By Joginder Tuteja
The week was very eventful as there were several notable releases on the OTT medium. These were Mirzapur 2, Taish, A Suitable Boy, Borut Subordinate Movefilm and Quiz.
Mirzapur 2 was the largest of them all. In fact it was the most awaited web series of 2020 in a relaxed manner and was in a way the success of Bahubali: The Conclusion, Bahubali: The Beginning. By the time it came closer to release, it was not bumper publicity. Still, it was the best of the year, which meant a superhit start to ensure if not a blockbuster opening.
This was evident in the way everyone held opinions about the Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani-backed series until the first weekend came to a close. Thankfully, it was not banned, but then the reaction was not out and mind-blowing either. It is better than average, so is best mixed. To a large number of viewers, Mirzapur 2 got engaged, though not in the way that he had expected given the smash seen in the first season.
It was indeed the pet complaint that Amazon Prime met as one offered to hunt down through 10 episodes for a few perfect moments but ultimately the only way was far and few. As a result, the elicitation factor was not quite consistent, resulting in the ‘thek-thc’ response word of mouth. However it is clear that it was Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Divyendu Sharma and Shweta Tripathi who moved into the third season to ensure the series, and hence fireworks can be expected in 2022.
However, the same cannot be said about A Suitable Boy who has become a non-starter for a large section of the audience. Streaming on Netflix, the Mira Nair-directed mini-series launched it several months ago in the UK after a delayed launch in India. However, this is not a problem per se, but surprisingly, despite the presence of Tabu and Ishaan Khattar, there was no hype to bring the series closer to the audience.
The result was that there was no discussion around A Suitable Boy and it was practically unannounced. Also, despite an Indian set up, the series is made in English and is not up to the Hindi dubbing mark, so the viewer has to move forward. This has not been investigated by many critics, which means that Netflix is now waiting for the next set of offerings.
ZEE5 on the other hand ensures that Taayash, a Bejoy Nambiar film, also released as a series, finds its way among the audience. An aggressive publicity campaign around the action drama ensured that viewers knew about the upcoming affair at least on Thursday. The reviews for the film / series have been positive as well as meaning that the weekend is already set for Taish and taking the word of mouth forward Pulkit Samrat, Kriti Kharbanda, Harshvardhan Rane, Jim Sarvesh and Sanjida Sheikh Starrer needed.
It was disappointing, however, that Borat was a submersible movie film released on Amazon Prime. While one would have expected some kind of marketing blitzkrieg around the Sacha Baron Cohen starrer en route release, which was surprisingly missing. Also, the film was not a patch in the first part and although yet again some strong political and social statements were made, the overall narrative had some gross moments that were really a turning point. Also the humor was inconsistent in this film which was hurt by its super-smartness.
Talking about being smart, is an eye-opener of a series in the form of a quiz that has been unveiled on SonyLIVE. Although it first appeared in international markets, it has now seen its release on the Indian OTT platform. The mini-series tells a surprising story of a real-life couple duo accused of cheating on TV to win the top prize in the popular game show, Who Wants to Be a Billionaire. Widely known as ‘Cough Cases’, it has now released a series for itself where there are nail biting moments as well as a good dose of dark comedy elements, something you’d expect from a UK TV show We do.
watch out for
This week sees the arrival of a notable film, Kali Khushi, which is a Netflix original. The film, released today, is a dark story based on rural fiction. Directed by Shabana Azmi, the theatrical affair is put together by producers Anku Pandey and Ramon Chib, brought by board director Terry Samundra. Satyadeep Mishra and Sanjeeda Sheikh also came together for the film which also stars Reva Arora in the lead role. Given the fact that yet again promotion is less important here, one waits to see if it reaches the audience.
Joginder Tuteja is a business expert and film critic, and loves to talk and write about anything related to films. Views are personal.