The Shweta Tripathi watchlist is best served with makhana and cold brew
It gets really Dark before it takes you to La La Land
We love those friends who come over for movie marathons and silently watch whatever we’re re-watching for the 20th time. Everybody enjoys an occasional taste of dictatorship until they start losing friends and movie nights are reduced to main aur meri tanhayi.
But we love those friends who bring to the party their well-researched and carefully curated watchlists along with bags of greasy snacks. A midnight snack to go with Midnight in Paris. Could life get any better?
And we are sure Masaan actor Shweta Tripathi is one such friend. She turns up with movie recommendations and makhana.
After being very inspired by Shruti Haasan’s diverse watchlist, we turned to the effervescent actor to help expand our streaming options and circle of friends.
She surprised us with a mixed bag of thrillers, dark comedies and musicals. But more importantly, she advised that we keep a bag of makhana handy and stock up the cold-brew counter before getting down to binging business.
“Plots are important. But what attracts me to a show is also the way it is shot, the background score and how much the show or the movie makes me learn as a performer, subconsciously. It’s always more than just the performance for me,” says Tripathi.
There’s something for everyone in the Shweta Tripathi watchlist
Jojo Rabbit, 2019
“After watching Jojo Rabbit I felt like someone had punched me in my gut. The beauty lies in how relevant the story is even today. I am a massive Taika Waititi fan, and after watching this film, I didn’t want to meet or talk to anyone. It’s immersive as hell,” says Tripathi.
We couldn’t agree enough.
Waititi adapts Christine Leunens’s Caging Skies, a tale set in Germany, during the final days of WWII. Enter 10-year-old Johannes Betzler, lovingly known as Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis) in conversation with his imaginary idol, Adolf Hitler (Waititi’s Hitler is a goofball).
Jojo’s weekend at the Young Hitler Training Camp is the highlight of his summer. But he fails to demonstrate ruthlessness and blows himself up with a grenade. He survives it all, but will he survive the bigger nightmare that’s hiding in his home? A Jew (Thomasin McKenzie). Worst horror: his mom (Scarlett Johansson) has rescued her.
The film smartly ridicules fascism, and leaves us with plenty to chew on, and these poignant lines by Rainer Maria Rilke: “Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror. Just keep going, no feeling is final.”
Watch on Disney+ Hotstar
Sharp Objects, 2018
“We don’t see too many female anti-hero characters. Amy Adams delivered her finest performance to join the league of extraordinary female anti-heroes. Sharp Objects is disturbing and brilliant – it’s the perfect slow burner,” says Tripathi.
Set in Missouri, this crime thriller is based on Gillian Flynn’s novel by the same name. Crime reporter Camille Preaker (played superbly by Adams) is chasing what could be the story of her life – the case of a young girl gone missing. But her investigation poses a bigger question: is there a serial killer on the run?
On the surface, director Jean-Marc Vallée’s (also directed the award-winning Big Little Lies) Sharp Objects appears to be an open-and-shut murder mystery. But over the course of eight episodes, the haunting show unravels the ugly cycle of abuse, trauma and recovery as it sharply cuts into flashbacks from Preaker’s childhood.
Sharp Objects reassures us that some screen adaptations are as gripping as the book, if not more.
Watch on Disney+ Hotstar
Dark is trending on the streaming universe, and with good reason.
“The atmosphere they have created in the show gives me the chills. The best part is that it’s not easy to explain the show to people. It’s such a complex world of time travel — and covers all these crazy ideas. You have to watch it to believe it. It’s a stroke of genius,” says Tripathi.
If Christopher Nolan killed your comprehension skills with Inception and Interstellar, this German-language show will make you believe that you had none to begin with. But we bet you can’t stop binging.
Set in the fictional German village of Winden, the first two seasons introduce us to four generations of four interconnected families, across timelines. We challenge you to draw the family tree without cheating. In the centre of this grand epic is the tragic love story between Jonas (Louis Hofmann) and Martha (Lisa Vicari). And then the series slowly infuses layers of philosophy and time-travel paradox.
No spoilers here because it’s difficult to spill any. We have four words for you: It’s complicated, but addictive.
Watch on Netflix
La La Land, 2016
“Story and performances aside, I love a powerful soundtrack and background score. And on that note, La La Land’s opening sequence and ending are show stealers.”
Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is an ode to old-school Hollywood and jazz. Set in Los Angeles, the musical extravaganza is a tale of two dream catchers: pianist Sebastian who wants to open his jazz club one day (played by Ryan Gosling; he also dances like a dream) and struggling actor Mia (Emma Stone), who is stuck in a loop of failed auditions.
There’s enough chemistry between the two to set the screen on fire, there’s a whole lot of song and dance – only the charming kind – and ultimately, there’s the wise takeaway: it’s easy to get derailed from our dream destination, and sometimes, it takes just one person to get us back on track.
Re-watch the opening song, ‘Another Day Of Sun’ to notice the fluid choreography, executed in one single take. It’s phenomenal.
Watch on YouTube Movies
Little Fires Everywhere, 2020
Celeste Ng’s acclaimed novel — a tour de force on motherhood — is brought to life on celluloid by the powerful performances of Reese Witherspoon (Elena Richardson) and Kerry Washington (Mia Warren).
“I cannot recommend this show enough. Superb casting and such brilliant performance. Watch it before everybody else does,” says Tripathi.
Set in Ohio, Liz Tigelaar’s mini-series opens with Elena’s suburban house being burnt to ground as she watches in shock. The following seven episodes trace the motives, some unwelcome guests and the culprits behind this sabotage.
The show is, essentially, a war between motherships in an upscale American neighbourhood. From a distance the families look blameless and soaked in holier-than-thou vibes. Yet they are all guilty of racial politics and classist attacks. Little Fires Everywhere tackles all the fires blazing in the neighbourhood — transracial adoption, classism and sexual politics.
The show also takes place in the ’90s, and watching it in 2020, will make you realise just how long ago the ’90s were.
Watch on Disney+ Hostar