Tamil and Malayalam movies have been making it to OTT platforms like Amazon Prime, Hotstar and Netflix soon after their theatrical release. Some of the best films of this year, including Kumbalangi Nights, Monster, Vellai Pookal, Super Deluxe, Ayogya, Photograph and Miland Talkies are already out. Lucifer is available in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu on Amazon Prime, and other big films like Airaa, Kalank, Majili, Maharshi are all available to stream. Platforms like YuppTV and Hotstar are also releasing films that did not get too many screens in theatres.
Content creators are approaching OTT platforms to commission their movies and series, which is cheaper than selling the rights to the platforms. Hotstar earlier announced 25 original shows and 10 movies and specials, and some of these are already out. Zee5 also promised the launch of originals in south Indian languages and a number of them have released including the popular shows Auto Shankar, Hutatma and High Priestess.
Here’s a list of some of the films and shows to stream right now:
Kumbalangi Nights (Amazon Prime):
The Malayalam film written by Syam Pushkaran and directed by Madhu C opened to rave review for the performance of the cast and the film’s storyline. It centers on the relationship between four brothers Saji, Boney, Franky and Bobby, living in the backwaters of Kochi, who come together to help Bobby and his love Babymol get together.
Shane Nigam, Fahadh Faasil, Soubin Shahir, Sreenath Bhasi, Anna Ben, and Mathew Thomas are part of the cast. It was jointly produced by Fahadh Faasil And Friends and Working Class Heroes.
Monster (Amazon Prime):
This comedy drama written and directed by Nelson Venkatesan stars SJ Suriya in the lead as a man who wages a war against a rat in his house which drives him to the edge. A to-be marriage between him and Mekala, played by Priya Bhavani Shankar, does not work out but they get back together in ways least expected. The film also stars Karunakaran, and has music by Justin Prabhakaran.
Vellai Pookal (Amazon Prime):
Vivek as Rudhran plays a retired police officer who goes to Seattle to meet his estranged son and wife to sort out family issues but here he cannot let go of his police instincts and gets caught up in people’s disappearances and other mysterious cases in their neighbourhood and investigates them. The film is a crime thriller with Vivek playing a serious role. Charle, Dev, Pooja Devariya and others also star in the lead. It is written by Shanmugha Bharathi and directed by Vivek Elangovan.
Super Deluxe (Netflix):
A wife, a father, a priest, an angry son and other characters find themselves in unexpected situations in this story with a hyperlink plot written and directed by Thiagarajan Kumaraja, This is his second film after Aaranya Kaandam (2011) and it released amidst high anticipation and to great reviews in March. The film stars Samantha, Vijay Sethupathi, Mysskin, Ramya Krishnan, Fahadh Faasil and others. Music is by Yuvan Shankar Raja.
Ayogya (Amazon Prime):
Vishal-starrer Ayogya, the Tamil remake of Temper, released in May and the movie is now available on Amazon Prime. The action film tells the story of a corrupt police officer, played by Vishal, whose life changes after he takes up a case of gang rape. Raashi Khanna plays his lover and R Parthiban is an assistant police officer. The film opened to good reviews. It was directed by Venkat Mohan, with music by Sam CS.
Photograph (Amazon Prime):
Zee5’s latest Tamil original web series Postman starring Munishkanth and Keerthi Pandian tells the story of a postman and his daughter on a mission to deliver the letters that he missed out on after an accident left him in coma for 20 years. There are parallel stories about the lives of those the letters belonged to and how things change after the delivery. The 10-episode series, written and directed by Prashanth Gunsekharan, is emotional, humourous and has a strong plot.
The show premiered on June 27.
Written by Vishal Kapoor and directed by Vishal Furia, Bombers is about a football team called Bombers FC in an erstwhile French colony Channdanagar in Bengal. The show opens to the death of all the players of the football team, except for Badol, played by Varun Mitra, and the story follows how he along with the club’s former players and coach revive the club and try to save their ground from a minister who wants to acquire it to commission a shopping mall.
Sameer Soni, Ranvir Shorey, Zakir Hussain, Sapna Pabbi, Aahana Kumra and Meiyang Chang have important roles. The series premiered on Zee5 on June 22.
Thiravam tells the story of a scientist, played by Prasanna, who makes “mooligai petrol” and faces backlash and threats from many. The film is loosely based on the life of Ramar Pillai who claimed to have invented herbal petrol in the 90s, and was called out as fraud, but continued to be backed by politicians and industrialists. Prasanna also plays a father in the show, Sahana of Meyadha Mann fame is a lawyer, Azhagam Perumal and Indhuja have important roles.
The series is directed by Ravi Prakasam and is currently streaming on Zee5 Tamil.
City of Dreams:
Hotstar’s latest City of Dreams is the story of the fall out within a Gaikwad family after an assassination attempt on an influential political person and senior member of this family ahead of a political rally. Set in Maharashtra, the series looks at the corruption and power driven decisions taken by the family.
Priya Bapat, Atul Kulkarni, Siddharth Chandekhar and Eijaz Khan in the lead. The series is directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, and is currently streaming on Hotstar Premium.
Netflix is back with another original series Leila directed by Deepa Mehta, Shanker Raman and Pawan Kumar, and based on Prayan Akbar’s novel of the same name. The story, set in the future in 2047 in an India that is called Aryavarta ruled by a semi-divine figure. It follows the story of Shalini (Huma Qureshi) who is separated from her family for marrying a Muslim man and tries to find her missing daughter. Siddharth stars in the lead as a state appointed person who chases her as she escapes. Rahul Khanna, Sanjay Suri and others have important roles. The show premiered on June 14.
Netflix has released relatively fewer Indian shows, but most of them have been popular. Chopsticks is pitched as its first original movie, about a person called Nirma, played by Mithila Palkar last seen in Little Things, who sets out to recover her stolen car with the help of Shashwat, played by Abhay Deol. The film has opened to poor reviews and is also being criticised on social media for its low-stakes comedy and muddled execution.
The movie is written by Rahul Awate and directed by Sachin Yardi.