Film Review: 2.0 has an important message but woven into a clumsy script

A still from the film '2.0'.(Supplied)
Updated 31 December 2018
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Film Review: 2.0 has an important message but woven into a clumsy script

CHENNAI: Despite its meandering 148-minute narrative and a clumsy script, the newly released 2.0 has an important message that the world can ill-afford to ignore. The film, starring Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth and directed by Shankar, highlights the dangers of mobile telephone tower emissions, and many Indian cities have already begun to feel this. The house sparrow, for instance, has virtually disappeared from Chennai and other places, and it is suspected that the high level of radio waves emitted by the proliferating towers is the cause. In 2.0 (in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu), renowned ornithologist Pakshirajan (played by an unrecognizable Akshay Kumar) hangs himself from a tower after his desperate attempts to save birds hit a wall.

The movie turns into a sci-fi fantasy with Pakshirajan mutating into a giant bird out to destroy every single mobile instrument and tower, leaving Chennai furious and frustrated. In steps the mad scientist, Rajinikanth’s Dr. Vaseegaran, who is asked to bring back to life his look-alike robot Chitti to battle the evil unleashed by Pakshirajan. Along with Nila (a female robot played by Amy Jackson, the British model turned Indian actress), Vaseegaran sets to work in a nail-biting adventure with plenty of special effects. It is fascinating to watch the way telephone instruments make strange patterns in the sky as the huge bird, breathing fire and venom, sets about ridding the city of this pollution.
Shankar’s ploy to make his latest feature film an all-India attraction by roping in Kumar appears to have worked, with 2.0 grossing 5 billion rupees (approx. $800,000) worldwide in the first few days. Kumar’s role is very short, so his fans may well be disappointed. However, Rajinikanth, who is considered a demi-god in southern India, surprises by an extremely subdued and subtle performance as a scientist who in spite of his crazy ways (in an earlier film he had created Chitti, the robot that finally went berserk killing men) endears himself to a city in distress.
But these alone do not make for compelling viewing, and the 3D computer graphic imagery (with all the clanking metal) can only help so much, especially when the writing is so unimpressive.


Art Dubai, where anything goes, gets off to a colorful start

The fair’s 13th edition runs from March 20-23 and features 92 Contemporary and Modern galleries from 42 countries. (Arab News)
Updated 20 March 2019
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Art Dubai, where anything goes, gets off to a colorful start

DUBAI: Art Dubai, the largest art fair in the Middle East, got off to a colorful start on Wednesday and more than 92 galleries showcased their chosen artists in the city’s Madinat Jumeriah.

The fair’s 13th edition runs from March 20-23 and features 92 Contemporary and Modern galleries from 42 countries, as well as a bevy of galleries from the UAE.  There are also a number of events going on around the city, as part of Art Week, including Art Nights at the Dubai International Financial Center, which took place on Tuesday. 

You can read more about Art Nights, and see the wild and wonderful art on show, here

Highlights include new gallery section Bawwaba, showcasing art from the Global South; UAE NOW - the first section of its kind - spotlighting local independent artist-run platforms and subcultures, their place in the UAE’s evolving landscape and contribution to creating new ways of thinking, theory and artistic movements and the Contemporary section — two gallery halls presenting work from 59 galleries from 34 countries by some of the most notable contemporary artists working today. It will make you smile, smirk and everything  in-between.

Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities across its four gallery sections: Art Dubai Contemporary, Art Dubai Modern, Bawwaba and Residents.

We take a look at six of our favorite artists and pieces here.

The diversity on show is notable, with galleries from Latin America placed next to booths from Beirut, Saudi Arabia and London.

Pablo del Val, Artistic Director of Art Dubai, said: “Art Dubai continues to develop original content to redefine what an art fair can be and contribute to the UAE and wider region’s cultural landscape. We represent an art world that is truly global and inclusive, rooted in artistic discovery and the promotion of new and alternative perspectives, community building, idea generation and cultural exchange. Geographies, galleries and artists, art typologies and thematics that are not often seen side-by-side, or even as part of the same conversation, will converge at the fair. We hope that new discoveries will be made and new synergies formed.”

It’s a melting pot of artistic expression and media, with sculptures, canvases and the odd video installation vying for space in the crowded halls.

There is a distinct focus on contemporary art, so if you’re into museum-worthy paintings, this may not be your cup of tea, but if you are willing to experiment, it’s the perfect spot to question the boundaries of art.

Battery-operated imaginary animals careened across the floor in one booth, while a fine spider’s web of black string formed an origami-like sculpture in another — anything goes at Art Dubai, as long as it’s not too risqué.

But, why tell you when we can show you? Scroll through the photo gallery to find out more about the art on show here.