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Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari: Here’s a social satire powered by a clutch of talented actors such as Manoj Bajpayee, Diljith Dosanjh and Fatinma Sana Shaikh. The comedy is set in mid-1990s Mumbai and chronicles the adventures or misadventures of a crafty wedding detective, Madhu Mangal Rane, whose job is to do background checks and dig up dirt on potential grooms and brides. Director Abhishek Sharma takes a nick at the tradition of arranged marriages. All the actors are in top form, especially Dosanjh excels in his role of a bachelor, who crosses path with the wily detective, played brilliantly by Bajpayee. It’s the performances that make this film compelling and a must watch. SPMB is out in UAE cinemas now.
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Pushpavalli (Amazon Prime Video): If you are in the mood for a wicked, sharp and well-written series, then stand-up comedian Sumukhi Suresh’s Pushpavalli will be right up your street. It’s a funny satire about a young Bengaluru-based woman (Suresh) who begins obsessing about a young man Nikhil that she meets at a conference. On the tin, she may be a stalker/enterprising sociopath — who even moves from Bhopal to Bengaluru to fulfil her ambition of making Nikhil fall in love with her — but the disturbing premise is diluted because she’s charming in a clumsy way. Think of her as an Indian Bridget Jones who is vengeful when spurned. Suresh, who co-wrote the series, believes that the success of her show lies in showing a woman with deep emotional insecurity and no sense of self-worth. Her life situation may be grim, but there’s a buoyant note running through this highly enjoyable series.
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Serious Men (Netflix): Director Sudhir Mishra brings out the best in Nawazuddin Siddiqui as he plays a desperate middle-class father who’s eager to see his son achieve greatness at all costs. Siddiqui displays a father’s frustration at the subtle, but deep-seated class and caste divides in India with aplomb in this film. The satire — which takes a swipe at India’s obsession with caste which defines your station in life — is funny, acerbic and deeply moving. The issues are complex, but Mishra deals with them in an engaging manner. Siddiqui as Ayyan, who is saddled with an arrogant boss and scientist, has his game face on. He shoulders the whole movie with admirable ease.
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Survive the Night: In this action thriller, out on Thursday in the UAE, a trauma doctor (Chad Michael Murray) is taken hostage with his family after a pair of on-the-run criminals break into his home, and he’s forced to operate on one of them in order to remove a bullet from his leg. But the physician's father, Frank (Bruce Willis), can’t keep calm when he finds out his wife has been killed. A night of survival ensues.
Image Credit: Supplied
5 of 10
Target Number One: Josh Hartnett returns to the big screen in the Canadian crime drama ‘Target Number One’, based on the true story of Alain Olivier, a Quebecois drug addict who spent eight years in a Thai prison in the 1980s after an illegal police bust. The movie stars Hartnett as brash journalist Victor Malarek, who looks into the arrest of drug addict Daniel Léger (Antoine Olivier Pilon). It releases on Thursday in the UAE.
Image Credit: Supplied
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Freaky: The body-switch genre gets a deadly make-over in this thriller starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton. A seventeen-year-old high school student faces typical high school issues such as bullying. However, when she’s targeted by Butcher, a serial killer, she has a much more serious issue to deal with. The student and the murderer magically switch bodies and the teen has 24 hours to get back to her normal self before her new identity becomes permanent. Out now in cinemas.
Image Credit: AP
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The Night Clerk: This crime drama, out now in cinemas, promises to be a spooky ride. Featuring a star cast including Tye Sheridan, Ana de Armas and Helen Hunt, it’s about a hotel clerk who becomes the prime suspect when a woman is murdered during his shift.
Image Credit: IMDB
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Paranormal (Netflix): If a Netflix binge is more your speed, then you have to check out a groundbreaking series – the first Egyptian production from Netflix. It’s based on Ahmed Khaled Tawfik's supernatural book series and is about a professor who finds himself surrounded by paranormal happenings.
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Virgin River (Netflix): If you're looking for a relaxing and heart-warming show to cosy up with on the couch, then the second season of this wholesome drama out on November 27 will keep you going the whole long weekend. The first season saw a nurse practitioner leave behind her life in Los Angeles for a simpler existence. She moves to a remote Northern California town but of course, things don’t go according to plan.
Image Credit: Netflix
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Street Food: Asia (Netflix): Travel isn’t on the cards for many of us, but through the power of TV we can take a little trip to other places. If you’re the kind of traveller who seeks all the best restaurants at your destination, then this show will whet your appetite. Season one explores nine countries across Asia, from the hawker stalls of Singapore to the food carts of India. The show is beautifully shot and informative, and you might even get inspired to cook up a storm of Asian food.
Image Credit: Netflix