We recommend: The best new movies and TV
Tooth Pari: When Love Bites: ‘Tooth Pari’ follows the story of a shy dentist in Kolkata, who falls for a vampire (Tanya Maniktala) that has come to get her teeth fixed. She is hunted by the ‘Cutmundus’, an underground coven of vampire slayers. This is a fantasy thriller, complete with a whole underground world of vampires and a conflict with humans.
There are mixed reviews for Tooth Pari. Indian Express says some dialogues are cheesy but notes that the “best part of Tooth Pari is the attempt to upturn the traditional notions”. Film Companion isn’t impressed and says the series is “impossibly wasteful”. Our take: It has been a while since a vampire series has come out from India. We can’t wait to see how the desi twist plays out. The show came out on April 20, on Netflix.
Dead Ringer: This is a story about a pair of twins—Beverly and Elliot Mantle (played by Rachel Weisz)—who are brilliant gynaecologists but have a dysfunctional relationship. This mini-series is based on the 1988 David Cronenberg movie of the same name. It explores their complicated lives in the world of fertility, sex, unethical treatments, and relationships.
AV Club notes that there is “smart, cutting dialogue” and a “monstrously fine” performance” from Weisz but each episode on the show could’ve been shorter. Collider has a lot of high praise for the series and says the show is “profoundly disturbing and deeply hilarious”. Our take: The trailer for the show is a wild ride in itself, and we just happen to be in the mood for something crazy and gripping. The show came out on Amazon Prime yesterday.
Suzume: This anime film is from one of the most beloved anime writer-directors, Makoto Shinkai, who has given us hits like ‘Your Name’ and ‘Weathering With You’. His latest one ‘Suzume’ or ‘Suzume no Tojimari’ in Japanese, explores the traumas associated with the 2011 earthquake and tsunami which took away 20,000 lives. The story follows high school student Suzume Iwato who discovers the secret behind earthquakes in Japan. She is entrusted with the task of saving her country along with her fantastical friends by closing portals that bring about disasters.
The Verge feels Suzume is “one of Shinkai’s strongest outings yet that’s almost certain to become even more of a classic with its wide release.” Indie Wire likes that “Suzume” doesn’t lean into tragedy as spectacle, however: it is a spiritual journey through the very fabric of a land,” and concludes that it is “earth-shatteringly good.” Our take: Much like his other works, this one too blends fantasy and ecocriticism in the core of its storytelling. But more importantly, we are in awe of Shinkai’s distinct artwork. ‘Suzume’ is out in theatres now.
Chimp Empire: Directed by Oscar winning director James Reed—who won it for ‘My Octopus Teacher’—‘Chimp Empire’ is a nature docu-series about two rival groups of chimpanzees in Uganda’s Ngogo rainforest. The camera skilfully captures their interpersonal relationships and turf wars, and Mahershala Ali of ‘Moonlight’ fame narrates the events that unfold between the groups.
Decider wants us to “Stream it” as: “There’s emotion there, emotion we as humans understand implicitly.” The Guardian says it is “like Succession, but with apes” and is all high praise for the director and Ali’s narration: “This is masterfully done, as you would expect from a film-maker of Reed’s calibre and experience, and Ali gives it a wonderful narrative heft.” Our Take: Giving human narratives to the animal kingdom can be tricky but we trust the creators of this one. This four-part docu-series landed on Netflix on Wednesday.
Here’s a new chapter…
Indian Matchmaking: This guilty pleasure just keeps on giving! Sima aunty and crew are on to their third season of trying to match NRIs while giving them ‘gyaan’ about what finding a marriage partner is all about. It is available on Netflix.