Even as COVID-19 continues to spread its wings, life, under lockdown, seems to be slowly getting back on track. Although, it’s not the same as it was six months ago, it’s not the same as it was a month ago either. Theatres remain closed and so do many establishments that cater to the needs of the youth. But this is exactly the right time for streaming sites to cast a wider net and they’re rightly doing that. While Netflix is releasing films, series, and documentaries almost every day (new-and-old), Amazon Prime has bagged the rights to exclusively stream seven Indian movies.
These films aren’t going to have traditional theatrical screenings due to the social distancing norms that we’re supposed to follow. And that’s how Amazon Prime is winning the race. What’s even more interesting is the fact that these movies belong to different genres. In the coming months, this may actually seem like the only option for producers, who knows! We’re stepping into an uncertain age where making long-term plans is just not in vogue. Hence, these actions have a time-limit.
Gulabo Sitabo (Hindi): This is hands down the biggest film to land on Prime, for it stars two of Hindi cinema’s revered actors, Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana. It’s a comedy drama set in a mohalla in which the two of them mock each other regularly. The coming together of writer Juhi Chaturvedi and director Shoojit Sircar has always been a big-screen pleasure and this is going to be no different, but for the size of the screen.
Ponmagal Vandhal (Tamil): A courtroom drama where Jyothika plays an advocate might not really be everybody’s cup of tea. But it’s a murder mystery and that naturally makes things interesting. The film deals with the killing of five children in Ooty and the trial that follows. The trailer is pretty neat and it gives away nothing more than what’s truly necessary.
Penguin (Tamil and Telugu): After winning the National Award for her role in Mahanati, Keerthy Suresh had gone under the radar. She wasn’t seen much and her other films, too, weren’t up to the mark. Penguin might change that. She seems to be carrying the movie on her shoulders throughout.
Law (Kannada): Kannada films often go unnoticed on many streaming sites. But Dia made the nation talk about its shocking climactic scene earlier this year when it found some space on Prime. And, now, with Law, the Kannada film library will grow a bit. The film is said to be a crime thriller that’s headlined by Ragini Chandran, Siri Prahlad and Mukhyamantri Chandru.
Shakuntala Devi (Hindi): When more than half a dozen films are announced, at least one of them will be a biopic. That’s the math of the current scenario in Bollywood. You can’t deny it. And for this particular film, there’s no need for a grand explanation. The biopic on Shakuntala Devi, featuring Vidya Balan in the title role, will definitely grab the eyeballs.
French Biryani (Kannada): If you’ve been watching Danish Sait’s minute-long videos on Instagram during this dark period, then you’ll be familiar with his brand of humor. This is, perhaps, where French Biryani, also starring Sal Yusuf, fits. Sait plays the role of an auto driver, and, given his numerous styles of diction, it’s going to be one hell of a riot.
Sufiyum Sujatayum (Malayalam): Aditi Rao Hydari is coming back to the industry in which she made her on-screen debut with this film. Sufiyum Sujatayum, a musical love story, will see her as one-half of a married couple – Jayasurya is the other one. And as the title says, the movie has got something to do with a Sufi priest, as well.