Munic-The Edge Of War,Gehraiyaan,RRR, After Life, Rebels Against the Raj and More
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ENGLISH: If you’re a film buff, you might be tired of WWII dramas.There’s only that much there is to say about that chapter of history, and,also, we know how it all must end. But releasing on Netflix on 21 January,there is a good chance that MUNICH—THE EDGE OF WAR will cure your fatigue. Based on a Robert Harris novel, it’s set in 1938 and stars Jeremy Irons as British PM Neville Chamberlain.A perfect prelude!
HINDI: Shakun Batra’s earlier films—Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Kapoor & Sons—are ample proof that he knows a thing or two about human relationships. With GEHRAIYAAN, his latest offering that is all set to stream on Amazon Prime Video from 25 January, Batra takes a hard look at monogamy, exploring how difficult love can often be. The films stars Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi.
Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi in Gehraiyaan
TELUGU: Baahubali director S. S. Rajamouli is again returning with his larger-than-life brand of cinema, but this time,he is giving heroism a patriotic spin. Set in the 1920s, RRR tells the story of two Indian revolutionaries—Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and KomaramBheem (N. T. RamaRao Jr)—and is expected to release in theatres on 7 January. Alia Bhatt and Ajav Devgn will play crucial cameos.
MALAYALAM: Actor Dulquer Salmaan plays a cop for the first time in SALUTE, but like with so much of modern Malayalam cinema, his relationships with people and power are not all too simple. Clearly disgraced,he takes a stab at redemption through strange, underhanded means in this gritty procedural thriller. IfCOVID does not play spoil-sport, the film will release in theatres on 14 January.
Dulquer Salmaan in Salute
ON OUR RADAR
After Life Season 3:Ricky Gervais usually never shies away from irreverence and candour, but After Life, one could argue, has seen him at his most gentle. Playing Tony, a local journalist consumed by grief after the loss of his wife Lisa, the comic navigates the themes of death and depression with an honesty and warmth that is refreshing and moving. The final season releases on Netflix on 14 January.
Human Season 1:Coming to Disney+Hotstar on 14 January,this edge-of-your-seat thriller explores the darker sides of human medical trials. Asking questions about ethics,the value of human life and class divides, the Poster for Human Season 1 series will attempt to show the lengths people will go to when trying to escape emotions like grief, guilt and shame. Shefali Shah will play the lead in this Vipul Amrutlal Shah offering.
L-Ricky Gervais in After Life, R-Poster for Human Season 1
Rebels Against the Raj: Western Fighters for India’s Freedom by Ramachandra Guha, Allen Lane: Loyalty, unlike patriotism or nationalism,doesn’t need to be inherited. It can also be discovered. For the likes of Annie Besant,Samuel Stokes and Philip Spratt—all foreigners who had fought for Indian independence—it seems clear that values mattered more than chauvinism. In a world that wasn’t yet globalized, it was foreigners like them who showed that humanity could sometimes trump difference.In Rebels Against the Raj, historian Ramachandra Guha tells the story of seven people who sacrificed the comforts of home to fight for a cause they simply thought was just. Some of them, in the end, were jailed or deported, but their legacies, Guha shows us, have survived the onslaught of forgetting.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE ...The Penguin Books of Modern Indian Poets, edited by Jeet Thayil (Penguin): As far as anthologies of poetry go, this one seems to be both urgent and delightful. Starting from Nissim Ezekiel’s first volume of poems that was published in London in 1952, this collection includes some of India’s greats— Dom Moraes, Arun Kolatkar and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra—but it also gives pride of place to others who were neglected and forgotten. Most crucially, 49 of the poets here are women; only 45 are men.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds: The Insane Life of an English Smuggler in Bombay (Speaking Tiger): Set during Partition, this novel tells the story of a troubled Englishman who smuggles his way to Bombay.
The Eastern Gate: War and Peace in Nagaland,Manipur and India’s Far East (Simon & Schuster):Sudeep Chakravarti sends dispatches from the northeast, a land unique in both its beauty and horror.
The Dream Narrative:The Dreams of God and Mortals in Classical Hinduism (Speaking Tiger): In this book,Wendy Doniger asks if we are all only living in a dream being dreamt somewhere by the author of the universe.
Song: ‘Love of You’
Artist: Aakash Mehta
Album: What a Life
If you felt Aakash Mehta is only a stand-up comedian, the joke really is on you. A law graduate, Mehta was once an entrepreneur. More interestingly, he also has a diploma in audio engineering. Mehta’s many talents,one could argue, have finally coalesced in his debut music album, What a Life. While there is, of course,something quirky about Mehta’s songs, they’re also disarming,meant to put you at ease.
On ‘Love of You’, for instance, we hear in Mehta’s lyrics the remorse of a misanthrope: “I regret the things that I have said to people I love—friends, even family and passers-by and other drivers, driving on the street.” Mehta, though, isn’t being clever. His earnestness is accentuated by his drawl and the sounds of a ukulele.He genuinely seems to want to find a place beyond “jealousy and greed”,and when he does sing about its discovery, you can’t help but inwardly smile. This is a ditty for every day.
L-Comedian, writer and musician Aakash Mehta, R-The End Of The Affair, The History Of Sketch Comedy
AUDIOBOOK: Narrated brilliantly by Colin Firth, listening to Graham Greene’s THE END OF THE AFFAIR proves to be even more riveting than reading it. The classic novel has it all—the Blitz, adultery, politics.
PODCAST: A perfect antidote to boredom and blues, Keegan-Michael Key’s podcast THE HISTORY OF SKETCH COMEDY starts with the Greeks, stops at Monty Python and ends with Saturday Night Live.