5 films you should watch before November ends

The mass people as well as the proclaimed cinema lovers, all are satisfied with the films released in 2019 so far. Avengers: Endgame, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Joker – people of different tastes in movies, everybody got something they might enjoy. 2019 had and has movies for everyone. What is even better is that this year is yet to offer some potentially great films.

Here are 5 films that you might enjoy watching this month.

The King

5 films you should watch before November ends

This historical epic tells the story of young Henry V after becoming the King of England in the 15th century. Prince Hal (Timothée Chalamet) was a reluctant heir to the throne and was negligent of his duties, but circumstances made him be crowned as King Henry V and so he had to forcefully embrace the life he wanted to break free from so badly.

Directed by David Michôd, The King (2019) is a Shakespeare-inspired historical drama. Alongside previously Oscar-nominated actor Timothée Chalamet in the lead role, Joel Edgerton and Robert Pattinson also star in the film. The battle scenes are sensational, the performances by all actors and actresses are strong and the cinematography is impressive. Overall, this Netflix Original is a great watch!

Rating: 8/10

The Irishman

5 films you should watch before November ends

One of the most anticipated films of 2019, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman comes to Netflix on November 26th.

This film is a fantastic reunion of legendary actors like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. This crime drama is another ‘hitman story’ which this trio is already famously known for. The critics are already calling it a masterpiece by Scorsese and some are even calling it his best work.

The rave reviews, the never-ending suspense, the A graded cast and Martin Scorsese’s brilliance make this film a must-watch for every film enthusiast all around the world.

Rating: N/A

The Farewell

5 films you should watch before November ends

The Farewell (Bié Gàosù Tā) is director Lulu Wang’s big break. This is the story of a lovely Chinese family living far apart from each other. This comedy-drama is a breath of fresh air otherwise surrounding all the tough dark thrillers around in 2019.

Chinese culture and philosophy are reflected throughout the film. The story is packed with all shades of human emotions and takes us a step closer to our family roots. This is one simple but powerful film.

Even though the film was initially released in January, it was made legally available in Bangladesh in November.

Rating: 7.5/10

Chhichhore

5 films you should watch this November

From the director of Dangal (2016) and Chillar Party (2011), comes Chhichhore. Filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari has always been adding new flavors to Bollywood by breaking the Bollywood stereotype! This time is no different.

Chhichhore is a film about a group of friends from university. This heartfelt film is immensely relatable to every student of this sub-continent. The film stars Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor and many more renowned faces.

Rating: 7/10

No Dorai

5 films you should watch before November ends

If you are a Bangladeshi and are relatively active on social media, you probably have heard about the beautiful melancholic song Jontrona by Mohon Sharif from the Bangla film “No Dorai” (Dare to Surf) which will be released on November 29th

Read more: Dare to Surf: The first ever Bangladeshi movie on surfing

The trailer of the film is already critically acclaimed. The locations, camera work and colour palette as seen in the music video are highly appraised as well. The film is directed by Taneem Rahman Angshu and is shot by cinematographer Suman Sarker.

From a small beach town in Cox’s Bazar, Ayesha dares to break social stigma, boundaries, orthodoxy and becomes the first female surfer of Bangladesh. This film is a glance into the rural life and illustrates the hardship of empowering the women in Bangladesh as well.

Rating: N/A

2019 has been a good year for movies so far. Movies like The King, The Farewell and Chhichhore have contributed enough to make 2019 glorious. Fingers crossed for The Irishman and No Dorai. Hopefully they will at least be as good as we have predicted!

This Bangladeshi 3D animation film looks stunning! Watch the trailer for “Tomorrow”

These are exciting times! The film industry of Bangladesh has come a long way from the cliched “poor boy meets rich girl” stories. Bangladesh has seen an influx of tasteful films and dramas, and these films have been critically acclaimed on international platforms. Now we have an animated film underworks.

Cycore Studio presents “Tomorrow”, a twenty-five minutes long 3D animated film. The budget for this film is one crore taka and it has been directed by Mohammad Shihab Uddin.

The film is set to be premiered on 29th November.

It will be premiered worldwide on 30th November at 7 pm, on channel Dipto. The animated film will also be available on YouTube after the worldwide premier.

The Plot

The film shows the world in a morbid state with melting ice-caps, rising sea level, depleted fossil fuel, polluted air and so on. It depicts that in a not-so-distant future, low-lying countries like Bangladesh are getting submerged due to global warming. The future of the world is uncertain and dark.

The film centres around the protagonist, a young boy from Bangladesh named Ratul who did not care much for the environment. But all that changes one day when he meets a spiritual and supernatural being, Batasher Buro. This supernatural being shows Ratul how mankind has slowly destroyed Earth. Ratul resolves himself to save the world and he calls on all the other children around the globe. Together, they embark upon a journey to save the world.

The Message

The film intends to illustrate the impact of global warming and how imperative it is to make a stand. Since the primary viewers will be kids and teenagers, the film will try to empower the young minds and motivate them to work for the sustainability of the environment.

This open-world game is set in Dhaka and here’s everything you need to know

Agontuk is an open-world game with a story in a Bangladeshi setting. A daunting and ambitious project– M7 Productions and Attrito, two Bangladeshi companies, are coming up with the first-ever Bangladeshi open-world action-adventure game. The game has been under development for the past year and here is what we know so far–

The setting

Agontuk is an Open-World action-adventure that takes place in a re-imagined version of Dhaka. In the game, Dhaka is re-named to Dhacca. Initial photos of the game show an impressive world-building and details that remain true to the image of Dhaka. Models of CNGs, places like Sadarghat and prominent Dhaka streets are featured in the game. We are expecting attention to the details for these familiar sights. The game is still in the early stages of development and hopefully, it will only get better with time.

Agontuk, the game set in Dhaka: Here's everything you need to know

Release date

Nothing on the release date, yet. Premier of the trailer is said to be on 15th November. The release will presumably be announced after the premier.

Compatible platforms

PS4 and PC are the targeted platforms for this game. This will also be the first Bangladeshi-made game to be PS4 compatible. Since development is still undergoing, the PC specifications remain unreleased. The Unity Game Engine is being used to make Agontuk. The game will not be available for mobile phones.

We are looking forward to doing a beta testing of the game. Stay tuned for a review of the game and an exclusive with the team behind this project.

What would a dream Bangladesh football team look like?

They say that Bengalis are known for their love of three things. Maach, Roshogolla and Football. Sadly enough, our football scenario is constantly marred with mismanagement, lack of funds and whatnot. There was a time when football used to be the biggest sport in the country. People would wait in lines to get their hands on a black ticket for an Abahani-Mohameddan match.

Things have certainly changed now but the tides are turning again. The country’s football scenario is under the limelight, thanks to our team’s recent performance and other off-field issues. Jamie Day and Jamal Bhuyan have emerged to be the new brands for Bangladesh football.

Read more: Jamal Bhuyan: The Danish captain of Bangladesh football

Much like Jamal Bhuyan, this football-crazy nation has its prodigal sons scattered in many different corners of the world. Most of us know about Hamza Chowdhury who plays for Leicester. Here are four Bangladeshi born footballers all around the world who, if bought together, could change Bangladesh football forever:

Shamit Shome

Shamit is a Canadian professional footballer born to Bangladeshi parents. He plays as a midfielder for Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer and has played in Canada’s U-20 and U-21 teams.

Farid Ali

Farid Ali is a Ukrainian professional footballer of Bangladeshi descent. He is a right-wing for Polish club GKS Jastrzębie. With an impressive physique and a decent record, he is one of the prominent Ukrainian players out there.

Hamza Choudhury

Hamza Chowdhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Read more: Hamza Choudhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Hamza Choudhury plays as a midfielder in Leicester City in the English Premier League. He is constantly in the sight of premier league heavy-weights like Manchester United and Chelsea. He also played for the England U-21 team a couple of times.

Tariq Kazi

Tariq Kazi is a Finnish right-back playing professionally for Ilves Tampere. He has played for the Finland U-19 team. Recently he has signed a contract to play for the Bashundhara Kings and is headed soon to Bangladesh.

Will a dream team comprised of all these heavy-weights able to change the image of Bangladesh football? Let us know what you think.

Terminator: Dark Fate follows the old recipe to deliver a fun action flick

November 1 marked the US and global release of Terminator: Dark Fate. Tim Miller is the director while James Cameron and David Ellison are the producers. Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise their roles as Sarah Connor and T800 a.k.a Carl. We get to see Mackenzie Davis as Grace, Natalia Reyes as Daniella “Dani” Ramos and Gabriel Luna as the Terminator Rev-9.

Beyond this point lies spoilers and minor rant. Read on at your own risk.

The Plot

Terminator: Dark Fate follows the old recipe to deliver a fun action flick

The events of this movie take place directly after Terminator: Judgment Day. Starting, we get to see Sarah Connor and John Connor relaxing in Livingston, Guatemala in 1998. After the events of Judgment day, they are now sure they saved the future. No more Skynet. John Connor can now be a car mechanic instead of the leader of the resistance. While they are busy relaxing a T800 shows up kills John Connor and poof, he vanishes. Little did Sarah Connor know that Skynet had already sent various terminators to kill John Connor. Throughout the timeline.  

Moving on, now that Skynet and John Connor are no more the Spotlight shifts to Daniella Ramos.

Daniella or Dani is now the future leader of the Resistance.

They now fight against a new AI called Legion, who sends a new terminator Rev-9 to kill Dani. Dani from the future sends a cyborg subordinate Grace to protect the younger Dani.

In the end, Sarah and “Carl”, join forces with Dani and Grace. They eventually stop Rev-9. Sacrificing Grace in the process and “Carl”.

Cons

Is it all Retconned?

The answer to that is YES. The sixth instalment being the legitimate third instalment the others are officially retconned. They now exist in another dimension. While the series Chronicles of Sarah Connor is completely redundant.

Have we seen this before somewhere?

Again Yes! We have. In T2 we get to see Sarah Connor saving the future leader of the resistance. With the help of a subordinate from the future sent by the leader to stop the bad robot. The bad robot also being sent from the future to kill the younger future leader. 

Terminator: Dark Fate follows the old recipe to deliver a fun action flick

Apart from the obvious retelling of the T2 plot; they managed to pull a Halloween. Where the Halloween 2018 is the direct sequel to Halloween I and II. Retconning the rest.

“CARL”

To clear up some facts first, the T800 models all look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This one is not to be confused with the one that died in T2. The T800 that killed John Connor is stuck in the past, gains feeling. The feeling of emptiness. Lost without a purpose. Gets married! Regrets he killed John.

Pros

It is refreshing to see the old faces reprising their roles. James Cameron being back. Terminator: Force Awakens hits us all with an ample amount of nostalgia.

Verdict

Terminator: Dark Fate follows the old recipe to deliver a fun action flick

All in all, it is a fun action movie. Regardless of the confusion and retelling of the old plot. We get to see a good amount of badassery. Sarah Connor being armed to the teeth and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who doesn’t love Arnold Schwarzenegger?

“Mr Scorsese, you are a great filmmaker but you’re terribly wrong about the MCU”

First things first: regardless of what anyone says about your favourite film franchise, it will not diminish in value in your heart.

This was a necessary reminder to myself as I began to pen this article hoping to defend my unwavering love of MCU against comments made by the filmmakers of the most legendary films I know of including The Godfather and Taxi Driver.

When the likes of Scorsese and Coppola disparage everyone’s favourite superhero universe, it may sting at first but you can accept it, agree to disagree with it and leave it at that. But what might be worth exploring is the Hollywood cinema landscape, where it stands as of today, the role that Marvel plays in shaping its experience and what may have lead Oscar-winning filmmakers to make such comments.

Martin Scorsese: “That’s not cinema. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being,”

I remember watching Iron Man in 2008, the first time in the theatre. I loved every second of it and left enthralled. I was hooked from then onwards. This is the case for thousands of other fans but it is also true that Marvel fandom craze has increased exponentially with the never-ending release of one blockbuster film after another with captivating storylines, mature character developments and finally the integration and overlap of different superheroes’ lives and their ensuing character conflicts and chemistries in the Avengers films.

Since 2008, the MCU has seen award-winning actors and critically acclaimed filmmakers taking part in its films. Right from the very start with the likes of Robert Downey Jr. to Benedict Cumberbatch of more recent years. The franchise has also seen Hollywood giants such as Cate Blanchett and Jake Gyllenhaal take leading one-off roles in their films.

I say this because the kind of mainstream, general mass adoration that the MCU enjoys, objectively one wouldn’t think that it would attract a certain brand of “serious” actors. At the same time, when Marvel manages to secure established artists, it is a validation of the quality of content being produced by the studios we love to love. Not to mention that nearly all Marvel films have received favourable critic reviews.

Understanding the MCU effect

To put into context the cultural significance of MCU, Todd Phillips has been quoted saying “You can’t beat Marvel — it’s a giant behemoth. Let’s do something they can’t do.” To his immense credit, he has managed to make a film that is critical of many aspects of society, including its treatment of the poor and mentally ill and subsequently displays the horrifying reality that might in. Aided by Joaquin Pheonix’s soul-crushing performance, many have been compelled to called Joker a masterpiece.

Read more: Joker Review: Joaquin Phoenix gets the last laugh!

It is not just nagging children and their parents who are forced to pay attention to Marvel’s latest releases. Instead, the franchise has been successful in making people from all backgrounds heavily, emotionally invested. As a result, the effects have forced players in the surrounding film industry to put MCU at the forefront of their minds.

Where does the cinematic value lie?

There are are a  few things to consider here. One that there is truth to Scorsese’s words about Marvel movies having a “theme park” like quality to them. It is every bit a larger than life experience that all but immerses the viewer into the superhero worlds themselves.

However, the fact that it is all these things neither necessarily diminishes the cinematic value of these films nor its effectiveness in storytelling. Captain America: Civil War struck a chord with the public in terms of the push and pull countries across the world experience with authorities and governing bodies. Most people will tell you that Thanos’ reasoning in the last two Avengers movies made sense to them.

At the end of the day, yes, the films are black and white.

You have the heroes to support and you have the monsters to be defeated. But through them, nothing prevents the authenticity of stories and the connection people feel to them from emerging.

Being somewhat of a film nerd, I have spent hours reading and watching interviews of various actors, directors and writers. If there is one thing I have learnt, it is that those who make the films which might make you laugh at their nonsensical premises, maybe some of the most intuitive and intelligent people you come across who are also more attuned with their audience. There is a particular kind of skill, intelligence and art to creating something that has the possibility of resonating with the majority and this is something that gets wildly ignored.

Even a movie that is filled with what may seem like pointless action and romance that doesn’t fit into the storyline can still manage to dole out a message to the public that is incredibly timely and important.

Bollywood director Rohit Shetty’s (known for films such as Golmaal and Dilwale) latest film Simmba is a perfect example of that. In the movie, a corrupt police officer played by Ranveer Singh goes through a change of heart and is compelled to fulfil his responsibilities when he learns of a rape case. Ultimately, the movie delivers some powerful dialogue in favour of women’s rights and harsh steps needed to be taken against sexual harassers.

Read more: Everything that’s wrong with Kabir Singh and why you should not enjoy it

Coppola: “When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration.”

I find it ironic that these stalwarts make such comments about films which are supposed to be a public service completely oblivious to how they come off as gatekeepers to a community of storytelling. It is unnecessary to mention it, but I will get the fact out of the way that they are entitled to their own opinions.

Historically we have seen established greats in any field be critical of the things that manage to garner mainstream attention. It has happened in literature, it continually occurs in visual art and so it shouldn’t be surprising that MCU is now facing this backlash. However, I would normally expect such filmmakers to completely ignore the existence of movies which they do not believe qualify as cinema.

The fact that Avengers: Endgame stands as the highest-grossing film of all time cannot be ignored in this scenario. The previous record-holder, Avatar, did not have 14 films to its franchise to garner this kind of response. Additionally, it has been said Scorsese had to fight his way through to get funding for his latest film, The Irishman starring Robert De Niro.

By the people, for the people?

I will make another case for this line of criticism. It is glaringly true that quality art is not necessarily rewarded with money in our world. This is an issue we find ourselves grappling with on the daily and will especially resonate with those who want to see better films being produced in our very own Bangladeshi industry. At the end of the day, the content that gets mass-circulated are the ones that the public wants to see.

When Coppola says that we expect to be inspired and learn something from the movies we watch, he is a hundred per cent correct.

What is incorrect is his implication that Marvel films fail to do any of that.

I can understand how it may seem that way to someone like him, but the reality is that he falls in an incredibly tight minority. Many people will agree that you require a certain level of education, awareness of films and literature and mental acuity to truly enjoy “high-thought” films. As sad as it may make you, there are too many people today who are not the correct audience for those films. Does that mean what does cater to an audience that is merely different, should be stopped from being produced? Surely not.

MCU will endure and so will cinema

The fact remains that Marvel films continue to touch hearts and inspire millions of people. Equally, there are those who are unaffected by them and expect movies to tell more nuanced stories with less definitive takeaways. While constructive criticism can guide actors, writers and directors to improve upon their work should they choose to, mere disqualification of a certain brand of movies can serve no purpose other than being a voice of one’s personal opinion. In any case, Marvel fans will look forward to Marvel continuing with what they do best.

Read more: What the future of Marvel looks like with Kevin Feige in control

As for those who see the truth in Scorsese and Coppola’s words, Marvel films alone cannot be the sole object of their scrutiny. Rather, a much larger and explorative discussion must be had on the structure of the Hollywood industry and how it can be equally rewarding to diverse forms of storytelling.

What the future of Marvel looks like with Kevin Feige in control

Marvel has gone through several changes throughout its history; with the film rights of many characters sold back and forth between different companies. The Marvel that once was has since evolved into a giant decade-defining cultural phenomenon, not least of which is due to Iron Man which came out in 2008, setting the tone for an unprecedented number of commercially successful movies with favourable critic reviews. A large part of this success is attributed to the late legend Stan Lee. The other part is said to be due to Kevin Feige, then President of Marvel Studios.

On October 15 it was announced that Kevin Feige has been newly assigned as the Chief Creative Officer of Marvel.

This means not only will he continue to be the creative head of Marvel Studios but he is also at the top of the chain of Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Comics. It can be seen as Marvel highlighting Feige’s importance in the company following his near-flawless run with the MCU movies since 2008. Now, Feige will directly answer to the co-chairmen of Disney, Marvel’s parent company.

Avengers: Endgame which went on to be the highest-grossing film worldwide, ever, surpassing Avatar, was a conclusion to many die-hard fans’ journey in the MCU through the lives of its different superheroes, all almost equally lovable, inspiring and somehow believable. Yet as announced in the comic con a few months ago, there remains a lot to look forward to in Marvel’s future.

It is reasonable and perhaps rightly ambitious for the decision-makers at Disney and Marvel to try and convert their success from blockbuster films to other avenues of entertainment and media.

Read more: The DCEU: Does it exist? How the Joker’s success influences it.

Marvel Television

Previously, Marvel television reported to Marvel Entertainment while Marvel Studios reported directly to Disney. For these corporate divides, there has been a lack of continuity among the storylines and the universe in the television shows and the films. For example, Agents of SHIELD Season 6 was released after Avengers: Infinity War, in which half the population of Earth was reduced to dust. However, none of this was referenced in season 6 of the TV show.

Given that now, Feige will be overseeing all aspects of Marvel creative output, there is likely to be overlaps between the characters from films and TV shows along with more streamlining of content.

It has not been long since streaming services have become a cultural need globally. With the rise of Netflix and Amazon Prime, television content has seen a revolutionary change in its development, quality and structure. Even five years ago, it would be difficult to imagine 21 time Oscar nominee Meryl Streep to be acting on television.

It makes sense for Marvel to shift resources and invest in web series and television shows.

Shows such as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil though have received love from fans and critical praise, none of it amounted to the level as can be expected and hoped for the studios responsible for MCU. Now that Kevin Feige will be in control of Marvel Entertainment instead of making any accommodations for external studios such as ABC, it can be assumed that a better future lies ahead for Marvel TV.

Wanda Vision, The Falcon and Winter Soldier and Hawkeye (pending confirmation) are some of the shows that have been announced to be in production. It will be interesting to see how these characters who seem larger than life on the big screen will translate their performances for shorter runtime episodes, but longer narratives and character arcs. Undoubtedly most fans will be excited to be treated with the increased screen-time to watch their favourite heroes act. At the same time, others will be cautious to see how some of these bold moves will actually follow up to the staggering stories and acting left by the MCU alums. For example, will McKee be able to win over everyone’s hearts as Chris Evans was able to? A large role behind setting Marvel apart from other superhero films has been the absorption of the characters’ essences by the actors into their off-screen lives. In whatever moments we did get to see the likes of RDJ, Evans, Holland, Cumberbatch, Ruffalo, Hiddleston and Hemsworth in their own skin, they seemed every bit as we imagined them as their superhero characters.

Upcoming Marvel films

In case you missed it, here’s the list of upcoming movies for phase 4 in MCU:

  • Black Widow (2020)
  • Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2021)
  • The Eternals (2020)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2021)
  • Black Panther 2 (2022)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3
  • Blade

Blade reboot

For fans who have been following MCU since the early days, the announcement of the rebooting of the film “Blade” is an iconic one.  This time it will be played by Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali. This has given rise to some speculation and surprise as he has already played a different character in the MCU. In Luke Cage, he appears as Cornell Smith or otherwise known as Cottonmouth, a rival to the show’s protagonist. While there have been other instances of actors playing different roles in MCU, they have been minor roles such as Alfre Woodard who played a sorrowful mother Captain America: Civil War, and also a gangster in Luke Cage.

Fans will also wonder whether this creates an opportunity for other actors who have played different characters in the past to come back in new roles. But if Marvel has made one thing clear in the past, it is that it takes the job of casting very seriously.

While some have expressed concerns over the lack of continuity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since this is the first time an actor who has played the role of a major antagonist will star as the superhero in a film, it has already been decided that the current shows in production for Marvel will not be continued for long in the future. They have either been cancelled or are set to wrap up in the upcoming months. Instead, these changes and announcements made at San Diego Comic-Con all point to the fact that the upcoming phase of Marvel films and TV shows signify a new beginning for MCU with more streamlined content and continuity extending between the different storylines.

The launch of Disney+, Disney’s own streaming service is being combined with the release of these new shows which are bound to see greater reach and impact than previous Marvel shows. One of the astounding aspects of Marvel has been its sheer bravery in tackling the character developments and stories of a wide range of superheroes. It is indeed something to look forward to if it means we will catch a glimpse of the same ambitions in the TV shows.

Diversity in the MCU

Thor

Natalie Portman as Thor alongside Tessa Thompson as King of Asgard will be a force to reckoned with. Additionally, Thompson will be the first Marvel LGBTQ superhero. As of March 2019, Captain Marvel is the one and only female superhero centric film made by Marvel which followed the massively successful DC’s Wonder Woman in 2017. It can now be hoped that more Marvel films will be made focusing on the strengths, eccentricities and uniqueness of women. Given the fact that there is no scarcity of superhero men for children to look up to and emulate, it is high time that young girls are offered the same possibility.

Black Widow

Black Widow who is already a character that has won and broken millions of hearts is finally, deservedly getting her own origins film. Set to release in 2020, fans who remember the fleeting moments of her past we were shown in Avengers: Age of Ultron, will look forward to discovering more about her real life, back story and how she came about to get the name “Black Widow”.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be the first Asian American superhero film played by Simu Liu, known for playing in the Canadian sitcom, Kim’s Convenience. Shang-Chi is said to be produced with a similar motive behind that which made Black Panther a cultural phenomenon in terms of representation for minorities. Shang-Chi is a superhero originally created in 1972 when kung-fu films were made immensely popular in America by actors such as Bruce Lee.

Eternals

The ensemble cast of The Eternals, yet another Marvel movie in production, includes Kumail Nanjiani, a Pakistani-American actor which may be the first time we a see a Brown actor as a major superhero character. Aside from that, Marvel has been pushing them hard as the big supergroup next to the Avengers. While most of that was due in part to make up for the absence of X-men from their film universe; the purchase of Fox has landed X-Men back at Marvel. So it will be interesting to see where that takes the Eternals project.

Directors of the Upcoming Films

It is said that diversity will be promoted behind the screen as well for Marvel films as the directors of the upcoming announced movies feature women and people of colour. We hope the dedication to diversity is a dedication to quality as well.

Disney now has Fox and X men

While Fox has managed to produce some gems that will forever remain in fans’ minds, most people will be itching to see the complex X-men characters’ immense potential to be tapped into by Marvel studios. Though there have been no conclusive announcements as such for X-men movies in Marvel Studios yet, this will definitely be an arena to look into for Marvel’s future.

Marvel Comics

Things are looking up for Marvel comics since Feige is clearly a comic book fan. Ike Perlmutter who previously had more control does not share the same reputation. However, avid comic book readers share some concerns.

Some fear that in a bid to make comic book sales increase, Marvel might consider rebooting and reviving the comic book universe entirely. While this has happened before for certain storylines, most readers feel that it is worth continuing the previously written stories.

It is also feared that due to the massive success of MCU, certain changes are being reflected upon in the comics.

The style has been said to aesthetically resemble the MCU throughout the more recent issues. It is sad if the comics start imitating the films since the films in the first place owe their roots, stories and characters to the comic books.

It would be interesting to see how Marvel can attract the potential comic book readers among the MCU fans with the changes it could make, keeping in mind that the original, hard-core fans of Marvel comics are a completely different kind of audience.

Aside from being heartbroken by the ending of Avengers: Endgame, many fans were also fearing whether this was some sort of a goodbye to Marvel as a whole. But with all their new announcements in San Diego Comic-Con followed by the promotion of Kevin Feige, Marvel has made clear that not only will they continue their run of great storytelling, but they are about to diversify and branch out which is sure to bring forward a much-anticipated phase 4.

Everything that’s wrong with Kabir Singh and why you should not enjoy it

Kabir Singh. Sandeep Vanga’s remake of the Telugu cult hit Arjun Reddy; an alcoholic surgeon with an explosive temper who becomes addicted to alcohol and drugs after his girlfriend is forced to marry someone else.

The film was led by Shahid Kapoor as the titular character and Kiara Advani as the object of his passion (?) and the reason behind his violent outburst. It raked in nearly ₹380 crores at the box office and is the second highest-grossing Hindi film of the year. If you haven’t been living under a rock all these months, you probably already knew most of what you read.

What the hullabaloo is about

You might also be familiar with the whirlwind of negative reviews (from many critics and alike) that followed its immediate release and has continued to dominate a lot of the conversation surrounding the film, and with good reason too. Every despicable act of misogyny and toxic masculinity, you name it and Kabir Singh’s probably done it.                                                        

Everything that's wrong with Kabir Singh and why you should not enjoy it
  • Beating people up as a point of pride?Check.                                                                                        
  • Barging into a freshman class to claim a woman as your property? Check.                                           
  • Creepily stalk a woman, because why not? Check.                                                                               
  • Kissing said woman without her consent after the first conversation they have? Check.                                                                         
  • Commanding a “chubby” woman to be friends with the said woman because skinny women can’t be friends? Check.                              
  • Threatening the parents for refusing to marry off their daughter? Check.                                                                                                           
  • Hitting the said woman who now has Stockholm syndrome thanks to your noble efforts? Check.                                    
  • Snorting and drinking on the job, because how else would you react to a breakup? Check.                                                                                      
  • Threatening to rape a woman at knifepoint when she refuses to have sex with him? Check.

Misogyny is front and centre in Bollywood. Stalkers are often glorified, toxic masculinity is normalized and even molestation is justified as a legitimate form of courtship. But why is that especially problematic in the context of a country like Bangladesh?

Normalization of stalking and its ramifications

With movies like Raj Kapoor’s Awaara (1951), where the hero stalked and teased a woman into his romantic interest’s heart; Darr (1993), where the hero stalks the girl even to her honeymoon; and TereNaam (2003), where a girl falls in love with a violent man who kidnaps her, stalking has been normalized as a natural romantic expression of love. It follows that the woman gives in to the man’s persuasions and somehow they fall in love and live happily ever after.

Everything that's wrong with Kabir Singh and why you should not enjoy it

Real-life encounters with your stalker are hardly ever this pleasant though. Far from it. Since men have been indoctrinated into the belief that women are bound to give in to their charms at one point thanks to these very same movies championing women as submissive beings, a simple “no” is hardly ever an acceptable answer.

This has deadly consequences for women, manifesting in various forms of harassment and violence directed towards them. A large number of acid attack victims are, in fact, women who rebuffed the advances of men who were at one point stalking them. That a country like Bangladesh has the highest reported incidence of acid assault in the world doesn’t require a stretch of the imagination.

What it teaches people about the nature of love, relationships and women’s agency

Kabir Singh, unfortunately, adds to that a trope thanks to the director’s decision to reduce Kiara Advani’s character, Preeti, to a one-dimensional female who is submissive and accepting of Kabir’s advances and is deferential to his dominating and controlling nature. She isn’t a fully realized woman, but rather a plot device in the hero’s story. Preeti has been shown as a woman who, for starters, can’t even make eye contact, and only opens her mouth to plead, beg or call Kabir her ‘baby’. She has no agency of her own. She doesn’t have the right to decide whether she wants to be with Kabir Singh. Preeti never consents to being kissed, but we suppose consent is assumed to be the lack of a firm “no” in the movie (not as though a “no” would have made Kabir pause either).

This reduces the value of their “love” to a certain set of demands as set by Kabir- that must be immediately gratified by Preeti in order for their relationship to hold any stock. A lot of this unchallenged power to make such decisions stems from the fact Kabir is a man. The message it sends to young men in our country, where the gender power dynamics are skewed in the favour of men, is that Kabir’s behaviour is, in fact, justified. It is a glorification of abusive relationships and nothing more.

Misogyny and justifying violence against women

Kabir Singh’s reckless behaviour ultimately leads to him losing Preeti. He goes through alcohol, drugs and countless one-night stands instead of processing the turmoil within like a normal human being. People around him blame Preeti for the sorrow she’s caused him. He was never at fault, they say; he is just a love-struck man with anger issues, we are told; a veritable genius, who only indulges in excessive drinking because she was dumped.

Whoever has heard of making a grown man take responsibility for his own actions? After all, boys will be boys.

The argument used by many to defend Kabir Singh and his actions is that it is merely his way of expressing his passionate love for Preeti, which is why he takes the liberty of hitting her as well. That is essentially the take away for most people: that love means dictating the life of your significant other, and refusal to abide by any order to that end justifies violence. In the words of the director himself, “If you don’t have the liberty of slapping each other, then I don’t see anything there.” Kapoor has defended his character. “There are all kinds of people in real life, including alpha-males who feel territorial entitlement, and I have played this character truthfully,” he told journalists.

Everything that's wrong with Kabir Singh and why you should not enjoy it

But film critic Anna Vetticad has taken issue with justifying such a narrative in the name of depicting reality.

“This is exhausting, but for the zillionth time: it is not the depiction of reality that is objectionable here, it is precisely because violent, destructive misogynists do exist and women for centuries have suffered at their hands that it is deeply troubling when a film portrays such a person as cool, funny, and, as Kapoor puts it, a man with “a good heart” who  “loves purely” and “wears his emotions on his sleeve,”

She wrote in her review of the film.

In a country like Bangladesh where 66% of women have reported being abused by their domestic partners, it further solidifies these beliefs within the very large, mostly male audience that this movie was able to draw to the theatres, most of whom don’t see much wrong with the movie aside from Kabir Singh’s temper.

In conclusion

Kabir Singh is a celebration of everything that’s wrong in our culture. The blatant lack of respect for women and their agency, the tendency to justify and make excuses for the violence carried out by men on women on a daily basis, the glorification of stalking and other aspects of toxic masculinity. Even with the few virtues that it manages to scrape by, the enormity of the potential harms that it may have simply cannot be ignored.

A Tribute to the Legend: Ayub Bachchu

October 18th 2019 marks the one-year death-anniversary of one of the most influential musicians and guitarists of Bangladesh: Ayub Bachchu. On October 19th, a small group of us locals from Ottawa, Canada will be performing in, and executing a live event to celebrate the life and music of this great Bangladeshi music legend at the Kailash Mital Theatre at Carleton University in Ottawa. This will be an evening of live music and anecdotes; performing many popular and crowd-favourite songs by LRB/Bachchu, and sharing fond memories of musical influences and experiences.

This is also going to be a charity concert where all proceeds from ticket sales will be going to The Rudhro Prince Hope Foundation for the purpose of research and cure to Asthma.

The foundation was created by one of our dear community members/friend and his family who have lost their 8-year-old child to Asthma last year.

It is true that Ayub Bachchu and LRB’s music has one way or the other influenced many generations of Bangladeshis of all ages, and has touched us in different ways; whether you are rocking out to songs like Gotokaal Raate, or a broken heart finding comfort in listening to Ferari Mon, or a group friends singing aloud together Cholo Bodley Jai (Shei Tumi) by the campfire.

Our event – “A Tribute to the Legend: Ayub Bachchu” is about remembering these moments, and keeping his music alive, and having loads of fun doing so in the form of a rock show.

Even though cultural programs and musical shows are not uncommon, we are proud to say that this event is going to be the first of its kind in the Ottawa area; where a rock concert of this genre is being arranged and is set to be performed by local Bangladeshis in the Bengali community.  And we are all truly super excited about it. However, it is not without its challenges. Being the first show of its kind poses major challenges like creating exposure, inciting excitement and eagerness, and capturing a target audience.

As of now, the Ottawa Bangladeshi community has been more accustomed to mellow fusion cultural shows exhibiting softer folk music and plays; and we are aiming to bring to life – the side of people that want to let loose, cheer loud, get up and shake and dance, and rock out.

Our small team of organizers (who are also performers) are working tirelessly day and night for months juggling the music practice, marketing, media creation, and ticket sales. We have been working very hard in creating exposure by talking to people through countless phone calls, reaching out to community leaders, and also attending and speaking at the Carleton University Bangladeshi Students Association (CUBSA)’s get-together event in hopes of capturing the young music lovers. So far we have had great responses.

We have even received personalized video messages and well-wishes from a handful of Bangladeshi celebrities addressing our upcoming show. Celebrities who have shared a few words for us include: Fuad Muqtadir (artist of popular “Nitol Paaey”), Bangladeshi rock band Vikings, Rashed Uddin Ahmed Topu (musician, songwriter and composer of the popular band Yaatri), Sabila Nur (television actress and model), Ashfaqul Bari Rumon (Lead guitarist and vocalist of the band Parthibo), Chandan Zaman Ali (lead vocal and guitarist from the band Winning) – all of which videos have been posted and shared on our Facebook event page.

We are very blessed and thankful to have the kind of support we have receiving. And we are looking forward to a successful and more importantly, a very fun show.

About myself

I (Omar Sharif/Duke) will be playing lead guitar in our show. This imposes a lot of pressure on me. By that I mean, I must strive to stay as true as I can to Ayub Bachchu’s music and song compositions. Ayub Bachchu was widely known as a guitar maestro of Bangladesh; and LRB’s songs are composed of a variety of intricate, melodious, and screaming guitar solos. As you can imagine, fans listening to Ayub Bachchu’s songs and going to his shows look forward to his Guitar work and performance; and in some cases, these are the highlights of the songs.

Growing up in Bangladesh as an aspiring guitarist who mostly plays as a hobby, I have been influenced by Ayub Bachchu’s music and guitar playing at many levels; and as a musician, you get to learn a lot from playing and practising LRB songs in improving musical knowledge and guitar skills.

I remember back in Grade 6 when I was maybe 13 or 14 years old, our school (The Aga Khan School) arranged a rock concert to take place in which LRB/Ayub Bachchu was to be one of the headlining bands. And this was before I ever even started playing the guitar. After seeing that show, I immediately went and bought the LRB double album which came out at that time – Bishsho Amader. I used to listen to that album back-to-back so many times and imagine myself playing guitar solos like those. That show really did influence me into wanting to pick up a guitar.
Fast forward another 2 or 3 years, in grade 8, my mother found me a guitar teacher; and I became the “great-grand student” of Ayub Bachchu (my teacher’s teacher’s teacher I believe was the maestro himself). When I was learning to play the guitar, my curriculum even included a couple of LRB songs that were given to me to learn as part of an assignment. One of those songs became one of my all-time-favourite Ayub Bachchu songs; and at this show, I will be proudly performing Ghumonto Shohore.

Later in life priorities changed, I moved to Canada with my family and had to start a whole new life here; and in the midst of it all, Guitar and music became something left and forgotten like a relic. I lost years of practice and interest and my guitar was collecting dust.

I would rarely pick up the guitar and play it once in a while, but nothing that would keep me in practice and keep up my chops, and I hadn’t been on stage in over a decade. Till now, when talks of arranging an Ayub Bachchu tribute concert started, and by word of mouth, when my name came up as a potential performer, I was asked to join. This was a huge motivating factor for me to pick up my guitar again and practice hard to deliver the best performance this show and the musical legend deserves. I am very excited myself, and I am very much looking forward to delivering something even the audience will feel proud of being a part of. 

Our core performers/musicians and Organizers:

Top 10 Miss Universe Bangladesh Contestants and Crown Revealed

Bangladesh is participating for the first time in the 68th edition of the Miss Universe beauty pageant. It will be held in South Korea on December 2019. Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant, since 1952. The crowned Miss Universe represents her country, she becomes a goodwill ambassador and attends media events globally. So, in addition to their beauty and grace, Miss Universe Bangladesh is selected based on her ability to advocate on social challenges.

The competition started earlier this month. The first two episodes were aired on Rtv । আরটিভি, Robi TV+ & Airtel TV. The judges have selected the top 10 contestants from all over the country.

“I am very excited to be a part of the first edition of Miss Universe Bangladesh. I have been involved in beauty pageants for the last 12 years and I am very pleased to say that this is the best top 10 contestants I have seen till date. I wish them the best.”

Tahsan Khan, Judge, Miss Universe Bangladesh.

Now anyone with a mobile phone can vote for their favourite contestant.

The Top 10

Crown Unveiled

The winner will be chosen at the grand finale on 23rd October in Dhaka. Amishee, the jewellery partner created a beautiful crown or tiara, fit for the event. The crow is on display at the Amishee grand store at Gulshan Avenue.

Tahsan Khan, Judge Kanzi Almas, Judge along with the Top 10 Miss Universe Bangladesh Contestants, holding the crown. Miss Universe Bangladesh, Rokeya Sultana, Head of Business, Amisheé and Rizwan Bin Farouq, Chairman, Miss Universe Bangladesh were also present at the event.

‘This is a proud moment for Amishee. The Miss Universe pageant is the perfect event for our brand, a brand that represents the individualism, power, strength and charisma of women. We are looking forward to seeing this custom crown adorn the beautiful and powerful winner who will represent her country on the global arena in South Korea.’

Sohana Rouf Chowdhry, Managing Director, Amishee
Top 10 Miss Universe Bangladesh & Crown Revealed 1

Sushmita Sen, Bollywood superstar and Miss Universe 1994, will be one of the judges and will crown the winner at the Grand Finale on October 23, 2020.

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