A man is walking through an orange grove, the trees laden with fruit. Next, he's inside this gorgeous house—whitewashed walls, minimalistic décor. This no-name man (played by Jason Segel) has broken into the holiday home of a tech billionaire (Jesse Plemons). As he is about to leave, with some money and a Rolex watch, the CEO and his wife (Lily Collins, a far cry from Emily In Paris) arrive. He holds the couple hostage and asks for $500,000, in cash. Till the money arrives, they are forced to spend time together,, in the process revealing the dysfunctional marriage: the CEO is odious, his wife, miserable. Directed by Charlie McDowell, the crime thriller ends on a baffling note.—Nipa Charagi
SS Rajamouli's RRR is breaking records set by the director's own films. In our review of the period action spectacle, we wrote: “Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem were actual early 20th century Telugu revolutionaries. RRR is not so much a biopic as a wildly operatic imagining of their partnership. These leaps of fiction allow Rajamouli to break with tradition and frame the freedom struggle in triumphant terms. Yes, there’s plenty of Indians tortured and killed, but the real point of the film is Raju and Bheem coming up with ever more inventive ways to exterminate comically evil white men. RRR essentially asks: what if we were the scary ones? It’s the same wishfulness that drove Inglourious Basterds, victimhood transformed into righteous superpowered strength.”
Winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes and Best International Feature at the Oscars, Ryusuke Hamaguchi's Drive My Car finally arrives on streaming in India. The film, about a theatre director and his driver trying to work through their grief, is a slowly unfolding, deeply felt adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story.
Sharmaji Namkeen (Amazon Prime Video)
A swansong for the late Rishi Kapoor. The actor died while filming was still on for this modest dramedy. Paresh Rawal stepped in to film the remaining scenes for the character. The solution might seem unorthodox but it offers a last chance to see an actor who entertained audiences over half a century.
Marilyn's Eyes (Netflix)
Clara (Miriam Leone), a compulsive liar, and Diego (Stefano Accorsi), a chef with OCD, meet at a day psychiatric centre. As part of the programme, they make a meal for a group of senior citizens. This spurs Clara to open a fictional restaurant page online, complete with reviews. She ropes in Diego and other members to turn this into reality. Diego has one condition: He will serve only one dish a day. The restaurant, Monroe's (because Clara thinks she resembles the actor), creates a buzz. But, of course, things are bound to go haywire. Directed by Simone Godano, this Italian film raises a few laughs but is unable to bring it all together.—NC