West Side Story (in theatres)
Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story is dazzling, but will still look familiar to anyone who’s seen the 1961 film. As we wrote in our review: “It looks different—the bright colours of the original replaced by the subtler tones of Janusz Kaminski. It’s got better actors; the camera and choreography are more mobile. Yet, it’s practically the same film. Spielberg is a far superior craftsman to Wise. But there is a reluctance to change anything fundamental about the source material. The play is essentially Romeo and Juliet in the run-down Upper West Side of New York, a romance between Tony, a Jet who wants to leave the gang life, and Maria, the sister of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks. Spielberg keeps everything—their meeting at a dance, the death at the ‘rumble’, the tragic ending.”
The third season of Succession has belonged in many ways to Roman, as we wrote in our review. “This season, Roman wormed his way closest to his father, thinking on the fly to strike bathroom deals with tech-giants and far-right politicians, but he knows he is playacting at power instead of reaching for it. In the first episode he talked himself out of the top job, and later could not side with his sister Siobhan as she sent out a humiliating letter about their brother Kendall, saying it “makes him feel unwell.” He may be the softest sibling pretending to be the roughest, and this year his digs to his sister have been more gross than clever. He doesn’t know what to do with himself.”
Spider-Man: No Way Home (in theatres)
The latest Spider-Man film brings in villains from earlier iterations of the character. As we wrote in our review: “In allowing this trio to be easily overwhelmed by Peter (with help from Strange), Jon Watts, director on this and the last two Spidey films, and writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, discover something worth mining. Because in this new context, these antagonists are just lost old men—something that Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), Peter’s moral compass, recognizes immediately. Peter’s task becomes one of rescue and restoration, instead of a straightforward zapping back to their universe.”
In the Mood for Love (MUBI)
One of the millennium’s best-loved romances is streaming on MUBI in a new restoration. The film stars Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung as two strangers who grow close after their respective spouses begin an affair with each other. Part of “In Love. The Cinema of Wong Kar-wai”, a five-film retrospective.
This flamboyant Malayalam film tells the story of India’s longest-wanted fugitive, Sukumara Kurup. It’s directed by Srinath Rajendran and stars Dulquer Salmaan in the lead along with Indrajith Sukumaran and Sobhita Dhulipala.