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Hannah Gadsby and her revolutionary Nanette is re-writing the very history of comedy, says Anushree. Go ahead and get your hands on it. Somehow.
You see her smiling warmly, opening the door of her heart to us all, to her two little babies, Douglas and Jasper trying to grab her attention while she makes her (like she says and I quote) THE most favourite sound in the world – a teacup finding its place on the saucer.
She then heads out to face an audience that has the Sydney Opera House packed to the hilt. She is supposed to do an hour of laughs. What she does instead is change the world of comedy, probably forever! Hannah Gadsby chokes us and makes us laugh all at the same time, not once losing her tremendous power of articulation as she churns out punch after punch while her audience helplessly grapples with the emotions she is releasing inside them.
The first fifteen minutes into the show, and it is clear already that this will not be an ordinary comedy stand-up. This is going to be revolutionary. The history of comedy is being re-written.
Through the hour, Hannah Gadsby dissects comedy to its bare minimum. She speaks about stories and jokes. She speaks about self-deprecating humour and how it helped her shut everything else about her up but also how, because of it, she still doesn’t find herself comfortable in her own skin. She tells us about her coming out story, about the years that went by, about the shame she still experiences about her own life, about internalised homophobia that homosexuals experience because the world hasn’t given them an alternative. She speaks about the double poison of being a gay AND an introvert.
Through what she says, we experience the pressure we gender-normals put on our queer community. And believe me, it is suffocating. It should not come as a shock that many queer little ones find it easier to kill themselves than face the world that throttles them with its expectations of the mythical ‘normal’. They exist in the margins, oppressed and beaten, and yet we burden them with educating us and making us aware. The burden is ours, of the oppressors, of opening our minds and hearts and educating ourselves.
And while Hannah says all this, sometimes her voice quivers, sometimes she tends to laugh by herself, allowing the audience to get their share of laughs. By the end, however, she almost screams, her rage palpable, beating in the hearts of the people in the audience, for Hannah Gadsby rips apart everything about human beings and their ‘fear’ of what they perceive as ‘others’.
As Hannah goes on to dissect the laughter and its preceding tension, she also deals, blow by blow, with other very serious topics like the horrible notion that in order to create high art, an artist must suffer (“Suffering is the burden of creativity”) by throwing references to Van Gogh and his Sunflowers, about the misogyny of men in powerful positions by talking about the Picassos and the Weinsteins and the Trumps of the world, about classifying little babies into binaries from day dot, about sensitivity and about stories that need to be told in order for the world to see all the perspectives.
“Comedy is more used to throwaway joke about priests being pedophiles and Trump grabbing pussy. I don’t have time for that shit. Do you know who used to be an easy punchline? Monica Lewinsky. Maybe, if comedians had done their job properly, and made fun of the man who abused his power, then perhaps we might have had a middle-aged woman with an appropriate amount of experience in the White House, instead of, as we do, a man who openly admitted to sexually assaulting vulnerable young women because he could.”
“Diversity is strength. Difference is a teacher. Fear difference and you learn nothing”
Hannah focusses on acceptance. She makes us aware with a jolt about the fences and the barbed wires that we have created simply because of our own biases. Instead of working together as a species, we squint and find out differences and by constantly emphasizing on them, we create a norm, a stereotype. And anyone who doesn’t abide by it, is marginalized.
Hannah holds accountable the topmost species in the human sexist oppression ladder – the straight white men, the cisgender, heterosexual white men, and she asks some very difficult questions to them. She speaks about her abuse, her trauma, her angst and anxiety as a different child and despite the blood boiling inside her, she manages to extract a comic punch here and there and release the tension. Hannah brings to the fore intelligent humour and trashes “easy punchlines”.
But she doesn’t do it till the end. After a point, she declares that she won’t help the audience release its tension anymore. Because this is her story. Because this is how we will hold ourselves accountable for the world that we have built, where we have shamelessly excluded an entire community of our people, and laughed and jeered and made jokes out of them just because laughing at what we perceive as ‘abnormal’ is so easy, and we do not want to take the effort to create better humour, and what is difficult to understand is that ‘abnormal’ is a load of bullshit.
If you haven’t watched these 70 powerful minutes, do yourself a favour, get on to Netflix and watch it. If you don’t have Netflix, ask around and get someone to help you with their access just for this one show. If you are going to watch just one show in your entire life, let this be the one and no, I am not exaggerating. Thank me later.
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
Recent footage of her coming out of an airport had comments preaching karma and its cruel ways, that Samantha "deserved her illness" because she filed for divorce.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu fell from being the public’s sweetheart to a villain overnight because she filed for divorce. The actress was struck with myositis post divorce, much to the joy of certain groups (read sexist) in our society.
A troll responded to Samantha’s tweet, “Women Rising!!” by adding to it “just to fall”. She replied, “Getting back up makes it all the more sweeter, my friend.”
Here’s another insensitive tweet by BuzZ Basket showing fake concern for her autoimmune disease. “Feeling sad for Samantha, she lost all her charm and glow. When everyone thought she came out of divorce strongly and her professional life was seeing heights, myositis hit her badly, making her weak again.” Samantha responded, “I pray you never have to go through months of treatment and medication like I did. And here’s some love from me to add to your glow.”
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