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Industry: An unapologetic take on the world of high finance

Murtaza Ali Khan

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Industry, the new HBO / BBC series, takes us to the heart of London’s trading floors and exposes us to the high-stakes battles, chaos, debauchery, and moral decline that govern them. The eight-part series follows a diverse group of young graduates as they vie for a limited number of permanent positions at a fictional London investment bank Pierpoint & Co. The show is penned by first-time creators Mickey Down and Konrad Kay who draw heavily from their own experiences while working in the world of international banking. While Mickey worked as an analyst at a British investment bank, Konrad was associated with an American investment bank as an equity salesman. So far only two episodes of the show are officially out and so the bingeing option isn’t available. Each week a new episode is being released. Viewers in India can access them on Disney+ Hotstar. This assessment of the series is on the basis of the first four episodes that have been made available to critics by HBO as part of a special press preview.

Without wasting even a moment, Industry’s taut narrative immediately cuts to the chase. The first episode of the series aptly titled ‘Induction’, directed by Lena Dunham, brings us face-to-face with the trainees giving job interviews. We meet Harper (essayed by Myha’la Herrold), a singularly talented graduate trainee from New York; Gus (played by David Jonsson), a highly qualified trainee who went to both Eton and Oxford; Robert (portrayed by Harry Lawtey), a fitness-conscious graduate trainee in awe of banking; Yasmine (essayed by Marisa), an attention- hungry graduate trainee with an uber-rich family background and Hari (portrayed by Nabhaan Rizwan), a trainee suffering from performance anxiety.

Other than the trainees, we also meet the enterprising men and women who are meant to groom them into competent banking professionals. Interestingly, they are nothing like Gordon Gekko or Jordan Belfort. For, these are grounded and pragmatic people who know well that longevity in trading is all about consistency. Anyone can have a good day or a bad day at the office but the key to success lies in striking a fine balance between instinct and reason.

Immediately after they are hired, the trainees are informed by the top management that only half of them will be absorbed into permanent roles. Even as they spend a stressful first month, striving to make a lasting impression on their mentors, they must deal with the tragic death of Hari whose anxiety eventually gets the better of him. He is so keen to impress his seniors that he resorts to sleeping at the office. He even takes pills in order to push himself harder and harder but ultimately his body breaks down. But hardly any tears are shed. If anything, Hari’s death inspires other trainees to perform even better, reminding us that there is no place for losers in the cutthroat world of high finance.

Pierpoint & Co. isn’t exactly a friendly place but that doesn’t mean that everyone working here is cold and heartless. The key is to keep a balance between the personal and the professional. Harper and Yasmine, for example, share a healthy personal equation, but there is a constant fear of their friendship getting in the way of their professional goals. They are constantly reminded of their priorities by their superiors. The hegemonic authority that the seniors enjoy over their juniors at Pierpoint & Co. makes one wonder, how can a place promise meritocracy when it is the hierarchy that ultimately reigns supreme?

Industry endeavours to offer an insider’s view of what goes inside the world of high finance and it does it so unapologetically. The creators are clearly unfazed by the excesses, whether it comes to sex or drugs. Parts of the series can certainly be gratifying for some, but, to its credit, it doesn’t back down from presenting equally repelling moments. If there is a scene wherein a girl records an intimate moment that she shares with her lover, there also is a scene wherein a trainee, to her great shock, gets touched inappropriately by her powerful female client on their very first meeting. There is also a sequence, wherein a trainee treats herself with a burger in a luxurious pent- house after she is able to close her first deal. Also, there is a scene wherein we see a stressed-out trainee fall dead in the restroom. So there is misery and ecstasy in equal measures here.

The show is heavy on jargons but apparently it is not on the writers’ agenda to explain them. So if one is not accustomed to the world of high finance then there is a high possibility that many of the technical terms will befuddle them. But, how the characters behave while using these jargons certainly helps one read between the lines. Also, as one watches them in their workspace, day after day, one slowly begins to get a hang of what excites them and what scares them. Moreover, what the show lacks in terms of writing, it more than makes up for it thanks to the brilliant performances on offer. Mind it, Industry isn’t meant for casual viewing.

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PARIS HILTON REVEALS SEX TAPE EXPERIENCE GAVE HER PTSD

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WASHINGTON: American media personality Paris Hilton opened up about her infamous sex tape in a chat shot and revealed that the aftermath of the video has left her with ‘PTSD’ (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

According to Page Six, the former reality star said during a Vanity Fair Cocktail Hour, Live! chat on Thursday, “That will always be something that will hurt me for the rest of my life.” “When it happened, people were so mean about it to me. The way that I was spoken about on nightly talk shows, to see things with my family was just heartbreaking. I would be in tears every single day, I felt like my life was over.” Page Six reported that the tape was released by Hilton’s ex-boyfriend, poker player Rick Salomon in 2004. Titled ‘1 Night in Paris,’ it showed footage of the pair having sex in 2001 . The socialite said, “It was a private experience between two people. You love someone, you trust someone and to have your trust betrayed like that and for the whole world to be watching and laughing . It was even more hurtful to me to have these people think that I did this on purpose. It still gives me post-traumatic stress disorder to talk about it.” 

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KHER PAYS TRIBUTE TO ‘HARRY POTTER’ ACTOR HELEN MCCRORY

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MUMBAI: Veteran actor Anupam Kher on Sunday paid tribute to ‘Harry Potter’ actor Helen McCrory and penned down an emotional note stating that her demise is a ‘deep sense of loss’ even when he did not know her. In a tweet, the ‘Hotel Mumbai’ star posted two pictures of the late actor and expressed sorrow over her demise. He wrote, “All deaths are saddening & tragic. But there are times when you feel a deep sense of loss with someone leaving this world even when you don’t know the person.”

“#HelenMcRory was one such actress. Great in #HarryPotter films & electrifying in #PeakyBlinders. RIP. @lewis_damian,” added Kher. Earlier Bollywood stars Vicky Kaushal and Anushka Sharma paid tribute to the ‘Harry Potter’ star.

Anushka shared a picture of the late actor on her Instagram story. The ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ star wrote a heartfelt message that read as, “Helen McCrory, may you always rest in peace gleaming in your brilliance.”

Vicky shared a tribute post for Helen from the official social media handle of the show ‘Peaky Blinders’. He put up a heart-breaking emoji while sharing it.

Actor Helen McCrory, who was widely known for playing the role of Narcissa Malfoy in the popular ‘Harry Potter’ franchise, had passed away, on Friday (local time) after suffering from a long time battle with cancer. She was 52 when she breathed her last. McCrory’s husband, Damian Lewis announced the news on his Twitter handle and wrote, “I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.”

Bidding his final goodbye, he added, “She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God, we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

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VARUN DHAWAN SHARES HILARIOUS VIDEO AMID ‘BHEDIYA’ SHOOT

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ITANAGAR:Bollywood star Varun Dhawan who is currently shooting for his upcoming film ‘Bhediya’ in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday treated fans to a hilarious video that featured him celebrating a little baby’s birthday.

The ‘Student of The Year’ actor took to Instagram and posted a video in which Dhawan unknowingly misses out on feeding a piece of cake to a little baby who was hoping to have a taste of the same.

In the video, Varun is seen holding a piece of cake as he celebrated the birthday of a tiny tot, and as soon as he moves his hand closer to feed the cake, he unknowingly misses out on the adorable baby and feeds it to the little baby’s father who is seen holding the baby in his lap.

The video captures a zoom shot in which the baby is smilingly seen opening her mouth wide open as she hopes to get a bite of the piece of cake, to her dismay, her father gets a bite of the cake.

Adding another humorous twist to the clip, Dhawan posted the video with the song ‘Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya Bewafa Tere Pyar Me’ from Dev Anand starrer 1965 romantic drama ‘Guide’. Dhawan captioned the video as, “Beti ka bday banaya baap ne. I’m sorry” and added a teary-eyed emoticon.

Celebrity followers including Vaani Kapoor and more than 4.9 lakh fans liked the post. Farhan Akhtar left 3 heart emoticons, while Anushka Sharma fell in love with the little munchkin and wrote, “ Ooooooo cutie” (and added laughing with teary eyes and red heart emoticons). Scores of fans left smiling with teary eyes emojis as they loved the rib-tickling video.

‘Bhediya’ will bring together the dynamic duo of producer Dinesh Vijan and director Amar Kaushik, who also helmed the 2018 blockbuster movie ‘Stree’. Starring Kriti Sanon, Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerjee, and Deepak Dobriyal, the story is written by National Award Winner, Niren Bhatt who also wrote intriguing scripts for ‘Bala’, ‘Made In China’, ‘Wrong Side Raju’.

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ISHAAN SHARES HILARIOUS LOCKDOWN EDITION VIDEO

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MUMBAI: Keeping it light for people amid Covid-19 induced lockdown, actor Ishaan Khatter on Sunday treated fans to a rib-tickling ‘Instagram Vs Reality’ video.

The star took to Instagram and posted a video featuring his mother Neelima Azeem. The video starts from a frame capturing a cute little ladybird climbing up to rock as Ishaan slides a flower with it, the next frame shows the actor playing with his cat followed by Neelima smilingly speaking about their house as she posed gleefully for the camera.

The scene then changes to the second half, the ‘Vs Reality’ part where Ishaan is seen taking the camera to a room where his mom is seen shouting ‘why have you kept my chocolates out? Who asked you to do it? I want my chocolates now?”Ishaan then responds, “You have been eating one whole bar of chocolate, if not more a day, and I have found this out after a week, and now you are getting angry.” 

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ARJUN KAPOOR COMMEMORATES 7TH ANNIVERSARY OF ‘2 STATES’

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NEW DELHI: As the multi-starrer romantic drama ‘2 States’ clocked 7 years of its release on Sunday, the film’s lead actor Arjun Kapoor marked the day by sharing some of the scenes from the movie.

To commemorate the 7th anniversary of the film, the ‘Ishaqzaade’ actor shared a collage video featuring some of the memorable scenes from the movie. In the video, the first clip shows Arjun arguing with his on-screen Punjabi mother Amrita Singh and asking her to talk with his on-screen South-Indian girlfriend- Alia Bhatt’s family to resolve the matter. To which, Amrita replied, “In which language? I don’t know how to speak in Madarasi” While, the second clip shows both the mothers of Arjun and Alia in a heated argument, proving whose community is better.

The video concludes with the garland ceremony from the on-screen marriage of Alia and Arjun in the movie with Alia’s one of the iconic dialogues in the backgrounds that hears, “Baat communities ki nahi..baat ye hai ki kis tarah ki insaan ke sath ..apni jindagi bitana chahte hain”. The ‘Gunday’ actor captioned the post as, “All you need is love … especially today. #7yearsof2states #2States”.

The 2014 delightful romantic drama ‘2 states’ is based on Chetan Bhagat’s 2009 novel ‘2 States: The Story of My Marriage’. Helmed by Abhishek Varman as his directorial debut, the film was jointly produced by Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala under their respective banners Dharma Productions and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. Featuring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in lead roles, 2 States co-stars Ronit Roy, Revathi, Amrita Singh and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam as supporting cast.

The story deals with the terrific chemistry of Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor), a Punjabi boy and Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt), a Tamilian brahmin girl who met at a premium MBA institute of India, IIM Ahmedabad and how their friendship turned into a love affair. Coming from two very different cultural backgrounds, Krish and Ananya try to convince their parents to bless their relationship before they get married.

Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures, ‘2 States’ was praised for its music, cast performances, story direction, thus emerging as a critical and commercial success. 

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BRITNEY SAYS SHE’S ‘EXTREMELY HAPPY’ IN ‘Q AND A’ FANS SESSION

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WASHINGTON : American singer-songwriter Britney Spears recently got indulged in a Question-and-Answer session and said to her concerned fans that she’s “totally fine.”

According to Page Six, the 39-year-old singer took to Instagram Friday night to post a Q&A session for fans, where she acknowledged that the most frequently asked question lately has been, “Are you okay?” “Yes, I’m totally fine. I’m extremely happy, I have a beautiful home, beautiful children,” said Spears, who shares sons, 14-year-old Jayden, James 15-year-old Sean Preston with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

“I’m taking a break right now because I’m enjoying myself,” she added.

The ‘Criminal’ songstress also said fans have been curious to know why she randomly posted a red refrigerator on Instagram three weeks ago.

She shared, “Honestly I just thought it was cool,” revealing that it had no deeper meaning. “I thought it was vintage, it was red and just really cool.”

As reported by Page Six, the performer also responded to fans who asked her about potential dizzy spells from “spinning in my living room.”

“Yes, I get extremely dizzy,” she answered, “but I’m a dancer so as long as I have a focus point for my head, as I turn as long as I keep finding that spot, usually in the end it’s not as bad.”

Within the caption, Spears reveals that she recorded the video Thursday before making her way to Malibu in her boyfriend’s blazer, only to be spotted by paparazzi.

Page Six reported that the video echos another she posted Monday where she said she’s “flattered” that fans are concerned for her well-being.

In recent months, the Grammy winner’s fans have been vocal supporters of the #FreeBritney movement, which aims to shine a light on alleged injustices in the conservatorship that she has been under since 2008. Spears’ fan base has also questioned whether she runs her social media, prompting her camp to maintain that she does. 

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