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Movie review: Is Men In Black International worth a watch?

Director F. Gary Gray’s “Men in Black: International”, the fourth instalment of the extra-terrestrial investigation, is a spin-off from the “Men In Black” film series, which is loosely based on the Marvel comics of the same name created by Lowell Cunningham. For the uninitiated, Men in Black is a top-secret organization established to monitor and…

Movie review: Is Men In Black International worth a watch?

Director F. Gary Gray’s “Men in Black: International”, the fourth instalment of the extra-terrestrial investigation, is a spin-off from the “Men In Black” film series, which is loosely based on the Marvel comics of the same name created by Lowell Cunningham.

For the uninitiated, Men in Black is a top-secret organization established to monitor and police, alien activity on Earth.

Stylishly mounted with comic book effects, that places equally intense attention to everything that suits its material, the film has a determined, more than natural, feel of high energy that propels the narrative about a mole in the Men in Black Organisation. 

Agent H (Chris Hemsworth), the blue-eyed boy of Agent ‘High Tea’ (Liam Neeson) is paired with a civilian, Agent M (Tessa Thompson) to save the Earth from Hive, an evil alien race. How they dodge the shapeshifting twins from Marrakesh on through the desert and fight Agent H’s former flame Riza (Rebecca Ferguson) to get hold of a tremendously destructive weapon, forms the crux of the narrative.

The script, penned by “Iron Man” scribes Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, appears uninspiring, staid and predictable and the actions may fail to excite, but the effortless and cool charms of the protagonists, Thompson and Hemsworth are what keep us glued to the screen. While Thompson has a captivating composure, Hemsworth’s performance feels overly frantic and his performance at times is over the top. But together, they make an amiable pair whose on-screen chemistry is palpable. 

The duo is aptly supported by Liam Neeson as ‘High Tea’, the leader of MIB’s UK branch, Emma Thompson as Agent O, the head of the MIB US branch, Rafe Spall as the British Agent C who is suspicious of Agent H’s activities, Rebecca Ferguson as the multi-armed alien who has a soft corner for H, the Bourgeois twins Laurent and Larry (Les Twins from the World of Dance Champions) as the menacing, enemy alien species that move rapidly, and Kumail Nanjiani who lends his voice to Pawny the miniature alien that befriends Agent M. They all have their moments of on-screen glory and they elevate the viewing experience.

Mounted with ace production values, the film is visually sleek where aliens and cars seamlessly morph into humans and space-ships and vice-versa. And the narrative with its dauntless operatives, takes us to exotic places like Paris, London, New York and Marrakesh.

With a run time of 115 minutes, the first act drags a bit but picks up momentum midway right till the end. There are some really comical moments, either through dialogues or action strewn throughout the narrative. One that stands out is the faint reference to a Thor moment.

With Thompson in the lead, this edition simply gives a thrust to “Women in Black” and has a reference about it. So, those seeking a male-propelled narrative may find this tale disappointing.

Overall, “Men In Black: International”, even though it is not satisfying, simply holds your attention.

Director: F. Gary Gray; 

Cast: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson, Laurent Bourgeois and Larry Bourgeois; 

Rating: ***

 

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Heatwave kills 45 in India in 24 hours, over 100 hospitalised

The government has issued a heat alert in the wake of the rising death toll. Severe heatwave left at least 45 people dead and more than 100 hospitalised in the past 24 hours in Bihar, officials said on Sunday. Deaths due to the heatwave were reported from Aurangabad, Gaya and Nawada districts. Gaya and Patna…

Heatwave kills 45 in India in 24 hours, over 100 hospitalised

The government has issued a heat alert in the wake of the rising death toll.

Severe heatwave left at least 45 people dead and more than 100 hospitalised in the past 24 hours in Bihar, officials said on Sunday. Deaths due to the heatwave were reported from Aurangabad, Gaya and Nawada districts.

Gaya and Patna recorded temperature above 45 degree Celsius on Saturday.
Aurangabad civil surgeon Dr Surendra Prasad Singh confirmed 27 deaths due to the heatwave till late Saturday night. “Dozens are being treated for it in different hospitals,” he said.
Gaya District Magistrate Abhishek Singh confirmed 14 deaths, while another district official confirmed five deaths in Nawada. In both the districts, more than 60 people are being treated for heatwave.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed grief over the deaths and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the victims.
The government has also issued a heat alert in the wake of the rising death toll and advised people to take care while going outside during day time.

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Suman Rao from Rajasthan wins Miss India 2019

Shivani Jadhav clinched Femina Miss Grand India title and Shreya Shanker won Miss India United Continents title. Suman Rao from Rajasthan has won the Femina Miss India World 2019 beauty pageant during a star-studded ceremony at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium in Mumbai. Shivani Jadhav from Chhattisgarh clinched Femina Miss Grand India 2019 title and…

Suman Rao from Rajasthan wins Miss India 2019

Shivani Jadhav clinched Femina Miss Grand India title and Shreya Shanker won Miss India United Continents title.

Suman Rao from Rajasthan has won the Femina Miss India World 2019 beauty pageant during a star-studded ceremony at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium in Mumbai.

Shivani Jadhav from Chhattisgarh clinched Femina Miss Grand India 2019 title and Shreya Shanker from Bihar won Miss India United Continents 2019 title during the grand finale of the beauty pageant on Saturday.
20-year-old Suman, a college student, will represent India at Miss World 2019 in Thailand.
“When you get yourself determined towards a particular goal in life, every single nerve and fibre of your body starts working into that direction for a victorious journey,” she said in an interview.
The prestigious event was adjudged by Bollywood choreographer Remo D’Souza alongside actress Huma Qureshi, Chitrangada Singh, fashion designer Falguni Shane Peacocka and Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri among others.
During the event, film stars like Katrina Kaif, Vicky Kaushal and Mouni Roy enthralled the audience with their dance performances.
The event was hosted by the Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Manish Paul.

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Hong Kong leader suspends extradition bill

Lam said she would “adopt a sincere and humble attitude in accepting criticism” over the government’s handling of the issue. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Saturday (June 15) that she has suspended indefinitely a proposed extradition bill that sparked the city’s biggest public protests in years. Lam told reporters she took the…

Hong Kong leader suspends extradition bill

Lam said she would “adopt a sincere and humble attitude in accepting criticism” over the government’s handling of the issue.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Saturday (June 15) that she has suspended indefinitely a proposed extradition bill that sparked the city’s biggest public protests in years.

Lam told reporters she took the move in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in courts in mainland China.

Many in the former British colony worry it will further erode cherished legal protections and freedoms. Lam said the government would study the matter further, for the “greatest interest of Hong Kong.”

“After repeated internal deliberations over the last two days, I now announce that the government has decided to suspend the legislative amendment exercise,” Lam said.

“I want to stress that the government is adopting an open mind,” she said. “We have no intention to set a deadline for this work.”

Lam said she would “adopt a sincere and humble attitude in accepting criticism” over the government’s handling of the issue.

Lam made the announcement as another mass protest was expected on Sunday, after clashes that turned violent on Wednesday, leaving about 80 people injured including 22 police officers.

The standoff between police and protesters in the former British colony is Hong Kong’s most severe political crisis since the Communist Party-ruled mainland took control in 1997 with a promise not to interfere with the city’s civil liberties and courts.

Lam, chosen by Beijing to be the highest-level local official, is caught between her Communist Party bosses and a public anxious to protect the liberties they enjoy as a former British colony.

She had previously refused to withdraw the bill, and many protesters are demanding she quit.

Protests died down late in the week, but around midnight Friday there were still dozens of youths singing and standing vigil near the city’s government headquarters, where demonstrators had tussled with police who deployed tear gas, pepper spray, hoses and steel batons as thousands pushed through barricades.

Police said 11 were arrested. Lam declared that Wednesday’s violence was “rioting,” potentially raising severe legal penalties for those arrested for taking part. In past cases of unrest, authorities have waited months or years before rounding up protest leaders. In April, nine leaders of a 2014 pro-democracy protest movement known as the “Umbrella Revolution” were convicted on public nuisance and other charges.

Prior to Saturday’s announcement by Lam, some members of the Executive Council, Hong Kong’s cabinet, said she should perhaps rethink plans to rush the bills’ passage. A group of former senior government officials issued a public letter urging her not to force a confrontation by pushing ahead with the unpopular bills.

Many in Hong Kong fear the measures would undermine the former British colony’s legal autonomy.

More than 1,000 people joined a peaceful “mother’s protest” Friday evening in a downtown garden.

Adding to tensions, the extradition bill has drawn criticism from US and British lawmakers and human rights groups, prompting Beijing to lash back with warnings against “interference” in its internal affairs.

Anson Chan, a former chief secretary for Hong Kong, said on Friday (June 14) that Lam still could keep her post if she backs down.

“What the people are attempting to tell is that we are very worried about the consequences of passing the extradition bill, because no one will feel safe, even in their own beds, after passage of this bill,” Chan said in an interview.

“It places everybody’s individual freedom and safety at risk,” said Chan, who as chief secretary was the top local civil servant under former British Gov. Chris Patton.

 

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