Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

By Pickle  May 2, 2020
Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

101 Chodyangal (Malayalam, 2013)

Genre: Drama
Director: Sidhartha Siva
Starring: Indrajith Sukumaran, Lena, Minon
Streaming on SunNXT, MX Player

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

101 Chodyangal(101 Questions) provides a view of the world through the eyes of a young boy whose factory worker-father has  lost his job. There is little around him to cheer him up, but the boy keeps using his imagination to make sense of the dismal environment.

High points: Profoundly moving story and remarkably restrained acting by the principal cast

Asha Jaoar Majhe (Bengali, 2014)

Genre: Drama
Director: Aditya Vikram Sengupta
Starring: Ritwick Chakraborty, Basabdatta Chatterjee
Streaming on Amazon Prime

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

A remarkable debut film by Aditya VikramSengupta, Asha Jaoar Majhe (Labour of Love) is about a day in the life of a Calcutta couple struggling to make ends meet in the time of an economic recession. No words are exchanged between the two unnamed characters – they meet only once and fleetingly at that – but the film says a lot about the anomalies of urbanexistence.

High points: A beautifully crafted film that comes as close to pure cinema as any Indian film has done in years

Anhey Ghorey Da Daan (Punjabi, 2011)

Genre: Drama
Director: Gurvinder Singh
Starring: Samuel John, Kul Sidhu, Gurpreet Bhangu
Streaming on Netflix

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

First-time director Gurvinder Singh’s experimental film, based on an acclaimed novel of the same name, is an intense evocation of life, or of what is left of it, in a poverty-stricken, socially oppressed village whose inhabitants have little to look forward to.

High points: It is as stark as it is lyrical, and is marked by an evolved cinematic idiom

Chennai 600028 (Tamil, 2007)

Genre: sport, Comedy
Director: Venkat Prabhu
Starring: Jai, Shiva, Premji, Aravind Akash, Vijayalakshmi, Ajay Raj, Prasanna, Ranjith, Karthik, Arun
Streaming on SunNXT

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Woven around street cricket rivalry in a Chennai locality, director Venkat Prabhu’s first film deals with the themes of friendship and teamwork in aunwaveringly realistic manner. The film’s surprise success catapulted a whole bunch of young actors and the director to stardom.

High points: The endearing quality of the characters and the utter believability of the story

Crossing Bridges (Sherdukpen, 2014)

Genre: Drama
Director: Sange Dorjee Thondok
Starring: Anshu Jamsenpa, Phuntsu Khrime
Streaming on Amazon Prime

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

The first-ever film in Arunachal Pradesh’s Sherdukpen dialect, Crossing Bridges is about a man who returns to his village after losing his job in Mumbai. As he awaits news of new openings, the serene rhythms of his own culture force him to rethink his priorities.

High points: The first-time director imbues the languid ‘coming home’ drama with both warmth and urgency

Ek Hazarachi Note (Marathi, 2014)

Genre: Crime
Director: Shrihari Sathe
Starring: Usha Naik, Sandeep Pathak, Shrikant Yadav, Ganesh Yadav, Pooja Nayak, Devendra Gaikwad
Streaming on Netflix

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

An impoverished village widow, who has lost her husband and son in debt-related mishaps, is showered with big denomination currency notes by a vote-seeking politician. With the kind of liquidity that she has never seen, the woman sets out for the market. But life has other plans for her.

High points: Debutant director Shrihari Sathe’s subtle touches and lead actress Usha Naik’s empathy-inducing performance

Fandry (Marathi, 2013)

Genre: Drama
Director: Nagraj Manjule
Starring: Kishor Kadam, Somnath Avghade, Suraj Pawar, Chhaya Kadam, Nagraj Manjule, Rajeshwari Kharat
Streaming on ZEE5

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Staring caste inequities in a part of rural Maharashtra in the face, Fandry is about a pig-catcher who falls in love with a girl he can never get. But in his youthful enthusiasm, he believes that he stands a chance. The film reflects aspects of the growing-up years of the writer-director Nagraj Manjule.

High points: Stark, hard-hitting and disturbing, the film presents an unflinching portrait of a benighted world that is rarely seen in Indian cinema.

Gabhricha Paus (Marathi, 2009)

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Satish Manwar
Starring: Sonali Kulkarni, Girish Kulkarni, Jyoti Subhash, Veena Jamkar, Aman Attar
Streaming on Disney+hotstar

Gabhricha Paus (The Damned Rain) is set in the drought-hit Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, where an impoverished peasant fights the odds stacked against him but without success. His wife does her best to keep his spirits up, but the situation on the ground militates against his quest for a good crop.

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

High points: Satish Manwar’s controlled direction and the pivotal performance by Girish Kulkarni

Harishchandrachi Factory (Marathi, 2009)

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Director: Paresh Mokashi
Starring: Nandu Madhav, Vibhavari Deshpande
Streaming on Netflix

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

A highly engaging recreation of the circumstances in which Dadasaheb Phalke made Raja Harishchandra,whose release in 1913 officially marks the birth of Indian cinema. It is shot in a style that reflects the way films were made back in those days without any camera movements.

High points: Storytelling at its simplest and most effective. All credit to writer and director Paresh Mokashi

Harud (Urdu/Hindi, 2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Aamir Bashir
Starring: Mohammad Amir Naji, Shahnawaz Bhat, Shamim Basharat
Streaming on Netflix

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Harud (Autumn), an impressive directorial debut by actor Aamir Bashir, is a disquieting tale about a Srinagar youngster grappling with the unexplained disappearance of his elder brother and the impact of the event on his aged parents. Contemplative and melancholic but hard-hitting.

High points: Its realistic, docu-drama feel puts the plight of common people in a conflict zone into sharp relief

Island City (Hindi, 2015)

Genre: Drama
Director: Ruchika Oberoi
Starring: Vinay Pathak, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Amruta Subhash
Streaming on Disney+hotstar

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Few Hindi films have captured urban alienation quite as brilliantly. Through an anthology of three separate but linked stories, the film delves into a fast evolving city where means of communication are multiplying but genuine emotions are difficult to articulate. The film is about Mumbai but could be valid for any modern megalopolis.

High points: Outstanding cinematography – each segment has a different texture; fine editing; and impressively calibrated performances

Kakkaa Muttai (Tamil, 2014)

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: M Manikandan
Starring: Vignesh, Ramesh, Aishwarya Rajesh, yogi babu
Streaming on Disney+hotstar

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

In Kakkaa Muttai (Crow’s Egg), two young brothers lose their playground to a new pizza outlet. They now dream of having a bite of a pizza. But there’s a problem: a pizza costs more than what their family earns in a month. An outstanding directorial debut by cinematographer M Manikandan.

High points: Endearing central characters and trenchant social commentary couched in narrative simplicity

Khosla Ka Ghosla (Hindi, 2006)

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Starring: Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Parvin Dabas, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Tara Sharma
Streaming on  Netflix

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Director Dibakar Banerjee’s debut film is a family drama that lays bare the plight of a middle-class Delhi man whose plot of land is encroached upon by a powerful hustler. A small film with big impact, Khosla Ka Ghosla was a magnificent entertainment package.

High points: One of the finest, subtlest comedies made in Mumbai in a long, long time

Manorama Six Feet Under (Hindi, 2007)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director: Navdeep Singh
Starring: Abhay Deol, Raima Sen, Gul Panag
Streaming on  Shemaroome

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Director Navdeep Singh’s debut is an engaging and startlingly effective probe into small-town Rajasthan where corruption and crime are rampant. An engineer and struggling novelist turns into an amateur investigator to wrap his head around a web of lies, deceit and murder.

High points: The film’s realistic texture is reinforced by strong, earthy dialogues and superb acting

Masaan (Hindi, 2015)

Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
Starring: Richa Chadda, Vicky Kaushal, Shweta Tripathi, Sanjay Mishra
Streaming on  Netflix

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Debutant director Neeraj Ghaywan, working with a screenplay by Varun Grover, captures the ancient city of Benaras torn between tradition and modernity. Realism and restraint mark the drama about four individuals who struggle to come to terms with pressures brought on by social and emotional upheavals.

High points: High quality acting;insightful study of small-town dynamics in a rapidly changing India

Peepli Live! (Hindi, 2010)

Genre: Satire, Comedy
Director: Anusha Rizvi
Starring: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghubir Yadav, Shalini Vatsa, Malaika Shenoy
Streaming on  Netflix

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

In a small village in Madhya Pradesh, a debt-ridden farmer is desperate to save his land and his family. Pushed into a corner, he decides to commit suicide. His announcement sparks off frenzied and wholly misplaced reactions from the media, the politicians and government officials.

High points: A scathing expose of India’s agrarian distress and the ham-handed official response to it

Phoring (Bengali, 2013)

Genre: Drama
Director: Indranil Roychowdhury
Starring: Akash Adhikari, Sohini Sarkar, Sourav Basak, Sankar Debnath, Senjuti Roy Mukherji
Streaming on ZEE5

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

The protagonist of Phoring is a boy growing up in a remote, sleepy North Bengal town that has survived the closure of a factory. The film is a sharp and sensitive study of an unusual character. The protagonist hears voices in his head. An unconventional teacher begins to expose him to things unknown. One day, she vanishes…

High points: First-time director Indranil Roychowdhury’s self-assured storytelling and characterizations

Kumbalangi Nights (2019), Malayalam

Director: Madhu C. Narayanan
Genre: Drama, Romance
Starring: Soubin Shahir, Shane Nigam, Sreenath Bhasi
Streaming on Amazon Prime

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Madhu C. Narayanan’s Malayalam film Kumbalangi Nights, scripted by Syam Puskaran, is the home of four brothers who have no woman in their lives. The siblings are all flawed, scalded individuals until women enter their lives and make them see life and love in a different light.

High Points: The film is an examination of masculinity that turns the entire notion of patriarchy on its head.

The Lunchbox (English/Hindi, 2013)

Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Ritesh Batra
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Streaming on  Netflix

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Director Ritesh Batra’s maiden feature found takers virtually all around the world after it garnered unstinted encomiums at the Cannes Film Festival. This unusual love story of a lonely widower and a middle-class woman despairing for her husband’s attention is about Mumbai, food, urban alienation and starting over.

High points: Magnificent scripting, evocative portrayal of a city on the move, and a clutch of super performances

Thithi (Kannada, 2015)

Genre: Drama
Director: Raam Reddy
Starring: Thammegowda S Channegowda, Abhishek H N, Pooja S M
Streaming on Netflix  

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Thithi is a wryly comic, sharply observant portrait of a small south Indian village where a centenarian dies, sparking off a scramble for his plot of land. In the running are the old man’s octogenarian son and his avaricious, good-for-nothing grandson. Pensive and evocative.

High points: A cast of amateur actors who seem to be playing themselves and striking directorial skills by debutant Raam Reddy

Titli (Hindi, 2015)

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Director: Kanu Behl
Starring: Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial, Shashank Arora, Lalit Behl, Shivani Raghuvanshi
Streaming on Amazon Prime

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Set in a Delhi in the grip of a ‘development’ frenzy, Titli is the story of a dysfunctional lower middle-class family grappling with inter-personal issues that frequently assume the form of brutal violence. The youngest of three siblings has an urge to escape this hellhole. But can he?

High points: Intelligent use of thriller elements to paint a precise socio-economic portrait of people on the fringes of a rapidly expanding megalopolis

Adaminte Makan Abu (Malayalam, 2011)

Genre: Drama
Director: Salim Ahamed
Starring: Salim Kumar Zarina Wahab
Not available for streaming

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Adaminte Makan Abu (Abu, Son of Adam) is about a poor perfume seller who has only one aspiration left in life – he wants to visit Mecca. He sets about putting together the resources he needs to make the trip but his mission is not as simple as it seems.

High points: Effortless storytelling;evocative cinematography (Madhu Ambat), a flawless screenplay and a pitch-perfect central performance (Salim Kumar)

Asthamayam Vare (Malayalam, 2014)

Genre: Drama, Suspense
Director: Sajin Babu
Starring: Prakruthi Dutta Mukheri, Shilpa Kavalam, Sanal Aman, Joseph Mapilacherry, Shakkir
Not available for streaming

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

A debutant director pulls an unusual rabbit out of the hat – a Malayalam film without any background score and minimal dialogue. Two boys are arrested after the death of a choir singer in a seminary. What follows is a fragmented narrative that takes place in an unspecified time and location.

High points: Its abstract but evocative setting and the deep, resonant exploration of man’s relationship with nature

Court (Marathi/Gujarati/Hindi/English, 2014)

Genre: Legal drama
Director: Chaitanya Tamhane
Starring: Vira Sathidar,Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane, Shirish Pawar
Not available for streaming

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

First-time director Chaitanya Tamhane lays bare the ways of the Indian legal system, mirrored in the hapless plight of a folk poet charged with abetting the suicide of a municipal gutter cleaner. Court makes its point with great force and precision without resorting to conventional dramatic devices.

High points: Sure-handed direction, a fine script and convincing characters

Frozen (Hindi, 2007)

Genre: Drama
Director: Shivajee Chandrabhushan
Starring: Danny Denzongpa, Gauri, Rajendranath Zutshi, Aamir Bashir
Not available for streaming

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Shivajee Chandrabhushan’s Frozen is an austerely shot black-and-white film set in Ladakh. A sprightly teenage girl lives with her father, an apricot jam-maker, and her kid brother in a remote Himalayan village. Their life is disrupted when the army moves in and sets up camp yards from their home, bringing conflict within sniffing distance.

High points: Low-key, naturalistic filmmaking is backed by aptly restrained acting.

Ma’ama (Moan) (2018), Garo

Director: Dominic Sangma
Genre: Drama
Starring: Phillip Sangma, Brilliant Marak, Hailin Sangma
Not available for streaming

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Dominic Sangma, who makes films in the Garo language, is a Meghalaya filmmaker who has begun to make waves worldwide. His debut feature, Ma’ama (Moan), a deeply personal film that probes loss and longing from the standpoint of an old man – the director’s father – grieving for his long-deceased wife, instantly marked him out as a storyteller of exceptional depth. He explores loss, mourning and reconciliation through the eyes of his father, who lost his wife 30 years ago and continues to live in the hope of being reunited with her one day.

High Points: The director’s uncompromising vision lends the film a meditative quality.

Ozhivudivasathe Kali (Malayalam, 2015)

Genre: Drama
Director: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Starring: Nistar Ahamed, Arun Nayar, Pradeep Kumar, Baiju Netto, Reju Pillai, Abhija Sivakala
Not available for streaming

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

A fluidly constructed cautionary tale with a shocking finale, Ozhivudivasthe Kali (An Off-Day Game) peels off the veneer of bonhomie that five friends on a day off in the country project. As the day progresses, they begin to reveal their true colours – they aren’t edifying at all.

High points: With minimum fuss, the director paints a dark, disturbing portrait of caste and class divides in Kerala

Natarang (Marathi, 2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Ravi Jadhav
Starring: Starring, Atul Kulkarni, Sonalee Kulkarni, Kishor Kadam, Vibhavari Deshpande, Priya Berde
Not available for streaming

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Ravi Jadhav’s directorial debut Natarang, set in the world of Maharashtra’s folk theatre, is the story of a working class man who sets up a theatre. Destiny forces him to defy his own masculinity and society’s expectations to don the role of an effeminate character on the stage.

High points: Flawless adaptation of a successful novel and outstanding performances by Atul Kulkarni and Kishor Kadam

Ship of Theseus (Hindi/English, 2013)

Genre: Drama
Director: Anand Gandhi
Starring: Aida Al-Khashef, Neeraj Kabi, Sohum Shah
Not available for streaming

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now, Pickle Media

Among the most strikingly original films to come out of India in years, Ship of Theseus tells three interlinked stories about a visually impaired photographer, a terminally ill monk, and a pushy stockbroker. The film questions notions of identity, belief systems and ways of seeing.

High points: Seamless blend of disparate plot elements, outstanding direction and fine performances

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