[HerStory Recommends] Sing a little, dance a little as Mary Poppins returns, or curl up with a fast-paced thriller – our top picks of the weekRekha Balakrishnan
In this week’s HerStory Recommends, Emily Blunt is all magic in the sequel to Mary Poppins, and Hasan Minhaj questions Saudi Arabia in a hard-hitting episode of Patriot Act.
Making a statement with humour
Though I am a great fan of Hasan Minhaj, and watched his Homecoming King five times, awed by his narrative of an Indian migrant family in the US making it through all the trials and tribulations, I did not quite enjoy my first viewing of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj on Netflix. It was classic Minhaj alright, but very US-centric for my tastes. Until a few days ago, when I read that his episode on Saudi Arabia was withdrawn by Netflix in the country, on the government’s insistence. Minhaj tweeted,” Clearly, the best way to stop people from watching something is to ban it, make it trend online, and then leave it up on YouTube.” My interest was piqued enough to watch the particular episode. And boy, does Minhaj, come out, all guns blazing at the Saudi regime, its poster-boy Crown Prince, the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, its business interests in the US, and the Kingdom’s role in Yemen. Never one to mince words, Minhaj, in his trademark style, also reminds us humour is not just for laughs, but making a statement as well.
(Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj on Netflix)
Dance and sing as Mary Poppins Returns
Okay, so they took 55 years to make a sequel to Mary Poppins. Which is also unimaginatively called Mary Poppins Returns. But fans of the 1964 hit music aren’t complaining. Emily Blunt in the lead role of this Disney musical brings back the charm of the 50s, playing a magical nanny who makes a comeback after 25 years to bring some semblance of order into the lives of her wards. The Banks children are all however grown up but Michael Banks is a widower who is struggling to bring up his three children. Here’s where Mary Poppins steps in, a character as warm and loving as the original played by Julie Andrews. There is song and dance as the story chugs along, making it a fun movie for both adults and children. If you want a feel-good movie this weekend, go for this one. You’ll come back with a big smile on your face.
(Mary Poppins Returns now in theatres)
Through the looking glass
The title of the book, The Woman in The Window, itself speaks volumes about the nature of the story, undoubtedly a thriller. Anna Fox is agoraphobic, and cooped up in her home for the last 10 months, content with her memories but terrified to step outside. What Anna loves is to sit in front of a window and watch the world outside, particularly the Russells, a family of three, who have moved into the neighbourhood recently. There’s the sinister-looking Alistair Russell, the joyful Jane Russell and their messed-up teen Ethan Russell. Things take a turn when Anna hears a piercing scream one evening and witnesses something. What happens after? How does Anna unravel the truth? What circumstances force Anna to make decisions… These and more form the premise of this unputdownable thriller.
(The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn)
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)