regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Letters to the Editor: The importance of song and dance in recent Hollywood releases

Readers write in from Calcutta, Noida, Kanpur, Jamshedpur, Visakhapatnam and Howrah

The Editorial Board Published 17.04.24, 07:27 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File Photo

Music mania

Sir — Be it screen adaptations of Broadway productions or dulcet remakes of blockbusters, song and dance seem to be at the core of recent Hollywood releases. This is because musicals have often proved to be box-office successes. But do all movies require a mellifluous treatment? Take, for instance, the upcoming sequel of the 2019 film, Joker, depicting Arthur Fleck’s romance with Harley Quinn. A recent trailer of the film has led fans to become exasperated by the abandonment of the dark tone of the story, which deals with psychological trauma and crime, in favour of musical performances. However, even Greek tragedies featured song-and-dance sequences. Perhaps fans would do well to introspect about the healing power of music during tragic times.


Harsha Sinha, Calcutta

Edge of war

Sir — Iran on Sunday fired a flurry of missiles and drones at Israel in what is believed to be its first direct attack on the latter after years of shadow war (“Iran escalates long shadow war”, April 15). This will further destabilise the Middle East, which is already reeling from the war in Gaza. Iran’s unprecedented attack was in response to the Israeli strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria a fortnight ago. Although the Joe Biden-led administration in the United States of America has communicated to the Israeli prime minister that it would not participate in any offensive against Iran, it is unlikely that Tel Aviv will refrain from taking retaliatory action.

The fresh tensions between Israel and Iran have dimmed the chances of achie­ving peace in Gaza. One hopes that better sense prevails and the warring nations work towards de-escalation.

Bal Govind, Noida

Sir — Peace has become elusive for the strife-torn Middle East. With Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seizing a container ship off the Strait of Hormuz that had 17 Indian crew members aboard, New Delhi, too, seems to have been affected by the conflict (“Iran assures India ship crew access”, April 16). Although the Indian government has been assured access to the detainees, its strategic silence on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war is bound to dent its long-standing ties with Iran.

Geopolitical relations have come under strain because of the vested interests of each nation. The United Nations must initiate a strong measure to put out the fires of conflict raging in different parts of the world.

Kirti Wadhawan, Kanpur

Sir — There is no greater misfortune than being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The capture of the 17 Indian crew members aboard the container ship, MSC Aries, by Tehran is an example. The Indian foreign ministry must keep negotiating with the Iranian government to facilitate the release of these Indian nationals at the earliest.

The lack of employment opportunities in India pushes people to take up jobs in the maritime transport industry, which is fraught with risks. A recent report by the International Transport Federation highlighted that 400 Indian crew members were abandoned on ships in 2023. They then become vulnerable to trafficking and human rights abuse.

Khokan Das, Calcutta

Sir — The unprovoked strike on an Iranian consulate in Damascus by Israel prompted Iran to fire more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel (“Pick peace”, Ap­ril 16). Iran has justified its aerial strike as an act of “self-defence” and warned Israel of painful consequen­ces if it considers even the “slightest” response. How­ever, Israel and its allies have intercepted 99% of the Iranian missiles and drones. Further, the American president, Joe Biden, has assured a “diplomatic” response to Iran’s brazen attack. Another full-scale conflict seems to be on the Middle East’s horizon.

D.P. Bhattacharya, Calcutta

Sir — Before long the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, will likely convene a UN General Assembly meeting, mandating both Israel and Iran to exercise restraint and work towards de-escalation. This has become a routine response of the global peacekeeping body to all conflicts and does not take into consideration the unique socio-cultural histories of the conflict centres.

Most historical narratives hold Israel responsible for provoking unrest owing to its gradual encroachment upon Palestinian lands. However, the West’s tacit support has emboldened Israel to continue to play the victim card.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

Strategic silence

Sir — After maintaining silence on two critical issues — China’s incursions into Indian territory as well as the ethnic violence in Manipur — for the longest time, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, has finally offered his two cents on them during his recent media interactions (“The ‘C’ word”, April 15). Modi’s half-hearted assertion emphasising the need to normalise tensions between the two nations will end up encouraging Beijing.

K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam

Sir — The editorial, “The ‘C’ word”, highlights the Narendra Modi government’s shiftiness in dealing with China regarding the border incursions. The Centre has been procrastinating about confronting Beijing and disguising its failure with endless rounds of military-level negotiations. India’s reluctance perhaps stems from its humiliating defeat in the 1962 war.

Hemanta Sasmal, Howrah

Mercury rises

Sir — It is appalling that Calcutta’s maximum temperature on Monday — 38.7 degrees — exceeded that of Churu in the Thar desert which was 33 degrees (“Frying-pan city beats desert heat”, April 16). Bengal has been experiencing discomforting weather conditions owing to climate change. Only kaalboishakhis can bring respite from this scorching heatwave.

Sourish Misra, Calcutta

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