Me, Myself and My Blog

With this being my 300th blog post I thought I’d write something different. Something that may help others because I’m someone who understands how difficult it can be to maintain a blog, especially if you feel you’re not quite represented enough. As someone of Indian heritage writing a film blog doesn’t feel like the most common thing to do but I’m happy to be the black sheep. 

Since I had a conversation in a cafe across the street from where I live with a friend of mine 6 years ago who gave me the idea to start and I haven’t looked back. Besides those times when Facebook memories forces me to confront the horrors of my earlier posts. Including one solely based on my then brand spanking new Avengers Assemble steelbook. To be fair is was and still is beautiful.

I feel I have come a long way since then and whilst I always have doubts regarding my ability to write anything interesting, witty, insightful or that anyone else will ever want to read, I continue to write. However it shouldn’t be about that really, what your writing should be, whether it’s a blog, a book, a film a TV show or just something you’re doing for yourself, it should be something you enjoy. Something you love. Something you feel passionate about (even if that’s yourself, nothing wrong with that).

I’m in a habit of slow writing, because of how I want it to sound, how I want to sound to other people. I edit as I write which makes me slow, I’m doing it right now and it’s annoying. But you know what? Again that shouldn’t matter. Write slow, write fast, write incoherently. Make it into whatever you want. Stop thinking about it, stop worrying about it and just do it!

Whilst my passion pushes me to better my writing (at least I hope it does) it’s also given me something a bit more interesting to do. I’ve manged to get onto press lists for smaller film releases, plus I cover the London Film Festival every year with a press pass I always feel lucky to have. I applied for it a few years ago and now I take some time off work, pay for my pass and watch around 16 films across 10 days. I always have the best time and this year more than ever I’ve wanted this to be my life. Going to films, writing about them, meeting people from the industry, finding a hidden gem and spending my time doing what I love the most. Blogging, whilst difficult to maintain around a full time job, makes me happy which after having either a difficult day, week, month or year, is something I can look at, something which I created and feel proud. It’s not often that I can say that, anyone who knows me understands that I am my harshest critic and worry far too much when it comes to anything. So with that here’s a few things to keep in mind when beginning and writing your own blog:

  • Think about what your really passionate about
  • Write what you want and edit it later
  • Have no distractions
  • Read other blogs
  • Be open to criticism. It helps a lot!

So I hope I’ve helped, even a little bit. I know it can be hard to start a blog when you’re unsure where to begin but when you do and you find that confidence you certainly have, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

Keep. It. Reel.

Jimmy Kimmel To Host The Oscars Again

He was a farely leftfield choice to begin with but once he got onto that stage he knocked the Oscars out of the park. After doing such an amazing job this year (minus that very odd tour bus prank), Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the biggest movie awards show once again in 2018. His return is one few saw coming but it seems most are happy with.

For the 90th Academy Awards, who knows what he’ll have in-store but with this year’s smart and sharp opening monologue, poking fun at Hollywood’s elite, as well as adding in his own brand of comedy with Mean Tweets and his consistent piss taking of Matt Damon off stage, it’s sure to be equally entertaining. 

Jimmy will be the 23rd presenter who has hosted the Oscars more than once, joining a list which includes Bob Hope, Ellen DeGeneres, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Sinatra, Jon Stewart and many more.

The 90th Academy Awards takes place on Sunday 4th March and I will be live tweeting them as always. But maybe not live Instagramming…

Keep. It. Reel. 

Classic Cinema: Singin’ in the Rain, review

When it comes to musicals, there are fewer greater or more popular than Singin’ in the Rain. It’s regularly in people’s top 10 films of all time and considered the greatest musical ever. The movie portrays so much fun and energy among its ensemble cast whilst telling the story of how a studio struggled to transition from the silent movie era to the talkies. As a classic film from a time which doesn’t seem to exist any more, this is a timeless classic which should be on all movie lovers to watch list.


Gene Kelly plays Hollywood heartthrob Don Lockwood who we first see giving his life story to a showbiz reporter for all of his doting fans to hear all of whom are waiting just outside of the premier for his latest film. During his career things start to change with the death of silent cinema after the introduction of sound. At the same time, he meets the feisty and charming Kathy Selden, wonderfully portrayed by Debbie Reynolds in a role which saw the actress permanently elevated to legendary status. Her sassy comebacks, refusal of his flirtatious ways and unwillingness to give up on her dreams makes her the perfect role model. The addition of Cosmo Brown, played effortlessly (even the dancing looks easy but you know it’s not!) by Donald O’Connor, these are the three true stars of the film.

Between the three of them, they concoct a plan to save their movie which, due to poor dialogue and sound issues, received some pretty harsh initial reactions during previews. However their movie also comes under threat from the lead female actress Lina Lamont, played by Jean Hagen, who requires acting and elocution lessons just to make it through her first non-silent movie. She consistently steals each scene that shes in, particularly during a lesson of hers. All I will say is “And I can’t stand him!”. Comedy perfection.


Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, the film is a beautiful cocktail of music, singing, dancing, comedy and love. The timing of each joke is fine tuned to perfection, the musical numbers sound and look stunning and the love shared between the characters feels genuine and heartfelt. Singin’ in the Rain has a spark like no other, a truly magical experience on the big screen as well as the small. It’ll have you singing inside and out, whether it’s raining or not.

5 out of 5.

Keep. It. Reel.

My Ideal Cinema – The Reel Deel.

These days, going to the cinema can be a bit of a nightmare. Take away the fact that if you are insistent on always going with someone else you have to plan around each other’s schedules, you also have to put up with the chatters, the phone users, the seat kickers, the late comers and the constant bladder emptiers. Basically, the most irritating type of people to ever encounter in a cinema. I was in the cinema recently and two people in separate rows were using their phones as the film started, one proceeded to Snapchat it and the other was filming the movie. What is wrong with these people?! Using your phone should be a good enough reason to get yourself tossed out of there but filming it? It’s illegal, no discussion, prosecute them. Plain and simple. This never happens, it’s always up to other audience members to shush people and tell them to put their phones away. Why pay so much money to talk and stare at small screen? It makes no sense, I’m at my wits end. So if I ever become lucky enough to lay down my own plans for a cinema I own (I’d probably call it The Reel Deel, in case you were wondering), this is how I would run things.

No phones. AT ALL.

When Prometheus was released, I was lucky enough to go to a preview screening. Due to the timing of said screening (happening about an hour after the premier) we all had to hand in our phones. We queued, gave them in, got a ticket to pick them up after the movie. Perfect. It was a quick process to pick them up after. This is a great system for cinemas. It would immediately eliminate the cause of so many random glaring screens that are such a distraction and take you out of the experiences of whatever you are watching.

Phones in cinema

Cloth bags for food

The bags of sweet and chocolate plus certain cinemas who inexplicably serve popcorn in paper bags which creates more noise than they should. When someone is rustling around for a few kernels to chew on, or wanting to suck down that final piece of chocolate, it’s amazing how annoying it is when the shove their hand into whatever they are eating from to grab it. It’s shocking that all of that digging around in such a small bag can create such a large disturbance. No more! The cloth bag will be used instead. At my cinema, once someone buys a crinkly bag of whatever confectionery they desire, the contents will be transferred into a cloth bag and once they return, they’ll receive a discount on their next purchase. If they don’t return it, free cloth bag!

cloth bagsNo talking

I need someone to please explain why people pay money to talk in the cinema. Why? WHY?! For the love of GOD, you’ve come to the cinema to chat. WHY?! Why come here when you can do that anywhere else in which it is socially acceptable? A pub, café, coffee shop, bar, home, restaurant, shops, so many place to chat which are not the cinema. Don’t do it! For my cinema, there would be ushers at hand, ready to tell people to stop talking or to leave. Two strikes and then you’re out. No refund, no coming back. That is that. Harsh? GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!


No toilet breaks

Okay okay, I’ve calmed down. Now this might sound a little mean and we’ve all needed to relieve ourselves during a movie. But it can be distracting to others to see someone get up and attempt to duck down whilst a film is playing and they are running for the loo. There are a couple of ways in which this can be solved. First is to ban all breaks, pretty much lock the doors until the credits. I’ll be a nice and say that if it’s a Marvel film who commonly have mid and end credits scenes, the doors would open when the credits begin if you need to duck out before the very end. Yeah, I’m pretty nice like that. The second way is to have easier access to the exit. The best way to do this is have steps on the left, middle and right of the seats which leads directly to the door. Or the image below could serve as a solution. Maybe not…


Carpet only throughout each screen

Whilst we’re on the steps, it should be carpeted fully with no hard wood floors. Nothing that can make a sound. Including the small section of each step with has a hard bit of plastic on the edge. It makes noise when anyone walks on it and creates yet another disturbance. Get rid of it, I hate that thing!


No late entry

What is the point in going to the cinema if you are going to miss bits? You may as well not see it at all. I’ve seen people come in 10 minutes after a film has begun and it makes no sense to do this. The first 10 minutes of countless films sets the whole thing up, you will not understand fully what’s going on or why. If you can’t make it on time, then don’t go. At all. A ban on late entries sounds pretty ideal.

no entry

No smelly food

Don’t serve something that will make other who have come to watch a film vomit! Hot food you can buy at the cinema is gross. Nachos and hot dogs are the primary culprits. The less smelly the better. The smell is offensive as is that taste. It makes no sense to film the screen with something that will piss off most of the people who sit near to you. No hot food in The Reel Deel.

hot dog

No 3D movies

I hate them. There’s light loss, there’s rarely enhancement on the picture which is worth it. If you ever saw Toy Story 3 in 3D, I’m sire that you’ll agree the film is just amazing however the 3D is a perfect example of how not to use it. It gave the audience nothing more that we were already getting from the characters. So why is it used so heavily? Well apparently it’s working because it’s making the studios more money. Of course it is, it’s a gigantic rip off that so many people are forced into due to lack of 2D option! So no 3D films at all. All movies do have a 2D option but a lot of the big chains, depending on which branch you frequent, only have the 3D option. More money, that’s what it’s all about.


Charging an affordable set price throughout the week.

On the subject of money, this is something I’d like to see implemented. Arguable a couple of chains have their own see as much as you want for a monthly fee card. A brilliant scheme which saves a lot of money. However, let’s say you have one of these cards and there’s nothing to see which is playing a decent time for this particular franchise. Well, you’d have to go elsewhere in the hope that you don’t have to pay too much as you’re already forking out around £20 a month. Now, credit where credit is due, the Odeon in Covent Garden has almost done this. They charge £7 during the week and the prices go up on the weekend and there are no booking fees online. It’s pretty impressive, but it’s just not good enough. I was going to see Jason Bourne during the week at another of their branches close by in Leicester Square and the prices was £18.50. How anyone can justify this is beyond me. This is £1.40 less than what I pay per month for my Cineworld Unlimited card. It’s just ridiculous! A flat rate Monday to Sunday no matter what time or what day would make things easier and fairer for anyone who wanted to see film.

cinema ticket

So what do you think? Harsh? No harsh enough? Or just right? Maybe one day this dream will exist, one day…

Keep. It. Reel.

Dunkirk teaser trailer released

It feels like Christopher Nolan has been away from the directors chair for quite some time now. It’s been around two years since the mind-blowing visually-stunning Interstellar hit cinemas around the world and since completing his own Dark Knight trilogy and now, he’s been a producer on DC’s Extended Universe. Well, he’s back and he’s back with a (almost) bang.


Last night a teaser trailer for the upcoming World War II drama, Dunkirk was released to eager Nolan fans, all very excited to see his latest piece of work. As expected we don’t really see much but from what is shown, it looks as if it will be an epic. What else would you expect from a director whose last film in the chair was almost 3 hours long? What we do see is an army who, one by one, look up at the sky. As they all turn and see what’s above them, it’s clear they may be under attack via air strike. What happens next remains to be seen.

Take a look at the trailer below and see what you think. With a high-end cast which includes Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance, this is going to be one to watch. There is one person missing from Nolan’s crew however, Wally Pfister, who has been his Cinematographer up until The Dark Knight Rises. I hope they collaborate again soon. The film is due for release July 21, 2017.

Keep. It. Reel.

Interview with director, Pablo Larraín

During the London Film Festival 2015, I had the fantastic opportunity to interview director Pablo Larraín about his new film The Club, a story about a house in which priests and a nun live, all of whom are suspected of crimes ranging from child abuse to baby snatching. Following an incident at the house, a crisis counsellor is sent to assess what has happened and find out more about those who live there.


Neel’s Reel Deel: Where did you come up with the idea for the film?

Pablo Larraín: A couple of years ago, I saw a picture in the newspaper of a house in Germany, just like this (The house in the film) There was this Chilean priest living there. I couldn’t believe there was a guy who was accused of sexual abuse and it started from there really. It’s about how they created something so dangerous.

NRD: Was it difficult to film or hard to watch after considering the content?

PL: No, not really

NRD: As this was co-written with yourself an others, how did you find the writing process?

PL: It was very strange because we wrote for the movie and also wrote whilst we were shooting, so we kept writing it all the way. It was very interesting because I collaborated with Guillermo Calderón and Daniel Villalobos and we are all Chileans but we were raised in different places so we had a different relationship with the characters. So I guess that really helped, it brought different perspectives to the issue.

NRD: That sounds really good, lots of ideas being brought to the table.

PL: Yeah it really was

NRD: How long did it take to shoot? You’ve had short shoots in the past, was this similar?

PL: Very short shooting time, two and a half weeks

NRD: Wow, very quick! How about the actors you brought on to play these roles?

PL: Well the actors are people I have been working with for many years and they are so articulate, people that I really trust and they trust me. So I never gave them a script at all, they didn’t know about their characters or the others, I would just give them a scene before we shot it so it was very interesting, we would end up doing some kind of process where the actors didn’t know what was going on and this was also kept the actors present for their acting. It gives an intriguing and mysterious performance.

NRD: To work with the same people must be an interesting experience, how long have you been working with these same people for?

PL: For five or six movies, it’s not always the exact same people but it’s people that I know, they are friends. So when I said to them “let’s make a movie”, I don’t going to tell them what it’s about! We’d go to the set, they have their make-up done and get in front of the camera, then I tell them what we’re doing so it creates an interesting moment, when you see someone who isn’t in control with what’s going on and helps.

NRD: They must have a lot of faith and trust in you.

PL: Yeah but also it creates an interesting affect and illusion, in the result in the film. You see a performance that looks controlled but it’s not.

NRD: When it comes to the religious aspects of the film, what’s your view on that? Are you a religious man yourself?

PL: No. not now. I think it’s always interesting to deal with religious aspects when you’re thinking about things like compassion, guilt, forgiveness.

NRD: It is a hard subject to approach, how did you approach it exactly? You say you’re not religious, so did you do quite a bit of research?

PL:  I did research but I went to Catholic school so I knew things from there. So what I had been studying and the tone in the school, they are things that I understand and know, I digested them and I wanted to bring this to the screen.

NRD: When it comes to the reality of abuse claims within the Catholic church, what do you think of that?

PL: Well, what’s going on today is that we’re facing a new kind of victim, someone who is not scared to talk about it. Back in the day, you wouldn’t do it, you wouldn’t be respected, people would look at you weird after you admit you had been abused, today you respect those people, we want them to have their space, we appreciate that someone is able to accuse somebody of this so they never do it again. Today is a better environment to do that. What’s also interesting is the relationship that the church has with the media.

NRD: Is there anyone else you’d like to work with? As you always work with the same actors. who else would you want on your set?

PL: It always depends on the movie and if you can find the right people then I would want to work with them.

NRD: The right person for the right role

PL: Yeah I think so

NRD: Did you discover anything new about yourself with regards of directing when you made this film?

PL: Oh, I don’t know, that’s a good question! Probably, but it’s hard to understand

NRD: Well you might become a religious man, you never know!

PL: Who knows, man! Anything is possible.

The Club directed by Pablo Larraín is out in UK cinemas now and is also available to stream on BFI Player.

Keep. It. Reel.

Coming soon to Secret Cinema: 28 Days Later

For the first time ever, Secret Cinema is stepping into the world of horror with their project of Danny Boyle’s 2002 epic, 28 Day Later. The post-apocalyptic movie, which has been often attributed with the reinvigoration of the zombie horror movie sub-genre, will be shown at a secret in London as well as one other city.

28 Days Later secret cinema


The film shows us what life in London would be like if the zombie apocalypse took place and it’s a pretty quiet place! We meet Jim, who is a survivor of the events that have changed London forever. Waking up by himself in a hospital, he finds a group of other survivors and they have to battle against several elements in order to stay alive.

Andrew Macdonald, producer of 28 days later said: “Secret Cinema never fails to amaze with their experiences, and its exciting to see them tackle their first ever horror. London prepare.”

Ciliain Murphy

The move into the horror genre is a brand new step for Secret Cinema and could open up doors to other horror films, genres and franchises in the coming years. I’m a huge fan of this film and for it to get the Secret Cinema treatment, it’s going to be spectacular. If you have ever been to any of their previous events including the most recent Back to the Future and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, you’ll know the amount of effort they put into bringing these iconic movies to life.

Fabien Riggall, Founder and Creative Director of Secret Cinema said:

“Secret Cinema is excited to step into the world of horror with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, a true British horror classic – we look forward to creating a suitably frightening and exhilarating experience. Secret Cinema’s expansion over the last nine years has been remarkable, we’ve now created experiences in New York and Berlin, as well as the many in London. But this will be a turning point for us as we embark upon our very first UK nationwide production.”

Secret Cinema will return from 14th April 2016 to 29th May 2016 and tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them via the Secret Cinema website:

tell no one

Keep. It. Reel.

Oscar 2016 predictions

Tonight sees the red carpet rolled out once more for the biggest award ceremony in the movie industry, the Academy Awards, which is the 88th celebration so far. This year has been unfortunately marred with controversy, many claiming that the Oscars are racist. It’s a shame when this happens as it takes something away the great work done by so many tremendously talented people. However, I’m sure it won’t get in the way of tonight’s festivities, especially with Chris Rock hosting. I’ll be live blogging the whole event through the night, I’m so glad I’ve got Monday off, staying up until 5am and then working all day? No thanks.


So here are my predictions of a few awards being handed out this weekend, let’s see how close I come to getting them right, for once!

Best Film


The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant



And the winner is The Revenant

Out of those which have been nominated, no film is better. The story, screenplay, shots, costume, acting and more make this the best film of the year. Alejandro González Iñárritu has done incredible job, each sequence shot is a masterpiece in its own right, the attack on the beach is a particular favourite of mine. Hearing that he shot only at a certain time of the day to get the right light, putting Leonardo DiCaprio through such a hellish ordeal, the track shots throughout, the cinematography that made you feel just a bit colder than normal in a movie theatre, it’s all a testament to on of the best films ever made. 

Best Director


Adam Mckay – The Big Shiort

George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro G Inarritu – The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson – Room

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

And the winner is Alejandro G Inarritu for The Revenant

Well, what more can I say? He has created a masterpiece that has been talked about for so long now, it feels like this movie has been with us for quite some time. Inarritu has had a very solid history of making acclaimed movies from last years Birdman, to 2010’s Biutiful, to 2000’s Amores Perros and several more. He’s got a brilliant eye for what makes a good story and then executes it with perfect diction and a lot of the time his work will really make you think.

Best Actor


Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

Matt Damon – The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

And the winner is Leonardo DiCaprio

As much as I enjoyed almost all of these performances, there’s no doubt at all that this is Leo’s year. It’s his fifth nomination and it’s finally going to happen for him. For those of you who have seen The Revenant, you would have witnessed a man being put through some very trying circumstances in which he not only had to endure but he had to act through as well, it’s a really superb performance. Well done Leo, you finally did it.

Best Actress


Cate Blanchett – Carol

Brie Larson – Room

Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

And the winner is Brie Larson

I have loved every single performance in this category but for me, my money is on Brie Larson who starred in the incredible Room, bringing an emotional performance like no other. The story involves a mother and son, locked in a room together for years with no way out. The mother, Ma, has been kidnapped and given birth to Jack whilst in this dungeon. Larson gives a deeply emotional performance in which she depicts the trauma of a kidnapping victim in a remarkably realistic way and she has a bond with Jack that’s different to any other mother and son relationship. A really amazing film with a superb performance by its lead actress.

Best Supporting Actor


Christian Bale – The Big Short

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

And the winner is Mark Rylance

He won the BAFTA for his performance in Bridge of Spies and there’s no question that he not only deserves the Oscar, but that he has earned it. His performance as Rudolf Abel is smart, witty, understated and surprisingly funny. He delivers some incredible lines, written by Matt Charman along with the Cohen brothers, no wonder there are so many oddly humorous moments in this spy thriller. But the lines would be nothing without Mark Rylance. He is working with Spielberg again on The BFG and I’m sure we can expect yet another stellar performance.

Best Supporting Actress


Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

And the winner is Kate Winslet

This is the most difficult one to predict however I’ve gone with Kate Winslet as it does feel like she has the edge over my second choice of Rachel McAdams. She’s brilliant as Joanna Hoffman in the extremely underrated Steve Jobs (I can’t tell you how annoying it is that this film has not received the appreciation it deserves, especially when it comes to the screenplay. How was Aaron Sorkin not nominated?!) She’s the voice of reason when Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is losing it with his staff, the mother of his daughter and his daughter. Winslet does a great job of keeping her accent (what is it with some actors who try and fail this so many times) and keeping her cool with each escalating situation. Let’s hope she wins.

Best Animated Feature


Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep

Boy and the Wild

When Marnie Was There

And the winner is Inside Out

No question when it comes to this one, Inside Out was a stand out film in so many ways. Pixar have a history of making us feel something very real for animated characters, no other studio can compare with their current work.But this time they have used emotions to make us feel emotional. The concept of using the emotions within a girl going through a major change in her life really hit home for a lot of older viewers who can see themselves in Riley. It’s a very relatable story which anyone who has ever had something big in their life completely change and anyone who has ever grown up! Moving on from your imaginary friend, going through changes, making new friends, it’s all in there and it’s all why this film will win the Oscar this year.

Keep. It. Reel.

Gone Girl – alternative posters

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here so I thought I would ease my way back into blogging. I have a lot of ideas I can’t wait to write about. Hopefully working hard this weekend, getting a lot done, more posts and more ideas coming soon.

Anyway, I went to see the brilliant Gone Girl whilst I was away (yes, I went to the cinema whilst I was on holiday, is that sad?), I’m currently reading the book which I’m finding difficult to get through (less than 100 pages in and I want to give up because Amy is a bitch!). So I thought I’d share some alternative posters I saw recently. The best thing about these images is the fact that people have taken the time to create these. It’s an original vision of what people really think of a movie, it’s their interpretation of the film. Have a look and see what you think.

Keep. It. Reel.

(Images: Matt Needle, Fernando Reza, Chris Malbon, Michael Lee-Graham,David Brooks, Ben Holmes, Admprk, Harry)