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Credit: Sony Liv

Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story has made waves since it was released on Sony Liv in October. The web series chronicles the rise and fall of Harshad Mehta, labelled by financial publications as the “Raging Bull’ and “Big Bull” of Bombay Stock Exchange. Told through ten episodes, the series makes the complicated world of stock and securities markets accessible for the layman and treats its protagonist with an even hand, leaving it to the audience to decide whether he is a hero or a criminal.

Harshad Mehta (Pratik Gandhi) has a true rags to riches story. Starting out as a lowly jobber in the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), he makes his way through the industry until he is making transactions north of ten thousands crores. With his brother Ashwin (Hemant Kher) and his trusted second-in-command Bhushan (Chiran Vogra) by his side, he takes on industry heavyweights such as the bear trader Manu Mundra (Satish Kaushik) and head of Citi Bank India Tyagi (Nikhil Dwivedi). Eventually, however, journalist Sucheta Dalal (Shreya Dhanwantry) catches wind of a big scam that involves 500 crore rupees borrowed illegally from the State Bank of India. As she follows the story, Harshad’s life (and the stock market along with it) comes crashing down. …


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Credit: 21 Laps Entertainment

Love and Monsters is a throwback to the family-friendly YA fares that were so frequent during the 80s and the 90s. A lovable (and self-deprecating) dork sets out in a dangerous world filled with large, deadly monsters to reunite with the love of his life. While the film wasn’t directly adapted from any source material, it takes plenty of cues from other pop culture staples such as Zombieland, Stand by Me and I am Legend.

24-year-old Joel (Dylan O’Brien) has been living in a post-apocalyptic world for the last seven years in an underground colony. Although the rest of the colony are badasses in their own rights, Joel is prone to freezing when in danger and the only thing he is good at is making minestrone soup and fixing radios. He manages to make contact with his old romantic interest, Aimee (Jessica Henwick) but once his connection gets interrupted, he gets worried about her safety and decides to journey to her colony, which is 80 miles away. …


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Credit: Amazon Prime

With Truth Seekers, you might expect to see some of the tried and tested British humor that you have found in Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s earlier collaborations, such as Spaced or the Cornetto trilogy. Taking a comedic approach to the horror genre, the show exudes warmth and good vibes in general. While it is generally funny, however, it is not as laugh-out-loud funny as you might have expected out of Pegg and Frost, who wrote the series along with Nat Saunders and James Serafinowicz.

Gus (Nick Frost) works for an Internet provider called Smyle in the UK, installing ‘6G’ internet and investigating haunted places in his spare time. When he is saddled with a new partner named Elton John (Samson Kayo), Gus initially bristles at having to babysit a “clueless millennial mouth-breather”, but soon comes around once he starts running into all sorts of paranormal situations with Elton. Before long, they come upon a strange woman in overalls named Astrid (Emma D’arcy) who joins them on their travels. The three get involved in a sinister plot by conspiracy theorist named Dr. Peter Toynbee (Julian Barratt) who is seeking to use brainwashed people to power his ascendancy to a higher dimension called Eternis. …


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Credit: Netflix

Ludo has all the hallmarks of a signature Anurag Basu production: loud color palettes, a almost whimsical brand of dark comedy and multiple intersecting narratives. This is Basu’s first film after Jagga Jasoos, which met mixed reactions. Over the course of two and a half hours, a wild, winding narrative unfolds, playing out like an elaborately laid out depiction of chaos theory and Newton’s Third Law in story form.

At the beginning of the film, Sattu Bhai (Pankaj Tripathi) bursts into a man’s bathroom with theatrical swagger and shoots him, promising him ‘a fresh start’ in his next life. He kidnaps the only witness to the crime, a homeless retail worker named Rahul (Rohit Suresh Saraf) and sets off for his home. On the way to his den in Ranchi, Sattu Bhai stops by a concerned housewife after abducting her husband, telling her to tell her estranged ex-husband (and Sattu Bhai’s former right-hand man) Bittu (Abhishek Bacchan) to meet him. …


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Credit: Netflix

The Queen’s Gambit starts with a young woman in Paris rising out of a bathtub in her hotel room, messily getting dressed and swallowing a few pills. She hurries downstairs to join a chess match with the current world champion. As she starts the game, we flash back to her early life, as her mother dies in a car crush and she is sent to live in an orphanage.

Chess can hardly be described as being exciting. It is easy to understand but hard to master, and the level that Beth Harmon, the protagonist, plays at is beyond the reach of most ordinary people. …


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Credit: Netflix

Blood of Zeus uses a familiar conceit- that of greek mythology- and weaves its own narrative with it. The show introduces its story as a ‘lost’ oral story, which allows series creators Charley and Vlas Parlapanides (who also worked on 2011’s The Immortals) to put their own spin on familiar characters. While the story is fairly standard and the characters are nothing to write home about, the action scenes and choral soundtrack makes the series stand out. The show is also unapologetically brutal, with heads and lopped limbs and torsos flying everywhere.

Heron is thrust into danger as his village gets attacked by a group of demons led by a vengeful one-eyed man wielding a bident named Seraphim. He soon finds out that he has a divine destiny and he was fathered by the king of the gods, Zeus. On Olympus, Hera, Zeus’ wife, is angered and humiliated by Zeus committing adultery once again and schemes with Seraphim to restore the deadly giants and take Zeus’ throne. Heron meets up with two rogues and an Amazonian on his journey, and eventually he finds himself in the center of a titanic battle between the gods and the giants. …


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Credit: Amazon Prime

Mirzapur returns with a second season almost two years after it first aired. In case you have forgotten what happened in the first season since then, the show opens with a detailed recap before diving straight into what looks like the end of a climactic fight, with Guddu (Ali Fazal) tipping over a jeep with a trapped Munna (Divyendu) in it. It soon appears that this was a dream: Munna has just regained consciousness at the hospital for the first time since he was shot five times during the shootout at the Gorakhpur wedding.

In the meanwhile, Guddu Pandit is also recovering from his grave injuries. The memories of his brother and pregnant wife’s death are still fresh in his mind. He, along with Golu Gupta (Shweta Tripathi Sharma) embark on a revenge quest, which also happens to involve taking control of Mirzapur’s criminal empire. Sharad Shukla (Anjum Sharma) is also looking for revenge, but he opts to take a methodical approach, getting close to Munna and subtly goading him against his father, Kaaleen Bhaia (Pankaj Tripathi). Then there’s the Tyagi family in Siwan, headed by Dadda (Liliput Faruqui) and flanked by his twin sons Bharat and Shatrughan (Vijay Verma), who sell second hand cars and also deal with liquor on the side. Kaaleen Bhaia also vies for political aspirations this season, as he looks to strengthen alliances with the current CM before an election, who sends his daughter Madhuri (Isha Talwar) on the campaign trail with Munna. …


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Credit: Amazon Prime

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was announced only a few weeks before its release. Taking place 14 years after the original, the sequel takes aim at Trump supporters, QAnon truthers and Covid protesters. While the movie is not as shocking as its predecessor, it’s filled with lots of laughs and clever (and often vulgar) jabs at America.

Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) has spent the last decade and a half in a gulag after his documentary made his country a laughing stock for the world. He is released by the government to undertake another journey to America. His mission is to bribe ‘Vice Premier’ Mike Pence with a monkey and gain favor for his country. When things go awry, however, Borat has to shift gears and try to present his teenage daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) as a child bride to Pence. …


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Credit: HBO

Based on the name, you might expect to see more of the eldritch horrors of H.P. Lovecraft in Lovecraft Country. While there are plenty of Lovecraftian elements in the series, from secretive cults to terrifying monsters called shoggoths, the series takes its name based not only on Lovecraft’s stories, but also his noted racist views. The series sheds a light on intense discrimination in the Jim Crow era. …


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Credit: Netflix

The events depicted in The Trial of the Chicago 7 unfolded more than fifty years ago, but there is an undeniable air of relevancy to them. Helmed by the unapologetic partisan Aaron Sorkin, it’s a crackling courtroom drama filled with polished, snappy dialogue and an impressive cast that makes a difficult subject matter easily digestible for the masses.

Shortly after Nixon becomes president, his new attorney general John Mitchell (John Doman) assigns up-and-coming prosecutor Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) a conspiracy case indicting eight members of the ‘radical left’ for causing riots during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The accused include Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), who are focused on the human cost of the Vietnam war and strived to wage peaceful protests; there are also the Yippies Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron-Cohen) and Jeremy Rubin (Jeremy Strong) who took a more laid back (and possibly more dangerous) approach to the protests. …

About

M S Rayed

I combine my love for creation and knack for analysis in everything I do.

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