The year 2020 has made us understand that, even with cinema, we shouldn’t take anything for granted on this planet. It was a very different year for the cinema as well. We have all seen the “transition” occurring in Indian Cinema in the last few years alone.
However, 2020 marked the end of the transition, announcing the completion of the transition. Lately, with over-the-top (OTT) outlets stealing the thunder from movie theatres, the pomp and glory of movie releases have been taken closer to home, only to spark high-decibel debates in the film industry. Although the industry seems to have come to grips with the fact that the theater doors can not be flung open so quickly, as exemplified by a number of recent OTT film released, there have been other undercurrents brewing alongside the coronavirus pandemic raging across the world.
As the year ends, we show you the very best of the streaming universe’s movies and webseries that landed in the year 2020.
1. SCAM 1992
Scam I992: A SonyLIV Originals crime drama web series directed by Hansal Mehta is the story of Harshad Mehta. The series tells the story of the biggest economic fraud in India, the Harshad Mehta Scam, in the most exciting and entertaining way. Set in the 1980s and 90s, lead roles in the series include Prateek Gandhi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, and Anjali Barot. The 10 episode series was, without any doubt, one of the year’s most loved and perfectly set launches.
2. PAAVA KADHAIGAL
Paava Kadhaigal, directed by Sudha Kongara, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Vignesh Sivan and Vetrimaaran, is a Tamil-language mini anthology collection. Four short films, often bleak, sometimes disturbing, explore the tales of those who hope to dream and desire—and those who are determined to stand in their path. The theme discusses how the connections of love are complicated by ambition, honor and sin.
3. PAATAL LOK
One of the top OTT releases of the year was a crime-Drama-thriller series directed by Sudip Sharma and produced by actor Anushka Sharma. Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi and Ishwak Singh are in the lead roles in the series. A further crime drama on the list is this Jaideep Ahlawat-led series, but Paatal Lok deserves a spot here. When four suspects are nabbed in a journalist’s assassination plot, a down and out cop lands the case of a lifetime. The pursuit of it leads him to ‘Paatal Lok’ and the plot of the series shapes surprising discoveries in the history of the four suspects. Paatal Lok is fashioned primarily in Delhi as a crime thriller-cum-police procedure, spinning off into several threads, some very strong, some comparatively thin, but managing to keep its grip on us. Weaving in an interpretation and appreciation of contemporary India makes it political and elevates it: Paatal Lok is written intelligently, fast-paced, and engrossing.
4. MIRZAPUR S02
Soon after its publication, the Amazon Prime series became the talk of the town. The series is a two-season web release produced by Puneet Krishna and Karan Anshuman. The script of the series revolves around a shocking wedding procession incident that ignites a series of events in the lawless city of Mirzapur affecting the lives of two families.
The dark comedy Ludo by Anurag Basu resolves the lives of four characters introduced to us in four stories. In the leading roles, the film stars Abhishek Bachhan, Inayat Verma, Rajkumar Rao, Sanya Malhotra, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Pearle Maaney, Rohit Saraf, Pankaj Tripati and Fathima Sana Sheikh. The film was perfectly choreographed and was one of the best Bollywood releases of 2020.
6. C U SOON
C U Soon is a computer screen film in Malayalam written and directed by Mahesh Narayan, led by Fahad Faazil, Roshan Mathew and Darshana Rajendran. It is one of the very few films to be filmed and released during the lockdown in Malayalam. The film was shot entirely on the iPhone.
7. SOORARAI POTTRU
Sooriya’s: One of the finest movies is a Tamil language film directed by Sudha Kongara. The film, which is described as the comeback of the actor, excels in all aspects. Soorarai Pottru tells the tale of Maara, based on a true story, who sets out to fulfill the dream of a common man to travel. Sooriya, Aparna Balamurali, and Urvashi are in the lead roles in the film.
India’s web series and their space enjoyed decent development, but the game for OTT platforms changed in a major way in 2020. While the production of content was comparatively lower due to the shooting constraints, during the pandemic, the audience lapped up OTT content from the comfort of their homes. Crime-drama was the season’s flavor, much like the last couple of years, but this time around, we also saw different genres being explored in the OTT space. There has been performance in a share market show and a musical rivalry show in a family, further illustrating that the OTT room has grown from its early stages and is starting to find its own feet. You can watch SOORARAI POTTRU with english subtitles using VLC player.