Murder On The Orient Express

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I’d like to give you a little spoiler warning. I tend to think that anything mentioned when talking about a mystery novel is sort of spoiler

Murder on the orient express is the tenth book in the series featuring Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. It is a critically acclaimed Agatha Christie novel.

As soon as Hercule Poirot checks into the Tokatlian hotel in Istanbul he receives a telegram instructing hi to cancel his arrangements and return to London, so he boards the orient express, heading for Paris. Poirot is soon approached by Samuel ratchets, an american millionaire who fears for his life.

The next morning Samuel is found dead, stabbed multiple times. the orient express is at standstill due to severe snowstorm and it is not possible for the murderer to leave the train. twelve of the passengers  are found out to be enemies. so who could it be?

Agatha Christie’s novel are not just a lighter version of crime investigation show. they are meant to be fun and enjoyable, without the violence and gore. We have a murder to solve! We might as well have a snow day, too. It’s still amusing to me that the characters are often far too unaffected by murders than they should be, but her novels are not about people as such – they’re just tools to help us solve a crime.

murder on the orient express is a good read but unfortunately it does not take the place as my favorite – but it still kept me guessing until the very end, curled up the comfort knowing that I would find out the truth soon, so just sit back and enjoy the ride and trust me no matter how hard you try

“you can never guess the killer”

 

Until next time,

Megha

 

 

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DON’T BREATHE – A Terror Trap

Director – Fede Alvarez
Cast – Jane Levy, Dylan Minette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang

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Rare is the film that grips you from the very first shot, but that’s exactly what Don’t Breathe does.

Don’t Breathe, film by Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez is a beast of a movie – it’s tight, relentlessly thrilling, fiendishly clever, and for its audience, it’s one of the most satisfying films

This thriller has more scares than all the supernatural Horror films put together. Director confines the action of don’t breathe almost entirely to an abandoned house.

The owner of the house (Stephan lang) is a war veteran gone blind. Three teenagers in the habit  of breaking and entering rich peoples house decide to target him because rumor has it has hundreds of thousands of dollars stashed in his safe.

 

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After all how difficult can it be to rob a sightless middle aged man? It is an ever accelerating cat and mouse game which unfolds reaching into the basement. They discover something so shocking that you can no longer empathize with any of the characters. Creaking sound of the wooden floor and vibration of cellphone is used to give a chilling effect. Great camera work and background score compliment the onscreen actions perfectly.

Lang’s heavily wrinkled face, the lines accentuated in the dimly lit house, and his unseeing steely grey eyes are enough to send shivers down the spine of the three robbers, and that’s before he even turns the tables around. Before long, a secret that the veteran has been hiding behind a locked door also tumbles out.

Director Alvarez, who also co-wrote the film, realises that talk is entirely unnecessary in a film of this kind, and The Blind Man hardly speaks.

While the film manages to engage its audience, it is clear Alvarez got greedy and extended Don’t Breathe past its ideal running time. The thing is — and here is what makes Don’t Breathe the standout horror  — There was blood. There was a body. There was a monster.

And I promise you, no one was breathing.

Until next time,

Megha

 

War between YouTube and Television. Can YouTube replace Television?

The past several years have been full of what are known as YouTube sensations – people who develop a very large following by posting videos on YouTube and gaining traffic, fans and followers. Stars of this type may move on to TV or music, but YouTube is increasingly becoming a profitable channel for stars in its own right. Either way, YouTube sensations benefit from their established brand with loyal followers. And watching them gives us all something to do when we’re supposed to be working.

YouTube was originally created to make it easy to upload videos and post them on blogs, a medium that was then pushing past the fringes of the Internet and into the mainstream. Quickly, YouTube became a destination of its own, one that traditional television producers thought they could harness to tap into the growing power of the Internet.

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The television business has changed from provider-driven to consumer-driven. For broadcasters and operators – who used to decide whether content lived or died — the internet has proven to be a most disruptive development, looming menacingly over their profit stream. The internet is changing the TV business forever.

TV has an incredible power to bring people together, by getting people to invest in its characters and their stories. That is not likely to change, whether episodes are carefully metered out or binge-watched. People desperately want to know what happens to their favourite character. But they want to know at a time that is best for them, not best for the network, and they want the world to know what they thought about it.

In YouTube’s infancy, many television, movie and music companies were worried that users would steal all of their copyrighted material and post it online for free. Instead, YouTube evolved as a platform that cooperated with television. the company started taking down clips if the owners complained. To this day, it’s still nearly impossible to find a clip from The Simpsons on the site.

YouTube has 90 percent reach compared to Star Plus amongst urban youth audience. YouTube meets the television –when you capture an entire market of passionate consumers in any market – especially in video – that in the long-run it becomes a huge business. And meanwhile And don’t forget that as the Internet meets TV, YouTube will continue to be a brand to be reckoned with.

YouTube is not only the future of television, but also preserving its past. It serves as an online time capsule preserving all sorts of things that we never had access to before. Want to watch an episode of your favourite cartoon from your childhood? Find it on YouTube. Need a refresher on the lyrics to the Single Ladies? Thanks, YouTube. Want to watch all the episodes from your favourite series? Thank God for YouTube.

To conclude I would say that YouTube may have become a go to for entertainment but replacing television is not possible in the near future at least.

The internet has disrupted the television industry, but not television itself.

 

Until next time,

Megha

Saudi Arabia to let women drive. Women Empowerment or Strategy?

 

On September 26 2017 Saudi Arabia lifted a longstanding ban on women driving allowing almost half of its population to get behind the wheels. It is a big win for women to drive campaign who have been campaigning for their right. This is also a big win for the feminist movement

In a world where women are fighting for gender equality Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving was condemned all over the world. This decision has been accepted and praised universally. Lifting old ban would improve country’s image globally while car manufacturer would enjoy a bonanza.

Female driver Azza Al Shmasani alights from her car after driving in defiance of the ban in Riyadh

BUT, it is really empowerment?

 

The lifting of ban on women serves several purposes for the crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It projects him as modern liberal and a true leader of youth of Saudi Arabia which has 70 % of population below 30 years of age. The dramatic lifting of women driving is intended only to shore up the stature of the crown prince, affirm his fitness to take over from his father in the near future and rule his country for several decades.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives for the start of the "Meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL: Joint Plenary Session"  in Washington.

“This prohibition on driving is just one in a vast series of laws and policies which prevent women from doing many things,”

“The guardianship rule stops women from making every decision in her life without the assistance of a male relative, even if that relative is her 7-year-old son.”

The move to ease restrictions on women has huge implications for the Saudi economy and women’s ability to work.

In May, King Salman decreed that government agencies should list services women can seek without permission from their husbands, fathers or other male guardian. He also ordered organizations to provide transportation for female employees — a step that eased one hurdle to women’s employment given that public transportation is virtually non-existent.Before May, women weren’t able to access government services without getting permission from a male guardian or having him present.

Lisl Gerntholtz, executive director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, told CNN while it was a “very important step” there was still a long way to go for Saudi women.

“This prohibition on driving is just one in a vast series of laws and policies which prevent women from doing many things,” she said. “The guardianship rule stops women from making every decision in her life without the assistance of a male relative, even if that relative is her 7-year-old son.”

Strategy or no either way it is win for women in Saudi who now can reach places without being dependent on others.

 

Until next time,

Megha

 

 

 

Underrated Bollywood movies you just can’t miss

There are films like dabbang, sultan, happy new year, and then there are these films that don’t get their well deserved share of light. I have created a list of must watch underrated Bollywood movies that are personally my favorites in no particular order.

Ankhon Dekhi (2013)

Ankhon Dekhi, directed by Rajat Kapoor, is a bittersweet tale of a man who has an epiphany and decides that he will only believe what he sees with his own eyes. Sanjay Mishra has given a flawless performance in this one as the patriarch of a middle class family living in Old Delhi.

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Ugly (2014)

Ugly is a neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Anurag Kashyap. The film tells a terrible tale of corruption, indifference, and systemic violence which starts to unfold when the 10-year-old daughter of an aspiring actor disappears.

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Miss Lovely (2014)

This film follows the story of Duggal brothers who produce sleazy sex-horror films in the mid-1980s. The younger brother, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, gets attracted to a mysterious young woman which leads to his downfall. The film won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award.

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Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016)

Raman Raghav 2.0 is a Indian neo noir psychological thriller film directed by Anurag Kashyap. Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the role of Ramanna, a psychopathic serial killer inspired by a serial killer who operated in Mumbai during the mid-1960s named Raman Raghav. Vicky Kaushal plays Raghavan, a cop assigned to investigate the serial killings. The film premiered at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight to a positive critical reception, raising hopes of a good showing at the box office.

Citylights (2014)

CityLights is a 2014 Indian drama film directed by Hansal Mehta starring Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha in the lead roles. The story is about a poor farmer from Rajasthan coming to Mumbai in search of livelihood. The film released on 30 May 2014, and won rave reviews from most critics.

 

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Angry Indian Goddess (2015)

Angry Indian Goddesses is a 2015 Indian Hindi drama film, directed by Pan Nalin and produced under the banner ‘Jungle Book Entertainment’ presentation. It was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it finished second for the People’s Choice Award. Described as “India’s first buddy female pic”, the film highlights and showcases numerous issues faced by residents of the country such as gender inequality, women as objectified sex objects, gay-straight friendships, big business vs. tribal rights, rape problem, caste differences, skin-color prejudice and lax justice.

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Interesting facts about Gangs of Wasseypur series you didn’t knew

839113701.jpgThe Gangs of Wasseypur series is one of the very rare films in recent times that has managed to gather a cult following. Centred on the coal mafia in Dhanbad, the series became a rage in India with its unconventional story line and badass characters.

It also happens to be one of the very few movies where the sequel was as good as the first one, if not better.

Here are some fun facts about Gang of wasseypur series

The story is originally written by Zeeshan Quadri who also plays Definite Khan in the film.

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GoW is made on a budget of 18.5 crore and earned 50.81 crore in domestic market

Both parts were originally shot as a single film of 319 minutes but no Indian theatre would volunteer to screen a 5 plus hours film and hence it was divided into 2 parts for Indian market.

Richa Chadda confessed in an interview that here role in GoW helped her bag 11 film roles

The iconic scene between Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Huma Qureshi where she scolds him for holding her hand without permission has happened in real life with Nawaz during his college days.

Finally another addition to this series was confirmed by Anurag Kashyap, the film will be called Gangs of Wasseypur 1.5 which will tell the parallel story of GoW series. This film will be directed by Zeeshan Quadri.

Here is why comparing Filmfare to Oscars is a sin

 

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For a country obsessed with its film industry that produces over a thousand films every year, Filmfare Awards have been synonymous with excellence. These awards were introduced in 1954 to recognize the pioneers of the Golden Age of Indian cinema.  However, of late, Filmfare – the supposed Oscars of India – has been plagued with credibility issues and poor taste.

And while they might have lost all their credibility, over the years, it is still one award show that many don’t miss. Filmfare has always been known for their glamorous award nights and their ‘black lady’ but there have been numerous misses by the film magazine that aren’t easy to ignore.

For instance, you’ve not just been watching Filmfare Awards, you’ve been watching the 61st Britannia Filmfare Awards Or 62nd JIO filmfare award.Imagine waking up at 6 in the morning to watch the 88th Manikchand Academy Awards. (EXACTLY)

Filmfare is the single most reputed Indian film award to have sustained itself since 1954. But then you see Sooraj Pancholi winning the Filmfare for Best Debut (Male) over Masaan’s Vicky Kaushal or Titli’s Shashank Arora.

Bhai (read salman khan) does bhai things on screen and receives a nomination but Manoj Bajpayee (Aligarh) pours his heart out receives no recognition. Randeep Hooda managed to shake us to our core in an otherwise mediocre Sarbjit but has not been recognised by the magazine.

 

Why snub Swara Bhaskar for her performance in Nil Battey Sannata. Is she too arty for this list? Taapsee Pannu’s performance in Pink made us feel the character’s turbulent struggle but there is no mention of the actress who stood her ground in a film that was about a group of women fighting for their rights either.

It’s not about recognising talent or performances anymore. As Amitabh Bachchan recently revealed in Rajeev Masand’s actors roundtable, the award shows are just televised events. Celebrities come in for 15 minutes, collect their award, sit in the audience, give 5 expressions for the camera and leave.

While we love watching the Golden Globes or the Oscars and applaud Meryl Streep for taking a stand on a national issue on stage, Bollywood is nowhere close to that.

Salman’s performance in Sultan might have entertained many but that doesn’t mean that Manoj Bajpayee is only suited for the ‘Critics choice’ award. Recognising Aishwarya Rai for her role in Sarbjit certainly does not mean that the presenters have to forget about Randeep Hooda’s heart-wrenching performance in the film.

In the end, I would like to thank Filmfare jury and organizers for reminding us that this is not a perfect world and filmfare is not equal to oscars.

best wishes,

Megha