Madhuri Dixit makes a comeback in this series about an actress who mysteriously disappears. In our review we wrote: “Dixit is luminous as ever, taking many a blow in this narrative where everyone seems disdainful toward Anamika. She wears her stardom lightly—even warily—and when we see a film crew requesting her to wait because a male co-star has got the dance-steps wrong or hasn’t arrived on time, her resigned impatience feels vividly real. It is delightful to see Dixit in mom-mode, casually chiding or comforting a child; it’s even better to see her inflamed when a financier makes an inappropriate suggestion. As Anamika, she gives us a lot to read between the lines. She’s the kind of actor who can do more with a side-eye than most can with a soliloquy.”
Three Songs For Benazir (Netflix)
The documentary follows the story of a newly married teen couple, Shaista and Benazir, living in a camp for people displaced by war in Kabul. Theirs is a tender love story set amid poverty and bleakness—he sings her songs, she blushes. Shaista's not educated and wants to enlist in the Afghanistan army to support his family. His father thinks he's better off working in poppy fields. Shaista needs two guarantors to sign off on the form to join the army but no one in his tribe is willing to do so, saying the Taliban will come after them. Four years later, we see Shaista in a de-addiction centre. Film-makers Gulistan and Elizaveth Mirzaei started filming in 2013 and then returned after four years to track the couple.—Nipa Charagi
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film stars Alia Bhatt as a brothel madam who fights for sex workers' rights. We wrote in our review: “After the lavish Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, Bhansali, working with his regular cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee, is comparatively pared down here, his bold colours replaced by a blanched palette. The framing and choreography, though, is as finicky as ever, and some of the visual ideas—a dead sex worker sitting upright, propped up by her grieving friends—are striking. What the film lacks is a substantial opponent for Gangubai.”
A couple on an Icelandic farm find a mysterious newborn amongst their sheep. They raise the kid as their own, but things soon become increasingly strange. Lamb is directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson and stars Noomi Rapace.
Last Summer (Netflix)
This Turkish coming of age film is set in the summer of 1997. Deniz (Fatih Sahin) has turned 16 and like every year, his family is spending the summer holidays in Bodrum, on Turkey's Aegean coast, where they have a cottage. The beach town is full—children spending days splashing in the pool; families lazing on the beach; young people jumping off cliffs into the sea, and clubbing and drinking in the evenings. Deniz tags along everywhere with his elder sister and her group of friends. He has a crush on her best friend Alsi (Ece Cesmioglu). There is much jealousy as Alsi starts dating someone else. It's all very predictable, but watch it for the gloriousness of summer, though not as glorious as in Call Me By Your Name.—NC