The digital medium isn’t only about elaborate and long-winded storytelling and there’s sufficient scope in the OTT space to explore crisp films on taboo subjects which wouldn’t have been possible on the theatrical front too. 2019 had plenty of those in streaming platforms and we narrow it down to a list of top 5 originals that stood out for various reasons. If you haven’t watched them yet, here’s a chance for you to catch up!
Kanpuriye – Hotstar: Check Binged Review
A beautiful, rooted story about protagonists in a chirpy town dreaming of making it big with their metropolitan aspirations and rising above the morass – the film is a soul healer to those whose dreams don’t essentially become a reality. Kanpuriye is humourous yet breathtakingly real and tells how important it is not let failure overpower you. It tells you to be open to disappointments and work around your life practically. Who imagined that a story about losers could be as captivating? Here was one such effort that stayed in our head.
Barot House – Zee5: Check Binged Review
Barot House was a dark story that could have only been told in the digital medium, exploring those murky corners in your soul that you didn’t know existed. The psychological thriller takes the viewer through the trials and tribulations of a family that’s shaken by a spate of deaths. Worse, the family needs to deal with the fact that the murderer is looming around loose in the house, to the agony of the other members. Actor, adman Bugs Bhargava turns director for this superbly crafted thriller that doesn’t fail to surprise you. It makes you think and doesn’t spoon-feed you the story and opens you to various perspectives of what constitutes the fabric of a potential psychopath.
Chappad Phaad Ke – Hotstar: Check Binged Review
Easily the best dark comedy of the year, Chappad Phaad Ke explores the element of human greed like no other. The premise of an ethically right patriarch being wooed by a bag of unaccounted-for cash he comes across in the middle of a road gets juicier with time. The money opens him to his inner demons and also that of his family members. Money can unleash the beast in a human and this two-hour film takes it upon itself to narrate the same in a lighter vein. Vinay Pathak, Siddharth Menon and Ayesha Raza came together for this delectably packaged comedy that didn’t get the love it deserved to have.
Badnaam Gali – Zee5: Check Binged Review
Before the world was charmed by Akshay Kumar’s Good Newzz came one simple, well-told tale in the OTT space that attempted to shatter all the myths surrounding surrogacy. With the backdrop set in the heart of a Delhi street where homemakers have little work beyond gossiping about each other’s lives, Badnaam Gali was a heartwarming love story between two people as different as chalk and cheese. The romance between a Punjabi lad and a city-bred surrogate mother was quirky enough to spice up the small screen and one that was a tight slap on the conservatism that continues to breed in our society.
Upstarts – Netflix: Check Binged Review
There haven’t been many stories that truly mirrored the struggles of a startup in the digital medium and Upstarts filled that void to a large extent. Though it’s more simplistic than one expects it to be, a viewer is exposed to the pressures that the founder of a successful startup faces from his investors on the long run and how ethics can take a toll over the years. The friendship between the protagonists was probably the best aspect of the film. It’s real and not sugarcoated and shows friendships can exist in the modern era, where one stands by each other through their thick and thin. It also presents the voice of entrepreneurs which more often than not takes a backseat in the conventional mode of storytelling.
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