Season 3 of the gentle slice-of-life drama Gullak has dropped. We wrote in our review: “Set in an unnamed North Indian city where Raag Malhar is but the name of a mushroom dish on a fancy menu, Gullak is all about acute observations. ‘What is a novelist?’, asks the mother, a bookish word for that profession believably out of her ambit, and the elder son’s deadpan answer is priceless: ‘Inauspicious.’ Another episode draws finely distinctive lines between ‘suspension’ and ‘dismissal,’ elaborating on the way gossip works, and how easily misery is turned into a sarvjanik halwa — something for the entire neighbourhood to feast on.”
Pachinko (Apple TV+)
When Sunja (Min-ha Kim plays teenage Sunja; and Youn Yuh-jung of Minari fame, the family matriarch) leaves her fishing village in Korea, then under Japanese colonial rule, for Osaka with her husband, her mother serves her white rice—"a taste of her own country". Fifty years later, Sunja, who has since not returned to Korea, is having a meal at another Korean immigrant's home. She immediately discerns the taste of "rice from home". "It's nuttier," she says, when her US-educated grandson Solomon cannot understand what the fuss is about. As the two women reminisce, Sunja gets emotional. "Don't look down on her tears. She's earned the right to those," says the other woman to Solomon. Adapted from Min Jin Lee's novel of the same name, the story spans four generations, with Sunja connecting the past and present. Watch out for Lee Min-ho as Hansu.—Nipa Charagi
The new Abhishek Bachchan film is a snooze, as we wrote in our review. “There’s nothing in Dasvi that doesn’t feel lazy. It looks like it’s been shot on two basic sets and Bachchan’s front lawn. A no-nonsense female professional is repeatedly reduced to the cliché of an angry cat. Sachin-Jigar underscore the jokes (such as they are) with brass farts and clownish keys. The graphics in the Twitter-storm montage—a dreaded mainstay of social media-era Hindi cinema—are stunningly amateur. There's no consistency in the lessons for the exams: Chaudhary is studying advanced math but doesn't know his letters or basic grammar. Then there’s the bit where he’s shown participating in the Indian freedom movement: so obvious, so stupid.”
Shane Warne’s shock death makes this documentary on his life unbearably poignant. We wrote in our review: “Shane may be able to contemporise a cricketer whose value to the sport will last longer than his career. Warne not just revived the fading art of leg-spin, he also gave the dour world of cricket, suffering from the slow decline of the West Indies, a larger-than-life character who could dictate headlines without bowling a ball. He got only 43 wickets in 14 Tests against India, which diluted his myth here. But he was instrumental in turning Australia into an all-conquering machine that dominated the sport while he played.”
Life Itself (MUBI)
Steve James’ documentary is a rare film dedicated to a critic. Roger Ebert is much missed, having lost his battle to cancer in 2013. This film is a reminder of how much he influenced public taste through his writing and his TV show.