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22 Apr

Haute Review: Fan

    We shouldn't be discussing whether 'Fan' was a good movie or not. What we should really be discussing is how SRK finally knows what the rest of go through when we dream of the day we'll finally meet him. There is a powerful scene in the middle of the movie, where Gaurav Chandna (the fan) helplessly plops against a wall, crying his eyes out, and I couldn't help but wonder how SRK was able to pull that off. You can see the heartbroken Gaurav and how his pain is eating away at him, which leads to either two conclusions:   a) SRK has really truly shown his acting mettle, being able to get outside his body and mind truly, to be able to show a character...
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20 Apr

Introducing Mah-e-Mir

  Things heat up at the Mah e Mir curtain raiser in Karachi.   It all started when Iman Ali showed up late to the press conference of the upcoming film, Mah-e-Mir, which had already started one and a half hour late anyway. Wearing a pretty summer dress, Iman proceeded to the stage where everyone else was already seated, and apologized for not being on time, citing no specific reason for her lack of punctuality.   Afterwards, Iman, and her fellow co-actor, Fahad Mustafa, who walked in with his big body guards, continued to be glued to their phone screens, setting them down occasionally. The room was crowded with journalists, who had perhaps reached their last nerves having to wait so long for the actors to arrive, with no apology given...
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12 Apr

What to expect at the HUM Awards 2016

  By Aamna Haider Isani   It's award season in Pakistan! The ARY Film Awards (AFA) are taking place in Dubai this coming weekend and the 4th Hum Awards are going to be held in Karachi on April 23, it was announced at a press conference yesterday.   "We will take the Awards all over the world," President HUM TV network, Sultana Siddiqui answered a question about rumours that the awards were going to be held in London, "but this year we will honour our talent in Pakistan." Out of the three HUM Awards held in previous years, two have been in Karachi whereas one has been held in Dubai. Considering that HUM TV programming has a following all over the world (basically wherever there...
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10 Apr

An open letter to Taher Shah

  Taher Shah, while others might think you're out of your mind, I absolutely love everything about your new song 'Angel', and let me tell you why:   1. You are encouraging the breaking of gender roles. I love how you're wearing a tiara on your head but don't forget to let the world see some chest hair. Feminine, yet manly at the same time. Even the baby isn't conforming to what society expects of him as a little boy.         2. Your production value has gotten better. I can see the use of drones and smoke machines. Your cast has gotten bigger. From two Taher Shahs (in 'Eye to Eye') to a family of three - that is an achievement.       3. You are a trendsetter!...
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25 Aug

Mahira as man, madari or monkey?

  We’ve seen and loved her as Khirad (Humsafar), Falak (Shehr-e-Zaat), Shano (Sadqay Tumhare) and of course, more recently as Saba in Bin Roye. Mahira Khan’s next appearance is not likely to be as conventional or feminine. In fact, it is quite simply unorthodox as she plays monkey, man and madari in Madari, one of Saadat Hassan Manto’s short stories featured as part of the upcoming Manto the Film. Madari is one of Manto’s most thought provoking stories, which confronts Darwin’s theory of evolution.     “Of course it challenged me,” Mahira Khan spoke to me on the sets of Subh Ki Kahani, a new morning show launched on the channel Geo Kahani yesterday. Mahira and Sarmad Khoosat came in as the show’s very...
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29 May

Introducing Bin Roye, again

With more than a dozen highly anticipated titles in the works this appears to be a fantastic year for Pakistani cinema. I’d say it needs to be rechristened, for the gandasa wielding, trigger happy Punjabi films that fell under the rather derogatory term ‘Lollywood’ no longer exist in the larger scheme of things. This is new age cinema: modern, contemporary and clean. It won’t be without drama though, which is what Sultana Siddiqui, CEO of Hum TV network said in the introduction to Bin Roye at a Press Conference. Colourful, musical and dramatic is the first impression you get of Bin Roye, a film that stars Mahira Khan, Humayun Saeed, Armeena Khan, Junaid Khan, Javed Sheikh and many more. Fawad Khan...
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27 Oct

The Pakistan of Homeland

Counting the cultural gaffes in Season 4 of Homeland which portrays Pakistan in a very unfamiliar light…   SPOILER ALERT! The CIA has just discovered, to its utter shock and disbelief, that the ISI faked the death of Taliban terrorist Haissam Haqqani in a drone attack in Waziristan and then killed Sandy Bachman, CIA agent stationed in Islamabad, to throw them off track. The big question is WHY? Our question, however, is HOW a series, with a mammoth budget and intensive research, could get the details of Pakistan’s landscape so wrong? We’re not talking politics, conspiracies or intrigue; we’re talking cultural guffaws that are very hard to ignore if you want to take the story seriously. How easy it is to access the US Embassy! The...
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17 Mar

Zindagi Gulzar Hai 16

The story in Zindagi Gulzar Hai is progressing at snail’s pace – I think everyone following it wants ‘the wedding’ to happen - however there are moments in every episode that make the speed acceptable. One can allow concessions in pace because the performances are great and the messages that lie between the lines are important and relevant to women in Pakistan today. In this episode that message points at social disparity and the importance of post, position and class when building relationships (Murtaza is inching his way into Rafia’s life because his daughters are all well-settled and successful) and in proposing new relationships. It’s Zaroon’s mother who brings out the status difference between both households and deems marriage between...
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