The Turning Point (Netflix)
"It takes 5 minutes to figure out your whole life story—a sad story," says Jack (Andrea Lattanzi) to Ludovico (Brando Pacitto) in this Italian film by Riccardo Antonaroli. Jack is a thief who is on the run from the mafia after stealing their money. He forces his way into Ludo's apartment and takes refuge there. Ludo, a slacker, has been suffering from depression for a year. He is an economics student, but wants to be a comic book artist. As Jack fixes a lamp in the apartment, he tells Ludo, "If I had time, I would fix you too." An unlikely bond forms between the two, with Jack taking on the role of a mentor. But the mafia is closing in on them.
Heropanti 2 (in theatres)
Tiger Shroff is back in this sequel to his 2014 hit, Heropanti. He plays “computer genius” Babloo, though as always what he’s actually playing is Tiger Shroff, an amiable young man who can break heads and dance up a storm. Collecting their paycheques are Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a flamboyant cybercriminal and composer AR Rahman.
Twenty-five Twenty-one (Netflix)
It is 1998—a world of cassettes, pagers, phonebooths and mobile phones without caller IDs—Na Hee-do (Kim Tae-ri) and Ko Yu-rim (Bona of the band WJSN) are high school fencers, both on the national team. They are a group of five friends: Ji Seung-wan, Moon Ji-woong and Baek Yi-jin (Nam Joo-Hyuk) being the other three. Yi-jin, at 22, is four years senior to them. The series follows their ups and downs through a decade, but is essentially a love story between Hee-do and Yi-jin and how they grow apart. Both are a joy to watch—one outspoken, the other restrained. But this K-drama tries to pack in too many things, including world events like 9/11, and that is its undoing.
A lost and found masterpiece from Iran is now streaming on MUBI. We wrote in our review: “Everything teeters on the edge of perversity. Hadji is rumoured to have a preference for young boys. After he’s felled by a blow of a flail, Aghdashloo’s heavy breathing as she helps carry the body out of the room seems to suggest other exertions. Later in the film, what starts out as a playful love scene between the maid and her lover morphs into one of violence. The music, though played on Iranian instruments, sounds like avant-garde jazz. Even the elements acquire an unstable feverishness as the film progresses, with the Greek chorus of women washing clothes finding themselves in the midst of a sudden storm.”
Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal (in theatres)
This Vijay Sethupathi, Nayanthara and Samantha-starrer is a little too diffident for what it promises. We wrote in our review: “Polyamory? What is that! The film is timid to a fault to even discuss sex. A painful scene glosses over sex and marriage using pista and badam as euphemistic semaphores.”