Queen Cleopatra: This 4-episode docu-drama series is about Queen Cleopatra and her rise in Egypt. Since the release of its trailer, it has been drawing a lot of attention and controversy around “blackwashing.” FYI: We did a two-part deep dive into Cleopatra’s representation in art through the ages—and looked at what we know about her race.
The reviews are decidedly mixed for this and that has apparently nothing to do with the casting choice. Starting with the good cop, The Guardian says “it has all the campy fun of Cleopatra the soap opera in dramatic reenactments, but intersperses them with straight-faced expertise from academic talking heads.” The bad cop Decider says ‘skip it’ as “the dramatic sequences leave too much to be desired to keep us from just reading about Cleopatra online to get the information we want.” Our take: Given the amount of controversy, AND the time we’ve spent on this show, we definitely want to see what is in store. The series is available on Netflix.
Love Again: ‘Love Again’ is a romantic comedy based on the German novel ‘Text For You’ by Sofie Cramer, starring our very own Priyanka Chopra and ‘Outlander’ star Sam Heughan. But the one we are most excited for is Céline Dion—who is playing herself in her first feature film! We won’t bore you with the plot because, spoiler alert: the trailer reveals the entire movie. Also: watch out for Priyanka’s real life romantic partner Nick Jonas' cameo.
Reviews are mixed but unanimously show their love for Céline Dion. The Guardian says “The French-Canadian singer, arguably the queen of the power ballad, is over the top, completely unsubtle, soaring against the boundaries of taste. She is also cheekily sincere, a true weirdo and so committed to the bit that she makes extreme cheesiness fun.” Variety concludes: “It’s a big-screen romance that aspires to making fans feel the way Dion’s music does, like their hearts can go on.” Our take: We are excited to hear Céline Dion’s new music ‘Love Again’ and ‘I’ll be’—which she made especially for this movie! ‘Love Again’ is in theatres now.
Dahaad: This is a cop thriller from Bollywood’s elite creators Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, and marks Sonakshi Sinha’s debut in a web series. She plays a cop trying to catch a serial killer (played by ‘Darlings’ actor Vijay Varma) accused of murdering 27 women. The series premiered at Berlinale 2023, and is described as a ‘riveting game of cat and mouse between a seasoned criminal and an underdog cop’.
NDTV writes: “A refreshingly clear-eyed, multi-layered thriller that pushes genre boundaries, Dahaad soars without having to roar in predictable ways.” Hindustan Times was disappointed by the ending but says: “Dahaad is controlled and superbly orchestrated, never giving way to the sensational tone of serial killer crusades and dramatic monologues with wide-eyed close-ups.” Our take: We usually don’t talk a lot about Indian cop thrillers, simply because there are way too many, but the casting choices and moody tone have us excited! You can stream 'Dahaad' on Amazon Prime.
Hannah Gadsby: Something Special: Emmy winning Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby who rose to fame with her Netflix specials ‘Nanette’ and ‘Douglas’, brought a new wave of deconstructed stand up comedy where anger and frustration co-exist with observing the quirks of all our lives. They extensively talk about their autism diagnosis and homosexuality. ‘Something Special’ is the third act which picks up after the first two.
Decider says we ‘stream it’ because: “By talking about their marriage and comparing/contrasting it with gender norms and cultural expectations and traditions, Gadsby is moving the conversation forward on LGBTQ rights without ever having to directly address Chappelle or Gervais by name.” Our take: It is hard to balance hard-hitting personal stories and observational comedy but Hannah Gadsby has cracked that code. We will tune in for a dose of ‘real’ humour. The show is on Netflix.
Here’s a new chapter…
Queer Eye: Everyone’s fave makeover show is back! This time the Fab Five—Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Antoni Porowski—are in New Orleans, transforming and bringing sparkles and sass into the lives of the residents! Season 7 landed on Netflix on May 12.
Air: ‘Air’ is about the historic decision when Michael Jordan decides to sign a deal with Nike in 1984. The movie featuring an ensemble cast of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Viola Davis, is a behind the scenes look at one of the biggest business decisions taken in sports history — that continues to generate billions of dollars for Nike. 'Air' is now streaming on Prime Video, after an early limited release in theatres.
Taj: Reign of Revenge: This star-studded Indian ‘Game of Thrones’ with Naseeruddin Shah (who plays Akbar) and Aditi Rao Hydari (who plays Anarkali) focuses on the Salim-Anarkali love story amidst Mughal empire politics. The series is coming back with season 2 this weekend. Watch it on Zee5.