Four More Shots Please (2) – No more seasons please

Who are these women? Where do I meet them? Never in my 10 years of living in Mumbai have I ever crossed paths with anyone who remotely comes close to this misplaced idea of ‘modern independent women’. But this is season 2, so there is clearly some audience there who wants be blinded by cliches and stereotypes.  It is disappointing how very few stories are written about female friendships and when fewer of them see the light of the day, they are left so one-dimensional.

If the writers wanted to create an aspirational world for women with liberation written in bold, it’s a half-hearted attempt. They have created a delusional world where the society oscillates between regressive (glass ceiling, body shaming etc.) & progressive (open marriage, co-parenting, same sex marriage, etc.) to fit into their narrative of showcasing ‘girl power’. These conflicting ideas leave us with very less place to relate to any situation or character.

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House Arrest (Netflix Original) – Watching it in one go does feel like an ‘arrest’

Yes, the idea of digital content is to experiment, explore unique or seemingly bizarre concepts. But with platforms like Netflix, the standards have been set high and it cannot become a dumping ground for failed experiments (Bard of Blood, Drive and point in case  House Arrest)

What we have here is the concept of ‘hikikomori’ – a Japanese societal phenomenon of isolation. Great idea, but does that make a great movie?  Far from it.

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Ghost Stories – 4 experimental stories, one inappropriate name

Let us leave aside the name, because that’s a lie.

These are four stories or rather interpretations of darker human psyches. Some makers have played safe and some have pushed boundaries, the result is inconsistent. Indian filmmakers have started treating Netflix as a testing ground for their unfulfilled creativity that was too brave for mainstream. We the digital audience are the guinea pigs, so expect to be surprised, manipulated, cheated and sometimes times intrigued.

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The Family Man – A common man espionage filled with highs and lows in thrill

The Family Man does not promise to bring anything extraordinary to the genre. Like every espionage, there is this one hero vs some anti-national elements, both working on and against a certain ‘operation’ which is always supposed to be ‘the biggest ever’. Having said that, Family man stands competent in handling the socio- geo-political explication and summarize it in a  fairly gripping 10 episode series.

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Dream Girl – Inconsistent but entertaining, watch for the brilliant cast

 

Uncomfortable middle class stereotypes, a northern small town, identifiable characters and some tongue- in- cheek humor, feels like home for our non conformist hero – Ayushman Khurrana. With a promising trailer that sets a rather absurdly humorous premise, Dream Girl starts off with an intention to leverage and continue Ayushman’s winning streak in this genre. But there is only as much entertainment to Dream Girl as Ayushman and some other veteran actors could carry on their shoulders through this otherwise confused and bumpy ride.

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Gully Boy – Make way for Swag, Swank and Slang of the Rap world

Disclaimer: This review is only going to be full of applauses and admiration to the brilliance that Gully Boy is.

India’s first true-blue street musical, Gully Boy chronicles the life of Murad, a boy living in the world famous slums of Dharavi, inspired by the real rappers – Divine and Naezy.

An actor of the explosive energy levels of Ranvir Singh, who was last seen making an almost 10 mins long full-blown Bollywood hero entry in Simba, simply appears as the third (least) important person in soft focus in the opening scene of Gully Boy. In focus stays his friend (played by the supremely talented Vijay Verma) who sets up the scene of Dharavi and the humdrums of its residents for whatever is to follow.

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