tv

A Suitable Boy: Episode 3

Credit BBC

In last night’s episode we see that love birds Maan and Saeeda Bai are apart, as Maan has gone to Rasheed’s village to learn Urdu. Maan learns how poor they are in the village and the everyday difficulties that they face. We also get an insight into Rasheed’s home life as we learn he is married. Rasheed wants to do more for his village and asks Maan for help, however he leaves as his lover has sent a letter asking for him to return home.

Lata also spends more time with Amit and is enjoying his company, however it’s short lived as her mum sends for her to come to Lucknow. Her mother is still on a mission to find a suitable boy for her daughter. They arrange to meet Haresh who has his own shoe manufacturing business.

The episode takes a darker turn as we learn an unsettling truth about Lata’s uncle. Well I am not entirely sure if he’s her actual uncle or family friend.  He tries to sleep with her, which Lata refuses and the next day you can see how disturbed she is by this. We also learn the reason why his daughter is always quiet is because she is also sexually abused. It was disturbing and sickening to see, but sadly that is some people’s reality which the show was giving a glimpse into darker topics.

The episode ends on a cliff hanger as we see Maan’s family caught in a stampede and the family are separated. The episode was enjoyable and touched on more darker and difficult topics.

Credit BBC
tv

A Suitable Boy: Episode 2

Credit BBC

In last night’s episode secrets were exposed, such as Lata’s family finding out about her new lover, who is Muslim. As soon as her mum finds out she gives her 2 tight slaps and tells her to pack her bags as they are going to stay with Lata’s brother in the hopes of finding a husband for her.  Before Lata leaves she meets Kabir in a hope that they can run away, but he is telling her that he needs to finish his studies. Lata tells Kabir she can’t wait as she will be married. There is the emphasis throughout that single men are treated differently compared to women and we especially see that here in 1950’s India.

Maan’s secret love affair is also exposed, as his father finds out and kicks him out of the house. His parents are still fixing his wedding date, which Maan has no interest and is adamant on being with Saeeda Bai. The second episode focuses on the political, social and economic effects of post partition India. It also highlights how taboo inter-religious marriages were.

In this episode we were also introduced to new characters such as Rasheed played by Vijay Varma. He is Maan’s new Urdu teacher and they set off to his village which we will see in the next episode. Other characters that are introduced are Meenakshi’s brother Amit, who she attempts to play matchmaker with him and Lata.

Overall it was an enjoyable episode full of love affairs being exposed and watching the families react. There was definitely drama and some comedic scenes. It will be interesting to see what will happen next with both Maan and Lata’s love stories.

tv

The Umbrella Academy: Season 2

Credit Netflix

The superhero siblings are back together (sort of), well they are in Dallas but at different times throughout the 1960s. This season is full of more time travelling and more family dysfunctional drama. At the start of the season Number 5 arrives in Dallas, 10 days before the assassination of JFK and tries to reunite his siblings to prevent doomsday from happening again.

When we first see the siblings again they are all at different time periods and their lives are very different from each other. Diego is in a mental asylum and keeps talking about how he is going to stop the assassination of JFK, Klaus is a leader of a cult, Alison is married and has become a civil rights organiser, Luther is in underground fights, Ben is still tagging along with Klaus and Vanya has lost her memory and is living on a farm with a family.

The Umbrella Academy is based on the comic book series by Gabriel Ba and Gerard Way. I have never read the comic books, but in a way I am glad because it doesn’t spoil the narrative for me. Throughout the season we get to revisit some of our favourite characters from the first season, such as a young Pogo. We get to see how he was used for tests and experiments in space. We also see the siblings’ mother who seems like herself, rather than a robot that we saw in the first. The crazy, weird family are also reunited with their father, which is a great family reunion to watch. We also get to see that the father maybe something more sinister and is hiding a secret.

One of the things I loved about the first season was the chemistry between the assassins Hazel and Cha-Cha, which were one of the favourites in season 1. However, this season the new assassins are these scary Swedish trio of brothers. In each episode they are hunting different members of The Umbrella Academy and are very sinister as there is hardly any dialogue between them. I feel like this was a letdown, as they didn’t add to the narrative and just seem to show up all the time. It would be nice if there was a back story or if there was dialogue between the 3.

My 2 favourite characters has to be Ben and Klaus, which provide the comic relief for the audience and we also get to see their emotional sides as well. Some of my favourite scenes is when Klaus falls of the wagon and another has to be when Ben possess Klaus. The season touched on many topics in the 1960s such as racism, homophobia, treatment of mentally ill and sexism. The season has plenty of fight sequences to popular rock and pop hits such as Backstreet Boys Everybody, which I found quite funny and enjoyable to watch.

Overall, season 2 is great with family drama, twists and turns and comedy. It’s got a great soundtrack and great family chemistry between the 7 siblings. The only downsides is the narrative and how some characters are not used well and do not seem to fit in the plot.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
film

Yaara

Credit Zee5

This crime drama film follows a group of 4 friends from their childhood to adulthood. The film follows the group of guys from the early 50s to the 90s. It looks at the rise and fall of the friends as they are in the business of smuggling in the border of Nepal and India. The film focuses on friendship and betrayal within the gang. The film stars Vidyut Jammwal as Phagun, Amit Sadh as Mitwa, Vijay Varma as Rizwan and Kenny Basumatary. Shruti Haasan also stars as Sukanya.

The film starts off in the 90s, where we learn that everyone except Mitwa has escaped the life of crime. Mitwa is arrested, so his friends decide to help him escape, which then puts the whole group and their families lives in danger. Throughout the movie, we go back and forth in the 70s and then 90s.

The strong points of the movies were the actors’ performances, which was really believable and emotional. There was also humour between them especially with Varma’s character as he impersonates Amitabh Bachchan.

Overall it’s a good crime drama to watch with great performances, plenty of drama and action throughout.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
tv

A Suitable Boy: Episode 1

Credit BBC

A Suitable Boy premiered last night on BBC One. It is the first where all the actors are Indian. This is great to see, as there have been dramas based in India before, but feature a predominately white cast; such as Channel 4’s Indian Summers. The 6 episode series is based on Vikram Seth’s novel. It follows the story of how a mother is adamant to get her daughter Lata married and find ‘a suitable boy’ for her.

There are many Bollywood names in this series such as Tabu, Ishaan Khatter, Randeep Hooda and Ram Kapoor. Newcomer Tanya Maniktala plays Lata. In the first episode we are introduced to Maan, played by Ishaan Khatter. He meets Saeeda Bai, played by Tabu and is instantly a smitten kitten when he meets the singer. We also meet Lata who doesn’t really want to get married and seems more focused on her studies. She however meets a boy at her University and really likes him, however she has found out that he is Muslim. The series is set in post partition India 1951, where Hindu Nationalism emerges.

In the first episode we also see religious tensions emerging between the Hindu and Muslim communities in India due to the partition. A temple is built next to the mosque and then the police decide to open fire and shoot the protestors.

The episode was full of colour and drama and was a great opening episode to the series. I have never read the novel, but will definitely make sure that it is one of the next books that I read. However, I am looking forward to watching the rest of the series to see what happens next.

tv

Indian Matchmaking

Credit Netflix

Netflix’s new reality TV show about arranged marriages in the Indian culture has sparked debate about class and colourism. Not a lot of people have liked it due to the show reinforcing stereotypes about arranged marriage, which has caused divided opinion. The 8 part series follows matchmaker Simi Taparia (who every time has to introduces herself as “I am Simi from Mumbai), which I found quite funny.  Her clientele is mostly traditional wealthy families. We meet singletons with different backgrounds and personalities from India and America.

One of the things that I liked about the reality show, was how it discussed topics such as divorce. Even the matchmaker said to the woman, because she is divorced and has a kid she will have few matches. This clearly shows how divorce isn’t accepted fully in the Indian culture. Being married previously and having children shouldn’t affect a person’s chances of meeting someone, however Simi highlights the fact that it does and the woman will have to compromise.

Simi the matchmaker gives us an insight into how she matches up the singletons by sometimes sending them to a life coach. She also visits a face reader who tells her if they are suitable matches or not and also an astrologer. The bio data pretty much look like advanced version of a CV, it has their likes, hobbies and work experience.

In each episode we meet different singletons. In India we are introduced to Akshay, who pretty much is in no rush to get married. However, his mum keeps arguing with him and pushing him to find a girl and constantly complains she has high blood pressure because of him. Also, there is another guy called Pradhyuman who is also not that interested at the start and has turned down 150 marriage proposals. In America we meet Vysar a happy, smiley college councillor who discusses his complex family history. We  are also introduced to Arparna, a lawyer with high standards. She admitted she wants no children at her wedding and doesn’t want a first dance.

Though the show has been criticized a lot and I may not agree with the comments made by Simi and parents pushing their children to get married, it is still a binge-worthy watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
film · tv

Coming to Netflix August

The streaming giant will be dropping plenty of films and TV shows to keep us entertained during the summer.

The Mask

I have never seen this Jim Carey classic before, but will definitely be watching it when it drops next month. The film also stars Cameron Diaz. Carey plays a bank employee who comes across a wooden mask, which turns him into an eccentric green skinned man that can change realty. This is a must watch classic comedy.

Credit Flashback FM

Out of Sight

George Clooney is a bank robber and escapes jail and ends up falling for Jennifer Lopez who is a federal marshal.

Credit Movie Clips

The Peanut Butter Falcon

This comedy film is about a young man with Down syndrome who runs away from a nursing home to follow his dream in becoming a wrestler. Along the way he befriends an outlaw on the run played by Shia LaBeouf.

Credit Rapid Trailer

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens

If you prefer watching a good documentary rather than a film, then this is one to watch. This man spends his entire life trying to find aliens.

Credit International Film Festival Rotterdam

Project Power

Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in sci-fi action thriller Project Power. Crime escalates as people are taking this mysterious pill that gives them powers such as super strength and bulletproof skin. Jamie and Joseph team up to stop the people responsible for creating the pill.  

Credit Netflix

Superfly

It’s a reboot of the 1970’s film about a criminal kingpin who wants to get out of the Atlanta drug scene. The film stars Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell.

Credit Sony Pictures
tv

WWE Extreme Rules 2020

This year WWE decided to change the name for extreme rules by calling it The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. It definitely was a horror show, probably the worst PPV of 2020 so far. I didn’t enjoy any of the matches or storylines, just felt weak and repetitive.

The New Day vs Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro

The Smackdown tag team title was up for grabs in a table’s match. It was a good match, there’s always energy in every New Day match. It was a good opener and what you would expect from a tables match. The New Day lost the titles as Kofi fell through a table as he was power bombed by Cesaro.

Credit WWE

Bayley vs Nikki Cross

Bayley defended her title against Cross in a singles match. What I don’t understand, this is supposed to be extreme matches and many of the championship matches weren’t extreme. It was just normal single matches, which I found to be boring. Bayley was able to retain her title with the help of her mate Banks, who handed Bayley some brass knuckles.

Credit WWE

Sasha Banks vs Asuka

This match was a strong match and both women are skilled and strong competitors. It was fast paced and lots of back and forth. This would have been the highlight match, but the ending just ruined it. Bayley hits Asuka with a title then puts a referee top so Banks could win. Not sure who is still the champion, I think it’s Asuka.

Credit WWE

Seth Rollins vs Rey Mysterio

The stipulation for this match was stupid an eye for an eye. I mean obviously they weren’t really going to lose an eye, but still such a dumb stipulation. They were trying to poke and gouge each other’s eyes with a kendo stick, metal pipe and steel steps. The ending was one of silliest and stupidest in WWE history, with Rey’s eye popping out and Rollins puking all over the place.

Credit WWE

Drew McIntyre vs Dolph Ziggler

This was a good match and didn’t have a dumb finish like the other matches. It was an enjoyable match and both performed well. Drew was able to retain the title with the Claymore.

Credit WWE

Braun Strowman vs Bray Wyatt

So Strowman comes back home to the swamp to fight Wyatt. This swamp match was awful. For a portion of it they were talking and then Braun was fighting some random guys. It was stupid Braun gets hit with a shovel by his clone. Then a snake bites him, it just was so pointless and I was getting bored. The ending was confusing not entirely sure who won as we see The Fiend at the end. I think they should have had like an extreme rules match or last man standing match for the title. This match was disappointing as it was supposed to be the main event.

Credit WWE
film

The Old Guard

Credit Netflix

Charlize Theron stars as Andy and leads a group of immortal warriors in this comic book adaptation. Theron leads the group of immortal mercenaries who do various jobs which includes sometimes working for the bad guy. However, they are discovered by this pharmaceutical boss who tries to capture them and find out how they heal.

Theron’s performance is excellent in the film, as she plays a flawed and complicated character. There are flashbacks and we get to know each of the warriors back stories, who never seem to disclose their age. There’s plenty of action to enjoy with bullets and blades flying everywhere.

I enjoyed the script and the characters are dark and have a lot of trauma, but they are still likeable to the audience. A let down of the film was the soundtrack. When you watch a action/comic book movie you expect a killer soundtrack it’s so important. However the music in this film falls short. It just feels like there is music that doesn’t fit in scenes, which is distracting. Overall, it’s a great action film and I am looking forward to a potential sequel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
film

Virgin Bhanupriya

Credit Zee5

Urvashi Rautela plays a college student Bhanupriya who is still a virgin. She tries many ways to lose her virginity which leads to funny results. The film also stars Gautam Gulati who plays Shartiya a guy who doesn’t like to lose at bets. After an astrologer tells her that she will remain a virgin for the rest of her life, she tries to find various ways to initiate an encounter with a guy, mostly she is trying to kiss a guy rather than sleep with him.

The film has a lot of comedic gags, especially with Bhanu’s parents who are separated and constantly bicker with each other. It was nice to see female sexuality explored in an Indian film, because it is quite rare to see and is still considered a taboo subject. There was one scene where she is talking to her dad and they are on about sanitary pads, it highlights the lack of sex education.

Overall the film is a decent watch with some funny scenes. There are some cringe dialogues, but it’s still enjoyable to watch during lockdown.

Rating: 3 out of 5.