X-Men! Hakkasan! Glee! Aravind Adiga! From films to food and more, we tell you what you can look forward to during the rainy season.
X-Men: First Class (watch the trailer here)
Comic book geeks have been salivating ever since the trailer for X-Men: First Class was released online, and for good reason. Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughan helms this prequel, which delves back into the time when Professor X and Magneto were indignant peace-advocating young men, albeit ones with some insane super powers. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender play the friends-turned-foes in a stellar ensemble cast that also includes Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne and January Jones. Out Friday, June 10.
Green Lantern (watch the trailer here)
Yet another comic book superhero gets the Hollywood treatment, this one with Ryan Reynolds, better known for playing the romantic lead in chick flicks, as the test pilot-turned saviour of the universe. Reynolds is Hal Jordan, a brash pilot, who becomes, what else, a ripped Adonis, after he wears a mystical green ring. Though there’s been some muttering in the blogosphere on whether Reynolds can carry a big budget action flick, critics are optimistic about the film, which is directed by Casino Royale’s Martin Campbell. Out Friday, June 17.
Delhi Belly (watch the trailer here)
Imran Khan, Vir Das and Kunaal Roy Kapoor star as three Delhi flatmates sharing a bachelor pad in this Hinglish dark comedy produced by Khan’s uncle, Aamir. It’s been tagged with an “A” certificate for coarse content, and if promotional music video “DK Bose” is anything to go by, the humour will be rated R for “ribald”. Out Friday, July 1.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (watch the trailer here)
Harry fans, brace yourself. After a decade, the world’s most successful movie franchise will finally come to an end. But not before Harry and friends Hermione and Ron and a cast of nearly every prominent actor in the British film world battle Voldemort in an epic meeting of good vs evil. Those who’ve read the book will already know how this one ends; for all others, come with tissues. Out Friday, July 15.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (watch the trailer here)
If we were to judge a film by its synopsis, Zoya Akhtar’s sophomore effort seems like a slightly grown-up version of her brother, Farhan’s directorial debut, Dil Chahta Hai. In ZNMD, the three best buds, played Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol and Hrithik Roshan embark a road trip to Spain (instead of Goa) that will, as is wont, “change their lives for ever”. Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin play Roshan’s and Deol’s respective love interests. Out Friday, July 15.
In an attempt to add some gravity to the traditionally romance- and comedy-dominated moviescape of the monsoon, Prakash Jha will follow up his hit political drama Raajneeti with a film based around the controversial subject of caste-based reservations in colleges. The film, which has drawn controversy for Jha’s casting of Saif Ali Khan as a Dalit student, also features Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Prateik. Out Friday, August 12.
Simi Selects India’s Most Desirable
If K-Jo is the Jerry Springer of the Bollywood talk show world, then Simi Garewal is its Dr. Phil: mild, mawkish and almost guaranteed to never ask uncomfortable questions. Even so, her latest show, which from promos appears to be part revue and part chat show, will feature Freida Pinto, Deepika Padukone and others busting a move in front of a studio audience. Starts Sunday, June 12 at 9pm on Star World.
Like most HBO shows, Boardwalk Empire is lavishly produced (the first episode alone cost $20 million) and a step above most television fare in both writing and direction. It’s little wonder then that this 12-episode period drama, directed by Martin Scorsese and written by The Sopranos’s Terence Winter, won a Golden Globe this year for best drama series. Steve Buscemi stars as a political fixer in Atlantic City, among a motley crew of people that includes low-level thugs and local law enforcement trying to find their way around the alcohol ban during the Prohibition era. Historical moments such as women getting voting rights and Al Capone’s early years, provide much of the background colour. Starts Sunday, June 12 after the 9pm movie on HBO.
Glee Season 2
The crazy singing kids of McKinley High return for a second season, this one with a bigger cast and even more songs by the likes of Britney Spears (watch out for the all-Britney tribute episode early on), Katy Perry and Bruno Mars. Among the A-list guest stars: Gwyneth Paltrow in a multi-episode turn, and Spears herself. Starts June 19, Saturday and Sunday at 11pm on Star World.
Making Over America with Trinny and Susannah
Who doesn’t love makeover shows? Especially when they’re helmed by the sardonic duo of hit show What Not To Wear. Here, Trinny and Susannah cast their eagle eyes on the women of America, sparing little by way of unbridled criticism, and acting not just as fashion gurus but also life coaches and therapists. Even though the show aired in the US back in 2009, the duo dispenses timeless advice in such brutally honest terms that it’s hard not to cheer for their hapless fashion victims. Starts June 22, Monday to Thursday at 9pm on Zee Cafe.
Modern Family Season 2
Some critics have said that hit ensemble sitcom Modern Family, which just concluded in the US, had lost some of its razor wit in its second season. Even then, audiences tuned in in record numbers to see the Pritchetts and Dunphys bumble through dealing with tweens, teens, babies and each other. Look out for episodes starring the always hilarious Nathan Lane as the flamboyant Pepper. Starts June 23, Monday to Friday at 11pm on Star World.
Coke Studio on MTV
The Indian version of the Pakistani TV show has received some flak for including Bollywood playpack singers such as Shankar Mahadevan and Shaan among the list of artists, but music director Leslie Lewis has promised that the core objective of showcasing classical and folk talents will be kept intact. The episodes will put the spotlight on a wide-ranging group of acts such as Advaita, Raghu Dixit and the Wadali Brothers. Starts Friday, June 17 on MTV.
Rolling Stone Metal Awards
Scribe frontman Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy will host the second edition of this annual headbanger’s ball that will include performances by Bhayanak Maut and Exhumation from Mumbai, Delhi’s Artillerie and Pune’s Noiseware, each of whom are up for multiple awards. Sunday, June 19 at Blue Frog.
NH7 and Sapna Bhavnani will team up to release a series of Indian indie compilations called three33 that will be exclusively available at the latter’s Khar-based hair salon Mad-O-Wot. Plans are being made to hold a series of gigs tied to each release. June.
Bonobo Music Festival
The inside section of popular Bandra terrace bar Bonobo will be renovated into a concert space and will re-open in the first week of July with a two-day festival featuring electronica and rock acts. July.
Inroom Records, the company that organised Australian beatboxer Dub FX’s highly successful tour of India last year, is planning to start a series of “experimental nights” featuring collaborations between two or more artists from different genres. While neither artist names nor venues are confirmed at the moment, the line-up is likely to include the likes of electronica act Bandish Projekt and sarangi player Sabir Khan. July.
We have it from reliable sources that the Hakkasan launch date is nigh. The Mumbai outpost of the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant is set to open in June, in place of the long-shuttered Seijo and The Soul Dish on Waterfield Road in Bandra. Hakkasan Mumbai will boast the same richly textured décor as the London flagship (as well as the Ling Ling lounge) and in a short while from launching, will also serve its wildly popular dim sum lunch. 206, Crystal, Waterfield Road, Bandra (West). June.
After several delays (it was slated to launch January and then by mid-April this year), it looks like Belgian patisserie Debailleul will open in Prabhadevi by the end of June. Chocolates, ice creams and sorbets, pastries and breads will be on offer at the 1,000 sq. ft. Mumbai flagship that will mainly operate as a take-away and delivery outlet. June.
In the first week of July, Juhu will get a new European restaurant named Opa, on the ground floor of the three-star Royal Garden Hotel. Sameep Padora, the architect of Indigo Deli at Palladium mall, is designing the split-level restaurant that will feature a communal bar, a private dining room and an al fresco section on the upper level. Hotel owner Ashish Sajnani intends for Opa to be an all-day restaurant that will offer breakfast and premium teas and coffees in addition to lunch and dinner. The menu, which Sajnani describes as “modern European”, will include spanakopita (a Greek savoury pastry); a salad of red wine poached figs with crème fraiche-rubbed Camembert and blueberry compote; mushroom ravioli in Porcini cream sauce; and lobster risotto. Royal Garden Hotel, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu. July.
Dish Hospitality, the company that owns Aurus, the opulent Juhu restaurant and seaside lounge, is in the process of putting the finishing touches to its new venture, Nido in Khar. Nido (Spanish for nest), will be an all-day establishment with Aurus chef Vicky Ratnani at the helm. It will serve breakfast, snacks such as sandwiches and separate lunch and dinner menus. Expect dinner to be a more glamorous affair, as is the case at Aurus, the preferred haunt of the city’s swish set. A high tea menu is also on the cards at the restaurant, which is slated to launch between July and August. Union Park, off Carter Road, near Shatranj Napoli restaurant and Olive Bar & Kitchen, Khar. July/August.
Two One Two Cafe
The team behind Two One Two Bar & Grill will open an all-day dining cafe somewhere in Apollo Bunder towards the end of the monsoon. Unlike the Worli branch however, this “cafe” version will be an informal hang-out, with about two-thirds of its total 3,000 sq. ft. space devoted to an outdoor area. Expect a menu of light eats, including their popular wood-fire oven pizzas. August/September.
Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga (Harper Collins)
Despite the flamingo on the cover, it turns out that Booker Prize-winning author Aravind Adiga’s new novel is not set in Sewri but in a fictional housing society near Dharavi. The novel looks at what happens when one long-time resident objects to a crumbling multi-storeyed building being redeveloped. Could this be India’s Glengarry Glen Ross? You can read an extract from the novel here. Releases June 30.
River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh (Penguin)
After setting the scene with Sea of Poppies, there will hopefully be some action in River of Smoke, the second book in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy. All we know for certain is that the novel opens with the Ibis (it’s a ship) getting tossed about in a whirlwind and landing up in Mauritius. From here, new and old characters (including a Parsi opium merchant from Bombay) land up in China. The Opium War booms in the background. Releases in June.
The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai (Random House India)
It’s the first Anita Desai in seven years and rather than one novel, The Artist of Disappearance is actually three novellas. In one, there’s a son who leaves home only to come back and find it a curious museum of his travels. In another, the lines between translating and writing a novel are blurred. In all three stories, Desai explores the themes of time and transformation. Releases in July.
Our Lady of Alice Bhatti by Mohammed Hanif (Random House India)
After having solved the mystery of General Zia’s death in A Case of Exploding Mangoes, Mohammad Hanif has now written a love story. He’s been tight-lipped about the plot but here’s what we know. Alice Bhatti, an ex-con with healing powers, is a nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pakistan. Teddy Butt is a part-time body builder and a part-time goon for the police. We can’t wait to see how this relationship works out. Releases in August.
Noon by Aatish Taseer (Picador)
The hero of Aatish Taseer’s new novel, Rehan Tabassum, is the son of a Pakistani man and an Indian woman. Sound familiar? Rather than autobiographical tangles, Taseer’s new novel looks at the nature of power in India and Pakistan from the 1980s till the present. Author V. S. Naipaul, our favourite postcolonial curmudgeon, has said Taseer is “a young writer to watch”, so we’ve got our eyes peeled. Releases in September.
The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy (Hachette)
Maya has been disowned by her father for marrying a Christian. When her husband dies, she moves to Ranikhet. Here, she becomes entangled in the little dramas of a charming cast of characters like gin-soaked Diwan Sahib; a young Hindu cowherd who falls in love with a cook; and local political party workers. Tabish Khair was suitably impressed by The Folded Earth (see his review in The Independent) so we’re looking forward to seeing how Roy has followed up An Atlas of Impossible Longing. Releases in August.