Ms Yeh (Hee Ching Paw), an art teacher, juggles a lot of things and is always picking up after her husband and daughter. Her retired husband can be seen sitting in his high-backed, winged tangerine leather chair, in front of the TV—she can’t even watch her favourite Richard Gere show. In the middle of this hectic life, she’s also house-hunting to accommodate her mother, who has dementia. While this Taiwanese film is confusing and slow in parts, it is also realistic and relatable, about a middle-aged woman who decides to reclaim her agency. It’s interesting how everyday objects like the breakfast table—where she sits—the husband’s chair, the bookshelves in the couple’s small apartment convey the dynamics of their relationship. A lot is channelled through gestures—one memorable scene is where the husband returns home to find Ms Yeh sitting quietly in his chair.—Nipa Charagi
Andrew Dominik's first documentary with Nick Cave is a sombre, startling affair. We wrote about the film: “There is a melancholy splendour to the studio sequences: the messianic Ellis, with his long white beard, arms outstretched, shaping the music with minute movements in the air; Cave complaining he doesn’t know what the chords are, then playing an exceptionally beautifully figure on the piano. In one stunning sequence, the camera is placed on a circular track, with the musicians playing in the middle. Strobe lights flash disorientingly as images are superimposed on one another—a startling interpretation by one artist of another’s fragmented present.”
Code Name: Emperor (Netflix)
Juan (Luis Tosar) is a state intelligence agent—his job is to find evidence, fabricate it if required, against politicians and powerful people so that it can be used to blackmail them or get other powerful people out of a difficult situation. His boss wants him to find dirt on a local politician, Angel (Denis Gomez), who is clean, because once such people come to power “they might start cleaning under the rug”. While Juan is morally conflicted on the tactics he employs, he rationalises it by saying, “Someone has to do it.” This Spanish spy thriller is telling in its depiction of how the state uses surveillance and information to its advantage.—NC
Dobaaraa (in theatres)
Taapsee Pannu and Anurag Kashyap reteam after the excellent Manmarziyaan for a remake of the 2018 Spanish film Mirage. Dobaaraa is a thriller about a woman who connects with a boy who witnessed a murder that took place years ago. Pavail Gulati, Nassar, Rahul Bhat and Saswata Chatterjee feature alongside Pannu.
This romcom follows a group of Dom musicians, playing traditional instruments like the zurna and kemençe—the nomadic community is one of the most marginalised in Turkey. It’s a quirky bunch, but a close-knit one, living in a remote region in makeshift tents and abandoned vehicles. Piroz (Erkan Kolçak Köstendil) is performing at a wedding when the groom calls it off and takes the bride Sümbül (Hazar Ergüçlü) back to her father, who decides to kill her. Piroz, who has fallen in love with the bride at first sight, must find a way to save her. While the film might be absurd and silly at times, it is endearing for the simplicity of its characters, with the music, the landscape and the way sunlight is captured adding a rich texture.—NC