The Empire (Disney+ Hotstar)
This epic historical series is about the rise of Babur. In our review, we wrote: “The Empire may be created by Nikkhil Advani but it bears the distinct scent of another filmmaker, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The show’s director Mitakshara Kumar assisted Bhansali on Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, while writer Bhavani Iyer wrote Black and Guzaarish. They not only pay homage to Bhansali’s signature opulence, but also borrow characters and motivations from his movies, while also unwisely lifting scenes and plotpoints directly from Game Of Thrones and even Baahubali.”
About Love (MUBI)
A witty and closely observed slice of non-fiction by Archana Atul Phadke. Lounge had written that the director “turns the camera on her family in this intimate, jostling and often scabrous documentary. As the Phadkes prepare for her brother’s wedding, the director introduces us, through observed moments of daily life and on-the-fly interviews, to her bellicose grandfather and idiosyncratic father, both of whom drive their partners up the wall. The result is a loving but sharp look at extended families and gender mores being passed down the generations.”
Black Widow (Disney+ Hotstar)
Though it’s the first film in ‘phase four’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a Black Widow solo venture can’t help like feel like an afterthought and an attempt to restore some kind of gender parity to the MCU. Cate Shortland’s film is set after Captain America: Civil War—well before Avengers: Endgame, in which the character dies—and has assassin-turned-superhero Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) team up with Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) and Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour) to fight Dreykov (Ray Winstone).
Watch Private Ahn Jun-ho (Jung Hae-in) and Corporal Han Ho-yeol (Koo Kyo-hwan) as they set out on assignments to track down military deserters in this Netflix series D.P. The series shows the dark side of the military in South Korea, where military service is compulsory: seniors abusing juniors, corruption, toxic culture and the impact on the mental health of enlistees. Don't tune in expecting Jung Hae-in of Something In The Rain, he's more Prison Playbook here: brooding and impassive. Wait for the twist at the end.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (in theatres)
Shang-Chi is trained as a child to be an assassin by his father Wenwu (Tony Leung), leader of the terrorist organization Ten Rings. He leaves and starts leading a regular life in San Francisco, but his past follows him there. Shang-Chi has a few firsts for Marvel: a primarily Asian and Asian-origin cast, with Simu Lu in the lead, and a focus on martial arts. Destin Daniel Cretton directs; the cast is rounded out by Awkwafina, Meng'er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Michelle Yeoh.