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SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

Cover Story

20 P.S. I’m Just Like You! When children from Pakistan and India began to exchange letters and postcards, age-old barriers of mistrust began to melt away

Feature

26 Trading for Trust Ultimately, it’s all about the bottom line. And the best way to create a constituency for peace is by promoting Pak-India trade

30 The Lord from Lucknow Honoured by both Pakistan and India, London-based Baron Khalid Hameed quietly works to heal the sick and promote interfaith harmony

32 Lame is the New Cool

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Meet the brains behind The Sarrial-ist Movement — yes, the Facebook page which makes a bad day that much worse

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Regulars 6 People & Parties: Out and about with Pakistan’s beautiful people 36 Reviews: Bad Jokes, Mediocre Mercenaries and more 38 End Of The Line: Iron On!

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Magazine Editor: Zarrar Khuhro, Senior Sub-Editor: Zainab Imam. Sub-Editors: Mifrah Haq, Ameer Hamza and Dilaira Mondegarian. Creative Team: Amna Iqbal, Jamal Khurshid, Essa Malik, Maha Haider, Faizan Dawood, Samra Aamir, Sanober Ahmed. Publisher: Bilal A Lakhani. Executive Editor: Muhammad Ziauddin. Editor: Kamal Siddiqi. For feedback and submissions: magazine@tribune.com.pk Printed: uniprint@unigraph.com


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Sahar and Maira

Zara Peerzada

Seemi and Mehreen Raheel

Hina Ijaz

PHOTOS COURTESY VERVE

Amna Babar and Aliha

Madiha and Saad

The multi-label brand Dernier Cri launches in Lahore Imran and Akib Khan

Qasim Yar Tiwana, Natasha Hussain and Imtisal

6 SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

Murtaza and Huma Amir


SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


Nida Azwer

Nida Tapal

Sadaf

Saleha and Rabia

The House of Ensemble launches its first outlet in Dubai

Zeba Husain, Shezray Husain, Faiza Malik and Shehrnaz Husain

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Saba Hamid SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

Kalpana and Simrin

PHOTOS COURTESY SOHAIL NAZISH

PEOPLE & PARTIES


SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Shehzad

Fawad Khan launches SILK, a ready-to-wear clothing brand, in Lahore Minahil

Somia and Rabia Mehr

Maryam and Mustafa

Ahmed Ali Butt Amna

10 SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

PHOTOS COURTESY NASHIT NOOR OF NEAT PRODUCTIONS

Fawad Khan and Sadaf Khan


SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Ayyan

Aliya Tipu exhibits her clothing line in Karachi

Fauzia

Sumeha Khalid

Gul and Lubna

12 SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

Aroosa

Ambreen

PHOTOS COURTESY IDEAS EVENTS PR

Tipu, Aliya and Kamran


SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Uzma

Zoya

Sidra Saeed

PHOTOS COURTESY VOILA PR

The Designers holds a multidesigner fashion exhibition in Karachi

Nabeel, Zainab and Basil Madiha, Najia, Ramsha and Daniya

Aman and Fouzea Rabeeya, Asad, Faryal and Sehrish

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SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Sumeha Khalid

Wafa and Zohair

PHOTOS COURTESY LOTUS PR

L’Oréal Paris launches ‘The Gold Studio’ at Debenhams in Karachi

Geoff Skingsley

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Aale Mowjee SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

Moazzam Ali Khan

Tara Uzra Dawood

Ujala Zia

Wardha Saleem


SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Shafaq and Babra Sharif Shaima and Mariam

Shafaq Habib House of Jewellery launches their latest collection in Lahore Anoosh

Natasha Talath Naqvi

Rubina with a friend Hina with a friend

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Mashi and Sadaf

PHOTOS COURTESY OZ COMMUNICATIONS

Shaima, Razia, Zarqa and Sarosh

Sadia and Mother Mahnoor

Misha Mahvish

Nida and Mrs Wajid Ali

Hira, Anum and Ayesha

19 SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


FEATURE

the lord from

lucknow

BY ANAAM RAZA

How many people do you know who have been bestowed high national civilian awards by two countries that, to put it mildly, don’t like each other very much? Not many, for sure.

footballer George Best and the Iron Lady, former British prime

But when those two countries are Pakistan and India, then the

the Pakistani press, even though he’s essentially doing the same

number of people so honoured could probably be counted on the

fingers of one hand. Well, Baron Khalid Hameed of Hampstead is one such person, being the recipient of India’s Padma Bhushan,

as well as Pakistan’s Sitara-e-Quaid-i-Azam and Hilal-e-Quaidi-Azam.

We are meeting in his office in London’s Harley Street, which

minister Margaret Thatcher, herself.

As I introduce myself to him, I keep wondering why so few peo-

ple know about him. There is practically no mention of him in job as Lord Nazir Ahmed. “I’m a professional you see,” responds

Hameed. “I don’t like wasting too much time on these things because what tends to happen is that the task at hand often gets delayed,” he says in an extremely measured tone, choosing his words carefully.

In February 2007, Hameed was made a non-party political life

is world famous for being at the forefront of medical science and

peer, giving him a seat in the House of Lords, and in 2009, he

world.

services to the medical profession. He has also received the Sita-

for attracting pioneering medical specialists from all over the

He’s not out of place in the caduceus crowd either. Trained as

a doctor in his hometown of Lucknow, 71-year-old Hameed is the chairman of the Alpha Hospital Group and CEO of the London

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Honoured by both Pakistan and India, London-based Baron Khalid Hameed works quietly to heal the sick and promote interfaith harmony

received the Padma Bhushan, India’s highest civil award for his

ra-e-Quaid-i-Azam and the Hilal-e-Quaid-i-Azam for his services to medicine in Pakistan.

But he’s not interested in talking about these awards or the

International Hospital. Previously, he was also the executive

more recent ‘Freedom of the City of London’ award he received.

fluent Middle Easterners, the likes of former Manchester United

promoting inter-faith understanding in his role as the chair at

director of London’s Cromwell hospital, famous for treating afSEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

Instead, he wants to stick to what is obviously his cause celebre:


the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic faiths.

“My interest in the field developed after 9/11 when Islam was

being painted as a religion for brutes and uncivilised people who do not know how to live in the modern world,” says Hameed.

“And at that time, I was looking for somebody to come forward,

Other than trying to foster goodwill in a multicultural city, his

passion is helping young people fulfil their potential, which is

why he chairs the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council and is the governor of the International Students House.

“The young people of today are the guardians of our civilisa-

take responsibility and stand up and say Islam is a religion of

tions, but Muslim youngsters in particular are at the bottom of

Of course, that didn’t stop Hameed from standing up and say-

the highest numbers in prisons and they have the worst health

peace. Nobody did.”

ing his piece. “The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself had very good relations with non-Muslim tribes living in his area. There

the league in comparison to the rest of the country. They have profile,” he says.

He is at pains to point out that Indians are doing better than

is an incident in which he stood up in respect as a Jewish man’s

Pakistanis in the UK. He refers to a survey done in Yorkshire,

knew the man was Jewish, he replied: ‘Of course!’” says Hameed.

to become taxi drivers so that they can start earning some quick

funeral was passing by, and later when people asked him if he

As the conversation continues, I realise it isn’t just Islam that

he talks about with utmost respect and positivity, but all Abrahamic faiths. I then make the mistake of saying as much.

“You shouldn’t just talk about ‘Abrahamic’ religions because

there are one billion Hindus in the world,” he says as he gently rebukes me. “You can try and ignore them but they still exist. Simi-

which claims that the majority of Muslims and Pakistanis aim

cash. “Not that there is anything bad in being a taxi driver, but [they want] nothing more than to be a taxi driver,” he says.

When I ask him how this situation can ever change, he replies:

“The goal should be to create an educated generation and the change will have to come from the home and the parents.”

He blames himself and me, the people upon whom God has

larly, Sikhs are formidable in terms of influence, so you have to

bestowed all the luxuries of life, who own motor cars, have ward-

I read other scriptures, the more I realise what excellent books

are yet too ‘busy’ to contribute to the community.

include all of the other religions in this discussion too. The more they are, as all of them tell you to be kind, to help those who are

robes full of clothes, eat (at least) three square meals a day and

“It is well-to-do Muslims like you and me who need to build

in need and to be good citizens. Not a single religion teaches us to

academic institutions like medical and engineering colleges and

ter merging into the same sea,” he says with sage-like wisdom.

nity in the long run.”

be negative or destructive; they are all different channels of waI try to steer the conversation away from my faux pas and back

not just mosques, because that is what will benefit the commuI ask him if the goal seems achievable, and he replies with his

to his topic of choice: What exactly does working for inter-faith

customary passion: “Very much so. People are willing to embrace

lims should be doing?

get ahead and so I worked over 50 hours a week. I had no time for

harmony entail? I ask. And in particular, what does it mean Mus“[It means] we don’t need to be swept away by emotion,” he

you if you prove your mettle. When I first came here, I wanted to Sunday biryanis or anything like that. First, you have to work hard

says. “It doesn’t mean that you should convert to my religion or

and then you can seek blessings from God.”

least agree on some things. The more you talk, the more you re-

to have a view on everything, so I ask him what he thinks of his

that I should convert to yours. Instead, we should discuss and at alise that there are more similarities than differences between us.” Sadly, Hameed feels that the Muslim community in the UK

is becoming increasingly isolated and ghettoised. But if that’s something he finds worrying, how then does he view the radicalisation and ‘religious’ violence taking place back in Pakistan?

This affable and refined man who despises extremists seems

birth country’s next door neighbour: Pakistan.

“I’ve been to Pakistan several times to attend weddings and

I have a lot of friends there. One of the things I’d still like to achieve is to open a hospital in both Karachi and Lucknow.”

I wonder out loud if he plans to start something like Imran

“These people say that they are doing God’s work but the Quran

Khan’s Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, but he clarifies

all of us believe in an afterlife so why don’t we leave it for God to

general hospital that can cater to the poor populations of Paki-

clearly prohibits killing another human being. And as Muslims, decide? What’s the hurry? And if they don’t agree [with this] they should tell us that the Quran is not true,” he argues.

He believes that Muslims and non-Muslims alike misconstrue

the word ‘jihad’. “The word literally means ‘to strive’ and the greater jihad is to improve oneself and the secondary and lesser

jihad is to defend yourself when you’re attacked. These days most

Muslims seem to forget the primary meaning and instead just focus on the auxiliary meaning,” he says.

that he doesn’t want to open a specialist hospital but rather a stan and India.

Still, with a peership, the inter-faith harmony project and the

stewardship of no less than two hospitals, how on earth will he find the time and energy to devote to this project?

As if reading my mind, he recites a couplet that sums up his

philosophy of life and the secret of his success: Khuda taufeeq deta hai jinhain, samajhtey hain woh

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Khud hi apne hathon se buna karti hain taqdeeren

SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


FEATURE

lame

is the new cool

You may roll your eyes or even feel like pulling them out of their sockets when you hear these jokes, but their lame brand of humour will certainly grab your attention. Meet the brains behind The Sarrial-ist Movement — yes, the Facebook page which makes a bad day that much worse

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BY SAADIA GARDEZI AND AMIN GILANI

SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


‘How did the cow get out of the well? Bohat mushkil se.’ If you rolled your eyes at the above joke, it’s okay. Because lame is the new cool. This is what the massive popularity of The Sarri-alist Movement (TSM)

— an extremely popular Facebook page that hosts sarris, lame jokes, and memes — will convince you of.

In popular usage, an Internet meme is a concept in the form of text,

image or video that spreads, often virally, on the Internet. You have

almost certainly seen them, from Lolcat to Aunty Acid, if you have a Facebook account. And from the locally created Facebook pages, your friends have been posting, and reposting, memes from the massively popular

Sarcasmistan (71,000 likes), TSM (42,000 likes) and Ziada English Na Jhar Eminem Ki Olaad (186,000 likes) and others.

Globally, memes have been around since the late 1990s but in Pakistan

the growth of this pop culture movement has gained critical mass only

in the last year. The TSM was a page started by five college students, Zain Khalid Butt, Hamza Aamir, Omar Nawaz, Bilal Afzal and Qasim Ahsan, from the Lahore School of Economics (LSE).

In the course of this project, they have had to deal with issues from

hacking to moderating often vicious online debates, and were even of-

fered jobs. The idea was to produce and share ‘sarris’- extremely lame jokes — so as to “take the sarri-al culture to new heights.”

We talked to three of the founding members, Zain, Hamza and Qasim,

about TSM and the increasingly popular meme culture of Pakistan.

Q. How did you come up with the idea of the movement? Zain: The word ‘sarri’ means a lame joke, and when we were in Aitchison, we used to crack lame jokes all the time. In fact, we had quite a

following for it. The idea came to us while we were in LSE. At first, we

wanted to start a school magazine called LS-Sarri, but there were far too many inconveniences: time, printing and not to mention permissions. Hence, we settled on the idea of a Facebook page instead.

Q. How did memes start on TSM? Qasim: A sarri is something that is funny because it’s ‘unfunny’. For ex-

ample: ‘George Clooney ke bhai ka kya naam hae? Nishaat Clooney’. A meme is

an idea that spreads to a point where it is readily recognised. As such, sarris can be memes and memes can be sarris, but they aren’t the same thing.

Hamza: Personally, I think memes ruined our page. Given the option, I

would wipe them off the face of the earth. The whole idea of the page was [to have] single-line textual jokes, that people would sometimes copy off from text messages; they would hang around for thirty minutes or so,

watch other people ‘like’ their posts, count the number of girls that liked their post, and so on. But then, some users realised that pictures were

more visible to visitors. They added captions and eventually started using these rage-faces (figures and faces conveying specific emotions) to cre-

ate comic strips. An inherent flaw in this whole system was that people could, and regularly would, copy content off of websites like 9gag and

4chan, and we hated that. If we found users plagiarising, we would ban SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

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FEATURE them from the page. However, if something was genuinely funny, even if it were a meme, we would endorse it.

Q. A lot of memes now have a local touch to them. How would you describe the integration of something that was foreign to our culture and has now become so recognisable locally? Zain: I would say that the whole meme culture started from The

Sarri-alist Movement. We think most people who came to the page did not know about memes before. We built up a large user base

and eventually people had their own opinions and points of views to share. The movement from captions to rage comics was easy

because meme generators were easily available on the Internet. As the content on the page evolved, the rules of their usage also got recognised.

Q. Who generates these jokes and captioned images, and why are people interested? Qasim: TSM is a very positive page because, in general, if you’re

funny you’ll be accepted into it. This gives people an incentive to post on the page. And the page itself is an outlet to express yourself. Sometimes people just want to blow off some steam.

Zain: Recognition and ‘likes’, those are the major reasons why

people upload things on the page. It’s the reason we made TSM

in the first place. About 20 per cent of the people, most of whom

joined us in the beginning, actually generate original content. But

people who joined the movement later mostly plagiarised. Content themes are sensitive to real events, like after a cricket match you would see related posts for days. It’s like trends on Twitter.

Q. Do you think there may be any political or subversive trolling on the page to deviate its audience from the goal of humour? Hamza: I would not say that there was much political motivation behind the posts because most of our generation is indifferent to

politics. There would be pictures of politicians on it, even Quaid-eAzam, but they would mostly be funny and pointless. There may very well be political groups, nationalist and anti-nationalists

among the users but, considering the size of the user base, they’re quite difficult to track. Fortunately, the only fights we get are

between school kids, and we sort of endorse them because they are funny!

Q. When and why would you say the page achieved critical mass? And how would you describe your user base? Hamza: Critical mass happened last summer when we sat down day and night, focused on the movement, started marketing it and used our wits to make the page funny.

Zain: When we started, most of our users were students ranging from O levels to university first years so it’s 14- to 21-year-olds.

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Now the users start from 12 and I even have an uncle who’s 50. The

reason people like it so much is because Facebook itself gets boring; SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


there’s only so many people you can stalk on Facebook. Our page is dy-

namic, people keep posting new things and the rest keep soaking it up.

Qasim: There are certain regular members who are sometimes termed as ‘elites’, and who are in their thirties. Some of the most famous members of the page are recent university graduates.

Q. How do you deal with a user who is abusive or offensive? Qasim: There isn’t any set way to deal with people who abuse the page and its members, and it depends on the severity of the infraction.

Obviously, the worse we can do is to ban them, but you have to look

at both sides of the picture. Usually what happens is that the TSM fan

base takes it upon themselves to deal with troublemakers and they are almost always able to catch the user in the act and beat them to a pulp with witty, barbed wordings.

Q. So it appears that you were doing well … until the page got hacked. How and why did this happen? What now? Zain: The page was hacked on the first of May this year by someone we had an argument with on the page. We weren’t expecting this

to happen so we were not security conscious. Basically, a member of

our team had his email address public, so the malicious user reset his

password through his security questions. We tried everything to get it

back, contacted Facebook, Hotmail, the government, but nothing hap-

pened. The hacker appointed new administrators to the page, and even though we got an offer to come back and work under him, we refused. We are making another page, although we would still want the old

page back. We put in a lot of effort, it just doesn’t feel right. I had the option to have the page removed completely, but that would just put all the work to waste.

Qasim: It’s hard to know at this point who exactly is running the page because of the preference of the current admins to stay hidden. As

such, I cannot answer this question with certainty. One reason that’s made me stick around personally is the incredible response the TSM

fan-base gave when they heard the page was hacked and how passionately they defended our rights to own the page.

Q. With the page in the hands of someone else, what could they do with it? Do you think there is any power in controlling such a large forum? What have you gained from the experience? Zain: The page has thousands of active young readers, and once we used it to advertise a charity event. To our surprise about 200 people

showed up. We also sold t-shirts through it. I’m sure one could influ-

ence the users into doing a lot. As for us, I worked as a social marketer and I am currently working as a marketing executive because of the

fame that came with starting this project. We have also received numerous job offers.

Hamza: TSM had a good run. I don’t think we want to replicate that

after the hacking, and we now want to do something new. For now, we are looking ahead. We are planning new projects now; one of them is a

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video project.

SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


REVIEW

mash-up smash-up BY NOMAN ANSARI

Oh, what a difference a little self-deprecating humour can make. The first Expendables, which starred every A-List action star you can think of, was largely a disappointment. It turned out to be an underwhelming action film, featuring has-been stars that provided little more than nostalgia value. The sequel, which features more action, more stars and more corpses, works better primarily because it has the good sense to poke fun at the legacy of its aging stars. Unfortunately for the all major stars on display, not all of the film’s plentiful humour seems intentional. I hate to use a cliché, but the script in Expendables 2 is so bad that it’s good. If the film’s predecessor was like a grenade that didn’t go off, then the Expendables 2 is like the explosive that took out its target as well as the guy throwing the bomb. The film stars Sylvester Stallone (Barney Ross), Jason Statham (Lee Christmas), Jet Li (Yin Yang), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), Randy Couture (Toll Road), Dolph Lundgren (Jensen), Liam Hemsworth

more bored than ‘bourn’ed BY NOMAN ANSARI

The cold and realistic direction of the highly successful Jason Bourne trilogy redefined the spy genre to such a degree that even the iconic James Bond franchise ended up revamping its flashy style when rebooting with the steely Casino Royale (2006). It wasn’t just the clinical style of the Bourne films that made them a success, however. The highly charismatic lead Matt Damon (Jason Bourne), who rose to superstardom playing the sympathetic on-the-run spy, carried the films as the magnetic face of the trilogy. Interestingly enough, while this fourth installment in the franchise has ‘Bourne’ in the film’s name, it doesn’t actually have the title character in the film. The Bourne Legacy overlaps the timeline of the third film and has a new lead in Jeremy Renner, who plays another agent by the name of Aaron Cross. Unfortunately, while Renner is a fine actor, this latest Bourne film feels a little lacking without Matt Damon and suffers from a style that is becoming overly familiar. But that’s not all. After an engaging first half, things quickly become tedious and the film starts relying on a tiresomely long and jarring action finale to wrap things up. Considering the original36 ity of the film’s predecessors, the sequence is disappointing and SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

(Billy the Kid), as the Team Expendables, an elite group of mercenaries. Our heroes are deployed to rescue a Chinese businessman from Nepal where they also help a mercenary, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Trench). In a scene stealing moment where reel life imitates real life, it is revealed that Arnold’s character has a strong historic rivalry with Sylvester Stallone’s character. After the mission, Barney is forced into an assignment by Mr Church (Bruce Willis). The team is soon caught off guard by arms dealer Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme), at which point the mission becomes personal one for the expendables. The film is professionally choreographed though the look is almost too gritty. The action sequences are fairly entertaining with all the muscle on display which, along with all the humorous moments, just about makes up for the lack of muscle in the film’s head.

somewhat dents the franchise’s legacy. The overly-indulgent action finale isn’t completely surprising considering that the new director for the franchise Tony Gilroy is inexperienced with action sequences. And although Gilroy has co-written all four Bourne films, the narrative here doesn’t quite hold up either with an overly complex plot that adds more twists than were necessary. The characterisation keeps things afloat, especially with Aaron Cross, an on-the-run super-agent looking for the pills that make him tick. While Cross is not always convincing as an action hero, the sincerity of his character makes him interesting. The other character of note is scientist Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) who, after surviving a harrowing work place shooting, is rescued by Cross from CIA assassins. Here, the two start an almost formal working relationship while being chased across continents. Although there is some chemistry, the film doesn’t force a romance on its two leads, showing much appreciated restraint. It is just a pity that Gilroy didn’t show as much restraint in other areas of the film, ultimately making The Bourne Legacy a mission that suffers from too many casualties to be considered a successful part of the legacy.


into the dark BY NOMAN ANSARI

Directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, ParaNorman is a fun 3D stopmotion animated film, which showcases its attractive visuals by taking on the difficult task of combining an old-school look with contemporary technology. The result is a highly spirited (pun intended) film about a boy who can talk to ghosts, with visuals that look as if they were inspired by the cover art for the children’s scary book series Goosebumps. ParaNorman’s uniqueness isn’t limited to just the art direction; it is one of those rare children’s films that successfully mesh comedy with horror through an amusing narrative, strong characterisation and also has something on offer for viewers of all ages. Rarer still is the fact that the film features a character that is openly gay — a first, I believe, for animated films. What is heartening is that it is handled in a manner that doesn’t feel tacky, while at the same time providing a life lesson for its target audience. The film is about a boy called Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is a bit of a loner because no one believes his claim that he is able to speak to the ghosts in his small town. Not only is he treated like an outcast by his family, but is also bullied by his peers for his supposed

a terrible, terrible joke! BY AYESHA ARIF

Q. What’s worse than sitting through the 100 minutes of Joker? Ans: Writing about it without being able to use some first-rate swearwords. Lucky for you the plot, or the lack therof, is not something I have the slightest desire to revisit. Suffice it to say is that there’s an obscure village in India that is completely inhabited by mental patients. The village has absolutely no female inhabitants (save for the ubiquitous item girl) and yet still has a thriving population. Then there’s Akshay Kumar, who plays a US-based space scientist who eventually turns out to be the biggest mental patient of them all, his silly girlfriend, Sonakshi Sinha, who has no personality to speak of, and a lot of nonsensical alien shenanigans. Spielberg should learn a lesson or two from the Bollywood geniuses who made this film, because apparently aliens made out of watermelons and bitter-gourds can fool even the best at Nasa! The last nail in the coffin of the plot, however, is the low brow attempt at political satire which completely misses the mark. In Joker, director Shirish Kunder makes fun of politicians, villagers, aliens, space scientists, science itself, people with mental disabilities, people with physical disabilities and even ends up making a fool of himself. The only thing that he manages to do success-

supernatural talents. He befriends Neil Downe (Tucker Albrizzi), a chubby boy who is also bullied for being overweight, and the two share a charming friendship. Soon, Norman begins to have cryptic and horrific visions of the town’s past, where he is being chased by the townsfolk for having supernatural abilities. Later, during a school play, Norman has an even stronger vision which results in catastrophe, and he ends up being punished by his parents for causing a commotion. Norman is eventually convinced by his deranged uncle, Mr Prenderghast (John Goodman), to take these omens seriously, and from here he begins his quest to try and save his town. ParaNorman’s creators clearly love the horror genre, and provide us with tons of winks and nods that long-time horror fans will appreciate. The film’s otherworldly aspects aren’t likely to frighten children however, and I suspect younger viewers will get the same joy out of this film as those who, like me, grew up reading Goosebumps books.

fully is to unveil the extent of his own creative disability. He did however save quite a few people from serious embarrassment by taking on the roles of scriptwriter, dialogue writer, editor, lyricist and director and therefore, deserves all the credit for this colossal catastrophe. Now to the acting, Akshay Kumar needs to stop, just stop; he is ruining whatever is left of his credibility as an actor. Sonakshi Sinha’s entire role revolves around looking pretty (which doesn’t work out either). Shreyas Talpade as Babban is cringe-worthy, and the love angle between Shreyas and Minisha Lamba is puke inducing at best. Joker boasts of a flawed concept, distasteful dialogues, jaded jokes, awful acting, jarred editing, recycled lyrics, and very ordinary songs. The only two positives are Sudeep Chatterjee’s cinematography, which is outstanding as always, and Sukant Panigrahy’s art direction which resulted in the beautiful village sets. I implore you to not make the same mistake as I did and stay away from Joker unless you are a masochist in the true sense of 37 the word. SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012


Are you capable of drawing a straight line? Do you have a comic or doodle that you think will have us rolling on the floor with

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laughter? If you’ve answered yes to all those questions then send in your creations to magazine@tribune.com.pk SEPTEMBER 23-29 2012

www.ussamanaveed.wordpress.com

BY USSAMA BIN NAVEED

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The Express Tribune Magazine - September 23