The Instep Guide to Sanity: Netflix

April 5, 2020

In this weekly ‘Pandemic Special’, Instep advises you to just Netflix and Chill.

Dustin Hoffman, Frances Barber, Richard Madden, Alessandro Sperduti, Guido Caprino, Annabel Scholey, Stuart Martin, and Valentina Belle in Medici: Masters of Florence.

In this weekly ‘Pandemic Special’, Instep advises you to just Netflix and Chill. Seriously. Because when dealing with a pandemic, the best thing you can do is put yourself in quarantine and relax. This week the Instep team put their heads together (not literally) and came up with a list of personal recommendations of content available on Netflix. This is what we’re watching and you may enjoy too; it may help keep you entertained through these bizarre times.

Freud (2020 – 1 season)

In the best case scenario, one would hope that Freud, the eight-episode original Netflix series, will encourage people to read about the legendary psychologist and refer to his actual biography than this coked-up mesh of 19th century crimes, bloody gore and absurd psychoanalyses. That said Freud, the series, may not be much of an Interpretation of Dreams, but it is damn-well-worthy of binge watching thanks to ludicrous elements that include hypnosis and creepy behaviour, blood drenched demons and ominous little girls in dark hallways, seances, mediums and mysterious dead bodies and of course, a twist on sexuality, without which anything Freudian would be incomplete. It’s not for the faint hearted, so watch only if you have the guts.

Aamna Haider Isani

Medici: Masters of Florence (2018 –  2 seasons)

A banker who longs to be an artist; a domineering father who thrusts his hopes and dreams on his sons instead of letting them pursue their own even if it means making decisions ahead of their happiness; marriages made in deals and dowry, a mysterious murderer that you do not see coming, a lifelong nemesis. These are just some of the themes Medici: Masters of Florence, explores in its engaging first season.

Set in the 15th century, Dustin Hoffman stars as Giovanni de’ Medici whose death sets his son, Cosimo Medici (played by an excellent Richard Madden) on the course of his father’s dreams. Trained to be a banker for 20 years, Cosimo justifies what he must do for perception of power by quoting his father: “It is sometimes necessary to do some bad in order to achieve a much greater good.”

Bankers to The Pope, it allows them access as members of The Signoria (governing authority of several Italian cities at the time). Religion plays a significant role in Medici but isn’t a preaching sermon. The beauty of Florence that stands till today is also a focus and how some during those times did not appreciate it and found it to be vile. A cinematographic dream with a gorgeous soundtrack, this is a must watch series.

Maheen Sabeeh

The King   (2019 – film)

After delivering a breakout performance in Call Me By Your Name that landed him an Oscar nod for Best Actor, Timothee Chalamet has since then given some knock out performances in films like A Beautiful Boy and Lady Bird.

They call him Prince Hal and he abhors his father, the ruler of England, Henry IV for his belligerent ways ahead of remembering what is good for the populace, whether it is fighting in a fruitless war or making decisions that affect the common man. But his sudden, untimely death forces a young playful Prince Hal into the sullen King of England, Henry V. New to the role of King, the young man cannot trust those around him and must make decisions upon which lies the fate of many men.

Timothee Chalamet, boy wonder of acting, doesn’t want to draw swords and is a king willing to fight himself ahead of his army to avoid spilling more blood but when his hand is forced, he leads from the front and does what must be done even as he understands it requires atonement.

Though engaging and with a well-rounded cast that includes Robert Pattinson (what a performance), Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris, The King, that is loosely based on works of William Shakespeare, does take liberty with its source material and has drawn criticism from historians. However, to watch it as a fictional film, derived very, very loosely from the writings of the Bard, does make it a worthwhile experience.

Maheen Sabeeh

Money Heist  (2019 – 3 parts)

Trending on # 1 in Pakistan right now, acclaimed Spanish crime drama, La Casa De Papel, aka Money Heist is a must watch, if you haven’t already indulged.

It follows the lives of an extraordinary group of eight robbers, named after cities across the globe, as they plan the biggest robbery in the Royal Mint of Spain under the instructions of the Professor – the captain of the ship. Created by à lex Pina in 2015, the series casts Úrsula Corberó, Itziar Ituño, à lvaro Morte, Paco Tous, Pedro Alonso, Alba Flores, Miguel Herrán, Jaime Lorente and Esther Acebo amongst others. With three parts out on Netflix, the release of its upcoming fourth season was confirmed for April 3, 2020, but according to reports, the date has been pushed due to the global outbreak of coronavirus.

Buraq Shabbir

The Instep Guide to Sanity: Netflix