If your plans for the weekend revolved around getting comfortable and watching the fifth and final Test of India’s tour of England, there’s some bad news. The contest has now been cancelled with a confirmed COVID-19 positive case inside the India camp. Not to worry, there’s plenty of entertainment and genres for you to choose from – whether you plan on staying indoors or venturing out to a theatre. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
Kangana Ranaut led film Thalaivii traces the life journey of J Jayalalithaa from being an actor to a politician who served six terms as the CM of Tamil Nadu. Directed by AL Vijay, the film also stars Arvind Swamy as actor-turned-politician Dr MG Ramachandran, fondly called MGR. Actors Prakash Raj, Bhagyashree and Jisshu Sengupta play other crucial roles in the film. The film has been received well by the critics and Kangana’s performance is being lauded by one and all.
The Indian Express’ film critic Shubhra Gupta, in her review, wrote, “That J Jayalalitha’s life was tailor-made for a movie, no can dispute. And now, having watched Kangana Ranaut play this version of Jaya in Thalaivii with a perfectly-judged mixture of vulnerability and hauteur, there’s no question that she owns the part. Would a Tamil leading lady, more conversant with the language and the body language, have done a better job? The question is now moot.”
The supernatural horror comedy stars an ensemble cast including actors Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Yami Gautam. It has Khan and Kapoor playing ghostbusting brothers, Vibhooti and Chiraunji respectively. While Vibhooti is in the business only for money, Chiraunji takes his profession as his responsibility and goes by the book — ‘baba ki kitab’ — to ward off the forces of evil. The film can be a good pick for those with an eye for horror comedies. It is mostly funny because of Saif’s quick-witted punches and the ladies of the film, Gautam and Fernandez have done a decent job too.
The Amazon Prime Video series revisits the events of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. Against the backdrop of that nightmarish real-life event, this drama unfolds from the eyes of cops, doctors, media persons and several others who were in the line of fire that day. It stars Mohit Raina, Konkona Sen Sharma, Tina Desai, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Satyajeet Dubey, Natasha Bharadwaj, Mrunmayee Deshpande and Prakash Belawadi. The Indian Express’ Shubhra Gupta called the series ‘authentic’ in her review and wrote, “Mumbai Diaries 26/11 works best when, in between all the craziness, some of the characters stop to take a breath, and exchange glances or words. It makes you believe that there is still some goodness in the world.”
Written and directed by Shiva Nirvana, the Nani starrer Tuck Jagadish has a sibling rivalry at the centre of its plot. While Nani plays the good brother who wants to keep the family together, Jagapathi Babu is hell-bent on breaking the strong ties of the family. The film also stars Ritu Varma, Aishwarya Rajesh, Thiruveer, Vaishnavi Chaitanya, Devadarshini and Daniel Balaji. The film is a typical family drama that pulls no new punches. But, if you wish to stream something with your family, Tuck Jagadish is a decent option.
The third installment of Ryan Murphy’s crime anthology series American Crime Story, which also includes The People v. O. J. Simpson and The Assassination of Gianni Versace, is based on the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal, in which the then US president Bill Clinton was found to have a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was impeached for lying under oath but later acquitted. Clive Owen plays the role of Bill Clinton. The show also stars Edie Falco, Billy Eichner and Cobie Smulders. According to indianexpress.com’s Kshitij Rawat, “If you are only peripherally aware of the scandal, interested in it, and want to watch something to kill the time, Impeachment: American Crime Story may appeal to you.”
The action thriller, directed by Navot Papushado, stars Karen Gillan, Angela Bassett, Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh and Paul Giamatti. Most of the viewers have found the film a colourful and interesting watch but some feel the film fails to do justice to its storyline. The film revolves around Sam (Gillan) and her mother Scarlett (Headey), who are both professional assassins. The Indian Express’ Shalini Langer feels, “It’s a movie by the numbers, of things you have seen before, bathed in colours you have been dazzled by earlier, a plot that makes less and less sense as one goes along, and some very disturbing ideas both about what’s okay for an 8-year-old child to be put through and about feminism.”
A family dramedy, Potluck revolves around the Shastri family that meets every weekend for a potluck. The head of the family Govind Shastri, played by Jatin Sial, feels, “‘A family that eats together, stays together”, and thus he does everything possible to keep his three children close to him. It also stars Cyrus Sahukar, Harman Singha, Ira Dube, Kitu Gidwani, Shikha Talsania, Salonie Patel, and Siddhant Karnick. The eight-episode series is a light-hearted drama, which is best enjoyed with your family on the weekend.
Actor Santhanam’s long-delayed film Dikkiloona has finally released on ZEE5. Bankrolled by KJR Studios, Dikkiloona also stars former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh, Anandraj, Munishkanth and Mottai Rajendran. In indianexpress.com’s Manoj Kumar R’s opinion, the Karthik Yogi film is ‘silly’. He wrote, “It is a deeply silly film, just meant to tickle your funny bone. You laugh, if you can, forget it and move on with your life. Dikkiloona doesn’t add any value to your life, or aspires to move you or challenge your worldview.”
Directed by Ashish R Shukla, Candy is set in the fictional town of Rudrakund in Uttarkhand. Featuring Richa Chadha and Ronit Roy in lead roles, the web series explores the themes of politics, ambition, murder, and mystery. It revolves around a murder that leaves the students and teachers stunned. While Richa Chadha is the investigating cop, Ronit Roy, who plays a teacher, looks like a suspect in the murder. The show is a pulpy murder mystery with twists coming every now and then.
The Croods: A New Age picks up on the 2013 prequel with the Crood family looking to survive in an ever-changing world. Ever-changing in terms of challenges posed by different species and also for patriarch Grug seeing his daughter Eve’s relationship with Guy. As the family stumbles upon a region with plenty to offer, it comes with its own hiccups. Bettermans, comprising Phil, Hope and their daughter Dawn, perceive themselves to be more evolved than the Croods. With tensions boiling between the two clans, it presents a hilarious set of events with the ultimate goal: survival.
Indianexpress.com’s Anvita Singh recommends Moana in her weekly column Hollywood Rewind. She wrote, “This Ron Clements and John Musker directorial is bold, graceful and simple. Not unlike its heroine, who, throughout the film, displays an adventurous streak, befitting a teenager. Moana has powers, but she is also just like any other regular girl who wants to explore the world and keep her family happy. This relatable Disney tale is told at an epic scale with wonderful visuals. Moana is one of those rare, almost-perfect films where every department of moviemaking works harmoniously with each other.”
Starring Sudhir Kumar and Sushil Kumar, Satyen Bose’s 1965 film Dosti is the epitome of friend-love in the Hindi cinema. The film follows the story of Ramu and Mohan, two teenage boys who live on the streets. Their physically challenging life leads them to discover that they complete each other.
Indianexpress.com’s Sampada Sharma in her weekly column Bollywood Rewind wrote about the film, “Over the years, Dosti has been studied by film scholars as the first LGBTQ film that was made by popular Hindi cinema, even though it wasn’t marketed as one. The tenderness of their relationship is evident from the get-go. The boys aren’t shy of being vulnerable around each other and don’t fake machismo for the sake of it. Because of their respective challenges, Ramu needing crutches to walk because of his legs and Mohan needing a walking stick because of his sight, the two walk hand-in-hand and have developed a kind of sensory bond that soothes them.”
And that is your weekend watch sorted!