We recommend: The best new movies and TV
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani: This is the much anticipated KJo’s flick which marks his return to Bollywood after seven years! The plot follows the love story of spoiled and flashy Rocky Randhawa (Ranveer Singh) and aristocratic Rani Chatterji (Alia Bhatt) where they hatch a plan to switch their families and convince them that they are made for each other—a plan that tests their relationship.
Reviews are as expected and honestly we didn't expect much. Indian Express says the movie is “loud and melodramatic” and carries the Karan Johar stamp—“an unapologetic cheesy aesthetic which goes hand-in-hand with moments of real heart, designed to make us melt.” Scroll gives a harsher critique: “The conventional core of the contrived war between Mammon and Marx — it’s still all about loving your family — is the most honest aspect of an overly long, tonally jittery, and stereotype-filled narrative.” Our take: In a classic Karan Johar fashion the movie is seemingly modern and definitely filmy. We are excited to see a quintessential Bollywood movie after a long time. ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’ hit the theatres yesterday.
Aachar & Co.: Set in the 1960s in Bangalore, this Kannada language film is a coming of age story about siblings. They come from an orthodox family and navigate challenges of patriarchy, arranged marriages, education and work opportunities for women in the 1960s-70s of Bangalore.
Reviews indicate that the movie is average. The Hindu notes that “the lack of writing depth makes it a meddling watch”. Film Companion says that the movie could’ve been much better, if it had more detailing and “emotional heft”. Our take: We’re recommending this because Kanan Gill is one of the co-writers and we are excited to watch a comedic slice of life drama. The movie came out in theatres yesterday.
Kaalkoot: Indian OTTs have been making a lot of cop shows lately. This new one stars Vijay Varma—who is playing the role of a hero for the first time since his debut. He dons the uniform of a good cop Ravi Shankar Tripathy investigating a case of an acid attack survivor Parul (played by talented Shweta Tripathi) and battles the misogyny in the system to get her justice.
Reviews are okay. Film Companion notes that sometimes it feels like the series is “mansplaining patriarchy”, but also says: “Formally, Kaalkoot is not bad at all. The storytelling is sound.” Scroll writes, “The circuitous resolution gets a little frustrating as Kaalkoot, weighted by good intentions, effortfully tries to cover all bases related to the motivation for the acid attack.” Our take: We are drawn to the cast Vijay Varma is the new age rising actor and Shweta Tripathi is a seasoned actor in this space. All eight episodes of the show are available to watch on JioCinema.
Happiness For Beginners: Here is a feel good, self-discovery romantic comedy film led by Ellie Kemper—of the ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ and ‘The Office' fame. She plays a recently divorced Helen who joins a hiking vacation, hoping to snap out of her blues. She is followed to the trip by her younger brother’s best friend Jake (Luke Grimes) with a promise of some romance in the woods.
Reviews are slightly on the lukewarm side. Variety calls the premise “believable and modest” and says, “Well-behaved to a fault, “Happiness for Beginners” is sweet but a little tentative.” The Hollywood reporter likens the plot to sitcom ‘Community’ and classic rom-com ‘Eat Pray Love’ and notes, “Kemper’s Helen doesn’t indulge in the same self-discovery talk as Julia Roberts’ Liz Gilbert, but Happiness for Beginners finds other ways for its heroine to grow.” Our take: We are a sucker for romantic comedies and one that is realistic? Bring it on. Watch the flick on Netflix.
Here’s a new chapter
Good Omens Season 2: This is a witty show revolving around the friendship between an angel named Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and a demon named Crowley (David Tennant) who want to stop hell and heaven from destroying each other. In season one, they stopped the Armageddon and in the new season, they will help archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) get back to heaven. Season 2 started streaming on Amazon Prime on Friday.
The Witcher Season 3, Volume 2: The final season of The Witcher has been split into two volumes. In the final episodes, Geralt (Henry Cavill), Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), Ciri (Freya Allan), and Jaskier (Joey Batey) battled it out for the future of the Continent and all its mystical and human inhabitants. Volume 2 came out on Thursday, you can stream the entire show on Netflix.
DP Season 2: This is a South Korean comedy-action drama based on the military unit called DP which is responsible for catching deserters and bringing them back for their hearing and punishment. The show addresses the hierarchies and hypocrisies of military life and features established actors—Jung Hae-In, Koo Kyo-Hwan, Kim Sung-Kyun and Son Seok-Koo. Season 2 dropped on Netflix yesterday.