Till Death (Netflix)
Sahar (Maguy Bou Ghosn), Reem (Daniella Rahme), Omar (Bassem Moughnieh) and Hadi (Mohammed Al Ahmad) are back in this second season of the Lebanese series—there are also a bunch of new characters. Unlike season 1, Sahar and Reem are not out to trap rich men; this time, they are plotting to take revenge on Hadi. At 30 episodes per season, it is long winded. But it is also a commentary on Lebanon's financial crisis and its insane inflation, of how more and more people are being pushed into poverty, to the point that there is no place for virtue. Interestingly. there's a fleeting mention of "King Khan". In one scene, Sahar says to a friend, "I thought you were competing with Shah Rukh Khan."—Nipa Charagi
When director Pushpendra Singh visited the village of Barna, he became fascinated by the Manganiyar oral tradition of teaching. There, Singh came across Moti, a talented young singer. Moti’s journey—his musical education, lessons from his uncle and others, and his first steps towards a performing career—became the story of the film. It took five years to make Pearl of the Desert, Singh returning periodically to Barna to shoot. Singh’s approach to the material isn’t ethnographic; his aim was to make something that was both a documentary and a musical. There are stunning scenes with Moti in the desert, his voice echoing through the deserted landscape, and of bhanat work songs, the call-and-response vocals a primal link with tribes in other parts of the world.
Seven years have passed since Vijay Salgaonkar’s ingenuity helped him and his family evade the police. But fresh evidence has resulted in further investigations. Ajay Devgn stars as the unflappable Vijay, Akshay Khanna plays the detective on the case, and Tabu reprises her role as IG Meera Deshmukh. Abhishek Pathak directs the film, which is based on Jeethu Joseph’s 2021 Malayalam film of the same name.
The Wonder (Netflix)
Elizabeth, an English nurse, is sent to a village in Ireland to observe a girl who has not eaten for four months. This 1862-set film, which seems to draw on a tradition of eerie rural British cinema, is directed by Sebastián Lelio (Gloria). Florence Pugh leads a formidable cast that includes Tom Burke, Niamh Algar, Toby Jones and Ciarán Hinds.
Route 10 (Netflix)
After their flight gets cancelled, Maryam and Nasser hit Route 10—Highway 10 in Saudi Arabia is said to be world's longest stretch of straight road—to travel from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi for their father's wedding. On this isolated stretch of road, which cuts through a desert, they are chased by a stranger in a souped-up white jeep, who seems intent on killing them. The film sets up this suspense but does not deliver on it. It's not clear who this stranger is or his motive. After a point, the cat and mouse game—like the straight road—becomes monotonous.—NC