We recommend: The best new movies and TV
Ponniyin Selvan Part 2: Mani Ratnam is back with the concluding part of the blockbuster series. The film will pick up where PS-1 ended, and will focus on Arulmozhi Varman’s journey to becoming Rajaraja I, the greatest ruler of the Chola empire of South India. As a reminder: ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ is based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s extremely popular historical fiction novel of the same name. It is set in the tenth century during Chola rule.
Hindustan Times is in awe of Aishwarya Rai’s “unbelievably good” performance and overall says: “Apart from the gut-wrenching drama, it’s the exquisite visuals that really elevate PS 2 in terms of delivering a larger-than-life viewing experience.” The Hindu candidly says “the zing of the first installment might be missing here” but “Mani Ratnam’s cinematic adaptation makes for a satisfactory watch.” Our take: The first part of this series lived up to the hype, and we have been eagerly waiting for Part 2 ever since. We’re definitely hitting the movies to dive into this visually aesthetic drama on the Cholas. The movie was released yesterday, and is out in theatres.
The Song of Scorpions: This myth-like fairy tale, set in the Thar desert, follows the story of Nooran, an independent woman. She comes from a community that possesses the ability to save anyone poisoned by a scorpion by singing. A camel peddler Aadam (Irrfan Khan) falls in love with Nooran, and what follows is a story of betrayal, twists, and love.
After doing the rounds in the festival circuit since 2017, ‘The Song of Scorpions’ is finally out in India. It’ll be the last official release of Irrfan Khan, where we can watch him on screen. The Hollywood Reporter notes that this was a movie clearly made for Western audiences and finds the film “suffers from a somewhat fuzzy storytelling style”. Our take: We miss Irrfan Khan, and will definitely be catching this movie in theatres to watch him on the big screen one last time. You can watch the film in theatres.
Citadel: ‘Citadel’ is an adrenaline-filled ride starring ‘Game of Thrones’ favourite Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. In this sci-fi espionage thriller, a global spy agency called Citadel has fallen and the memories of its agents have been wiped clean. The duo must take on Manticore, a dangerous and manipulative syndicate, to save the world and rediscover themselves before they lose their memories.
The reviews are mixed for this one. Indie Wire says, “‘Citadel’ is enjoyable mainly because it’s so disposable.” Screenrant liked the first three episodes and concludes, “this is a series that should be added to the top of your watchlist.” Our take: Seeing PCJ frontline a slick spy show is definitely nostalgic, but the sci-fi elements and world building that the Russo Brothers promise is what is truly pulling us in. Two episodes of the show came out on Amazon Prime yesterday, and new episodes will drop every Friday.
Polite Society: This is an action-filled coming-of-age film about a British-Pakistani girl Ria Khan (Priya Kansara). She finds out that her elder sister has fallen in love with a man whose family she believes is evil. The main plot revolves around all of Ria’s attempts—involving gate crashing, high kicks and martial arts—to save her sister from marriage and the patriarchy. This is director Nida Manzoor’s debut film and was an official selection for Sundance 2023.
The Guardian absolutely loves the first half and concludes, “Polite Society is fun to watch throughout – Ria’s punk attitude is endearing, the action winking and lighthearted, and everyone seems to be having a great time.” BBC calls it “an action-packed, genre-blending delight that fires on all cylinders” which “has all the requisite ingredients to be an exhilarating experience for audiences that come along for the ride.” Our Take: A young muslim protagonist literally battling patriarchy? Yes please. Catch this film in theatres.
The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey: In this one hour 30 minutes interview, we get two friends, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, candidly talking to each other about the incidents from Michelle’s second memoir, ‘The Light We Carry’. They touch upon Trump’s presidency, social media, hard truths about marriage, laughs from personal stories and the power of unconditional friendship.
Rolling Stone points out its favourite part: “One of the most candid — and powerful — parts of the Netflix's The Light We Carry sees Michelle and Oprah discussing using hormone replacement therapy, and then tie it to the ongoing conservative war on reproductive rights and bodily autonomy.” Our Take: If you are a fan of MIchelle’s and Oprah’s, this interview will make a good watch this weekend. This Netflix special started streaming on April 25.
Here’s a new chapter…
Sweet Tooth: This brilliant show is based on the DC comics of the same name and set in a post-apocalyptic world where the last of humankind are hunting down the first hybrid children—who are half human and half animal. The story follows the adventures of Gus (Chritian Convery) , a hybrid deer boy. The stakes are higher in season 2, which dropped on Netflix on Thursday.