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Sunday, January 3, 2016

TV Review : On Air with AIB

Title : On Air with AIB
Language : Hindi/English
Year : 2015
Content creators : All India Bakchod
Genre : Comedy, Satire, Current Affairs, Adult Comedy
IMDB Link
Watch the show online on Hotspot
Presented By :  Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhat, Ashish Shakya and Gursimran Khamba


Before reviewing On Air with AIB, let us have a prologue on All India Bakchod, or AIB as they are popularly known. AIB is a group of stand up comedians who started as a YouTube channel, using humor effectively to highlight matters of significance, explaining things in very simple manner so as laymen could grasp stuff. One prominent example is when they did a video explaining the concepts of net neutrality and urged the audience to file petitions to TRAI.

Though they had a niche audience for their videos, AIB got real famous after their Roast program, which drew flak from public for its explicit content.

Coming back to On Air with AIB, this is a TV series they launched last year. Season one completed recently with ten episodes, each single episode catering to some gripping issue neglected by most of us. Each episode has different sections, titled "Can You Not", "Topical-ish" etc. English version is handled by Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya while Gursimran Khamba and Tanmay Bhat does the show in Hindi.

Do watch it guys. It is fun. It is informative. It is innovative. I must warn you of the liberal use of adult comedy throughout the session, but that should never be a deterrent.



Saturday, January 2, 2016

TV Review : Sherlock - The Abominable Bride

Title : Sherlock - The Abominable Bride
Language : English
Year : 2016
Director : Douglas Mackinnon
Genre : Crime, Drama, Mystery
IMDB Link
Watch trailer on Youtube
Lead Role :  Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs


After almost two years of baited anticipation, the hat detective and his doctor friend is back, this time in what apparently is a time twisting episode, as the plot unravels itself in the nineteenth century. Sherlock fans, do not be disheartened. The times may have changed, horse carts may have replaced motor cars and certain socio-political situations might be from the past, but the super confident-arrogant nature of Mr. Holmes and the helpful, concerned and rebuking nature of the good old Watson remain intact in this "special" episode. Though this is an off-episode, I would advise you to watch the first three seasons before you watch this (if you have not watched already).

So, what is the abominable bride all about? To be short and not to let the spoilers away, this is the tale of Emilia Ricoletti, who has risen from her grave after committing suicide in public. And she does not sit quiet after her comeback. Instead, what ensues is a murder spree. Obviously, Sherlock gets involved. There are certain paranormal elements in the way the story is presented, and some scenes may give you a horrifying chill.

Is the abominable bride all about one dead woman walking? No. I am not gonna spoil anything for anyone, but you would be in for some surprises down the line. The first one being Mycroft Holmes himself. Nothing more about the story. Better watch and enjoy.

What I love about Sherlock is the superlative direction and the fascinating dialogues. And, there is no death of neither in this. Performances, as usual, are top class. While the abominable bride gives you some answers, it opens a set of questions. 

The wait for season 4 begins!



Movie Review : Departures

Title : Departures
Language : Japanese
Year : 2008
Director : Yôjirô Takita
Genre : Drama, Music
IMDB Link
Watch trailer on Youtube
Lead Role :  Masahiro Motoki, Ryôko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki

The concepts of birth, life and death have always fascinated the imaginations of human beings. Though the scientific base to the theory is debatable, most religions around the globe preaches of an afterlife after death. Hence, when someone passes away, it is the duty of his family and friends to make sure he reaches the other world safely. In this regard, funeral ceremonies are very elaborate and pious. The astounding  pyramids of Egypt bear testimony to the fact that most of us considers death as a passage rather than the end. However, the persons entrusted with the role of preparing the deceased in their journey to the next world do not often get the deserved attention in the society. 2008 Academy Award winner (for the best foreign language film) Departures tell the tales of one such man.

Daigo Kobayashi is an ordinary young man who lives a simple life with his beautiful spouse, Mika. Though he earns his livelihood playing cello at an orchestra, his career is cut short and the job of handling the dead inadvertently lands on his hands. The core of the movie is how he deals with this particular job, which is looked down by the society despite the fact everyone needs their services at some point of time. The new job does have its impact on his mental health as well as on his family life. The movie also shows the strained relationship between Daigo and his father, whose face he could not remember. Besides all these, there are very singular elements in the film that leaves space for some thinking.

The 'lady at the bathhouse', the fact that the 'living eats the dead to survive', the 'stone letter' etc are some of these. Interestingly, this movie shows the act of eating in a raw and unsavory manner.