Chameli ★★★★

yes this is essentially another "woman facilitates a man's emotional journey" story, but she gets so much time and personality that i don't think it matters, especially because it isn't about the man "saving" her or shaming/condescending to her. imo the treatment of sex workers and a brief scene with a trans woman were handled really well especially considering the time/place. kareena kapoor is quirky, sarcastic, and otherworldly beautiful, rahul bose has a quiet broody mads mikkelsen vibe, they have a low key chemistry that fortunately never explodes into fawning romance - just two broken people reaching out to each other the best they can. beautiful rainy atmosphere, simple but striking. the only real flaw i think is that it actually slows down in the second half when they shift focus away from the two leads in one location and introduce more plot/action.