Four new films to stream this weekend

76 Days, The White Tiger, Away, 23 Walks

76 Days

76 Days

 

76 DAYS ★★★★★
Directed by Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous. VOD, 93 min
Stunning documentary detailing the Chinese city of Wuhan’s journey following the arrival of Covid-19. This extraordinary film includes some shots that remind us of the wider truth – an ambulance crosses an empty bridge in an apparently deserted metropolis – but, for the most part, the focus is on hard-working individuals connecting with their frayed compatriots. It is a terrible story, but, in its constant discovery of bravery and compassion, ultimately a hopeful one. “You are all fearless soldiers,” an exiting patient declares. DC

THE WHITE TIGER ★★★★☆
Directed by Ramin Bahrani. Starring Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao, Adarsh Gourav, Mahesh Manjrekar. Netflix, 125 min 

Adarsh Gourav , Priyanka Chopra and Rajkummar Rao in The White Tiger
Adarsh Gourav , Priyanka Chopra and Rajkummar Rao in The White Tiger

Balram (Gourav) tells us about journey from ordinary villager to comfortable businessman in contemporary India. Having skewered America’s socioeconomic divide in 99 Homes, Indian-American writer-director Bahrani takes on India’s caste system with this blistering adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s 2008 Booker Prize-winning novel. The lively narration and rollicking pace make for favourable comparisons to Goodfellas. The Bangalore backdrop and Indian social relations bring something unique to this frequently imitated (and seldom rivalled) crime movie template. Powers through its source material at breakneck speed. TB

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AWAY ★★★★★
Directed by Gints Zilbalodis. VOD, 75 min

Away
Away

A boy parachutes onto a mysterious island and has surreal adventures. Here’s a wondrous thing. Working from his home studio, 26-year-old Gints Zilbalodis singlehandedly crafted this gorgeous feature length animation over 3½ years. He even wrote the haunting minimalist post-Glass synth score. That alone might distinguish Away as an enchanted object. The film’s world, however, casts a more potent lasting spell. Recalls Studio Ghibli classics such as My Neighbour Totoro and The Red Turtle. A delight. TB

23 WALKS ★★★☆☆
Directed by Paul Morrison. Starring Alison Steadman, Dave Johns, Graham Cole, Bob Goody, Natalie Simpson, Marsha Miller. VOD, 102 min

Alison Steadman and Dave Johns in 23 Walks
Alison Steadman and Dave Johns in 23 Walks

A sort of low-key concept film, 23 Walks imagines that two older Londoners – Dave (Johns from I, Daniel Blake) is a retired nurse, Fern (certified British treasure Steadman) a middle-class divorcee –form a friendship while walking their dogs. The relationship becomes more serious and, after challenging each other’s loyalty with awkward secrets, they stumble towards romance. It’s pretty thin stuff. The dialogue is wooden. The confrontations are contrived. But the two much-loved leads just about make it work. DC

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