Dune, The Last Duel, Bhavai: 7 titles that are our top picks this weekend

If you’re one a sci-fi fan, this is the weekend you probably have been waiting for for quite a while. Denis Villeneuve directed Dune is finally in theatres with its complex world building and dense subject. And even if you’re not a sci-fi fan, this movie based on Frank Herbert’s novel will keep you hooked. And that’s not all when it comes to big releases this week. Ridley Scott-directed Last Duel, which stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck, is out too.

Over on Indian shores, Pratik Gandhi’s first Hindi film as a lead actor, Bhavai looks promising with its storyline but remains to be seen how it delivers.

Oh Manapenne (Tamil) and Rathnan Prapancha (Kannada) are the two new releases on OTT, which could interest you if you’re looking for something less intense.

Dune: In cinemas

Dune Dune stars Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson among others. (Photo: Warner Bros)

Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic, based on Frank Herbert’s celebrated sci-fi classic novel, tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born to do great things beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. It is backed by a strong ensemble cast including actors Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, and Dave Bautista, among others. Those who have read the novel would know that the story of Dune has a humongous scale and scope. The critical consensus of the film reads, “Dune occasionally struggles with its unwieldy source material, but those issues are largely overshadowed by the scope and ambition of this visually thrilling adaptation.”

Read the review of Dune here.

The Last Duel: In cinemas

The Last Duel A poster of Ridley Scott directorial The Last Duel. (Photo: TheLastDuelFilm/Twitter)

Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck starrer The Last Duel, directed by veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott, has finally reached the Indian theaters. Based on Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France, the story is about two duelling warriors in 14th century France. It follows a man who goes to war and upon his return discovers that his friend has raped his wife. No one believes the woman, and the soldier appeals to the king of France and says he wants to fight a duel to the death to decide the man’s fate, becoming the last legally sanctioned duel in France. The movie is described as “a gripping tale of betrayal and vengeance set against the brutality of 14th century France”.

Read the review of The Last Duel here.

Bhavai: In cinemas

Bhavai poster Bhavai marks Pratik Gandhi’s Bollywood debut as a lead actor. (Photo: PR handout)

Bhavai, earlier titled Ravan Leela, stars Scam 1992 fame Pratik Gandhi in the lead role. The Hardik Gujjar directorial has Gandhi playing Rajaram Joshi, a stage artist who essays the role of Ravan in a Ram Leela presentation, the traditional performance of the Ramayana. The film has been mounted against the backdrop of Bhavai–a popular folk theatre form from Gujarat and also stars Aindrita Ray, Rajendra Gupta, Rajesh Sharma, and Abhimanyu Singh in pivotal roles. While Gandhi is being applauded for his performance, the story of Bhavai has not impressed the critics. The Indian Express’ film critic Shubhra Gupta said the film feels “dated”.

Read the review of Bhavai here.

Oh Manapenne: Disney Plus Hotstar

Oh Manapenne Oh Manapenne! is available on Disney Plus Hotstar.

Harish Kalyan and Priya Bhavani Shankar star in the Tamil remake of the Telugu superhit Pelli Choopulu. The film marks the directorial debut of Kaarthikk Sundar and follows a couple who meet in an arranged marriage setup. While Harish’s Karthik is ready to marry for dowry, Priya’s Shruti is an ambitious girl who wants to study in Australia. She, however, is forced to get married by her father. But Karthik and Shruti’s meeting ends up in a business venture as both of them turn their passion for food into a business. The film is a light-hearted drama which is a perfect pick for this weekend.

Read the review of Oh Manapenne here. 

Rathnan Prapancha: Amazon Prime Video

Rathnan Prapancha A still from Rathnan Prapancha. (Photo: Twitter/Dhananjay)

The Kannada travel-comedy Rathnan Prapancha stars Dhananjay, Reba Monica John, Umashree, Ravishankar, Anu Prabhakar, Pramod, Vainidhi Jagadeesh, Achyuth Kumar, and Shruthi Krishna. Directed by Rohit Padaki, it follows Ratnakar and his roller-coaster life journey which is filled with love and laughter. In his review of the film, indianexpress.com’s Manoj Kumar R wrote, “This Dhananjay-starrer is a solid feel-good movie that holds a mirror to our flaws as individuals and as a society.”

Read the review of Rathnan Prapancha here.

Our recommendations

Sujata: ZEE5, ShemarooMe and YouTube

Sujata Nutan in Bimal Roy’s Sujata.

Bimal Roy’s 1959 film Sujata, starring Nutan and Sunil Dutt in the lead roles takes up the subject of caste discrimination in a society that believes in it blindly. Indianexpress.com’s Sampada Sharma in her column, Bollywood Rewind, wrote about the film, “Every few minutes, Roy reminds his audience that the story you are watching is that of a lower-caste woman and how the society sees her differently so we get a sequence where she is rejected for a marriage proposal, a sequence where Sujata is left out of birthday celebrations, so on and so forth. But the narrative makes a significant shift when Sujata falls in love. SD Burman’s music with songs like “Kaali Ghata Chhaye”, “Bachpan Ke Din” and the evergreen “Nanhi Kali Sone Chali” make Sujata a classic album.”

Mrs Doubtfire: Disney Plus Hotstar

1993 American comedy-drama Mrs. Doubtfire has actor Robin Williams elevating a simple script. The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Williams was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Indianexpress.com’s Anvita Singh called the film ‘likeable’ in her column Hollywood Rewind. She wrote, “Mrs Doubtfire is a likeable film to sit through its entire two-hour duration. The script also deals with the concept of estrangement, what it does to children, and parenting.”

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