Just like it was a slow year for me in terms of books read, the same went for the things that I watched. Nevertheless, what I did end up watching ranged between good to excellent.
Here are my top 6 (I cheated and added 1) movies/TV Shows/plays I watched in 2016:
- BBC’s War & Peace
I was hugely impressed with how they cut down 900+ pages to 6 episodes without losing the philosophical subtleties. A remarkably acted and executed adaptation that pays tribute to Leo Tolstoy’s philosophies on the meaning of life, the horrors of war & on how best to live. Also, I rediscovered the underrated genius that’s Paul Dano!
After trying my best to avoid the show, when I finally did watch it, I was absolutely blown away by the significance of the show to the human condition, but also because it is one of the few shows that doesn’t underestimate the intelligence of its audience.
3. The Missing
The Missing Season 2 was insightful in its exploration of relationships as they unravel, of evil in the form of everyday elements that seem harmless, of the moment when you stop thinking, ‘that can’t happen to me or my family’ and start thinking, ‘how could this have happened to me’? That combined with the haunting, slow building quality of it makes it a cut above the normal mysteries/thrillers.
4. Danny Boyle Frankenstein: National Theatre Live Encore
One of the most visceral and deeply disturbing things that I watched this year, Frankenstein’s themes still resonate.What I took away from this adaptation was most of all Jonny Lee Millar’s performance as the creature and his first scene of his birth. Poetry is combined with horror in the scene.
5. The Night of
Especially relevant since the results of the American elections, The Night Of is the disconcertingly real account of what justice means if you are not a part of the majority. It explores stereotypes and injustice with so much subtlety.
6. Les Misérables: The Musical at The Dubai Opera
Les Misérables has a message that’s timeless and the musical effectively denotes this without real dialogues but with music. The musical is a depiction of humans at their lowest ebb, a portrait of misery. Yet, somehow even through misery, there’s hope entwined. Ultimately, what you take away is not the cruelty but the human capacity for kindness and acceptance, with love triumphing all odds.