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- Action movies are always a delight to watch
- The new-age Hollywood action flicks are getting better day by day
The new age action genres are no longer made up of movies strictly meant to dominate the summer box office.
The old fashion of action genre movies strictly meant to dominate the summer box office has melted down the lane. Now action flicks are released year-round, and they still dominate the box office. Not only there is a surge in the action movie making but they’re also getting smarter, are more sophisticated, and are attracting Oscar-caliber actors who want to flex their talents and get big payouts.
Also Read: Top 10 Kamal Haasan Movies To Watch Out
The year 2017 saw new instalments in beloved action franchises, some timely and gritty reboots, and the requisite superhero movies.
Take a look at the biggest action movies of the Hollywood in the year 2017.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Episode VIII of the Star Wars is a 2017 American epic space film directed and written by Rian Johnson. It is the second continuation of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main instalment of the Star Wars franchise, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
The plot revolves around Rey as she receives Jedi training from Luke Skywalker, in hopes of turning the tide for the Resistance in the fight against Kylo Ren and the First Order.
Logan is an American superhero film which has garnered a lot of fans over the years. The movie is produced by Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment and The Donners’ Company. The movie is distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the tenth episode in the X-Men film series, as well as the third and final Wolverine solo film following X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine.
Logan has taken inspiration from “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, follows an aged Wolverine and an extremely ill Professor X defending a young mutant Laura from the villainous Reavers and Alkali-Transigen.
- John Wick: Chapter 2
The chapter 2 of John Wick is an action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad. The second sequel to the John Wick film series, the plot follows hitman John Wick, who goes on the run after a bounty is placed on his head. The movie featured Ruby Rose, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio and Ian McShane.
The second part of John Wick also marks the first collaboration between Reeves and Fishburne since appearing together in The Matrix trilogy.
- Wonder Woman
The movie, Wonder Woman is based on the DC Comics character and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the fourth sequel to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and is directed by Patty Jenkins. The movie featured Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the lead role. Other supporting actors include Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, and Elena Anaya.
Following Gal Gadot’s debut in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman is the second live-action theatrical film featuring the titular character. The movie is about the story of Diana Prince, who grows up on the Amazon island of Themyscira. Then Diana leaves her home to end the conflict.
- Justice League
Justice League is a superhero based film on the DC Comics superhero team. It is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and is directed by Zack Snyder and is the fifth instalment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Justice league starred Ben Affleck in the lead role and other as, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, and J. K. Simmons.
In Justice League, the Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg form a team to honour the memory of Superman. Later they save earth from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.
- Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: Ragnarok is the continuation of 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. The movie is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor. Thor: Ragnarok is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
The movie is the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Taika Waititi. Thor: Ragnarok features Chris Hemsworth as Thor and others as Tessa Thompson, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum and Anthony Hopkins. In the movie, Thor tries to escape the alien planet Sakaar in time to save Asgard from Hela and the impending Ragnarök.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. The movie is co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios. The Homecoming is the second Spider-Man film and the sixteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is directed by Jon Watts. Spider-Man: Homecoming features Tom Holland in the lead role and others as Donald Glover and Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya Robert Downey Jr. Spider-Man: Homecoming is distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.
The movie plot is about Peter Parker, who tries to balance high school life with being Spider-Man while facing the Vulture.
Dunkirk is a British, American, French, and Dutch co-production movie depicting the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II. It is written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan and was distributed by Warner Bros.
Dunkirk cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan and Tom Hardy.
Tenali Ramakrishna, or Tenali Raman as he is more popularly known is Birbal's equivalent in South India. A court jester and a scholar exuding great wisdom, Tenali Raman was known as one of the greatest courtiers in King Krishnadevaraya's court.
The Vijayanagar Empire ruled a large part of South India between 1336 and 1646. In the 16th century, the kingdom rose to prominence under the eminent leadership of King Krishnadevaraya. His continuous victories against his enemies ensured a successful and peaceful reign for his subjects. As a patron of art and literature, many crafts and cultural assets thrived in the empire.
Krishnadevaraya's beloved courtier, Tenali Raman is the finest example of the splendour of the Vijayanagar empire. He was born in Tenali, a town in Andhra Pradesh. He lived here until he lost his father, after which his mother brought him to Vijayanagar. He was discovered for his excellent wit and wisdom, and appointed in the court. He was one of the king's ashtadiggajas (collective name for the eight poets and scholars).
A statue of Tenali Ramakrishna near a Municipal Office in Andhra Pradesh Image source: wikimedia commons
Tenali Raman as a scholar, published great texts of wisdom, which have now become artefacts of the Kingdom of Vijayanagara. But his fame does not lie in these achievements. He is known for the mischievous jester that mythical folklore portrays him to be. Through stories, many writers have used jokes to impart wisdom and morals to many generations of people. The stories of Tenali Raman are almost legendary in the Southern peninsula.
Textbooks have been written with his moral stories in mind, and these days, many self-help book are also incorporating his wisdom. His most popular stories are, 'Mother Tongue', 'Cursed Face', 'Saluting the Donkeys' and many more. Through these stories, Tenali Raman, in some way, brought about social justice. Perhaps this is why he is most beloved by many people even today.
Keywords: Tenali Raman, Vijayanagar empire, Krishnadevaraya, Jester, Wisdom
It must be noted that different religions and societies in Southeast Asia have alternative narratives of Ramayana, one of the greatest epic.
Here are some of the versions of Ramayana!
Dasaratha Jakarta: The Buddhist Version
Interestingly, this version of Ramayana does not mention Ravana at all and in fact, there’s no mention of Sita’s abduction, too. In this version, Dasaratha is the king of Benaras and not Ayodhya. Also, Rama and Sita leaves kingdom and go to the Himalayas and not forests. Then, after twelve years, Rama and Sita return back to Benaras and get married.
Paumachariya: The Jaina Version
In this version, Lakshamana is the killer of Ravana and not Rama. Here, Rama is an ardent follower of Jainism, and so he cannot be the killer of Ravana. Also, this version states an army of warrior and not monkeys, as stated in Valmiki’s Ramayana. Another interesting feature of this version is that Ramayana is not shown as a villain, rather a magnanimous king and follower of Jainism.
Gond Ramayani: The Gond Version
Gond is an adivasi clan belonging from Madhya Pradesh in India. Interestingly, in this version, the story begins from where Valmiki’s Ramayana ended; when Sita is rescued from captivity. Also, Bhima, one of the Pandavas from the epic of Mahabharata, is mentioned in this version. Unlike Valmiki’s Ramayana, Rama is not the protagonist in this version.
Ramakien: The Thai Version
This is considered as Thailand's national epic, and is still taught in some schools in the country. In this version, Ravana is shown as a learned scholar and a noble king in this version. Also, Ravana’s pursuit for Sita is depicted as true love. There are a lot of similarities between this version of Ramayana and Valmiki’s version, but this version lays a lot of emphasis on Hanuman.
When a baby is born in an Indian household-they invite hijra to shower the newborn with their blessings for their blessings confer fertility, prosperity, and long life on the child. But when that child grows up we teach them to avert their eyes when a group of hijras passes by, we pass on the behaviour of treating hijras as lesser humans to our children. Whenever a child raises a question related to gender identity or sexuality they are shushed down. We're taught to believe that anything "deviant" and outside of traditional cis-heteronormativity is something to be ashamed of. This mentality raises anxious, scared queer adults who're ashamed of their own identity, and adults who bully people for "queer behaviour".
Hijras are a community of people who include eunuchs, intersex, and transgender people. They worship the Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility, Bahuchara Mata. Most hijras, but not all, choose to undergo a castration ceremony known as "nirvana" in which they remove their male genitalia as an offering to their goddess. The whole community is vibrant with hundreds of people with hundreds of ways of expression, the true identity of a hijra is complex and unique to each individual. In India, hijras prefer to refer to themselves as Kinner/Kinnar as it means the mythological beings who excel at singing and dancing.
Hijras worship the Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility, Bahuchara Mata.homegrown.co.in
The hijra community works systematically, the community separates itself from the outside world and teaches lessons to the young ones in secret. Each community has a guru and the other hijras are their disciples or chela. The "hijra ways of life" are taught to the disciples in a secluded environment where they leave their families and live with other hijras in the community. More often than not hijras are thought of as nothing different from transgender and often referred to as transgender; however, scientifically these two terms denote a different class of people. Hijras are a part of the whole community of people with various identities and of spiritual and cultural values meanwhile, transgender merely refers to those people whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned to them at birth, they are a part of the community and do not represent the whole community.
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Historically and culturally the community has existed in the Indian subcontinent as long as the civilization has existed. There are mentions of hijra in The Mahabharata, a holy book of Hindus. Shikhandi who was neither male nor female is a mythological legend. In another version of Mahabharata Arjuna, one of the Pandavas was cursed to be the third gender by Urvashi, when he refused to be sexually involved with her. In a story by Padma Purana, it is seen that Arjuna transforms into a woman to take part in Krishna's mystical dance which only women can take part in. The Hijra figures are prominent in Indian Mughal History as well, referred to as Khwaja Siras and known for their loyalty to the ruler, they worked as the sexless watchdogs of the Mughal harems. They held important positions in court and various facets of administration during Mughal-era India, from the 16th to 19th century. The Hijra community is a testament to the sexual diversity that is integral yet often forgotten in Indian culture.
If the whole hijra community was looked upon with enamor and respect in our history, what happened that when we come across the community we look at them with contempt and are filled with a mixture of negative, fear, laughter, and odd emotions. It's owing to the fact that under British Raj, the Criminal tribes Act 1871 hijras were criminalized and the law was made to eradicate the whole community. However, these acts were abolished by the Indian government after independence, and by 2014, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh all had officially recognized third gender people as citizens deserving of equal rights where the third gender means individuals categorizing themselves as neither male nor female. Even though the progress is slow but in 2015 Madhu Kinnar became the first hijra mayor in India was elected in the city of Raigarh.
ALSO READ: India's first Residential Transgender
Although the hijra community was revered by society and is invited to births and weddings for religious and spiritual ceremonies, they still become victims of abuse and discrimination. Violence and hate crimes against the community have become common. They are deprived of education, job opportunities, seating in restaurants, etc. leading them to live in poor conditions barely surviving. They often have to resort to begging and prostitution to earn a daily living. The government has tried to address this issue by introducing bills for the protection of the hijra community, with prison terms and other punishments for those offending them, but there is little to no less effect on the social stigma against the community.
In India, the hijra community comes under the umbrella term LGBTQ+ and we notice that they lack voice and representation when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. We need to understand that when we fight for LGBTQ+ rights we fight for the whole community, we fight for hijras who have been victims of violence, hate crimes, and disrespect from none other than the people of our society. And although hijras are a part of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, they have an independent subculture of their own. It is worth every effort to know about them, to study about them, to befriend them, and to smile at them for they are every bit of human as we are and they have nothing but blessings in their heart.