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In a battle between Avengers Endgame and Game of Thrones, there was one clear winner



This past week has been monumental for pop-culture. In the span of a few days, fans bid farewell to their favourite Marvel superheroes in Avengers: Endgame, and prepared themselves for another farewell in about three weeks’ time, when Game of Thrones concludes its historic run.

It’s serendipitous that the two series chose the summer of 2019 to say goodbye. They began within a few years of each other – the Marvel Cinematic Universe started in 2008, and Game of Thrones premiered in 2011. Both have been helped in no small part by the internet, whose ubiquitous rise has mirrored that of the MCU and GoT.

For the first time ever, fans could react to their favourite stories in real time, with a good chance of their opinions actually being heard by the creators. Just this week, the director of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie tweeted that the overwhelming criticism surrounding the film’s trailer had been registered, and that the filmmakers had made the decision to go back to the drawing board and redesign the title character. How cool is that?

Make no mistake, similar decisions were almost definitely taken on both Game of Thrones and the Marvel movies. It’s no coincidence that cinematographer Fabian Wagner has defended his work after the lighting in the most recent episode was criticised by fans for being too dark. He heard your complaints. And as far as Marvel is concerned, do you honestly think Kevin Feige and company didn’t take into consideration your absolute apathy about Captain America and Sharon Carter’s love story?

It’s fairly common for television shows to take decisions after carefully considering the audiences’ sentiments. Lost creator Damon Lindelof has admitted that Twitter played a major role in informing their decision to axe certain characters on the show. Similarly, the internet was instrumental in ‘saving’ Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. The character was destined to die at the end of season one.

And since the MCU is an honorary television show itself, it would make sense for them to operate in a similar fashion.

Both Avengers: Endgame and The Long Night (episode three of Game of Thrones’ final season), dabbled a fair bit in fan service, with both Marvel and HBO making the laudable decision to not get distracted by the pressure to pander to the masses, and focused instead on creating the best experience for longtime fans.

This has, naturally, opened Endgame and Thrones to criticism. How can something that relies so heavily on past memory function independently? The simple answer: it can’t. It isn’t meant to. You’re expected to have done your homework before making the pilgrimage to the theatre, or settling into your couch (and complaining about the darkness). To fully understand the significance of the several tiny moments upon which both GoT and Endgame rests, one must be minutely attuned to two decades’ worth of storytelling.

But despite all this, one clearly pulled it off better than the other. While both Avengers: Endgame and The Long Night, at their core, are about final stands, it doesn’t take an expert to tell you which of the two is a more well-rounded experience.

One of the basic requirements of any major cinematic battle sequence is that it must be peppered with several smaller moments in between. These moments almost function as palate cleansers, because no one can consume course after course of monotonous action. It is through these scenes that we renegotiate our deals with the characters. Should we remain invested in their stories? Should we root for one over the other? Will we care if they die?

There are very few filmmakers – at least today – that have the ability to stage effective large scale battle sequences. Perhaps Ridley Scott, and, regardless of what you think about him, Michael Bay – largely because they know what it is like to work with huge sets and hundreds of extras, aren’t overly reliant on green screens. Justin Lin is quite excellent as well, as are David Yates and Zhang Yimou. But the Russo Brothers are on a whole new level – they’ve not only broken the glass ceiling as far as scope is concerned, but are in the process of creating new benchmarks.

Unfortunately, despite all the resources at his disposal, Miguel Sapochnik isn’t nearly as instinctive. Moaning about the visuals is the easiest thing to do, but also unfair, because Endgame and GoT aren’t operating on the same scale. I won’t be making those comparisons here. We must instead focus on how well they balanced tones, if they were successful in capturing the essence of the characters despite limited screen time; and most importantly, whether or not they able to invoke subtle nostalgia amid the noisy chaos.

This image released by HBO shows Maisie Williams in a scene from Game of Thrones, that aired Sunday. ( AP )

I’d argue that besides Arya Stark (for obvious reasons) and Jon Snow, The Long Night didn’t quite know what to do with the rest of its sprawling cast of characters. Daenerys was nowhere to be seen (quite literally, in certain moments), and the Sansa-Tyrion reunion almost made me scream at them to do something instead of simply resigning to their fate. And spare a thought for the poor Night King, who must’ve been under the impression that he is a big deal. Obviously not.

On the other hand, notice how even tertiary characters such as Pepper Potts to Happy Hogan got their due in Endgame, in what I’d argue were some of the movie’s most affecting scenes. Notice how the film gave fans the emotional release that they didn’t even know was building up inside them. This is a sign of confidence, and an indication of just how accurately Marvel understands its audience.

They know you remember Avengers: Age of Ultron’s Mjolnir scene, and they are certain you understand the significance of the words, ‘On your left’. They use this knowledge to manipulate you, and on a subconscious level, you allow it. You surrender yourself and your emotions, and despite your pride, you submit.

The climactic battle in Endgame was full of such moments, because when at the end of the day, when the dust has settled, we won’t remember how many punches from Captain Marvel it took to bring Thanos to his knees, but we will remember Tony hugging Peter Parker. And we will remember that iconic shot of all the female superheroes lining up in support of each other, because, as we all know, the most empowering thing to do is to take control of your own destiny.

Theon died, but he didn’t have to. But the moment Nat and Clint landed on Vormir, we knew deep down in our hearts what was about to happen; what needed to happen. Of course, it’s completely understandable for the more passionate GoT fans to make the same points about Endgame, and point out its less than generous treatment of Carol Danvers, and its iffy grasp of time travel. But let this not distract from the fact that we’ve lived through a very special moment in pop-culture history, and it would help if you treat this more as a celebration of Endgame, and not as a criticism of GoT.


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Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s Dream Home Set to be Ready by December 2023: Reports



Alia Bhatt & Ranbir Kapoor | Image: Alia Bhatt (Instagram)

According to reports, Ranbir and Alia are planning to move into their new house either by December 2023 or January 2024, as the interior work has already begun. Etimes reports that a new boundary wall will be added soon and both Neetu and Alia have been visiting the site frequently to oversee the progress.

The bungalow, which was purchased by Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor in 1980, was intended to be converted into a high-rise building named after Rishi’s parents, KrishnaRaj. However, the work was delayed due to sanctions, and now the Kapoor family is expected to move into their dream home soon. The new house is said to have a pool, an office floor, and separate floors for Neetu Kapoor and RK-Alia.

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The Elephant Whisperer: The Heartwarming Story of a Couple and Their Orphaned Elephant!



In a world where we are often disconnected from nature and the creatures that inhabit it, “The Elephant Whisperers” brings us closer to the heart of one of the most intelligent and majestic animals on earth – the elephant. This documentary, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2023, follows the story of Bomman and Belli, an indigenous couple who become the surrogate parents to an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu.

Set in the breathtakingly beautiful Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu, India, the film takes us on a journey through the wilderness, showing us the natural beauty of the location and the life of the tribal people who live in harmony with nature. From the very beginning, we are captivated by the bond that develops between Bomman, Belli, and Raghu.

When Raghu is first found by the couple, he is a fragile, injured infant who is barely clinging to life. Bomman and Belli take on the responsibility of caring for him, nursing him back to health with love, patience, and a deep understanding of his needs. As the weeks go by, Raghu thrives under their care, becoming a healthy and mischievous juvenile who delights into playing with his human parents and exploring the forest around them.

The film captures the incredible intelligence and emotional depth of elephants, showing us how Raghu communicates with Bomman and Belli through a range of sounds and body language. We see how the couple responds to his needs, anticipating his every move and showering him with love and attention. The bond between them is truly heartwarming, and we can’t help but be moved by the way they care for Raghu.

But “The Elephant Whisperers” is more than just a story of a couple and their pet elephant. It is a celebration of the beauty and richness of the natural world, and a reminder of our duty to protect and preserve it. Through stunning cinematography and insightful commentary, the film shows us the interconnectedness of all life and the importance of living in harmony with the world around us.

The film also raises important questions about the conservation of elephants in India and the threats they face from habitat loss, poaching, and human-elephant conflict. It is a call to action for all of us to take responsibility for the welfare of these magnificent creatures and to work towards a future where they can thrive in their natural habitats.

“The Elephant Whisperers” is a film that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled. It is a powerful reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, and of the incredible capacity for love and compassion that exists within us all. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and watch this incredible documentary – you won’t regret it!

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Birthday Special: Take a look at Top 10 melodious tracks of KK



Krishnakumar Kunnath, famously known as KK, was among the best artists in the country. On May 31, the brilliant vocalist died following a cardiac arrest at his show in Kolkata. He was gifted with a disorderly yet smooth voice that will be recalled by his fans for a long time to come. On the event of his 54th birthday, have a look at his best 10 heartwarming tracks. <3

1. Aankhon Mein Teri Ajab Si.

2. Yaaro Dosti.

3. Tadap Tadap Ke.

4. Tu Aashiqui Hai.

5. Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai.

6. Khuda Jaane.

7. Zara Sa.

8. Dil Kyu Yeh Mera.

9. Hai Junoon.

10. Pyaar Ke Pal.


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