Published on December 30, 2020 at 13.27
Dil Bechara: In a year struck by Covid, OTT reigned supreme and among some of the shows and films that created a huge impact on audiences was Dil Bechara. Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film premiered on Disney+Hotstar in July, and got a lot of attention. It was the official remake of 2014 Hollywood romantic drama The Fault in our Stars. Earlier this year, according to a report by TV viewership monitoring agency BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) and data measurement firm Nielsen, Dil Bechara emerged as the top movie in the first week of release on an OTT platform, when it comes to the content viewed on smartphones.
Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story: Filmmaker Hansal Mehta captured the story of one of the biggest financial scams in the Indian stock market. The financial thriller emerged as a winner, making Gujarati actor Pratik Gandhi, who essayed the role of Harshad Mehta, an overnight star.
Panchayat: The hilarious satire emerged as a sleeper hit, providing much-needed comic relief to the audience. The story revolves around the young secretary of a village Panchayat office, and how he copes with rural life. The series stars Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav and Chandan Sanyal.
Asur: Arshad Warsi made his digital debut on a successful note with this crime thriller that pits two worlds against each other — the less explored world of forensic science and the world of ancient Indian mythology. Available on Voot Select, it also stars Barun Sobti, Riddhi Dogra and Anupriya Goenka.
Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives: This web series chronicles the lives of popular star wives such as Maheep Kapoor, Neelam Kothari, Seema Khan and Bhavana Pandey. It is backed by Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment, the digital arm of Dharma Production.
Bad Boy Billionaires – India: The docuseries explores the greed, fraud and corruption that built, and ultimately brought down, the most infamous tycoons in India. It is available on Netflix.
Special Ops: This eight-episode Hotstar Special spy action thriller series is based on the role of Indian intelligence in a series of terror attacks that India has faced over the last 19 years, including 26/11. Filmmaker Neeraj Pandey directed the series with Shivam Nair. It stars Kay Kay Menon, Karan Tacker, Saiyami Kher, and Vinay Pathak.
Bandish Bandits: The musical show, which launched Ritwik Bhowmik and Shreya Chaudhry, was a hit. It follows the story of two lovers from different musical backgrounds. The show, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, also features Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Sheeba Chaddha, Rajesh Tailang and Kunaal Roy Kapur.
Khuda Haafiz: With cinema halls shut, Khuda Haafiz went for a direct-to-OTT release. It stars Vidyut Jammwal and Shivaleeka Oberoi. After the success of the first part, the makers announced the second chapter, and are planning to release it on the big screen.
Extraction: The film may have drawn plenty of criticism as an entertainer, but it was truly a lavish crossover effort, between talents of Hollywood and Bollywood. Chris Hemsworth had a blockbuster digital debut as an actor with this film. He was seen as a fearless, black market mercenary Tyler Rake, who embarks on the most deadly extraction of his career when he is enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. The film was majorly shot in India.
Never Have I Ever: Mindy Kaling’s quirky show traced her relationship with Indian culture and used her “relationship with being Hindu” to narrate the story of 15-year-old Devi, a first-generation Indian American, and her desperation to feel that she belongs in society in the delightful show from Netflix. It has been renewed for a second season.
Aarya: Sushmita Sen’s comeback show Aarya delved into how organised crime and betrayal runs deep in a family. It revolves around the protagonist Aarya Sareen, who is dragged into her husband’s narcotics business when her family is threatened after his death. The show will be back with a second season soon.
Paatal Lok: Actress Anushka Sharma’s debut web production Paatal Lok opened to rave reviews. The show is about a police officer Hathiram who is on the lookout for four criminals — serial killer Vishal “Hathoda” Tyagi (Abhishek Banerjee), Tope “Chaaku” Singh (Jagjeet Sandhu), Kabir M. (Aasif Khan), and Mary “Cheeni” Lyngdoh (Mairembam Ronaldo Singh).
Four More Shots Please: The show follows four unapologetically flawed women as they discover life while balancing friendship in Mumbai. The second season showed how they coped with their fears and insecurities. The show will be back with the third season soon.
Bulbbul: Starring Tripti Dimri, the period horror drama narrated the journey of a young girl named Bulbbul from innocence to strength, with the looming shadow of the legend of a ‘chudail’. The story gives a positive spin to the term ‘chudail’.
Serious Men: Nawazuddin Siddiqui was universally applauded for his role in the Sudhir Mishra directorial, Serious Men. The Netflix movie was an adaptation of Manu Joseph’s book of the same name. It narrates the tale of an underachiever who tries to make it big in Mumbai after discovering that his child could be a boy genius.
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