If you’re an avid movie and entertainment fan, don’t be bogged down by the lockdown. There is loads to stream and catch on TV, says the writer.
If you’re an avid movie and entertainment fan, don’t be bogged down by the lockdown. There is loads to stream and catch on TV, says the writer.

Combat cabin fever with this must-watch list

By Razeen Gutta Time of article published Apr 3, 2020

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Durban - The Covid-19 pandemic is having repercussions for film fundis and sports lovers that were previously unheard of in our generation.

For the first time we will not see a single cinematic release out of Bollywood for at least the next month.

With all the March and April releases pushed forward and some of the bigger releases already in doubt because of production stoppages, the Indian film industry is facing huge losses.

On the sports front, it has been almost three weeks since fans got to watch Premier League football, the most watched league globally.

It has been indefinitely postponed with other sports following suit.

The question is: where is the entertainment?

* Bollywood stands to incur an estimated loss of Rs 800 crore (R1.9 billion) as per a Mumbai Mirror report. After all, the cinemas across India have been shut down following government orders.

The last release, Angrezi Medium, suffered at the box office with a shortened run. Director Homi Adjania said they planned to re-release the film when they felt it was safe to do so.

Yash Raj Films also postponed their movie, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, until further notice.

The film’s lead actor, Arjun Kapoor, took to social media, saying: “Now is not the time to be in theatres. Stay safe folks. See you at the movies soon”

With other big-name films from Bollywood and Hollywood such as Sooryavanshi, Fast and Furious 9 and the new James Bond film No Time to Die being postponed it is clear that TV and streaming services are the way to go for now.

For Bollywood film fans, Netflix and Amazon Prime have a variety of film options - new and old.

Karan Johar’s latest production, Guilty, is the first pick on my suggestion list.

The film released directly to Netflix and immediately sparked conversation. It stars Kiara Advani and tells the story of a college student whose boyfriend is accused of rape.

It is on the intense side and deserves a watch for being raw and relevant.

Another Netflix film on the to watch list is House Arrest.

This is about a weary man’s self-imposed confinement to his house and the comedy of errors that follows. An appropriate choice in these times.

The leading performances from Ali Fazal, Shriya Pilgaonkar and Jim Sarbh stand out alongside some quirky writing from novelist Samit Basu.

On Amazon Prime we can be treated to Saif Ali Khan’s Jawaani Jaaneman.

The film received a positive response when it opened in theatres earlier this year and has finally dropped on the streaming site.

It defines Khan’s growth as an actor. We are also introduced to the sensational Alaya F.

Her expressions are fantastic and her dialogue delivery effortless. A wonderful debut. This one is a rom-com you don’t want to miss!

* If you would prefer a series to get hooked on, then both Netflix and Amazon Prime have great shows to binge watch during the lockdown

Farhan Akhtar and Riteish Sidwani’s production house

Excel Entertainment has given

us two such shows,

Inside Edge and Mirzapur. Both are unmissable.

Inside Edge tells the story of a fictional T20 cricket team and the internal drama of match-fixing scandals. There are two seasons and I can guarantee you won’t get enough of it.

Mirzapur is a crime thriller that showcases the battle between the mafia dons of the city - it’s a nine-episode binge with season two set to release later this year.

On Netflix, we suggest Bard of Blood. Shah Rukh Khan’s production is engaging from start to finish - it keeps things simple and features fine performances led by Emraan Hashmi.

It has a taut script with ample cliffhangers and a mind-blowing climax, making for over five hours of breathtaking entertainment. Definitely one of India’s best web shows.

* Now how about something for the sports fans?

Amazon Prime brings us two worthy recommendations, while DStv subscribers may still be able to get their fix of some live sporting action after all.

The Test on Amazon Prime released earlier this month and tells the story of the Australian cricket team and their return to glory under Justin Langer. This documentary series tells the story of the infamous sandpaper scandal that rocked Australian cricket after their third Test against the Proteas in Cape Town two years ago.

Make Us Dream is our final streaming recommendation. The story of footballing legend Steven Gerrard is directed by Sam Blair and makes for amazing viewing.

Gerrard’s loyalty gave him great status in the city of Liverpool but also proved to be an unbearable burden. The way he was looked at gave him a profound sense of responsibility to live up to people’s expectations.

Make Us Dream is a personal and in-depth production, answering questions about the career of one of the best footballers the world has seen.

* Finally, a treat for DStv subscribers

With the SuperSport channels in highlights mode during the lockdown, one channel that still is providing live sport is the dedicated WWE channel (128).

World Wrestling Entertainment continues live from the performance centre in Orlando, Florida, twice a week, albeit behind closed doors.

Fans of the sport could not have asked for a better time to stay tuned to the action. It is officially WrestleMania season. The grandest event of them all will take centre stage at the weekend and will for the first time be a two-night event.

WrestleMania this year will feature the likes of John Cena, The Undertaker, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens and Goldberg, to name a few. For sports fans it certainly is an event not to be missed. SeePage16

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

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