Such a pleasure is the company of books and movies and shows, it’s a miracle one can live amongst real live people. As with people, some shows and movies turn out to be clunkers. But wading through clunkers can be fun, and they lead you to gems out of nowhere.
Perhaps it is news about 50 degrees below windchill in Chicago - a city where some of the coolest movies from last year, like
Chiraq, have been set - that were driving me to seek shows on snow online. Perhaps it is my yen to visit Tohoku in Japan for Zunda mochi and watch miles of snow that was.
Look what I found:
Brr… This could be the real sequel (there have been forgettable ones already) to his film
Taken we have been waiting for, eh? Yes, it’s been ten years already since this man with a particular set of skills took over our collective imagination and we hoped our dads were like this dad. But I digress. Snow also took me to Mads Mikkelsen’s Polar that’s streaming now on Netflix. The trailer promised a film made from a graphic novel on the web: VIDEO
Why am I sharing the trailer of the web comic rather than show you how handsome Mads Mikkelsen can be (with an eyepatch and a rakish scar)? You guessed that right. The movie was so predictable, so blah, that even Mads Mikkelsen looking deeply and sexily (with an eye patch too) into the snowy landscape could not take away from that despair that sets in to tell you that the movie was a mistake.
When you cannot get through a book, and there are many that make you regret giving in to that lure of the ‘buy now’ button on Amazon, you simply put a bookmark where your attention wandered or where your insomnia gave up, and you move on to more important things like tea. But I’m always lured by stories of love and longing that the book blurb promises, or an unusual psychological thriller, murders most foul, or scares me with a dystopian future.
I was drawn to
Colony on Netflix for this very reason. It is a world where big brother rules and borders and surveillance have become a part of one’s life. Science Fiction that has been cancelled after three seasons, offered a plebian sci-fi world, but the human story will keep you going.
But if you’ve had a tough day at work and wish you could simply decimate a few folks just so you can hear Cesaria Evora’s soulful voice in peace, then boy, do you have a choice.
Small Crimes, Acts Of Vengeance, Criminal, Bullet Head, The Gunman, Shot Caller, The Good Shepherd, The Gift, The Captive, Shimmer Lake are all mindless watches where there is enough gore and gunshots to take you through the weekend and give you strength to face the coming week. But then you see this and you smile and are alarmed at the same time: VIDEO
Why choose crimes, when you could choose humour? I will say, ‘No!’ loudly. Because the comedy shows are funny only three minutes. Am fed up of the same middle class jokes recycled (clothes hand me down to Holi clothes to swob cloth; parents who are embarrassing; Indians speaking English; Indians traveling abroad; my city vs your city; girls are…) and I decided my family Whatsapp group is funnier despite the asinine ‘Good Morning’ messages.
I tried Korean teen romance shows when I was attempting to figure out why a take of growing up awkward shows like
Sex Education were so much fun. But the Korean teen crushes reminded me of mine and pushed me to kicking myself real hard for trying romance in real life.
So it was easier to come back to. Oh! What is this?
Tidying Up? The new craze about an Eastern way of folding clothes away that is sweeping the West? I ask Shantabai, the maid, to sit down with me to watch and learn how to fold clothes. She and I watch the first episode. Then she comments: Sure I will fold the clothes like that pretty lady, but how will you choose only 30 books from all these books you have?
I have no answer to that. It is easier to look again. What is this? An Indian cop film that is not
Singham? Directed by Ivan Ayr this film just quietly blew my mind. It’s called Soni. Before I get berserk praising this film, let me register a complaint: why is this film listed next to Sonic the Hedgehog, Netflix? VIDEO Soni is a brilliant little film that starts slowly, and within a minute, pummels you into submission to the awesomeness of Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Saloni Batra. Not one woman cop but two. And not once through the film do you even think of pausing the film and getting yourself a cup of tea. The film is that immersive. Soni is small but magnificent. And it made me forgive all the frogs I kissed that did not turn into princes.
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.