Despite the public outcry, the changes to Netflix’s password-sharing system have simply helped the streamer grow in power, with nearly 6 million new members joining the platform recently. With the ongoing Hollywood actors’ and writers’ strikes in full effect, I don’t really blame them for it, given the streamer is one of the few studios that’s best prepared for the oncoming content drought with a robust, long-running slate. Coming to this weekend, the slate is led by renowned favourites such as The Witcher season 3 and Bird Box Barcelona, as well as new Indian originals such as Kohrra, a procedural investigation thriller helmed by Paatal Lok creator Sudip Sharma.
Every week, Netflix compiles a list of its most trending content, from compelling dramas to more action-oriented affairs such as Hidden Strike, the new pair-up between Jackie Chan and John Cena. Of course, content such as Lust Stories 2 is going to rank high up on the list for expected reasons, though I was surprised to see the Randeep Hooda-led crime-thriller series CAT up on there, apparently having spent six weeks among India’s Top 10 list. You can check out the entire hierarchy by visiting the official website, but for now, let’s focus on some of the best films and TV series you could binge-watch on Netflix right now.
It’s always interesting to see comic actors like Vadivelu take on intense roles, with Maamannan putting him in the shoes of the titular veteran statesman and his son Veera (Udhayanidhi Stalin), who are pulled into a violent power struggle when a cold-blooded politician charts his rise to power. Fahadh Faasil plays the vengeful and entitled Rathnavelu, Salem’s district secretary, who discriminates against people based on caste, often at loggerheads over political shifts with his rival, insisting how even progressive ideals would fall prey to casteism in time. The film also stars Keerthy Suresh (Dasara) as an educator for the less privileged, and Lal (2018) as the fictional Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
The Witcher Season 3: Vol. 2
Over the years, The Witcher series took a nosedive from being a highly-praised fantasy epic, to gradually veering from the source material to focus on its world-building and politics. In what serves as the last hurrah for Henry Cavill’s portrayal of the monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, it was revealed that the mysterious mage Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu) had been sowing discord across the Continent. Our trio of heroes Geralt, Sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), and Ciri (Freya Allan) must now face hordes of monsters and mages to thwart evil, as the stone-cold witcher slowly comes to terms with his feelings.
Hidden Strike puts iconic death-defying actor Jackie Chan and WWE legend John Cena on the same team, to escort a group of civilians across the Iraqi roads after an oil refinery gets attacked by mercenaries. Tonally, it’s something along the lines of the Rush Hour films, a buddy-comedy filled with endless banter and over-the-top action sequences, as our heroes dodge RPGs, blast rooftops during old-fashioned standoffs, and fail to understand the simple mechanics of a hand-grenade. Scott Waugh — best known for Need for Speed — directs the film, which also stars Game of Thrones veteran Pilou Asbæk as the mercenaries’ leader Owen Paddock.
Bird Box Barcelona
The events of Bird Box Barcelona run parallel to the ones in the US, which you might have already seen in the original Sandra Bullock-led version. Threatened by a mysterious force that has begun annihilating the human population by forcing them to kill themselves, a father and daughter — Sebastián (Mario Casas) and Anna (Alejandra Howard) — venture through the desolate streets of the titular Spanish city, in hopes of finding a safe haven. But when they run into a group of other blindfolded strangers, they learn of another imminent threat that seems more formidable than the unseen creatures. Helmed by returning directors Àlex and David Pastor, the movie also enlists Georgina Campbell (Barbarian) and Diego Calva (Babylon) in the cast lineup.
When an NRI Punjabi named Paul is found murdered just before his arranged marriage in the countryside of Jagrana, Punjab, two police officers — Amarpal Jasjit Garundi (Barun Sobti) and Balbir Singh (Suvinder Vicky) — must work together to unravel the mystery, which opens a pandora’s box of a dysfunctional family’s secrets, deceit, and infidelity. To make matters worse, the victim’s close friend Liam (Ivantiy Novak), a British national, goes missing, prompting an investigation process more serious than regular routine checks. Kohrra explores the customs of the NRI community which makes up a sizeable population in greater Punjab, in addition to themes of masculine ego.