The Best From The World Of Entertainment: Misbehaviour, Ludo, Sergio, After Life Season 2 And More
Our top picks from films, streaming, books, rising star and throwback for April 2020
Misbehaviour, starring Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessie Buckley, is set during the time of the 1970 Miss World beauty pageant in London. This comedic film, harbouring feminist ideals and sympathies, enacts the disruption of the competition by the Women’s Liberation Movement. It will release in India on 10 April.
Anurag Basu’s upcoming film, Ludo, will portray the seemingly inevitable perils of living in Indian metropolises in four chapters. Starring Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao and Sanya Malhotra, the stories in this slice-of-life film will all be connected to each other. It's currently scheduled to be released on 24 April.
Sergio: Based on a true story, Sergio tells the story of Sergio Vieira de Mello, a UN diplomat who has spent most of his life dealing and negotiating with presidents, revolutionaries and war criminals. On the verge of transitioning to a simpler life with the woman he loves, his life is imperilled when he takes on an assignment in Baghdad, where a bomb explodes outside the UN headquarters he’s at. What follows is the saga of a man who’s pushed to the extremities of his physical and emotional limits. This Netflix film will stream on 17 April.
A still from Sergio (Image: Netflix)
#WATCHLIST: ON OUR RADAR
Brews Brothers: In this Netflix series, two estranged brothers, both master brewers but poles apart in their personalities and beer-making techniques, find themselves running a brewery. This series streams from 10 April.
After Life Season 2: The second season of this dark comedy series from Ricky Gervais will feature Tony, the newspaper-writer, still coming to terms with the loss of his wife, while trying to be nice and caring to the people around him. Streams on Netflix from 24 April.
A still from After Life season 2 (Image: Netflix)
Rising Heat by Perumal Murugan, Penguin Random House
The first novel of master novelist Perumal Murugan finally sees an English translation. Rising Heat tells the story of Selvan, a young boy whose life is turned upside down when his family’s ancestral land is sold, ironically, to build a new housing colony. Now deprived of their home, Selvan and his family are forced to move to smaller lodgings. As the harsh realities of their situation gradually overpower them, Selvan witnesses his family fall prey to greed and jealousy, which change the way they lead their lives. A masterpiece in its own right, Murugan’s debut novel exposes and poses important and relevant questions about the very human costs of reckless urbanization and development.
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Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu (Simon & Schuster India)
Samit Basu’s latest offering is set in dystopic Delhi in the late 2020s. Events are set in motion when Joey saves her childhood friend, Rudra, from the horrific life he’s forced to lead, in a city where even the walls have eyes and trust is impossible.
Akbar: The Great Mughal (Aleph)
Ira Mukhoty’s biography of one of India’s greatest emperors captures every aspect of the monarch’s life in vivid detail.
Treta: Dharma in the Ramayana (HarperCollins)
A collection of essays, Arshia Sattar’s book explores the various forms of dharma as exhibited by the colourful cast of characters in the Ramayana.
A Poem A Day (HarperCollins)
Gulzar’s compilation and translation (into Hindustani) of 366 poems from the past seven decades by 279 poets in the Indian subcontinent is a must-read for any literature-enthusiast.
Photo: Aamir Aziz/Twitter
Hailing from a hamlet close to Patna, poet Aamir Aziz gives form to fear and paranoia in his soulful ballads. The 29-year-old, who has shot to limelight for his powerful laments, does not shy away from the political. One of his offerings on his YouTube Channel, ‘Achche Din Blues’, was a scathing indictment of India in the post-demonetization era, while his dirge, ‘The Ballad of Pehlu Khan’, touches upon the brutal lynching of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, in 2017. More recently, he has composed ‘Sab Yaad Rakha Jayega’, a hard-hitting diatribe against the excesses of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the anti-Muslim violence the country saw in its wake—spoken, rather than sung, without the accompaniment of any instrument.
Aziz’s YouTube channel has now seen several lakh viewers, and has contributed to an important conversation on issues of burning importance. Aziz has also garnered international acclaim—in February 2020, Roger Waters, former Pink Floyd bassist, read out lines from ‘Sab Yaad Rakha Jayega’ during a London protest.
Historic milestones in books, popular culture and entertainment
The Birth of Apple: Stephen G. Wozniak, Steven P. Jobs and Ronald G. Wayne sign the founding partnership agreement for Apple Computer on 1 April 1976.
The End of the Beatles?: Paul McCartney ‘quit’ the Beatles on 10 April 1970 after issuing a negative communique on the future of the band.
Robinson Crusoe sees the light of day: Daniel Defoe’s classic work was first published in London by W. Taylor on 25 April 1719.