The movies, books and events that make the last four months of 2014 worthwhile
Do all years have the same 365 days? Because this one seems like it’s just been going on and on and on with no respite. The world quietly implodes around us, people we love pass on to the other world, and beautiful places we once traveled to devolve into Civil War or worse. The interminable Indian summer carries on marching all the way into September and there are moments when we just can’t take it any more.
But then, we look at the GoodReads line up of September Reads, and the movies playing at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals and get excited all over again. There is hope at the end of the tunnel as long as people keep creating the perfect piece of ephemeral entertainment to help us escape from the present.
Here are the 10 pop culture events from the rest of the year that we are most excited about. Tell us yours in the comments below.
1. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Why We Are Tingling With Excitement : September is by far the best month in 2014 for bibliophiles. As if the excitement of the new Murakami wasn’t enough, we have new books by Hillary Mantel, Ian McEwan, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and David Mitchell lined up this month. Phew. Now we could take a week off from work to read them all, or we could simply devote a weekend to Mitchell. The Bone Clocks promises to have all the elements that has made Mitchell one of the most thrilling writers of the 21st century : a story that is set in motion in 1984 (aha) and zigzags into the future; a fascinating array of characters, including some from Mitchell’s earlier works; a plot that upon first glance appears to be straight out of the Stephen King factory; and most important of all, Mitchell’s outrageous imagination and magical touch as a wordsmith par excellence.
The Clock Starts Ticking On: The book is available on Amazon in hard cover, paperback and Kindle edition – convenience notwithstanding, the MBRB girls are opting for the paper version.
2. Davis Cup Tie: India vs. Serbia
Why We’re Jumping With Joy: How the mighty have fallen. After contesting three Davis Cup Finals (1966, 1974 and 1987) and making it to the elite World Group 13 times since 1921, India has not even qualified for the World Group playoffs since 2012. Worse, the last couple of years have been marred by sordid fights and ugly controversies, courtesy the sorry state of affairs at the All India Tennis Association. Sadly for India, we will need to find a way past the world’s number one ranked tennis player if we hope to make it to the World Group this year , for Novak Djokovic will be leading Serbia’s charge against India in Bangalore this September. It’s going to be a tough ask for the young and resurgent Indian team , but for fans, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with the Djoker. Better still, the matches will begin late afternoon (evening for the doubles), so you don’t need to bunk work on Friday.
Catch All The Action: From September 12-14, at the KSLTA Stadium in Bangalore
3. Judgement Day for Fawad Khan
Why we can’t wait to say I-told-you-so: You remember that scene in Love Actually where a British dork becomes doubly attractive to American girls for his accent? We have a feeling that some of the same effect is at play in the collective hysteria around Fawad Khan. It’s the Polished Urdu and the stiff upper lip, women! As someone who tried to sit through Zindagi Gulzaar Hai for three whole weeks, let us assure you that he is- albeit beautiful- not quite the special flower he’s made out to be. But why bother with what us MBRBers tell you? Find out for yourself in a couple of weeks when you go see Khoobsurat. Or maybe he will surprise us, and you can say I-told-you-so?
The curtain lifts on: 19th September
4. Bigg Boss 8
Why we are excited: We can never get past the first couple of weeks of a Bigg Boss Season. The politicking, the outrage, and the relentless arguments about food are never quite as exciting as the producers want us to believe. But the first week which unleashes its array of fame whores, desperate starlets hoping for some of the world famous Bhai manna, and “he’s still around?” deja-vu are always good fun. If you know who is going to be in the bizarrely impractical post-modern house this time, don’t tell us! We’d love to witness the return of our least favourite uncle from 90’s Cinema with unspoilt eyes!
The drama unfolds on: 20th September
Why we are excited: Vishal Bharadwaj. Shakespeare. Gulzaar. Tabu. A smouldering Shahid Kapoor. Inspiration from Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Sold.
Sorry Bang Bang. Your 90’s inspired lushness and Greek locales can wait.
We’ve already bough tickets for: 2nd October
6. Gone Girl
Why our spines are tingling: We may not have thought much of the book, but every snippet from every trailer of this film gets us doubly excited about the film. We are thrilled that Rosamund Pike is finally getting a role which shows off both her English Rose good looks, significant dramatic prowess and cigarettes- and-whisky voice. We aren’t sure how we feel about Ben Affleck, but isn’t that ambiguity perfect for Nick Dunne? But what should really make the movie are those Fincherian atmospherics which make you doubt everything you know and question every shadow. Can. Not. Wait.
You can download it from you-know-where after: 3rd October
7. The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
Why We Want to Read It: Michael Connelly’s Heironymous Bosch series remains our favourite airport lounge read. The prose is unadorned, but that seems more a matter of style than a limitation of the writer. And Harry’s tortured psyche and dour personality doesn’t stop him from having a near perfect record as a Detective. Some of our favourite characters from the Bosch novels have been his colleagues and partners- the inscrutable Kizmin Rider, slimy Irving Irving and the conflicted Jerry Edgar. That’s why we can’t wait to get introduced to his latest partner, Lucia Soto- a tough Latina cop much younger than him- in the latest of his books set in gritty Los Angeles. It helps that (like Chetan Bhagat), he releases his early chapters on Facebook so we already have a sense of the mystery!
The mystery unfolds on: 3rd November
8. Kill Dil
Why we are awaiting a Govinda movie for the first time in our lives: We aren’t sure we are quite ready for the “Year of Govinda” just as yet, but the movie does star the most dynamic of the younger set of actors in Ranveer Singh and Ali Zafar. Personally, we are most taken by the secrecy behind this project. In a world of “First Looks” and “Song Teasers” and “Teasers to Teasers” and relentless marketing, it is refreshing to know nothing about a movie that is less than three months away. Besides, we loved Shaad Ali’s women in Bunty aur Babli and Saathiya; and can’t wait to see the performance he ekes out of Parineeti Chopra.
Release Date: 14th November 2014
9. Nagaland Hornbill Festival
Why we are looking for airline deals: Chalk it up to bad fortune, but we’ve never quite been able to make it to the North East. But this year, we intend to be at the Nagaland Hornbill Festival in time. A 10 day cultural festival full of glimpses into the varied Naga culture, exciting events such as a chilli-eating contest, markets full of local handicrafts all culminating in a Battle of the Bands in the form of the Hornbill Rock Concert. Nothing can keep us away from this one.
The fun begins on: 1st of December
10. India – Australia Cricket Series
Why We’re Batting For It: Despite MBRB’s vociferous opposition to our country’s obsession with cricket, it’s difficult not get excited about an India-Australia series. Besides, there are still so many questions to be answered about our final world cup line up (E.g. How do you solve a problem like Rohit Sharma?) that we hope this series will provide some solutions!
The 4 test series will be followed by an ODI tri-series with England & Australia, which is pretty much a warm up for the World Cup that begins in February 2015.
The Gloves Comes Off On: The first day kicks off in Brisbane on December 4.