We recommend: The best new movies and TV series
Dream Girl 2: Here is a commercial film that fits into the ‘masala’ movie tag. A sequel to ‘Dream Girl’ which came out in 2019, this one will have Ayushmann Khuranna not only impersonate the voice of a woman “Pooja” but also have him become her. He does all of this for easy cash to settle his father’s debt. Oh and it also stars Ananya Pandey in her first small town girl role.
Reviews are as expected—bad. Film Companion was hopeful about the plot saying “the idea is so outlandish that it's almost good” but was supremely disappointed with its “politically incorrect pride”. Scrolls writes: “While Khurrana’s comic timing is on point, he is defeated by the complexities of womanhood. ” Our take: We normally don’t subscribe to movies like these but are hoping to see these topics treated well. The movie is now showing in theatres.
Goldfish: Now, here is an indie film recommendation—starring stellar performers Deepti Naval and Kalki Koechlin. The film is set in London and deals with themes of memory and identity where Anamika (Koechlin) comes back home to take care of her mother Sadhna (Naval) who has dementia. It is directed by Pushan Kripalani and presented by Anurag Kashyap.
Reviews are good. CNBCTV18 writes: “Goldfish takes a considered and honest look at what parents and children can do to each other, the hundred big and small ways in which we inflict trauma on those close to us, not always unintentionally.” Scroll especially likes Kalki Koechlin’s “blistering performance”. Our take: We trust the actors and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s artistic eye so we will certainly put this one on our watchlist. The indie film got a worldwide release in theatres yesterday.
King of Kotha: Here is one big release from the Malayalam film industry. Dulquer Salmaan has become a household name already—having recently played a role of a cop in the Raj & DK flick ‘Guns & Gulaabs’. You can see him next in this action film where he is playing a morally grey character, opposite ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ actor Aishwarya Lekshmi. The premise of the movie is a khichdi of crime, thugs, football, romance and politics.
Reviews are not that great. Indian Express says the “script remains lackluster, only redeemed by [Director] Abhilash’s impressive style,” but noted that “Dulquer truly stands out in the movie, acing a never-seen-before avatar.” Similarly, Scroll praised Dulquer saying his “innate affability comes in the way when he is supposed to slay his enemies with a single look.” Our take: We are intrigued by the premise and not to mention, are big fans of Dulquer. The film hit the theatres yesterday.
You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah: This is a lighter, feel good recommendation. Adam Sandler along with his wife Jackie and their two daughters Sunny and Sadie are bringing Fiona Rosenbloom’s 2005 YA novel ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’, to life. The plot mainly focuses on Sunny’s character Stacy and her high school drama involving her best friend who kissed her crush while planning for her Bat Mitvah.
Reviews are quite good. Hollywood Reporter likes it for having “well-observed, amusing depiction of teenage girl angst and a genuine sweetness at its core”. AV Club says, “[I]ts ability to nail the right balance of emotional and comedic unpredictability makes it a very pleasant journey, and a must-see for teen movie aficionados. Our take: We’ve grown up watching many Adam Sandler movies and to see his daughters’ coming of age story on screen feels pretty special. You can catch the movie on Netflix.
Ahsoka: This is the newest instalment of the Star Wars franchise. The spinoff is an eight-episode series that picks up right after the events in ‘The Mandalorian’ season 3, and follows an ex-Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). After surviving the Jedi purge Ahsoka is tasked with saving the fragile New Republic.
The show has mixed reviews. Variety says this one is for hardcore Star Wars fans: “For fans who know every intricate facet of the “Star Wars” franchise, “Ahsoka” is a warm welcome back to well-known lore.” OTOH, The Independent writes: “Ahsoka lacks the beauty or grandeur of the best of George Lucas’s vision.” Our take: While we are not fully-versed with George Lucas’s world, we loved ‘The Mandolorian’ enough to give this new series a chance. The first two episodes dropped on Disney+ Hotstar on August 23.
Wanted: The Escape of Carlos Ghosn: Here is a four-part documentary on Carlos Ghosn, once a CEO of Renault and Nissan—and hailed as one of the most respected business executives ahead of Bill Gates—who became a wanted fugitive in Japan on counts of money laundering and corruption. The documentary captures his rise and fall as a businessman and his shocking escape to Lebanon in a large music box.
Reviews are good. The Guardian concludes: “The series explicitly poses the question of Carlos Ghosn: victim or villain? Financial Times says: “[T]he series avoids becoming too swept away with the thrillerish elements, ending instead with a pointed sense of bathos and irresolution.” Our take: Director James Jones went to Lebanon and filmed Ghosn and his wife on camera. Who wouldn’t want to hear his side of the story? The docu-series dropped on Apple TV+.
Here’s a new chapter…
Invasion Season 2: The first season came out in 2021 and intrigued everyone with its raw commentary on human drama while an alien invasion was slowly creeping in. This season focuses more on encountering the alien and protecting the people from its predatory nature. You can stream the series on Apple TV+.
Fresh off the big screen…
The Lost City (2022): This is a light-hearted movie about an adventure-romance author named Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) whose stories feature a male model Alan (Channing Tatum). On her latest book tour, she is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who hopes to find treasure in an ancient lost city, much like the plot of her book. Meta much? You can watch the movie on Netflix.
Father Stu (2022): This is a Mark Wahlberg flick based on a true story. He plays Stuart Long, an amateur boxer who gets injured and does many odd jobs before landing on pursuing priesthood. His friends and family discourage him while the Church officials view him with suspicion. This feel good movie also stars Mel Gibson, Jacki Weaver and Teresa Ruiz.