We recommend: The best new movies and TV series
Three of Us: This indie film follows the story of a woman, Shailaja (Shefali Shah), who has recently been diagnosed with dementia. She revists her old home on the Konkan coast with her husband, Dibakar (Swanand Kirkire) and is reunited with her childhood lover Pradeep Kamat. There is still some spark. We see how this trio is navigating old and new emotions, while they make sense of their current predicament.
The reviews are decent. The Indian Express praises Shefali Shah’s performance and writes that the film is an “evocative, moving testament to the power of remembrance”. Film Companion also notes that despite being a seemingly plain movie, the film “represents the sobering classroom that grown-ups learn to accept”, Reviews. Our take: The premise of this movie reminds us of ‘Past Lives’, and we are definitely keen on watching a movie about love, loss and hope. You can catch the movie in theatres near you.
All The Light We Cannot See: From the director of Night at the Museum franchise, ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Stranger Things’ comes this 4-part period drama series based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. Set during World War 2, it brings a blind French girl Marie (played by newcomer Aria Mia Loberti) and a Nazi boy Werner (Louis Hofmann) who is in charge of intercepting radio signals together. You can also see familiar faces such as Mark Ruffalo who plays Marie’s father and Hugh Laurie playing the owner of their refuge.
Reviews are not that great. The Guardian didn’t hold back: “It is terrible. The acting is almost uniformly bad. The dialogue gets worse and worse ... All nuance is lost, all thought has been excised and it feels both drearily slow and stupidly rushed.” US Today was kinder in saying: “‘Light’ is mostly just shallow, a surface-level World War II cliché.” Our take: It may be cliché but we could watch anything with Mark Ruffalo in it, even if he is there only briefly. You can stream the series on Netflix.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour: Indian swifties rejoice! Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour concert film is finally taking its tour in Indian theatres. You can now sing along and dance your heart out to Taylor’s biggest concert till date. Helmed by Sam Wrench—who also directed concert films for Billie Eilish, Lizzo and Brandi Carlile—the movie is 2 hours and 45 minutes long and brings the Eras tour to life—focussing on the artist herself, her fans and the mega production of the concert.
Reviews are great! The Guardian writes: “The Eras Tour film manages to capture the why of that bond, the shock of her vast stardom against the startling emotional clarity of her songwriting.” Hollywood Reporter says “it more than enough to leave the most hard-core Swiftie spent with delight.” Our take: Definitely not a miss for any Swiftie. The film is in theatres.
Sly: This is a documentary about Sylvester Stallone’s life and his career of over five decades in Hollywood. The Oscar-nominated actor, and star of movies like ‘Rocky’, ‘Rambo’ and ‘The Expendables’, shares the story of his life’s ups and downs over the years and we get to learn more about his life as a director, producer and actor throughout the documentary.
The reviews are not so good. The Guardian says that it isn’t introspective and “puff pieces don’t get much puffier than this”. Our take: We are fans of ‘Rocky’ and the action movies Stalone has been part of, and want to see more of the behind-the-scenes struggles from his life. You can stream the documentary on Netflix.
Daily Dose of Sunshine: Korean dramas have been on a roll this year! This one is from the perspective of a nurse Da-eun who joins a mental asylum. She is played by Park Boyoung from ‘Strong Girl Bong-soon’, ‘Abyss’ and ‘Doom at Your Service’ fame—a Kdrama veteran who has been nicknamed ‘Nation’s little sister’. The show combines magic realism and drama and makes it a heartfelt slice of life. Our take: We have been totally impressed by how sensitively Kdramas portray mental illnesses off late and this one is right up our alley. You can stream it on Netflix.
Fingernails: This is a sci-fi rom com which features a premise beyond the world of dating apps. In the near future, scientists have figured out how to conclusively determine if two people are in love. A couple can take a test, and if you score 100%, then they’re in ‘true love’. We follow Anna (Jessie Buckley) and Ryan (Jereme Allen White of ‘The Bear’ fame), who received 100% in their test results, but Anna is feeling lost and she ends up working at a research institute with Amir (Riz Ahmed) and they start falling in love, despite her 100% scientific score with Ryan—what happens now?
The reviews are mixed. The Verge says the worldbuilding is vague but the movie is a “straightforward yet well-crafted story about how relationships evolve over time”. The Guardian is not too impressed either but finds that “the intelligence and delicacy of the acting, keeps the wobbly contrivance stead”. Our take: We are in the mood for a rom com this weekend, and this sci-fi world is worth checking out. You can watch the film on Apple TV+.
Takeshi’s Castle: This one is here purely for nostalgia. Remember that Japanese survival reality show with a commentary by Jaaved Jaaferi where contestants went through obstacles courses or were pushed into dirty water or swamp . sort of like the US show ‘Wipeout’—with a commentary by Jaaved Jaaferi? Yup, the very same. It is making a comeback in India after 34 years and this time Indian Youtuber Bhuvan Bam known for his impressions lends his voice to the show. Our take: We grew up watching the show, it’ll be hard to not turn it on in the background. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.
P.I. Meena: Here is an eight-episode Indian detective series headlined by Tanya Maniktala—from ‘A Suitable Boy’ and ‘Tooth Pari’ fame—which follows her character Meenakshi Iyer aka PI Meena, solving a case involving a car accident. She gets tipped that the death is connected to a potential virus outbreak and starts to solve this extremely dangerous and mysterious case.
Reviews are good. Times of India says: “The show takes a while to get your interest, but once you're hooked, you'll be glued until the end.” Our take: This looks like a darker take on Nancy Drew stories and we are here for it. All episodes dropped on Amazon Prime yesterday.
Here’s a new chapter…
Aarya Season 3: This Sushmita Sen-starer is a sleek looking crime-thriller where she plays Aarya Sareen who joins the family pharma business after her husband’s mysterious death. She is pushed head first into the world of illegal drugs and shady dealings and now has to keep her children safe as well as avenge her husband’s death. In the upcoming season, Aarya is courting new and old enemies as she strengthens her alliance with the Russian cartel.
Scam 2003: The Telgi Story – Volume 2: The conclusion chapter of Abdul Karim Telgi’s stamp paper scam which caused a loss of Rs 300 billion (30,000 crore) to the government is here. The show picks up from the aftermath of the revelation of the scam. The protagonist is played by a proficient theatre actor Gagan Rev Diar—who has previously been seen in ‘A Suitable Boy’. The new episodes dropped on SonyLiv.
Fresh off the big screen…
A Haunting in Venice: The new Hercule Poirot movie is about a séance in Venice where the private detective witnesses the murder of a guest by a ghost(!) and he is compelled to solve this mystery. We are most excited about the cast which includes—Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, Kelly Reilly, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill and Camille Cottin. This makes for the perfect cosy watch this weekend. Watch the movie on Disney+ Hotstar.
Jawan: On the occasion of Shah Rukh Khan’s birthday on Thursday, fans got treated with this announcement: the megahit action-comedy ‘Jawan’ is finally on Netflix! We don’t want to give too much of the plot details because as you can read them in the raving reviews but here’s why we want to watch it again: the makers have released an extended cut of the film.