Fantastic Beasts and where to find them (2016)

The last wizarding world film we saw was in 2011, so just for bringing it back to us, this film was special.

JK Rowling has given us a new world, a new language and it’s deep and meaningful. What we are up against is far more terrifying than fantastic beasts, most of which are not harmful, some maybe large but all are out of their environment.

It’s the 1920s New York, basic wizarding terms are used and explained, so people who haven’t seen Harry Potter movies or read the books can view this film independently. Eddie Redmayne plays an introvert Newt Scamander, transporting magical creatures who manage to escape. While finding Newt and his beasts the ministry solves issues which plague their own existence.

For fans the film feels familiar, we dive straight into the world, devouring every bit of information, new and old. The beasts are woven in seamlessly, while merging darker and more sinister ideas. David Yates gives a good vision to Rowling’s words, putting together an impactful introduction to four more films which will bring back more of our favourite characters.

3.5/5

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2016)

Words cannot do justice to the joy and excitement I and the entire audience experienced at watching our favourite characters come live in theatre and to see a story about a world we adore so much. JK Rowling and the other writers have created a wonderful plot for the stage, with brilliant execution and a fascinating production. We actually thought we are witnessing live magic! There are plenty of twists and turns and surprises galore! Suffice to say readers and fans are in for a treat when they get their hands on the book, out at the end of the month. And for the lucky ones like me, the memory of watching parts 1&2 is something I will cherish for a lifetime. Until July 31st, I keep the secret!

Read the movie, watch the book

The second oldest debate in the modern world, (you decide the first); what was better, the movie or the book. Many times, we watch the movie and then head to the book, which is usually a far richer experience. Other times, we read the book and are sad so many plot points were left out in the film(s) (Harry Potter fans will know the feeling). Sometimes the film is as good as the book (The Namesake) and other times, the film is the living, breathing, personification of the book (The Fault in our stars). I am sure some will disagree, but for me it seemed like the soul left the pages and enchanted us from the screen in the cinema. We had out-worldly, static-disconnected experiences alongside the pain, love and everything in between suffered by Gus, Hazel and their loved ones. Bravo John Green (writer), Josh Boone (Director), Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (screenplay). The stars were perfectly aligned when you worked your magic!

Goodbye June and half of 2014

Mangi Midnite. Dedh Ishqiya. 19th January. YJHD on DVD. Gadda da Vidda. Illuminate. Delhi with Lamhe gang. Valentine’s with DeeJay. Mumbai T2. MAANVIK. Sidhu sisters & Harry Potter. College memories, London friends. Oscar night. Gulaab Gang. Queen. A ‘see you soon’. Lakme weekend. Preps for April. The universe ALWAYS provides. Laughed till I cried. Italy vs Germany. Shonali turns 20! Mehendi playlist. Aer & Haagen Dazs. 13th April. Rio 2 and farewell at Indigo. Mayyur’s Mumbai store launch. 50 GOLDEN YEARS. Reunions, dance, chanting and more! Vows renewed. Love is a 4-letter-word spelled T-I-M-E. Mumbai layover with an oath. Beautiful Berlin by buggy, bicycle, boat and foot. DeeJay save the week. Old friends, childhood families. 3 day birthday. 4 movies and 1 play. Jhalak Dikhlaja 7! Eiffel Tower & Brooklyn Bridge. Twitter, finally! Comic tragedy 1. Goodbye Toshiba, Welcome Dell. Soul lessons. Mini Musings. How to train your dragon 2. Comic tragedy 2. Full Circle @ Royal China. 22 June. 6 sunny / 2 blustery afternoons & 1 nostalgic night. In gratitude…

Divergent (2014)

A post apocalyptic Chicago is divided into factions, based on human virtues. They are ‘Abnegation : selfless’, ‘Dauntless : brave’, ‘Erudite : Intelligent’, ‘Amity : peaceful’ and ‘Candor: honest’. While it would be impossible to divide a complex human race on such grounds, it has been done to control them and maintain peace.

Of course, everyone doesn’t fit neatly into the above. This is the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s first novel in her trilogy and makes an interesting watch especially for someone who hasn’t read the book. The beginning has an aftertaste of Harry Potter and its sorting ceremony, but quickly becomes far more riveting than a sorting hat putting you in a particular house.

It seems like a simple world, but disintegrates into similar patterns of power and politics, where one’s innate virtues are first used for them and later against them. The story is told via Beatrice’s (Shailene Woodley) journey, which is inspiring as well as predictable. She is supported by Four (Theo James), Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn and many others, who are restrained by a system which is utopian to say the least.

Kate Winslet makes a special powerful appearance, bringing a quality on screen which only she can. Director Neil Burger, who has made The Illusionist and Limitless, seems very much at home with the subject, weaving a believable world for us to experience.

Watch out for Insurgent and Allegiant which are already in pre-production.

3/5

The boy who loved

When we speak of Lily’s Love that protected Harry, we tend to overlook that it was not only that person’s love at work. What Lily did for Harry was what any mother would do, cast herself in front of a danger that would take her life instead of her child’s.

The love that I am speaking of, started much before Harry came into existence. It started when a socially awkward Severus Snape fell in love with a young Lily. The night Lily died saving Harry’s life, we can say one form of her perished, but another very significant part lived on.

If Snape’s unrequited love died with Lily that night, Harry’s story would have turned out very differently. It was Snape who actually showed what love is all about, even if the other person didn’t know it existed. He saw Lily in Harry’s eyes, and though was not fond of him as he was much like his father James, Snape played his part extremely well, till the end.

The protection therefore was provided by everyone else, the unwilling Dursleys, the caring Weasleys, Harry’s many friends at Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall, Dobby and others who fought with the Order and of course Albus Dumbledore. He was instrumental in seeking out Tom Riddle, a most unfortunate credit to his name, amongst his many merits.

But the one person who had lost everything dear to him and protected in the name of a memory was Severus. It is said eyes are the window to the soul, and part of his died seeing Lily’s lifeless gaze the night Voldemort cast the killing curse.

Much is spoken of the love that binds two people, the love between parents and children, siblings, friends, but what of the unrequited kind? That is the clear hero of this tale.