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Bollywood responds to rising #MeToo storm

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India’s growing #MeToo storm has hit hard as many prominent and notable personalities in the industry including Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai, Sajid Khan and Rajat Kapoor have been called out for their callous and careless actions by multiple women.

Following these allegations, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar have halted production of two upcoming Bollywood blockbusters, Mogul and Housefull 4, calling for harassment claims to be stringently investigated.

Like Khan and Kumar, Hrithik Roshan whose upcoming film, Super 30′s, director Vikas Bahl has been accused of sexual harassment said that he too has requested the producers of the film to look into the matter and take the necessary action. He called for “all proven offenders to be punished and all exploited people must be empowered and given the strength to speak up.”

As the movement gains pace and more women come forward with their #MeToo stories, several Bollywood personalities have come forward and extended their support to the movement and victims.

Farhan Akhtar, who has been supporting the movement, ever since Tanushree Dutta came forward with her account, spoke about the allegations on Sajid Khan writing, “I cannot adequately stress how shocked, disappointed and heartbroken I am to read the stories about Sajid’s behaviour. I don’t know how but he will have to find a way to atone for his alleged actions.”

He added, “Let there be no confusion about whether I stand in solidarity with the women who have spoken up. I absolutely do.”

Kriti Sanon and Riteish Deshmukh, who are also part of Housefull 4 extended their support to the accusers and supported Kumar’s decision to halt shooting under investigations are completed.

Kriti wrote: “As a woman and as an actor, I fully support the #MeToo movement and I’m so glad that women are speaking up! It’s high time that we as an industry introspect a bit and make this industry a safer place for everyone!”

Deshmukh shared similar views and applauded all those women who shared their stories.

“I stand with them today,” he said.

Kumar’s wife, Twinkle Khanna, shared similar views as her husband writing, “Appalled hearing multiple incidents of harassment and it is truly horrific to hear what these women have been through. Everyone involved in Housefull needs to take a firm stance on this issue. This cannot go on.”

Dia Mirza stood in solidarity with the journalist who accused Sajid of harassing her, writing, “I am so sorry you had to go through this. With you in support.”

Emraan Hashmi said that sexual harassment cannot be tolerated anymore and guidelines need to be in place to combat the issue.

Ajay Devgn wrote, “I’m disturbed by all the happenings with regards to #MeToo. My company and I believe in providing women with utmost respect and safety. If anyone has wronged even a single woman, neither ADF [Ajay Devgn Films] nor I will stand for it.

The allegations also prompted member of Parliament and President of the Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi to comment on the matter.

“It’s about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity. I’m glad the space for those who don’t, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to bring about change,” he wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, when Tanushree came out with her story of harassment by Nana Patekar, Sonam Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra spoke out against harassment and stood in solidarity with the victims.

However, later Sonam said that she is going of Twitter for a while after she faced immense backlash.

Other actors who voiced their opinions on the matter include Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Ranveer Singh and Kangana Ranaut.

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MTV Movie and TV Awards 2019 – The winners

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The MTV Movie & TV Awards celebrated the best on-screen work of the past year this past Monday night. Netflix had a whopping 14 nominations for its TV shows and films, including the award winning “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” – Noah Centineo & Lana Condor for “Best Kiss”

“It was a who’s who of Hollywood celebrities – stars like Daniel Levy, Dave Bautista, David Spade, Elisabeth Moss, Jameela Jamil, Kumail Nanjiani, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish were all there.

“Shazam” star Zachary Levi hosted the show. “The Rock” was awarded the Generation Award, and Jada Pinkett Smith was honored with the Trailblazer Award.

  1. Best Movie – “Avengers: Endgame”

2. Best TV Show – “Game of Thrones”

3. Best performance in a movie – Lady Gaga (Ally) – “A Star is Born”

4. Best performance in a show – Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne/Offred) – “The Handmaid’s Tale”

5. Best Hero – Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) – “Avengers: Endgame”

6. Best Villain – Josh Brolin (Thanos) – “Avengers: Endgame”

7. Best Kiss – Noah Centineo & Lana Condor (Peter Kavinsky & Lara Jean) – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

8. Reality Royalty – “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”

9. Best Performance – Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky) – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

10. Best Fight – “Captain Marvel” – Captain Marvel vs. Minn-Erva

11. Best real life Hero – Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “RBG” 

12. Most frightened performance – Sandra Bullock (Malorie) – “Bird Box”

13. Best Documentary – “Surviving R. Kelly” 

14. Best Host – Nick Cannon – “Wild ‘n Out”

15. Best Meme-able moment – “The Bachelor” – Colton Underwood jumps the fence 

16. Best Musical – A Star is Born – “Shallow”

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NOS4A2 – Bringing the Nosferatu back

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Vampires have long been depicted in media, from Max Shrek as Count Orlok in “Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens” to Luke Evans as Dracula in “Dracula Untold

Over the years it can be seen that vampires are no longer feared as the creatures of the night by moviegoers or people in general, the image associated with them via adaptations such as “Twilight” and “The Vampire Diaries” have made the vampire more of a creature that is to be envied and coveted after rather than dreaded. However NOS4A2 seeks to change that, this show takes us back to the old days when vampires were old, destitute and creepy, without touching much of their supernatural aspects and the show goes about their story in a different way; while we’re accustomed to view vampires as blood sucking creatures, NOS4A2 gives them a welcomed change.

Featuring the talented Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx; a hundred year old vampire that feeds on the souls of children, and collects them at a place he calls Christmasland. He cruises around in his Rolls Royce Wraith on the hunt for pre-adolescents, on the opposite side of the spectrum is Victoria McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) a working class aspiring art student who has the supernatural ability to find lost things, in a strange twist of fate Victoria’s path crosses with Manx’s and she becomes determined to put a stop to his reign of terror. The plot of this show is gripping, it keeps you on the edge of your seats, and concludes on a cliffhanger that’ll leave you wanting more.

So if you’re looking for a show that’s bloodcurdling, interesting, ominous and engaging, NOS4A2 is perfect for you; a wholesome plot complemented by an excellent cast, what more could one wish for.

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Music, Dance and Mehwish are Chhalawa only saving grace

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Rating: 2.5/5

Chhalawa is a story of a very traditional family. Chaudhary Rafaqat (Mehmood Aslam) has two daughters and a son. The elder one is Zoya (Mehwish Hayat) who went to city for higher studies and now wants to marry the love of her life Sameer (Azfar Rehman) whom she met during her studies. His second daughter Haya (Zara Noor Abbas) is a fired up girl, who usually lives in her own fantasy world of films, desperate to fall in love and loves to dance in her room on Lollywood songs. His son Haroon (Ashir Wajahat) is another character, blunt slightly manner less but loves his sisters.

From here, the age-old story begins that Chaudhary wants his daughter Zoya to marry his nephew, as it is a tradition to marry girls in the family, Zoya resists and conflict begins.

The first half of the movie is still bearable where at least some kind of story is developing, after interval; it nosedives and leaves the audience wondering what is happening. For example, first song makes sense but second was there because someone wants it to be. No effort was made to put some sense in it.

The story is simple, it is told several hundred times before, both in Bollywood and in Pakistani Cinema, and then extra level of creativity is required to make it interesting. Unfortunately, that is the biggest issue with Chhalawa. Scenes lasting for several minutes, borderline jokes and most of all, Zoya’s letters to her mother were a big question mark.

With a star like Mehwish Hayat, if the movie is still not able to pull the audience in, then to an extent it is a crime.

Wajahat Rauf’s Chhalawa is particularly disappointing for many, because people considered it a third time charm. Surprisingly, all the actors in the film performed very well despite having a weak script and practically limited room to perform.

The biggest surprise is by far the Zara Noor Abbas who played Haya, Mehwish’s younger sister. Zara turns out to be someone who handles her comic timings well, she is sharp and witty, and yet cute enough to keep the audience engaged. She danced quite well in couples of scenes. Ashir Wajahat also performed better than expected, although his character did not have much to do except for a scene or two.

Although, Azfar Rehman looks good on screen, however I am unable to understand his character, at one time he wants to commit suicide, then he plans to win Zoya’s father heart, then he just runs away when she asked him and without making a scene leaves her when she asked him to do so.

Mehmood Aslam in his role is picture perfect until the climax where he insisted on carrying out his daughter’s Nikah after he was shot.

Mehwish Hayat as usual shines bright even in this very limited role. She did well when she was playing a lover, arguing with her father, running away from home and coming back and again succumbing to her father pressure, but her biggest wins are two songs i.e. ‘Chhalawa’ and ‘Chiriya’ where she danced her heart out. Wahab Shah’s Choreography was engaging and full of fun, that is the only positive that you can come out with in the entire saga of over 2 hours.

Only thing that can save this film is music; Shiraz Uppal did very well giving not one but two already hit songs to Pakistani Cinema.

This is the weakest ever Mehwish Hayatfilm by any standard, with films like Na Maloom Afraad, Actor in Law, Punjab Nahi Jaungi the superstar stumbles at the last ball of the over.

You can opt to watch Chhalawa if you like song and dance numbers and that too from Mehwish Hayat and if you are ready to leave your brain outside the cinema hall.

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