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.

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