Your Weekend Planner Dec 25: Christmas cheer with Coolie No 1, AK vs AK

From Shakeela to Coolie No 1 to AK vs AK, the last Friday of the year is spreading Christmas cheer, and how. All this and more in today's Weekend Planner.

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Coolie No 1 to AK vs AK, it's going to be a great Friday.
Coolie No 1 to AK vs AK, it's going to be a great Friday.

Dear Reader,

How do you want to spend the last Friday of this year, which also happens to be Christmas day? Of 2020 - the year that actually seemed like one big, never-ending Friday the 13th? Well, we'd like to end it on a high. And perhaps that's what the good folks in Bollywood thought when they decided to give us not one, but three exciting new films. And one more for good luck from Hollywood.

So, in theatres we have Richa Chadha as Shakeela and Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984. Woohoo! But don't write off OTT either, for Amazon Prime Video gives us Coolie No 1 and Netflix raises that with AK vs AK. Its a race, a race to grab our attention, we tell you. And boy has that worked. We're all ears and eyes!

Now, this ain't just any weekend. It is Christmas weekend. And, it is the last weekend of 2020. And you know what to do. That's right, file your Income Tax returns. No excuses. And once you're done with that, and you realise that you have enough saved, it is also time to plan your trips for 2021. We have some suggestions - it is safe, it is fun, and it is much needed.

Phew! 2021, right? So, as this year comes to an end, what are we taking with us into the next? Apart from the scare of stray strands of the coronavirus, we're taking with us a ton of expectations. We're going to leave you with a simple thought - let's not burden 2021 with so much. It doesn't need to compensate for what 2020 turned out to be. And likewise, when you sit down to jot your New Year resolutions, don't burden yourself too much. Just have some fun and spread some cheer. Let the elves handle the rest. For better or for worse, 2020 was also handled, right?

Until next year, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

WHAT’S TRENDING?

There’s good news. And also bad news. No escaping that because of course, we are still in 2020.

First, the bad news. The coronavirus is mutating and that statement was enough to send the world into sheer panic. Due to the new and more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus that has been reported in Britain, 40 countries put in place travel restrictions to and from the UK.

So, are we entering 2021 with a deadlier version of the coronavirus? All you gotta do is wait and watch but here’s some insight on what the Covid-19 pandemic will look like next year.

Don’t let that update ruin your Christmas spirit though. We suggest you celebrate at home, and at all, if you plan to step out, do not forget the mask. There’s night curfew though, in several cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, this week started with The Great Conjunction, a rare celestial phenomenon wherein Saturn and Jupiter, the two largest planets in our solar system, nearly overlapped to form a "double planet.”

Now, do you remember Kanta Prasad? The owner of Baba Ka Dhaba, who went viral in October? He has started his own restaurant in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar. Aparshakti Khurana vouched for Baba’s Matar Paneer. You might want to try it out.

Speaking of food, McDonald's China made headlines earlier this week as it sold Spam burger stuffed with mayo and Oreo cookie crumbs. Spam, for those who aren’t aware, is canned cooked pork. Disgusting, if you ask us.

Just before Christmas, Sonu Sood was honoured by residents of a village in Telangana, who installed his idol in a temple and offered prayers.

David Warner also went crazy viral this week after he shared a short clip of Don 2's action sequences in a post on Instagram wherein he swapped his face with that of Shah Rukh Khan's.

To conclude, we hope 2021 isn’t as ruthless as 2020 was. In that case, you might want to visit Rajgir in Bihar's Nalanda district next March. Why Bihar? Because a swanky new glass bridge is under construction in Bihar. The pictures went viral. Here you go.

SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU SMILE

The story of a Houston woman, battling Covid-19, is something that made the internet emotional earlier this week. Lisette LeJeune found it difficult to step out of home ever since she tested positive for the novel coronavirus. As she ran out of supplies, her postal worker delivered a care package for her family.

It’s Christmas and here’s a video that might interest you. This is a clip of a man who played Christmas songs on his synthesizer while juggling tennis balls.

By the way. Have you seen Ricky Pond’s dance videos? This man from Washington loves Hindi and South Indian songs and is a great dancer. In one of his videos, Ricky Pond danced to Ghungroo from Hrithik Roshan’s 2019 film War.

DON'T FORGET TO WORK OUT

Milind Soman along with his wife, Ankita Konwar always manage to impress us with their fit and healthy lifestyles. However, today’s workout motivation comes from the actor’s 81-year-old mother, Usha Soman. Ankita shared a video of her MIL doing push-ups and skipping the rope while wearing a saree. So, what excuses are you making to work out this weekend?

While her MIL worked out in a saree and told us that we all have a Wonder Woman inside us, Ankita showed us how to warm up before a run.

As for Malaika, the OG fitness enthusiast of Bollywood, she exercised with her sister, Amrita Arora’s dog Axl. The star can be seen doing yoga as she stretches her legs while sitting by the pool.

KHANE MEIN KYA HAI?

If you feel like taking the Christmas spirits into the weekend and whipping us a delicious dessert, then we have the perfect recipe for you. The recipe is for making the perfect Gingerbread House and it comes from the chefs in the Royal kitchens. The Royal Family recently shared a detailed recipe on their Instagram page. So, get ready to whip up this delicious gingerbread house to enjoy with some hot chocolate while watching The Crown.

FROM THE BOOKSHELF

Much like most of the festivals in 2020, the merry spirit of Christmas too is elusive this year. So, why not pick up the world’s beloved holiday classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens? After all, it’s a quintessential comfort read. The story comes with a message of hope, joy and redemption. Perfect time, right? Scrooge, a twisted, bitter old miser who prioritises material wealth above love and happiness and detests Christmas, changes his ways by the end of the tale. A sick child who seemed destined to die is cured. Good triumphs over evil, good-heartedness and cheer wins over poverty and misery. Isn’t that what the Christmas spirit is all about? A Christmas Carol sure does warm the heart, even as it breaks it. One closes the book with a feeling that there is hope for a better future and that is exactly what we need for 2021.

And, at 125 pages, it is short enough to read over one or two sittings.

GET READY FOR TRAVEL IN 2021

2020 was a year where we said goodbye to all our travel plans. However, as we get ready to welcome 2021, the year comes with a promise of loads of adventures as the restrictions implemented because of the Covid-19 will remain lifted. So, we listed some travel trends that will become popular in 2021. From an increase in domestic travel to travellers opting for workation, road trips and sustainable travel options, these are some trends that will rule the coming year. Read more here.

FASHIONABLY YOURS

Are you finding it difficult to select your Christmas attire for tonight’s party? We can help. In our Fashion Friday section this week, we listed 10 celebrities - from Anushka Sharma to Nora Fatehi, Malaika Arora to Ananya Panday, who rocked red outfits in 2020. You can take cues from these divas and opt for either short dresses or sarees for that cheerful Christmas OOTD. Read more here.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

The last Friday of the year, and the last hoorah at the movies. We have a number of interesting releases this week. In theatres, across Bollywood and Hollywood, we have women taking charge - Richa Chadha in and as Shakeela and Gal Gadot in and as Wonder Woman. C'mon, ek siti toh banti hai, right?

For those lazy souls who hibernate through winter, you can either tune into Amazon Prime Video and watch Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan in Coolie No 1 or to Netflix and watch Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap in AK vs AK. While the former is just old wine in a new bottle, the latter is, well, unlike anything you've seen before.

Next Friday, we begin a new year. But cinema is timeless, right? Which is exactly what we celebrate through our weekly features. So, on Monday Masala, we celebrated the OG Coolie No 1, Govinda's birthday and decoded what makes him the ultimate entertainer. On Tuesday Trivia we discovered that while the story of Tiger Zinda Hai was based on true events, the character of Salman Khan was completely fictional. On Wahiyat Wednesday, we realised that there was nothing waah about Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! And on Throwback Thursday, we revisited 24, the television show to understand how Anil Kapoor reinvented himself with it, way before AK vs AK.

And now, over to AK vs AK. Err, OTT.

WHAT'S NEW ON OTT

ON NETFLIX

What to watch: AK vs AK

You will Like it if you liked: Bhavesh Joshi

The much-awaited film by Vikramaditya Motwane, AK vs AK, is finally here. Starring Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap as themselves, the film is a dark, experimental comedy, a mockumentary, if you please. AK vs AK follows an accomplished director (Anurag Kashyap), who kidnaps the daughter of a veteran Bollywood actor (Anil Kapoor). It shows the latter’s desperate search for his daughter (Sonam Kapoor) real-time, with cameras rolling for 10 hours. What do we think of the film? Catch the review here.

What to watch: The Midnight Sky

You will like it if you liked: War of The Worlds



The Midnight Sky stars extremely handsome George Clooney as Augustine, a lonely scientist in the Arctic. The film is a post-apocalyptic drama where the lead actor races to stop astronauts (played by Felicity Jones and others) come back home to a mysterious calamity. The film is an adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s acclaimed novel Good Morning and is directed by Clooney himself. It started streaming on Netflix on December 23.

What to watch: Bridgerton

You will like it if you liked: Pride and Prejudice



If you are a fan of films and web series based on stories from the Victorian-era and looking for some new content in the genre, then your search ends here. Bridgerton can be called Gossip Girl set in Victorian-era Britain. The story follows a torrid yet fake romance between the elegant Daphne Bridgerton and her suitor. In the film the mysterious, and very famous literary character, Lady Whistledown writes a newspaper column and tries to uncover the scandal of the decade. The web series started streaming on Netflix on December 25.

ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

What to watch: Coolie No 1

You will like it if you have watched: Judwaa 2

Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan have come together for the first to recreate the magic that was first created by Govinda and Karisma Kapoor. The film is the remake of the 1995 film of the same name. Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav and Javed Jaffrey add flavour to this romantic-comedy. Directed by David Dhawan, Coolie No 1 will be released on December 25.

What to watch: Sylvie’s Love

You will like it if you liked: A Star Is Born

Sylvie’s Love is set in the 1950s. It revolves around the lives of Robert and Sylvie. Robert is a saxophonist who works at the record store of Sylvie's father. The two fall in love with each other but end up taking different paths. They, however, reunite years later. The film was released on December 23.

ON DISNEY+HOTSTAR

What to watch: Criminal Justice Behind Closed Doors

You will like it if you liked: Illegal

Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors is an eight-part web series that explores various issues ranging from equality of women at workplaces, media trials, the downside of social media and how simply being married doesn't mean a relationship is a success. The show stars Kirti Kulhari and Pankaj Tripathi in the lead roles. Jisshu Sengupta, Shilpa Shukla, Deepti Naval, and Ashish Vidyarthi among others play pivotal roles in the show. It started streaming on December 24.

ON ZEE5

What to watch: Shoot-out at Alair

You will like it if you liked: Uri: The Surgical Strike

Shoot-out at Alair is inspired by real-life incidents and features Prakash Raj and Meka Srikanth in the lead roles. The series is about how a policeman gets killed every year on the day of Mecca Masjid blasts. The police closes the case, but after several years, another policeman gets killed on the same day. This makes police suspect if the mastermind is still alive. Both Prakash Raj and Srikanth will be playing investigative officers in this thriller.

ON SONYLIV

What to watch: Sandwiched Forever

You will like it if you liked: Dekh Bhai Dekh

Naina and Sameer are a young couple, very much in love. However, their life changes after marriage, as it also brings constant interference from their parents. Now Naina and Sameer's misery is entertainment for ys viewers. And that's the story of Sandwiched Forever. Want to know more before you commit to this show? Read our review here.

TV PE KYA CHAL RAHA HAI?

What to watch: The Kapil Sharma Show

Where to watch: Sony TV, 9.30 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Kapil Sharma will welcome Coolie No 1 team on his show. Both Saturday and Sunday episode will feature the cast of the new film, which stars Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan in lead roles along with Johny Lever, Rajpal Yadav, Javed Jaffrey, Shikha Talsania and Jackky Bhagnani. The actors will share interesting anecdotes from the shoot on the show.

What to watch: Bigg Boss 14 Weekend Ka Vaar

Where to watch: Colors TV, 9 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Bigg Boss 14 will have another entertaining weekend. It will celebrations time with Raveena Tandon, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shehnaaz Gill and Dharmesh Yelande on the show to celebrate Salman Khan's birthday. Shehnaaz will be seen performing on viral rap Tauda Kutta Kutta on the show, while Dharmesh will show his cool dance moves. The contestants will celebrate Christmas but they might also have to bid adieu to a housemate. This week, the nominated contestants are Eijaz Khan, Abhinav Shukla and Rahul Mahajan. Manu Punjabi was also nominated but he had to leave the house due to his health problems.

What to watch: Indian Idol 12

Where to watch: Sony TV, 8 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Indian Idol 12 New Year Special will air this weekend. First, the show will welcome rapper Badshah as a guest. Later, they will welcome Scam 1992 team on the show, which includes director Hansal Mehta and actors Pratik Gandhi, Shreya Dhanwantry and Hemant Kher. Contestants will mesmerise the guests with their amazing performances.

(Compiled by Ananya Bhattacharya, Nairita Mukherjee, Raya Ghosh, Krishna Priya Pallavi, Vibha Maru, Jyoti Kanyal, Janani K, Divyanshi Sharma, Shweta Keshri, Logesh Balachandran, Grace Cyril, Rishita Roy Chowdhury, Tiasa Bhowal)

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