Jaane Jaan| Cast: Kareena Kapoor Khan, Vijay Varma, Jaideep Ahlawat Director: Sujoy Ghosh | Hindi | Netflix
Hindi film dances are usually shot in open spaces, with the snow falling from the sky or in sunlight, with the woman in chiffon and the man in Louis Vuitton, lip syncing to Arijit Singh and Shilpa Rao. In Jaane Jaan, the scene is a club, the woman is on stage, she beckons the man, and as their eyes lock, they smile, and dance in tandem as she sings a song from a 1969 suspense thriller Intaquam, which also gives the film its title. In a movie with some stunning face-offs, this is one of the most memorable ones, made more interesting by the pair of could-be lovers. Kareena Kapoor Khan, Bollywood royalty, plays Maya D’Souza, a woman on the run from her life in Mumbai. And Vijay Varma, perennial bad boy in indie series, playing Karan, a good guy (almost) investigating a murder in Kalimpong. There’s another character, the embodiment of loneliness, trapped in a world of mathematical problems and with more than a healthy interest in his new neighbour. He’s Narendra, Naren, the teacher, who practices Jujutsu by night, presumably to digest the egg fried rice he orders every day at Maya’s cafe. All goes well until a stranger comes round to the cafe asking for Maya. There is one murder, and then another. A body turns up, almost perfectly matching the crime. Those are the mechanics of the murder but there is more to the movie than a burned corpse, matching alibis and philosophical aphorisms. There is love, longing, and an incredible commitment to craft. Based on the Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X, Jaane Jaan continues director Sujoy Ghosh’s remarkable ability since Kahaani (2012) to put plucky women in trouble and make them triumph.
Why Watch it? Atmospheric. Romantic. Fantastic. Kareena Kapoor Khan and Vijay Varma deserve another movie
Seven Characters in Search of Revenge
Choona| Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Aashim Gulati, Monika Panwar | Showrunner: Pushpendra Nath Misra | Hindi | Netflix
A contractor who loses his business. An astrologer who runs into bad luck. A young protestor who wants to become the chief minister. A devoted servant. A demoted police officer. A house painter who doubles as an informer. And his girlfriend who runs a virtual reality parlour. It’s a motley crew but one that is determined to defeat a powerful contractor turned politician, played by Jimmy Shergill, who wants to topple the government. Beautifully coloured by Navin Shetty, smartly written by Pushpendra Nath Misra, Choona could have been just another heartland heist story but it is elevated by its gumption and its execution. Elevated by some performances, notably from Jimmy Shergill and Aashim Gulati, the series exerts a strong pull on the audience. The show is about goons who are seven and a half feet tall, girls who are smarter than the boys, childhood rivals who can’t help but challenge each other, toughs who when instructed to ‘drop’ someone take the command literally, mini-goons who give themselves big-bang names to intimidate (Sameer Kushwaha becomes Mintu Grenade) and wannabe goons who start referring to themselves in the third person.
Why Watch it? Some new faces, quirky dialogue, and some twists you don’t see coming