In HerStoryRecommends this week, watch Sonam Kapoor’s movie on same-sex love and read The Milkman, a tale of gossip and hearsay.
Four More Shots Please!, the new web series from Amazon Prime Video, does not stretch beyond the snobbery and supposedly classy SoBo . The protagonists are of varying ages: Anjana Menon is a lawyer and a single mum, Damini Rizvi Roy is the fearless journalist, Sidhi is portrayed as a stereotypical Gujju girl who has to listen to mamma all the time, and Umang is a bisexual fitness trainer. The hot Milind Soman makes an appearance in the first scene itself, but the rest of the male star cast pales in front to the fiery four friends who meet at the Track Bar. Jeh’s (Prateik Babbar) mature performance as the bar owner and later as one of the girl’s love interests ensures that the males in Four More Shots Please! are more than just props. You will see a lot of shades of Sex And The City, and some from last year’s Veere Di Wedding, but this Amazon Prime Original produced by Pritish Nandy and Rangita Nandy and directed by Anu Menon attempts a bold, yet different genre of storytelling. Part chick lit, part portrayal of a bold, new India, Four More Shots Please! is a good watch. There's enough drama to hold you through 10 episodes.
(Four More Shots Please! on Amazon Prime Video)
Love in the time of Bollywood
So, has Bollywood finally woken up and decided to make a "progressive commercial” film with Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga? Well, director Shelly Chopra would like you to think so but not without Bollywood’s dose of drama and preachiness. Sweety (Sonam Kapoor) comes from a typical Punjabi family from the heartlands complete with a strictly doting “Papajee” (Anil Kapoor), a Punjab da puttar brother (Duhan), a doting grandma, a boy who loves her (Rajkumar Rao), and - here comes the twist – a love interest Kuhu (Casssandra) who is also a girl. So what does the film attempt to convey? That India has come of age and is open about same-sex love? Well, that would have been good if not for the whole “male acceptance” thing. While Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga may have wanted to break barriers and stereotypes, there’s still a long way for Bollywood to go to become totally inclusive.
(Ek Ladki Ko Dekha now in theatres)
Sister in the middle
If you haven’t read Milkman by Anna Burns, the Man Booker Prize winner for 2018, you must now. It’s a novel that’s set in an anonymous city, the characters don’t have names, and the story is told through the voice of a teenage girl. All we know is that she is the “middle sister” and, as all middle children do, tries to be as far from the family action as possible. But inconspicuous she is not, as someone named the Milkman is interested in her. The family does not know until her brother-in-law sniffs out her interest in her “maybe” boyfriend, and suddenly “middle sister” becomes quite interesting to follow. It’s a tale of everyday struggles, silences, and inaction, and of gossip and of lurking danger. Read to know more.
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 email@example.com)
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