If there was one good thing about the coronavirus lockdown, it’s that we all got to be home with our TVs and phones and computers, binge-watch all day while pretending to work. And there was no dearth of content at all! Every weekend we were bombarded with a list of movies and web series that were available to stream on, like, every platform ever — Netflix, Prime Video, Voot, Zee5, Jio Cinema. In case you missed some of them, here are 5 movies and 5 web series that you should definitely watch now.
5. Gunjan Saxena, Netflix
It’s not easy to make a successful biopic, but we loved Gunjan Saxena because it stuck to one thing only: the Air Force pilot’s passion for flying. Jhanvi Kapoor plays the titular role of Gunjan Saxena and Pankaj Tripathi wows us with his incredible performance as her father. This movie is the epitome of ‘feel-good,’ it makes your heart soar along with it. Watch and take the edge off.
4. Bhonsle, SonyLiv
Written and directed by Devashish Makhija and starring Manoj Bajpayee as Bhonsle himself, this drama is about a retired constable (Bhonsle) and the series of rather unfortunate events that unfold during Ganesh Chaturti celebrations in his Mumbai chawl. The supporting cast, especially Santosh Juvekar and Ipshita Chakraborty Singh, are fabulous and add the tension to this eerie film. Watch now on SonyLIV.
3. Axone, Netflix
Axone is a must watch movie. The comedy-drama, directed by Nicholas Kharkongor, explores the lives of 5 young Northeast Indian migrants in Delhi who attempt to organise a wedding party. With subtle, clever jokes and insults, Axone exposes the daily racism and insults faced by Northeastern Indians in the national capital, all the while staying fun and young and quirky. Watch now on Netflix.
2. Chintu ka Birthday, Zee5
One of the best films to have come out this year, Chintu Ka Birthday is an adorable, heart-breaking, tender film on the damages of war and violence. Written and directed by Devanshu Kumar and Satyanshu Singh, starring Vinay Pathak, Tillotama Shome, Vedant Chibber, Bisha Chaturvedi and Seema Pahwa, this movie is an act of kindness in an otherwise merciless world. It’s 2004 and the Tiwari family live in war-torn Baghdad, Iraq. But this particular day is an auspicious one; it’s Chintu ka Birthday. He’s turned 6 and finally hopes to have the birthday party that was promised to him for two years now. His family try their best to make this endeavour as successful as possible, but even a simple birthday party isn’t an easy feat in Baghdad. Every twist and turn is unpredictable and highly engaging, making this movie an incredible watch. Go see it now on Zee5!
1. Mee Raqsam, Zee5
Directed and produced by Baba Azmi and starring Naseeruddin Shah, Aditi Subedi, Danish Husain, Shraddha Kaul and Rakesh Chaturvedi Om, Mee Raqsam released on Zee5 just this August. The story revolves around Mariam and her father who face backlash because of her passion and desire to pursue the classical dance form of Bharatnatyam. It’s a moving story that’s actually set in Kafi Azmi’s own hometown of Mijwan in Azamgarh district!
5. The Gone Game, Voot
The Gone Game is the quintessential lockdown thriller. It has all the oohs and ahs of virtual thrillers: glitchy screens, someone missing/behind you, and the inability to reach your loved ones. Starring Sanjay Kapoor, Shweta Tripathi, Arjun Mathur, Shriya Pilgaonkar and directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat, this web series is available to stream now on Voot Select.
4. Panchayat, Prime Video
Panchayat is the best quirky comedy to have released during lockdown. Jitendra Kumar is Abhishek Tripathi, an Engineering graduate who “didn’t work hard enough,” and ends up working as a Panchayat’s Secretary in Phulera: a UP village. Raghubir Yadav is Brij Bhusan Dubey—the village’s Pradhan, but only because he nominated his wife and then took her place. Neena Gupta is Manju Devi, the ‘official’ Pradhan of the village, and Dubey’s wife. Chandan Roy is Vikas and Faisal Malik is Prahlad Pandey, both of whom work in the Panchayat as well. In case you haven’t watched this series, stream it now on Prime Video.
3. Churails, Zee5
Churails is a ZEE5 Exclusive Zindagi Original series starring Sarwat Gillani, Mehar Bano, Nirma Bucha, and Yasra Rizvi. Set in Karachi, the series revolves around four young women who form a secret detective agency under the guise of a fashion store named ‘Halal Designs’ with the purpose of finding and exposing unfaithful husbands amongst Karachi’s elite.
Watch it for the dark, gritty plotline that is as fierce and entertaining as these badass women are.
2. Metro Park Quarantine Edition, JioCinema
We all loved the Ranvir Shorey-Purbi Joshi-Omi Vaidya starrer, Metro Park when it came out last year on Jio Cinema, and we love it even now during lockdown. The series released a “Quarantine Edition” of Metro Park, with just 5 episodes, 5 minutes each, that are hilarious and absolutely mental. Metro Park is about Indian Gujarati family living in Metro Park in America and if you are in need of a mindless show that makes for great comedy, watch Metro Park now on Jio Cinema!
1. Paatal Lok, Prime Video
Paatal Lok might just be the best thing I watched all of 2020. Created by Sudip Sharma and directed by Avinash Arun and Prosit Roy, Paatal Lok is Amazon Prime’s latest original web series, produced under Clean Slate Filmz–actress Anushka Sharma’s production house. It has a wild star cast as well, with Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Abhishek Banerjee, Gul Panag, all the while giving equal footage to talented newcomers. Sudip Sharma wins in creating a show that fiercely tackles one of India’s cruelest social structures: the caste system. Watch Paatal Lok now on Prime Video!