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What I watched on Netflix

Mostly Sunny

This documentary is on Netflix. It is about Sunny Leone and her recent success in India. I liked it. Mainly because of how real and down to earth Sunny is. She knows she is a brand and has no issues promoting herself. The documentary also talks to her extended family and her brother. They don't dig very deep but you realise her life hasn't been easy. Her family had a difficult time dealing with her career as a porn star and they have cut her off. 
Sunny has positioned herself as the happily married woman who is monogamous in India and it is working for her. We, Indians, want our porn stars also to be sati savitris. 
What the documentary missed was the hard work behind the glamour. I would have loved to see her workout/grooming sessions or the preparation for item songs or behind the scenes on a regular day. 
All in all, a good documentary and worth a watch.

What the Health

I started watching this documentary on Netflix. This is about how meat, chicken and eggs are unhealthy. I expected it to be well researched and talk about healthy foods but it came across as propaganda. It talks about how ALL non vegetarian foods are unhealthy because of how they are produced. I could make the same arguments about vegetarian foods. Fruits and vegetables have pesticides which are harmful. 
I turned this off within 30 minutes. Avoid it.

Beyond Bollywood

This documentary follows the journey of 4 people from the Bollywood industry - a make up artist, an Australian backpacker who does bit roles, a dancer aspiring to be an actress and a union leader. 
You get to see the gritty reality behind the glamour. 
Interesting watch. Worth a dekko. 

Anarkali of Aarah

I watched half of this movie in a theatre and the rest of it on Netflix. I had walked out of the theatre but word of mouth on Twitter made me turn it on. Starring Swara Bhaskara, this movie is about a dancer in a small town of Bihar. She gets harassed on stage while performing by a VIP. The cops take away all the phones and delete all clips so there is no proof. When Anarkali refuses to give in to the demands on the VIP, her life is made hell in every way and there is nobody to defend her. She wins in the end.
While I think this is a bold movie and Swara is awesome, the villain is Sanjay Mishra and you know he will not be able to harm her seriously. The conflict does not feel real. Like, she is in a room with him and he does not rape her. Instead, he gives her a rose and wants her to submit to him. At no point did I feel like Anarkali was in serious danger. 
A good movie to watch on Netflix but avoid in the theatre. 


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Amazon Exclusives - Hindi

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I watched Laakhon mein ek and Inside Edge. Both don't compare to the international series but are far superior to what we see on Indian television today.

Laakhon Mein Ek

LMK has been created by Biswa Kalyan Rath who is one of the best stand up comedians in the country. You must watch his live shows. The kind of energy he has on stage is amazing. He is genuinely funny and his content is very, very different from other comedians.
LMK is a 6 episodes series (less than 30 mins long, thankfully) about a 15 year old, Akash, whose parents send him to an IIT entrance coaching institute in Vizag. He got 55% marks in 12th and wants to join Commerce but this is India and everyone must atleast try to be a doctor or an engineer even if it kills them.  The series isn't anything new but it's a story that can't be repeated enough number of times. Worth a watch. I hope season 2 covers new ground.

Quick recap of the 44 books read in 2017

Capital by Rana Dasgupta

A wonderful book about Delhi and very unlike the usual ones. It doesn't tell you how awesome the city but tries to figure out why it is so messed up. Many things in the book are applicable to this country as a whole but there are some things very inherent in Delhi. It is a dark book and hard to read at the end of a long work day.
Whether you like the city or hate it, read this book. And the people who are neutral towards the city don't exist so everyone falls in either of these categories.

When I hit you: Or, a portrait of the writer as a young wife by Meena Kandasamy 

I couldn't find the kindle version and read it on the juggernaut app. The book is about the author's short lived marriage filled with domestic violence and rape.
The author is a woman like you and me. She married a guy she chose and was the victim of his abuse for months. She managed to walk out only once she was on the verge of getting killed.
This book should be read by everyone…

MAMI 2017


Language : Hindi
Director : Anurag Kashyap

This was the opening film at MAMI this year. Which means that it is screened right after the opening ceremony. I don't know when it will release in the theatres. Generally, it takes around 6 months after screening at MAMI.
Mukkabaaz is based in a small town of UP where Shravan Singh (Vineet Kumar Singh) aspires to be a famous boxer and compete nationally. His coach is Bhagwan Das Mishra (Jimmy Shergill) who makes everyone run his errands instead of training them. Shravan Singh falls for Bhagwan Das's niece and everything changes.
Does Shravan marry the niece? Does he become a successful boxer? How does he deal with Bhagwan Das?
The movie is a typical Anurag Kashyap film with lots of expletives, realistic look at the game in rural UP mixed with first of its kind love story.
It has lots of flaws but I only remember the hooting, cheering, clapping of 500 or so people at every scene.

Montparnesse Bienvenue

Language : French