Last year in June-July 2020, films gradually start releasing on OTT as the world shifted towards consuming content especially films releasing directly to OTT platforms. March 24 2020 marked one of the biggest and most dynamic shifts in the world of cinema – the shift of big films coming directly to our living rooms instead of theatres. On this date last year, all theatres across the country shut down and the transition from movie-going experience to couch-viewing experience became a thing that was actually long-overdue in its process. As the realization struck, more and more filmmakers and producers understood the lucrative benefits of an OTT release over the theatrical release in this era of lockdowns due to the global coronavirus pandemic looming over our heads. Here’s a recap of the top 10 biggest and most successful films that were released during the pandemic when the format of film releases changed from cinema halls to OTT platforms instead!
Raat Akeli Hai
Raat Akeli Hai is a 2020 crime thriller drama film on Netflix starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Shweta Tripathi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Nishant Dahiya, Gyanendra Tripathi, Ila Arun, Swanand Kirkire, Nitesh Kumar Tiwari and Aditya Srivastava. Directed by Honey Trehan, this film marked the director’s first film and we must say, it was a rather promising one indeed! With an interesting set of characters and a head-scratching mystery to solve, this movie is definitely a must-watch.
Lootcase is a black comedy film by debutant director Rajesh Krishnan has also directed the famous web series TVF Tripling. Starring Kunal Khemu and Rasika Dugal in lead roles, and Vijay Raaz, Ranvir Shorey and Gajraj Rao in supporting roles, the film revolves around a red, shiny suitcase filled with cash, leading to a “loot” that’s incredibly funny. The 2020 film is produced and bankrolled by Fox Star Studios and is available to stream on Disney+Hotstar.
Shakuntala Devi is a film that takes one on a rollercoaster ride of emotions for sure. The film is based on the mathematician’s journey to becoming ‘The Human Computer’ and her relationship with her daughter. Directed by Anu Menon, the film stars Vidya Balan in the lead role along with Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh, and Jissu Sengupta in the supporting roles. The 2020 film is produced by Abundantia Entertainment, a leading production house that aims at producing great content that is strong and women-centric while often revolving around various social issues, and this film is a fine example of just that. Shakuntala Devi can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
Sherni is another gift from the critically-acclaimed film Newton’s director Amit Masukar, and the production house Abundantia Entertainment that has given us many such beautiful films before as well such as Shakuntala Devi, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Baby, etc. Lead by Vidya Balan, Sherni is about an upright Forest Officer who strives for balance in a world of man-animal conflict while she also seeks her true calling in a hostile environment. This 2021 film was meant to be a theatrical release but ended up being a direct OTT release instead. This successful film is a must-watch and can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl
Produced under Dharma Productions and Zee Studios, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is literally a story that’s uplifting in its nature. Starring Jahnvi Kapoor in the lead along with Pankaj Tripathi and Angad Bedi in the supporting roles, the film is a biopic of Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena who makes history in her journey from aspiring aviator to India’s first female combat pilot in the Kargil War. The movie explores a beautiful relationship of a father-daughter duo and makes us realize the plethora of possibilities one can achieve if they have the right support and mind for it. This 2020 film is available to stream on Netflix.
Ludo is a black comedy crime film that is guaranteed to leave you in splits! This gem from director Anurag Basu has a big and amazing ensemble. In this hysterical film, from a resurfaced sex tape to a rogue suitcase of money, four wildly different stories overlap at the whims of fate, chance, and one eccentric criminal. The movie released on Netflix on Diwali last year and according to a recent interview, the director of the film is now ready with Ludo part 2! Don’t miss out on this comedy of errors and the fresh stories that Ludo has to offer.
A horror and thriller film produced by Anushka Sharma, the film takes us through the journey of a child bride who grows up to be an enigmatic woman presiding over her household, harboring a painful past as supernatural murders of men plague her village. Directed by Anvita Dutt and starring Tripti Dimri in the lead role alongside Avinash Tiwary, Paoli Dam, Rahul Bose, and Parambrata Chattopadhyay in the supporting roles, Bulbbul has a powerfully feminist and fascinating storyline with the perfect dose of horror/thriller one should not miss out on!
Hilarious, relevant, and full of punch-lines that’ll have you ROFL, Gulabo Sitabo is a film about two scheming men who 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. Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the film captures the hysterical banter between Mirza, an old man played by Amitabh Bachchan, who is always at war with his tenant Baankey, played by Ayushmann Khurrana, as he wants him to evict his house but Baankey is hell-bent on staying. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, this 2020 film is a league of its own and has been appreciated by critics and audiences alike.
Director Arati Kadav’s Netflix film starring Vikrant Massey and Shweta Tripathi, Cargo, is a story about A young female astronaut, who joins a reclusive astronaut aboard a spaceship, struggles with her job as she interacts with mysterious Cargos that appear on the ship. Deemed as a science-fiction film, it was picked up by Netflix after its screening at MAMI and almost playing at SXSW. The film offers innovative storytelling with a refreshing plotline for its audiences on the OTT platform and is definitely one of its kind.
Sir is a story of an optimistic and determined young woman from a remote village who starts her new job as a live-in maid for the cynical son of a wealthy family. They eventually fall in love, but find their relationship forbidden. Stemming from the independent film genre, the film released on Netflix last year and the reception was instantaneously high. The slow brewing of love between the two leads played by Tillotama Shome and Vivek Gomber creates an effect on the audience that is unlike any other. Director by Rohena Gera, this is a beautifully made film that is a must-watch for all romantics out there!