We recommend: The best new movies and TV
Neeyat: Vidya Balan is back after a four year hiatus, in a murder mystery film. This time, she plays a detective Mira Rao who is investigating the death of a billionaire AK (Ram Kapoor). AK throws a lavish party for his friends and family members but later in the night he is seen jumping off a cliff and dying. What follows is the tale of a classic whodunnit with many twists.
Reviews are lukewarm. Film Companion advises: “see this film as a patchwork quilt made from scraps from other stories and settle into the comforts of the cosy mystery genre.” Times of India says that the film is “watchable purely for the performances and the way it's stylised.” Our take: Vidya Balan has always delivered in thriller films, we can’t wait to watch her on the screen again and figure out how killed the billionaire together with her. You can watch the movie in theatres!
The Out-Laws: Here is a fun family heist option—quite literally. The movie starts off in a meet-the-parents style comedy where Owen Browning (Adam Devine) is meeting his fiancée Parker McDermott’s (Nina Dobrev) parents for the first time. Turns out, his in-laws—played by Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin—are notorious bank robbers. You can watch the trailer for the rest of the plot.
Reviews are good. New York Times writes that the movie “is a slight comedy, but it’s also raucous and kickily violent, with several laugh-in-spite-of-your-better-judgment bits.” Our take: A predictable family drama may be all that we need to relax on the weekend. Bonus: Pierce Brosnan doing some action. You can stream it on Netflix.
Tarla: This film is a biopic about the renowned celebrity chef and author Tarla Dalal. Played by Huma Qureshi, the movie follows the life of Tarla Dalal and her different personal and professional struggles. It offers a glimpse into the life before her success, and what it took to get there.
Reviews are good. Hindustan Times writes: “At a runtime of almost two hours, Tarla is neither dragged nor boring, but there are places it struggles to keep you hooked.” OTOH Indian Express asks: “where, oh where, is the food?” Our take: We have watched Tarla Dalal’s cooking shows on our old TV sets, so can’t wait to catch this feel good movie together with our family. The film came out on ZEE5 yesterday.
Past Lives: This Korean film by Celine Song is critically acclaimed. The story explores the concept of “in-yeon”—meeting someone from their past lives which is used as a catchphrase for flirting—through Nora (Greta Lee), her husband Arthur (John Magaro) and her childhood friend/crush Hae Sung (Tee Yoo). Nora and Hae Sung meet again in New York City and navigate their feelings for each other.
Reviews are really good. The Guardian writes: “Past Lives captures, better than most films I’ve seen, this mundane, modern yearning — the kind greased by photos and relationship updates online, of paths not taken and intimacy lost, that doesn’t so much rupture our lives as fold into the everyday.” New York Times analyses: “In a sense it is a time-travel movie, because even as the two characters keep moving forward, they remain inexorably tethered to the past, which means it’s also a story about everyday life.” Our take: We have been yearning for films that depict genuine connections between people and realistically explores the what-ifs. The film hit the theatres yesterday.
Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire: This animated anthology series is very unique in the world of animation as it offers a blend of mythology, science fiction and afrofuturism stories from different African countries and perspectives. It draws upon histories, folklores and urban stories and presents a portrait of the continent that’s never been explored before properly in animation.
Reviews are decent. Decider says “steam it” and writes: “Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire can at times be mesmerizing to watch, with the various filmmakers envisioning future Africa through their respective stories and animation styles.” Our take: We are extremely excited to watch new stories and see different perspectives from storytellers we normally don’t get to watch. Watch this series on Hotstar. It was out on July 5.
Blind: Here is a thriller starring Sonam Kapoor and Purab Kohli. The film is a remake of a Korean flick of the same name from 2011. In this cat-and-mouse story which plays out in Glasgow, Gia—a blind girl with great intuition—gets mixed up with a serial killer. The movie marks the return of Sonam Kapoor after the pandemic, albeit to the small OTT screens. The film is co-produced by Sujoy Ghosh—who is known for directing ‘Kahaani’ and most recently a short film for ‘Lust Stories 2’.
Warning: reviews are not that great. Indian Express liked “the Korean crime flick aesthetic of dark frames” but says “there is zero chill factor here.” Scroll is kinder: “Blind is unable to drum up the emotional heft needed in portraying the crucial relationships that develop between Gia and Prithvi and Gia and Nikhil.” Our take: Bollywood is known for its bright lit up frames so this one is sure to look different albeit a little bit boring. The movie is free to stream on JioCinema.