So you wanna watch something…
Laal Singh Chaddha: Say hello to Aamir Khan’s highly anticipated—and very faithful—remake of ‘Forrest Gump’. In this one, life is not a box of chocolates but of golgappas. The movie spans the long arc of Indian history from the Emergency to the near-present—with some omissions in between. Kareena Kapoor plays Khan’s long-desired but never attained true love—and we get a Shah Rukh Khan cameo as a special bonus.
The early reviews are mixed. Mint isn’t impressed with a film that rehashes the original scene-by-scene—or Khan’s performance calling it “beyond parody.” But The Quint calls it “visually captivating” and the “dream-like quality of the narrative.” NDTV calls it “a highly watchable film that hits the right buttons for the most part.” Catch the movie now in theatres.
Day Shift: Bud (Jamie Foxx) is a blue-collar dad who cleans pools in LA for a living—when he’s not hunting vampires by night. He is forced to put in some overtime to pay for his daughter’s tuition and braces—and has a nervous newbie, Seth (Dave Franco) and a vet (Snoop Dogg) in tow. There are no reviews as yet of this action-comedy with a very gory twist. We think it will be a fun weekend watch—especially with Snoop in the mix. The movie drops today on Netflix.
I Just Killed My Dad: This one is for fans of true crime. The movie tells the story of a 17-year old in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who kills his father—and calmly calls 911 to report the murder: “I just killed my dad. What do I need to tell you?” But what appears to be a cold-blooded crime hides far more brutal secrets that unravel as the investigation moves forward. The Guardian gives this three-episode docu-series four stars, praising director Skye Borgmann’s “customary consummate skill” that challenges “viewers’ assumptions along the way.” The Independent is less impressed because it doesn’t raise bigger questions about guns or race—for a story set in Louisiana where Blacks bear the brunt of police violence. The series is streaming now on Netflix.
A League of Their Own: This reboot of the 1992 cult classic has all the elements of the original story about a team of 1940s housewives who join the first-ever professional baseball league. But it is far more inclusive and nuanced in its story of women finding a space of their own in a world ruled by white men. The main plotline includes a Black pitcher Max (Chanté Adams) and a covert lesbian romance. Hollywood Reporter says this is where the series shines—“on its own terms, no excuses or references to the source material necessary.” IndieWire says the early episodes are a bit of a slog but “this open-ended story about women following their hearts” comes together by the end of the eight-episode season. It drops today on Amazon Prime.
A list of good reads
- Shephali Bhatt in Mint Lounge dives into the incredible fanverse of the Hindi serial ‘Anupama’—a refreshing take on the Indian housewife.
- Scroll looks at shameful attempts within the media fraternity to sideline photojournalists.
- New Yorker has a fascinating piece on professional cuddlers—who get stupid amounts of money just to hold their clients.
- FiveThirtyEight offers a great read on the connection between heat and geography—why does the same temperature feel much hotter in a different country?
- The Atlantic pays tribute to the stick shift—which is slowly becoming a relic of the past.
- Also in The Atlantic: Why we should stop obsessing about deforestation and trees—and pay more attention to grasslands.
- Suna Çağaptay in New Lines Magazine pays tribute to the ashure pudding—the traditional delicacy associated with Muharram
- Dinesh Thakur and Prashant Reddy in Indian Express explain why the new drugs bill is a disaster—and written to benefit Big Pharma.
- A related read: The Wire reports on a court case involving Krebs Biochemicals—which exposes the rot in the heart of the pharmaceutical industry.