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Patrick Melrose, 1983, The Haunting of Hill House – 5 must watch shows on the web!

Abhishek Srivastava picks his favourites from those web series which have not got the attention they deserve.

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When it comes to TV series, the general discourse through the year has only revolved around the big tickets. Stranger Things, Narcos, Sacred Games, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel hogged both, the limelight and dinner table conversations. But hidden amidst them were plenty of gems which failed to initiate conversation, and in the absence of any promotion, remained confined to the heaps of content on various platforms. Here are five gems which remain largely unexplored but make for a riveting watch.

The Haunting of Hill House

(The Haunting of Hill House is streaming currently on Netflix)

Most of the series on Netflix often carry some sort of noise and hoopla around them. It’s strange that when The Haunting of Hill House landed on Netflix, most did not have a clue. The appeal of Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel from 1959 lies in its old world charm which has virtually disappeared from the horizon, and has now been replaced by slasher and gory horror. The series deals with a family which is torn apart by a supernatural presence in their house, which takes a toll on each individual member. The novel on which this series is based is considered by many as a benchmark in the haunted house genre. According to Stephen King, the only two novels worthy of being dubbed ‘great’ in the supernatural realm in the past 100 years are The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House. It’s recommended that this non-linear series should not be watched alone at night!

1983

(1983 is streaming currently on Netflix)

Though Joshua Long is the showrunner of 1983, two episodes of the series have been directed by Agnieszka Holland, a revered figure in Polish film circles who was also nominated for an Oscar in the category of best writing and screenplay for her Europa Europa. Though Agnieszka has directed only two episodes out of the eight, the finesse and her stamp is evident in the entire series. The series is dystopian and imagines a Poland in which communism never fell. The very theme and the premise is eerie to say the least. The series is set in 2003 and begins with a terrorist attack that took place 20 years back. The Cold War never ended in the series. 1983 is a riveting watch and the Polish language should not be a deterrence. If you are fond of past international events, it’s a disturbing show to say the least.

Patrick Melrose

(Patrick Melrose is streaming currently on Hotstar Premium)

Benedict Cumberbatch delivers his career’s best performance in Patrick Melrose. Based on the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward Aubyn, the mini-series is a terrific watch. The first episode deals with two days in the life of Patrick in 1982, with flashes of his wretched childhood. Cumberbatch is so immersed in the character that by the time you are done with episode one, you can imagine no one except him playing the character. David Nicholls who has penned films like One Day, Starters for 10 and Far from the Madding Crowd in the past, has turned Aubyn’s creation into a disturbing and poignant character. The corruption in the British upper class too has been captured perfectly. If nothing that’s mentioned here appeals to you, watch it for the sheer brilliance of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Better Call Saul

(Better Call Saul is streaming currently on Netflix)

Some might find it strange to see Better Call Saul as part of this list, as the prequel to Breaking Bad has just got over with its fourth season. Though the series has been gathering all the love since the time it started airing, Indian audiences have somehow maintained a distance from it. Better Call Saul might not appeal to those in the audience who are looking for pace. The appeal of Jimmy McGill’s antics is a slow burner and therein lies the series’ appeal. The ease with which the series navigates between the past and the present is never inconsistent and every character is well crafted. It’s a pity that Bob Odenkirk was nominated for three consecutive years at the Golden Globes in the category of Best Performance By An Actor In A TV Series, but remained unlucky everytime. (Spoiler ahead) The series deals with the transformation of Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman – and this happening only at the end of season four, says a lot about the pace of the series! Better Call Saul is closest to what defines a perfect series.

Escape at Dannemora

(Escape at Dannemora is streaming currently on Hotstar Premium)

One single reason to watch the show could solely be its star cast. Benicio Del Toro, Paul Dano and Patricia Arquette headline the series. The mini-series is based on a true prison break story that hogged the limelight in American newspapers in 2015. Arquette plays Tilly Mitchell, a married prison worker who falls in love with two inmates and helps them escape the confines of the prison. The pace of Escape at Dannemora might put off many but the patience is bound to yield fruits. Del Toro as Richard Matt for whom painting is a passion, is riveting, and so is Arquette. It’s a thrilling ride that’s guaranteed to slowly suck you in.

 

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Twitterattis go into an overdrive with Kalank

Twitter reactions to Kalank have been breaking the internet!

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Kalank has so far received fairly mixed reviews from critics while the audience has been heading to theatres to watch the film. It has reportedly gotten the highest opening day collection of over 20 crores but was followed with a dip in ticket sales.

Clearly, audiences have either loved or hated the movie, with the only real in-between coming from critics. However, the film has received a good rep of having gorgeously designed sets and background and costumes getting a special mention. But looks like it hasn’t kept the Twitter world from talking about it. Check out the hilarious reactions of Twitterattis right here:

The film stars Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt in the major roles. It’s directing credits go to Abhishek Varman and its production to Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios. So tell us, have you watched the film? What did you think? Comment below and stay tuned to Cineblitz for more news on Bollywood!

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Kareena, Malaika rock the summer night look!

Kareena Kapoor Khan, Malaika Arora and their girl gang add degrees to Mumbai heat with their style statements

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Malakia Arora took to Instagram recently posting some pictures of her summer night rendezvous with her girl gang led by Kareena Kapoor Khan. Looked like the girls were enjoying a late night terrace party. The post with Kareena was captioned: “Summer nights…… #bebo♥️#ammusterrace”. The second post saw the duo with some of their friends with the caption “Summer nights …. terrace nights #bebo#ammusrerrace”.

The two seemed to be almost twinning in jeans-and-tank-top ensembles with Kareena wearing a pair of distressed denims and a black Adidas bodysuit, paired with black heels. Malaika took a more retro spin on the classic pairing and wore long bell-bottom jeans and a red Gucci bodysuit. The two looked glamorous as ever as they posed together.

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Summer nights…… #bebo♥️#ammusterrace

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While Malaika had been in the news for her rumoured upcoming wedding with Arjun Kapoor, Kareena has several films in her kitty including Takht, directed by Karan Johar, Angrezi Medium with Irrfan Khan and Good News with Akshay Kumar and Diljit Dosanjh.

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Ajay Devgn feels ‘singled out’ after Tanushree Dutta – Rangoli Chandel lash out – read official statement

After Tanushree Dutta’s open letter, Ajay Devgn feels he is being targeted

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Ajay Devgn

Tanushree Dutta talking about Ajay Devgn and his choice of working with Alok Nath even after knowing that he was called out in the wake of the #MeToo movement in India has dominated the headlines since yesterday (April 18). Today (April 19), Ajay Devgn issued a statement regarding the same. While on it, he also expressed his grief about people trying to single him out as being insensitive.

Ajay Devgn who will next be seen in De De Pyaar De, issued a statement this morning and cleared the air around the accusations of helping Alok Nath make a comeback to the industry. According to him, his stand is very clear and he still won’t support anyone who cannot respect women. At the same time he also expressed how sad he feels about people trying to single him out, and said, “

When the entire #MeToo Movement happened, I along with many of my film industry colleagues categorically expressed that I respect every single woman at the work place and I would not stand for any unfairness or atrocity against them.  Nothing about my stand has changed.

“Coming to the question of having worked with Mr Alok Nath in my upcoming film De De Pyar De, here I must put certain things in perspective.

“This film was supposed to be an October 2018 release. The shoot of the film got over by last September. The portions with Mr. Alok Nath were canned by August in Manali. The said portions were shot over 40 days across various sets and an outdoor location with a combination of over 10 actors. By the time the allegations came out (in October 2018) the actors in the film including me had already started work on other films.  It would be near impossible to get all the dates and combinations of the several actors in the film and attempt a re-shoot with some other actor replacing Mr Nath. It would also have been a huge monetary loss for the producers.  Everyone is aware that film-making is a collaborative process.  The decision to replace Mr Alok Nath could never have been mine alone. In this case, I would have to go with the joint-decision of the entire unit.  Not to forget, I could not have brought the entire combination of actors back or put up sets again for a 40-day re-shoot because this would mean doubling the budget, which again wasn’t my call to make.  It would have to be the call of the makers. Had circumstances played out even slightly differently, I would have pushed for a different combination of actors. Unfortunately, this was not to be.”

“I reiterate I am extremely sensitive to the #MeToo movement. But when circumstances are beyond me, I don’t see why an attempt is being made to `single’ me out as being insensitive. This is untrue.”

About having an option to replace Alok Nath, according to Ajay the shooting of the film was already done in September and the accusations were made in October. As it was a cast of 10 people it was impossible to bring them together and reshoot with someone else.

Alok Nath was accused of rape and sexual harassment by writer Vinta Nanda during the #MeToo movement. For more updates and gossip about Bollywood, stay tuned to CineBlitz.

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