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Entertainment

Out top picks for December

Compiled by Chitra Subramanyam  

FILMS

The Force is strong this winter with a heady dose of controversial queens, blacklisted Indian spies, the ultimate battle between the Jedi and Sith, and a dangerous, ancient board game. Keep an eye on Padmavati, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's visually sumptuous story on the queen of Chittor. The Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh starrer has been on the wrong side of the news lately, with its release date looking uncertain. Then there is Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif who return as spies in Tiger Zinda Hai. Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes an appearance as a menacing killer in the crime thriller Monsoon Shootout.

The Last Jedi, the second chapter in Star Wars' Skywalker saga, focuses on Rey's Jedi training even as the Resistance gears up to battle the First Order (Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver). The fantasy adventure film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle promises to be as exciting as the 1995 starrer (Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan). Netflix brings the Will Smith-starrer Bright. Don't miss Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect 3 and Hugh Jackman in the musical The Greatest Showman.

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BOOKS

From the politically charged Shatranj ke Khiladi to the heart-warming Idgah, Munshi Premchand's short stories are evergreen and remain unmatched. They are now available in an exclusive box set (The Complete Short Stories, Penguin Random House). Adventure isn't far behind when Hari Majestic is around. This time, the former tout and head detective of Diamond and Majestic Investigations Private Limited gets embroiled in a complicated case involving a stolen ATM (Tropical Detective by Zac O'Yeah, Pan Macmillan). Then there is A Time of Madness (Aleph), Pakistani travel writer Salman Rashid's memoir of redemption that harks back to the Partition. We also recommend Dancing With the Nation: Courtesans in Bombay Cinema by Ruth Vanita (Speaking Tiger) and a collection of witty personal essays by actor Soha Ali Khan (The Perils of Being Moderately Famous, Penguin Random House). Thriller fans can look forward to a brand new Jack Reacher novel with Lee Child's The Midnight Line and Artemis (Penguin Random House) by The Martian author Andy Weir, a heist caper set on the colonized moon.

 
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Television

Our favourite Time Lord returns, regenerating into his 13th incarnation in the Doctor Who Christmas special. There will be new companions and a refurbished TARDIS next season. This is the first time in its 54-year history that a woman (Jodie Whittaker) has been chosen to play the Doctor.

The award-winning show The Crown returns for its second season. There's also Guillermo del Toro's offering for kids Trollhunters and the creepy German saga Dark, all available on Netflix.


 

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