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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.
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.
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.
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
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
Before Lust Stories 2, let’s get back to square one. In Lust Stories first edition, the anthology kicked off with Anurag Kashyap’s episode – a phenomenal start, indeed.
Let me paint the picture:
If I’m not wrong, the opening scene featured Radhika Apte, head out of a car, basking in a nostalgic Bollywood tune. Street lamps illuminated her face, her hair waving in the wind, and she’s laying lazily, looking at her young lover, You get all this in one long shot of a taxi cruising on a quiet, lit-up highway at night.
Isn’t it making you see the picture? Can’t you feel what the character’s going through? No dialogues, but it still speaks to you. That’s my first metric for assessing a film’s quality. How much it speaks to you without dialogue.
After this scene, there’s a chat where Radhika Apte asks her boyfriend if they’re alone at home. He says only grandma’s home, and she can’t hear well. Then they’re in his room, talking about the books on the shelf, sharing thoughts. You can tell loads about the characters from this conversation. Kashyap uses the setting and dialogue to peel back layers of the characters. There’s a lot of talking, mostly by Radhika, but none of it’s senseless.
Why am I talking about Lust Stories 1 while writing about the second edition? Because that’s the easiest way for me to share my experience of Lust Stories 2.
Episode 1: Granny from the Future: Too Much Sex, Too Little Sense
Anurag Kashyap used the atmosphere and ambience to convey the emotions and used dialogue to portray the inner layers of the characters.
It’s not simply about sex or lust. The characters are not talking sex or f*** a lot of times; they are talking about their anxieties, which might be yours as well, and they are unveiling the deceptive covers in front of you. In the first episode, when Radhika Apte asks you, How can you expect one person to be everything, your friend, your lover, and your wildest fantasy? you will be able to empathise with the character Kalindi and be convinced that Kalindis exists.
In Lust Stories 2, everything is flipped. We start with R. Balki’s episode with a granny from the future, or maybe another planet. The episode is all sex or fuck. It feels so fake, full of cringe dialogue. Why did they pick this as the first episode? It made me want to stop watching. But after a break, I gave the second episode a chance. Balki should have made some notes from Anurag Kashyap’s Lust Story episode, especially on world building, character sketching, and dialogues.
Episode 2: A Peek into Hidden Emotions, Konkona Sen Sharma’s Lust Story
In Lust Stories 1, the second episode is from Zoya Akhtar, another great talent. It’s about a relationship between a domestic worker Sudha and the man she works for. It’s a subtle, simple story that leaves a question at the end. You can see that Sudha has almost no dialogue, but you can see her transformation, her anxieties, and, in the end, her acceptance of a hard truth.
In Lust Stories 2, the second episode by Konkona Sen Sharma is very similar to what Zoya did; it is subtle, with almost no dialogue between the main characters except a short tirade. The episode ends with a superb commentary on voyeurism and how some emotions can only be limited to being kept under the wraps. Tillotama Shome nailed it, and I was so happy to see her again in the Night Manager today.
Episode 3: Lots of Lust but a ‘lustful’ Misfire
In Lust Stories 1, Dibakar Banerjee crafted the third episode, and it has a strong message for women. It is about Reena, who is in an extremely unhappy marriage with a businessman. She stuck in her roles as wife, mother, and lover, unable to assert herself as an individual. A single line of dialogue from Reena is enough to understand what’s going on; she says, “You need a mother, not a wife, and I cannot be that.” The movie questions the institution of marriage from a woman’s perspective.
But in ‘Lust Stories 2’, the third episode by Sujoy Ghosh is just a show. Lots of kissing and cleavage, and then a predictable twist. I couldn’t figure out what it was trying to say. At least they should have tried to remove that cliched backstory, which would have helped them make the climax better. If you are a Tamanna fan, go for it; otherwise, just watch the first 5 minutes and the last 10 minutes of the episode.
Even Vijay Verma couldn’t save this one as he did in Dahaad, I believe. By the way, I believe Jenniffer Piccinato is going to be a most searched term after Lust Stories 2. Her video call in this third episode added more Lust than the writers did.
Episode 4: Predictable Fairy Tale, Saved by Kajol’s Eyes
In Lust Stories, Karan Johar surprised me with the last episode. Among philosophical takes and social commentaries, he presented a simple yet thoughtful comedy-drama. But Lust Stories 2 ends with Amit Sharma’s episode trying to be a dark fairy tale and ending up just being dull. The only good thing was Kajol and her beautiful eyes.
There is actually nothing much to explain about Lust Stories 2. The endings or plot points are pretty straight, and if you are still looking for ending explained posts, you should really evaluate your cognitive skills.
In the end, I believe ‘Lust Stories 2’ may disappoint you. They messed up the brand with an amateur job.
As an ardent fan of Pawan Kumar, my expectations were sky-high for Dhoomam, especially after being enamored with his last web series, Kudi Yedamayithe. I eagerly waited two long years for Pawan Kumar to unveil his new work, post Kudi Yedamayithe.
However, to my disappointment, I couldn’t find the signature sophistication and finesse I had anticipated from Pawan Kumar in Dhoomam. It doesn’t show the output of 2 years of homework.
The plot centers around Avinash (Fahadh Faasil), who is the marketing head of a major tobacco company. He and his wife Diya (Aparna Balamurali) find themselves held hostage in a secluded hilly terrain. The kidnapper issue a series of demands via phone calls, prompting Avinash and Diya to complete certain tasks to save their lives.
The film switches between the couple’s present predicament and flashbacks to Avinash’s career rise in the tobacco company run by Sid (Roshan Mathew). In the past, we see Avinash’s cunning methods to promote the company’s products and influence government policies.
The plot leaves some loose ends, with questions around who the ‘faceless’ caller is and why Avinash is being targeted instead of Sid, the actual head of the company.
Expectations and Initial Disappointment
Director Pawan Kumar’s effort to highlight a grave issue like smoking deserves applause. However, the film’s execution leaves much to be desired. The kidnapping scene at the beginning of the film is unconvincing and disrupts the viewing experience. The film’s pacing feels off, with crucial events happening too rapidly and without adequate build-up. These elements, combined with a plethora of continuity errors, contribute to a sense of disconnection from the narrative.
Direction and Continuity Issues
When the movie starts, we can see Aparna Balamurali is waiting for Fahad Fazil and it’s raining, but while getting into the car, you can see that she is not at all wet. I couldn’t find any raindrops on her face, hair, or dress. If this movie was directed by any other directors from Kannada, I wouldn’t have cared, but since it was Pawan Kumar, this was a friction point for me.
With poor editing and scripting, the kidnapping scene in the movie was so artificial and unconvincing for me. There were a lot of loopholes in that scene, and I found so many continuity issues in just 20 minutes of the film. For example, I don’t know why the kidnapper took the watch from Fahad Fassil. While driving, there is a watch on his left hand, but in the morning it is not there.
There is a fight scene between a gunman and Fahad Fassil, and you can see a lot of wounds and bruises over his face and body, but after a face wash, he is clean and left with only a scar.
Characterization and Plot Development
When it comes to the plot development, I would say it is highly predictable and filled with cliched events.
The character development also suffered from amateur first thoughts. Take Fahad Fazil’s character Avinash as an example; he was portrayed as a creative thinker, problem-solver, and ambitious individual. However, the writer failed to provide a compelling trigger for this character’s transformation or introspection. I found it unconvincing that such a calculating character would alter his mindset without a strong reason.
All this means I couldn’t enjoy the movie at all? A Big No!!
Why You Should Try This Movie
There are some dialogues from Fahad Fazil as a marketer that really strike every citizen, I believe. For example, the way Avinash (Fahad) marketed the vapes was so brilliant, and as a marketer, I find it so interesting, and I realized how dangerously our emotions and mirror neurons work.
Similarly, the government’s involvement in promoting tobacco usage was represented neatly.
Fahadh Faasil, playing the ambitious marketer, delivers a solid performance, reflecting his character’s complexity and moral struggle. Aparna Balamurali, despite a somewhat overly dependent character, brings credibility to her role. Roshan Mathew also offers a convincing portrayal in his role as the head of the tobacco company.
The climax is well-drafted, so realistic, and well-executed. I strongly believe that climax can make a huge impact on anyone who smokes; at least they will think twice next time when they hold a cigarette. The last 15 minutes of the film were really worth it, and that’s where I found the signature of Pawan Kumar.
Despite its flaws, “Dhoomam” delivers a potent social message. The impactful final scenes carry a significant enough message to make smokers reconsider their habits, highlighting the dangers of tobacco usage.
It might be best described as a missed opportunity – a film that could have been a powerful social commentary but falls short due to its execution.
Kerala Crime Files, As Hotstar’s first Malayalam thriller web series, I held high hopes. And I was happy to see that Disney Hotstar managed to meet my expectations in terms of production quality.
The series, set in 2011, showed a clear investment in recreating that era’s technological and ambient milieu. The craftsmanship on display was remarkable.
Penned by Aashiq Imar and directed by Ahammed Khabeer (known for ‘Madhuram’ and ‘June’), I had a feeling that the narrative might have fared far better as a standalone OTT movie instead of a web series.
A Case of Too Long a Tale
The plot, at its core, is simple. Sub-Inspector Manoj and his team of four are on the heels of a sex worker’s murderer. Their leads? A fake address: Shiju Parayil Veedu, Neendakara, and a witness who claims the suspect has squinted eyes. They are solving the case within six days (6 Episodes).
It sounds gripping, doesn’t it?
However, as the story opened up, my interest began to wane. The narrative felt like a wafer-thin premise stretched far too thin; it’s pretty evident that the writer didn’t spend much time with the characters or the events. If it were a 100-minute movie, this writing might work well, but I am not sure about a crime-thriller web series.
The series takes off slowly, with the first two episodes feeling like they could have been compressed into one. The narrative regains momentum in the third episode, establishing a robust motive for the lead character (S.I. Manoj) to track down the killer. But after that, the excitement ebbs again, only to return in the fifth episode.
Although the choice to depict six days across six episodes lends realism, the thrill factor takes a hit, perhaps a side effect of my steady diet of thrillers.
Written Poor, but Executed Well
The characters, whether the killer or the police officers, lack depth and layers. The addition of officers’ personal lives seemed a ploy to stretch the runtime, lacking subtlety or layers. The writer tried to build an image of the murderer with the first five episodes, and when it was finally revealed, I found a mismatch between the buildup and reality. That’s where I felt the writer should have spent much more time with the scripting.
In the climax, the explanation of the motto felt artificial. The victim character did not pull it off well enough to make it convincing. However, I really enjoyed the villain and his subtle cues.
The series showcases commendable performances from Aju Varghese in the lead role, supported by Navaz Vallikunnu, Zhinz Shaan, and Devika Rajendran. Zhinz Shaan’s constable “Pradeep” deserves a special mention for his steadfast character arc. His obstinate and narrow-minded approach distinguishes him from his colleagues. Another noteworthy performance is that of Lal in the role of CI Kurian.
To sum it up, lower your expectations, and you may find ‘Kerala Crime Files’ enjoyable. While it manages to retain your attention, it falls short of being a nail-biting thriller. The expectations set by the trailer didn’t fully translate into the series, and it spoiled my experience with this thriller.
My Opinion: A Promising Start, but Does It Deliver? Doubtful
What’s the big advantage of making a thriller film like Por Thozhilas a debutant, especially a homicide thriller? You might think it’s the heart-pounding suspense or the dark and mysterious aesthetics.
But from a scriptwriter’s perspective, the real charm lies in its easiness. If you have a solid “whodunit” hook and a twist in the end, you need only to ensure a smooth investigation filled with a few impressive moments. For debutant directors, it’s a surefire strategy. and there you have it. A recipe for minimum an above average status.
And that’s where Por Thozhil fits in. It’s a murder mystery that plays safe, sticking to the tried-and-tested formula.
It’s thrilling, engaging and, above all, familiar. But is that necessarily a bad thing? Not at all!
Familiar Grounds, Engaging Watch
Pick any classic homicide thriller and you’ll start seeing a pattern.
The detective often wrestles with personal loss, chronic illness, or a haunting past. He then stumbles upon an extraordinary case, perhaps involving a serial killer or a brutal murder. The movie ends with a twist; the detective overcomes his struggles; sometimes, the audience sympathises with the killer. While most cases end happily, occasionally the detective loses his life or his partner. There are outstanding exceptions like Chinatown or Memories of Murder. (Read why ‘Memories Of Muder is different here.)
Por Thozhil doesn’t deviate from this blueprint. And although this might sound repetitive, the real magic happens in the journey from the start to the finish. That’s where the storyteller can truly make a mark.
From the classic ‘Silence of the Lambs’ to the recent Malayalam thriller ‘Kooman,’ the difference lies in the journey – the route it takes from the departure point to the destination.
However, Por Thozhil doesn’t break new ground. It embraces the cliched template, with several elements reminiscent of countless other detective thrillers. Nikhila Vimal’s character, buddy cop frustrations, mentor cop arrogance, serial killer, and the ending twist are all elements borrowed from a hundred other detective thrillers.
Falling Short of Convincing: The Local Flavour is Missing
One downside of Por Thozhil is that it misses out on the local flavour. The serial killer’s backstory would make more sense in countries with lower population densities( 32/sq.km), like Canada or Australia but in Tamil Nadu with 555 people in a square kilometer, it’s not that convincing.
Why are our filmmakers fixated on these Western-style plotlines?
Why not develop detective thrillers that resonate with our culture, demographics, and geography?
The last time I felt like I was watching an authentic Indian detective thriller was ‘Joseph’, not a mere adaptation of a foreign thriller. Even Ila Veezha Poonchira and Kooman were succesful in adding the local flavour and serving it as a genuine Indian Thriller.
Thrills and Chills: It’s All About the Unravelling
Another bone I have to pick with Por Thozhil is how the narrative unfolds.
It seems as if the clues chase the detective, rather than the other way around. This takes away from the excitement or “got omething new” moment that should naturally come with a thriller.
For example, when you watch the Malayalam thriller ‘Memories’, you will find many occasions where the detective brilliantly did some outside-the-box thinking without his super-computer brain, which can remember and recall everything (like in Por Thozhil).
There’s a scene towards the end where Prakash (Asok Selvan) decodes a ‘who’ in a coffee shop. For me, this was one of the most superficial decodings I’ve ever seen.
The lack of an intensive, painstaking investigative process can make the narrative feel a bit superficial and detracts from the immersive viewing experience.
Por Thozhil Cast: The Saving Grace
Despite the movie’s shortcomings, the performances shine. Sarath Kumar is spectacular as the senior cop. Ashok Selvan’s portrayal of Prakash, the rookie officer, also deserves applause.
Prakash (Ashok Selvan) is a newbie, and initially, Sarath Kumar has little hope or trust in him. There’s a scene where Prakash determines the time of death by measuring the brain temperature of the dead body (If you watch thrillers, nothing new in the method). Sarath Kumar’s subtle reaction beautifully conveys a sense of pride, a kind of “Paravayilley” reaction.
Sharath Kumar mesmerised me with his effortless acting and the subtle reactions throughout the movie.
The casting of late actor Sarath Babu is another highlight. His portrayal of the vulnerable and guilt-ridden antagonist brings a sense of realism to his character.
Nikhila Vimal, however, has room for improvement.I didn’t see the character Veena in the film; instead, I saw Nikhila Vimal playing a supporting role to Sarath Kumar.
There’s another character I want to mention, but that might be a spoiler. The casting could have been better there as well. It wasn’t convincing considering body language, reaction, or emotional appeal.
For debutant director Vignesh Raja, Por Thozhil seems like a safe bet. His clever blend of elements works for a mainstream audience, making the movie a passable watch for fans of the genre. Despite some missteps, the film is a testament to his potential as a promising filmmaker.
It’s not groundbreaking, but it still manages to be an entertaining watch. The actors, especially Sarath Kumar and Ashok Selvan, do a fine job. If you’re in the mood for a decent detective thriller, Por Thozhil might be just the ticket.
Kudimahaan, now streaming on Amazon Prime, is a unique comedy-drama directed by Prakash N, who won the runner- up title for his short film Kutti Dhadha at the Naalaiya Iyakkunar Season -6 reality show. Prakash adapted his Kutty Dhadha into a fulllength feature film, and that is Kudimahaan (2023).
Who is Kudimahaan & What’s his Story?
Kudimahaan is the story of a teetotaller middle-class family man. Whose life gets turned on its head due to an unexpected twist of fate. Mathi, our hero, works with an ATM replenishment agency. With a salary of 15,000 INR, he is leading a family of 4. He leads a simple and responsible life, fulfilling the needs of his family, including his father, who has a history of alcoholism.
But what if I told you that his life goes on a roller coaster ride, not because of any external pressure, but due to an odd medical condition?
This condition is so peculiar that it creates a role reversal, with Mathi, who has never tasted alcohol in his life, turning into a drunk, while his alcoholic father turns sober (because of a love affair 😉). Can you imagine the chaos that ensues in his life due to this?
How will Mathi manage his job while dealing with this strange disorder? How will his family react to this sudden and bizarre change in his behaviour? And importantly, how does this affect his struggle to fulfill his responsibilities towards his family? These questions form the crux of the storyline of Kudimahaan.
What happens next in Mathi’s life is something that will leave you entertained, perplexed, and curious, all at the same time. It’s this compelling thread of curiosity that weaves the story of Kudimahaan.
Why you Should Watch This Movie?
What makes Kudimahaan special is not only the story but also the freshness in casting. This movie is filled with some new faces. Their performances will definitely make you laugh. But remember that this movie is not a laughing riot; rather, it’s mostly filled with dark humour. This is my simple reason why you should give it a try.
Vijay Sivan, who plays the lead role, does a great job showing us the life of an ordinary guy facing some crazy problems. He switches from a guy who never drinks to someone who can’t help it, and he does it really well. He keeps his acting simple and real, just like Biju Menon, using his eyes more than anything else to show us what he’s feeling.
Chandini Tamilarasan, as the dutiful wife Pavithra, stands out even in the limited scenes she’s in. She keeps her acting honest and matches up well with Vijay.
Suresh Chakravarthy gets to have all the fun playing Mathi’s dad. He’s a guy who doesn’t care what anyone thinks and just lives life his way. He keeps us laughing throughout the movie.
Namo Narayanan comes in later in the movie and adds more comedy. He’s good at making funny situations even funnier.
Last But Not Least
The director, Prakash N, has done a commendable job of keeping us invested in the movie. He told an unusual story from a new angle, using dark humour to address the serious parts. He is truly talented in getting genuine performances from his actors.
The movie is technically sound as well. Meyyandiran’s cinematography captured the subtle emotions and the everyday yet special moments of life. Shibu Neel’s editing kept the film’s pace engaging and prevented it from becoming monotonous. Tanuj Menon’s music could have been a little more impactful, but it does not detract much from the overall film.
All in all, the cast and crew of Kudimahaan have come together to create a memorable cinematic experience.
They turned an ordinary story into an extraordinary one with their combined skills and dedicated performances.
It’s actually a perfect example of collaboration, and I recommend this movie to all film aspirants.
Veeran is about a man named Kumaran, played by Hiphop Adhi, who gains superpowers due to a childhood incident. He has the ability to control minds for a short period and can discharge electric arcs. The movie is set in a village where a corporate body, led by a character named Sharath, plans to implement a dangerous project.
Kumaran decides to use his powers to protect his village and its people. He disguises himself as the long-forgotten guardian deity of the village, Veeran. The film’s narrative revolves around Kumaran’s journey in stopping the corporate project and how Sharath (Vinay Rai) plans to remove Veeran from their path.
The movie directed by ARK Saravan, explores themes of Myth, Massy-Superpower and village absurd comedy. Despite being a superhero movie, it tried to keep its touch with reality and village life, and these aspects make it interesting. The humor, action, and music add to the charm of the film.
Veeran reminds us of “Velayudham” because of the dialogues, costumes, and the climax, where the protagonist assumes a guardian deity’s identity to protect his people.
The character sketch of Veeran bears a resemblance to “Karthikeya”.
The narration around the temple in “Veeran” is quite similar to “Mundasupatti”, and there is even a dialogue referencing it.
Minnal Murali seems to have inspired Veeran in its plot and acts. Even the character of Kaali Venkat in Veeran appears to be similar to Aju Varghese’s role in Minnal Murali. Both characters provide comic relief and being a detective behind the main super-heroes.
The major difference between Veeran and Minnal Murali is in the writing. Minnal Murali has a steady, well-paced character development and transformation into a superhero, whereas Veeran tends to be more sudden in these aspects because of its poor writing.
What Could Have Been Better: Writing
Firstly, the pacing in the first half of the movie could have been better. The story’s development and character introductions felt sudden and could have been more gradual to allow the audience to connect better with the characters and their transformations.
Secondly, the narrative suffers from various logical loopholes. This indicates that the script could have used a little more time and thought. A more tightly woven plot would have significantly enhanced the movie’s overall impact.
Thirdly, the utilization of the superhero aspect of Veeran could have been done more creatively. The film does not fully explore the potential of Adhi’s superpowers, especially in the confrontations.
Finally, the villain characters, played by Vinay Rai & R Badree, could have been more compelling. A stronger antagonist would have added more tension to the plot, making the story more engaging for the viewers.That’s what worked best for Minnal Murali.
Why You Should Try Veeran
Veeran is set in a rural backdrop, offering a fresh and inter
esting take on the usual urban-centric superhero movies. The depiction of village life and its nuances add to the film’s charm.
This week, there are two super-heroes Spiderman and Veeran, I believe children should try this different superhero. Let them get a different perspective.
For fans of superhero movies, Veeran presents a novel, desi superhero, which isn’t very common in Indian cinema, especially Tamil cinema. The unique powers of mind control and discharging electric arcs set our hero apart.Thanks to Minnal Murali for this initiative.
Performance of Hiphop Adhi, R Badree & others.
Hiphop Adhi, as the lead character, delivers a solid performance. His portrayal of the superhero character, with all its complexities, is commendable and a major reason to watch the movie. R Badree nailed his role as a villain.
Good use of Comedy & Myth
The film manages to weave in subtle-humor throughout the plot, making it entertaining. Especially, the situational comedy sequences involving R Badree is a special treat. There is a surprise comedy for you from Munshikanth and Kaali Venkat in the climax.
The way Veeran(Kumaran) uses Myth, is intriguing, it clearily shows how religious systems works, this is where I felt like Veeran is a mediocre Mundassupatti. But still it’s worth considering there are no creepy romantic track.
Veeran doesn’t quite reach the heights of films like “Minnal Murali”, it still manages to entertain and engage the audience to a certain extent.People were laughing and clapping at theatre, especially children enjoyed the most, I guess.
Remember the first half is slow-paced & poorly written, but in the second half Veeran team did a better job. You may find some thrilling moments.
If you’re a fan of superhero movies and are interested in seeing a different take on the genre, Veeran could be worth a watch. But go in without high expectations, and you might find yourself enjoying the film.
If I were to paint a simple picture of what ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ is all about, it would be like this: Imagine a slice of life from a middle-class Indian home from Indore, few drama stuffed with humor and woven around the dreams of a young couple. The director, Laxman Utekar, has tried to create a lively canvas where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, much like his previous work, Mimi.
Story of ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’
Let me introduce you to our main couple, Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan, who play everyday people just like any other middle-class urban couple. Vicky’s character, Kapil, is a yoga teacher with simple dreams and a clever way of finding shortcuts to solve big problems. On the other hand, Sara Ali Khan portrays Saumya, a spirited chemistry professor with dreams that extend far beyond her home and her lovely georgette sarees.
Their everyday life takes an interesting turn when the pressures of living with their extended family become overwhelming. They yearn for a ‘place’ they can call their ‘own’, a home where they can create their own space and cherish their dreams. And that’s when our story, ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’, begins to unfold.
What follows is a delightful rollercoaster of events, ranging from comical to dramatic, all revolving around this relatable and universal desire for a home.
In a nutshell, ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ take us to witness the dreams, challenges, and hilarious complications faced by this young Indian couple. Especially, while they navigate through societal expectations, personal ambitions, and the quest for a place to call their own.
Why You Should Give A Try?
Firstly, let’s talk about the performances. Vicky Kaushal, known for his versatile acting skills, brings his A-game to the table as Kapil, the yoga teacher with a penchant for finding clever solutions. His portrayal is relatable and engaging, showcasing his ability to bring charm and authenticity to the character. Sara Ali Khan, on the other hand, captivates with her vibrant presence as Saumya, a chemistry professor who yearns for more from life. Her energy and commitment to the role shine through, adding depth to the narrative.
One of the film’s strengths lies in its ability to tackle real-life issues in a light-hearted manner. The storyline revolves around the dreams and challenges faced by a young middle-class couple, resonating with audiences who have similar aspirations and struggles. Laxman Utekar’s direction, as seen in his previous work like Mimi, ensures that the film strikes a balance between entertainment and thought-provoking storytelling.
Moreover, ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ offers a glimpse into the world of Indore, a city that adds its own flavor to the narrative. The film beautifully captures the essence of small-town life, providing a unique backdrop for the characters and their journey.
What Could Have Been Better?
In my opinion, one thing that really felt odd to me was that the chemistry between Sara Ali Khan and Vicky Kaushal. It didn’t seem to have much chemistry on-screen.
Even though they are both talented actors with their own strengths, their pairing in the movie didn’t create the desired spark.
Sara Ali Khan
I was expecting a Sara Ali Khan from Atrangi Re, unfortunately, I only got that energy from her, not the natural demeanour. If Sara – Vicky chemistry had been stronger, it would have made Kapil’s & Soumya’s journey more interesting. Here audience may feel some disconnect with the story.
Plot of ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’
Another important point to consider is that the plot of the movie. I felt it was stretched out. The pacing, especially in the second half, was not well done.
If the script had been tighter and repetitive elements had been eliminated, it would have created a more focused and engaging narrative.
Originality & Freshness
The story was highly relatable, but it lacked originality and seemed similar to other films like old Dinesh Vijan films or “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” style. If the filmmakers had strived for a more unique storytelling approach, it would have made the movie stand out from its predecessors.
Chemistry between Vicky Kaushal & Sara Ali Khan
As I said before, Vicky Kaushal’ portrayal of Kapil is excellent, but I felt that Sara Ali Khan’s efforts fell short compared to Vicky. It’s important for Khan to refine her acting approach, finding a balance between being authentic and avoiding being too theatrical.
Laxman Utekar’s approach
From an audience perspective, Laxman Utekar’s approach to ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ should be criticized for lacking energy and excitement. If he had incorporated more dynamic and innovative storytelling techniques, especially during crucial moments of the film, it would have injected more vitality into the overall viewing experience
In conclusion, ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ remains an opportunity to immerse oneself in a light-hearted tale that resonates with the dreams and challenges faced by many. So, if you’re willing to overlook its flaws and embrace its relatable themes, this film has the potential to provide an entertaining and thought-provoking experience.
Bookmyshow offers a Buy one Get one offer for this movie (Only for June 2 Bookings I guess) considering that, it’s worth to give a try.
Asur season 1 presents a fascinating blend of mythological lore and modern-day crime. In this blog post, I will explain the reasons why Asur season 1 stands out, highlight the cast and performances, and provide a recap of the episode-wise plot points.This will serve as a refresher for those who are eagerly anticipating the release of Asur season 2.
The series has made a significant impact on the Indian web series scenario due to its unique concept and storytelling, which blends two very contrasting themes – ancient Indian mythology and modern forensic science – into a compelling narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
What sets Asur apart is its innovative use of mythology in a crime thriller. The show introduces us to a serial killer who commits horrifying murders while drawing inspiration from ancient Hindu mythological texts.
The philosophical underpinnings in each episode, particularly the dichotomy of good and evil, add a deeper layer to the narrative. It’s not just about catching a criminal; it’s about understanding human nature and the inherent capacity for both good and evil within us all.
Asur season 1 Cast: Worth Applauding
The performances in Asur are top-notch. A notable digital debut is made by Arshad Warsi, known for his comedic roles, as a no-nonsense forensic expert. His portrayal of Dhananjay Rajpoot (DJ), an intense and egoistic senior forensic expert, is refreshing and showcases the versatility of the actor.
Barun Sobti impresses as Nikhil Nair, a forensic expert-turned-teacher, grappling with personal and professional conflicts. His performance successfully conveys the internal struggle and dedication of the character to his craft. The engaging narrative of the series is further elevated by the commendable performances of the ensemble cast, including Ridhi Dogra, Anupriya Goenka, Amey Wagh, and Sharib Hashmi.
Story of Asur Season 1
Asur Episode 1 – The Dead Can Talk
It’s 11 years ago in the holy city of Varanasi. A young boy, son of a priest, is being readied to take on his father’s role. But things take a strange turn. After a ritual by the river, the father asks his son for water. The next thing you know, the father’s lifeless body is sinking into the river. We see the son again, his face smeared with ashes by a group of Aghori saints, and in his hand, he holds a cut finger. Could this be his father’s finger? Did he…kill his father?
Now, let’s zoom out of this mystery and travel across continents to the present-day FBI Training Centre in the USA. Here, we meet Nikhil Nair, who left his CBI job to teach forensic science. “The dead can talk,” he tells his students, alluding to how the deceased provide enough evidence to catch their killer. He’s good at his job, his knack for deductions proved when his friend asks his opinion on a murder case. But his past still calls him back to the CBI, particularly through an incessant Shashank Awasthi.
The Horror begins
Meanwhile, a gruesome scene unfolds in Delhi. A woman’s body, assaulted and burnt, is discarded in a jungle, reduced to a gruesome spectacle. This news reaches Nikhil, causing distress at home. His wife, Naina, isn’t happy about him considering going back to CBI, a place he left for their family. This disagreement spirals into a full-blown argument, revealing the cracks in their relationship.
The next morning, a new crime scene is discovered in Delhi, a body left in a terrifying state. Dr. Dhananjay Rajpoot, also known as DJ, arrives at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi. An old photo of him and his wife, Sandhya, hints at some history. A surprising twist comes in the form of a mysterious audio file from the killer, taunting DJ.
As the episode concludes, we see Nikhil taking a painful decision, leaving his family in the USA to return to Delhi. At the same time, a terrifying discovery is made – the woman who was brutally killed was none other than DJ’s wife, Sandhya, a devastating revelation that leaves us gasping for more.
Asur Episode 2 – Rabbit Hole
In the second episode of Asur, we go back 18 years, to the ancient city of Varanasi. We meet Shubh, a curious child who has a unique approach to studying the Gita, leading his stern father to label him as ‘Asur ka avatar’. Shubh’s peculiarity is on full display, especially after a disturbing incident with a puppy.
In today’s time, the CBI team, still reeling from the gruesome murder of Sandhya, who was a renowned painter and DJ’s spouse, takes on the challenging task of uncovering the mystery.
This mystery leads them far away to Nagaland, where another person is found dead in the same creepy way. This is where Nikhil enter the scene.
Enter Nikhil, a seasoned investigator brought in to replace DJ in this complex case. Past friction between Nikhil and DJ add an undercurrent of tension to the proceedings. Nikhil, in collaboration with Nusrat, a forensic expert, starts to put together the chilling puzzle pieces, all seemingly leading back to DJ.
Hidden GPS systems, late-night autopsies, peculiar tattoos, and Sandhya’s secret abortion start to shape a troubling narrative, pointing towards DJ as the orchestrator of the grim deeds. As DJ is led away in cuffs, the audience is left pondering – is he truly guilty, or just a pawn in a more sinister game? The suspense thickens as the real killer watches the spectacle unfold.
Asur Episode 3 – Peek – a – boo
In the third episode of Asur, a flashback reveals Shubh’s childhood intelligence and anger issues.
In the present day, Nikhil receives coordinates and assembles his team to investigate. DJ is imprisoned while the killer strikes in Kolkata, causing a death by poisoning.
The Delhi coordinates lead to a coffin factory, but no suspicious activity is found. Nikhil suspects a buried victim and discovers DJ’s fingerprints on the money from a previous case. George, a shop owner, goes missing, and Nikhil finds him unconscious in a car near a graveyard.
DJ warns Nikhil of imminent danger and reveals a personal connection. At the graveyard, the team discovers a coffin rigged with knives and gas, rendering them unconscious. A man in protective gear takes Nikhil to an unknown location, leaving the audience in suspense for the next episode.
Asur Episode 4 – Ashes from the Past
In the fourth episode of Asur, a flashback shows DJ’s presence during a havan(yagnam) ceremony where Shubh’s father is mysteriously poisoned.
In the present day, Nikhil goes missing, and his family arrives in India. Nikhil wakes up in a secluded place and communicates with the kidnapper through a landline phone.
Meanwhile, DJ receives old case files and analyzes them in jail. The kidnapper sends food to Nikhil but demands his cooperation to ensure his family’s safety. Nikhil observes the kidnapper’s characteristics and sees footage of his wife and daughter on television.
The kidnapper assigns Nikhil a task to suggest a method to murder Abhilasha Chandran, a woman involved in brain-mapping experiments. Nikhil proposes a plan involving a dental appointment and an MRI machine.
The kidnapper carries out the murder as instructed. CBI discovers another murder near a lake, prompting DJ to recall the suspicious incident in Varanasi. DJ joins the team at the underwater crime scene and suspects Nikhil’s involvement based on similarities to a past case. The episode leaves viewers questioning how Nikhil will communicate with DJ to escape the kidnapper’s clutches.
Asur Episode 5 – The Devil has a Face
In the sixth episode of Asur, a flashback reveals Shubh’s arrest for his father’s murder, with DJ working on the case.
In the present day, Naina learns about another victim and refuses to believe the theory that Nikhil might be the killer. Nikhil, disturbed by his actions, demands cigarettes from the kidnapper. Lolark seeks permission for DJ to work on the case from jail but is denied by Shashank Awasthi.
Nikhil watches the news about the neuroscientist’s body being found and becomes overwhelmed with guilt. Lolark visits Varanasi to gather information about Shubh and meets an ex-police officer. DJ attends a counseling session in jail led by Kesar Bhardwaj, where they discuss religion and karma. Awasthi finally permits DJ to work on the case, and a new team member, Samarth, joins. Lolark learns about Shubh’s peculiar behavior in jail before his alleged death in a fire.
The CBI team begins their investigation, and DJ realizes that the killer is using Nikhil’s family as leverage. Nikhil attempts to communicate by manipulating the television’s wiring. Samarth suggests studying the victims’ horoscopes, and Nikhil receives his second target, Aditya Jalan. Naina confronts DJ about the officers outside her home, and Lolark discovers Shubh’s records.
The episode ends with DJ recalling his interaction with Shubh during his arrest, hinting at a possible connection between Shubh and the killer.
Asur Episode 6 – The Firewall
Taking a different turn, the sixth episode of Asur begins with a flashback in Kolhapur, where a renowned painter narrates a story to his grandson about the defeat of the Asur Kali. However, the painter is brutally murdered by a masked man who claims to be sending a message to God.
In the present day, Nikhil plans to murder philanthropist Aditya Jalan, but struggles to breach his tight security. DJ contacts a Balinese mask instructor for information but learns that the instructor is blind. Nikhil battles with his past decisions and has an imaginary conversation with DJ for guidance.
Nusrat creates an age-progression photo of Shubh to see his current appearance. Lolark visits Shubh’s grandfather in Varanasi and discovers Shubh’s sketchbook filled with drawings of demons. DJ and Samarth consult a fake priest for horoscope analysis and later seek Kesar’s help. They learn that all the victims were born in the Delphinus constellation.
Another Hint & Hope
DJ realizes that the SIC database holds the required information and asks Rasul to breach its security. In a vision, Nikhil sees a way to murder Aditya using medicine. Rasul eventually hacks the SIC database with Naina’s assistance. Nikhil connects the television to a police walkie-talkie signal and continues studying forensic science books. DJ discusses Shubh’s story and sketchbook with Lolark.
The team suspects Aditya Jalan as the killer’s next target due to his charitable nature. The kidnapper calls DJ, confirming their suspicion and revealing the date of the planned murder. DJ wonders how the kidnapper obtained internal information. DJ and the team prepare for Aditya’s engagement with heightened security, but Aditya dismisses the threat. Rasul and Sajid attend the engagement, and DJ identifies a toy truck as a potential bomb.
The bomb detonates harmlessly in a freezer. However, the lights go out momentarily, and when they come back, Aditya is found dead, poisoned, with the killer’s Balinese mask nearby.
The episode leaves viewers intrigued about the aftermath of this incident.
Asur Episode 7 – Let There be Darkness
Straying from its usual path, the seventh episode of Asur, takes us back 10 years to Varanasi, where Nikhil visits Shubh in jail. Shubh refuses to admit his crime and blames DJ, leaving a cryptic message that they will meet soon.
The CBI struggles to recover from the failure to save Aditya Jalan. During Aditya’s autopsy, DJ and Nusrat discover that Nikhil used Aditya’s ulcer problem to poison him. Two additional non-toxic elements in Aditya’s bloodstream puzzle DJ, as they appear to be a message from Nikhil.
The kidnapper rewards Nikhil with cigarettes and hints at his omnipresence. DJ delves into Hindu mythology and consults Kesar for assistance. The team realizes that the killer targets achievers and believes himself to be the mythological devil Kali.
Nikhil has an imaginary conversation with Nusrat and recalls his past with Naina. DJ faces obstacles in the investigation, including a slow SIC server and the revelation that the podcast voice is not Kesar’s. Dhananjay(DJ) and Naina decipher Nikhil’s message, leading them to suspect Shubh’s involvement and an accomplice.
DJ decodes the meaning of two elements and sends teams to search corresponding coordinates in Delhi. Lolark suspects Kesar and provides DJ with a linguistic report. Naina tracks the killer’s search activity, and DJ requests Naina to add his name to the SIC database as bait.
The episode ends as the killer discovers DJ’s name in the database. The penultimate episode leaves viewers on the edge, anticipating the answers in the final installment.
Asur Episode 8 – End is The Beginning
The final episode of Asur takes us back 10 years to Varanasi, where DJ and Nikhil discuss Shubh’s case. DJ fabricates evidence against Shubh, leading to Nikhil’s resignation from the CBI.
In the present day, the search for Nikhil continues, and DJ anticipates the killer’s arrival at Central Jail to target him. The CBI discovers that Neeraj Jadhav, Radhika Venkatesh, and Umar Sayyed are missing, potentially the next targets. The kidnapper grows impatient, suspecting a trap set by DJ.
DJ becomes suspicious of Kesar and sends a team to his home. The three hostages are trapped in a chamber with limited oxygen, forced to fight for survival. DJ uncovers Kesar’s fake identity and his potential connection to Shubh. Rasul’s behavior raises doubt, especially when he attacks Lolark.
Nikhil escapes his confinement and collects crucial evidence from the kidnapper’s location.
A Big Revelation & A Twist
DJ manages to overpower the kidnapper in his room. However, during Shashank’s interrogation of Kesar, it is revealed that the kidnapper is part of Shubh’s cult.
The live broadcast shows the hostages’ desperate struggle for oxygen. DJ confesses his past fabrication to Shubh and takes pills in exchange for information.
Nikhil, Naina, and the backup team arrive at the chemical factory. Rasul challenges Nikhil to choose between his daughter and the hostages, resulting in a devastating choice. DJ’s condition worsens, and he is rushed to the hospital. Riya, Nikhil’s daughter, is poisoned by a member of the cult.
Lolark is killed by Rasul, and Radhika shoots Umar in a shocking turn of events. Naina and Nikhil find Riya dead, leading to an emotional outburst directed at DJ. Rasul, still hiding his true identity, takes Nikhil away.
The episode concludes with DJ’s suspension and the revelation that Rasul is the real Shubh.
Finally, the camera pans out as Shubh shares a chilling final gaze with DJ, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats and eagerly anticipating the next season.
Asur’s final episode delivers thrilling revelations and sets the stage for a potential second season, leaving viewers eagerly awaiting the future of the Shubh vs DJ and Nikhil conflict.
“Asur 2” is the much-awaited sequel of the critically acclaimed crime thriller series, “Asur.” Back for another intense ride into the murky realms of mythology and murder, the series takes us deeper into the chaotic life of forensic expert-turned-teacher, Nikhil Nair, played by Barun Sobti, and his former mentor Dhananjay Rajpoot, played by Arshad Warsi.
Why Should You Watch “Asur 2”?
If you enjoyed the gripping narrative of the first season of “Asur,” there’s every reason to look forward to its sequel. “Asur 2” promises a similar blend of crime, mythology, and thriller elements that made the first season a hit.
The sequel offers a chance to delve deeper into the complexities of the main characters, particularly Nikhil Nair and Dhananjay Rajpoot. Their quest to apprehend the devious ‘Asur’ promises to keep audiences glued to their screens. (Considering the first 2 episodes.)
OTT Platform: Netflix Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Hansal Mehta Language: Hindi Cast: Deven Bhojani, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Tejasvini Kolhapure, Shikha Talsania, Tanmay Dhanania.
Among the riveting OTT releases this week, ‘Scoop’ stands out as an intense thriller drama series. The series, based on Jigna Vora’s memoir “Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison,” is set against the backdrop of a media hub and revolves around a crime reporter, Jagruti Pathak. Karishma Tanna plays Jagruti, a journalist whose life spirals out of control when she finds herself accused of the murder of a fellow journalist.
The plot weaves a tale of ambition, power dynamics, and a fight for innocence, portraying the dark nexus between the police, underworld, and media.
Why Should You Watch “Scoop”?
“Scoop” is bound to intrigue you if you have a penchant for thrillers infused with real-world undercurrents. The series draws its premise from real-life events and presents a gripping narrative around the tough life of a journalist, her ambitious pursuits, and the dire consequences she faces.
Karishma Tanna brings the intricate character of Jagruti Pathak, a crime journalist, to life. She finds herself ensnared in a dangerous web of deceit and crime. The compelling trailer assures viewers of a series that delves deep into her struggle to clear her name, offering suspense, drama, and a strong dose of reality.
A Beautiful Life (Netflix)
OTT Platform: Netflix Release Date: June 1, 2023 Directed by: Mehdi Avaz Language: English Cast: Christopher, Inga Ibsdotter Lilleaas, Christine Albeck Borge
Adding to the variety of OTT releases this week, “A Beautiful Life” is an inspiring Danish musical drama movie from Netflix that follows the tale of a talented fisherman-turned-singer, played by singer Christopher.
The movie takes us through his journeyfrom an everyday fisherman to a singing sensation, after being discovered by a renowned music manager. As his life changes dramatically, the movie explores themes like love, passion, struggle, and the courage to chase dreams.
Why should you watch “A Beautiful Life”?
“A Beautiful Life” should be on your watchlist if you appreciate musical dramas that blend love, romance, and the inspiring journey of a character. It tells the story of a humble fisherman with an extraordinary voice, taking you on a captivating journey of transformation.
Additionally, the series skillfully portrays the challenges and obstacles that accompany newfound fame and personal exploration.
School Of Lies (Hotstar)
OTT Platform: Disney Plus Hotstar Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Avinash Arun Language: Hindi Cast: Nimrat Kaur, Varin Roopani, Divyansh Dwivedi, Aryan Singh Ahlawat, Hemant Kher, Parthiv Shetty, Adrija Sinha, and Aalekh Kapoor.
As you explore the OTT releases this week, don’t miss ‘School of Lies’, this is the one I was waiting for.
Why should you watch “School of Lies”?
From the plot, I believe,”School of Lies” is a captivating suspense-drama series that deserves a spot on your watchlist. The series revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a 12-year-old boy named Shakti from his boarding school, uncovering dark secrets about the institution along the way.
What’s the plot of “School of Lies”?
The story is set in the fictional town of Dalton and primarily focuses on RISE, a private boarding school. When Shakti goes missing, Nandita Mehra, the school counselor played by Nimrat Kaur, takes it upon herself to investigate the case. As she digs deeper, she unravels unsettling truths about the school that were previously unknown. If you enjoy mysteries with gradual revelations, this series will undoubtedly captivate your interest.
Is “School of Lies” based on real events?
Yes, the creators of “School of Lies” have drawn inspiration from true events to craft their story. While they haven’t specifically referenced any real-life incidents, they assure viewers that the narrative reflects actual occurrences, adding an extra layer of realism to the suspenseful storyline. If you’re seeking a thrilling drama that draws from real-world events, this series is certainly worth exploring.
OTT Platform: Zee5 Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Sandip Ray Language: Hindi, Bengali Cast: Indraneil Sengupta, Abhijit Guha, Paran Bandyopadhyay, Supriyo Dutta
“Hatyapuri” revives the beloved detective character Feluda from the stories by the legendary Satyajit Ray. Directed by Sandip Ray, the son of Satyajit Ray, this film offers a modern interpretation of the classic detective story, set in contemporary times. The storyline revolves around a stolen ancient manuscript and a mysterious death, essentially presenting a thrilling whodunit narrative.
Why you should watch Hatyapuri
Classic Whodunit: If you enjoy engaging mysteries that keep you guessing until the end, “Hatyapuri” is a must-watch. Unlike some previous Feluda films that leaned more towards thrillers, this film stays true to the essence of a traditional whodunit, keeping the audience in suspense regarding the identity of the villain.
Nostalgia: For fans of Feluda, this film will evoke a sense of nostalgia. It successfully captures the essence of the original series while bringing it into a modern setting.
Strong Cast: Indraneil Sengupta’s portrayal of Feluda has received widespread acclaim. His fluency in Bangla and nuanced performance establish him as a worthy successor to the iconic role. Additionally, supporting performances, particularly from Paran Banerjee and Subhashish Bhattacharya, shine in the film. The impactful soundtrack, composed by Sandip Ray, enhances the emotional resonance of each scene.
Why you might want to skip Hatyapuri
Lack of Modernity: Despite its contemporary backdrop, some viewers may feel that the film’s script doesn’t fully reflect the modern times. While it maintains a period piece sensibility, it may not resonate with those seeking a truly contemporary story.
Less Thrilling: In contrast to some previous Feluda films that offered high levels of action and thrill, “Hatyapuri” relies more on Feluda’s intellect to solve the case. If you prefer action-packed thrillers, this might not be your cup of tea.
OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Vijay Kanakamedala Language: Telugu Cast: Allari Naresh, Mirnaa Menon
In ‘Ugram’, we meet K. Shivakumar (Allari Naresh), a principled yet aggressive police officer known for his strong stance against corruption and his willingness to resort to custodial torture in his pursuit of justice. However, the narrative takes a twist when Shivakumar’s wife and daughter mysteriously vanish.
The film then unfolds in two distinct halves, with the first focusing on the typical cop drama and the second delving into Shivakumar’s desperate search for his missing family.
Why You Should Watch Ugram
Allari Naresh’s Performance: Despite the fragmented narrative, Allari Naresh delivers a dedicated performance as a distressed cop. His physicality and action sequences are impressive, showcasing the passion and intensity of his character.
Action Sequences: Ugram stands out for its well-choreographed and executed action sequences. They are slick, intense, and provide a thrilling visual experience for viewers.
Realistic Cop Drama: If you are a fan of gritty and intense cop dramas with an investigative angle, Ugram offers a familiar yet captivating terrain to explore.
Why You Might Want to Skip Ugram
Ugram might not be a compelling OTT releases this week for you, because of the follwoing reasons.
Disjointed Narrative: The plot tends to lose its way due to the constant shifts between the cop drama and the personal tragedy thriller. This inconsistency makes it challenging to maintain a cohesive narrative flow, thereby diluting the overall intensity of the film.
Stereotypes & Misrepresentation: At times, Ugram resorts to harmful stereotypes, particularly in its portrayal of gender roles and women. These instances may be discouraging for some viewers seeking more progressive storytelling.
Lack of Emotional Depth: While Ugram presents well-executed action sequences, it falls short in terms of emotional depth. The film fails to establish a strong emotional connection with the audience, which could have made the action sequences more resonant and impactful.
Mumbaikar (Jio Cinema)
OTT Platform: Jio Cinema Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Santosh Sivan Language: Hindi, Tamil Dubbed Cast: Vikrant Massey, Vijay Sethupathi, Ranvir Shorey, Sachin Khedekar, Tanya Maniktala, Sanjay Mishra
Mumbaikar, a remake of Lokesh Kanagaraj’s debut film Maanagaram, brings forth an intriguing narrative. The original film, Maanagaram, revolves around Sri, an engineering graduate from a small town, who unwittingly gets entangled in a complex web of criminal activities in Chennai. This includes the kidnapping of a gangster’s son. The original movie takes audiences on a thrilling journey filled with mistakes, mix-ups, and the harsh realities of urban life.
Though it’s remake of Lokesh Kanagaraj’s debut film, ‘Mumbaikar’ adds to this week’s exciting OTT releases beacuse of the star cast.
OTT Platform: Zee5 Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Venu Mulkala Language: Telugu & Tamil Cast: Ajay Kathurvar, Dimple K
Lastly, among this week’s OTT releases, we have ‘Vishwak’, a tale of a graduate’s struggle.
Vishwak, an innovative graduate, as he grapples with decisions regarding his future. Will he chase his entrepreneurial dreams in his hometown or bow down to societal pressure and move abroad?