In this week’s HerStory Recommends, be thrilled to get back the Rajinikanth you love in Petta and go on a spine-tingling adventure with Bird Box. 

Petta Rap

Rajinikanth in Petta. Picture credit: Sun Pictures Facebook Page

One Rajinikanth film in a year is a treat. Two in a span of just a few months is a bonanza. After 2.0, the thalaivar returns, in a larger-than-life character that he plays with the inimitable swag that we have all come to love. Rajinikanth plays Kaali who joins a college as a warden, where he tries to bring some semblance of normalcy but runs into a few rowdy boys led by Michael (Bobby Simhaa). While Kaali slowly eases himself in as everyone’s favourite, there his mysterious past catches up with him. More villains enter the frame here – Jithu (Vijay Sethupathi) and Singaran (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) – as the story moves at a quick pace, with some political messages thrown in for good measure. Vijay Sethupathy shines as usual while the heroines, Simran and Trishna Krishnan, have no great roles to speak of. But the essence of the film is flashes of the old Rajinikanth, the one from Baasha who makes you ‘Whistle podu’ all the way.

(Petta now in theatres)

All in a day’s work

In her book of 14 well-crafted stories, Anjum Hasan takes us through the daily life of a variety of characters – whimsical, emotional, almost etched in stone. The stories move across different landscapes, small towns, urban nightmares, and sometimes, way back into the past. Whether it’s a unhappy retiree coming to terms with normal life, the bond between two sisters, a possible romance between two IT entrepreneurs, or a middle-class woman’s bond with her maid, A Day In The Life Stories is many short books rolled into one – for each story is different just in tone and voices, but in the storytelling too. The best part of the book? The different worlds you are transported to – as you navigate characters that though they may seem to be like you and I are, but offer something more deep and poignant. Read the book to find out more.

(A Day in the Life of Stories by Anjum Hasan)

Apocalypse now

Picture credit: Official Bird Box Facebook page

If a film based on a book can change the book’s fortunes, then this is it. Birdbox, released in the end of December on Netflix, has not only made its book a best-seller but is also the streaming service’s biggest hit till date. Another apocalypse threatens the world; this time it’s a mysterious force that’s leading to mass suicides and the only way to escape it is to not see it. Five years later, a mother (Sandra Bullock) and her two four-year-old children try to make it to safety. For this, they must embark on a dangerous journey through the woods – blindfolded to find their sanctuary. With scenes that chill you to the core, watch Birdbox if you have the heart for it, love Sandra Bullock… or even better, if you love a good dystopian sci-fi film.

(Birdbox now streaming on Netflix)

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