Box Populi
  • Yahoo Movies Review: Katti Batti


    Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Imran Khan

    Direction: Nikhil Advani

    Rating: ** ½

    ‘Katti Batti’ is an immensely boring film. And what is infinitely more disappointing is that director Nikhil Advani has managed to rope in Bollywood’s reigning queen for this job and yet fails to deliver on expectations.

    You would expect that a love story is well within Advani’s comfort zone and narrating a credible modern-day romance wouldn’t really be the most daunting task for him. Turns out it is.

    This is a simple love story between an over-committed boy and a free-spirited girl and their share of contemporary relationship challenges. That sounds pretty straightforward but our director’s approach lacks finesse and watching the events unfold is exhausting and often confusing.

    Other films where the premise is almost similar have made for wholesome entertainers – remember, the Rahul Bose-Mallika Sherawat starrer ‘Pyar Ke Side Effects’ (2006), it was a fun film where Bose played the commitment-phobic boyfriend to

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  • Sohanlal Walmiki: Where is the rapist?

    A 66-year-old nurse, who was sexually assaulted and left in a vegetative state for more than 40 years, died on Monday, in a case that sparked national debate over the legalisation of euthanasia.

    Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki - her rapist, who was later convicted and jailed, sodomised and strangled her with a dog chain - cutting off the oxygen supply to her brain and leaving her in a coma.

    Walmiki served a seven-year jail term for assault and robbery - but was never convicted of sexual assault as sodomy was not considered rape at that time.

    Walmiki attacked her in the hospital's basement as she was changing before leaving for home. Her bloodied body was discovered 11 hours later, the iron chain still wrapped around her neck.

    While Aruna's name has made headlines every now and then, Sohanlal Walmiki has managed to vanish. The Newsminute writes, "Sohanlal walked free in 1980, but the hospital, jail, court and police files have no picture of his."

    He went scot-free after seven years despite

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  • Who are we to deny closure?

    There was no ‘revealing insight’, there was nothing that we already hadn’t read or heard before about the horrific crime.

    Is it imperative to watch India’s Daughter?

    There was no ‘revealing insight’, there was nothing that we already hadn’t read or heard before about the horrific crime.

    Leslee Udwin, the documentary maker, had said that the purpose of the interview with the rapist Mukesh Singh was to understand why rapes happen in India? Why do they? While we spend time debating and delving deep into the rapists’ psychology, Mukesh Singh says that he and his friend had drunk too much that evening and were heading to GB Road for some ‘fun’. On the way, they saw a girl and realized why drive down all the way when ‘pleasure’ was right at hand.

    Basically, a group of men from a society where respecting women was never a part of the social discourse, were having FUN. Remember Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ‘boys make mistakes’ quip to a cheering crowd during the election campaign?

    It was merely ‘coincidental’ that the girl fought back and things got out of control.

    This was not a premeditated crime; the perpetrators

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  • It’s not girls, but guys who need lessons on 'Rape'

    The predominant noises since Dec 16, 2012, have only been limited to what women ought to know and do. What we need most is a ‘Beta Padhao, Beti Bachao’ programme.

    Women are fighting a legitimate battle, and men must become a part of the solution.Women are fighting a legitimate battle, and men must become a part of the solution.

    Disclaimer first. Some of the content below is likely to puncture a few male egos.

    For long, our patriarchal upbringing has led most of our men to believe that they are modern day versions of one or all of these: the righteous Yudhisthira, the valiant Arjuna or the mighty Bhima.

    But truth must be told. An outright majority of our men are none of these.

    The predominant noises since December 16, 2012, have only been limited to what women ought to know and do. Hardly any voice has advocated education for men to deal with their own impulses or to be prepared for an assault on their womenfolk?

    Last week, the Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher suggested a sensible starting point.

    Speaking about the controversy surrounding the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, she raised a valid issue: clothes do not cause rapes, mindsets do. So rather than bury our heads in the sand, it is critical to transform the thoughts of little children and elderly men, Kher argued.

    Misogynistic beliefs are embedded in these

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  • Why ban on the Nirbhaya documentary is justified

    Why would someone interview men who openly profess that women should be in chains? Why offer a platform to a rapist whose acts are so vile and violent they defy comprehension?

    Leslee Udwin speaks during a news conference in New Delhi.Leslee Udwin speaks during a news conference in New Delhi.Any form of suppression goes against my grain, but for some reason the ban on the broadcasting of Leslee Udwin's 'India's Daughter' doesn't make me too unhappy.

    And even though YouTube is flooded with copies of the documentary – mocking the ban, as it were – those against disallowing free release of the film seem to be disproportionately miffed.

    ‘Liberals’, Facebook activists and trolls of their ilk might now call for my head for supporting the ban. But is not this debate also about the right to one’s opinion?

    Let me first lay down the basics: I am not an opponent of free speech, but images of Mukesh Singh describing -- in gut-wrenching detail -- what happened on that ill-fated night of December 16, 2012 make me question the very motive of making this documentary. Was it Udwin’s effort to showcase to the West the misogynistic beliefs of the Indian men? The answer could be a yes or a no. Not that we live in a society that is pure as rain. Yes, we as a nation are plagued by this

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  • What could still go wrong for the BJP

    The Congress might surprise itself by putting up a far better show than it is expected to. Even a couple of dozen extra seats in its kitty could queer the pitch for the BJP.

    While the Bharatiya Janata Party is fully justified in being euphoric, it would do well to just hold off the celebrations for a while and reflect on George Santayana’s words: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are destined to repeat it.’

    Although the exit polls overwhelmingly favour a BJP-led government at the Centre and predict a complete rout of the Congress, a bit of caution – and some humility – might be in order.

    The Times Now-ORG exit poll survey gives the BJP and its allies 249 seats on the lower end of the spectrum (going up to 265 seats on the upper end), just short of simple majority of 272 seats. It gives the UPA 148 seats and ‘Others’ 146.

    The CNN IBN-CSDS poll gives the NDA a comfortable 270-282 seats, while it says the UPA would get 91-102 and Others 159-181. India TV-C Voter poll too pegs BJP (and allies) way ahead at 289, followed by Others at 153, and the UPA at 101.

    The India Today-Cicero puts BJP+ at 261-283; UPA+ at 110-120, and Others at 150-162. ABP Nielsen exit poll

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