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The Giant Quarantine Recommendation List by PFA Community

The below list of books, movies and series are recommended by all our community members who commented on one of our recent Instagram post and the list is curated by three of our guest bloggers Akanksha Esmeeta, Anushtha Jhanwar and Shubhangi Singh

TV Series and Short Docuseries

Well we are all going through the same thing right now i.e. Lockdown. Oh Yes! Coronavirus hit us hard enough to make us binge watch all day long. Though we are forced to stay indoors, binge watching can really uplift the mood as no boundaries of lockdown apply on dramas, where every bit of the whole world is presented before us. Here is list of series watched and recommended during Lockdown

1. Brooklyn 99

A hilarious sitcom following the lives in Brooklyn, New York City of Detective Jake Peralta and his team who is forced to shape up when a new commanding officer Raymond Holt is appointed as his new boss. It consists of 6 seasons and all them are available on Netflix.

2. Trial by Media

Where media plays an important role in every economy and court dramas never ending, this particular series goes down in the history and reflects the role of media in some of the most dramatic trials of all time. Season 1 is available on Netflix.

3. After Life

Affected by death of his wife, Tony, a newspaper writer changes his ways of life to suddenly not caring about himself or others, thus pushes away his friends and family who tries to help him out. It consists of 2 seasons, available on Netflix.

4. Sense 8

A science fiction series reflecting onto the lives of 8 strangers who seem to be mentally sharing visions and connected with each other. In order to survive from their enemies, they must help each other and find their ways out. It consists of 2 seasons, available on Netflix.

5. Panchayat

Story of an engineering graduate, Abhishek from a remote village Phulera in Uttar Pradesh who joins the office of Panchayat as secretary, due to lack of job options. Stuck between villagers and his job responsibilities, he tries to find his way out. Season 1 is available Amazon Prime.

6. Dark

When a child goes missing, four other families set a hunt for answers as they discover the mystery that lies under their small German town. Based on time travel leaving past, present and future nondetachable. It consists of 2 seasons, available on Netflix.

7. Modern Love

A Romantic Comedy TV Series based on New York Times Weekly Column. It depicts various love in multidimensional as to say, sexually, familial, platonic and self- love. Season 1 is available on Amazon prime.

8. Pup Academy

Puppies taking their steps towards forming an eternal bond with humans by travelling through a magical portal and training themselves to become human’s best friend. Season 1 is available on Netflix.

9. Bard of Blood

A former Indian spy, leads an unsanctioned rescue missions in Balochistan and in turn encounters demons from his past. Season 1 is available on Netflix.

10. Fleabag

Fleabag, a dry-witted woman who is trying to cope up with her life in London as tragedy surrounds her every now and then, rejecting everyone who tries to help her and lets out her Bravado. It consists of 2 seasons, available on Amazon prime.

11. Asur

A psychological crime thriller revolves around the battle of forensic science with mysticism of ancient mythology. A psycho killer is on the loose and two CBI officer are on heels to catch him, landing themselves in a dreadful situation. Season 1 is available on Voot.

Movies and Documentaries

I have always considered movies much easier than series to watch because it’s just a 2 or 3-hour story (mostly). Unlike series it’s not stretched into seasons leaving us in cliffhangers and anticipation to wait for another season. With so much time to watch more movies, we often are left with an empty watch list. If you have been wondering what to watch next, we got you sorted. We have curated a list of movies that you could watch during this Lockdown period and the best part is that it consists of diverse genres. So, get your laptop/phone and start adding these into your watch list.

1. Contagion

This movie tells what’s been happening around the world during COVID-19 in 100 minutes which practically will make you realize how bad things have been or could be. The story starts from the death of a woman and her son leading to the discovery of a deadly virus. While the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) struggles to curb its spread, a worldwide panic ensues. You can watch it on Amazon Prime to go into a dystopian ride of thriller.

2. All The Bright Places

A novel-based movie written by Jennifer Niven which revolves around mental illness. The book was published five years ago and made a huge impact on teen mental-health stigma. It’s not your another cheesy romcom but a reality of people who suffer from depression or any other mental illness. Watch it on Netflix.

3. Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind

Imagine having no memory of your lover or voluntarily erasing it. Spooky? Joel and Clementine begin a relationship post a train journey together, unaware that they had previously been in a relationship, the memories of which were clinically erased. A love story in reverse which is unpredictable. Available on Netflix.

4. Gone Girl

This movie has both suspense and thriller which will leave you in the awe of Rosamand Pike’s acting on screen. The story starts when Nick Dunne discovers his wife has gone missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. It ends at a very mind-boggling note. To watch it, head on to Netflix.

5. Before Sunrise Trilogy

While travelling on a train in Europe, Jesse, an American man, meets Celine, a French woman. On his last day in Europe before returning to the US, he decides to spend his remaining hours with her with a promise to meet again after 6 months. This movie is my personal favorite and one good news is that it has been continued into 3 parts (Before Sunset & Before Midnight). If you like movies such as Before we go, then you’d definitely enjoy this one. You can find the first part i.e. Before sunrise on Netflix.

6. A Dog Year

Based on author Jon Katz's best-selling memoir of the same name, A Dog Year will take you on an emotional ride surrounded by dogs. A man facing writer’s block is left alone in his house with two Labradors when his wife and daughter leaves him but a dog-breeder convinces him to take an abused and hyperactive dog. Isn’t it true that you could be the worst person on this planet but your dog will still love you.

7. Perks of Being a Wallflower

This is a story about friendship. The movie shows how one should appreciate the friends they have even though they are at the lowest points of their lives. Watch it on Netflix.

8. Gifted

Chris Evans fans I hear you cheering while watching this movie. Chris Evans plays the uncle and guardian of Mary, a seven-year-old with a head of a genius. He gets into a legal battle with her (Mary) mother, Evelyn, over her child’s custody. However, Evelyn will do anything to make Mary complete her mother's project. Watch it on Disney+Hotstar.

9. Parasite

I could write a thesis on why you should watch this Oscar winning and a first ever South Korean film to bag 4 Academy Awards. While “Parasite” is a scathing commentary on social class at its heart, it quickly becomes a whole lot more focusing on subjects like capitalism, economic disparity and class division. With hauntingly beautiful soundtrack this film is a 2020 must watch. Watch it on Amazon prime.

10. The Theory of Everything

This film is a romantic biographical film on Stephen Hawking, an excellent astrophysicist. In his days of working on a research about a theory of everything (TOE) while being a student, he learns that he is suffering from motor neuron disease and has around two years to live. The ending of this film is a beautiful one.

11. Eyes Wide Shut

A psychological thriller filled with suspense and sexual fantasies. The story begins when a New York City doctor embarks on a harrowing, night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife reveals a painful secret to him. Available on Netflix.

12. Village Rockstars

Village Rockstars is a 2017 Indian Assamese language coming-of-age film. This a story about A 10-year-old girl living in poverty in a village in Assam, India, dreams of owning a guitar and forming a band with the local boys. The narration is from a child’s perspective of our world and its people in truest & raw form. An official Indian movie to enter Oscars is surely a worth-watch for you. You can watch it on both Netflix & Amazon prime.

13. Predestination

If you’re a sci-fi lover then this movie is for you. This is one of those films whose slightest plot discussion gives out a spoiler. There is an elite group of people charged with travelling through time powers in order to prevent horrible crimes before they occur. With an impressive storytelling this film won’t disappoint you. Watch it on Netflix.

Books To Read

When a single sentence or a page has the power to change us, it’s important to take our book recommendations seriously. For all of you, who are looking for ways to rejuvenate your lockdown period in the coming days, here is a list of books that different people loved reading based on their genres!

1. Self Help and Motivational

Talking about the books that have small enlightenment hidden in them, we will quickly talk about Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Veronica Decides To Die, and Adultery. The Alchemist is purely loved by everyone because of the way it demonstrates the journey and fate of a boy looking for treasure. It has some gold lessons hidden for you. Similarly, Adultery revolves around the personal crisis faced by a woman and how it takes a toll on her relationship with her husband. The book also has bits and pieces about depression. Veronica Decides to Die is a treat to everyone feeling hopeless in these times. It’s about a girl who commits suicide because of existential crisis and it only improves her life indirectly.

The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy is definitely a go-to book for everyone trying to figure out some possibilities during this lockdown. It certainly brings a difference if you read this self-help book. Whereas, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami is no less than a literary treasure that explores magical realism that is a journey on its own! The Monk who sold his Ferrari is another beautiful book written by Robin Sharma that takes you on a journey to become more sober about life. It is indeed an inspirational piece written by him. A brilliant set of self-help insights from Rhonda Byrne through The Secrets will help you understand the law of attraction like never before.

The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck is again a self-help book that most of us need to read. It tells about everything we do normally do in day to day life and how unconsciously we invite negativity. Another recommendation is The School of Life which is a self-help book which teaches you the much-needed lessons in life. Atomic Habits is another self-help book that guides you about changing habits and encourages you to adapt.

2. Through the Eyes of Women

If you are typically interested in looking at a woman’s perspective, then I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron will have your heart. It explores the journey of aging in woman and what they go through personally. Similarly, Michelle Obama’s Becoming is definitely an inspirational treat that girls and woman would love to read. It is a memoir that explores bits and pieces of her life that have shaped her into who she is.

3. Political Fiction and Research

If you love to explore the political fiction and facts, you will love How to win an Indian Election will answer the questions you have about what goes on behind the scenes. Discovery of India By Jawaharlal Nehru is another political fiction that will only take you the evolution of small things and history of India. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster is another account of political fiction that discusses how cultural conflicts shaped fates of different individuals.

4. Fiction

Including fiction in this list, we have a lot of books recommended by different people. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy which deals with family and love is really something you should give a try. Death by Water from Kenzaburo Oe is a work of fiction that highlights the struggles of humanity. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is again a masterpiece that will move you by talking about family and friendship. Highly Illogical Behaviour is a teen fiction which creates a fun world for you inside a book. Our favorite Ruskin Bond’s The Room on the Roof is also a fictional piece of writing discussing the adventures of adolescence and how the journey evolves for a boy.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is all you need to evolve from human guilt and inadequacy with the help of a storyline. A work of fiction by George Orwell is Animal Farm which talks about equality through the lives of animals. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth is another brilliant book talking about multi ethnic society that has webs of emotions waiting to trap them.

5. Thrillers and Mystery

For the unpredictable mystery and thriller lovers, you would love to explore the The Camel Club by David Baldacci. It’s about suspense and investigation that tells the possibility of war arising between two different worlds. Sounds interesting? The Silent Patient from Alex Michaelides is about a woman shooting down her husband and how a psychotherapist gets psychologically trapped in investigation. Similarly, The Wives is another thriller suspense that is about a woman who has married a mysterious man with two other wives. As she gets to know horrifying things about her husband, the story gets trickier and takes twist.

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari is another mysterious book which talks about the capabilities of Homo Sapiens to take over the charge of this world like never before. Basically, this book is a history of tomorrow, and that sounds really intimidating! Mossad is another story revolving around secret agents in Israel and this story has its own twist and turns to hook you up.

6. Fiction and Romance

Some light reads are Heidi by Johanna Spyri, which is a children’s literature and Born a Crime by Trevor Noah which is a humorous book to read. Factfulness by Hans Rosling is a non-fiction recommended for those who love to explore interesting facts about anything and everything. The Time Traveler’s Wife is based on the life of Stephen Hawking which talks romance as well as science fiction. Naruto is a comic recommendation if you are really looking for a nice one.

A non-fiction recommendation named A Short History of Nearly Everything will hook you up into the mysterious facts of this universe. Being Mortal is another beautiful account from a surgeon named Atul Gawande who tells the dynamics of medical world and how suffering of each patient creates a mess in a doctor’s life. A philosophical piece by Marcus Aurelius named Meditations is a very thoughtful book that encourages and consoles you at the same time.

7. Drama

What is a quarantine without adding a pinch of drama? Add the much-needed emotional twist by reading The Kite Runner from Khaled Hosseini which is a heart-breaking story on friendship. Rest you can discover on your own. A mythological account by Stephen Fry through Mythos will take you back to Greek mythology stories, only in a better way. A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber is a simple fiction with a little bit of drama that shows how a woman and her mother-in-law make life changing decisions. It shows about their journey of supporting each other through the changes.

To read more such recommendation about movies or books go to our blog section and you will find some other posts too. For any questions related to the above blog write to Pawan Rochwani on hello@pfaindia.com

To contribute to the site as a guest blogger, feel free to write on the same email address.


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