#WFH: Let There be Love, Sex, and 'Dhokha' On Our Screens This Weekend
From court room drama to interfaith couples to an imperfect victim of abuse—this weekend's list cuts close to heart.
As hate narratives around Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura reach a deafening pitch, let's make space for love and more. If you must, there is a legal drama thrown in the mix for this weekend's OTT binge watching.
This 'L' list of shows may cut too close to heart. After all, who hasn't read multiple news reports on hounded lovers, or wrongly accused persons languishing in jails, and women who are not heard because they are not "perfect victims". Think Amber Heard.
Love Hostel (2022)
In a country rent asunder by the matters of faith, can love survive? This grim film shines the spotlight on the violence faced by interfaith couples. "Honour killing"—an ironic phrase—defines the fate of such love that dare not name itself in the current climate of religious and caste intolerance.
Jyoti (Sanya Dhingra) and Ashu (Vikrant Massey) are sent by a court order to one of the many 'love hostels' in the state. Basically, a dilapidated sanctuary for young couples whose families are baying for their blood for defying socio-cultural norms. Viraj Singh Dagar (Bobby Deol) is a self-appointed crusader for the purity of his community.
The lovers are constantly on the run, chased by Dagar with the tacit approval of the state machinery. What chance do Jyoti and Ashu have? Jyoti is the granddaughter of a politician and Ashu belongs to a much maligned community and has been hobnobbing with some shady characters. Their love story is a difficult one: they not only must transcend the societal disapproval but also their respective insecurities about each other.
Love Hostel may appear to be a simple story of star-crossed lovers, but remains one of the bravest mainstream Hindi films of our times. Director Shankar Raman doesn't hold any punches in recreating the ordeal of these lovers and lays bare India's growing intolerance for the "other". Coming from the stable of Drishyam—the production house that has given us Masaan, Newton, Aankhon Dekhi, and more—Love Hostel is a must watch.
Where to Watch: Zee5
The Lincoln Lawyer (2022)
This show, trending on number one position on Netflix right now, has a lot going for it. The most important element being it's lineage: this legal drama has been adapted by the makers of Boston Legal and The Practice from Michael Connelly’s bestselling eponymous book series. There is never a bad day for a good courtroom drama.
An out of favour lawyer regains his mojo: that's the plot of the show. From the backseat of his Lincoln Town car, Micky Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) saves 'innocent' people from the clutches of justice system. Alongside, he's also saving himself from addiction issues. Micky is driven dizzy, quite literally, by his mission of ensuring that his clients are stuck with neither delayed nor denied justice.
Manuel Garcia-Rulfo has deftly reprised the lead character which was played by Matthew McConaughey in the 2011 film with the same name. Both the film and the show seek to draw the captive audience of novelist Michael Connelly.
It's an easy-to-binge-on show that does not require Better Call Saul level of deep engagement from the viewer. And the latter may not necessarily be a bad thing.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Losing Alice (2020)
Losing Alice is not your regular wham bam Israeli show. For the starters, there is no national crisis that needs to be resolved by a team of good looking and agile Mossad agents and/or the Arabic speaking mistaravim.
The crisis that the show deals with has to do with Everywoman's quest for respect: as a creative artist, as a mother, as a wife, as a partner, as a human being. This slow-burn narrative, ostensibly about the showbiz in Israel, bares the anxieties, challenges, successes, and failures of its women characters in a sensitive manner.
Alice (Ayelet Zurer), a celebrated filmmaker on sabbatical, meets Sophie (Lihi Kornowski) a young scriptwriter on a city train. As it soon turns out, a respectable production house has picked Sophie's script and Alice's actor husband, David (Gal Toren), is also 'blown away' by it. Alice, eventually, makes a comeback to direct her husband opposite Sophie in what is considered a difficult erotic thriller. In the process, Alice gets consumed by Sophie's backstory which she finds too similar to the mind-boggling script she has written.
At one level Losing Alice is about the jostling spaces a working woman inhabits. Alice admits in a press conference that it's lie that women can have it all. At another level, the show asks a more burning question: can a woman afford to have it all? And more importantly, what kind of a woman do we want to see around us? Sophie is the femme fatale to Alice's plain Jane older woman persona. The show also raises questions about the portrayal of victimhood. Everyone wants a perfect victim that they can empathise with. What happens to those who do not fit the bill?
Where to Watch: Apple TV+
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