THE ROUNDUP : This month’s regional pop-culture highlights

Narcy ft. Mashrou Leila. (Image Supplied)
Updated 27 October 2018

THE ROUNDUP : This month’s regional pop-culture highlights

DUBAI: Read on for a list of pop-culture highlights you can't afford to miss. 
“Time”
Narcy ft. Mashrou’ Leila
Two of the biggest name’s from the region’s alternative music scene join forces on this powerful track taken from Iraqi-Canadian rapper Narcy’s upcoming album “Spacetime.” Instrumentation and an Arabic-language chorus from Lebanese indie heroes Mashrou’ Leila and Narcy’s customary quickfire English-language rap make for an intriguing and engaging mix, and the track gets space-y weird toward the end with a heavily Autotuned Narcy vocal.

“Dead Pets, Old Griefs”
Interbellum
The second album from the Lebanese indie outfit led by singer-songwriter Charlie Rayne (or Karl Matar as he’s known when working as Interbellum). While the band’s 2016 debut “Now Try Coughing” had the exhilarating feel of a record knocked off in a couple of hours in someone’s garage, “Dead Pets, Old Griefs” has a (slightly) more polished sound, but is still heavy with distortion and dissonance. And Rayne’s melodic skills and knack for a stop-you-in-your-tracks lyric shine through once again.

“Lonely At Night”
Noush Like Sploosh
The Dubai-based multidisciplinary artist has an ambitious plan for her debut album, “Whimcycle.” She will release a video for each of its 10 songs. “Lonely At Night” is the second in the series. The beautifully drawn stop-motion animation is the perfect accompaniment for the dark drama of Noush’s song about working yourself to the bone to avoid facing up to anxiety and depression.

 


REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

Updated 17 August 2019

REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

CHENNAI: The first season of “Sacred Games” last year was a hit, and the second edition, which began streaming on Netflix on Aug. 15, may be even more so.

The eight episodes explore some of India's most pressing current issues such as a nuclear threat, terrorism and inter-religious animosity dating back to the country's 1947 partition. It. It also addresses how religious men can indulge in the most unholy of acts, including helping corrupt politicians.

Some of the greatest films have had conflict and war as their backdrop: “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “Ben-Hur” and “Garam Hawa,” to mention a few. The second season of “Sacred Games” also unfolds in such a scenario, with terrorism and inter-communal disharmony having a rippling effect on the nation.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap (“Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Black Friday”) and Neeraj Ghaywan (“Masaan,” which premiered at Cannes in 2015), the web series, based on Vikram Chandra's 2006 novel, unfolds with Ganesh Gaitonde (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) escaping from prison and finding himself in Mombasa. He has been carted there by an agent of India's

Research and Analysis Wing, Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash), who forces him to help find Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), the mastermind behind bomb blasts and terror attacks.

In Mumbai, police inspector Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) has just two weeks to save the city from a nuclear attack, which Gaitonde had warned him about. Both men love Mumbai and do not want it to be destroyed. But religious extremist Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) and his chief disciple Batya Ableman (Kalki Koechlin) believe that only such a catastrophic destruction can help cleanse society and bring a cleaner, saner new order.

A narrative of deceit, betrayal, love and longing, the second season has a plodding start, but picks up steam from the fourth episode, with Sartaj and his men racing against time to find a nuclear time bomb that could wipe out Mumbai. Crude dialogue and a constant doomsday atmosphere could have been avoided, but riveting performances by the lead pair – Khan and Siddiqui (though he is getting typecast in this kind of role) – and nail-biting thrills make this Netflix original dramatically captivating.