Variety

What to Binge-Watch this weekend

Jinoy Jose P December 13 | Updated on December 13, 2019 Published on December 13, 2019

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Are you all set to enjoy the weekend? Check out our list

Streamers in India have reasons to rejoice. This week reports said Netflix might introduce long-term subscription plans for India. Clearly, Netflix is aiming big in India’s booming over-the-top media market. The company plans to shell out nearly Rs 3,000 crore to create original content in India. That means there is going to be an avalanche of fresh films, serials and comedy shows and, in all likelihood, consumers will be spoilt for choice. So get ready for more action in the immediate horizon.

Marriage Story, 136 minutes, Netflix

The originals from Netflix are creating new standards of cinema now. Just a fortnight ago, the streaming platform released Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman which garnered rave reviews. Most critics have praised the movie, showering praises on its making, plot and characterisation, which many believe have pushed the boundaries of filmmaking way above existing levels. In fact, all those exclamations would suit Marriage Story as well. Directed and produced by Noah Baumbach, this American comedy-drama film stars Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Ray Liotta, etc.

It follows the lives of a couple going through a divorce. In 2005, Baumbach was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Squid and the Whale. The strength of Marriage Story is its tight, tense and technically perfect screenplay, by Baumbach himself. Statutory warning: If you are a faint-hearted couple, this is not for you. But this is a film every married couple must watch, to know what’s missing and what can go missing and if you are receptive, you may learn a thing or two from it that can sure help you enhance your marital life. Johansson, Driver and co have delivered brilliant performances. A must watch.

 

Safe, Netflix, 8 episode of more than 40 mins each

Remember Dexter Morgan? The serial killer and blood spatter analyst in the popular American series Dexter is one of the best roles Michael Carlyle Hall is known for. Hall is back with another spine-chilling series in Safe. This time the plot is set in England, and Hall plays Tom Delaney, a pediatric surgeon and widowed father of two teenage daughters. The family is still to come to terms with the loss of the mother, who died of cancer almost a year ago. And all hell broke loose when Tom’s 16-year-old daughter Jenny goes missing. The surgeon goes searching for her and finds himself in the midst of a dark web of secrets and eery stories. Created by crime writer Harlan Coben and written by Danny Brocklehurst,

Safe is gripping, gory and edgy. It is a shock treatment indeed, and there is art. Perfect for a late-night binge. Black Earth Rising, Netflix, 8 episodes of 60 minutes each Hugo Blick’s The Honourable Woman is arguably one of the best political spy thrillers I have watched on TV in recent times. Featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal in the lead, the meticulously-made TV miniseries is a delight to watch. Blending geopolitics, espionage, unravelling of families and business, Blick built a uniquely intriguing world of emotions and actions in the series. In Black Earth Rising he repeats the feat.

The 2018 television drama series, now available on Netflix and is written and directed by Blick, revolves around the prosecution of international war criminals. Kate Ashby works as a legal investigator in the London law chambers of Michael Ennis. Ashby and Ennis have to embark on a journey to Africa when Ashby’s adoptive mother Eve takes on a case prosecuting an African militia leader.

The series unravels painful memories of the Rwandan genocide, in which more than 800,000 people — Tutsi minorities and moderate Hutus — were killed by the majority Hutus. If you have watched the heart-wrenchingly beautiful Hotel Rwanda, this series will enthuse you even more deeply. British actress Michaela Coel delivers a superb performance as Ashby and the screenplay is blemishless.

The Favourite, Hotstar, 120 minutes

Enjoyed Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown Season 3? Get ready to be surprised by another slice of great performance by Colman, once again as a queen, in The Favourite, a period black comedy directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. The film is set in early 18th-century England, where two cousins, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) try all the tricks in their kitty to be the favourites of Queen Anne (Colman). The film has a witty, whacky screenplay, superb direction, impeccable acting, detailed cinematography, and spectacular costume design. Ideal for family viewing.

A Very English Scandal, Amazon Prime, 3 episodes of nearly 60 mins each Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant. What more do you want to grab the remote and click go! This three-part British television comedy-drama miniseries is based on John Preston's book of the same name. Based on real events, the series dramatises the Thorpe affair of the 1970s -- a political and sex scandal that wrecked Liberal Party leader and MP Jeremy Thorpe.

Grant plays Thorpe and Whishaw his secret lover. The tragicomedy is written by Russell T Davies, who’s known for works such as The Second Coming, Casanova, and Cucumber, Tofu and Banana. We hear the series will have a second season, with a different scandal.

Enjoy your weekend!

Published on December 13, 2019
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