Mulan, the live action update of the 1998 animation feature of the same name, is one of the big releases of the week. Ideally one would head out to theatres to watch such a spectacle, but thanks to the pandemic, you get to watch it at home on Disney+ Hotstar. Watch out for some interesting stunt sequences.
Stand-up comedy is increasingly being explored as a profession in the fiction space. After ZEE5’s Comedy Couple from a few months ago, Netflix has now come up with Bhaag Beanie Bhaag, with Swara Bhasker playing a stand-up comic.
Gitanjali Rao’s animated film Bombay Rose has traveled the festival circuit and finally reached India through Netflix. The film is an ode to the city of Mumbai beautifully painted in colourful frames.
Here’s more on the new titles you could stream this week.
Mulan (Disney+ Hotstar)
Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life; in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. Mulan features an international cast - Yifei Liu (Mulan), Donnie Yen (Commander Tung); Tzi Ma (Zhou), Jason Scott Lee (Böri Khan), Yoson An (Honghui), Ron Yuan (Sergeant Qiang) with Gong Li (Xianniang) and Jet Li (Emperor).
Bhaag Beanie Bhaag (Netflix)
The comedy series follows a woman (Swara Bhasker) who is fearful of settling down and runs away from her marriage and decides to pursue stand-up comedy as a profession. She promptly fails, but then begins to put in the work with a little help from a fellow comic (Ravi Patel), and stands up to her alarmed parents. The plot sounds similar to Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. But Beanie’s world comes with a desi feel of its own. Bhaag Beanie Bhaag also lightly touches upon parenting issues, societal pressures and how difficult it is to be an artiste.
Bombay Rose (Netflix)
Gitanjali Rao’s debut animated feature premièred at Venice Film Festival last year and created quite the buzz. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Bombay Rose is an ode to both Bollywood and the city of Bombay. The story takes the audience around the city through the lens of a former club dancer looking after a kid, a Kashmiri orphan scrapping a living on the streets, and an elderly woman lost in the memories of lost love. It’s a colorful delight about a red rose bringing together three tales of impossible love between a young Hindu girl and a Muslim youth, two women, and an entire city. It is made by frame-by-frame painted animation in computer and took 18 months with 60 artists. Cast includes Anurag Kashyap, Makrand Deshpande, Geetanjali Kulkarni and Shishir Sharma.
Mank is a 2020 American biographical drama film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his development of the script for Citizen Kane (1941). It is directed by David Fincher, based on a screenplay by his late father Jack Fincher. It stars Gary Oldman in the title role, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Sam Troughton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke, Joseph Cross, Jamie McShane, Toby Leonard Moore, Monika Gossmann, and Charles Dance. The direction, cinematography, production values, and musical score, as well as the performances of Oldman and Seyfried have won rave reviews.
Godmothered (Disney+ Hotstar)
Set at Christmas time, Godmothered is a comedy about Eleanor, a young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training, who upon hearing that her chosen profession is facing extinction, decides to show the world that people still need fairy godmothers. Finding a mislaid letter from a 10-year-old girl in distress, Eleanor tracks her down and discovers that the girl, Mackenzie, is now a 40-year-old single mom working at a news station in Boston. Having lost her husband several years earlier, Mackenzie has all but given up on the idea of “happily ever after,” but Eleanor is bound and determined to give Mackenzie a happiness makeover, whether she likes it or not. Cast includes Isla Fisher, Jillian Bell, Santiago Cabrera, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Jane Curtin, June Squibb, Jillian Shea Spaeder, Willa Skye, Artemis Pebdani, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Stephnie Weir.
We’ll be back with more recommendations of watchable content from streaming platforms next week.