Dunkirk: A Review, ft. A Harry Stan.

If you dwell upon planet earth in the 21st century, you have heard of this not so huge deal called World War 2. This is the subject of Christopher Nolan’s latest cinematic masterpiece. It focuses on the Dunkirk evacuation(I didn’t know about it until the movie either)  and truly was an emotionally and visually splendid experience and yes, it’s that also known as that movie with Harry Styles in it.

For this completely unbiased review, I am consulting Harry’s supposed wife for her thoughts on the matter.

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Give us three adjectives to describe the movie:

Nasrin: Phenomenal, Exceptional, unexpected.

Faatimah: Riveting, Emotional, Breathtaking.

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Reason to watch the movie apart from Harry?

Nasrin: Besides the incredibly good-looking cast, it shows you a side of soldiers than you don’t get to see and it depicts the struggles of getting back home, as well as different type of soldiers

Faatimah: As a history enthusiast, it was great to feel engaged with the story and the era At times it felt like you were a soldier or a pilot, and it further enabled the emotional impact. OH, and cute pasty British boys.

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Comments on visuals and the score:

Nasrin: The cinematography was brilliant, it had air, sea, and land. It had the clicking timer which added to the emotional build ups. visuals made you feel like you were there.

Faatimah: The story was nonlinear and you had to take visual cues to piece the story together, which helped because war films can seem monotonous at times and the gloomy aesthetics helped capture the dreary and miserable atmosphere, almost devoid of hope. The score made every scene that much more captivating and poignant, and gun shots sent tingles up your spine.

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Favourite character:

Nasrin: Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), obviously I love Harry but his character was a dick

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Faatimah: The fighter pilot played by Tom Hardy, who was the REAL UNDERRATED HERO.

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What made the movie stand apart from other war films?

Nasrin: The film focused more on the youths that were forced into war. Other war films are boring and lackluster and focus on the romanticism of women staying home and waiting for their husbands and loved ones.

Faatimah: By featuring an ensemble cast, it offered new and fresh perspectives. Granted, they were all white males, however, it allowed us to empathize with more than just the soldiers, but those men left behind, who felt their need to fight.  It wasn’t unnecessarily crude or graphic either, you can only stomach so many mangled bodies.

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On a scale of 1-5 one direction members, how would you rate the movie?

Nasrin: 4/5- because if I rated it with Zayn that would mean it sucks.

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Faatimah: 3.5

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In all honesty, despite my reluctance when it came to Harry’s acting prowess and my general aversion to pure action movies, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It might go down as one of the most surreal World War 2 movies I’ve seen this far, and it doesn’t hurt that it is factually accurate too. It’s no drawn out romance or sob fest, but rather a study of new perspectives and the human condition at the time, although it can at times seem plotless. My all time favourite movie with war as a major theme still goes to Testament of Youth, I highly recommend it.  Also, Dunkirk is best enjoyed in IMAX.

SPOILER ALERT: HARRY HAS MORE THAN 10 MINUTES OF SCREENTIME.

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Kdramas: A Journey 

WARNING: THEY WILL MAKE YOU CRAVE NOODLES AT ODD HOURS.

If you spend any considerable amount of time on the Internet and consider yourself a Television connoisseur much like myself, then you would have heard of K dramas. A.K.A Korean dramas. What was once a niche fandom, has exploded in recent years, Kpop as well has quite literally(yeah ted mosby is yelling at me for using it in this fashion) taken over the globe. 

I was very skeptical at first, and was blinded by only mainstream white romances given to me on screen and the occasional Bollywood extravaganza. There was a whole world of fluff I let go unnoticed and it truly is a shame that I came this far in life without them. 


While I was on YouTube about a month ago, doing my general browsing and binging, a video recommendation came up. “5 easy k dramas to get into for beginners” and my heart was set. At first the subtitles are bit disconcerting, the bright lights of Seoul attack your senses and so the campy effects and THEY REALLY LOVE SCREAMING. The characters are over the top in every manner, effects almost cartoonish and it just takes time to adjust to the unfamiliar cultural ways. Once you let yourself become immersed, there is no escape.  


Korean men dazzle you with their dewy skin, soft hair and coat + polar neck combos leave you WEAK. Seriously, Koreans are SO insanely fashionable, and it’s really cold it seems so it’s a plus for me in terms of modest clothing ideas. The actions are lively and the romances are sickly sweet but in all the best ways. It’s like cotton candy, you know you shouldn’t devour it, but once your start, you can’t stop yourself.. you might even reach for seconds. 


The first time drama I watched, resulted in me sleeping at 6AM, in pursuit of finishing it. They’re quite nifty and around 16 hours of pure enjoyment, and one season so no nasty cliffhangers but just expected romantic fulfillment. About 6 more dramas down the line, I don’t know who I was before them. I can speak a little Korean and can mimic iconic mannerisms and gestures, my soul is no longer my own but rather in SEOUL(see what I did there?) and a me a stereotypical Apple customer, finds myself attracted to ridiculous Samsungs. I’ve learned about concepts such as “second lead syndrome”, made memes from certain poetic scenes and mostly irritated the hell out of my friends with my constant Kwoes.

I can’t even describe how light and committed I feel when I start a new drama(also not all are good, I will attest to this) but hits all the tingly heart pleasure centers and I radiate positivity, that is when I’m not screaming at my screen when some utterly ridiculous obstacle gets in the way of my OTP(so about every five seconds roughly)

I’d recommend them to anyone who LOVES ROMANCE, sassy characters and who is willing to get to know a different culture with an non judgmental lens and also ready to never have a social life again. They’re progressive and fresh there is one for almost every mood, time period or ridiculous scenario. You might wonder how far back American TV really is and if you’re not too risqué this is as PG as it gets, I assure you and strangely, rather insightful. 

Aladdin Casting Discourse And My One Wish To Rectify It. 

On July 15th, its as announced that the leads of Aladdin had been found, after much scrutiny and uproar over Riz Ahmed and Dev Patel being passed on. Mena Massoud is our delightful titular character of Aladdin and is of Egyptian descent, his casting was met with generally positive comments, however with Naomi Scott as the Arabian princess jasmine, fans and Internet trolls alike were angered. 

 

Let’s get the facts and my personal opinions on the matter straight. Naomi is half English, and half Indian according to herself and most sources. Her mother was born in Uganda and emigrated to the United Kingdom. Do I believe the role of Jasmine should have gone to an Arab? Hell yes, be we can’t solely blame Naomi for the casting decision and we need to have an open discussion on Disney’s problematic  Portrayal of middle eastern culture in the film. 

Setting and culture: 

The backdrop to the famous tale which in early versions is of Chinese origin is the fictional city of Agrabah. Conveniently located near the Jordan river and has a large Taj Mahal-Esque monument at the city centre. Jasmine is the daughter of a Sultan, which also existed in India and had a pet tiger named Rajah. Tigers are predominantly found in India and a symbol of the county and the name Rajah means Indian prince or king. My point is, for a movie set in Arabia, there is a ton of South Asian influence, with these being only a few examples. 

Brown skin 

Both Aladdin and Jasmine are undoubtedly PoC and displayed brown skin in the animated classic. As a kid with brown skin, surrounded by white princesses, they meant a lot to me and how I felt represented. However, as I grow older and hopefully wiser, I understand now that brown people are NOT interchangeable, now matter how included I felt. When the live action film was first announced, the Internet raced to draft their fancasts and at the forefront were Desi actors and Bollywood stars. Avan Jogia with his tousled brown locks and Zayn Malik with his melodious voice were amongst the most popular contenders. Keep in mind, the Internet had no issues that both these gentlemen are in fact, mixed(in an almost identical way to Naomi)

In Hollywood, when you’re brown, the only acting jobs available to you are that of the taxi driver or terrorist variety. There’s no discrimination in terms of your exact shade of brown or your ethnicity,  that tinge of melanin makes you perfect to mutter incoherent Arabic or have no lines at all. 

Dear Disney, I’m giving you one request. Grant me one wish with your magic lamp. It may seem like a big one, but I think it might solve some problems. You’ve already made the mistake of confusing cultures, so rectify it. Address Naomi’s heritage in the film, address the mix of cultures present at the time in the hustle and bustle of a busy city filled with travelers and merchants from different nations.  It might make a world of a difference. 

In light of the casting of Naomi, she’s received a ton of hatred and backlash. Her ethnicity is being picked apart and rumours are floating around that her mother is also mixed, making her “3/4” white. She herself, has contradicted this statement. When power rangers released, she was lauded as a PoC rep, but as jasmine, she’s suddenly too white. It must be slightly horrifying to have your identity butchered by strangers on the internet. I don’t defend her choice to take on the role and deny an Arab actress, but I do understand it. It’s the role of a lifetime for any PoC actress, who is already limited by Hollywood’s Eurocentric standards. 

Disney executives made the choice to include south Asians when it came to casting, and the same behind the scenes team chose Naomi for the iconic role, yet they aren’t vilified to the extent that she is. If the past decade is any indication as to Hollywood’s treatment of PoC culture in film, we got off mildly. I’m not saying that we should accept their decisions, but it is a small step forward in terms of representation. If we look at the Prince of Persia, we had the Jake Gyllenhaal parading around with fellow spicy white, Gemma Aterton. In addition, we have two-timer Ben Kingsley( mixed English and Gujarati heritage) featuring in both Imposter of Persia and Avan Jogia’s (Indian and European ancestry) King Tut. Avan and Ben are both very much not Egyptian, yet proceeded with the projects anyway. With Aladdin adding South Asian elements to the film, it gave Disney the loophole to cast someone much like Naomi as Princess Jasmine. 

 If we take anything from this, it would be that there’s still a long way to go in terms of PoC representation. We should fight for our causes but think about people who are taking on those roles and who let them take on the roles. For now, I just hope the rest of the cast is mainly Arab, we know Will Smith as the genie is not, but considering that the genie was a magical entity voiced by Robin Williams, I am going to let it slide. Be mindful of the hate you spew, and let’s just hope for the best. 

Then again, a friend did tag me in this hilariously accurate meme. Same name and almost exact age, DRAG ME.

Being the Ringmaster to the circus within my brain

While my life can very much be compared to a duller version of a circus and I do have a cat more than willing to jump through fiery hoops(sans animal cruelty), it is the one lurking within, that I address. Controlling and chaotic, feverishly entertaining and yet, dark enough to depress.

It starts with the seamless orchestration of this idea of perfection I have in mind. There is no room for error. I am performing acrobatic leaps of an irrational nature- reaching new bounds. Your friends secretly hate you. A B? pathetic really.

I juggle too. Happiness, reality and my goals. While one soars high above, the others remain compromised. Happiness rarely gets a chance at the top.In between acts, a clown appears to taunt me for my stupidity. Handkerchiefs for my tears and a red nose swapped out for red eyes.

I bend and contort myself to please others, resembling whatever shape they desire.Really, I am suffocating, trapped amongst my thoughts, never thinking outside the box I let society put me in.The adrenaline pumping, my heart furiously punching out of my chest and an audience, cheering, mesmerized by how close I walk the tightrope of failure. Warm popcorn and sticky candyfloss packets, stay littered like stray thoughts, fulfilling in the moment, trash in retrospect.

It is to you I bow my hat and curtsy, my mind. Wracked by anxiety and paranoia, putting on this dazzling show. Extravagant lights and a red topped tent. You invite people to cheer on the charade. The price of a ticket?Why only a portion of my happiness

 

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5 Reasons Why Fikile Mbalula And Chrissy Teigen Are Totally The Same Person

Our dearest current Minister of Police is no stranger to the world of social media stardom, but recently I can’t help but notice that he bears striking similarities another popular tweeter, it is, of course, our anointed Savior, dragger extraordinaire and notorious pizza eater (totally relatable) Chrissy Teigen. Want proof? You have come to the right place.

  1. THEY BOTH HAVE THE GREATEST COMEBACKS

         2. THEY BOTH LOVE TO DRAG TRUMP

  1. THEY ARE BOTH FEATURED ON BUZZFEED
  1. THEY BOTH MAKE INCREDIBLE MEMES
  1. THEY BOTH LIVE TWEET THEIR JOBS

So there you have it. Who would have ever thought a local minister could ever match the wits displayed by a model and TV Personality, but screenshots never lie. They’re fighting battles out there, one with crime, the other with lip syncing, but BOTH with the trolls on Twitter.

The anti-lifestyle blog

Blogging culture in recent years has exploded, every second person on Instagram reviews makeup or cafes and is doing an elaborate giveaway with an up and coming brand. I am proud of their success and at times, yes, a little envious,  because I too would like to enjoy the fruits of free stuff- I am Indian after all. I have, however, resided myself to the fact, that I will never be able to maintain such a facade. A self-proclaimed hermit studying tirelessly- in between binging new series and not living my best life. My life is too mundane to grace your feeds with that perfectly timed aesthetic coffee shot(You know, the one where you had to rearrange the sugar bowl and ask your friend to move their hand out of the shot). If you want to know my days usually go, well, you are in for a wild, thrilling and utterly boring ride.

7-8 AM- usually get out of bed, scroll through social media for a good few minutes. Breakfast is toast and butter or on the days when I’m watching my chiseled physique- special K, otherwise known as flavoured cardboard.

How to get my look: own a pair or jeans, loose culottes or tights and pair it with a collared shirt(the ones that were in like 3 years ago) or if you are at home- comfy sweats and literally any t-shirt with an ironic/ quirky saying. Sometimes a fangirl shirt- where maybe 5 people compliment you and the rest stare in bemusement.

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On my way to campus: It’s time for me to send my daily scheduled “I hate my life, I’d like this day to end” snapchat(with the latest adorable filter) to my many adoring fans( A.K.A my friends who have no choice but to entertain my whims). Sometimes, I throw in a ridiculous pun or two

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9-12: I try my hardest not to fall asleep in lectures and ask myself at least three times, why I pay half a home loan to have people read slides to me in a monotonous, monotone voice. On days off, I am probably on my fifth episode of the day and or still asleep.

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1-2: Ahh lunch, last night’s leftovers, a cheese sandwich or savouries, Mighty appetizing, totally worth the gram.

Late afternoon: I get home, seek out my cat who runs away from me and has more of a social life and then proceed to nap away my misery.

Evening: the overwhelming existential crisis strikes, I contemplate dropping out of uni and marrying a rich old billionaire or getting off my ass and starting to study for my test or doing the tut I am itching to skip.

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Supper: Depends on my mother’s mood and level of “today I want to outdo all the other mothers and try a new kitchen queen’s recipe” or here have toasted cheese.

The hours before I drift into nothingness: scroll, scroll, hahaha funny meme, sends to/tags friend. More memes, tweet something no one else finds funny or cares about, scroll, scroll, existential crisis part 2 because I read about Trump’s presidency or literally anything in the news, shade someone, scroll, scroll.

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PEACEFUL SLUMBER: dreams of meeting my favourite South Asian actors and or an irrelevant twitter crush.

So there you have it, friends. My hauls include hauling myself out of bed, a review of that person I tried not to make eye contact with and products used: the most important of all and highly coveted: WILL TO LIVE.

Disclaimer: while this is, in fact, how most of my days end up, I love fashion, makeup and trying out cute cafes- I just do it far less often than I would like. 

 

She changed her degree.

She changed her degree?

She wasted a year.

What in the heavens is she doing now?

She wasted money.

How will she get a job in this country?

She wasted her potential.

Why can’t she just do a health science?

She is going to waste a good life.

The past year, to say the least, has been a bit traumatic for me. I, did, in fact, change my degree and as such my entire expected life path. It was not easy, but it was a healthy and conscious choice to stand up to my parents. I still can’t fathom that at 17, I had to make the choice of what I wanted to do with my life and I completely botched it.

I was, like many teens, confused about the future and what life held for me. My parents pushed health sciences or IT and my heart yearned for journalism or law. My parents are not bad people, they’re just rightfully cautious ones who give into the whole Indian stereotype and wanted what they felt was best for me. I am a stubborn person, so when the acceptances rolled around, part of me even though I didn’t know it at the time, rebelled. I rebelled in the only way I knew how, potentially ruining my own life. I decided that within the field of science I would study rocks, because I had a penchant for geography, and after much reluctance, my parents accepted on the basis that it was, in fact, A SCIENCE.

I psyched myself up, ready with sharpened pencils, an open mind, and caverns filled with enthusiasm. “YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS” was my motto. I attended all my lectures, pushed as hard as I could and yet had this aching, gnawing feeling within me knew that I did not belong there at all. How could I possibly have chosen this?  A predominantly outdoor career for a computer addicted, pizza eating blob of a human? I LAUGH NOW BUT REALLY, HOW DID I DO THIS?

The year progressed and I looked at hundreds of rock specimens, passed my tests and went on exhausting field trips to find direction and yet I could never orientate my life. Lying to myself, my parents and even my friends became easier with time. “It’s really interesting” “Mum, did you know our kitchen granite is actually fake and you were scammed?” “DIAMONDS ARE A MINERAL AND NOT A ROCK”.

Feelings of isolation didn’t help either. One of few women and the only Muslim in my class. Sometimes, I’d just crave a friend or someone who understood me, but no one really did. People were kind, but I kept a suitable distance and never formed lasting attachments because I didn’t want to have a reason to stay.

My depression found solid ground in my brain, mining away in my consciousness, taking the precious resource of happiness and I retreated further into myself. By May, I decided I was unhappy and told my parents. I applied for a safe health science for the following year. I felt that maybe they did know best and I should decidedly live out my life as a cliché.

The real change occurred when I was approached by my dearest cousin who lives halfway across the world. I poured out my feelings of regret and confusion, with the help of her and my uncle, I did it. I applied for law in October and here I am now, four applicable credits to my name, in a new degree.

I can’t say my life has magically morphed into sunshine and rainbows, but I can say that I am in a much better, brighter place. The occasional snide remarks still find their way into my life, by an old aunt or a judgemental sibling. Having to explain my story surely does get old after the 60th time too. ‘Yes, I changed” “yes, how strange from geology to law”.

The reason I decided to finally put this into words is because if there is anyone out there who is scared to change or feels stuck, know that you are not alone. Yeah, that sounds like a sappy hallmark card, but it is true. You have options, you have time and it’s okay to not be sure. Trust yourself. That is all I ask.

 

My insecurities about college summed up by Daria.

 Swiitch Beauty, We’ve Got Receipts  

Disclaimer: Makeup and its tools are very personal, so something that might not work for me could be a holy grail for you. Do not be offended if your favourite beauty items are included in my review.

Any South African makeup-lover knows my struggle of trying to get my hands on international makeup brands or dupes without breaking the bank. Swiitchbeauty conveniently seemed like the perfect solution to all my problems, it was an OG Instagram makeup seller. Granted the price point is not as friendly on my student budget, I found that I was able to buy items I wanted that are not sold in national stores. In total, I have purchased five brushes from them, a brush cleaning glove and an eyebrow kit. The brush glove works phenomenally and the quality has not deteriorated since purchase. I honestly wish I could say the same for the brushes.

The items I purchased:

#G31CONTOURBRUSH // CONTOURING MAKEUP BRUSH

#F80DUOFIBER // DUO FIBER FOUNDATION BRUSH

#LUXESPHERE // ULTRA-LUXE MULTIPURPOSE BRUSH

#JAPANESEBLUSHBRUSH // ARTISAN BLUSH TOOL

#BLEND8 – 8PC EYESHADOW BRUSH SET

#BROWGAMEINBOX // EYEBROW FILLING KIT

#BRUSHLOVEGLOVE // TEXTURED MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANING GLOVE

 

Specifically speaking about the “LUXESPHERE // ULTRA-LUXE MULTIPURPOSE BRUSH”, I purchased it at the Cape Town pop-up shop. A few weeks later, it broke and I tried direct messaging them to fix the problem.  At first things seemed to go well and they said they would definitely exchange my brush but then they just ignored my messages for more than a month. I had messaged them on twitter and even emailed the owner but I had gotten no replies.

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At some point, the account messaged me again because I tagged a friend in of their posts saying the same brushes can be found on AliExpress.

 

Overall, I would not purchase from this brand again. Reasons besides the obvious, their customer service is terrible and the quality of the products are not worth the price point.

 

Written By: Nasrin Lavangee @nasrinstop

That time I did a makeup haul- NOT CLICKBAIT

DISCLAIMER: This post is to humorously bring light to the hypocrisy and falsehoods prevalent amongst the beauty community and in a satirical manner.Personally, I would know nothing about makeup without bloggers and YouTubers and love watching their hauls, tutorials and reviews, however some are more trustworthy than others. Take this with a pinch of salt and a good laugh.

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*lights scented candle amongst myriads of fairy lights to set mood*

Hello my lovelies,

As you all know I am well known South-African based beauty blogger and the basis of piggybacked opinions by dozens of impressionable viewers. This  haul will features almost everything necessary for a full face of makeup and will include a variety of high-end(not available here at any reasonable price or ease) and drugstore, because we don’t discriminate based on budget- just skin colour. I reserve the right to tell you whether or not I received any of the products for free.

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To set the stage for the master illusion, start off with a good pore-filling primer. My holy-grail is the Benefit Pore-fessional, as it really showcases how poorly professional I can be and fills in the crevices of my facade, with the added bonus of making it last for 16 hours.

Next, we move on to Foundation, with every layer lighter than my neck, I build up a bigger, deluded fan-base. I use the L’oreal- pro matte- infallible of course, much like myself.

Concealer is possibly most important, fortunately for me I can skip the orangey-red colour corrector for dark circles because I don’t lose sleep over the lies I pedal, however a generous layer of LA girl PRO (what I like to think I am) to mask imperfections usually does the trick. But I am not sure if anyone is baked enough to take me seriously.

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Now, it is all about blending seamlessly into the crowd of typical beauty gurus, never standing out- generic. I have the choice of dabbing(original beauty blender) or swiitch(ing) it up and brushing(Real Techniques) away the haters.

You know, way back when I was one of those girls who probably bullied other girls for having thick bushy brows, but look at me now trying to emulate them, stroke by stroke thanks to Anastasia’s Brow Wiz that she didn’t even need Hogwarts to create.

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For the real deception, we focus on the eyes- the windows to the soul after all. The lies hidden in the shadows of my Tarte pallets. The glitter to dazzle and enchant. The roller lash mascara forming clumps- much like cliquey bloggers, the trusty glue to the falsies holding together my false claims and lastly the perfect winged liner using Kat Von D’s Trooper- aptly named to describe my fans.

Once all colour in my face has seemingly been lost, it is time to contour- gently carving out affiliate codes with Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer, a dash of NYX dusty rose blush- be careful not to be pricked by its thorns and lastly the glow to blind all reason- intoxicatingly luminous Champagne Pop by Becca and my dearest bestie Jaclyn Hill (I wish).

To perfectly bring this look into fruition, I’d go with a bright coral colour like beeper  from colourpop to distract you from how much time you’ve wasted reading this and to really lock it all in, I use Urban Decay All-Nighter, so the lies don’t budge.

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That’s it for this weeks haul, please subscribe and give me those beautiful likes from your beautiful faces.

Au revoir.

 

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For her.

As my head rests back on the sandstone covered stairs, I look to the vast blue skies the muse to so many romantic poets and come to the conclusion that while I am romantic, I am no poet. Collections of dust and dizziness float above me, seen through my own skewed perceptive lens(literally in my case). I try to shake the insurmountable weight on my figurative shoulders as well as the very real aching knots within. She makes me despise who I am, what I say, do, eat and every breath I take seems like an inconvenience to her gilded path. “Don’t take her seriously, you’re so rare and special, embrace your differences,” the comment that seems like a slap in my face and feelings. I’m allowed to feel even too much the way I do, swallow back the tears and cuddle the tiger looking cat. I am entitled to drift like the white clouds in and out of my sad state or consider never going back in, but only I believe this- and far too deep down inside. So I sigh a real sigh and and lift the heavy expanse of my body and soul further into my thoughts.