Kota Factory S2 to Palm Springs: 8 titles that are our top picks this weekend

Not sure what to watch? For this weekend, we have 8 titles that would be worth your time — from Netflix's Kota Factory season 2 to Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti's Palm Springs.

The streaming giant Netflix is churning out one hit after another. While the fifth season of Money Heist and the third season of Sex Education is still getting eyeballs, the OTT major has released another binge-watch worthy web series this week. The second season of TVF’s Kota Factory is now streaming on Netflix. And, if you are confident about stepping out of your home for some entertainment, there is Dwayne Johnson-led Jungle Cruise, and Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti’s heartwarming Palm Springs playing in the cinema halls. And that’s not all that we have for you this week.

Kota Factory S2: Netflix

The second season of TVF’s popular show Kota Factory is now streaming on Netflix. It chronicles the lives of IIT aspirants who move to Rajasthan’s Kota, a hub of coaching centres. Actor Jitendra Kumar reprises his role of Jeetu Bhaiyaa who not only teaches physics to his students but also gives teenage-friendly gyaan. Kota Factory might be centred around young adults but it speaks to audiences of all age groups with its mature storytelling. In her review of the show, indianexpress.com’s Sampada Sharma wrote, “It would be a slight overstatement, but Kota Factory is the closest thing we have to Dead Poets Society. By the end of the second season, it feels like we are entering that territory.”

Read the review of Kota Factory season two here.

Foundation: Apple TV +

The sci-fi series is based on celebrated author Isaac Asimov’s eponymous trilogy of books. The official synopsis of the show reads, “Hari Seldon and a band of loyal followers venture to the far reaches of the galaxy to establish The Foundation in an attempt to rebuild and preserve the future of civilization. Enraged by Hari’s claims, the ruling Cleons — a long line of emperor clones — fear their grasp on the galaxy may be weakening as they’re forced to reckon with the potential reality of losing their legacy forever.” Though it is a book-to-screen adaptation, director David S. Goyer has only used the source material as an inspiration and has given his show a different version. He has altered the characters and themes to fit the preferences of the TV audience. The show is engaging even for those who are unfamiliar with its source material.

Raman Aandalum Ravanan Aandalum: Amazon Prime Video

Actor Suriya’s production venture Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now. It stars Ramya Pandian, Mithun Manickam and Vani Bhojan in the lead roles. The title of the film is borrowed from a song in superstar Rajinikanth’s 1978 film Mullum Malarum. But it has a different meaning this time. It says that no matter who is in power, the lives of some people will never change for the better. The film revolves around a media circus set in the backdrop of a controversy in a remote village. It has a married couple struggling to find their missing bulls, Vellaiyan and Karuppan. However, director Arisil Moorthy’s understanding of certain political and social issues in the film lacks maturity.

Read the review of Raman Aandalum Ravanan Aandalum here.

Sunny: Amazon Prime Video

In Ranjith Sankar’s Malayalam film Sunny, Jayasurya plays the role of a man “who has lost everything in his life – love, money and his best friend. Shattered and hopeless, he leaves Dubai for Kerala in the midst of a global pandemic and shuts himself off from society. Trapped in emotional turmoil, Sunny befriends a couple of strangers and they change his perspective on life.” Indianexpress.com’s Manoj Kumar R found the film an “an extrapolation of the trailer with a lot of slow pans, close-up shots and deliberate background score. It doesn’t dig deeper and reveals the hidden strands of Sunny’s emotional turmoil, which could draw us into the narrative.”

Read the review of Sunny here.

Jungle Cruise: In cinemas

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt led Jungle Cruise released in cinemas on Friday. The film is a fun, campy movie you can enjoy with the family. It is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and is based on Disney’s theme park ride of the same name. Johnson plays the role of a riverboat captain called Frank, hired by a scientist called Lily Houghton (Blunt) to ferry her across the Amazon rainforest, the location of the tree. Jack Whitehall plays the younger brother of Blunt’s character. Édgar Ramírez, Jesse Plemons and Quim Gutiérrez play the role of antagonists. The film released internationally in July and received mostly positive responses.

Read the review of Jungle Cruise here.

Palm Springs: In cinemas

The romantic comedy, starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, has Samberg and Miloti’s characters Nyles and Sarah, stuck in a time loop in which they are doomed to live the same day all over again. JK Simmons, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin, and Peter Gallagher also star in the film. The Indian Express’ Shalini Langer has called the movie “effortlessly charming and hearteningly warm.” In her review, she wrote, “What the film is trying to tell you though is as crystal clear as the light that shines through Sarah’s eyes as they brim over. That, your past and future are only as relevant as your present, what you make of it, who you make it with.”

Read the review of Palm Springs here.

Our recommendations

Guddi

Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Guddi released in 1971 and has completed 50 years of its release, still, it remains relevant today for its striking look at life when the arc lights are switched off and red carpets are rolled up. The film revolves around the titular character Guddi, played by Jaya Bachchan, who refuses to marry anyone as she has dedicated her life to film star, Dharmendra. But soon she is shown the reality of glamour by her uncle (Utpal Dutt) and she learns that what happens in front of the camera is quite different from what happens behind it. Watch the movie for an honest portrayal of the film industry where the people on the bottom of the ladder are exploited and overworked, and only those in front of the camera are worshipped.

Read more about Guddi here.

Gone Girl: Netflix

Based on the book of the same name by Gillian Flynn, upon its release, Gone Girl was not only a smashing hit at the box office, it was loved by critics too. Though on the surface the film appears only to be an engaging thriller, David Fincher also managed to show us one of the most dysfunctional marriages through it. In her weekly column, Hollywood Rewind, indianexpress.com’s Anvita Singh wrote, “Gone Girl is of course a thriller in the traditional sense of the term. It starts off as a regular whodunnit, and then, it quickly takes form to emerge as something more than that. A deeper look into the psyche of two broken, troubled people who are bound to each other by the promise of matrimony”

Read more about Gone Girl here.

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