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Critics’ Review Roundup: Theaters and OTTs Fight Neck-and-Neck Amidst Releases Including ‘Boomika,’ ‘Chehre,’ ‘Pidikittapulli’ and ‘Kasada Tabara’

Announcements regarding releases of new films at theatres and OTT platforms have been spurring competition between the two mediums.


While Vijay Sethupathi‘s Laabam is set to hit the big screens on September 9, Nani‘s Tuck Jagadish put rumors to rest and confirmed a digital release on Amazon Prime Video, on September 10, the same day as Love Story‘s theatrical release.

The theater owners association had said during a meeting that they would want the makers to refrain from releasing Tuck Jagadish on the same day as Love Story, to avoid a clash but this was not accommodated.

The makers of Thalaivii, featuring Kangana Ranaut as late Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, earlier announced that the biopic will hit the big screen on September 10.

A close match followed between theaters and the OTT platforms, even as several announcements yet to come.

Silverscreen India brings to you the performance ratings of the films that have hit the screen, including both small and big budget ones.

Boomika (Netflix)

This Aishwarya Rajesh-starrer revolves around paranormal activities seeking to teach a lesson regarding environmental conservation. While the film received appreciation from the critics for the idea, it fell flat in terms of execution.

According to Sinndhuja who wrote for Silverscreen India, while the premise is  interesting, the film “could have flourished with better ideation and production values.”

Directed by Rathindran R Prasad, Boomika “is a grandmotherly tale meant to scare you into behaving well,” Sinndhuja wrote.

Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion agreed, and called the film “terrific” on a conceptual level. “But the writing in the back-story wasn’t strong, and a lot of the staging made you feel the film had been put together in a hurry,” Rangan wrote, calling for the need for a “subtler writing.”

Both reviewers mentioned that Prasad, who directed Siddarth and Parvathy Thiruvothu in the segment Inmai in the anthology film Navarasa, employed the same tool for Boomika as well.

Boomika currently stands with a rating of 5.5 on IMDb, with majority of the user reviews inclined in disfavor of the film.


The Rumy Jaffrey directorial is the only Hindi film that released in theaters after Bell Bottom. It featured actors Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi, Krystle D’Souza, and Rhea Chakraborty, among others.

Both critics as well as audience had similar responses to the film’s loose portrayal of concepts like law and justice, that emerge as major themes.


Writing for Silverscreen India, Mrinal Rajaram called the film “problematic and poorly conceived” that pays an “unsubtle homage” to Bachchan and his character Lateef Zaidi. While the film followed a conversationalist format, most of them, which were smeared with Bachchan’s monologues, stood irrelevant and outstretched.

However, “the most flawed argument put forth in Chehre is – that every accused found guilty, immaterial of the crime, must be meted out the same kind of vigilante justice.”

Archita Kashyap of Firstpost agreed that the conversations fall apart as they contribute to the slower pace of the film.

The film had a slow start on the box office collections, owing to the pandemic-induced curfews on cinemas. According to Box Office India, Chehre would have floated in a pre-pandemic era, as it would have released in Maharashtra and other big cities.

“Now the film is relying on Delhi  NCR, East Punjab and Gujarat which are the areas seeing best collections but in these areas these sort of films have very limited takers.”

The film currently stands with an IMDb rating of 5.8.

Pidikittapulli (Jio Cinema)

This twisted Malayalam crime comedy features actors Sunny Wayne, Ahaana Krishna, Major Ravi, Mareena MichaelShaiju Kurup and Anoop Ramesh among others.

Speaking to Silverscreen India, debutante director Jishnu Sreekandan said, “Pidikittapulli loosely translates to–the most wanted person who is absconding. The story is a case of mistaken identity involving two people and follows a group of people who kidnap the wrong person.”

While the film got its casting spot-on, according to Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India said, “the narrative is incoherent, constructed of convoluted moments. So much so that the viewer is likely to lose sight of the central narrative conflict.”

According to her, the film leaft the comedians with hardly any space to perform as the film “is unaware of the importance of being smarter than its characters, of the line that separates whimsical from intellectual sterility.”

The film opted for a direct-to-digital release on Jio Cinema owing to several delays in the wake of the pandemic.


Shooting and post-production were completed in 2019 and a 2020 release was planned. “However, since there was a slew of the backlog of films lined up for theatrical release, our film’s release was yet again delayed and then the second wave of Covid-19 hit the country. So it was a tough call for us,” Sreekandan said.

The film currently has an IMDb rating of 4.3, with majority of the user reviews pointing out a failed resemblance to Priyadarshan’s forte of confused comedy films.

Kasada Tabara (Sony LIV)

Kasada Tabara which released on August 17 was an inter-sectional film with six shorts that culminate into a film, instead of separate anthology stories. It featured an ensemble cast of Sundeep Kishan, Harish Kalyan, Regina Cassandra, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Shanthnu, Premji, Sampath, and Vijayalakshmi.

The Chimbudevan directorial had all the six shorts beginning with or highlighting each Tamil consonant.

For Sinndhuja of Silverscreen India, the different parts seemed more entertaining than the whole film. “The shorts are entertaining nevertheless. But the final act – usually the anchor in a relay – sorely lacks inspiration,” she wrote.

Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion, called the director’s move “clever,” and wrote, “It’s a reminder that wanting to do good does not always mean you are going to end up doing good, and  you may actually end up hurting someone. In a Tamil cinema scenario filled with inspirational messages, I found this (mild) cynicism quite refreshing.”

The film had six editors and cinematographers.

Kasada Tabara has a current rating of 7.9 on IMDb, the highest among the releases last week.

Apart from the aforementioned films, shows like LOL: Enga Siri Paapom, an unscripted Tamil comedy show, started streaming on Amazon Prime Video.


The Indian historical television series The Empire, based on Empire of the Moghul, written by Alex Rutherford, was finally made available on Disney+Hotstar. The show depicted the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire. Filmed in Uzbekistan, the first season traced Babur’s journey and the beginning of the Mughal Empire in India.

In addition to this, the American teen rom-com He’s All That, that reimagines the original plot of the 1999 teen classic She’s All That, also began streaming on netflix.