In HerStory Recommends this week, there’s Simmba with Ranveer Singh, if you are in the mood for masala, and you can say goodbye to the year with The Town That Laughed, a heartwarming tale set in a Kerala village.
This week’s HerStory Recommends comes to you from a small village in Kerala, picturesque verdant fields, flowing rivulets and a green that soothes the soul. And taking a leaf out of a Kerala village is a book that enthralled this year – The Town That Laughed by Manu Bhattathiri. The story is set against the backdrop of the fictional village of Karuthapuzha in Kerala, replete with RK-Narayanesque kind of characters in a comforting world filled with the ringing of cycle bells, the town drunk Joby, the larger-than-life policeman Pachu, the photographer Varky and the well-meaning barber, Sureshan. Pachu’s niece, the eight-year-old Priya, displays a child-like innocence with flashes of maturity as she plays an important role in Joby’s road to normalcy, the town is hell bent on. The Town That Laughed is funny, serious, intriguing – all at once, making you feel warm over. Just the right way to end the New Year! Take our word for it!
(The Town That Laughed by Manu Bhattathiri)
As long as Rohit Shetty rules Bollywood, you can be assured the term ‘masala entertainer’ is here to stay. Simmba, his latest, stars Ranveer Singh as ACP Sangram Bhalerao in a “bad boy turns bad cop turns good cop to seek vengeance” drama that signals the end of the year with a blockbuster. The film, in all possibility, is a spin off to the director’s earlier Singam, but here Ranveer effortlessly plays a small-town cop with ease, with his mannerisms, and dialogues that pack a solid punch. Sara Ali Khan as Shagun, his love interest, in her second release this month, has nothing earth-shattering to do, but is however a welcome and cute presence on screen. But Simmba is Ranveer all the way, supposedly every woman’s dream man – macho, with a twirling moustache and out to avenge every wrong out there. Who doesn’t love a bad boy turned good story? Ranveer deserves all the applause and adulation for carrying the film on his broad shoulders.
(Simmba, now playing in theatres)
In India cricket sells. There’s no doubt about that. Take a best-seller from Booker Prize-winning author Aravind Adiga about cricket, turn it into a web series and you’re sure to have a winner on your hands. The first season of Selection Day, now out on Netflix, is based on Adiga’s book of the same name, and revolves around two boys who move from a village to Mumbai to make it big in the world of cricket. The series remains true to the characters, while taking liberty with the plot, introducing new twists and turns. Three plots run in parallel keeping you hooked from one episode to another. Don’t miss veteran Ratna Pathak Shah essaying the role of a headmistress while Yash Dholye and Mohammad Samad as the brothers Radha and Manju impress with stellar performances. If you like the game of cricket with all its vagaries and intricacies, Selection Day is worth a binge.
(Selection Day now streaming on Netflix)
Do you have a book, movie, music, a product or an app you think should make it to the HerStory Recommends list? Do write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org)