The Takedown (Netflix)
Ousmane Diakhite (Omar Sy) is the nice black cop—though reckless—a poster boy for the integration of minorities in the Paris police. François Monge (Laurent Lafitte) is the white cop, dandy, meticulous but also a womaniser—he sleeps with his therapist, and, wait for it, neatly folds his clothes before getting into action. In this sequel to On The Other Side Of The Tracks, the two team up after a decapitated body is found on a train. This takes them to a small town in Réunion with a fascist mayor. Handling serious themes like diversity and white supremacy are maybe too much of an ask for a buddy cop movie, but watch it for the banter between Ousmane and François.—Nipa Charagi
The Tsugua Diaries (MUBI)
Two men and a woman living alone in a country home share chores and work on a greenhouse. We aren’t sure what their relation is to each other and what they’re doing. Then, as other people start to appear in scenes, we realise they’re actors in a film shoot. Soon, the directors, Miguel Gomes and Maureen Fazendeiro, become part of the film too, having philosophical discussions with the actors about the film-within-the-film. An elusive but tactile and witty take on the creative process under the shadow of covid.
I Love America (Netflix)
"In French we don't have the word date. It doesn't exist. Either we f*** or we don't," says Lisa (Sophie Marceau). This 50-year-old film director, who loves disco, has moved to Los Angeles from Paris after her mother's death to "start a new life". Her friend Luka (Djanis Bouzyani), who creates a dating profile for her, says, it is just like pancakes, first one (date) is always bad. There are flashbacks to the past, Lisa's mother never had time for her—"she raised herself". The one, and only, reason you are watching this romcom is for Marceau and hear her character say, while in bed with her date, "Everything I know about quantum physics, I learned from disco."—NC
Samrat Prithviraj (in theatres)
Akshay Kumar stars in this historical epic as Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan. Manushi Chhillar and Manav Vij, Chandraprakash Dwivedi (Mohalla Assi) writes and directs.
Mariner of the Mountains (MUBI)
Director Karim Aïnouz documents his first journey to Algeria, the land of his father’s birth (his mother is Brazilian). He visits his ancestral village, where distant relatives and people who knew his grandfather still live. With a few simple tools—a voiceover, verité camerawork, stills images—Aïnouz creates a complex, vivid tapestry. Gently experimental in places, this is a human, intensely personal work of documentary.