In this week's HerStory Recommends, we bring you superstar Rajinikanth's latest blockbuster, a Grisham book to devour and an Amazon original that takes your breath away.
Man vs machine
When the thalaiva and the khiladi come together, with over-the-top visual effects and a robot to boot, you can expect another blockbuster coming your way. 2.0, a sequel to 2010’s Enthiran (or Robot) is a larger-than-life closing to the year. This one has superstar Rajnikanth and Bollywood import Akshay Kumar doing the honours in this man vs machine saga. In 2.0, Dr Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth) battles a strange Birdman (innovatively titled Pakshirajan, a not-so-frightening Akshay Kumar) who, wait - hold your breath - snatches away people’s mobile phones. This, after an eerie opening scene where scores of birds fly into the sky and a man hangs himself from a cell phone tower. The robot Chitti, not unsurprisingly, is resurrected. 2.0 tries to bring in some science with terms like “photon synthesiser” and “electromagnetic radiation”. Eventually, it’s the usual Rajinikanth film – with the good vs bad stuff, and plenty of whistles in the theatre to keep you company.
(2.0 – in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu – now in theatres)
Deep, dark, secrets
Nothing like a John Grisham novel to end the year on a thrilling note. If you are a Grisham fan, nothing can stop you from devouring his latest, The Reckoning, which comes with its fair share of drama – a murder, a mystery, an insipid legal battle and a twist you never saw coming. Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, in this thriller as he introduces Peter Banning, a decorated World War II hero, and patriarch of a prominent family, a good father, citizen and member of the town’s Methodist Church. But when he guns down the local pastor, all hell breaks loose. He gives no explanation for his actions and seems resigned to his fate. His constant refrain is, “I have nothing to say.” The murder seems to have something to do with Liza, his wife locked up in a mental health facility and the story moves forward only to unravel a deep, dark secret in the end. The Reckoning is a must-read for its intricacies of a family saga, legal suspense, and of course, the twist at the end.
(The Reckoning by John Grisham – Penguin Random House)
Women in the newsroom rule
Browsing through Amazon Prime, looking for something to watch last weekend, and with no new releases that were tempting enough, I took a colleague’s suggestion and sat down to watch an old Amazon original, Good Girls Revolt, a feminist period drama inspired by Lynn Povich’s 2013 book of the same name and based on real-life events.
The story is largely set in the newsroom of the News of The Week magazine, in the revolutionary times of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Women in the newsroom were only designated as researchers to editors and reporters even though they were more talented than their male counterparts. They were paid a lot less, not allowed to write, and their contributions to reporters’ stories went unnoticed and unsung as they received no bylines for any stories. Good Girls Revolt is an insight into their struggles and how they come together to fight against the unjust system. Sadly, the show was not renewed for further seasons, but this one is definitely worth watching, if only to understand and take pride in what women journalists have achieved over the years.
(Good Girls Revolt – streaming on Amazon Prime Video)
(Do you have a book, movie, music or an app you think should make it to the HerStory Recommends list? Do write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org)