Inkaar

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The first thoughts when i saw this poster was WOOAAAH! why did the directors miss this casting coup…the poster is sizzling enough to give u a teaser on the movie. What happens when you put two extremely hot actors together?? Furthermore you put them in characters of office politics and pitt them against each other. The result is an electrifying chemistry which these two hotties exude off and performances which they shine in. As evident from promos, its about sexual harrasment at an ad agency. Where does one draw the line is what this movie discusses and how. Till the point of a disappointing and unsatisfying climax of outburst by Arjun Rampal, the movie is gripping, fun and edgy. While you are veering towards one, the plot and arguments just throw you in a toss confusing you as a viewer as to whose side should you be on. Sudhir Mishra’s back and forth time travel narrative works in the favor of the story since its told through the protagonists but seen by those around them and one experiences two sides of the same story. The basic premise, on which the whole of the narrative rests, seems to be on a false note when its revealed later, making the viewer almost cry out WHAT THE F***.. and one fails to understand why an intelligent filmmaker like Sudhir Mishra had to resort to that. However having said that, everything said and done before the climax is definitely worth watching only because of the performances especially that of Arjun Rampal. Arjun as the CEO of the ad agency is as calm as still water and as evil as the Charlize Theron’s Evil Queen. He is suave, charming and cold. Sinking his teeth completely in his character, this has to be his bravest and laudable performance ever (yes! better than rock on!). His character watches what he is saying and that too very cleverly. Arjun brings forth that quality in a cold heartless yet with an underlying hurt manner very naturally. Chitrangada however starts off awkwardly and surprisingly uncomfortably and comes off as almost ‘acting’ rather than in character but then gains momentum and is seen coming to an ease with her character. She exudes being smart, suave and clever easily. Being a newbie to climbing to success to chanelling her inner bitch, chitrangada transforms as does her character. This is probably the first movie where the character’s transformation is seamless rather than a sudden change in the whole outlook. From portraying being hurt to the lighter fun moments, chitrangada shines. It is however the frontal interviews where she comes off as ‘fake’ . Chitrangada gives Arjun tit for tat while he too does not leave any stone unturned to turn tables onto her to beat her at her own game. The songs are ok. My fav however was khamoshiyan awaaz hain. Loved the ending. To be watched once atleast.

The Fantastic Frostings

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882081_10152710962710425_1574719105_o The first group show of five recent graduates of Indus Valley School of art and architecture, in the discipline of Fine Arts, was recently held at Canvas Art Gallery. Because i had seen their thesis and some of them were my friends who were showing, I had to attend and I was pleasantly surprised by their extension of thesis and how they evolved the idea. From exploration of abstract spaces and social issues to mutation of the human body, these young artists seemed to be confident and certain as to what they wanted to put down on the canvas. Varying from each other as chalk and cheese, some of these artists evolved their ideas and the process showed. While Hamida as one of the viewers commented ‘toned down the brutality’ compared to her thesis, Anum Athar Jamal intensified her drawings of space exploration moving into an escher-ish territory.IMAG0826 While Rameez Rehman has similar mirrored pieces to his thesis, so did fatima munir with her social issue embroidered sunshades. The quirky one dealing with language issues was Nilofer Kamruddin who worked with medium of laser cut and used gujrati text overlapping with urdu to show the mix of two cultures and how one influences the other. My favorites had to be pieces by Hamida Khatri and Anum Athar Jamal (featured here in larger images)

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Silver Linings Playbook

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silver_linings_playbook  Instead of doing a seperate review for both, i thought of discussing both the book and the movie together.

Plot: the basic premise of the story rests on the unexpected mind of the main protagonist who starts living his life. Witty, Charming and to some extent naive, one might feel that Pat is stuck in a time wrap of sorts. That’s where, however, the charm of the story lies. Its very easy to churn out a story wherein exploring the social stigmas associated with mental illness. Here however is a character who is fun, humorous and living his life and exploring it as it comes. Thank God for Matthew Quick for not reducing mental illness to the level of a disease of sorts and develop the story which accepts and celebrates the situation whole heartedly, yet has an underlying sadness about it. Kudos to him to develop an anti-thesis in Tiffany, who too is as crazy as Pat, and THE silver lining of the story. The ending was as delightful in the book as it was in the movie

Movie vs Book: I read the book first so as to sustain my interest or else I would have lost interest in the book if i would have watched the movie first. The adaptation of the book left me a bit perplexed of sorts. Usually i like some parts of the book and some of the movie or like one over the other. However here was an adaptation which was not a sort of ‘faithful’ adaptation of the book yet it seemed to leave me with the same warmth as the book when it ended. The director seemed to have picked out the essence and somehow managed to bring it to the screen without tampering the soul of the plot. Yes there are many and i mean it MANY differences from the book, yet the movie is as witty as the book. The lead character, played by Bradley Cooper, is described as an undiagnosed bipolar, coming out of a rehablitation centre. The sometimes support he gets from his loved ones only exposes the fact that none of us are anything close to what  could be described as “normal”. He meets an umbalanced young widow who promises to help him, in return for his help in getting what she wants.

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The biggest surprise however was Jennifer Lawrence (though her oscar was not worthy since i was rooting for Emanuelle). The woman plays her character with such an engaging aggressiveness that it lets her dominate every scene she is in, raking up praise from under everyone’s nose.  There’s a thin line to walk in crafting a comedy about mental illness. Going about it in the wrong way could not only result in something intensitive, but also idiotic, foolish and overdone attempt to commercialize it (as seen in many hindi movies ) . But thanks to Russel’s work, Silver Lining Playbook isn’t just a piece of entertainment filled with appealing, fun characters, but also a film that gets how crazy we all really are and in turn celebrates it in all its colors.  A worth watch this one.

P.S. Anupam Kher has a bigger role in the book so am surprised about his blink-and-miss role. However having said that, who would miss a chance to work with Robert De Niro

Fashion For a Cause

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The fashion fraternity of Pakistan has come out in full support of the victims of the twin blasts at Abbas town tragedy. Around 400 people have lost their homes and their loved ones. Taking the first step towards helping the needy, Ensemble made the following announcement:

“Ensemble Flagship, One by Ensemble, Ensemble Home and Ensemble Salon in Karachi and Ensemble Lahore are donating 10 percent of all sales and services to the Abbas Town Tragedy affectees on Friday, March 8, 2013.

There will a small showing of our new Spring/Summer casual wear collection at Ensemble Karachi as well special offers and discounts valid thru out our stores.

Please spend to help rebuild lives. One more way to be generous. Everyone is doing whatever they can…please step forward and help. Please share the event with your family and friends.

We hope we can count on you for your support.”

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ENSEMBLE OUTLETS ARE LOCATED AT:

Ensemble KARACHI: C-32 E street, block 4 Clifton Mon-Sat 11-8 pm
Tel: +9221 35810540 +92301 2210653 +9221 5876400
Salon:+923008245607

Ensemble Pakistan Facebook page

ONE by Ensemble: F-26/35 – First Floor, Dolmen Mall Clifton Block-4 Clifton, Karachi Contact Details: +9221-35293916-17-18 or + 0300 2540661

One by Ensemble Facebook page

Ensemble LAHORE: 10-Q, Gulberg II Lahore, Pakistan.
Tel: (92-42) 3-575-1737, +924236622441

Kindly Show your support to the noble cause. Hoping it is one of many efforts towards helping the victims. Every small bit helps.

Oscars Red Carpet

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Oscars red carpet has always been as important as the ceremony itself. The ladies attending, put their best fashion foot forward (well most of them). My top picks for the night were:

Jessica Chastain

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She may not have won the Best Actress trophy, but definitely cut a pretty picture in a custom design Armani Gown with Harry Winston Jewels. The nude/gold encrusted gown perfectly complemented her skin tone making her a winner on the red carpet. A brilliant comeback after the globes debacle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Lawrence

jlawrence_v_24feb13_getty_b_426x639  Possibly the most talked about 22 yr old, this award season Jennifer Lawrence has had more hits than misses. Bringing out her A game to the oscars red carpet, the face of Dior wore, as predicted, Dior couture. The self blush pink and white silk in a ball gown silhouette perfectly complimented this cinderella’s story.

 

 

 

 

 

Naomi Watts:

nwatts_v_24feb13_getty_b_426x639Working closely with the designer resulted in an asymmetric bustier Gorgio Armani gown. And boy was I impressed  The Best Actress nominee with a tussled bun and minimal jewels and spot on makeup, lets the gown do all the talking. Who needs Oscars when you are dressed like a trophy .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia Munn

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Marchesa was probably one of the most liked shows this season. Their signature embroidery combined with draped silhouettes, I expected it to make an appearance on the red carpet during the awards season. The scarlet draped gown and embroidered corset offset with Munn’s dark hair and red lips, made Munn one of my favorites on red carpet.

 

 

 

 

 

Charlize Theron

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   It was Dior vs Dior on the Oscars red carpet. Giving stiff competition to the best actress winner, the evil queen was a vision in white in her structured Dior couture gown. With a fierce short hairdo, Stud jewels and and silver accessories, Theron owned the red carpet. Confident, fierce and chic, maybe it was the effect of the haircut had on her which she described as ‘the most liberating thing she has ever done.’

 

 

 

 

Stacy Keibler

gclooney_skeibler_v_24feb13_getty_b_426x639Besides having the best accessory of the night around her arm, George Clooney, Stacy Keibler shone in a gun metal Naeem Khan gown. Styled by one of my fav stylist, Brad Goreski, Miss Keibler channels contemporary old world hollywood glamour with the side parting waves and a bun. The belt around the waist was a good move to break the monotony.