West Side Story (Disney+ Hotstar)
Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated remake of the 1961 classic is now streaming. We wrote in our review: “In his West Side Story, Steven Spielberg indulges the new cinematic fetish for teams assembling. Young punks emerge from boxy apartments and trailers and basements. There’s a blissful tracking shot of five toughs strutting down the street, a couple of them skipping out to dance ahead, cans of paint being passed around, all without breaking step. In five minutes of swoop and glide, the film deposits the Jets, a white American gang, in the territory of the Puerto Rican Sharks. Any question about whether Spielberg would be a good fit for a musical is pretty much buried by then.”
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Lt Thomas Blin (Franck Gastambide) is a corrupt French police officer who accidentally runs over a man. To cover up the crime, he stuffs the body in his mother's coffin. Soon he starts receiving calls from an anonymous person, who threatens to expose him if does not hand over the dead body to him. The caller, it is revealed, is Marcelli (Simon Abkarian), the head of narcotics department, and the dead man is Barcello, a wanted smuggler. More twists and turns follow in this French film, which is fast-paced and fun but loses steam in the second half.—Nipa Charagi
Train Again (MUBI)
Experimental filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky pays tribute to trains in the movies. Images of rail travel are interspersed with film leader in this short work. Other films by the singular Tscherkassky can also be found on MUBI.
Bestseller (Amazon Prime Video)
Bestseller is one of several Indian series and films with novelists as characters. We wrote: “In recent Amazon Prime thriller series Bestseller, Arjan Bajwa plays novelist Tahir Wazir, someone who gets crore-rupee book deals but exploitatively steals ideas for his novels. Based on a book by Ravi Subramanian, Bestseller is silly yet effectively pulpy; I laughed at it while needing to know what came next.”
Jhund (in theatres)
Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s highly anticipated Jhund is his first film in Hindi. Amitabh Bachchan stars as a football coach who works with young people in a slum. Manjule reunites with Ajay-Atul, who also composed the incredibly popular songs for his Sairat.
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