Why ‘The Lunchbox’ More Than Just a Love Story

Whenever someone inquires about my favourite romantic films, my mind categorises them into ‘pre-The Lunchbox’ and ‘post-The Lunchbox’ eras. Before experiencing The Lunchbox, it was ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ and ‘Kandu Kondein Kandu Kondein,’ but not any more. 

In the Mood for Love and As Good As It Gets are my favourites from the post-Lunchbox era. This transformative journey commenced with a simple, unassuming film from 2013 directed by Ritesh Batra—‘The Lunchbox.’

The Lunchbox: Title Card
The Lunchbox: Title Card

The Lunchbox: A Lens into Realism

This movie is not just for a weekend entertainment; it offered me a fresh lens through which I could explore the nuanced, unspoken dialect of human connections.

The movie is set in the bustling life of Mumbai, home to the renowned dabbawalas and their near-perfect lunch delivery system. However, an unusual mix-up one day led a dabbawala to exchange lunchboxes, it became the link for an unexpected companionship between Saajan Fernandez and Ila.

Irfan Khan as Saajan in The Lunchbox
Irfan Khan as Saajan in The Lunchbox

As an accountant on the brink of retirement, Saajan’s character reflects every scene with an air of melancholy that resonates with anyone who has ever gone through loneliness once.

Saajan’s routine commute to work begins with a Mumbai urban bus ride, accompanied by a stop at his late wife’s grave before heading to his mundane accountant job.

Nimrat kaur as Ila in The Lunchbox
Nimrat kaur as Ila in The Lunchbox

On the other hand, we have Ila. Movie begins with Ila, a housewife who tries to get her husband’s attention by making tasty lunches for him. She thinks the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Her neighbor, Deshpande aunty, helps her out with recipes, joking that her husband will build her a Taj Mahal after tasting the food. Ila sends a lunchbox to her husband’s office using a dabbawala.

From Salty to Sweet: The Beginning

When fate humorously redirects Ila’s delicious lunchbox to Saajan, Saajan’s response to the first meal is precisely what you’d expect from a lonely accountant uncle – “Dear Ila, the food was very salty today.”

That’s all he has to say about the meal Ila put her heart into. However, this complaint marks the beginning of a unique bond between two lonely souls. Here begins the beautiful tale of ‘The Lunchbox’.

What follows is a series of letters exchanged between Saajan and Ila.

Saajan’s letters give a glimpse into his life and the changing world around him, like when he mentions,

“Life is very busy these days. There are too many people and everyone wants what the other has. Years ago you could find a place to sit on the train every now and then but these days it is difficult…When my wife died she got a horizontal burial plot. I tried to buy a burial plot for myself the other day and what they offered me was a vertical one. I spent my whole life standing in trains and buses and now I will have to stand even when I am dead.”

This newfound mode of communication allows them to open up in ways they hadn’t with anyone else before.

This is where I want to tell you, ‘The Lunchbox’ isn’t merely a story of romantic inklings; it’s just one layer of it.

Why The Lunchbox is More Than a Romantic Film

The Lunchbox is a film that explores a wide range of human emotions and relationships through its simple but powerful storytelling. It’s not just a love story between Ila and Saajan. It’s also a story about several characters who are searching for comfort and connection in their mundane loneliness.

Every character in ‘The Lunchbox’ has a touch of loneliness. Ila is trying hard to bring back the missing spark in her marriage; Saajan, a sad widower stuck in the same office job for over thirty-five years without even a friendly chat with his office neighbor; Aslam, the orphan seeking familial bonds; and the Deshpande couple, each lost in their own realm of silence. Even young Yashvi, Ila’s daughter, seems quiet and serious throughout the movie. Something not common for a child of her age.

Sonakshi Sinha as Pakhi in Lootera
Sonakshi Sinha as Pakhi in Lootera

Maybe this is the same reason, why I am obsessed with the characters of ‘Lootera’ and there Pakhi resonates with the same echo of solitude.

What Lies Beyond Romance in The Lunchbox?

Lens 1

There are multiple instances where The Lunchbox proves that it’s talking about human connections, a deep bond that’s formed between people when they feel seen and valued—not a curious attraction or mere romance.

One line from Saajan beautifully captures the underlying theme of his and Ila’s shared bonding: “I think we forget things if we have no one to tell them to.” This simple line tells us about the deep need we humans have for connection. It also shows how good it feels to find someone to share our everyday moments with, whether they’re boring or happy. Aslam, Deshpande Aunty, Saajan, and Ila are all looking for this kind of connection.

Just like Ila is searching for a new spice to rekindle her husband’s affection, each character is searching for something missing in their lives, and that missing piece is a bond to share!

In addition, look at the vegetable Ila chosen for her delicious dishes. Bitter Guard, Baby pumpkin aka Tinde & even Brinjal —could be a metaphor for their unconventional life choices, or maybe it seems like a gentle reflection of narrative’s core, where bitter experiences pave the path to the sweet essence of companionship, understanding, and perhaps a subtle hint of romance as well.

Lens 2

The Lunchbox is a film that celebrates the unity and diversity of the human connections. The characters in the film come from different shades of life though they are connected beautifully like a string of pearls.

Saajan’s poetic observation is a beautiful example of this. In a scene, Saajan explains his reflections on a painter’s works, “I felt like stopping to look at a painter’s works. All his paintings are exactly the same but when you look close, real close, you can see that they are different, each slightly different from the other…”

After that letter, Ila is sharing her memories with her daughter.

He sees himself in one of those paintings; he compares people to paintings, noting that they may all seem similar at first glance, but when you look closely, you can see the unique differences that make each individual special.

This is exactly what you are seeing in the film. In one angle, they all are same. But if you look close, you will see the differences.

Aslam is a Muslim, Saajan is a Christian, and Ila is a Hindu. Saajan writes in Queen’s English, I never heard someone referring to a ‘Brinjal’ as an ‘Aubergine’ and Ila replies in Hindi.

Deshpande Aunty and Ila share a deep emotional bond, even though they do not have a visual connection. This is because they are both able to sense and understand each other’s feelings.

Here communication goes beyond language, diversities, and limitations; it’s tapping into the essence of human connection.

The Lunchbox and its Painful Romance

In the romantic parts, Saajan’s sadness really hits you when he opens up to Ila, saying that he can only dream through her young hopes. He mentions, “No one buys yesterday’s lottery ticket.” This is a honest way to say that his own dreams are fading away.

But Saajan’s thank you to Ila is really heartwarming. He tells her, “You are young, you can dream. And for some time you let me into your dreams and I want to thank you for that.” You can really feel that he means it.

As the story moves on, Saajan sees that life still has more for him to experience. This part leaves you smiling with hope.

The movie gently encourages us to find the sweetness in the bitter, to look beyond the ordinary, and to appreciate the simple joys that life places in our everyday lives.

In doing so, The Lunchbox is not just a movie; it is a gentle nudge to appreciate the unspoken, the unexpressed, and the unnoticed nuances of human connections around us. In the beginning of the movie, we see Saajan’s neighbour, a young girl, closing the window on him, but by the end, that same little girl is waving at Saajan, and Saajan smiles back.

Reheating The Lunchbox: A Cliched Angle on the Ending

The ending of The Lunchbox really a debatable topic. The internet is full of explanations on climax interpretations. At first, I liked open endings but not recently, since, it confuses us.

Here are my two cents on The Lunchbox ending.

A part of me, maybe the pessimist Akhil, thinks that Ila might have given up and ended her life. When she took off her jewellery, it reminded me of the lady who jumped from the terrace to find peace (news in the movie).

Positive Akhil looks into Deshpande Aunty tells Ila that she was able to clean a running fan. Could this news have given Ila the courage to clear up her own life’s messes? Will the train bring Fernandez to Ila before she leaves? I hope so, deeply.

Window scene from The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox tells the stories of people tied together by thin strings of chance: a dabbawala’s mistake, voices across the old walls of a worn building, a basket dropped from one window to another. A lonely man and his letters, a housewife and her delicacies… Through life’s unsure moments, they all found relief in a unexpected bonds, and in the midst of loneliness, sparks of connection showed up, warming the hearts stuck in life’s endless give and take.

The Lunchbox is an experience about the simple everyday interactions between people that make a difference.  Experience it!

Read more perspectives and movie recommendations here.

Psychology of Baby (2023): What You’re Not Seeing

Since its OTT release, the Telugu movie Baby (2023) directed by Sai rajesh Neelam, has been the talk of the town. Viral reels and memes are flooding social media with taglines such as “it’s a message to the new generation” and “it’s the reality of our present generation.But is this film really a mirror to contemporary relationships, or is it propagating outdated social norms and stereotypes? Let’s try a detailed analysis.

Baby telugu movie poster
Baby Telugu movie poster

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, please watch it here, or read the story here.

Is It Really a Love Story?

On the surface, Baby (2023) appears to be a love story, but is it really? It seems to perpetuate outdated notions from the 80s and 90s, where a woman’s character is judged based on her attire or lifestyle choices.

Remember how Neelambari was portrayed in the movie Padayappa? Or consider the characters of Vani Vishwanath in Malayalam cinema, and similar examples in the Telugu industry with second heroines in movies.

Just like them, Vaishnavi is subjected to a set of unfair expectations and judgements.

Questionable Messages

One of the alarming messages that Baby seems to deliver is that stalking is acceptable behaviour. Vaishnavi finds herself in a situation where she accidentally kisses Viraj. Though she realises her mistake and apologises, Viraj continues to stalk her, disregarding her repeated refusals.

Anand, on the other hand, is portrayed as a possessive lover. While he does make sacrifices for Vaishnavi, such as gifting her a phone, these actions are often more about him than about her. His possessiveness often overshadows other critical aspects of his life, like his relationship with his mother.

Scenes from Baby(2023)
Scenes from Baby(2023)

The film appears to be whitewashing the male characters while darkening Vaishnavi’s character to an extreme extent. But why?

The Psychology Behind Audience Reactions

The mass audience seems to empathise more with Viraj and Anand, while vilifying Vaishnavi. This bias might be rooted in traditional gender roles and social norms that unconsciously influence our judgement. Vaishnavi’s character challenges these norms or mindsets that our typical audience has, thereby eliciting a stronger negative reaction from the audience.

The film’s commercial success and viral scenes beg the question: why are people resonating with it? It’s not necessarily because the film portrays reality, but perhaps because it confirms existing biases and beliefs. This is where I believe directors and script writers should be more responsible and try to make some differences instead of following the masses.

The film taps into the general scepticism around modern relationships & choices, packaging it as the real story of this generation, when, in fact, it might be perpetuating harmful stereotypes and norms.

Why Do Mass Audiences Hate Vaishnavi, not Viraj?

In my opinion, Viraj is the real antagonist of the movie, and he is the real villain. Still, people hate Vaishnavi. Why?

Traditional Gender Roles and Expectations

In our culture, traditional gender roles often portray women as the moral compass in romantic relationships. They want every woman to be like Sita, but men can be Krishna or Rama, depending on the hero. If Pawan Kalyan does the same thing in Badri or Jr. NTR does the same thing in Brindavanam, it is considered to be mass or cute. But when Vaishnavi does it in Baby, it is considered to be cheating.

Narrative Focus

The story primarily revolves around Vaishnavi’s choices and their consequences, making her actions the driving force behind the emotional turmoil. This focus naturally makes her more of a target for audience scrutiny compared to Viraj, who appears more as a reaction to her choices than as an instigator. This is where I felt, the script writer could have done a better job instead of spreading more toxicity.

Moral Ambiguity

Viraj isn’t portrayed as a clear-cut villain. He’s attracted to Vaishnavi and pursues her, but it’s Vaishnavi who hides her relationship status, thereby enabling Viraj’s advances. He does make a problematic move by threatening to release their kissing video, but this comes after he feels deceived.

Social Norms and Masculine Privilege

Viraj’s actions may be viewed less critically due to societal norms that often excuse or overlook male indiscretions in romantic pursuits. As I said before, many superstars have already done this multiple times on reel & real, but people are ready to accept it.

Why is Baby a Blockbuster and Going Viral, irrespective of its theme and toxicity?

The Pull of Confirmation Bias

One reason for the film’s massive success could be attributed to confirmation bias, a psychological tendency to seek, interpret, and remember information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs. Baby (2023) seems to validate certain societal norms and judgements, making it appealing to a large audience that finds their beliefs reinforced. This is alarming, even in 2023, the majority believe in it.

Emotional Highs and Lows

From a cinematic standpoint, the film employs effective storytelling techniques that take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster. High arousal emotions, whether positive or negative, are more likely to be shared; this is known as the emotional contagion theory. Scenes that evoke strong emotions—like anger towards Vaishnavi or sympathy for Anand and Viraj—are more likely to go viral.

The Impact of Social Media Algorithms

Let’s not underestimate the power of algorithms in shaping public opinion. Content that triggers strong emotional responses gets shared and commented on more, which gives it higher visibility on social media platforms. This creates a feedback loop in which the more a scene or character is discussed, the more visibility it gains, leading to a self-perpetuating cycle of virality.

The Bystander Effect in Digital Spaces

The ease with which people can share their opinions online paradoxically creates a digital bystander effect. Many might disagree with the portrayals and messages in the film but assume that someone else will voice these concerns. Meanwhile, those who agree with the film’s messages are more likely to share and propagate its content, thus contributing to its blockbuster status.

Baby (2023) is entertaining for youngsters, but it also reinforces harmful stereotypes about women and men. Its popularity shows that filmmakers need to be responsible rather than merely echoing societal biases.

For more movie analysis and suggestions, click here.

OTT Releases This Week: August 18

Are you waiting for the latest OTT releases this week? Are you confused about what to skip & what to stream? From thrilling crime genres to animated superhero movies, the list is long.

Taali: An Ambitious Stride in Trans Representation

OTT Platform: JioCinema
Directed by: Ravi Jadhav
Cast: Sushmita Sen, Ankur Bhatia, Aishwarya Narkar, Hemangi Kavi, Krutika Deo, Suvrat Joshi

Plot Synopsis:

Taali portrays the life of Gauri (formerly known as Ganesh), a transgender activist inspired by Shreegauri Sawant. As a teenager, Ganesh struggles to express his gender identity in a traditionally rooted Indian family. His father, opting for understanding over aggression, introduces him to a sex counsellor. This reflects the internal conflicts of many Indian parents.

As Gauri matures, her battles intensify. She takes to the streets of Mumbai and eventually becomes a matriarchal figure in her community, fighting for equal rights.


❤ Taali bravely addresses the transgender identity struggle within the Indian context.
❤ Sushmita Sen’s portrayal of Gauri is compelling, echoing deeper due to real-life parallels.
❌ However, Gauri’s activist journey and challenges are insufficiently explored.

Chathrapathi: A Missed Opportunity for Re-imagination

OTT Platform: Zee5
Directed by: V.V. Vinayak
Cast: Sai Sreenivas Bellamkonda, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Bhagyashree, Sharad Kelkar, Karan Singh Chhabra

Plot Synopsis:
A remake of the Telugu hit originally starring Prabhas, Chathrapathi re-explores the cinematic world of Mother-Son bonding and the challenges of migrants. As Shiva rises against adversity, the narrative unfolds with predictable loops of action, dialogue, and song sequences.

❤ Chathrapathi feels like a nostalgic trip, echoing the masala films of yesteryear.
❌ However, with no fresh take, the film ends up feeling more like a dubbed version than an authentic remake.
❌ Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas’s portrayal of Shiva pales in comparison to the charismatic Prabhas from the original.

Amala: A Slow-Burn Psychological Thriller with Potential for a Sequel

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
Directed by: Nishad Ebrahim
Cast: Anarkali Marikar, Srikanth, Appani Sharath, Rajisha Vijayan

Plot Synopsis:
Amala revolves around a series of serial killings in High Range and Kochi. Top police officer Akbar (Srikanth) is on the trail of the psychopath. The narrative dives deep into the backstory of the killer, Basil (Appani Sharath), revealing his tormented childhood and his obsession with a tragic childhood love, Amala.

❤ Different from typical thrillers as the killer’s identity is revealed early.
❤ Nishad Ebrahim’s direction impressively crafts the intense tale.
❌ Although gripping, pacing issues mar the film’s initial sequences.
❌ Some early scenes felt lacking due to inauthentic dialogues and casting choices.

Kolai: A Visual Delight With Hollow Depth

OTT Platform: Tentkottai
Directed by: Balaji K Kumar
Cast: Vijay Antony, Ritika Singh, Meenakshi Chaudhary, Murli Sharma, Siddhartha Shankar

Plot Synopsis:
Kolai is a murder mystery set in a fictional yet familiar Madras. The victim is singer-model Leila, who is found dead in a locked room. Detectives Vinayak and Sandhya must untangle the mystery, sifting through multiple suspects, each with a possible motive but a watertight alibi.

❤ Director’s fast-paced entry into the narrative can be both, refreshing and abrupt.
❤ Stunning visual transitions and surreal metaphors leave a lasting impression but lack emotional depth.
❌ The world of Kolai feels artificially constructed, making it hard to resonate with its characters.
❌ Performances don’t quite sell the emotions, leading to a lack of connection with the audience.

Other Exclusive OTT Releases This Week

Mathagam: A webseries on a a true-life event

OTT Platform: Disney Plus Hot Star
Director: Prasad Murugesan
Cast: Atharva, Nikhila Vimal, Jaypeem Manikandan, Moonar Ramesh, Dilnash Irani, Gautham Menon

Plot Synopsis:
Mathagam is a crime thriller that gets into the thrilling underworld of Chennai. The story revolves around the enigmatic Patalam Shekhar, a respected figure in the world of crime who is believed to be dead.

Parallelly, the story follows the determined police officer Aswat, who sets out on a dangerous journey to eliminate the Dadas (gangsters) following Patalam’s lead.

Guns & Gulaabs: Hit Makers are Back with Dark Comedy

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Raj and D.K.
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Dulquer Salmaan, Adarsh Gourav, Gulshan Devaiah, TJ Bhanu

Plot Synopsis:
Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1990s, Guns & Gulaabs marries themes of love and purity amidst a world of crime. Seamlessly weaving humour, fantasy, and dramatic tension, the series spotlights the Misfits of the World. As the story unravels, expect an unforgettable journey through love, laughter, and maybe a few tears. This film is eagerly anticipated and is pegged to be a standout in this week’s OTT line-up.

The Chosen One: Based on the graphic novel American Jesus

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Everardo Gout
Cast: Bobby Luhnow, Dianna Agron, Lilith Amelie Siordia Mejia, Juan Fernando González Anguamea

Plot Synopsis:
In the heart of Baja California, 12-year-old Jodie discovers he possesses extraordinary abilities reminiscent of Jesus. Quickly, he becomes a focal point for both Evangelical and Yaquí leaders who see him as a beacon for mankind’s salvation.

Amidst this intense scrutiny and pressure, Jodie’s priorities lie in winning over the girl he cherishes and facing down his bullies. As he tries to reconcile with his extraordinary fate, viewers are taken on an emotional roller coaster.

The Monkey King: The Chinese Legend is Back

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Anthony Stacchi
Cast: Jimmy O. Yang

Plot Synopsis:
Born from a rock and profoundly narcissistic, Monkey, voiced by Jimmy O Yang, embarks on a quest to gain immortality. Along his journey, he steals the Dragon King’s potent multi-use Stick, which leads him to a series of adventures, some reminiscent of past adaptations like the 1970s Japanese series.

Instead of the traditional cohorts, Monk Tripitaka, Sandy, and Pigsy, the story introduces Lin, voiced by Jolie Hoang-Rappaport. She, while appearing as an ally, is secretly serving the Dragon King in hopes of saving her village from drought.

For more movie suggestions, click here.

OTT Releases This Week: August 11

Are you keen on catching the latest OTT releases this week? From thrilling spy genres to unconventional superhero movies, the list is exciting.

Por Thozhil: An Intelligent Twist to Investigative Thrillers

OTT Platform: SonyLiv
Directed by: Vignesh Raja
Cast: Sarath Kumar, Ashok Selvan, Nikhila Vimal

Plot Synopsis:
Por Thozhil follows seasoned police officer Lokanathan and young recruit Prakash as they join forces to nab a serial killer. A tale of intelligence and cooperation, the film transcends the typical buddy cop formula to delve into a more sophisticated story of action and intrigue.

Smart writing sets Por Thozhil apart from other investigative thrillers. The unlikely pairing of Sarath Kumar’s veteran wisdom and Ashok Selvan’s youthful ingenuity brings freshness to the genre.

Though the film draws inspiration from classics like Stray Dog and Lethal Weapon, it finds a unique spot with its combination of suspense, action, and intelligence.

Read a detailed review here.

The Jengaburu Curse: Noble Intentions Overshadowed by Overwhelming Drama

OTT Platform: Sonyliv
Directed by: Nila Madhab Panda
Cast: Faria Abdullah, Nasser, Makarand Deshpande, Sudev Nair, Deipak Sampat, and Hitesh Dave

Plot Synopsis:
Far removed from her Adivasi origins in London, Priya Das (Faria Abdullah) is thrust into the mysteries of her past when her activist father, Swatantra, disappears. The backdrop is Jengaburu, an ancestral village now under the iron grip of a mining company led by the unscrupulous Srinivas.

Local legends warn of a dragon king sleeping beneath the village, a creature that mustn’t be stirred. Yet, with each explosion and machine rumble, an ancient curse seems poised to awaken.

The Jengaburu Curse commendable foregrounds the Adivasi narrative and the contentious realm of Indian mining, an effort far more nuanced than similar takes like Aar Ya Paar (2022).

The series boasts an ensemble cast that shines in their roles, with Faria Abdullah’s portrayal of Priya being particularly spirited.

While the series is based on a compelling premise, it often finds itself ensnared by the trappings of its thriller genre.

Over-dramatization, convenient plot developments, and drawn-out scenes at times detract from the core message.

Made in Heaven: Season 2 – A Rich Tapestry of Indian Weddings and Social Realities

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
Directed by: Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Neeraj Ghaywan, Alankrita Shrivastava, and Nitya Mehra
Cast: Sobhita Dhulipala, Arjun Mathur, Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Vijay Raaz, among others.

Plot Synopsis:

Season 2 of Made in Heaven witnesses the return of Tara Khanna and Karan Mehra, our favourite wedding planners from Delhi. Diving deep into the opulent world of Indian weddings, the season unravels not just the grandeur of these ceremonies, but the undercurrents of societal norms, personal aspirations, and familial expectations. Picking up from where it left off, Tara’s personal life is in turmoil while Karan grapples with his sexuality.

This season magnifies its focus on complex issues, with episodes like Neeraj Ghaywan’s Dalit wedding narrative, featuring a formidable Radhika Apte, standing out.

Secondary characters add depth, notably Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju’s resonating storyline. However, amidst the multitude of narratives, Sobhita Dhulipala’s Tara feels slightly subdued.

Overall, Made in Heaven: Season 2 offers a layered exploration of contemporary Indian society, intertwining the allure of weddings with hard-hitting social commentaries.

Neymar: A Lighthearted Bond with Man’s Best Friend

OTT Platform: Hotstar
Directed by: Sudhi Maddison
Cast: Mathew Thomas, Naslen K Gafoor, Shammi Thilakan, Yog Japee

Plot Synopsis:
In Neymar, the directorial debut of Sudhi Maddison, the bond of friendship intertwines with the love for a dog, leading to a series of unforeseen adventures. Centered around Aakamsh and Shinto, staunch supporters of the Brazil football team and admirers of its star player Neymar, the story takes a twist when an indie dog, named Neymar, enters their lives. From dreaming about aviation careers to a whirlwind quest in Pondicherry to retrieve Neymar from a formidable new owner, the film serves an intriguing cocktail of comedy and chaos.

While the narrative takes a relaxed pace in its Kothamangalam setting, the momentum magnifies when the backdrop shifts to Pondicherry.

The camaraderie between Mathew and Naslen is palpable, though their established chemistry sometimes feels repetitive. Yet, it’s the veterans like Vijayaraghavan, manifesting as the vibrant Chackola, who leave an indelible mark.

Despite its predictability, the film scores with its heartwarming moments, especially those involving the titular dog.
For those seeking light-hearted entertainment, Neymar is a delightful pick.

Maaveeran: The Voice Within – An Audacious Superhero Story

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
Directed by: Madonne Ashwin
Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Yogi Babu, Mysskin, Sunil, Saritha, Adithi Shankar

Plot Synopsis:
In the bustling streets of Tamil Nadu, Sathya, a humble comic-book artist, sketches tales of valor. His life, shadowed by poverty and the need to protect his family, takes a radical shift when a mysterious voice (akin to the ‘Maveeran’ from his comics) begins forecasting imminent events. This auditory guide, coupled with socio-political upheavals, thrusts him into an extraordinary journey. As structures crumble and systems fail, Sathya grapples with his newfound ‘precognition’ power, while also confronting his own inhibitions.

Maaveeran brilliantly juxtaposes a superhero narrative with underlying political tones.

Sivakarthikeyan‘s rapport with comedic genius Yogi Babu enlivens the film, adding layers of humour amidst intense sequences.

Noteworthy is the film’s audacity to challenge and subvert traditional superhero tropes while still catering to the commercial palette.

The dynamics between supporting characters, notably Sunil and Mysskin, are intricately woven, ensuring every subplot gets its deserving closure.

Padmini: A Humorous Dive into Societal Scrutiny

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Senna Hegde
Cast: Kunchacko Boban, Aparna Balamurali, Madonna Sebastian, Vincy Aloshious.

Plot Synopsis:
Amidst the buzzing chatter and societal judgements, Rameshan’s life takes an unexpected turn when his wife, Smrithi, elopes on their wedding day. Left to face the brunt of the village’s ridicule, Rameshan, a poet and lecturer, embarks on a comedic journey to find love once again. Amidst the chaos, parallel narratives unfold, touching upon modern relationships, societal norms, and the quirks that bind us all together.

Hegde’s signature style of highlighting societal intricacies remains intact.

Kunchacko Boban excels as the heartbroken Rameshan, whose endeavours in love, interspersed with comedic interactions with his brother-in-law (portrayed by Anand Manmadhan), form the essence of the film.

A standout subplot showcases advocate Sreedevi’s (Aparna Balamurali) turbulent relationship with her over-protective fiance Jayan (Sajin Cherukayil). The inclusion of fictional brand advertisements, reminiscent of Tarantino-esque style, adds a quirky flavour.

Other Exclusive OTT Releases This Week

Vaan Moondru

OTT: Aha
Director: Amr Murugesh
Writer: Amr Murugesh
Stars: Ammu Abhirami, Aditya Badekar, Delhi Ganesh

Plot Synopsis:
A timeless romantic narrative that intricately binds six individuals, Vaan Moondru beautifully transcends societal norms surrounding age and relationships. This poignant tale of love paints a vivid picture of evolving relationships and emotions.


OTT: Aha
Director: Aneel Kanneganti
Stars: Ashwin Babu, Nandita Swetha

Plot Synopsis:
Set in the heart of Hyderabad, “Hidimbha” unravels a chilling medical mystery. As two diligent police officers embark on an inquiry into a peculiar case, the city witnesses a series of disappearances. Strikingly, all victims are young girls, bound by one intriguing similarity. As the plot thickens, truths emerge, and a sinister game begins.

The Killing Vote

OTT: Amazon Prime
Director: Park Shin-Woo
Writer: Eom Se-Yoon
Stars: Park Hae Jin, Park Sung Woong, Lim Ji Yeon

Plot Synopsis:
In an unsettling world where justice is questionable, “The Killing Vote” dives deep into the unsettling game of death penalty voting. Every adult citizen is polled. If majority votes favor the death sentence, the mysterious Gae Tal (Dog’s Tail) exacts lethal justice on offenders who exploit the system’s flaws. As the narrative unfolds, moral dilemmas arise, questioning societal norms and individual agency.

Heart Of Stone

OTT: Netflix
Stars: Alia Bhatt, Gal Gadot

Plot Synopsis:
Join the espionage world with “Heart of Stone.” Gal Gadot, celebrated globally for her iconic role as Wonder Woman, takes center stage in this thrilling spy drama. Taking cues from franchises like “Mission: Impossible” and “James Bond,” Netflix ventures into the realm of spy thrillers, positioning Gadot in a pioneering role. As intrigue, action, and suspense merge, “Heart of Stone” is poised to establish its niche in the spy genre.

For more reviews and suggestion click here.

OTT Releases This Week: Aug 04

Are you waiting for the latest OTT releases this week? From the Rom-Com to Thrillers…the list is packed with a good number of thrillers, docu-series and romantic movies.

Collage of ott releases this week
Collage of ott releases this week

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3: A Mischievous Emotional Rollercoaster

OTT Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
Directed by: James Gunn
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Chukwudi Iwuji, Linda Cardellini, Will Poulter

In Brief: Guardians of the Galaxy

The final instalment in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, Vol 3, focuses on Rocket’s traumatic backstory, featuring the High Evolutionary’s experiments. Rocket’s escape and separation from his soulmate Lylla, the otter, lead to a thrilling adventure filled with mischief, humour, and heart.

A big-hearted film that balances an overstuffed storyline with classic GOTG trademarks. James Gunn’s touch with unexpected dark themes keeps the series’ irreverent swagger while delivering emotional punches.

Dhoomam: An Unimpactful Thriller Fogged by its Message

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Video
Directed by: Pawan Kumar
Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Roshan Mathew, Aparna Balamurali, Vineeth

In Brief: Dhoomam

In Dhoomam, Fahadh Faasil plays the marketing head of a major tobacco firm caught in a hostage situation with his wife. The non-linear narrative switches between the attempts to escape and Avinash’s rise within the company. The film also delves into the corporate world of tobacco, showcasing the methods used to convince new users and lobby with the government.

Detailed review of Dhoomam here

Rangabali: A Scattered Attempt at Hero Worship

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Pawan Basamsetty
Cast: Naga Shaurya, Yukti Thareja, Tom Chacko, Satya
Music: Pawan CH

In Brief: Rangabali

Rangabali tells the story of Shaurya, a man whose strength and identity are rooted in his hometown, Ramavaram. He falls in love, faces conflicts, and must change the identity of a significant place in his town. The film follows Shaurya’s journey from a small-town guy with dreams of heroism to his struggle with politics and identity.

Rangabali attempts to celebrate unabashed hero worship but ends up feeling like a collection of random ideas with superficial execution.

Naga Shaurya’s portrayal of the protagonist is unconvincing, with elements like his white shirt fetish and action sequences failing to evoke interest. The lack of depth in the storyline, masked by humor and mass masala, leaves much to be desired.

However, moments of occasional humour thanks to supporting actors Satya and Rajkumar provide some relief.

Rangabali’s promotional spoof interviews, in which Satya mimics media personalities, ironically offer more innovation and entertainment than the film itself.

Soulcatcher: A Clichéd Disappointment Bereft of Originality

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Daniel Markowicz
Cast: Piotr Witkowski, Jacek Koman, Jacek Poniedziałek

In Brief: Soulcatcher

Soulcatcher takes place in a not-so-distant future where a weapon named the Soulcatcher can transform ordinary people into savage killers. The plot revolves around a military contractor who is assigned to retrieve this device but faces a dilemma when his brother falls victim to it. This Polish action thriller endeavors to be a gripping tale but ends up awash with clichés.

The film sets itself up with a blockbuster script, yet its modest budget fails to match its grand aspirations. It falls short in terms of visuals, fight scenes, and character development, leaving much to be desired.

Although it boasts a conceptually interesting weapon and a promising plotline involving political corruption and scientific brilliance, the execution lacks originality and conviction.

Santhosham: A Feel-Good Attempt That Falls Short on Conflict

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
Directed by: Ajith V Thomas
Cast: Anu Sithara, Amith Chakalakkal, Kalabhavan Shajohn, Mallika Sukumaran

In Brief: Santhosham

Santhosham revolves around the family of Suresh Kumar, focusing on his two daughters, Aadhya and Akshara. The narrative explores their dynamic relationship, especially as Aadhya’s marriage is fixed. The film attempts to delve into the sharp mood swings of children, a theme often overlooked in Malayalam cinema, but ends up delivering a conflict-free and simplistic narrative that fails to blend family bonding with a central idea.

The music by PS Jayahari adds charm, but misplaced songs hinder the overall experience.

Despite its aim to spread positivity, Santhosham’s underdeveloped script neglects to build a solid conflict, resulting in a film that focuses on optimism but lacks depth and engagement.

Exclusive OTT Releases This Week

Choona: An Unlikely Heist with a Humorous Twist

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Pushpendra Nath Misra
Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Aashim Gulati, Arshad Warsi, Vikram Kochhar, Namit Das, Chandan Roy, Gyanendra Tripathi, Monika Panwar, Niharika Lyra Dutt

Plot Synopsis:
When a group of misfits finds themselves up against a common enemy—a ruthless yet superstitious politician—they plan a heist as their method of revenge. The series combines elements of comedy and drama, promising a unique take on the heist genre. Choona aims to deliver an engaging story of retribution.

Dayaa: A Chilling Discovery and a Tumultuous Journey

OTT Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
Directed by: Pavan Sadineni
Cast: JD Chakravarthy, Eesha Rebba, Remya Nambeesan, Prudhvi Raj, Kamal Kamaraju, Josh Ravi

Plot Synopsis:
Dayaa, a Telugu remake of the popular Bengali series Taqdeer, revolves around the life of a freezer van driver whose routine existence is shattered when he finds a lifeless body in his van. The discovery sets off a chain of events that embroils him and his best friend in increasingly complex challenges. As a new addition to Telugu-language content, Dayaa represents a thrilling foray into a new market for the renowned Bengali production house, SVF.

The Hunt for Veerappan: Unveiling the Dreaded Bandit’s Saga

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Selvamani Selvaraj
Composer: Jhanu
Genre: True crime docuseries

Plot Synopsis:
The Hunt for Veerappan is a gripping four-part docuseries set to explore the untold and unheard stories of the feared Indian bandit turned domestic terrorist, Veerappan. Beginning as a poacher, Veerappan ruled the jungles of South India, becoming the subject of India’s largest manhunt. Through detailed examination and intense storytelling, this series will delve into the complex web of Veerappan’s life and the forces that sought to capture him. The Hunt for Veerappan promises to unravel the mystery and mythology surrounding one of India’s most enigmatic criminal figures.

Nagumome Chaalu Le: A heartbroken and wide-eyed decided to explore the city

OTT Platform: Aha
Directed by: N Balaji
Cast: Saketh Valluri & Sindhuja Turlapati

Read more reviews and suggestions here.

OTT Releases This Week: July 21

Are you waiting for the latest OTT releases this week? From Psychological Horror Dramas to Animes…the list is fileld with a good number of thrillers, feel-good and romantic movies.

A collage of OTT Releases this week
OTT Releases this week

Asvins: A Chilling Psychological Horror

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Tarun Teja
Cast: Vasanth Ravi, Vimala Raman, Muralidaran, Saraswathi Menon, UdhayaDeep, Simran Pareek

Asvin in Brief

Asvins uncovers a haunting tale beginning with a folk legend of a boy blessed by Ashwini (goddess) with an unusual boon: he cannot die unless it is by natural causes. The boy grew up to be an archaeologist named Arjun. He and his team went to a mansion in Kent that was once owned by another archaeologist named Aarthi Rajagopalan. The mansion was said to be haunted, and Arjun wanted to investigate. As they explored the mansion, they heard chilling whispers inside their heads.

Asvins blends traditional horror elements with a psychological twist, creating an atmosphere of intense suspense and terror.
It will entertain all who like Horror thrillers, particularly when it stays true to its genre, deviating only when attempting to justify the supernatural phenomena.

Bawaal: A Typical Bollywood Drama of Love, Hate, and Indifference

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Video
Directed by: Nitesh Tiwari
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Janhvi Kapoor

Bawaal in Brief

Bawaal is a story about a history teacher and his new wife from a small Indian town. They go on their honeymoon to Europe, but their relationship is already having problems. As they travel, they learn about the horrors of World War II, and their lives take an unexpected turn.

Bawaal is a layered narrative that looks into the conflicts of modern relationships. It reflects on themes of love, hatred, empathy, indifference, and authenticity. The film uses World War II as a backdrop to explore personal struggles and global history.

Trial Period: A Predictable Tale of Modern Families and Unconventional Bonds

OTT Platform: JioCinema
Directed by: Aleya Sen
Cast: Genelia Deshmukh, Manav Kaul

Trial Period in Brief

Trial Period is a heartwarming film that tells the story of Ana, a single mother who is asked by her son to find a father for him on a 30-day trial. This innocent proposition leads to the entry of Prajapati Dwivedi, or PD, who is diametrically opposite to what Ana and her son had in mind. However, as they get to know each other, they start to realise that they have a lot in common.

The film is a refreshing take on family dynamics and love. It combines emotion, humour, and relatable struggles, perfectly illustrating the peculiarities of modern families. With its unique premise and charming characters, Trial Period promises to tug at the heartstrings of the viewers, making them ponder the unconventional ways in which bonds are formed.

They Cloned Tyrone: A Genre-Bending Exploration of Conspiracy and Comedy

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Juel Taylor
Cast: John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier, Kiefer Sutherland

They Cloned Tyrone in Brief

They Cloned Tyrone is a science fiction comedy mystery film that follows an unlikely trio as they stumble upon a government cloning conspiracy. The film incorporates elements of satire, horror, and absurdist humour, and pays homage to the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s.

The film has received critical acclaim for its genre-bending narrative and standout performances by the lead cast. It has been praised for its compelling direction, savvy score, and humorous cast performances. It serves as a potent mix of social satire and science fiction, delivering a uniquely entertaining ride.

Paayum Oli Nee Yenakku: An Average Thriller with Twists and Turns

OTT Platform: Simply South
Directed by: Karthik Adwait
Cast: Vikram Prabhu, Vani Bhojan

Paayum Oli Nee Yenakku in Brief

Paayum Oli Nee Yenakku (You are my beaming light), is an average action thriller that showcases the life of an IT entrepreneur, Aravind, who can only see in bright light due to a childhood accident. Despite his disability, Aravind lives a confident life until he is kidnapped under mysterious circumstances. With several unexpected murders happening around him, this film is packed with thrilling sequences and plot twists, giving viewers a refreshing experience.

Despite minor drawbacks such as disjointed sequences and unclear depictions of Aravind’s visual condition, the film promises to entertain audiences with its unique storyline and well-crafted editing.

Sync: Won’t sync with everyone

OTT Platform: Aha
Directed by: Vikas Anand Sridharan
Cast: Kishen Das, Monica Chinnakotla, Soundarya Bala Nandakumar, Naveen George Thomas

Sync in Brief

Sync, a Tamil horror thriller, revolves around four friends who embark on a road trip that soon turns into a nightmare following a hit-and-run accident. Encountering supernatural elements, they struggle to escape from the haunting situation. With an intriguing plot filled with unexpected twists and turns, Sync is trying to send chills and keep you on the edge of your seat.

Sync successfully blends horror elements with a gripping narrative, making it a must-watch for fans of the genre. But it may not sync with all.

Do Gubbare: A Heartfelt Connection Bridging Generations

OTT Platform: Jio Cinema
Directed by: Varun Narvekar
Cast: Mohan Agashe, Siddharth Shaw, Malhaar Rathod, Manasi Parekh, Hemangi Kavi

Do Gubbare in Brief

Do Gubbare is a heartwarming Hindi sitcom that explores the life of a young man, Rohit, who relocates from Indore to Pune and stays as a paying guest at Ajoba’s house. A tale filled with emotions and laughter, Do Gubbare shows how the two characters find solace in each other’s company, leading to unexpected connections and profound life changes.

Do Gubbare offers a perfect blend of fun, emotions, and laughter, providing viewers a feel-good experience. It brings together a stellar cast led by veteran actor Mohan Agashe, promising captivating performances.

Other OTT Releases This Week

The Deepest Breath (Eng) – Netflix

Aashiqana S4 (Hindi) – Hotstar Series

The Almost Legends (Spanish) – Netflix

Sweet Magnolias (English) – Netflix

Check more film updates here.

OTT Releases This Week: July 14

Are you waiting for the latest OTT releases this week? From romantic Love Tactics to Courtroom drama Trial…the list is fileld with a good number of thrillers, melo-drama and rom-coms movies.

Collage of OTT Releases This Week: July 14
OTT Releases This Week: July 14

The Trial: An intoxicating blend of personal drama and courtroom suspense!

OTT Platform: Disney+Hotstar
Directed by: Suparn Verma
Cast: Kajol, Jisshu Sengupta, Sheeba Chaddha, Kubbra Sait, Alyy Khan

Plot Synopsis:
The Trial is a legal drama series about a woman named Nayonika who is forced to restart her career as a lawyer after her politician husband is embroiled in a sex and corruption scandal. The series follows her journey as she balances her personal life with her professional commitments.
This is an adaptation of the international series The Good Wife.

  • The adaptation maintains the episodic legal drama style, combined with an overarching narrative, which keeps viewers on their toes.
  • The cast, featuring a range of talented actors, adds to the show’s appeal and credibility.

Maya Bazaar for Sale: A Fusion of Upper-Class Drama & Humour!

OTT Platform: Zee5
Directed by: Gautami Challgulla
Cast: Navdeep, Naresh, Eesha Rebba, Meiyang Chang, Ravi Varma

Plot Synopsis:
Maya Bazaar is a series about a luxurious apartment complex that is declared illegal by the government. The posh inhabitants of the complex are thrown into disarray as they scramble to cope with this upheaval.

  • The series explores the societal norms, legality, and the human will to survive under duress.
  • This season has seven episodes that promise a mix of drama and some humour here and there.

Survival of the Thickest: A delightful and poignant journey of self-love and fashion!

OTT Platform: Netflix
Created by: Michelle Buteau, Danielle Sanchez Witzel
Cast: Michelle Buteau, Tasha Smith, Tone Bell, Anissa Felix, Liza Treyger

Plot Synopsis:
Survival of the Thickest centres on Mavis Beaumont (Michelle Buteau), a plus-sized African-American stylist in New York City. The series follows her journey post a breakup as she navigates the dating scene, the fashion world, and life’s unexpected challenges.

  • The show, based on a memoir of the same name, realistically portrays the struggles and triumphs of a marginalised woman in the modern world.
  • It balances comedy and drama effectively to highlight the intersection of race, body size, and fashion in society.
  • The character of Mavis breaks traditional stereotypes, expressing her love for fashion and styling, adding to the show’s unique charm.

Kohrra: A Gripping Tale of Murder and Mystery in Punjab

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Randeep Jha
Cast: Suvinder Vicky, Barun Sobti, Manish Chaudhari, Harleen Sethi, Varun Badola, Rachel Shelley

Plot Synopsis:
Set in the heart of Punjab, ‘Kohrra’ is an intriguing crime thriller that follows two diligent cops as they unravel the complex layers of a young NRI’s murder. This procedural thriller delves into the multi-faceted Punjabi society, touching upon themes such as love, migration, feudal feuds, and rampant drug culture. As the mystery unfolds, the protagonists also grapple with personal turmoil, adding a psychological dimension to the series.

  • ‘Kohrra’ offers a nuanced portrayal of Punjab, capturing its vibrant culture and underlying issues.
  • The narrative skillfully intertwines a police procedural with a psychological drama.
  • The series draws attention to significant societal concerns like land inheritance and NRI relations with their native land, & I believe it’s inspired by the murder of singer Moose Wala.

Love Tactics 2: The Game of Proposal

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Not Mentioned
Cast: Demet Özdemir, Şükrü Özyıldız, Atakan Çelik

Plot Synopsis:
In this sequel to ‘Love Tactics’, we revisit Asli and Kerem’s relationship. This time around, Asli is convinced that marriage is a scam, and surprisingly, Kerem agrees. However, Asli’s pride is at stake, and she is determined to get a proposal out of him, ensuing a hilarious comedy of errors.

  • Love Tactics 2 continues the engaging narrative of Asli and Kerem’s romantic endeavours, filled with humour and surprising twists.
  • The show explores the concept of marriage, personal egos, and the lengths people can go to protect them.
  • Love Tactics 2 is likely to resonate with fans of romantic comedies with its playful plot and relatable characters.

Janaki Jaane: Fear, Tear & Mere!

OTT Platform: Disney+Hotstar
Directed by: Aneesh Upasana
Cast: Navya Nair, Saiju Kurup, Johny Antony

Plot Synopsis:
Janaki Jaane revolves around Janaki, a woman plagued by irrational fears. Her fear of the dark and being alone in open or confined spaces becomes a constant struggle in her life. When she falls in love and marries Unni, they must confront these fears together. However, things take a dark turn when Janaki becomes a pawn in a political conspiracy during election canvassing. With the help of her husband and friends, Janaki realises she must confront her fears to reclaim her life and expose the truth.

  • The film combines elements of suspense, romance, and social commentary.
  • While the execution falls short of its potential, Navya Nair and Saiju Kurup deliver commendable performances.
  • Janaki Jaane remains a watchable film but I felt like the director spoiled the opportunity.

Thandatti: A Quirky Drama with Inconsistent Execution

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
Director: Ram Sangaiah
Cast: Pasupathy, Rohini, Vivek Prasanna, Ammu Abhirami

Plot Synopsis:
Thandatti is a procedural drama set in a small village in Theni. The story revolves around Thangaponnu’s death and the subsequent battle among her children to claim her final possession, a pair of earrings. Subramani, a cop who abides by his own rules, gets involved in the case when Thangaponnu’s thandatti goes missing. As he faces opposition from the villagers, Subramani must navigate the challenges and uncover the truth.

  • Thandatti is worth watching only for Pasupathy’s compelling act and the village’s innocent charm.

Other OTT Releases This Week

Nenu Student Sir: An Average Thriller

OTT Platform: Aha
Director: Rakhi Uppalapati
Cast: Bellamkonda Ganesh, Avantika Dassani, Samuthirakani

Plot Synopsis: Nenu Student Sir follows Subbu, a college student determined to purchase the latest iPhone. However, his life takes a drastic turn when he becomes entangled in a murder case after buying the phone. To his surprise, a substantial amount of money is credited to his bank account. As Subbu struggles to prove his innocence, he unravels the truth behind the murder and the mysterious deposit.

Ishq-E-Nadaan: A Romantic Melo-Drama, set in a Crowded Metropolis

OTT Platform: Jio Cinema
Director: Avishek Ghosh
Cast: Mohit Raina, Lara Dutta, Neena Gupta, Kanwaljit Singh

Plot Synopsis: The movie traces the journeys of its protagonists, weaving a narrative of companionship and unconditional love. Directed by Avishek Ghosh, making his directorial debut, the film is an exploration of urban relationships, viewed through a lens of compassion and understanding. The film also reunites veteran actors Neena Gupta and Kanwaljit Singh, once an iconic television couple, demonstrating the transformative power and fun of acting.

Ntikkakkakkoru Premondarnn: A Feel Good Love Story

OTT Platform: Manorama Max
Director: Adhil Maimoonath Asharaf
Cast: havana, Sharafudheen, Ashokan, Anarkali Nazar

Plot Synopsis: Aspiring vintage car dealer Jimmy spots a vintage car on the road and follows it to meet the owner. The owner is Nithya, his childhood sweetheart who he hasn’t seen in years after their parents forced them to break up. The two reunited lovers must decide whether to use this second chance to reconcile, despite the odds stacked against them.

OTT Sequels This Week

Storybots: Answer Time Season 2
OTT platform: Netflix

The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2
OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video

College Romance Season 4
OTT platform: SonyLIV

Looking for a good scare? This Israeli thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.

OTT Releases This Week: July 7

Are you waiting for the latest OTT releases this week? From erotic Fatal Seduction to Super natural thriller Adhura…the list is fileld with a good number of thrillers and feel-good movies.

Sweet Kaaram Coffee: An Emotional Journey Packed with Adventure and Self-Discovery

OTT Platform: Prime Video
Directed by: Bejoy Nambiar, Krishna Marimuthu, Swathi Raghuraaman
Cast: Lakshmi, Madhoo, Santhy Balachandran, Vamsi Krishna, Kavin Jay Babu

Sweet Kaaram Coffee Trailer

Sweet Kaaram Coffee embarks on the adventurous journey of three inter-generational women who decide to take a road trip to explore their lives from a fresh perspective. This life-altering trip presents opportunities to make new friends, develop fresh outlooks and get in touch with their inner selves, bringing about much-needed change in their lives.


  • The stellar performances by Lakshmi, Madhoo, and Santhy Balachandran, representative of three generations, infuse life and authenticity into the series.
  • The narrative, beautifully penned by Reshma Ghatala, Swathi Raguraaman, Vinithra Madhavan Menon and Krishnaswamy Rajkumar, strikes a balance between being spicy, honeyed, heart-warming, and prickly.
  • The series thoughtfully explores themes of mortality, freedom, and living life on one’s own terms.

Adhura: A Supernatural Thriller Set in a Haunting School

Adhura Trailer

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Video
Created by: Ananya Banerjee, Gauravv K. Chawla
Cast: Ishwak Singh, Rasika Dugal, Shrenik Arora

Adhura, a supernatural thriller set in an elite boarding school, reveals a secret so dark that it disrupts the lives of everyone connected to it. The series traces the mystery surrounding disappearances, secrets, and eerie occurrences that link a guilt-ridden alumnus named Adhiraj and a troubled student named Vedant, merging the lines between the past and present.

  • The narrative showcases the alluring historical charm and captivating architecture of Ooty, which provides a perfect canvas for the thriller.
  • The choice of location – an actual school with its weathered exteriors, dimly lit hallways, and shadow-filled corners – lends the series an authentically eerie atmosphere.

IB 71: A Spy Thriller That Explores Pak-Version of Intelligence Stories

OTT Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
Directed by: Sankalp Reddy
Cast: Vidyut Jammwal, Anupam Kher, Vishal Jethwa, Dalip Tahil, Faizan Khan, Niharica Raizada

IB71 Trailer

IB 71 is a spy thriller that follows the protagonist, Agent Dev (Vidyut Jammwal), who leads a top-secret mission to block Indian air space for West Pakistan’s military movement ahead of the 1971 war. It draws inspiration from real events including the 1971 hijack of a Fokker F27 plane, named Ganga, by Kashmiri extremists.

  • The film tries to sell us the Pakistani theory that the hijack was the handiwork of the Indian intelligence agencies so that they could find a reason to block the Indian air space for Pakistani military’s movement towards the then East Pakistan in the run-up to the December 1971 war that led to the birth of Bangladesh.

Moonu Muppathi Moonu: A Failed Horror Experiment

OTT Platform: Aha Cinema
Directed by: Nambikkai Chandru
Cast: Sandy Master, Shruthi Selvam, Mime Gopi, Saravanan, Rama, Reshma, Gautham Vasudev Menon

3:33 Trailer

Moonu Muppathi Moonu unfolds the tale of Sandy, who moves into a new house with his family, only to experience peculiar incidents tied to the time 3:33. Sandy’s customised clock chimes this time, awakening a chilling spirit. The plot revolves around Sandy’s struggle against this inexplicable presence.

  • Sandy Master’s splendid performance, particularly in emotional scenes, shines throughout the film.
  • The horror element is quite interesting once the spirit’s presence is confirmed. However, predictability creeps in after a point, with clichéd jump-scare moments.

Takkar: A Potential Action-Romance Flick Losing its Spark

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Karthik G Krish
Cast: Siddharth, Divyansha Kaushik, Yogi Babu, RJ Vigneshkanth, Abhimanyu Singh

Takkar Trailer

Takkar trails the journey of Guns, a young man trying to climb the social ladder. His life takes a wild turn when he discovers a bag full of money, leading him to cross paths with a group of women traffickers. In this chaos, he saves Lucky, a girl with a troubled past. Their shared ordeal forms the backbone of the narrative.

  • The plot develops interestingly, with Guns and Lucky finding solace and budding romance in shared adversities.
  • The movie’s downfall lies in Lucky’s character development, turning her into more of a plot device rather than a real character.
  • Despite its potential, the film fails to make a lasting impact due to its confusing narrative and lacklustre execution.

Tarla: A Biopic that Celebrates the Life of Renowned Chef Tarla Dalal

OTT Platform: ZEE5
Directed by: Piyush Gupta
Cast: Huma Qureshi, Sharib Hashmi

Tarla Trailer

Tarla is a biopic portraying the life of renowned chef and cookbook author Tarla Dalal. The film is an uplifting tale packed with emotions, inspiration, and a sprinkling of entertainment. It highlights the journey of a determined woman who breaks barriers in the culinary world, with the unwavering support of her husband.The film is expected to be a feel-good and moving narrative with a dash of inspiration.

Fatal Seduction: An Erotic Thriller With a Dark Twist

OTT Platform: Netflix
Directed by: Steven Pillemer
Cast: Thapelo Mokoena, Kgomotso Christopher, Prince Grootboom, Nat Ramabulana, Lunathi Mampofu

Fatal Seduction Trailer

In Fatal Seduction, a married woman, Nandi, takes a weekend trip that not only ignites her desires but ends tragically. The series unravels past lies and secrets, causing Nandi to question the honesty of those close to her.

  • The plot intertwines eroticism, suspense, and dark secrets, adding depth and mystery to the narrative.
  • The series features an engaging storyline filled with unexpected twists.
  • It explores the complexities of relationships and the consequences of hidden secrets.

Blind: A Tale of Resilience and Determination

OTT Platform: Jio Cinema
Directed by: Shome Makhija
Cast: Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Purab Kohli, Vinay Pathak, Lillete Dubey, Shubham Saraf

Blind Trailer

Blind revolves around a strong, determined protagonist who overcomes various life challenges. The film showcases the life of a woman who does not let her disabilities hinder her resilience, leading to an inspiring and moving narrative.

  • I hope it will be a comeback for Sonam kapoor.

Farhana – A Tale of Empowerment Amidst Struggles

OTT Platform: SonyLiv (Multi-Audio)
Directed by: Nelson Venkatesan
Cast: Aishwarya Rajesh, Selvaraghavan, Jithan Ramesh, Anumol, Aishwarya Dutta

Farhana Trailer

Farhana (Aishwarya Rajesh), a Muslim woman from a conservative family, starts working due to financial difficulties. She ends up in a job that involves talking to desperate men seeking female companionship. Over time, she grows comfortable with the work, as it improves her family’s living conditions. Things spiral out of control when she breaks company rules and tries to meet a frequent caller.

Archie’r Gallery: A Nostalgic Romance That Touches the Heart (Bengali)

OTT Platform: Zee5
Directed by: Promita Bhattacharya
Cast: Bonny Sengupta, Ayoshi Talukdar

Archie’r Gallery

Archie’r Gallery takes you back to the ’90s through the lives of Archie and Niharika, and their love story influenced by Archie’s father’s romantic narratives. As the film progresses, it questions if the charm of old-school, greeting card romance has faded in the era of dating sites.

Other OTT Releases This Week

Katharbasha Endra Muthuramalingam, ZEE5

Katharbasha Endra Muthuramalingam Trailer

Hack My Home, Netflix

Beautiful Disaster (2023), Amazon Prime

Hawa, SonyLiv

For more movie suggestion, click here.

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Third-party ad servers or ad networks uses technologies like cookies, JavaScript, or Web Beacons that are used in their respective advertisements and links that appear on Akhilpillai.com, which are sent directly to users’ browser. They automatically receive your IP address when this occurs. These technologies are used to measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns and/or to personalize the advertising content that you see on websites that you visit.

Note that Akhilpillai.com has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers.

Third Party Privacy Policies
Akhilpillai.com’s Privacy Policy does not apply to other advertisers or websites. Thus, we are advising you to consult the respective Privacy Policies of these third-party ad servers for more detailed information. It may include their practices and instructions about how to opt-out of certain options.

You can choose to disable cookies through your individual browser options. To know more detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers, it can be found at the browsers’ respective websites.

CCPA Privacy Rights (Do Not Sell My Personal Information)
Under the CCPA, among other rights, California consumers have the right to:

Request that a business that collects a consumer’s personal data disclose the categories and specific pieces of personal data that a business has collected about consumers.

Request that a business delete any personal data about the consumer that a business has collected.

Request that a business that sells a consumer’s personal data, not sell the consumer’s personal data.

If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us.

GDPR Data Protection Rights
We would like to make sure you are fully aware of all of your data protection rights. Every user is entitled to the following:

The right to access – You have the right to request copies of your personal data. We may charge you a small fee for this service.

The right to rectification – You have the right to request that we correct any information you believe is inaccurate. You also have the right to request that we complete the information you believe is incomplete.

The right to erasure – You have the right to request that we erase your personal data, under certain conditions.

The right to restrict processing – You have the right to request that we restrict the processing of your personal data, under certain conditions.

The right to object to processing – You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data, under certain conditions.

The right to data portability – You have the right to request that we transfer the data that we have collected to another organization, or directly to you, under certain conditions.

If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us.

Children’s Information
Another part of our priority is adding protection for children while using the internet. We encourage parents and guardians to observe, participate in, and/or monitor and guide their online activity.

Akhilpillai.com does not knowingly collect any Personal Identifiable Information from children under the age of 13. If you think that your child provided this kind of information on our website, we strongly encourage you to contact us immediately and we will do our best efforts to promptly remove such information from our records.

Changes to This Privacy Policy
We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. Thus, we advise you to review this page periodically for any changes. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page. These changes are effective immediately, after they are posted on this page.

Our Privacy Policy was created with the help of the Privacy Policy Generator.

Contact Us
If you have any questions or suggestions about our Privacy Policy, do not hesitate to contact us via hello@akhilpillai.com.

Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4: What it Means for Your Website

As the sun sets on Google’s Universal Analytics (UA), a new horizon emerges with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This shift, while potentially daunting for marketers and data analysts, presents an opportunity to uncover deeper, more nuanced insights into user engagement.

For those businesses who have chosen to embrace this change and continue their journey with GA4, understanding the key differences and new functionalities is essential. The future of your data analysis and interpretation hinges on grasping these crucial changes, enabling you to extract maximum value from your data.

Reimagining Sessions

In the world of web analytics, sessions play an integral role in understanding user behavior. A session in GA4 represents a visit to your site and times out after 30 minutes of inactivity. However, unlike UA, sessions in GA4 can encapsulate multiple traffic sources.

For instance, if a visitor lands on your site from a Facebook ad, goes through Google to login, and then returns to your site, this entire journey is counted as one session, despite having multiple traffic sources. This is a significant shift from UA, where each visit from a new source initiated a new session.

The Emergence of Engaged Sessions

Engaged sessions are a new metric introduced in GA4. A session can be considered as ‘engaged‘ if it lasts longer than 10 seconds, includes two or more page views, or results in at least one conversion.

The shift from Universal Analytics to GA4, particularly the introduction of the “Engaged Sessions” metric, is a response to the evolving digital landscape and user behaviors. Bounce rate, as calculated in Universal Analytics, was a useful measure of site engagement in the past, but with the advent of single-page applications (SPAs) and more complex user interactions, it became less effective. For instance, users could view an SPA and leave without triggering an event, which would be considered a bounce, despite their potential engagement with the content

In contrast, the Engaged Sessions metric in GA4 is designed to provide a more accurate reflection of user engagement.

Understanding Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is calculated by dividing the number of engaged sessions by the total number of sessions. For example, if you have 1000 sessions and 750 of them are engaged, your engagement rate will be 75%. This new metric provides a more nuanced understanding of user engagement levels than before.

In UA, the bounce rate was a measure of site engagement, but its effectiveness has been declining as websites and apps evolved. The bounce rate could show users viewing a single-page application and leaving without triggering an event, which would be considered a bounce. However, in GA4, the concept of engagement has been refined to measure the level at which customers engage with your site or app more accurately​.

While both the bounce rate and engagement rate are valuable in their own ways, the engagement rate in GA4 provides a more detailed understanding of user behavior.

The Return of Bounce Rate

Bounce rate, originally excluded from GA4, has made a comeback. But it now differs from how it was measured in UA. GA4’s bounce rate is the inverse of the engagement rate. Using the previous example, if the engagement rate was 84%, the bounce rate would be 16%.

This significant change in measuring bounce rate can be attributed to the new criteria for an engaged session. Depending on your site’s nature, you may see a drastic impact on bounce rates, possibly seeing a sharp drop compared to UA. However, remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean that your content is more engaging; it’s merely a shift in the measuring methodology.

Defining Users

In GA4, users are only those who have had an engaged session. This is another departure from UA where all visitors were considered users. Total Users in GA4 are more akin to what was defined as users in UA.

Average Engagement Time

GA4 replaces UA’s ‘average time on site’ metric with ‘average engagement time’. This new metric deserves applause, as it gives a more accurate depiction of the time a visitor spends on your site. In UA, bounced sessions were recorded as zero-second visits because no second session would be triggered. In contrast, GA4 measures the actual time a visitor spent on your site, offering a more accurate reflection of user engagement.

The Conversion Shift

Last but not least, GA4 bids goodbye to the traditional concept of goals. In its place, we find conversions. This shift pushes us to reimagine our understanding of conversions and work with this new norm.

GA4 represents a significant shift in Google’s analytical approach, introducing more sophisticated and nuanced metrics. While these changes may seem daunting initially, they offer an opportunity to better understand your audience and website performance. As we journey into this new era of analytics, mastering these new metrics will be key to data-driven decision-making and strategic success.

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