So you wanna watch something…
Gangubai Kathiawadi: The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film—which has already attracted its share of controversies—finally gets its release today. Set in the 60s, the movie tells the story of a young girl (Alia Bhatt) who runs away to Mumbai in hopes of becoming a movie star—but ends up in a brothel. The plot charts her ascendance to power—both as an advocate for sex workers’ rights and as a close associate of Mumbai’s notorious underworld—specifically of the don Rahim Lala (Ajay Devgn). Indian media doesn’t have any reviews as yet, but The Guardian calls it a “luxuriously sleazy-sentimental melodrama” with “terrific verve and audacity”—despite its problems with pacing. Premieres in cinemas today.
The Fame Game: The series is notable for Madhuri Dixit’s first appearance in a streaming series. The plot: A prominent Bollywood superstar disappears—and flashbacks chart the ups and downs of her life—even as the search for her continues. The details have been kept deliberately hazy, as Dixit said about the series: “It is a mystery, but it is also about relationships, family, how fame can twist and make the best of things look bad.” Hence, there are no reviews yet, but Firstpost has an excellent interview with Dixit and writer Sri Rao. It premieres on Netflix today.
Love Hostel: This is all about honour killings. Sanya Malhotra and Vikrant Massey play a newly-married interfaith couple in rural Haryana—on the run from their families. They are pursued by an assassin—played by none other than Bobby Deol. There are no reviews, but our expectations are high from director Shankar Raman—best known for his unsettling noir film ‘Gurgaon’. Stream it on Zee5.
Juvenile Justice: Love K-dramas but not in the mood for romance? Check out this legal drama that revolves around a judge at a juvenile court—who has a harsh view of young offenders. There are no reviews, but from what we can gauge, the arc of the series focuses on the complexity of juvenile crime—which she is forced to confront in her new job. The unique subject promises a break from the usual streaming fare. Now available on Netflix.
A list of good reads
- Big Think looks at six kinds of workers: operators, givers, artisans, explorers, pioneers and strivers. Which one are you?
- Vanity Fair offers an analysis of season two of ‘Love Is Blind’—which has turned into a documentary on dysfunctional relationships.
- More interested in ‘The Gilded Age’? New York Times tells you what is fact and what is fiction.
- Just for a change, check out TODAY’s profile of two identical twins who married identical twins—and had babies who are genetic brothers.
- EatingWell looks at the new trend of ‘dirty fasting’—and whether it is healthy.
- Scroll has a ground report from East Delhi—where BJP-RSS leaders are running for civic elections two years after the violence.
- Owned by a dog? Then you may be interested in Mashable’s list of very useful websites for pooches.
- The Atlantic has an interesting piece on ultra-introverts—aka the ‘nocturnals’—who have totally flipped their sleeping schedule to stay away from other humans.
- The Wire offers a scathing takedown of the howlers in ‘Rocket Boys’—which is supposed to be a biopic of scientists Homi J Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai.
- Lily Kelting in Gastro Obscura argues that the curry isn’t quite as colonial as you may think.
- The Soup has an excellent essay on the list of acknowledgements in a book —which often speak volumes about the author and their relationships.
- Quartz takes a closer look at Bollywood’s unshakeable grip on the Indian wedding.
- Wired explains why the history of poop is also the history of technology. Yes, you read that right.