Kirti Kulhari's watchlist is packed with courtroom thrillers and hard-hitting takes on love
Fire up the microwave popcorn, we’re in for the ride
After three months of plumbing the depths of every streaming platform known to man, we have watched everything on our watchlist, our neighbour’s watchlist and even binged Wes Anderson’s recommendations over a weekend.
Now, we need more ace suggestions to keep our brains distracted from solitary confinement.
Jim Sarbh played our TV sherpa last week, and now we turn to Four More Shots Please! actor Kirti Kulhari for her favourites.
“Non-fiction and crime thrillers are giving me joy these days. I don’t know why, but it’s been fun exploring these genres and I have always had a soft corner for true stories,” says the actor.
Kirti Kulhari shares her lockdown watchlist
The Wife, 2017
Meg Wolitzer’s 2003 critically acclaimed novel, The Wife, was adapted for celluloid in 2017. At the epicentre of the movie is the long-suffering and dutiful wife, Joan Castleman, (Glenn Close in one of her best performances till date) of a literary giant, Joe Castleman (played by Jonathan Pryce), whose life is punctuated by several episodes of infidelity.
In the film, the Castlemans are off to Stockholm where Joe is about to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. But for how long can she keep up the “all is well in paradise” façade? We dare you to not have a breakdown in the final act of this soul-crushing movie.
“Glenn Close stole the show in this film. It’s a superb film throwing light on the complex dynamics of a relationship – how we lose ourselves to make our relationships successful. Some realise and some don’t. The makers explored this theme very well,” says Kulhari.
Watch on Netflix
My Happy Family, 2017
In this achingly beautiful Georgian film, we see a 50-something professor, Manana (played by Ia Shughliashvili), apartment hunting after she decides to leave her happy family – parents, husband and two children. The familia is shocked at her decision. There’s no infidelity or any trouble in her marriage. There’s no society-approved motive behind her “move”.
Her reasoning is simple: after spending all her life taking care of others, she just seeks solitude and some quiet where she lives for herself. Will her disapproving dear ones stop controlling her just for once?
The story touched Kirti Kulhari in more ways than one.
“It’s a brave effort to portray space as a crucial part of a relationship. Nobody really talks about it. The movie shows how space in a relationship helps individuals to flourish, to remain healthy. I connected to the theme on deeper levels.”
Watch on Netflix
Into The Wild, 2007
“I have a thing for true stories. To know that it actually happened makes the whole viewing experience more personal. Into The Wild also has a beautiful soundtrack.”
After graduation, Raj and Simran went on a Euro trip, you and your friends decided to finally make that Goa plan happen. But our protagonist Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) decides to give up his material possessions, including all his savings, to hitchhike his way to Alaska. That was his emergency exit into the wild.
Based on the book by Jon Krakauer, chronicling the true story of a young man who hiked across America in pursuit of his passion, Sean Penn’s film will give you chills and make you miss the thrill of exploring the great unknown.
Especially considering the only unknown you’re exploring right now is how dishes pile up mysteriously in your sink when you live alone and eat straight out of food cartons.
Watch on Amazon Prime Video
The Trial, 2019
If gripping courtroom dramas are your jam and you’ve watched 12 Angry Men and A Few Good Men on repeat, this Italian crime series is right up your alley.
Linda Monaco (played by Camilla Filippi) is accused of murdering her 17-year-old daughter. Through the course of eight episodes, we see the crime from both perspectives as the prosecutor and the defence lawyer run through the pile of evidence.
The drama starts out from a real space and, as the show progresses, turns unbelievable with every passing plot twist. Ultimately, your jaw drops with the big reveal.
“I love crime thrillers. Most of this show is also a courtroom drama and so beautifully shot. I love when shows take their own time to unfold and not race and sensationalise plots to keep you glued. The Trial did that to me. It is slow, but it doesn’t drag. It absorbs you,” says Kulhari.
Watch on Netflix
We’ve loved Jason Bateman in comedies – Horrible Bosses, Game Night, Arrested Development. But now it’s time to get invested in this Bateman-led dark thriller.
For the respectable Byrde family, things go from great to bad to disastrous as the head of the family, Marty Byrde, a financial advisor (and part-time money launderer) drags his family to the boondocks of the USA to appease a drug lord.
With drug cartels of Mexico involved, terrible choices lead to horrifying consequences in this Netflix thriller. It’s stylishly shot and promises to keep you occupied for at least a couple of weeks – unless you binge-watch three seasons in a week. And we wouldn’t be surprised.
“The show really takes you on a rollercoaster ride. As the actors go about covering up for one mistake, you can’t help but get invested in their misadventures. I really enjoyed the portrayal of the relationship between the lead characters,” says Kulhari.
Watch on Netflix