Ayushmann Catalogue: Watch now

admin   August 5, 2020

Vicky Donor (2012)

Streaming on ErosNow, Youtube Movies

A man is brought in by an infertility doctor to supply him with his sperm, where he becomes the biggest sperm donor for his clinic.

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Nautanki Saala! (2013)

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

An actor’s life changes dramatically when he saves a stranger from suicide.

Director: Rohan Sippy

Bewakoofiyaan (2014)

Streaming on youtube Movies

It is a slice-of life comedy when recession strikes and the lack of money tests love. Is living on love and fresh air really possible?

Director: Nupur Asthana

Hawaizaada (2015)

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

The film which is based on the life on an Indian scientist Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, who is credited to have constructed India’s first unmanned plane is the tale of the hardships that he went through on the journey to discover.
Also the film is set in the pre-independence era of Bombay of 1895.

Director: Vibhu Puri

Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015)

Streaming on youtube Movies

Prem and his oversized wife Sandhya are supposed to spend a lifetime together. Will a regular arranged marriage turn out to be a perfect mismatch?

Director: Sharat Katariya

Meri Pyaari Bindu (2017)

Streaming on youtube Movies

Childhood friends Abhimanyu and Bindu face friction when she realises that she does not love him after a brief relationship. After getting famous, Abhimanyu decides to pen a story based on his life.

Director: Akshay Roy

Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017)

Streaming on Netflix

Set in the small-town of Bareilly, Bitti is a free-spirited young girl who lives life on her own terms and refuses to be pressured into getting married.
Her life takes a shift when she meets Chirag Dubey and Pritam Vidrohi.

Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017)

Streaming on Eros Now, youtube movies

A couple fall in love but then the groom discovers that he suffers from erectile dysfunction.

Director: R. S. Prasanna

Andhadhun (2018)

Streaming on Netflix

A series of mysterious events change the life of a blind pianist, who must now report a crime that he should technically know nothing of.

Director: Sriram Raghavan

Badhaai Ho (2018)

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

A man is embarrassed when he finds out his mother is pregnant.

Director: Amit Sharma

Article 15 (2019)

Streaming on Netflix

In the rural heartlands of India, an upright police officer sets out on a crusade against violent caste-based crimes and discrimination.

Director: Anubhav Sinha

Dream Girl (2019)

Streaming on ZEE5

Rom-com Movie, directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa, stars Ayushmann Khurrana who plays a ‘dream girl’. In every love story, there is always one trying to win the heart of the other, who could be the ‘dream girl’.

Director: Raaj Shaandilyaa

Bala (2019)

Streaming on Disney+hotstar

It tells the story of a man who is balding prematurely and how he copes up with the situation.

Director: Amar Kaushik

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020)

Streaming on Amazon prime

The road to achieving a happy ending is a little too rough for two guys Kartik and Aman. While Aman’s family tries hard to battle his love for Kartik, Kartik isn’t prepared to step back until he marries Aman.

Director: Hitesh Kewalya

Gulabo Sitabo (2020)

Streaming on Amazon prime

Two scheming men get caught up in a game of one upmanship, each one attracting other members to their clan and each one with an agenda of his own.

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Vidya Balan Catalogue: Watch Now

admin   July 29, 2020

Bhalo Theko (2003)

Streaming ON HoiChoi

Anandi lives in an extended family along with her parents, siblings and uncle and is in love with Babua, her brother’s friend. However, things change drastically in her life when Babua goes abroad

Director: Goutam Halder

Parineeta (2005)

Streaming ON Netflix

The lifelong romance between Lolita (Balan) and Shekar (Khan) is upset by
the arrival of another man.

Director: Pradeep Sarkar

Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

Streaming ON Netflix

Munna Bhai embarks on a journey with Mahatma Gandhi in order to fight against a corrupt property dealer.

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Guru (2007)

Streaming ON YOUTUBE

A villager, Gurukant Desai, arrives in Bombay 1958, and rises from its streets to become the GURU, the biggest tycoon in Indian history.

Director: Mani Ratnam

Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love (2007)

Streaming ON ZEE5

Six couples face problems in their lives when fate forces them to move away from each other. They must overcome these issues in order to make their love triumphant.

Director: Nikkhil Advani

Eklavya: The Royal Guard (2007)

Streaming ON NETFLIX

As the kingdom of Devigarh comes apart at the seams, an aging bodyguard
attempts to protect the Royal Family, as well as keep its darkest secrets from ever coming to light.

Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Heyy Babyy (2007)


Three bachelors who are compulsive womanizers find their lives turned
upside down when a baby is left at their doorstep. The trio suspect each
other of being the father.

Director: Sajid Khan

Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)


An NRI and his wife decide to stay in his ancestral home, paying no heed to the warnings about ghosts. Soon, inexplicable occurrences cause him to call a psychiatrist to help solve the mystery.

Director: Priyadarshan

Halla Bol (2008)

Streaming ON Voot

A popular Bollywood actor witnesses a murder but refuses to come forward to identify the killer(s)

Director: Rajkumar Santoshi

Kismat Konnection (2008)


A luckless architect discovers a social activist to be his lucky charm.
Unfortunately, she’s protecting the community center he’s aiming to win a
contract to tear down.

Director: Aziz Mirza

Paa (2009)

Streaming ON YUPP TV

A father tries to help his son cope with a rare condition that causes the young boy to age beyond his years.

Director: R. Balki

Ishqiya (2010)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

While on the run from goons, a man and his nephew fall for a kidnapper’s
seductive widow.

Director: Abhishek Chaubey

No One Killed Jessica (2011)

Streaming ON Netflix

A journalist, who is more of an activist teams up with the sister of a murdered model, as she gets interested in the case and wants to bring justice to her case.

Director: Raj Kumar Gupta

Urumi (2011)

Streaming ON ZEE5

Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar, a warrior in 16th century Kerala wants to avenge his father killed in a confrontation with Vasco da Gama and his troops and is assisted by his best friend Vavvali and warrior princess Ayesha.

Director: Santosh Sivan

The Dirty Picture (2011)

Streaming ON Viu

The love story between an actress and a director, inspired by the life of the late south Indian actress Silk Smitha.

Director: Milan Luthria

Kahaani (2012)

Streaming ON NETFLIX

A pregnant woman’s search for her missing husband takes her from London to Kolkata, but everyone she questions denies having ever met him.

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Ghanchakkar (2013)

Streaming ON NETFLIX

A safe cracker claims he has lost his memory when two criminals come calling for their cut of the bank heist loot.

Director: Rajkumar Gupta

Shaadi Ke Side Effects (2014)

Streaming ON Disney+hotstar

A complicated relationship develops between a man and woman after getting married and having a baby.

Director: Saket Chaudhary

Bobby Jasoos (2014)

Streaming ON Disney+hotstar

Bobby Jasoos is a film that celebrates the aspiration of Bobby, who wants to
become the number one detective in the old city area of Hyderabad.

Director: Samar Shaikh

Hamari Adhuri Kahani (2015)

Not available for streaming

A single mother finds solace with a wealthy, but lonely hotel magnate,
together they find love until her past comes back to confront her.

Director: Mohit Suri

Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh (2016)

Streaming ON ZEE5

A woman with a mysterious past is charged with kidnapping and murder.

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Begum Jaan (2017)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

The story of eleven prostitutes who refuse to part ways with their brothel and each other during the partition between India and Pakistan.

Director: Srijit Mukherji

Tumhari Sulu (2017)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

Sulu is an ambitious housewife with a loving husband and a happy family.
Things start changing for her when she accidentally lands a job as a radio jockey and her show becomes an instant hit.

Director: Suresh Triveni

N.T.R: Kathanayakudu (2019)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

Based on the journey of the legendary Telugu actor, filmmaker and ex-Chief
Minister Late Taraka Rama Rao Nandamuri.

Director: Krish

N.T.R: Mahanayakudu (2019)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

A follow up to NTR: Kathanayakudu which was based on N.T. Rama Rao’s life and acting career. This movie will focus on his political career.

Director: Krish

Nerkonda Paarvai (2019)

Streaming ON ZEE5

When three young women are implicated in a crime, a retired lawyer steps forward to help them clear their names.

Director: H. Vinoth

Mission Mangal (2019)

Streaming ON Disney+hotstar

Based on true events of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launching the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), making it the least expensive mission to Mars.

Director: Jagan Shakti

Natkhat (2020)

Not available for streaming

A doting mother tries to correct the course of her child through her bedtime stories.

Director: Shaan Vyas

Shakuntala Devi (2020)

Streaming ON Amazon Prime

Based on the life of Shakuntala Devi who is a well-known mathematical genius and calculating prodigy from India. She has been nicknamed ‘Human Computer’ because of her extraordinary talent and skill in solving complex mathematical problems without any mechanical aid.

Director: Anu Menon

What’s New To Stream This Week

admin   July 29, 2020



A remake of the French film A Gang Story, the film is about the rise and fall of four friends’ rustling operations across the Nepal-India border. It chronicles the friendship between four criminals. This gang of four is nabbed by the police and serve their time in jail. However, two men who once ruled the drug smuggling, gunrunning and looting struggle in their own different ways to escape their past and start a new life after being released.

Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Starring: Vidyut Jammwal, Shruti Haasan, Amit Sadh, Vijay Varma, Kenny Basumatary
Friendship, Feature Film

Shakuntala Devi

JULY 31 Amazon Prime

It is a bio-pic on Shakuntala Devi, who was also known as the ‘human computer’. The movie throws light on the extraordinary life of the mathematical genius. The film will show how we all as child start our mathematical journey from basic tables and how Shakuntala Devi started off with complex mathematical problems.

Director: Anu Menon
Starring: Vidya Balan, Jisshu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra
Biography, Feature film



It is a war thriller based on the theme of Indian Army and Uri Surgical Strike. Avrodh is based on Rahul Singh and Shiv Aroor’s book India’s Most Fearless. Every Indian knows about the surgical strike but not enough people know the ‘real’ story behind it. The film follows some diplomatic and mostly military preparations for the strike.

Director: Raj Acharya
Starring: Amit Sadh, Darshan Kumaar, Madhurima Tuli
War, Webseries


JULY 31 Disney+ Hotstar

Nandan Kumar comes across a suitcase and discovers it is full of cash. He knows nothing about who it belongs to, where it’s from, or how it got there. Nandan has to decide whether or not to take it or leave it. He takes the suitcase and soon enough, finds himself being chased by a notorious gangster, an honest cop and a Minister, who want the suitcase at any cost.

Director: Rajesh Krishnan
Starring: Kunal Khemu, Gajraj Rao, Vijay Raaz, Ranvir Shorey, Rasika Dugal
Drama, Feature Film

Raat Akeli Hai

July 31 Netflix

When a newly married landlord is murdered, a misfit cop’s investigation is complicated by the victim’s secretive family and his own conflicted heart. Raat Akeli Hai follows police officer Jatil Yadav who is out to investigate the
murder of a local politician. While his family continues to call it an accident, Jatil believes there’s more to what meets the eye. From the
politician’s first wife to daughter to even his widow, everyone is a suspect for him.

Director: Honey Trehan
Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Shweta Tripathi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shivani Raghuvanshi
Crime, Web film

My Client’s Wife

JULY 31 Shemaroo ME

A defending lawyer uncovers the hideous truth about his client’s wife. It tells the story of a married couple and the crimes of which they accuse each other. The plot thickens as Hashmi’s character enters the scene as an inquisitive lawyer. Who is to be trusted? What is real? What is fiction? The film is said to be an ode to Hitchcock.

Director: Prabhakar Meena Bhaskar Pant
Starring: Anjali Patil, Sharib Hashmi, Gireesh Sahedev
Mystery, Thriller, Web film

The Last Narc

JULY 31 Amazon Prime

In 1985, DEA agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena is kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Mexican drug lords. Special agent Hector Berellez reveals the truth about the conspiracy behind Camarena’s murder that stretches from Mexico to Washington, D.C. The Last Narc aims to tell the true story of who this fallen hero really was, and what really happened to him once he made life difficult for drug cartels. It also follows the one man who risked everything to find out the truth.

Director: Tiller Russell
Starring: Hector Berrellez, Geneva Camarena, Jorge Godoy
Docu Series

Immigration Nation

August 3 Netflix

Immigration Nation, as the title suggests, is about Immigration in the United States. The film tracks the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the experience of immigrants in the US following President Donald Trump’s election in 2017. With unprecedented access to ICE operations, as well as moving portraits of immigrants, this Docu Series takes a deep look at US immigration today.

Director: Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz
Docu Series

A Suitable Boy set to Shine In Netflix

admin   July 21, 2020

The six-part series tells the story of spirited university student, Lata, coming of age in Northern part of  India in 1951 at the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election

A Suitable Boy, based on the critically acclaimed best-selling book by Vikram Seth, was shot by Lookout Point Production for BBC One and later bought by Netflix. It will be first seen on  BBC One  on  July 26 in the UK and available on Netflix globally except in the United States, Canada and China. A Suitable Boy will be available on Netflix in UK and Ireland 12 months after its release on BBC One.

It tells the story of spirited university student Lata (Tanya Maniktala) as she comes of age in North India in 1951, at the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election.

Lata, who is averse to marriage, must choose between several suitors put forward by her mother. Set in the fictional Indian city of Brahmpur, relationships play out against the raw backdrop of early ’50s India; newly partitioned, violently divided, with Muslims brutally separated from Hindus and Sikhs.

Intertwined is the tale of a condemned love affair between a politician’s son, Maan, played by Khatter, and a courtesan, Saeeda Bai, played by Tabu. A series of exquisitely filmed weddings frame the tale, but it’s no fluffy period piece. Set in the aftermath of the Raj, when the British have exited, it is a historical TV drama set in India and transports the viewer to ’50s India

A Suitable Boy is adapted by Les Misérables and War & Peace writer Andrew Davies and the director is Mira Nair, the Golden Globe-nominated Monsoon Wedding helmer. It stars Bollywood leading man Ishaan Khatter, Indian screen star Tabu and rising actress Tanya Maniktala in the central role of Lata.

Says Mira Nair, “I am really honoured and terribly excited to make Vikram Seth’s great novel, which I’ve loved since it was published — A Suitable Boy. I’m very excited to be director of all six hours of A Suitable Boy. And it’s with 110 Indian actors: It’s a great opportunity to tell the story of independent India. Portions of A Suitable Boy was shot in Uttar Pradesh, India. 

She adds: “The casting is full of bounty and full of beauty. A Suitable Boy is an incredible canvas of very rich characters. Tabu plays Saeeda Bai, the courtesan based on Begum Akhtar. Randeep Hooda, my discovery from Monsoon Wedding, is this cool stud in Calcutta called Billy Irani. Shefali Shah, a wonderful actor, plays Roopa Mehra, the mother of the young woman, for whom she wants the suitable boy. Vivaan Shah plays this wastrel lout who turns good.”

Says Tabu, “Mira has the same energy that I had seen during The Namesake. I don’t think she has aged at all. Mira keeps collaborating with people whom she has worked with earlier. To be able to form such bonds in today’s world is a beautiful quality. She is like a rock who will never move. It’s always so wonderful reconnecting with Mira. Her quality of work is reassuring. You can submit yourself to her, knowing that she will create something magical.”

Damian Keogh, Managing Director of Lookout Point, said: “We’re hugely excited to be partnering with Netflix to bring A Suitable Boy to international audiences, hot on the heels of its UK debut on BBC One. This epic tale speaks of human truths of life, love and family amid a country in rapid transition – themes and experiences as relevant today as when they were written.”

Caroline Stone, Director of Independent Drama at BBC Studios said: “The demand for quality British drama is higher than ever globally so we are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on this wonderful series to bring audiences around the world Vikram Seth’s literary classic reimagined with such colour and vigour. The talent on and off screen for A Suitable Boy are exceptional and have helped to make this a series of which we are very proud.”

Executive Producers are Andrew Davies, Mira Nair and Vikram Seth; Faith Penhale, Laura Lankester and Will Johnston for Lookout Point; Lydia Dean Pilcher and Aradhana Seth (who also produce); and Mona Qureshi and Ayela Butt for the BBC. BBC Studios distributes the series internationally.

Lookout Point, which is wholly owned by BBC Studios, is one of the UK’s leading producers of television drama, known for delivering highly authored series with scale, ambition, and global impact.


1951. In a newly independent India, passionate literature student Lata Mehra (Tanya Maniktala) is looking towards her own future.

Her mother Rupa (Mahira Kakkar) has successfully arranged the marriage of her eldest daughter Savita (Rasika Dugal) to Pran Kapoor (Gagandeep Singh Riar), a university lecturer. Now Rupa has her sights set on her spirited younger daughter but Lata wants to make her own way in the world. She isn’t interested in romance but her resolve is challenged when she starts to fall for a mysterious fellow student, Kabir Durrani (Danesh Razvi).

Pran’s brother is the charming but directionless Maan Kapoor (Ishaan Khatter), who becomes bewitched by the singer and courtesan, Saeeda Bai (Tabu). Maan is a worry to his father, the progressive Revenue Minister Mahesh Kapoor (Ram Kapoor), who can’t let anything unbalance his political career at a crucial moment.

As religious tensions mount between Muslims and Hindus in the wake of Partition, India’s first national democratic election approaches.

Super 17 From Netflix

admin   July 21, 2020

Exciting times are in for Netizens, as Netflix has announced the biggest release schedule of 2020 in India. Seventeen original titles. Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming originals and films

Netflix has announced an interesting lineup of 17 original stories, including six new films and two new series. From thrillers to romantic comedies to lighthearted dramas, this diverse collection will launch on Netflix in the coming months.

According to Monika Shergill, Vice President-Content, Netflix India, “We are excited to share our lineup of stories across formats and multiple genres. We know our members have unique tastes, moods and needs – sometimes, they want to lean back and watch a delightful comedy, and at other times, they want a pulsepounding thriller that brings them to the edge of their seats. We are so proud to bring these diverse stories created by acclaimed and emerging storytellers and producing partners. Together with the finest stories from around the world and our rapidly growing selection of licensed titles, we want to give our members something to discover and love on Netflix every day.”

The six new additions to Netflix films include – Ludo, Torbaaz, Raat Akeli Hai, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Ginny Weds Sunny and Bombay Rose. These stories join the upcoming slate of Netflix films which include the inspiring true story of Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Tribhanga – Tedhi Medhi Crazy, Kaali Khuhi, Serious Men, Class Of ’83 and AK vs AK. The two series are Mismatched and A Suitable Boy. They join the lineup of upcoming series including the delightful Masaba Masaba, Bombay Begums and Bhaag
Beanie Bhaag.


It is a dark comedy featuring Abhishek alongside Rajkummar Rao, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Asha Negi and Pankaj Tripathi. It plays on one key theme: Nothing’s ever a coincidence and is expected to us a dark and comical ride.


An action-packed film starring Sanjay Dutt in the lead role, Torbazz uses cricket as a medium to help transform the lives of a group of children at a refugee camp. According to Dutt, the film highlights his character’s rise form personal tragedy as well.


Raat Akeli Hai is a mystery-thriller that will pair Radhika Apte opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the lead character, Jatil Yadav, tries to uncover what happened one fateful night.


It is a satire film by Alankrita Shrivastava, featuring Konkona Sen Sharma and Bhumi Pednekar in lead roles and Vikrant Massey and Amol Parashar in prominent roles opposite the actors. According to Pednekar, it is a charming story of womanhood, sisterhood, and everything in between.


Ginny Weds Sunny, a rom-com, features Yami Gautam and Vikrant Massey. It follows the actors’ unusual love story, one that’s perpetrated by her mother. A matchmaker by profession, she introduces the two, and even helps Massey’s character get on her daughter’s good side. But as all Hindi rom-coms go, expect a hidden twist in this tale as well.


It is the first Indian animation film ever selected to open Venice Critics’ Week. It unfolds the story of a flower seller falling in love in the filmy style you only expect to see in Hindi movies.


It is a biopic based on the life of Gunjan Saxena, the first Indian woman to pilot a Cheetah Helicopter during the Kargil War in 1999. Bankrolled by Dharma Productions and Zee Studios, the film features Jahnvi Kapoor as Gunjan Saxena and portrays Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi, Manav Vij and Viineet Kumar Singh in pivotal roles.


This film, starring Kajol, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar in the lead roles, will chart the hectic lives of their characters: Nayan, Anu and Masha. The title of which is inspired by Tribhanga, an Odissi dance pose that is asymmetrical, yet mesmerising to watch, much like what the film promises to be.


Shivangi, a 10-year-old girl, embarks on a mission to save her family’s village in Punjab from the restless ghosts of its horrific past. The film stars Shabana Azmi, Satyadeep Mishra, Sanjeeda Sheikh and Riva Arora in lead roles.


Serious Men, a film directed by Sudhir Mishra with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead role, deals with this unique ideaWhat happens when you con the entire world into believing that your son is a genius? According to Netflix, Siddiqui’s character is tormented with his ‘underprivileged’ societal status and hatches a master plan to earn a quick buck, only it backfires and how.


Class of ‘83 stars Bobby Deol in the lead role of Dean Vijay Singh, a cop-turned-educator whose students grapple with the complexities of being in the force and devotion to the nation. Notably, the film produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and directed by Atul Sabharwal is based on the book The Class of 83 by Sayyed Yunus Hussain Zaidi.


A dark comedy, AK vs AK features Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor in the lead roles. The plot revolves around the eccentric tale of how a director (Kashyap) kidnaps the daughter of a movie star and films the star’s (Kapoor) desperate search for his daughter in realtime as his next blockbuster.


This series stars one of YouTube’s biggest sensations, Prajakta Kohli with The Sky Is Pink’s Rohit Saraf. It is tipped to be a young-adult romance series that’ll take us through the ups and downs of their equation.


Tabu and Ishaan Khatter play lead roles in Mira Nair’s TV adaptation of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. The show will unfold the story of Maan and Saeeda and a love that’s not barred by traditional norms of society.


It is a scripted series based on real-life moments from Masaba Gupta’s life, her unique background, the diverse worlds she straddles across fashion and family, and her foray back into the dating world.


In Bombay Begums, a fictional series, five women across generations wrestle with desire, ethics, personal crises and vulnerabilities to own their ambition, in contemporary urban India. It will follow each woman’s journey to find her own truth.


It is a comedy series that will follow the life of Beanie, a young girl, who decides to run from her very comfortable life and pursue a career in stand-up comedy. While navigating the demands of everyone from her concerned parents to her proposal-popping boyfriend.

Featured Post

Disney +Hotstar Leads the Disruption

admin   July 6, 2020

Though there is no doubt theatres will be winners as nothing in the world gives the joy of watching a movie on big screen, OTT has now become a new revenue making avenue for the film industry

Covid-19 has created a market which many OTT players were expecting only in 2023-24. In other words, the disruption has already begun in the Indian premium OTT space with Disney+ Hotstar announcing seven films to release on its platform.

Though there is no doubt theatres will be winners as nothing in the world gives the joy of watching a movie on big screen, OTT has now become a new revenue making avenue for the film industry.

“Producers who have already invested heavily in their films with theatrical revenue assumptions that are no longer feasible, will seek out all avenues available to recover their investment and to stay in business,” the Producers Guild of India had said in a statement last month.

Disney+ Hotstar is set to premiere seven Bollywood movies — which were originally slated for theatrical releases — from July 24 onwards, in a move that could intensify the battle between theatre owners and video streaming applications over movie releases.

These movies will be streamed between July and October this year, starting with late Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer ‘Dil Bechara’ on July 24. Other movies include Akshay Kumar-Kiara Advani’s ‘Laxmmi Bomb’, Alia Bhatt-Aditya Roy Kapur-starrer ‘Sadak 2’, Abhishek Bachchan’s ‘The Big Bull’, Vidyut Jammwal’s ‘Khuda Haafiz’, Ajay Devgn-Sanjay Dutt’s ‘Bhuj’ and Kunal Khemu’s ‘Lootcase’.

This comes after similar deals by rivals Amazon Prime Video that picked up seven Bollywood and regional films including Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana’s ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ and Vidya Balan starrer ‘Shakuntala Devi’ for a direct-to-digital premiere and Netflix that picked up Janhvi Kapoor starrer ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’.

‘Dil Bechara’ will be the first movie to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar, and in a bid to “commemorate late Sushant Singh Rajput’s invaluable contribution to Hindi cinema,” this movie will be available to non-subscribers of Disney+ Hotstar as well, the company said. The movie also features Sanjana Sanghi and Saif Ali Khan.

“Today as we launch Disney+Hotstar Multiplex, we find ourselves yet again at the cusp of making a revolutionary change by bringing the biggest Bollywood movies directly to millions across the country… Theatres are a special experience. So, they will always exist and thrive. But the potential of the industry can’t be capped by the number of release windows and theatres available. Our initiative will dramatically increase the number of films that can be made, giving film-lovers more films to enjoy and the creative community more films to make. We firmly believe that this will generate a massive momentum for more and different kinds of films to be made in India. It’s a win-win for all,” said Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC, and Chairman, Star & Disney India.

“In the future, theatres and OTT will move in parallel. Both options offer their own strengths,” said Ajay Devgn, who will be seen in Bhuj: The Pride of India.

Hotstar, the largest OTT player in the country after Jio (35.5 per cent market share) with over 30 per cent share of the market, continues to attract more audiences, compared to global leaders like Netflix (9.2 per cent) and Amazon Prime (14.8 per cent) in India.

This move comes at a time when the ~20,000-crore-a-year Indian film industry is badly hit by lockdown of multiplexes and single-screen theatres —leaving it with no other avenue but to try and monetise the OTT platform.

There is still uncertainty over when movie theatres will be allowed to reopen across the country, after they were forced to shutdown in March this year, due to the Covid-19-induced lockdown. While the government has eased restrictions for businesses across various sectors, it is yet to provide a specific date for reopening of cinema halls.

According to estimates, there are over 250-million OTT users in India. This number is expected to surpass 450 million by 2022.

Featured Post

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

admin   May 2, 2020

101 Chodyangal (Malayalam, 2013)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

admin   May 2, 2020

Aaranya Kaandam (Tamil, 2011)

Genre: Action, Thriller
Director: Thiagarajan Kumararaja
Starring: Jackie Shroff, Ravi Krishna, Sampath Raj, Yasmin Ponnappa, Guru Somasundaram
Streaming on Amazon Prime

An ultra-violent, slow-burning and stylized neo-noir thriller, Aaranya Kaandam marked the debut of director Thiagarajan Kumararaja. Focusing on one day in the North Chennai underworld, it hinges on the desperate bid by an ageing mafia don to regain his lost libido.

High points: Technically brilliant and marked by a keen sense of time and place

Anbe Sivam (Tamil, 2003)

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Sundar C
Starring: Kamal Haasan, Madhavan, Kiran Rathod
Streaming on Amazon Prime

A film that showcases Kamal Haasan’s versatility like few films have done, Anbe Sivam (Love is God) is inspired by the Hollywood hit Planes Trains & Automobiles. But it manages to carve out its own philosophical space, effectively addressing a wide range of themes from workers’ rights to religious faith.

High points: Sharply etched characters, a finely chiseled screenplay and outstanding performances.

Anniyan (Tamil, 2005)

Genre: Mystery, Action
Director: S Shankar
Starring: Vikram, Sadha
Streaming on SunNXT

A magnificently mounted vigilante thriller, Anniyan extends director S Shankar’s pet theme: a one-man crusade against the ills inherent in Indian society and the system’s inability to eliminate them. The protagonist of the film is a consumer rights lawyer who turns into a serial killer to exterminate wrongdoers.

High points: Technical brilliance, a racy narrative and a powerful central performance by actor Vikram.

Asuran (2019), Tamil

Director: Vetrimaaran
Genre: Action, Drama
Starring: Dhanush, Manju Warrier
Streaming on Amazon Prime

The strength of Asuran, starring Dhanush, stems mainly from its Dalit protagonist’s fight against an upper-caste landowner. It is essentially a tale of revenge, but it is placed in the context of the atrocities that the socially marginalised are subjected to.

Baahubali (Telugu/Tamil, 2015)

Genre: Epic, Action
Director: S S Rajamouli
Starring: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah, Anushka Shetty, Ramya Krishna, Sathyaraj, Nassar
Streaming on Disney+hotstarVIP, Netflix, Sony liv

A VFX-driven fantasy epic set in an ancient fictional kingdom usurped by an evil ruler. The rightful heir wages war against the tyrant to regain control of the throne. A standard tale of valour, betrayal and vendetta enlivened by eye-popping visual flair.

High points: The simplicity and timelessness of its story and its magnificent packaging made possible by the wizardry of the graphic artists.

Bhooter Bhobishyat (Bengali, 2012)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Anik Dutta
Starring: Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Parambrata Chatterjee, Paran Bandopadhyay, Swastika Mukherjee
Streaming on Disney+hotstar VIP, hoichoi

Bhooter Bhobishay (The Future of the Past), a refreshingly original comedy, is about a group of ghosts who inhabit an abandoned mansion in Kolkata and fight to ward off the designs of a builder who wants to raze the classical structure and build a multi-storied shopping mall in its place.

High points: A lively satire about a metropolis struggling to save its past – a story that could be valid in many other urban pockets of contemporary India.

Bajirao Mastani (Hindi, 2015)

Genre: Epic, Historical romance
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra
Streaming on EROS NOW, Voot, JioCinema

A historical epic mounted with impressive pizzazz by Bollywood’s high priest of cinematic opulence, Bajirao Mastani takes the audience back to an eventful point in Indian medieval history and narrates the tragic love story of an invincible Maratha warrior and a half-Persian princess.

High points: Outstanding production design, costumes and cinematography make Bajirao Mastani a visual treat.

Chak De India (Hindi, 2007)

Genre: Drama, Sport
Director: Shimit Amin
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Malvade, Shilpa Shukla, Sagarika Ghatge, Chitrashi Rawat
Streaming on Amazon Prime

Shimit Amin’s gripping sports film, starring Shah Rukh Khan as a women’s hockey coach, takes in its sweep a range of themes related to nationhood, sectarian prejudice, parochialism and sexism. It remains one of the more socially relevant dramas to come out of the Yash Raj Films stable.

High points: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan is in fine fettle as are the girls who make up the team that works its way out of a trough.

Dabangg (Hindi, 2010)

Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Abhinav Kashyap
Starring: Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonu Sood, Vinod Khanna, Dimple Kapadia
Streaming on Netflix

The action-packed tale of a police officer in small-town Uttar Pradesh who resorts to means fair and foul in order to send criminals packing was a runaway box-office hit. It spawned several imitations, including a far less successful sequel.

High points: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s thunderous dialogue delivery and a storyline that promises non-stop thrills.

Dangal (Hindi, 2016)

Genre: Sport
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Starring: Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Zaira Wasim, Sanya Malhotra
Streaming on Netflix

Dangal, an Aamir Khan starrer inspired by true events, hinges on the exploits of a former wrestler who, as recompense for his own failure to make it to the big league of the sport, coaches his daughters to take on the world. The Haryana-set sports drama raked in big bucks at the domestic box office, it also struck a massive chord in China. Dangal made stars out of three young actresses – Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra and Zaira Wasim.

Dil Chahta Hai (Hindi, 2001)

Genre: Coming of age, Romantic drama
Director: Farhan Akhtar
Starring: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta
Streaming on Amazon Prime, Netflix

The first film written and directed by Farhan Akhtar, the slickly mounted Dil Chahta Hai enjoys cult status among Bollywood fans. The plot revolves around three upper-crust Mumbai friends negotiating a string of emotional crises that severely test their friendship.

High points: Marked by smart writing and littered with witty non sequiturs, the youthful drama is made convincing by a lively cast led by Aamir Khan.

Lagaan (Hindi/English, 2001)

Genre: sport
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Starring: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, Paul Blackthorne
Streaming on Netflix

This cricket-themed saga set in a drought-hit colonial-era village is about a bunch of ragtag cricketers who take on a strong British team to ward off the tax backlog on their farm produce. Lagaan won an Oscar nomination, losing out narrowly to Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land.

High points: Its ambitious canvas is bolstered by deft execution and vivid characters that spring out of the screen.

Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil, 2002)

Genre: Musical, Drama
Director: Mani Ratnam
Starring: Madhavan, Simran, Baby Keerthana, Nandita Das, Prakash Raj
Streaming on Amazon Prime

Director Mani Ratnam packs great emotional energy and dramatic flourish into Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek), a film about a nine-year-old girl adopted by a writer and his wife. The child sets out to search for her biological mother, a Tamil militant fighting in the Sri Lankan civil war.

High points: Outstanding cinematography by Ravi K Chandran and a clutch of fine performances by R. Madhavan, Nandita Das and Prakash Raj.

Lage Raho Munnabhai (Hindi, 2006)

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Vidya Balan, Boman Irani, Dilip Prabhavalkar
Streaming on Amazon Prime, Netflix

A follow-up to Munnabhai MBBS, this one made an even bigger splash. The friendly underworld don imbibes the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, who reveals himself only to him and gives him tips on life. As a result, the goon goes about using peaceful means to help people solve their problems.

High points: A sequel as good as the original – that is a rarity in cinema history. The Sanjay Dutt-Arshad Warsi duet is fantastic again.

PK (Hindi, 2014)

Genre: Satire, Comedy, Drama
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Dutt
Streaming on  Netflix

As gutsy a mainstream film as any in the history of Hindi cinema, Rajkumar Hirani’s PK is a satirical comedy that questions religious dogmas and blind faith. A humanoid alien lands in India and discovers a society steeped in superstition. The film ruffled many feathers but smashed box office records.

High points: A buoyant star turn by Aamir Khan and an entertaining script co-written by Hirani and Abhijat Joshi.

Queen (Hindi, 2014)

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Vikas Bahl
Starring: Kangana Ranaut, Lisa Haydon, Rajkummar Rao
Streaming on Voot, JioCinima, Sony liv

A girl is dumped by her would-be husband a day before the wedding and she decides to go ahead with the planned honeymoon all by herself. Her ride through Paris and Amsterdam exposes her to the world and new sensations. When she returns home, she is a woman transformed.

High points: Breezy script, steady direction by Vikas Bahl and infectious pivotal performance by Kangana Ranaut.

Sairat (Marathi, 2016)

Genre: Romance , Drama
Director: Nagraj Manjule
Starring: Rinku Rajguru, Akash Thosar
Streaming on Netflix

Fandry director Nagraj Manjule’s second film, Sairat, smashed Marathi cinema box office records. But that isn’t its only claim to fame. The film uses popular love story conventions to narrate the tale of an ill-fated affair that blossoms – and dies – across the caste and class divide in rural Maharashtra. Sairat touched raw nerves because of its searing, unflinching quality.

Paruthiveeran (Tamil, 2007)

Genre: Epic, Drama, Romantic
Director: Ameer Sultan
Starring: Karthi, Priyamani, Saravanan, Ponvannan, Ganja Karuppu
Not available for streaming 

Set in a Tamil Nadu village, Paruthiveeran tells the story of a petty criminal’s fraught relationship with an upper-caste girl that ends in tragedy. The material is thin but the treatment more than makes up for what the film lacks in depth and range. Riveting all the way.

High points: Strong lead roles backed by solid storytelling.

Virumaandi (Tamil, 2004)

Genre: Action, Drama
Director: Kamal Haasan
Starring: Kamal Haasan, Abhirami, Pasupathy, Napoleon, Nassar
Not available for streaming   

Written, produced, directed by and starring Kamal Haasan, Virumaandi enjoys cult status and has spawned many imitations. The Rashomon-like plot revolves around two prisoners – one serving a life sentence, the other on death row – and unravels the circumstances that have brought them here.

High points: A gripping storyline and strong acting

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Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

admin   May 2, 2020

I Am Kalam (Hindi, 2011)

Genre: Drama
Director: Nila Madhab Panda
Starring: Harsh Mayar, Gulshan Grover, Pitobash Tripathy, Beatrice Ordeix
Streaming on Netflix

A young boy works in a highway food joint but dreams of going school, fired by his love for books. He befriends a lonely prince who lives in a sprawling mansion. The growing bond between the two boys across the social and class divide that separates them opens doors for both.

High points: The relevance of its social message and the simplicity of its storytelling style

Little Zizou (Hindi/Gujarati/English, 2008)

Genre: Drama, Family
Director: Sooni Taraporevala
Starring: Boman Irani, Sohrab Ardeshir, Imaad Shah, Shernaz Patel, Zenobia Shroff, Dilshad Patel
Streaming on JioCinema

The scripter of acclaimed Mira Nair films such as Salaam Bombay and The Namesake made her directorial debut with this delightful drama about two feuding Parsi families in Mumbai and an 11-year-old soccer-crazy boy who dreams of meeting his idol Zinedine Zidane in person.

High points: Little Zizou is vibrant,touching, warm-hearted and uplifting, a rare believable cinematic portrait of the Parsi community

Paan Singh Tomar (Hindi, 2012)

Genre: Crime, Biography, Action
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Mahie Gill, Rajesh Abhay
Streaming on Netflix

By far one of the best biographical films ever made by a Mumbai director, Paan Singh Tomar eschews established storytelling conventions and delivers a punchy, deeply affecting real-life story of a champion athlete forced by rural inequities to become an outlaw.

High points: A top-draw performance by Irrfan Khan as the eponymous character and sure-handed scripting and direction

Qissa (Punjabi, 2013)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Director: Anup Singh
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra, Tillotama Shome |
Streaming on YUPP TV

A victim of the Partition of India, desperate for a son to carry on the family name, drags his wife and youngest daughter into a destructive vortex. Director Anup Singh blends solid naturalism with surreal strokes to craft a haunting tale about the pitfalls of patriarchy.

High points: Superb acting by Irrfan Khan and the rest of the cast and afable-like tale that leaves a deep imprint on the mind

Stanley Ka Dabba (Hindi, 2011)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Director: Amole Gupte
Starring: Partho A. Gupte, Numaan Sheikh, Abhishek Reddy
Streaming on Disney+hotstar

A children’s tale written and directed by Amole Gupte, who also plays one of the key onscreen roles. Set in a Mumbai school, the film is about a creative schoolboy who is loved by his teachers with the exception of one, who resents the fact that the protagonist’s friends share their lunch with him.

High points: The purity of the storytelling is bolstered by great performances by the young actors as well as the adult members of the cast

Super Deluxe (2019), Tamil

Director: Thiagarajan Kumararaja
Genre: LGBTQ, Dark Comedy
Starring: Vijay Sethupathi,Fahadh Faasil,Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Streaming on Netflix

Super Deluxe, proved beyond doubt that here was a fearless filmmaker capable of weaving pure magic with ideas, plot twists and images. The film orchestrates its multiple strands with awe-inspiring skill and an unfailing sense of drama that draws its strength from being both provocative and entertaining. The director throws four sub-plots into a giant, constantly whirring grinder and emerges with a film so fascinating and so wondrously inventive that one is caught by surprise at every turn.

High Points: Super Deluxe is testimony to what younger Tamil filmmakers are capable of as storytellers and craftsmen.

Swades (Hindi, 2004)

Genre: Drama
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi, Kishori Ballal
Streaming on Netflix

Written, produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, Swades was a worthy follow-up to his Lagaan. It is justifiably regarded as one of the most ‘complete’ Bollywood films ever made. A NASA scientist of Indian origin returns to his roots and inspires his remote north Indian village to produce its own electricity.

High points: Shah Rukh Khan’s un-starry star turn; skilled blend of social philosophy and mainstream entertainment

Kaaler Rakhal (Bengali, 2009)

Genre: Drama
Director: Sekhar Das
Starring: Bimal Chakraborty, Usashi Chakraborty, Phalguni Chatterjee
Not available for streaming

A rare contemporary Bengali film that directly addresses the political skull duggery that is rampant in rural parts of the eastern Indian state, Kaaler Rakhal is about an itinerant performer who, owing to his poverty is sucked into a twister of ruthless exploitation by those in positions of power.

High points: Highlights a unique cultural aspect of Bengal while exposing the depredations of the political class

Shabdo (Bengali, 2013)

Genre: Drama
Director: Kaushik Ganguly
Starring: Ritwick Chakraborty, Raima Sen, Churni Ganguly
Not available for streaming

Shabdo (which, in Bengali, can mean either ‘word’ or ‘sound’) is the story of a Foley artist who is trapped in a world of ambient sound and becomes incapable of registering human voices around him, including that of his exasperated wife. An unconventional story told with skill, subtlety and sensitivity.

High points: Director Kaushik Ganguly’s handling of an unusual theme and lead actor Ritwik Chakraborty’s flawless performance

We Begin our year with Berlinale

admin   February 20, 2020

With localization business seeing an exponential growth owing to the rise of OTT platforms, VR Films and Studios Limited sees a huge potential in the
European market to cater fresh content to the Indian and SAARC markets that can be dubbed in local languages, say Manish Dutt and Krishi Dutt, Directors, VR Films and Studios Limited

What is your objective at Berlinale 2020 and European Film Market?

At Berlinale, we will catch up on European cinema and will look forward to the acquisition of content driven features for India. We are in talks with some European players for collaboration on film production and at this Berlinale will meet them to take it forward. We also look forward to connecting with people for our localization business, and in this way, we bring the world closer back home.

Berlinale is celebrating 70 years this year and you have been a regular at Berlin for over a decade now. How has Berlinale influenced or impacted you?

Berlinale for us has always been very important and is always the first festival and market with which we begin our year. We have been regularly coming here for the last 10 years. Berlinale provides a fabulous platform to European Cinema where one gets to see the very best from Baltic, Scandinavia, East Europe, Central Europe, West Europe, the UK, and many more countries. It is always a pleasure to come here and meet our film fraternity friends from the world over. Also, it’s such a delight to see India being prominently represented for the last two years, creating business opportunities with the best international film houses.

Film ‘Parasite’ has won the Best Picture at oscars? How do you see this change? You have been working very closely with south Korea’s CJ Entertainment?

CJ Entertainment has been a good friend of ours. We have acquired many Korean titles from them for the Indian Sub-Continent. ‘Yoonhee’, ‘Eunji’, and ‘Namyoung’ need a special mention as they have been very kind, accommodating and have always worked hard to get Korean Cinema to our part of the world. ‘Parasite’ is a fantastic film with a beautiful screenplay, very good direction and performances. There is not a single moment in the film which forces you to drift away. It keeps you spellbound irrespective of the fact that you may not understand the language; it transcends all such boundaries. No wonder the film swept all the major awards including the Palme D’or, Golden Globe and now Oscars. In the last Cannes Film Festival, CJ Entertainment was very keen on us acquiring ‘Parasite’ for the Indian Sub-Continent. But since our plate was already full, we let it pass. I guess one loses some and wins some, but nevertheless we are very happy for all of them and more happy to see them all make lots of money. Content is surely the king at the box-office.

All along, VR Films has been working to bring European cinema to India. With localization in full swing because of streaming is there any action now on this front?

Yes indeed. We have been working in this space for the last four years-meeting production houses and agents from all over Europe with the hope that one day the doors for such brilliant cinema would open in India. Thanks to the surge in OTT platforms that such cinema is now having viewers in India. The younger generation is keen on watching such Cinema and this brings lots of opportunities for our other business — localization — as Indians like to hear and watch movies rather than read (subtitles) and watch them. We have more than 65 dubbing studios across India, and we are working around the clock dubbing foreign content for OTT and TV in Hindi and other Indian regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Urdu, neutral English, among others. Currently, we clock around 400 hours of dubbing per month and the demand is still growing. Hollywood films too are getting localized in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu and we continue to do a lot of work for major Hollywood film studios.

This january, we became a member of Netflix’s NP3 (post partner program), which is a huge achievement as it gives us the opportunity to dub their content in Indian languages…

Which projects are you working on? What are your goals for 2020?

We started 2020 with the Theatrical Release of “The Courier” starring Gary Oldman and Olga Kurylenko.

We look forward to Russell Crowe starrer ‘Unhinged’ that we have acquired to distribute in the Indian Sub-Continent. It will have a wide theatrical release in Q3 this year in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and English. ‘Jolt’ is another exciting title starring Kate Beckinsale which will release in Q3/Q4 this year. We also have a horror title from the UK, ‘The Power’, that is slated for release in 2020… So it’s packed 2020 for us. Apart from these three films, we have many other titles that are in production and will have 2021 release. For our localization business, we are setting up more studios as this business is growing with every passing day. We intend to get into the production of content too for which we are in talks with many players.

We started our relationship with Amazon Prime Video and put some of our Titles on their platform and they are performing well.