We recommend: The best new movies and TV series
DUMB MONEY: You might remember how in 2021, millions of Reddit users banded together to bet against big hedge funds on Wall Street, when it came to the video game retailer Gamestop (of course, we have a Big Story on it). Hollywood studios immediately scrambled to make this into a movie, since it comes across as a classic David v. Goliath tale of retail investors v. the big bad hedge funds. Eventually, the film ‘Dumb Money’ was finalised based on the book ‘The Anti-Social Network’. It captures the story of the GameStop saga.
The reviews show that the movie is decent. The Guardian notes that the movie is “quick and entertaining, but not as impactful”. Vox says that movie is “really moving. It’s inspirational. It’s fun.” and hits that the sentiment of underdogs winning. Our take: We followed the GameStop saga as it happened closely two years back, and ‘Dumb Money’ promises to be an entertaining watch. The movie is out in theatres near you.
Dhak Dhak: Here’s an ‘unusual’ looking biker gang. Biker Nani (Ratna Pathak Shah) wishes to ride to Khardung La Pass—which is one of the highest motorable roads in the world and every biker’s dream. She is joined a travel blogger Sky (Fatima Sana Shaikh), a housewife Uzma (Dia Mirza) who can fix bikes and Manjari (Sanjana Sanghi) who runs away from home seeking an adventure before her family forces her to marry.
The reviews are mixed. Scroll doesn’t find the movie to be fresh, but it “sputters along on the strength of its case, observational comedy and patches of sharp writing”. Film Companion also notes that the movie is predictable and inane. The movie is never “fully present. It is always backward looking”. Our take: We love journey films and travelling with this badass biker gang sounds fun! The movie released in theatres yesterday.
Bhagwan Bharose: We are really excited about this coming of age film set in the late 1980s. It follows the story of two young boys in a remote village whose ideas of faith and religion are challenged as they get exposed to knowledge and education beyond their horizons amidst a changing socio-political climate in the village.
Reviews indicate that the movie is good. Scroll finds that the movie is "good with small details. But it's the big picture that is unsatisfactory." Mint finds the performances to be wonderful and and is "unhurried" in its storytelling. Our take: We are intrigued by the premise of this film enough that you’ll definitely find us watching this on the big screen. The film came out in theatres yesterday.
The Fall of the House of Usher: This promises to be a spooky and thrilling watch. ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ is based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe, of the same name, which centres around a powerful wealthy family with a lot of secrets. Soon, the members of the family are killed one-by-one by a mysterious woman. Why is this happening to the family? What caused their downfall? The series will uncover these secrets.
The reviews are positive. Screen Rant praises Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of the short story and says while the story is about a tragedy it is “a stylistic, darkly humorous one, as riveting as it is contemplative''. The Verge notes that despite its messy start, the series excels at “the details'' and the “highs are as terrifying—and heartbreaking” as anything else Mike Flanagan has made. Our take: We are fans of Mike Flanagan’s previous work in horror and are excited (and scared) to watch him bring Poe’s story to life. The show came out on Netflix on Thursday.
The Burial: Are you looking for a funny courtroom drama? We got you covered. Based on true events, ‘The Burial’ is about a case involving Jeremiah O’Keefe (Tommy Lee Jones) who is losing his funeral home business to a multinational company. He hires Willie E Gary (Jamie Foxx) and his team to get his family business back. In the process, they become good friends and expose systemic and racial injustice of the corporate world.
Reviews are great! The Guardian calls it: “A rousing good time of a movie.” LA Times says “can’t help but be magnetized by the sheer dynamism of Foxx’s screen presence.” Our take: We love the main leads and the feel-good vibe of the movie. ‘The Burial’ dropped on Amazon Prime yesterday.
Lessons in Chemistry: Adapted from a last year’s bestseller of the same name by Bonnie Garmus, ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ intersects between the advent of TV, career women and housewives in the early 1950s and the Civil Movement. The story follows a scientist named Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson—face of Captain Marvel) who inadvertently becomes a host of a cooking show but becomes the voice from the kitchen who does more than just breaking down recipes.
Reviews are okay. Wall Street Journal says “there is very little that’s intentionally funny” and “some of the dialogue is amusingly insipid.” But notes that the Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson “makes it a very watchable series.” AV Club calls it “a beach watch, maybe”. Our take: Cooking and science go together. Sure, we didn’t need a whole TV show about it but we’re on Captain Marvel’s team. You can see it on Apple TV+.'
Star vs Food Survival: If a food reality show is more your thing, this will interest you for sure! Hosted by celebrity chef Ranveer Brar, this survival show takes inspiration from ‘Chefs vs Wild’, South Korea’s ‘Law of the Jungle’ or Bear Grylls ‘The Island’ but does it Bollywood version. The series features Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty in the first episode. The rest of the guestlist include: Aparshakti Khurana, Mouni Roy and Nakuul Mehta.
Our take: We thought celebrities in the kitchen was funny, but this is entertaining in a different way. Watch the first episode on Disney+ Hotstar.
Fresh off the big screen…
Bebaak: This 2019 short film is part of the ongoing JioCinema Film Festival. Starring the brilliant Sarah Hashmi (you might remember her from ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’), Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sheeba Chaddha and Vipin Sharma, the film focuses on an unorthodox muslim girl who is studying to become an architect but her family’s financial troubles aren't enough to pay for her aspirations of becoming free. Will she go back into her cage just for some scholarship money? Watch the 20-minute on JioCinema for free.
The Daughter: Another short film from the JioCinema Film Festival lineup. This film also has a stellar cast—Naseeruddin Shah and Ira Dubey—who play father and daughter in the midst of a warring town. Their relationship is also stuck between letting go and holding on. It is quite melancholic but Shah’s poetic dialogues make it worth watching. The 16-minute film can also be streamed on JioCinema for free.