The advantage of not having to cater to a large number of followers is that one can be as regular or as erratic as one chooses to be. However, it is a lot of fun putting together a list of things to watch, read and listen to, from across mediums.
Here goes :
Web Series :
- The Boys on Amazon Prime had been receiving a lot of adulation and praise. I watched 15 mins of the first episode and didn’t really feel like spending more time on a testosterone-powered superhero show. I didn’t remove it from my shortlist though. Earlier this year, I felt compelled to check out once again, what the brouhaha was all about. I ended up watching 3 seasons back to back, compulsively and manically, despite the gore and the guts strewn through the series! The show crackles with irreverence, whacky situations, black humour and delightful characters. I found it to be a breezy, fun watch, and especially enjoyed the twist in perspective on the superhero genre.
- In direct contrast, if you are looking to weep your guts out, then Dear Edward on Apple TV is ready and available. The show is based on a book by the same name, written by Ann Napolitano. The show deals with grief and is a tough, unrelenting watch. I didn’t mind it though, despite its poor reviews. Grief and sadness make people uncomfortable, and a show that makes loss its fulcrum; few would be able to stomach it. Edward, a 12-year-old, is the sole survivor of a plane crash and struggles to come to terms with the loss of his parents and elder brother. The show is, apparently, an acquired taste. I found it to be exhausting but compelling, despite its flaws.
- A bunch of us watched Pathaan in the theatre, in the first week of its release, for multiple reasons, but primarily because some of us are die-hard SRK fans. It was also to show solidarity with a star who has been, unfortunately, and distastefully, dogged by the establishment. The film is good-looking and slick but please do not go in expecting logic. That is best left at home. SRK is in great form. I must confess to enjoying the madness on screen and John Abraham’s sexy butt in his teeny, tiny, white shorts. The highlight of the film was the delightful scene between SRK and Salman Khan in the end, which said so much without spelling it out.
- I was fortunate enough to receive a link to the controversial film, Joyland, because of a workshop I was participating in. The film was surprising in its subject matter, given that it was made in Pakistan. It delves into the life of a married man who discovers his sexuality with a trans woman. It traces the nuance of family relationships, societal taboos, self-image and the consequences of not bowing to a rigid and judgemental society. The story is tragic and profound.
- I saw All That Breathes at ProducerLand. It was followed by a discussion with one of the producers, Aman Mann. Independent filmmakers don’t have it easy, but conviction and the need for creative freedom can push you to find a path. Today, there are many independent filmmakers whose success stories continue to inspire the next generation to walk this challenging road.
The film is visually stunning, poetic and deeply moving, as it intimately follows the two brothers who care for the wounded kites, ‘falling from the skies’, in thousands. The environmental decline and civil unrest in Delhi form a tense backdrop to the narrative. The documentary has a rhythmical contraction and expansion between the claustrophobic workspace of the brothers and the open skies, as it comments on the interconnectedness of all living beings.
2. BBC released a two-part documentary called The Modi Question. While the documentary does not say anything new, it has a dramatic impact when the past and present of the governing establishment are pieced together in their entirety, revealing the widespread effect of BJP’s influence. As expected, the documentary is banned in India.
- A Bit of Optimism is Simon Sinek’s podcast. Episode 73 is an interview with Richard Curtis, the writer of Notting Hill, Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral and many more funny and heartwarming films. The conversation will make you smile.
- I happened to stumble upon Tony Hoagland’s, The Loneliest Job in the World and loved it.
- The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku traces the life of a Jew during the Holocaust. It is an inspiring and heartbreaking read. The horrors that Eddie experienced are unimaginable and yet he taught us to find joy in the darkest moments.
That’s all for now.