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Bigg Boss 14 is losing its plot?

Haha, you can accuse me of this single clickbait title but somewhere a larger audience will resonate with the impression behind it. You can judge us as badly as you want- yes I do watch Bigg Boss in spite of all allegations about it being highly scripted, played to favor, and kind of insult to intelligence. However, year after year, it is the only show that I watch on TV. Maybe am so used to see the weekly nomination tasks, Salman Khan confronting house members on weekend, and contestants playing interesting games, that made me switch on the show and watch in spite of having a great deal of disagreement over the obscenity and mad-fight it shows. 

The Great Rakhi Sawant Tamasha

Gosh, it is really horrible to see contestants fighting on top of their voice to get in organic visibility. So when Rakhi Sawant entered the show and did some funny entices [her wig falling down as Juli gets up was the most hilarious to date] the show had some content other than fake tears and high decibel- "maar doongi/faad doongi" shenanigans. While the content moved 360 [better] when Bigg Boss makers sent in a group of top contestants from prior seasons as contenders, it was truly a scene-changing instance. However, seeing them making an exit one by one affirmed the belief that they were mere props and not contenders in real. Well, whatever rocks their boat.

Bigg Boss Lodge

This season, however, Bigg Boss house turned into a luxurious lodge where contestants came, left, and re-entered much against the usual practice of the format. The much talked about exit and re-entry of Vikas Gupta [who really looked out of place this time], a very powerful Rahul Vaidya, Nikki Tamboli [she might be foul-behaved but she keeps her act alive]. The biggest joke is Ejaz Khan's proxy play in the show. Like really bigg boss? You could have got Devoleena just like any other contestant in the show. However, her playing a proxy to an ever agitated Eijaj Khan is another nail in the coffin. And to see her surviving in the show as a proxy when long-standing contestants like Abhinav Shukla [who played with quiet dignity throughout] are shown the door that too through guests [ex-contestant in the house] is another bad decision. Looks like he refused to play along with Rakhi Sawant's gross development tactics. All that body painting and calling him Tharki was too much out of place, no matter how vociferous the show's format could be. 

Lokhandwala Se Dindoshi

After the human race was tired of using animal names to express their resentment, BB 14 gave a new derogatory slang to the market- i.e. abuse people basis the location. Really? Boss, Mumbai is one of the most expensive cities in India to live and if you ever tried to rent or buy a house in Lokhandwala then you must be a billionaire. However, abusing basis location was so gross and demeaning to people who live there. Most unfair thing and we are glad that the show's host has called out this. This was not just repulsive, unfair, stupid but shocking when it came from contestants who cannot keep a house they are living in for months in order esp when there is very little to do at that home. Maybe next time when a mother scolds her child for not keeping their room in order or littering too much in the house, they may use a statement- Aye Bigg boss ke celebrity ho kya jo safai se nahi reh sakte? [Aye are u a celeb from Bigg Boss house that's why you are so dirty and unorganized?] 

For a handful of people who are living in a house with a 100s camera and still could flush their WC well, making comments on locality is still gross!

Convenient Elimination

The show has of late metamorphosed in a pattern where the housemates just pick a ridiculous fight, eat, sleep and indulge in frequent re-entries and exits. Another pattern is so predictable eliminations. Abhinav who played almost in Rubina's shadow for the first part of the show stayed intact in the show. At the time when he started emerging as a good contestant, he was conveniently eliminated by the likes of negative contestants like Jasmine who entered the show to lose fans and display extreme irritating behavior. How many of you logged out of Voot or switched off your TV after her irritating acts and awful childlike crocodile tears. You really wondered if it's a reality show or the stale saas, bahu, and Naagin garbage. 

The Usual TV Garbage

Talking about the garbage, Colors sents a "Twilight-inspired Vampire' to date Juli from its another garbage looking show. You wonder when will Indian Television will reclaim the glory it used to have during the Doordarshan era? The other day out of sheer boredom I switched on my hotel TV and landed watching an episode of a serial called- Molikki or something like that where the whole episode was spent showing insufferable expressions of their lead characters. It is like some people were having their facial orgasm on prime time and the audience made to suffer. Really who got such time to watch such slow-moving, regressive, dull crap? Only the designers and sets get uplift, the rest all get as obnoxious as possible. Sigh wish I could direct a better show. I am sure 80% of the junta feels the same and then switch from Indian Television to Netflix and other online streaming platforms.

Can India ever have its own Schitt's Creek? Hell, let's not give the inspiration to ruin another franchise. 

Coming back to Bigg Boss, I guess it only a few days left for the show to end, let's make it a glorious finale for the regular watchers. 

For more, follow me on Twitter: Numerounity

The Prom for The Love of Meryl Streep

Musicals, Prom and me

I am not much into the musicals especially the broadway types. But if it has Meryl Streep in it, heck it might be a horror movie, still, I will watch it [Thanks Meryl U do not do Horror movies though] 
So my love for MerylStreep made me watch the newly released "The Prom" [Prom is another keyword that I avoid in my watchlist]. 

And did I like it? Of course!

Not Just a High School Musical

As I mentioned, I am not much into High School, Musicals, or Prom stuff. Given this, my experience in those genres would be limited, and I would have skipped this film like any other including the famous La La Land that I have not seen yet. [yeah]

It was a skippable ad on YouTube that did the trick. I saw- New release, Meryl Streep, and Netflix, and the film was immediately added to my watchlist and consumed by the evening. I have a warring husband who dislikes watching anything with me these days due to content preference mismatch. and my perpetual craving to watch anything or everything having Ms. Streep droves him further mad. Yet I succeeded last evening, encashing all the goodwill I earned that day. and Man! he also liked the film and wondered why critics gave it such a low rating? Anything below 4, is not acceptable.

Coming back to the film. 
The Prom is a story of waning broadway stars looking for a "quick win" cause to garner some positive publicity. While poverty, world peace et cetera being the too wide arenas, they find their cause in the Twitter trending topic. They find their cause at a quaint little Indiana, supporting a girl to attend prom-like all her peers. 

How they come to the cause, find themselves attached to it, and how it all turns into forms the major crux of the film. 

It may or may not be your regular High school musicals or support the queer, film. It is in a way a deep sarcasm to the way our community/society functions where we make taboo on things that are beyond our understanding and too much of shing a ding is given to forced glamor that everything superficial becomes a way of life. Even we start to pick and chose things that we approve of instead of the whole picture including Religion that overpowers our sense of love and makes us forget the most important lesson of "Love thy neighbor"! Anyone that does not fall hook, line, and sinker to what we follow or believe is treated insensitively, in absolute ostracism. 

You may feel- it is alright. what is so big deal about attending a prom? Well, the film is not just about the prom. It is about inclusion and INCLUSIVE LIVING!

No-no the film is not preachy and has beautiful lyrics, well-penned, well-orchestrated, and rhymed. The poetic expressions were so relatable that I opened my poem diaries [of poems I wrote during school days] and could find many lines there.

James Cordon was a delight to watch especially in the second half of the film. While I do not deny the debate of casting Gay people for gay roles, I really liked the way he patronizes Emma without being overtly sardonic or preachy. 

Like I said- I watched this film for my love for Meryl Streep and am absolutely cast agnostic otherwise. Of course, it is good to see more familiar faces like Nicole Kidman [she s so sassy and prooves why is what she is. So sassy and beautiful]

The overall team including Andrew Randells and Kerry Washington [she was perfect as Mrs. Greene] delights you in amazing poem-loses [yes that what I call it] scene after scene. It may get dull sometimes for some of us but the spark is quite well-maintained till the climax. 

Needless to say, the film had distinct Disney-esque charm and formulaic but hey that's ok. The film is a broadway adaption into reels and quite a popcorn entertainment in spite of not a very outstanding beginning. 

Thanks again team "The Prom" and Netflix for rekindling my love in the poem, saying the word "inclusive" loudly enough, and bringing yet another marvel on screen with my all-time favorite Meryl Streep! I love her to the moon!
Breath, Ekta. Just Breath! 

The Prom is the recent Netflix release starring the incomparable Meryl Streep, Sassy Nicole Kidman, James Cordon, Kerry Washington and, more. 

More review coming up on
#theProm #MerylStreep #InclusiveLiving


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Magalir Mattum: Tamil Movie Review For Non Tamil Speakers

You may not know the language, so try the subtitles. Cause a good story is worth watching in any of the languages. One such film is- Magalir Mattum.

Magalir Mattum means Women's Only!

The storyline is simple- Three Convent friends reunite after a considerable period of time and how. The how is the second interesting part and the first interesting part is how their lives crossed and how they separated. 

The film stars Jyotika who is an independent documentary filmmaker who lives with her to-be mother in law. And how she encourages and unfolds her dreams to reunite with her school friends. The mother in law is played by a feisty Urvashi. 

The film also stars Bhanupriya, Saranya Poonvannam, and R Madhvan [in a special role].

Magalir means women and Mattum means- only. This is a women-oriented film with less hyper-end drama and mostly happy endings. 

What made these friends part ways, how they crossed each other's lives, and how they reunite is a treat to watch.

The film is streaming on Zee5 and you can also find a Hindi dub on YouTube. The stories are somewhat relatable and will touch your heart and funny bones too. Performances are A-notch and the screenplay is smooth.

In the world of extreme violence, religion-based politics, and the objectification of women, Magalir Mattum is a fresh breeze. This is something unique to OTT unlike a very slow-moving Devi [on MXplayer] or so-called women-oriented dramas that has either pornographic content or inspid stories [example Rasbhari].

I really loved Urvashi in this film. Her performance [even in the Hindi dub] is energetic and makes you ask for more. So, if you like a good, light-hearted movie- go and watch it.

Numerounity Rating 4/5 stars for the different storyline

Dolly Kitty Ke तीखे फीके सितारे - फ़िल्म review

Dolly Kitty Ke Chamkate Sitare

The film's title transported me back into the All India Radio station era and reminded me of a nostalgic radio program with Amin Sayani's mellifluous voice. Netflix became my hero when it announced the premiere of this film and I finished all my house chores including cooking to watch it the first day, first show. I saw the trailer once and even though it fell short of my expectation, I blamed it on creative dissonance and still awaited for the film like Indians wait for India Pakistan match.

For some reason, this film looked like an India-Pakistan match but with a lack of sportsman spirit. No matter how progressive I am, sometimes I fail to understand the pseudo-intellectuals point film-makers these days are trying to make. Are these points or mere catch bait conjectures to invite controversy and audience. However, you need to watch the piece collectively to find the overall flavor. IF Dolly-Kitty, a cinematic dish on the celluloid, it left me with mixed taste. 

Thanks to Netflix, I watched it twice to see if my opinion changes- not much actually.

Much Ado About Nothing

This is what I felt when I watched "Lipstick Under My Burkha" for the first time. I failed to understand the extreme opposition the film's release faced. I still remember turning halfway back home after the screening of the film was unceremoniously canceled. So when it was released theatrically, I went to watch it with my mom, coming back with embarrassment and bad taste and wondering- much ado about nothing. So, I watched that movie again, and the second time I liked it better. If you ignore the unnecessary wild sex scenes, filmed on lesser-known actors to create a sensation for the film, the film did worth it's salt esp narrating the stories of 4 different women, you can relate with personally and socially. In burkha or without it.

That element is missing in Dolly-Kitty. The sexual scenes are subtle here [of course the lead actress unlike lesser-known actress to keep the compromise away]. The women's stories are present and some could be relatable but the importance is given more to sensation than substance.

Let me tell you how. Here's what I liked and what I find flawed in the film. If "flaw" is an unsuitable word, let's say, what I find "objectionable to create a mere sensation.

1) Religious overtone? 

Why do the new age film-makers think they need to sensationalize a story to sell it? And Hindu-Muslim angles come so handily for them. They want to show a burning issue in society? fair enough. But what next? The issue becomes a mere prop. 

Similarly, the Muslim-Gurjar angle was one-sided, unnecessary, and amounts to mere rabble-rousing. The scene had no bearing on the film. What could have been a personality and power clash, was conveniently labeled as a religious clash?  The girl did not get a bed in a hostel run by a Hindu woman, so she finds abode in a Christian hostel. Christian hostel had girls doing surrogacy, sleeping around for iPhone, and whatnot. The delivery guy is submissive cause he is a Muslim and the Muslim girl is sleeping around for an iPhone in name of a future. Really? Why the characters were not characters but religions?

2) Vagina Statue, Blood-stained sex, and (f)art of cheap titillation

The women-centric story looked like was made to mock feminism, in its own pseudo-feminist way. Aesthetic may be damned. I remember once how a teenager posted her blood-stained, menstruating post all over Instagram to show some hidden face of women empowerment. It is like a grown-up person peeing in the bed and posting the yellow-colored pee. It is right for a human to pee, why ashamed? So, what it is gross, the sensation is all we need, a cause sensation is a new form of empowerment. Aesthetic jaaye tel lene! 

When did a large vagina installation in the city become aesthetic? The city is known for its rape and harassment culture. Well, that is how pseudo feminism will prevent rape. Cause boob is an old idea, bring the gross period blood, bring vagina and humiliate women who watch your film. 

3) Sanskriti Bachao VS Partying with unknown men, LMAO

There is 2 minutes, a propaganda catalyst character who is a self-nominated "Culture protector". Fair enough. he does things to pace the storyline actually. After you are tired of Kitty and Rakesh's lackadaisical romance, this man jumps in, conducts a raid, and gets the lovers attending a Valentine days' rock show at a seeming government property, arrested. Why police arrested them remains a question but when the scene unfolds, you actually find yourself praising this guy as he helps the heroine in finding the truth about his married lover boy. 

She should have gone and thanked him instead, she goes off and starts kissing a man without his consent, in a public place. The man apparently she had no qualms seeing having sex with her loose-character friend.  Because she is a woman. Her brother-in-law touching her inappropriately on the first day of her meeting was gross, highly agreeable. However, the rest of the things were- women empowerment! 

4) Parvati Bani Poo

Kitty's character runs away from her "tribal" home, decked in fine Anita Dongre, Mango clothes from day 1, she finds drinking the leftover soda from her insensitive boss' bottle is more befitting than leaving a new-found job in a new city cause her request for salary advance failed. Having alcohol with men double her age who she just met, is liberating. Calling out her sister's fashion sense in a derogatory manner is righteous, yet cracking joked with her hostel friend who is dating a man who almost raped her is, compassionate. Well, I would not blame filmmakers here. In fact, I appreciate the filmmaker for showing what is the face of a new Indian woman like Kitty, who is killing the true voice of women empowerment by endorsing such pseudo-materialistic garbage in name of liberation.  

In fact, I would prefer to watch Karan Johar's Poo any day over such half liberated yet righteous women characters like Kitty. Poo too came from humble beginnings, grew up to fashion diva, had bitchy undertones to her character, yet he was much better than the pseudo feminists of the veere di wedding world, except for Sonam Kapoor.  I liked her as Avni in the film. Apparently, it was Avni who did not march the feminism flag unnecessarily, yet she knew her priorities well and was ok with her vulnerabilities in spite of being a successful lawyer than a dumb bimbette with fancy clothes. PS even though she now harness a desire to be a "foot in mouth" Jaya Bachchan, I still like her accrediting that statement to a momentary lapse of logic.

On the contrary, the other female character played by Kubra Sait in the film, in spite of having clear negative shades did better. Neelima Azim on the other hand was phenomenal. Even Konkona Sen Sharma's character is well-written and well-delivered. She flawlessly drove the concept of "frigidity" and her angst, her being of what she is without many props and contexts. Even the people who may not understand frigid the concept could relate without facing it. Konkona is more like Ratna Pathak Shah in lipstick under my burkha, a character who doesn't bother to trail pseudo feminism but just want to seek some happiness in her life through pure desires and consent. 

5) Hurried Climax

Like the male characters in the film, apparently, the makers rushed to the climax, not keeping the audience state in mind. The climax looked cliche, convenient, and yet non-resonating. The audience waited with bated breath to know what "Dolly-Kitty" would do next? However, the makers were not keen and just hurried to finish. Watch the film to know or if you have seen the film, you will know. 

The story even does not bother to give male characters a suiting end. No matter what their performances were, they were reduced to mere props in the end. 

Numerounity verdict

Is this movie all disgusting? No... there is a lot of creative brilliance you can attach with the film or the storytelling. The opening scene in a haunted house. The visible metaphor, the brilliant execution through Konkona's "you are hormonal" escapism is a piece of art. [If you can ignore Kitty's botched up dialect]

The film raises a finger on the gender sterotyping that makes children visit two different museuam purely basis their gender and not the choice is again worth it. Also, the unspoken struggle of children facing such a dilemma or the mother who does not know how to deal with it once her denial is over.  

And the metaphor when a character says -Greater Noida is new Shanghai is the stark slap on the face of urban development, new-age consumerism, an overly marketed urbanization that sells soul in name of a better life, upward mobilization but offers very little in terms of real value and all that mirth comes with empty promises made in name of modern living.

Dolly kitty overall is a decent watch and could have been better if the over the top sexual overtones. religious conflict and selective hypocrisy were avoided. 

It is like Bollywood once tried to break the stereotypes with some good films over the decades but suddenly it is creating new stereotypes. Frankenstein is further fueled up and debauchery is celebrated. While is there is a lot good in name of narrative, encouraging women to fly solo then succumb to the relationship that fellow humans can never offer or afford. I wonder how is it going to break this stereotype of reducing everything to sex and alcohol and abuse. Like I always say- content becomes the culture, and stereotyped culture does not help any society.


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Suitably Unsuited- A Suitable Boy, BBC web-series by Mira nair

I wanted to read this book but could not give the length and my scarcity of time. So when BBC/Netflix announced the forthcoming screening of "A Suitable Boy" based on a famous book by the same name, authored by Vikram Seth, I was excited. 

My excitement went leaps and bounds when I found it is directed by another favorite director Mira Nair and had some impressive, ensemble star cast including Tabu, Randeep Hooda and, others. 

Dude I waited for this to release more than the Gabbar waited for Holi [ref film Sholay]. And when I finally saw it, I consoled myself that this all preface and story will set in eventually and beautifully. And I did this till the end of the last episode. I will tell you why. But first the storyline.

A Suitable Boy- Story

A suitable boy is set in the post-independence era, in the beautiful province of West Bengal - Kolkata and Brahampur largely. 

It is a story of two protagonists Lata and Maan Kapoor, leading their respective lives- one in pursuit of the right suitor for marrying and the other, in pursuit of love and wilderness. 

Lata's story has a classic and yet very interesting angle, involving her tryst with love and selecting a husband from her varied suitors including the ones that her mother finds for her. 

Wherein Maan Kapoor's life has a little more shades than love, it has politics and friendship too.

The story is set in the era when religious tension was quite high in Indian Hindu and Muslims, each displaying their own traits, basis the political situation than the religious altercations. 

While her choice of a groom may little surprise you towards the end of the film, the due process is interesting and somewhere cliche. 

The story revolves more around the romance and the weirdly-disrupted society, on the brim of yearning for attention and superficial endearment. 

Review- caricature is the word

In spite of an impressive cast, The Suitable Boy feels outdated, boorish, and fails to touch a chord. One of the biggest drawbacks is the caricaturish English. Clearly, this web series is not made for India and more clearly, it represents India in quite a wrong perspective, a lot like how slumdog did. English is very weird and you feel too outlandish in the approach. 

While the backdrop has quite a vintage appeal but is a little far-fetched at times. Even though the backdrop is 1951, the series in spite of having a political angle fails to capture the mood of that era. If I may use the word- Indian society is shown hypocrite and slut. That balance is not there. I do not want to bring this up as I truly do not believe in the religious divide but the Hindu-Muslim angle was lop-sided and amounted to further create the divide. 

Apart from religion, there is another successful formula of sex, well embossed in this series. Some of the women including the protagonist at times are shown absolute caricaturish, mean, and made Buffon of themselves. 

A Suitable Boy: The Cast

Maan Kapoor's character is again OTT and Ishan Khattar fails to create any spark or impact. The character actors were more interesting and impactful

It was good to see seasoned actors like Vijay Raaz, Sheeba Chaddha, Vijay Verma [he was more impressive than Ishan Khattar even in that minuscule role which you feel was just created to keep the story going for few insignificant minutes or maybe show the protagonist in a heroic light. 

Likewise, you do know why Kulbhushan Kharbanda was there and how added to the story except by having a role created to include few actors in the series. Tabu's role was as cliche as any other brothel owner in the 80s Hindi films. And Vivaan Shah just looked like an act of bad nepotism with no value add in the series nor having any significant screen presence. Randeep Hooda did his Monsoon wedding stint and was another prop in spite of a good screen presence. Lata Manikatala looks promising and possesses huge potential for Indo-Western projects. Namit Shah's role looked more like a tick in the box but he played it well, though looked a little out of place. 

There were however some fresh faces like the actor who played Ishan's friend [Shubham Saraf as Feroze] and another one who did Kabir's role. They looked apt and did their job without getting OTT. 

ANOTHER noteworthy performance was from the actor [Mahira Kakar] who played Lata's mother. She shone adorably even in her caricaturish role, bringing some believability to her character. Rasika Duggal was brilliant too. Wonder why Sahana Goswami's character was made so loud when she could have seductive and sensational. The sex scene looked desperate to bring audiences. 

Not to mention there were some other irrelevant stitchings like Maan Kapoor's sharp nephew who did "political analytics" for his grandpa. Or the sudden appearance of Kabir in the saint's mela only to rescue a boy, and parallel track of Lata's sister-in-law's sister, making the entire family looked buffoonish for no apparent reason. I would rather re-read Chetan' Bhagat's Two States. 

A Suitable Boy: Overall View

The web-series have all the famous surnames from Mehras to Kapoors, Khan, and Chatterji's, yet it makes most of them look unbelievable. The music and poetry are classy and good. The backdrop is regal and vintage. Impressive cast yet non-pleasing story. Overall, the suitable boy is an unsuitable Indian portrayal, more caricaturish than real. And quite over the top. Blame it on the story or production pressures, it fails to impress, woo, or create excitement that the evolved web-series watcher expects.

In "The Suitable Boy" frames are beautiful, actors are noteworthy but the characters are sketchy and impact the whole storyline, making it sound [sorry for repeating] Caricaturish. 

I suggest you rather watch "Serious Men" starring Nawajuddin Siddiqui or even Taj Mahal 1980 on Netflix. 

Numerounity rating: 2/5

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