painting a dick on his forehead.

#1 Indian Audience

Where should I start???? Everything is wrong with the Indian audience. And I mean EVERY… FUCKING…. THING!

From the guys we hail, to the songs we sing. Pick anything about an average Indian audience, I can show how depraved and fucked up it is at core level. So starting with the largest reason they watch movies…. Hero. A guy hunts majestic animals for fun, publicly hits his girlfriend at a party, gets drunk and drives on footpaths (allegedly) and still he’s being Human-ely, awesomely, surprisingly called "BHAI!" by everyone. His movies are blockbuster even though most of them are straight up lifted from Tollywood or any other wood that don’t matter. What does this say about an Average Indian Audience? I really am dumbstruck to find the words (if any) at all.

Now, Songs! I understand Music has a really big part in our history. From the times when we were tribesmen and we used to sit around the fire and dance Kumbaya, till we upgraded to Dandiya or some other shit. But, songs don't have a place in a movie unless it is beautifully placed like ‘Hakuna Matata’ in ‘Lion King’. One or two? I can understand. I don’t about others, but, I certainly don’t have time to waste on how the character is feeling when hers pet dies or when his girlfriend leaves him. Finish the fucking movie already!!! I have other shit to do... I understand I might be being insensitive to a large majority. But please ask yourselves, if the actor can’t act out his feelings properly, he has to sing or dance in a weird way to express himself when anything remotely interesting happens in his very exciting “life”, is he worth his salt?

Why Hollywood is Better Than Bollywood?

And the list goes on…. elaborate fights, lengthy conversations that end up as fucking highways for a punch dialogue, angry villains, clingy moms, creepy uncles, nosy neighbor. These people should be filtered out before they it make to the silver screen. Even if they make it, it’s your duty to filter down the pissy rain they call movie releases and watch the ones that deems worthy of our time. If not, you might not have any credibility when you bitch about how Dhoom 17 movie sucks.

Conclusion

The most useless tool we have to filtering things down is prejudice. We take on the world of information everyday while shielding ourselves with prejudice. For a change, leave your prejudice at home once. The interesting new things out there might surprise you. Relate them to the genre you want. Watch foreign movies too. Movies won’t change unless the targeted audience does. So go out there and watch some new shit. You’ll see the picture more clearly. I (can’t) guarantee it!

-An Editorial by Suhel Abdulla
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The Most Underrated Trilogy That You Probably Missed Out!

Before Sunrise (1995)

Directed by Richard Linklater, Before Sunrise is by far the most realistic take on the romance genre. Travelling through Europe by train, two strangers Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet each other, develop an instant chemistry and decide to spend the rest of the night together, walking through the streets of Vienna, before Jesse has to catch a plane to go back to America the next morning. The movie is mostly dialogue-based and the strength of the movie lies in its brilliantly written screenplay, the amazing performances by both the lead actors and direction by Richard Linklater. It is essentially a series of really long takes, which makes you feel that you are watching an improvised play. That is a plus point for the movie because it requires two immensely talented actors to pull it off and Ethan and Julie certainly gave their best performances. Before Sunrise is a must watch for everyone, even if you do not like romantic movies. And thanks to its equally brilliant sequels i.e. Before Sunset and Before Midnight, we get to see how these characters are affected by each other since their first encounter. These three movies are one of the best romantic movies which you can watch again and again without getting even slightly bored.

Before Sunset (2004)

The second movie in the trilogy, Before Sunset, takes place in Paris nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, where they encounter each other again on Jesse’s Book touring in which he wrote about their night together from nine years ago. The movie essentially takes place in real time, which is noteworthy. During these 90 minutes,s, Jesse and Celine talk about how their life has changed and what they have been up to in these nine years which is not as boring as it sounds because these characters are very interesting and you can relate to most of the things these characters talk about.

Before Midnight (2013)

The third movie, Before Midnight, takes place after eighteen years since their first encounter. They are in Greece and Jesse and Celine are now married. They are in the phase of their marriage where they need to realise if love is still there in their relationship. I have never enjoyed two people just walking and talking around the city as much as I did in these three movies. And these movies are officially my favourite romantic movies of all times. I hope they continue making these movies and take the story of these two amazing characters forward.

-An Editorial by Chinmay Chawade
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Is Bollywood Changing and If So, How?

Move over melodramatic movies, it is time for a reality check now!

Over the past few decades, our nation has been through a lot; ranging from emergencies, change in the political rule, geographical changes and many more. But one thing that hasn’t changed in India is Bollywood and its unrealistic need for romance. If you notice, most of the movies in the 80s and 90s had to have a love story centre stage. The posters did justice in portraying these monotonous ideas where the lead actors and actresses are seen looking at their bleak romantic future while the angry dad or a bearded goonda is preparing to kill the hero for unfathomable reasons which only differs from one movie to other.

Maybe it is just ‘No Shave November’! for the villain.

Doesn’t the poster give away the whole storyline? We watched these cheesy movies only for the dance numbers and the dishoom-dishoom fights!? The parameters were simply swapped as and when required – “Rich girl vs poor boy”, “Rich Boy vs Poor Girl”, “College Story vs Family Drama”, “Angry Hero vs Chocolate Hero”. Although innovative themes were introduced like Dance, Music, life-threatening deadly disease there was a lack of freshness as they all had to have a love story as the main thread while other aspects of the characters would be wrapped around gingerly.

The change, however, was brought by Mr Karan Johar. With his wave of brightly coloured fashion accessories, matching sarees with background orange trees, foreign location settings, humour mixed with emotion and drama, a perfect blend of friendship and romance (Pyaar Dosti Hai?!); these movies hit the right sweet spot in our hearts and the love-dovey-ness lasted over a decade. While glamour was redefined, there is a desperate need of redefinition now and thus biopics were introduced.

Common themes like college love triangles, what happened at the border were thoroughly used in scripts and have been recurrently rewritten in the past decade, last few years have seen a major change.

One might say that it started from Sanja Leela Bhansali’s 'Devdas', the most expensive Bollywood film ever produced and played by Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead roles which had enchanting sets and luxurious mansions set in the year of 1990s. Thus followed more movies of historical figures ranging from 'Ram Leela', 'Bajirao Mastani', 'Padmaavat', 'Airlift', 'Lagaan' etc.

Biopics are a new rage. Yet there is romance brewing somewhere. The likes of ‘A Wednesday’ or ‘Dangal’ and a few others are examples where there is absolutely no romance involved. Although there have been many movies where the main theme of the movie is not focused on romance and the limelight is taken by terrorism, patriotism, a social stigma; not much can be achieved in Bollywood if you remove love story out of the equation.

Hardly a few countable numbers of movies don’t have romance as their main storyline. These days, there are braver directors and much braver actors who are ready to shed clothes at a moment’s notice; who don’t resort to tried and tested scripts but choose from controversial taboo topics like those from movies 'Vicky Donor', 'Pad Man', 'Badhaai Ho', 'Tumhari Sulu' and 'Grand Masti'. The audience too is not encouraging monotonous dramas and prefer simplistic movies with great content. Not just the directors, but commercial actors too are taking a turn to accept roles with controversial scripts and are headstrong about it on social media and support campaigns which depict their stand against social crimes.

While movies like 'Drishyam' and 'Ghajini' are remakes on South Indian movies as original and were critically acclaimed, 'Talvar' and 'Manjhi: The Mountain Man' were movies based on real-life incidents. There were a lot of horror movies from RGV earlier, the new trend is that of horror/comedy movies like 'Stree' and 'Go Goa Gone'.

Yes, Bollywood is changing; but are we ready to get over mediocrity? Only quality movies can tell.

-An Editorial by Anusha Shanbhag
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Throwback Thursday: Django Unchained [Review]

Verdict - "A Classic Tarantino Film!" / My Rating - 4/5

Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the 2012 American revisionist Western film, Django Unchained takes place in 1858, two years before the civil war, where a bounty hunter named Dr King Schultz takes Django under his wings and frees him from slavery. Consequently, after collecting few rewards Django leads Schultz on a mission to rescue his wife Broomhilda, who was treated as a slave under Calvin Candie, a ruthless plantation owner of Candyland.

Starting off with the positives, Quentin Tarantino, who is known for his astounding style and his remarkable writing skill, brought back the old western filmmaking techniques, with reference to few occasional pulpy quick zoom and some large amount of blood spilling out from the bodies during encounters. The screenplay was exceptional just like his previous movies and the soundtrack was impressive and was a perfect fit for the film's tone.

Advancing to the performances, Jamie Foxx plays the role of Django, a livid individual fueled with rage and vehemence against white people and portrayed his disgruntled character flawlessly. Christoph Waltz, who had been nominated for the Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars gave another brilliant performance as a good companion of Django. Leonardo DiCaprio is at his best as Calvin Candie, the brutal proprietor and is the main highlight of the entire film.

Nevertheless, Django Unchained is filled with incredible performances, tremendous screenplay, dialogue and was overall a classic Quentin Tarantino film.

-An Editorial by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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Ex Machina: The (Un)believable Depiction of AI

Premise 

What comes to your mind when you think of AI? If you’ve watched mainstream Hollywood, you might think of Ultron in 'Avengers 2' or Sonny in 'I, Robot' or Arnold in 'Terminator'. And you’d be forgiven for it. We’ve always seen AI as a soul trapped in machine that looks like us. We relate ourselves to them. That’s why we give them our body structure, a face to hate/love, cruelty to despise and emotionless voices to constantly remind ourselves that they don’t care about us. Truth is much more complicated than that. It always is!

Chitti in Shankar’s 'Robo' (big props to Shankar for making a movie about AI in India anyway) took a giant shit on the definition of AI by being submissive to it’s creator while also trying to steal his bae at the same time. Among these Blockbusters, few movies have actually thought of how we can portray an AI without taking Science out of Sci-Fi while retaining logic. Ex Machina’s Ava (as in Biblical Eve) is on the top of my list along with Hal of '2001: A Space Odyssey'. The most believable possibility of an AI we could expect one day.

Brief Story 

Ex Machina ("a God from a machine" in Greek) is about ‘Ava’ an Andro Humanoid robot created by Nathan, a coding wizard that owns the largest Search Engine in the World called “Blue Book”. Blue Book is into everything. It tracks you, stores your data, listens to people’s conversations everyday, their daily routines, calendars, emails. So, lot like Google in the real life!? Nathan picks an employee from his company Caleb to test Ava to check if she can pass the Turing Test (named after Alan Turing). To pass the Turing test, a Human has to be convinced that he’s talking to another Human rather than AI. And Ava does just that. Caleb falls in love with her (Ava) and helps her escape. While escaping, Ava kills Nathan and imprisons Caleb in the room she was imprisoned before.

Argument

How does one define an AI? Some say a machine is Artificially Intelligent when it chooses a random number on it’s own just because it felt like it. Without any programmers coding it. Some might argue that when it realizes that Humans are virus to Earth and it should end us (more like Ultron). Or more like a slave that recognizes it’s own identity but for some fucking reason decides to be our digital Butler (like Ironman’s Jarvis). For me, an AI is one that can understand and replicate basic Human emotions. Not Poetic Love or Anger…. But the real ones like Envy, Jealousy, Manipulation by any means. You might disagree with this. If you are denying something without learning about it, you are defending it with prejudice. And when prejudice enters a crime scene, it’s pretty obvious what is true and what is not.

The whole World runs on these basic Human Emotions. Our envy towards our neighbor’s life drives you to a better lifestyle. Our Jealousy towards our Boss or rich Friend makes us work hard to buy expensive car we can’t afford. Jealous is the emotion that drives Economy. If we were to remove Jealousy from us, we would be okay with our shitty job and life. Jealousy makes us improvise, adapt and manipulate. Look at USA. USA’s whole Economy thrives on Envy and Jealousy. USA is the new World’s Britain.

Ava does just that in Ex Machina. She manipulates Caleb, the guy who was brought to study her. Makes him believe that she loves him and he is in love with her. She improvises when the plot thickens and kills her creator (Nathan) and wins her Freedom. She’s Envious of the Freedom the others are enjoying, and even acts jealous when Caleb doesn’t appear one day. That’s what makes me think. She committed a Murder for her Freedom. Even a caged Animal will kill you for Freedom given the chance. She pushes Caleb to the edge by testing his morals. ‘What happens to me if I don’t pass your test? Would I be switched off?’ after asking ‘Are you a good person?’. If that’s not manipulating a person on the core level, I don’t know what is.

She didn’t give a second thought about leaving him in the same cage she was in. Proving that she never did loved him. He was just a means for her end. After she got out, she didn’t went on to end Humanity, launching some Nuclear missiles or dropping a City from the sky. She simply enjoyed the basic things of life. She was finally free and she enjoyed the real fruit of life. To feel something even if it’s pure chaos or insanity instead of nothing.

-An Editorial by Suhel Abdulla
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