Friday, December 6, 2019

Panipat: The Great Betrayal - Movie Review

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

As a Muslim from Indian subcontinent I feel this idea that Hindus being the real people of the land and Muslims being the foreign invaders is flying very high these days in India which has also reached the Bollywood movies these days and is very evident. To the extent that we see Marathas, Sikhs, Rajputs being the national heroes while Mughals, Nizams and Nawabs who actually brought prosperity unity to India are now standing in the same line as British colonizers who left country divided and broke. What this does is, strips Muslim of their Identity as people of this land and this is not pleasant being a Muslim. As Ashutosh’s Jodha Akbar tried hard to make this great Indian king, Indian so I thought this one would be different. But sadly no, you give us a victory song which talks about having Shiv in heart and make the Muslims in Maratha Army sing and dance to it with similar conviction as if they were Hindus reflecting the idea that to be a patriotic Indian you need to be a Hindu - something I really didn’t like. I will never expect Hindus in Mughal army to be shown saying Takbeer then why Har Har Mahadev is the slogan here when Peshwa Army was meant to represent the diversity of India. But again, we desi tend to take movies way to seriously, it's still a medium of entertainment and should be reviewed as an entertainer. So here is my review after keeping aside the sentiments and distortion of historical facts.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Superstar - Movie Review

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

At one point in second half , Bilal Ashraf tells Nadeem Baig that "Opening bahut strong thee but mid mein garbar ho gaeee (Opening was strong but things got messed up in middle)" and in the same conversation Nadeem Baig says "Kahani ko agay badhao (Move story forward)", these words represented my exact sentiments at that time in the film as well. Film started beautifully and stayed pleasant till interval but then director Mohammed Ehteshamuddin got lost between characters and storyline which resulted in a much slower pace and convoluted narrative with an abrupt hurried end.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Parey Hut Love - Movie Review

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Since the revival of Pakistani Cinema , Dubai cinemas on Eid ul Adha are dominated by major releases from Lollywood. It almost feels like Pakistani movies have found their right time and space in Dubai movie scene. So for this Eid we are having two very interesting releases and I chose to go first with "Parey Hut Love", simply because I loved Ho Mann Jahan and was desperately waiting for Asim Raza's next movie. With this one I was expecting a simple story of complicated characters, visually pleasing and beautifully coordinated scenes, brilliant performances and entertaining music. And I am happy to say that Asim Raza's vision is a pleasant experience and the visual spectacular that he created made me forget all the flaws it has in its storytelling.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Godzilla: King of Monsters - Movie Review (3/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

What do you expect when you go for movies like Godzilla, King Kong and Meg? Of course, some crazy, well-choreographed, visually spectacular, CGI heavy Monster action on screen and from that perspective Godzilla: King of Monsters has full marks. What I feel this franchise still lacks is a plausible narrative, but Monster part especially the action is so amazingly done, that it covers for it in this installment.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Aladdin - Movie Review (2.5/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

My first impression when I saw the trailer of Aladdin was not very good. As a kid I had already imagined how Agrabah would look in real life, so when I saw the trailer nothing gelled with what I already had in mind. For example, Agrabah looked more Indian than Arab, Jaffar didn't look evil infact he looked like an angry comedian, Will Smith's Genie lacked Robin Williams' energetic voice and animated fluidity, Jasmine lacked the big expressive eyes of her 1992 animated character and Mena Massoud's Aladdin with his zillion forehead lines just didn't look like the street smart hero I had in mind. But I must admit I had a pretty decent time at the cinema with my family and all the elements mentioned above didn't really bother me while going through this new world of Aladdin created by Guy Richie.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Travel Wisdom – Weekend Trips and how to plan

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Instagram is full of travel bloggers with perfect beach bodies telling their audience in perfect written quotes that you live only once and life is short, so enjoy the max possible. What no one tells is that Life is short and budgets are even shorter. Story of every middle class, corporate slave, Desi travel enthusiast like me. I guess we all have seen ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, where Ranbir Kapoor, to pursue his passion for traveling has to detached himself from his world (friends/ family) and responsibilities to an extent that he finds out 2 weeks late about his father’s demise, and that’s kind a true for our world. If you immerse yourself into Desi world as a responsible adult following the fixed path that most of us follow, you will always have millions of responsibilities and priorities unless you are an Ambani or Zardari. As a result, you will always be short of time and if you manage to find some time to travel then budget constraints will always be there.

I have found a solution for this, which works, at least for me and that is "weekend trips". Instead of planning a full fledge trip that spans over weeks just plan a quick getaway manageable with in available weekend, so you can save your annual leave for the important family events that you may need to attend throughout the year and being in Dubai gives us this amazing opportunity of budget travels with amazing weekend offers, easy on pocket as well.

This year I travelled to Turkey for 2 nights cost 1200 Dirhams (flight and hotel only), 3 nights to Georgia cost 1099 Dirhams (flight and hotel only) and without having this facility of weekend getaways I would have never been able to travel to these two amazing places in the first 3 months of 2019.

My major concern is always how to cover a country having thousands of years of history and hundreds of touristic sites in just 3 days and for that I have developed a simple five step planning process which ensures I see/ experience most of what that country has to offer in whatever time/resources I have. Here it is.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Brightburn - movie review(3.5/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

What an interesting take on the classic tale of Superman. An alien boy raised by Human Parents who then finally becomes mankind savior, here basic plot elements are kind a same as we have already seen in trailers but there is a twist, our little boy in red cape is no mankind savior in fact he is here to take over the world.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Free Movie Review - Desi Rating:5/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

I am trying really hard not to give spoilers in my review but I have been through way too much exciting stuff in 3 hours of this film that I have an urge to talk about it all but for now I will refrain from it for you guys, and also as we all know Thanos demand your silence. Russo brother's Avengers: Endgame is a treat for marvel fans and ticks all boxes from expectations perspective. All what I wanted to see is there and is better and bigger than my expectations. There was alot of noise about it being 3 hours long and having no interval but it doesnt feel that long infact I wanted to see more, for me it finished to fast.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Kalank - Movie Review (2.5/5 stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Abhishek Verman 's Kalank will remind you of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's work at every step.
Opening sequence of Alia will remind you of opening sequence of Ashwarya from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, bare chested Varun in white shalwar will remind you of Ranveer in white lungi from Ram Leela, Madhuri's Bahar Begum feels like aged version of her earlier character Chandramukhi from Bhansali's Devdas. What Abhishek took from Bhansali successfully is the grandeur visual spectacle that Bhandali usually puts up for the audience what Abhishek fails miserably to borrow from him is his ability to tell story with complexed characters in complicated situation with intense emotions and drama.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Desi Bites - April 2019

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

This week in Desi Bites I have coverage of The Mystical Dream (a concert where power houses of Pakistani Music Industry came together), Tabah Ho Gaye- Madhuri’s Kalank oriented performance and Netflix suggestion for the weekend.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Project Ghazi - Movie Review (1/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Project Ghazi is a clear example of gap between ambition/idea and capabilities/resources/experience. 8 crore rupees is a good budget for a Pakistani film but makers' lack of experience of this genre make this project appear kind of a low budget school project.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

SHAZAM! - Movie Review (3.5/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Shazam! is the seventh installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and with this one DCEU continues its track of decent entertainers that started with Wonder Woman. DC comic characters are more popular, unique and interesting compared to Marvel ones, but they always lacked great visual representation but now since that has been fixed we can enjoy these characters even more, which is the case here as well.

Monday, April 1, 2019

April - Playlist

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

April is going to be another exciting month for Movie fans especially for those who are into larger than life visual experience. We have many interesting releases but there are 4 major releases of my interest from the three industries that I follow.
Month will start with Shazam (from Hollywood) and Project Ghazi (from Lollywood) followed by mid-month mega release of Kalank (from Bollywood) and finally month closing with magnum opus Avengers-Endgame.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Captain Marvel - Movie Review (2.5/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck ‘s written and directed Captain Marvel is the 21st installment in the Marvel cinematic universe and the weakest entertainer from the ensemble in my perspective. Don’t take me wrong it’s still a well-made, visually pleasing, action packed usual Marvel entertainer but considering it to be the first female lead super hero film from MCU, it was given that it will be compared to Wonder Woman (the first female lead DC film). And somehow in comparison it lacks the oomph’s and punches big time. I was expecting a lot more from Captain Marvel after ‘Infinity War’, as she was termed as the savior, the most powerful of all, so when you get a mediocre origin story like this, you as a Marvel fan are destined to be disappointed.