Best Reads 2019!!

 

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2019 read I mostly read classics, which were on my reading list until this year. There have just been a couple new books that I read this year. Educated & Ikigai has been the two of them and the rest I am sure you must have heard about them or must have read them. Sharing my best of 2019 below!!

1.Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami 
A Story titled from the Beatles song Norwegian wood is a weekend read over coffee and sunset.
And Written by Murakami is a story of college students living in Japan, there is no doubt about you not enjoying the book. 
 
2.Fountainhead by Ayn Rand 
For the last two years this book was on my reading list, But, This year I stopped giving any excuses and read the book. Took me the longest time to ever to read a book four weeks,700 pages.
It’s was one of the best books to get an insight on Architecture & Philosophy in one of the finest storytelling way.
 
3. Bastard Of Istanbul by Elif Shafak 
Elif Shafak’s Forty Rules of love I had read a couple of months ago and enjoyed the book a lot.
But, This one was like a souvenir as this came from Turkey, Istanbul itself and having visited Istanbul nearly a decade ago,
this was a very nostalgic read but through the eye of a local. 
 
4.Ikigai by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia
Ikigai was one of the best and only self-help book read this year.
Japanese teaching.A diet. And the reason behind our existence.
This book will want you to visit Japan again or want you to get to Japan at the earliest. 
 
5.Cuba and the night by Pico Iyer 
A Book that made me travel to Cuba virtually and enjoy the travelogue writing style and make me meet characters who have to sacrifice or who want to move ahead in life, Take steps that improve their way of living and live a life.  
 
6.Midsummer Equation by Keigo Higashino
Keigo Higashino the author of the midsummer equation is the author for the Devotion of suspect X that was largely spoken about when the book released.
The midsummer equation is a chilling, thrilling story about how detective Galileo solves the murder mystery in a small town of Hari cove.
It’s the best Murder mystery book that I have read this year. It’s a page-turner until the very end. 

7. Educated by Tara Westover

A memoir about how one fought from its family and how until then the family records weren’t part of the government’s database. No Education in school in childhood, No birth certificate no medical records!! Truly an educational read! This is Tara Westover telling about her life!

A must-read!!!

Best Hollywood Films 2019!!

1. Joker

A One-man show that leaves you wow! Playing a character that was played by heath ledger in the dark night way back in 2009/2010 and then you have Joaquin Phoenix play the character again a decade later. And you just love the way he has acted. It’s a challenge to play a character – That’s battling depression And suffers from a pathological neurological disorder that makes him laugh uncontrollably. He is a standup comedian. But all in all, he might be imagining all this?

The movie was directed by Todd Philips who is known in Hollywood as the maker behind the popular “Hangover” and directed “A Star is born.” The joker played by Joaquin is a performance that will be remembered as he has transformed himself totally. You must have seen him in “Her” a movie about how the lead played by Joaquin falls in love with an artificial intelligence system.

The joker is inspired by Alan Moore & Brian Bolland’s 1988 Graphic novel “The killing joke”

If Joaquin wins the Best Actor in the 92nd Academy Awards. This would be the 2nd time one would be winning an award for the same character. Heath Ledger won the Best Actor for his role in Dark knight.

Joaquin lost 52 pounds to get into the character of joker.

2.Once upon a time in Hollywood

A story based in the 60s and early 70s and the premise being Hollywood in those time was something done very well. The Biggest of names were part of story Brad Pitt & Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead Al Pacino and Margot Robbie and last but not the least the director behind the film “Quentin Tarantino” Who made his 9th Film in his journey as a filmmaker. He is just going to make one more film as a filmmaker. The film was perfect with the lighting and establishing how Hollywood “LA” was in the 60s and early 70s the cowboy, The stud farms and the struggle of actors in Hollywood. In case you missed watching “Once upon a time in Hollywood” please watch it. It’s a slow movie and slightly long. But worth it.

3.End Game

Marvellous with all the characters that were part of the “Avengers” Series to the Black Panther & Spiderman too coming together for the last film in the Sci-fi, Superhero movie under the franchises of Marvel Directed by Russo brothers. Who is now coming up with a flick that’s, in no way related to superheroes, But has one of the superhero actors playing the lead? “ Tom Holland” will be seen in a thriller that will be directed by “ Russo Brothers”

But, End Game was a total Game changer – With A.R Rahman having an anthem part of the movie to having the movie release in #IndiaFirst. What a way to end the Game.

4.Aladin

The opportunity to relive the genie story in the cinema was a great experience, The musical shot story had the story narrated in a very engrossing way and well The 3 wishes is what’s it is all about. Will Smith as the genie was very entertaining.

2019 Best Bollywood Films!

With just less than a week to go for the new year! Here is my list of the Best Movies – You shouldn’t have missed from Bollywood.

1.Gully Boy 

A Journey and a story about a rapper from Dharavi who becomes one of the most well-known rappers from India.

Directed By Zoya Akthar one of the most unconventional directors in the country. With the star cast like Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt and Siddhanth Chaturvedi. There couldn’t have been anyone to replace them. The Perfect entry from India for the Academy Awards too. 
2.Badla 
Inspired and remade in India from the Spanish thriller, invisible Guest. , This move was done very well and a very gripping to watch. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh one of the best Directors who is now known to produce and direct amazing thriller films like (Kahaani, Teen and the short film Ahalya ) 
3.Dreamgirl 
Dream Girl a story about a guy who can mimic a girl’s voice very well, Takes up a job at A call centre and soon has many for his loyal customers fall for him. All hell breaks loose When his father falls in love with the character “Pooja” a hilarious comedy that you will defiantly love. And Ayushman Khurana performance for the flick makes you wonder what next to expect from him? 
4.Uri 
The Surgical Strike on Pakistan was represented in a flick that establishes “Vicky Kaushal” as a star. 
The movies famous slogan “How’s the Josh” became the most popular # & Slogan for the world cup and everything else that represents India! The movie told us if we stand united & want to do something for the county. We can easily achieve it. Also, it was a movie that makes you feel like a proud Indian and what all the Indian army men go through to keep India secure. 
5.Super 30 
A true story based on Anand Kumar from Bihar who aspires to study abroad after he has secured a scholarship from Cambridge on his discovery of a mathematical problem. But, Fails to do so because of financial restrictions. 
He is forced to sell things on the streets until one of the chairmen from a well-known institute offers him the job of teachers. The students enjoy his way of teaching and like attending his classes. One day he sees a boy who likes to study but can’t afford education in the institute so he then decides to teach the underprivileged students. But, This doesn’t go down well with the other institute that’s signed him up and they try their best to stop him from teaching the underprivileged. The movie is about how politics play a role in trying to ruin him. Where he gets threats even today and how he managed to have batches of 30 students every year successfully qualifying in the Examinations of IIT-JEE Entrance examinations.
The lead was played by Hrithik Roshan and the way he acted was great. The film directed by Vikas Bahl who you would recall made the sleeper hit “Queen” with Kangana Ranaut. The film is inspirations in every possible way and scenes like the importance of English, Application of all Their learning applied to tackle the goons. And the caste difference between higher & lower class. All the issues are covered very well. This one is a must-watch. 
6. Article 15  

An article, a law that justifies that state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of race, religion, caste, sex and place of birth. And so the film was about a police officer who fights for the caste-based discrimination and crimes in the rural part of India. A movie co-written by Gaurav Solanki & directed by Anubhav Sinha who has directed movies like tum bin, Dus, Mulk and now Article 15 proves he is the most trusted when coming to direct movies on social issues. Article 15 also places Ayushmann as the most dependable and veritable actor in Bollywood today. Article 15 showcases “Real” India and how we are ignorant of reality and justice.
7.Chhichore
An autobiographical movie by Nitesh Tiwari the director of “ Dangal” wrote & Directed Chicchore on his days spent at the engineering college. The movie was nicely shot when the phases of life are showcased. The film relives their days of college days when Anni’s son tries committing suicide as he doesn’t qualify in the examinations. Hence considers himself a failure – when he is critical, the father played by Sushant Singh Rajput tells him the story of his college days and how their gang was known as the losers. The movie has Varun Sharma who plays Sexa, Sharddha Kapoor who plays Maya is Sushant’s Singh’s wife Prateek Babbar playing a negative role. Tahir Bhasin, you might recall Mardaani where he plays a negative. plays Derek in chhichore. Mummy played by Tushar Pandey is a typical mummy’s boy hence the nickname “Mummy” Bevda” played by harsh Shukla are interesting characters that make the movie totally relatable in many ways. The movie, in the end, gives out the message to enjoy life and it doesn’t really matter if you pass or fail. What matters is doing your best every time. Nitesh Tiwari is on point yet again. 
8.Sandh ki Ankh 
Sandh ki Ankh – literally translates to hitting the bullseye. 
Ever since I had seen the trailer about a month ago. I was immediately interested in watching it. The Title being catchy and the two leads Taapsee Pannu & Bhumi Pednekar had transformed themselves into two grannies for the films.
The film is set in a big phat village, U.P in India. Based on a true story Chandro Tomar & Prakashi Tomar who at the age of 60 became sharpshooters and inspired a whole new generation. They even inspired their daughters to become shooters.
The film is about how they go to enrol their daughters for shooting as they believe this could help them secure a job, earn money and grow as people. but they end up becoming shooters themselves initially
The film highlights how difficult it’s for the villagers to succeeded especially women who aspire to do something for the children. The excuses they give to go for practice & tournaments. The distance one travels and one goes through to live and achieve a dream. And this is because of the male chauvinist in the family.
There are a lot of laughs too in the films making it totally entertaining to watch with a lot of inspiration. 
There are many scenes in the movies that are emotional and hard-hitting – one particular dialogue I will rephrase here that Bhumi Pednekar when one asks how old are you. We don’t mind saying our age. But, 
“We don’t know exactly how many years a woman has lived for herself” The dialogues hit you really hard “Bullseye”
Some scenes capture how younger boys who underestimate the Dadi’s but in the end fall flat on their face and they then ask for autographs – Which for them is their fingerprints that are imprinted on their T-shirts and the facial expressions and frustrations of men who were considered the best – But are defeated by the Dadi’s. 
Seema Tomar Prakashi Tomar played by Taapsee Pannu’s daughter is only Indian woman to win a silver medal for shotgun in 2010 ISSF World cup & won two gold medals at the Asian shotgun championship in 2014.
The last scene when they all are celebrating the victory the real Dadi’s Chandro Tomar & Prakashi Tomar and their kids Shefali & Seema are introduced.

Best of 2019 Series!!!

With 2019 coming to an end And having watched quite a few shows this year. Sharing the best of 2019 from shows to movies to books.  Sharing the first blog Best  Series of 2019…

  • Inside Bills Brain:1 Season

The Man & his foundation are helping the world be a better place by trying their best in all ways right from sanitation to Polio Vaccination. The money earned is wisely spent.

 

Money Heist : 3 Seasons

  • A Spanish Series on a Group of Robbers who have planned a Heist, with A Mastermind that has the finest details planned out to execute and accomplish this heist. It’s been Three series, the Fourth one is coming next years. Thrill+ Crime. The Creator, The Writer – Keeps you glued with the drama, the flaws of the characters and the action each episode offers, And Keeps you hooked till the end.
  • Trapped: 2 Seasons

This Icelandic series was very interesting as it was set in Iceland, while the first series is shot with the Icelandic snow, the other during summer. This Murder- Mystery has been scripted and directed very well with the very good background music, making the series suspenseful and fun to watch.

  • The Spy: 1 Season

Based on a true story, The show was neatly made. Crisp wanting you to have more and more and nicely paced. This was totally Binge-worthy. The lead I was told is a comedian and the acting was superb.

  • Typewriter: 1 Season

Hadn’t really seen a Horror series, until this one. This has been the most chilling Indian series and so well made. Can’t wait for Season 2.

  • Mind Hunter: 2 Seasons

A series about FBI set in the 1970s Trying to understand what goes inside a criminals mind by meeting some of the most famous killers and understanding what was going in their mind when they committed the crime. This one is really good if you want to dig into a criminals mind and is directed by David Fincher and  Asif Kapadia.

  • Umbrella Academy:1 Season

Based on a book. Supernatural Russian Series that brings together siblings for a mission. And as they are coming together after a long time. Will the Mission be successful? A series – That has some eccentric characters and is a different genre totally, is worth a watch.

  • Unbelievable: 1 Season

You know you have been raped, And similar stories in other parts of the states too are surfacing. But, how sure are you that all the cases are pointing towards the same person involved in all cases. Thrilling and Nail biting American series.

  • Russian Dolls:1 Season

Another Russian Series – The name itself is pretty self Explanatory. It’s about the Protagonist, Who keeps re-visiting her Birthday Celebration. And every time there is another perceptive to the evening. It’s like the Matrokoshiya – How there are nine faces to a Russian doll.

  • Selection Day: 2 Season

An Indian Series on the most popular sport in our country “ Cricket” About a father who wants both his sons to be the Best cricketers and to what limits he goes to fulfil his dreams. But, do they want to be part of his sport? You have to watch Selection Day.

  • Dogs of Berlin: 1 Season

A Thrilling German series- What if the best footballer from your country is found dead, One day before the Big match? A series that has all of the suspects involved, the obvious ones the mangers to linking it to the underworld. These series focus on conflicts within different communities and the time to find the main culprit.

  • Secret City:2 Season

An Australian series that revolves around an investigative journalist who digs out the dark secrets of the country. Totally worth your time.

  • 1983: 1 Season

A fictional Polish series set in Poland and is about an attack that took place in Poland in 1983 and twenty years later what effect it has had on the country. Isn’t a typical War series. Watch it to get a hint on how the people were manipulated during the wars.

  • Boys:1 Season

An American Series on Amazon  Prime play has an exciting storyline. It’s about Superhero becoming a business proposition and how they become corrupt with the “Power” they possess.

  • Inside Edge: 2 Season

A Series inspired by the Indian Premier League is all about the dirty politics that goes behind the game. In the truest sense, this series gives the audience an “Inside Edge” watch it on amazon prime play.

Ad Shoot!

The Morning wasn’t a usual one. Had set the alarm for five forty-five am, but was fast asleep until I picked up my phone and realised  it’s Six am. Shit! I was going to get late! Quickly had a shower, and cornflakes, Banana and black coffee got ready and left around six-thirty am. Checked again what time did I have to be there. Seven !! And so I approached the destination and reached via google maps. But seemed to have been misdirected to the direction. 
Dialled the number, as instructed once I had reached my destination. Got the address and followed the maps in the right direction. 
Met the concerned person,and was handed over some printouts! These were the storyboards for the shoot that was planned for the day! While placing the printouts with help of the spot-boy. I bumped into somebody I knew. She was in the Art department. A few minutes later after all print outs were stuck. Arrived on the sets where the Ad shoot for a toothpaste brand was planned out. The toothpaste brand is rebranding itself with one of the most bankable and popular star and youth icon “Alia Bhatt” As we began shooting the 45 seconder advertisement ,post ,the Muhurat & Aarti. I observed what all goes through when shooting films/Ad and how they are done and the various teams involved and their jobs it was the first time ever after wanting to be on a set, that I enjoyed and learned so much. The importance of a stylist, the lighting, Silence and what each one does on the Sets.
 Can’t wait to see the Advertisement aired .The Ad was directed by One of the most well known director at Dharma Production Shashank Khaitan And he was the most chilled out director. Well I in the directors team ( Assistant Director) on my first ever commercial shoot. The shoot was wrapped up in two days on both  days before the scheduled time.
 I would surely like to be part of filmmaking. Something that I always wanted to do.