The Best From The World Of Entertainment: Uncle Frank, Chhalaang, His Dark Materials Season 2 And More

Our top picks from streaming, books, moviemakers and throwback for November 2020

Saptak Choudhury Published Nov 15, 2020 14:44:44 IST
The Best From The World Of Entertainment: Uncle Frank, Chhalaang, His Dark Materials Season 2 And More A scene from the film Chhalaang


English: Set in 1973 USA, Uncle Frank will see a teenaged girl, Beth, travel from her rural hometown to study at New York University, where she meets with her beloved Uncle Frank, a respected literature professor. Skeletons tumble out of the closet when Beth discovers that Frank is gay and in a longtime relationship with Walid ‘Wally’ Nadeem—unbeknownst to his family.

The death of his father, however, forces Frank to return home, Beth and Walid in tow, for the funeral, and in the process, confront a trauma he has desperately tried to flee. This heartfelt road movie will see standout performances from Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis and Peter Macdissi, and streams on Amazon Prime on 25 November.

Hindi: In Chhalaang, actor Rajkummar Rao will essay the role of Montu, a PT master at a semi-government funded school in northern India. Montu takes his job easy till he meets Neelu (Nushrratt Bharuccha) whom he comes to love. The stakes are suddenly raised, when another man vies for Neelu’s affection, and Montu is forced to do the one thing he has never done: teach. This social comedy on the importance of sports education releases on Amazon Prime on 13 November.

Laxmmi Bomb, releasing 9 November on Disney+Hotstar, is a horror comedy with a vengeance-seeking ghost haunting members of a family with hilarious results. Akshay Kumar will star in the film, depicting a man possessed by the ghost of a transgender person, alongside Kiara Advani.


His Dark Materials Season 2: The second season of HBO’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s acclaimed and award-winning fantasy-fiction trilogy will stream from 16 November. In this season, Lyra, an orphan girl, searching for a kidnapped friend and a mysterious phenomena in a world where science, theology and magic intertwine, is joined on her quest by Will, a boy who has a knife that can ‘cut windows’ between worlds.

dark-material-season-2_111520024105.jpgDafne Keen as Lyra in His Dark Materials season 2

Dark 7 White: Streaming on ZEE5 from 24 November, this dark-humour, political, murder-mystery series will see seven friends of whom one decides to take advantage of the others and outdo them.

Mum Bhai: This action-packed series will depict the clashes between Mumbai’s underworld and its police force in the 1980s. It will stream on AltBalaji and ZEE5 from 6 November.


The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind by Ramachandra Guha, HarperCollins Publishers India

In this first-person account, Ramachandra Guha traces the history of cricket in India from the 1960s onwards. While at the time, India had not even won a single Test match overseas, today, it’s one of the cricketing superpowers. Guha describes this ascent in vivid detail by taking into account all the levels at which the game is played: school, college, club, state and country. He peppers the narrative with memoirs, anecdotes, reportage and critiques, as well as vivid portraits of local heroes, provincial icons and international stars. He also explores the social and historical changes embedded in the fascinating journey of this sport in India.

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… Killing Eve: Die For Me by Luke Jenning, Hachette India: The third segment of the trilogy on which the hit series is based, this fast-paced thriller has investigator Eve Polastri and assassin Villanelle take refuge in St Petersburg with the ‘The Twelve’ hot on their heels. Amidst conspiracy and murder, Polastri and Villanelle must learn to trust each other, or face doom.

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A Patchwork Quilt (HarperCollins): Film and television personality Sai Paranjpye recalls her colourful and successful journey in this memoir of a life well-lived.

The Law of Innocence (Hachette): In Michael Connelly’s latest, defence attorney Mickey Haller is accused of murder and must prove his innocence and find the true culprit from behind bars.

Avasthe (Harper Collins): Narayan Hegde’s translation of an U. R. Ananthamurthy novel, deals with issues of gender, class, caste, religion, culture and politics.


Vishal Bhardwaj

As a director, Vishal Bhardwaj is something of an institution in Bollywood. He is most recognized for his compelling, unconventional and masterful adaptations of the Shakespearean dramas Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet, which he made into Maqbool, Omkara and Haider, respectively. Over the years, Bhardwaj has developed a penchant for lyrical and crime dramas as well as dark comedies. It may come as a surprise, though, that the veteran filmmaker sees himself as a music composer at heart. In a 2019 interview, Bhardwaj says that “If I’m not appreciated as a music composer, I really don’t care if they appreciate me as a writer and filmmaker.” He has composed music for around 50 films including Satya, Ishqiya, Sonchiriya and Haider. He even takes special care to incorporate in the songs elements of the region the films are set in.

vishal-bhardwaj_111520024225.jpgThe veteran filmmaker sees himself as a music composer at heart. Pic courtesy: Alamy

Whether it be composing music or directing films, Bhardwaj is not one to shy away from challenges. Sticking to his forte of adapting literary genre classics, he is now planning an entire franchise of films refashioning Agatha Christie’s novels for an Indian audience. We, for one, can’t wait to find out what the maestro will dish out with this one.


Milestones in films, inventions and criminal history

The premiere of Titanic: James Cameron’s film, one of the most widely viewed of all time, premieres at the Tokyo International Film Festival on 1 November 1997.

An iconic staple patented: Businessman King C. Gillette patents the famous, bestselling Gillette Safety Razor on 15 November 1904.

The Nuremberg Trials: The International Military Tribunal sessions of the Nuremberg Trials starts on 20 November 1945. It would sentence 12 high ranking Nazi officials to death.

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