We recommend: The best new movies and TV
Maidaan: This Ajay Devgn biopic revisits the glory days of Indian football. Inspired by a true story, this sports drama follows the Indian football legend Syed Abdul Rahim who made India one of the strongest teams between 1951 to 1962.
Our take: It has been a while since an India sports movie has been released. This one gives us ‘Chak De India’ vibes and we’re excited to watch some Indian football on screen. The movie came out in theatres yesterday.
Asteroid City: Wes Anderson fans rejoice! His newest feature is set in Asteroid City—a fictional desert town in 1955 America where dysfunctional families join to attend the town's annual Junior Stargazer convention where they go through an unexpected alien encounter. The film focuses more on the interpersonal relationships between the parent-children and neighbours. The cast is, as expected, top tier—Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, and Maya Hawke, among others.
The film has mixed reviews. BBC Culture finds the setting “synthetic and cartoonish” and concludes: “Asteroid City is ingenious and amusing, and yes, it's as meticulously designed as ever, but this perplexing pile of postmodernism seems intended to test the patience of the director's fans.” OTOH, Vox appreciates the film because: “In Asteroid City, Anderson builds several worlds mediated by layers of performance, artifice, and technology, in which nonetheless real humans grieve, long for one another, fall in love, get hurt, and feel wonder.” Our take: We are invested in the unique setting of the film which is more appealing because of the stellar cast! The film is out in theatres now.
I’m a Virgo: Here is something you can casually binge in your pyjamas. ‘I’m a Virgo’ is a coming-of-age comedy which follows a giant boy named Cootie (Jharrel Jerome) who is raised away from society by his aunt and uncle. He knows the world only through comic books and TV shows but one day he meets three teenagers who accompany him into the real world—grappling with issues such as racism, police brutality, and the crisis of capitalism.
Reviews are really good. Independent rates it five stars and says: I’m a Virgo is not just one of the best comedies of the year so far, but one of the most urgent, intense pieces of television in recent years. The Guardian writes: “I’m a Virgo is as fresh and invigorating as a cold shower. It wakes you up, makes you alert, makes you engage with it in a way few dramas do by giving you something boldly, undeniably different.” Our take: We love a coming-of-age comedy with a fresh concept that tries to make sense of the complicated world we live in. All seven episodes of the show are available to watch on Prime Video.
Social Currency: A reality show which features modern influencers who are required to live in a villa for 21 days and survive various challenges to win the cash prize of Rs 50 lakhs. The catch: They need to survive without using their verified social media handles and their personal phones. Influencers include comedian Aakash Mehta, content creators Sakshi Chopra, Vagmita Singh, actor Parth Samthaan, former Miss India Ruhi Singh and more.
Our take: We’re keen on seeing this new reality show with an interesting format, and are hyped up for the drama set to take place. It is our guilty pleasure. It started streaming on Netflix on June 22.
Elemental: We have another vivid and beautifully animated world in Pixar’s latest feature. ‘Elemental’ is set in a world where everyone falls into one of four classic elemental categories – fire, water, earth and air - and are living together. The movie follows the story of Ember (a fire person) and Wade (a water person) as they fall in love but they need to get past society’s different barriers — the fire people are discriminated against throughout the city and elements do not ‘mix’.
Reviews are critical of the movie. The Guardian notes that while the world is vivid and colourful it comes “with a message of acceptance in bricks of colour and concepts as if it originated via algorithm”. Collider calls the movie underwhelming and formulaic. Our take: We are big fans of Pixar’s animations and regardless of what the story is, we know we’re going to be in for a visual treat and a fun time. Catch the film in theatres.
No Hard Feelings: Jennifer Lawrence is back in this R-rated romantic comedy film. Maddie (Jennifer Lawrence) is a 20-something Uber driver who needs to make money quickly to save her childhood home. She comes across a Craigslist ad to date a rich family’s introverted and socially awkward son Percy, for the summer before he goes to college. What follows is a series of adventures and a growing relationship between Maddie and Percy.
The response for the movie is lukewarm. The AV Club says the movie could’ve been more focused and funnier but still finds Jennifer Lawrence’s performance highly watchable: “Yet it’s Lawrence that the audience is watching and no matter how flimsily the character is written, she delivers’. The Hollywood Reporter notes that despite all its clunky writing, the movie is “ultimately endearing”. Our take: The plotline is quirky and Jennifer Lawrence always delivers stellar performances. We can’t wait to see what this comedy has to offer and watch JLaw on screen again. You can see the movie in theatres.
Here’s a New Chapter
Swagger Season 2: This is a sports drama loosely based on the American basketball player Kevin Durant who is also one of the executive producers of the show. The story follows Jace Carson (Issiah Hill) and his pursuits in the elite youth basketball clubs. Season 2 has eight episodes that will air every Friday. The first episode is available to stream on Apple TV+.