Movie Review: SPLIT

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By: Rebecca Ann Menezes

From ScreenRant

After success stories such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, preceding a series of comparatively underwhelming films, M. Night Shyamalan is back with 2016’s SPLIT. And it’s about time.  With one of the most eerie trailers, a lot was expected of the psychological thriller produced by Blumhouse Productions and Blinding Edge Pictures.

About the Movie

In this reality it is believed that those with Dissociative Identity Disorder can not only contain multiple completely dissimilar personalities but also manifest exclusive physical characteristics according to each personality. Kevin, played by James McAvoy, suffers from DID and withholds 23 such personalities. One personality needs glasses and another insulin shots, some personas have greater strength and some even have anxiety disorders such as OCD.

Though there are 23 personalities known to psychiatrist Dr. Fletcher, played by Betty Buckley, there remains one who is yet to emerge. This 24th personality compels Dennis, one of the major personalities, to abduct three teenage girls. Casey Cook played by Anya Taylor‑Joy, is one of the three girls who battles her own troubled past, as we see through the flashbacks she has.

Of course the movie would be incomplete without Shyamalan’s signature twist ending that leaves us with all too many questions.


SPLIT has already made over 196.7 million USD in the box office, placing number 1 for three weeks in a row. The cinematography and symbolism in the movie is palpable yet simple, like the background of 24 credit roles to represent 24 personalities. This also happened in the introduction of SPLIT, foreshadowing the 24th personality. References to Shyamalan’s Unbreakable are also something to look out for, making the ending of SPLIT a head-scratcher indeed. With a strong storyline, amazing actors and rich quality of film, SPLIT has got some of the major ingredients for brilliance. To Director Shyamalan, we say keep at it!

Categories: Entertainment

Why I Love The Wire: TV Show Review.

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I started watching The Wire about six months ago. I was told that it possibly is the best TV show one could come across. Armed with this knowledge, I took a three-month plunge into it and found myself a much better man at the end of the 5 phenomenal seasons of this TV Show.


The Wire talks about the city of Baltimore, which is rife with issues. It has a total of five seasons, each focusing on a pertinent issue- drugs, the seaport, government, education system, and the print media. Each episode is a healthy 42 minutes and every season is packed with content.

Throughout the TV show, in the various seasons and episodes, there is minimal background music. This TV show relies on natural background sounds to fill the void- when it’s not being barraged by bullets and expletives.

With this TV show, soon enough, the viewer realises that the TV show itself does not have any characters as conventional hero or villain- the protagonist does some pretty ugly things in most episodes. The “baddies” or villains have characters that often introspect and ask themselves whether what they’re doing is actually worth it, and try to resolve other issues in their own way. The recurring pattern throughout the 5 seasons is that the fault is in the system- however much a single person (or a bunch of them) try to change the system, they can’t.

Oh, in every season, the lead hero/protagonist character is also an alcoholic who always crosses the wrong people, but is smart. Every episode of each season is packed with entertainment.

The TV show is acted out brilliantly- shoutout to the characters of Omar Little, Cedric Daniels, and Bubbles. In season four and season five of this TV show, in most of the episodes, some of the detectives and journalists characters act as themselves, which just adds to the TV show.

The real winner  is the writing. Each character has been so elaborately written, in every episode of all 5 seasons. The character of Omar has to be the most well-written character in the history of Tv Shows. (Sorry, Tony Soprano and Walter White.) The scenes have been set appropriately, and no scene seems unnecessarily drawn-out. Case in point, in this one episode, there’s a scene in which the character Bunk Moreland and heartthrob character McNulty solve a case by saying nothing but the word “fuck”. It lasts in excess of four minutes, and you don’t need to follow the story to notice the Tv Show’s innate brilliance.

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The Wire — Fuck (01×04) — YouTube

However, the TV show is held back by it’s strongest facet- the dialogues. Since majority of the characters are African-American, their conversations are often esoteric in nature, and require a heavy dependence on subtitles for reference. However, this keeps the realism of the Baltimore projects alive throughout every episode of the five seasons of the TV show.

Barack Obama calls it his favourite TV show, even over House of Cards. TIME, Slate and The Guardian have named it as the best TV show ever. Harvard and John Hopkins offer courses in sociology and filmmaking based on the TV show and certain episodes.






Shashwat Mohanty writes on his favorite TV Show: The Wire. Originally posted on Medium:


Riverdale: An Archie Comics Adaptation (2017)

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The town of Riverdale brings back memories from childhood… well, CW’s adaptation of Riverdale from the memorable Archie Comics is a whole new kind of Teenage Drama. It grips you right from the first episode. Definitely a must watch teenage drama tv show!
Riverdale has been one of the most awaited show this year and the first season is finally out. It brings to life all the lovable characters: Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Cheryl Blossom, Jason Blossom (er, sort of), Reggie, Moose and all the parents. There is, of course, a Dahl-esque twist to this must watch TV show that sets it apart from the original; the characters in the episodes are a shade or two or three or more, in some cases (no one’s reached upto fifty yet…) darker than the characters in the comics.
Twenty-five minutes into the TV show (in the 1st episode itself!)  and it is established that Betty Cooper’s mother Alice Cooper is an awful woman full of bitterness, Archie Andrews is indulging in some inappropriateness, Betty Cooper isn’t perfect, Veronica Lodge is nice, and Jughead is the only one with his head in place . And also that Fred Cooper and Hermione Lodge used to date, and she let him go for “the guy with more money” (ahem, Gossip Girl vibes anyone?). All in all, the characters (and cast) in Riverdale as a teenage drama TV show resemble the characters from the Archie Comics; definitely, a must watch teenage drama tv show!
KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Cole Sprouse as Jughead are the highlights of the cast. KJ (as Archie Andrews) is a pleasing sight to the eye, perfectly carrying himself as a dark version of the goofball Archie. Replacing Jughead’s crown with a beanie was a great idea, and one that a lot of the Archie Comics fans noticed! Lili Reinhart pulls off a Betty Cooper with cracks in that perfect facade convincingly and Betty’s “soulmate”, Veronica Lodge is played well , a fresh rendition of the classic which gives off the Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl anyone?) vibes that we’ve come to expect.Another highlight of the cast and characters is the moderate diversity and LGBT+ representation. The first few episodes don’t have just one of each of the aforementioned groups, hurriedly cast, simply to satiate the sensitive public.
Coming to the TV show itself, it’s amazing. It’s shot very well, the characters stay true, in their essence, to their comic counterparts we’re all familiar with, and the plot itself is undoubtedly gripping. Riverdale as a TV Show is a must watch for everyone who loves high school teenage drama with a splash of murder mystery. It is best not to watch this TV show with expectations in terms of the lighthearted original comics we’ve all known. Whether or not the writing is brilliant (it does seem to be so far), only the upcoming season (and subsequent episodes) will tell.
 Check out the trailer here:

Our Moon Has Blood Clots

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I ordered this book after a particularly riveting conversation with my Kashmiri best friend; he hasn’t been to Kashmir even once in his 18 years of existence. His family moved away after the exodus and hasn’t looked back. He described his loss as ‘an absence of something very fundamental to who I am’. Despite reading and hearing about the ‘Kashmir issue’ in several contexts, the Pandit Exodus barely ever makes an appearance. I was intrigued. I finally sat down after my end semester exams and read this book in a few hours.

“Kashmir is a memory, an overdose of nostalgia”

Rahul Pandita does not mince his words, he draws you in from the very first page sparing no detail of death or destruction. Although gripping, the narrative progresses slowly, detailing the beauty of the Valley, his family’s history with it, and his early memories of the communal harmony that prevailed before the massacre. His writing is fluid; systematically charting the course of the tension and subsequent violence that laid waste to the Valley. He takes his time, carefully describing every act of betrayal by a Muslim neighbour, friend and ally, the state of denial so many Hindus lived in, and the bloodlust that seemed to overcome so many civilians.

The Pandita family’s decision to abandon their ‘family house that has 22 rooms’ is a crucial point in his narrative, exposing his father’s resigned acceptance and the onset of his mother’s disillusionment. Pandita’s vivid description of his family’s escape to Jammu conveys the growing sense of despair and helplessness amongst the refugees ‘herded like cattle with nowhere to go’. His evocative writing exposes the exploitative practices in exile, the radicalisation of Pandits to serve political agendas, the indignities suffered in silence, and the sense of homelessness that pervaded generations of refugee children. The strongest aspect of Pandita’s narrative is the compelling undercurrents of homelessness and loss of identity that engulf you time and again.

Pandita’s journalistic background is evident in the way he chronicles the horrors of exile; clinical, succinct, and statistical. And this is my biggest bone to pick with this book. Like many other accounts of religious persecution, (for example Taslima Nasrin’s Lajja ) Our Moon Has Blood Clots fails at blending the numbers with the stories. At many points, I felt the narrative break between Pandita’s personal experiences and the context he provided. By the end of the book, the names, dates, figures and descriptions of gore barely evoke any response in the reader. Rahul Pandita’s transformation from author to journalist is complete with his descriptions of Kashmiri Refugee Resettlement Camps that read like articles, focusing on the politics, numbers and contradicting viewpoints rather than stories of the refugees.

However, despite the overwhelming facts and figures Pandita throws at you, there is still a dearth of context. The non linear writing style often leaves the reader guessing; frequent shifts between the present, past and the bleak future without providing details of the climate of violence or peace. Although Pandita elucidates the tragedies of the massacre and the following exodus, he fails to raise, let alone answer, important questions such as the slew of events that led to the massacres, the political agents involved in such systematic ethnic cleansing and the most fundamental, why is the Pandit Exodus an untold chapter in the bloody history of Kashmir?

‘Our Blood Has Moon Clots’ desperately tries to be a memoir and a holistic account of the horrors of 1990, but sadly fails to do both.

Categories: Entertainment

Must Watch Fantasy TV Shows

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There is something supremely soothing about watching TV shows. The best kind are fantasy shows, a great way of escaping (procrastinating, in my case) the problems of real life such as deadlines, tests and responsibilities. For everyone who loves their shows to be a little out of the ordinary, or even those who don’t really watch TV shows, the following shows are a great way to pass the time.

1. Supernatural

Supernatural is a well-made, seasoned salad, containing just the right mixture of horror, humor and emotion. Presently running on it’s 12th season and already having had an early renewal for it’s 13th season, the show is a delight to those who love to binge-watch. Twelve seasons worth of time to expend

S largely deals with folktales, urban legends and Biblical characters, while narrating the story of two hunter-brothers as the journey to quell the paranormal and incidentally, the supernatural. The characters are well-developed and dynamic, but remain true to the core of their characteristic.

With progress in this fantasy series, there is a distinct increase in experimentation with the story-format and the way episodes are made. The highlight of this experiment being breaking of the fourth wall. One notable aspect of the show is that the cast and crew is very interactive with their fans, which enables them to sense what fans would like to watch (they have, of course, made some mistaken interpretations).

The emotional quotient remains consistent throughout this fantasy series, in sync with the highs and lows in the boys’ lives. Characters come and go (sometimes leaving behind devastation in their wake), and amazingly enough, even the villains (a.k.a Lucifer) become loveable after a while.

And what’s more, the Supernatural fandom has the largest online presence. Feeling alone in your fandom? Join Tumblr; they’ll guide you through the deaths of your characters!

2. Once Upon a Time

Everyone loves a classic, especially a reinterpreted classic. Once Upon a Time weaves the stories of classic fairytale characters seamlessly, making them all seem like part of a greater novel.

Once Upon A Time begins with the hardened protagonist, Emma, daughter of Snow White, who having grown up in the world as we know today, doesn’t believe in magic. With progress in Once Upon A Time, characters from timeless classics come to life, all of them related to each other.

Once Upon A Time is a great watch for someone who already knows all the stories that are retold in the series. It’s an amazing feeling to watch the show while being able to draw parallels to stories that we’ve read as children.

Once Upon A Time is an incredible tale of love, hope and redemption, all set in a small town in Maine, USA, called Storybrooke. The characters of the show are given a humane treatment, and there is no true evil or true good, although some or more flawed than the others.

Brilliantly written, Once Upon A Time is for those who love feeling warm and fuzzy.

3. Lucifer

Everybody loves Luci.

The show portrays Lucifer as a misunderstood man (or devil for that matter), whose only crime was to question his father (who happens to be God). And like the typical father we so often hear about, God throws his rebellious son out of the house and hands the reigns of hell over to him, a form of punishment. Lucifer, bored in hell and decides to go to Los Angeles to help solve crimes; simply put, that’s what the show is about. Lucifer is a handsome devil, who makes no attempt to hide his identity; us non-believing humans of course, don’t believe him.

A very interesting line on Lucifer was “… why must I take orders from someone who is not even around!”, said by a drunk Lucifer to his angelic brother as the latter delivers an ultimatum from God. Lucifer’s woe is completely justified of course, and made me wonder if that’s what religion today has come to.

Aside from the between-the-lines message that Lucifer seems to spew, that characters are just the right mixture of strength, wit and emotion.

Lucifer is for every non-religious person out there, and also the cynics, who would rather enjoy the quirky not-so-evil Lucifer.

4. Game of Thrones

Last but not the least, Game of Thrones is an intricate medieval set-up revolving around the politics between noble houses. It is set to take place in two fictional continents and is based on a series of books by George R. R. Martin.

There are innumerable characters, not one of them perfect and all of them given a humane treatment, flawed. The brilliant plot in Game of Thrones, which contains of parallel story arcs happening across two continents, is very obviously converging to a common point (a point much awaited by fans), wherein all the seemingly unrelated characters meet.

A commendable aspect of Game of Thrones is the realistic development of characters. None of them are static, and the development is stark, as some of them distinctly become battle hardened, while others start to soften their rigidly crass attitude. There is also constant timely juxtaposition of characters in Game of Thrones, the understanding of which becomes crucial to the plot.

What is interesting in Game of Thrones, is all the issues it addresses, including slavery, politics, corruption, love, rebellion, justice, treachery and so many others that are issues commonly dealt with on a daily basis.

Game of Thrones will interest anyone who loves intricate plots, but it is not for the weak hearted; people drop dead in the show like flies, seemingly unnecessarily.

Categories: Entertainment