LIFESTYLE – From WWE taking stream TV by storm to some of the latest Bolly content making waves, here’s a wrap of some shows you may want to catch.
IN THE aftermath of WrestleMania, the only major sports event that took place last month, WWE studios has taken centre stage on Netflix, releasing two hit productions.
From the wrestling ring to the TV screen, WWE’s The Big Show now has his own show on Netflix. The show consists of eight 30-minute episodes that see the WWE superstar navigating post-retirement family life and raising three daughters with his wife, played by Allison Munn.
When his eldest daughter decides to live with him, his wife and two other daughters, he becomes outnumbered and outsmarted.
Despite being over 2m tall and 180kg, he is no longer the centre of attention. It’s certainly a fun binge for the family and should not be missed by fans.
The Main Event, on the other hand, is a kid’s-fantasy-meets-family-friendly sports film. It follows Seth Carr (of Black Panther fame), who is on a quest to live his dream of becoming a WWE superstar. The movie also stars Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris).
It’s about an 11-year-old, Leo Thompson, who discovers a magical wrestling mask that grants him immense strength.
He uses it to enter a WWE competition and, with the support of his grandmother, Leo will do whatever it takes to achieve his dream of becoming a WWE superstar.
Can one kid win it all in the face of epic challengers in the ring?
Directed by Jay Karas, the film co-stars Adam Pally and Ken Marino. It features WWE superstars Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Otis Dozovic and Sheamus. It’s a must-watch for the whole family, even if you aren’t a WWE fan (yet).
Following the news of WWE’s free access to their site and WrestleMania36, which proved to be the most social event in WWE history, the brand is showcasing that they are all about keeping all age groups entertained. Catch up on WrestleMania, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown on DStv and catch The Big Show Show and The Main Event on Netflix.
Bolly on stream
Two big Indian shows, each with different promises of entertainment, released recently.
On Amazon Prime Video it was season 2 of Four More Shots Please.
It has been just over a year since the release of the first season, which received mixed reviews. The stories of the four leading ladies have finally developed further.
Having only recently binge-watched the first season of Four More Shots Please, I was saved the extended wait for season 2.
The series follows the stories of four unapologetic women and their journey through friendship, love and in life in modern-day Mumbai.
It stars Sayani Gupta, Kirthi Kulhari, Bani J and Maanvi Gaagroo in the leads with a great supporting performance by Prateik Babbar.
The show fights patriarchy from its inner levels with female writers, cinematographers and directors.
On the surface, it’s a chick-flick, as viewers of season 1 will know. It had good music and smooth story transitions.
Season 2 packs an even better punch in terms of writing and the ending is guaranteed to leave you wanting for more.
Visually, the new season is a treat as well.
With destination shots of Istanbul and Udaipur to add to the Mumbai base, all 10 episodes are a journey that will simply fly by. Highly recommended.
Next up, we switched over to everyone’s favourite, Netflix. A show four years in the making with Vir Das in the lead has certainly had us excited.
The dark comedy crime-thriller Hasmukh is written by Vir with Nikhil Advani and Neeraj Pandey by his side.
The story follows small-town comic Hasmukh, featuring Vir in a never-seen-before avatar. His comedy is poor to begin with and he struggles to muster the courage to perform on stage.
However, once Hasmukh kills his mentor, Gulati, the feeling that comes with serial killing begins to give him the confidence needed to perform on stage.
The one reason I can think of recommending this show would be the versatility of Vir. He breaks through the barriers of acting and transforms into a character so close to, yet so far beyond himself.
The intrigue in the plot, coupled with some dark humour, are pleasant to watch in parts. However, the languid pace makes this a difficult binge.
The first few of 10 episodes go by slowly, and once it’s wrapped up, we are made to look forward to more in the future.
Bolly and Holly come together
Did you ever imagine an all-out action masala entertainer with a star cast out of both Bollywood and Hollywood – one that drops directly to Netflix that you can watch immediately?
The Russo brothers have presented exactly that.
Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo come together with lead star Chris Hemsworth to produce Extraction.
The film is directed by debutant director Sam Hargrave and also sees the Hollywood debut of one of India’s household names, Randeep Hooda.
It follows black-ops mercenary Tyler Rake (Hemsworth), who must team up with Saju (Hooda) to rescue Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of Indian mafia Mahajan (Pankaj Tripathi), from a Bangladeshi don.
It must be noted that the script is simple and the plot thin. The film lacks a few twists, which would have added to the thrill element and after the good initial build-up, the character depth, too, dies down.
The action, on the other hand, is splendid, with sequences fit for Imax theatres. We are lucky to be able to receive this level of fight poetry direct to our Netflix screens.
Hargrave explained that the show-stopping 11-minute action sequence was done in a single take and after stunt co-ordination in the Marvel movies, it really is breathtaking to see him do his magic here.
Performances, too, are first rate. Pankaj Tripathi makes a worthy cameo and so too does Persian actress Golshifteh Farahani.
In the leading roles, newcomer Rudhraksh Jaiswal is impressive as the timid teenager Ovi, while Hemsworth shines throughout – their chemistry is good to watch.
Hooda sticks to his guns opposite the Australian star and matches him frame by frame. Despite some criticism of the film for “white saviour” elements, I feel the balance was well struck and that the blend between Eastern and Western movie magic was successful.
For Hooda, this was hailed as his Hollywood debut, yet if you told me this was Hemsworth’s Bollywood debut I would not dare to argue. Our actors stand their ground here and deserve the applause.
The verdict? Despite the wafer-thin plot, the action on offer will appeal to its target audience with the blend between Bollywood and Hollywood broadening the film’s market.
It delivers the adrenaline rush we all miss from visiting the cinemas and the performances, too, are top-notch!
I rate this film 7 out of 10.
* Gutta is a Wits University media student with an interest in sport and entertainment. He is the head writer at Bollywood Frenzy (Facebook). Connect with him on Instagram @razeengutta