While the makers of Akshay Kumar‘s Bellbottom and Amitabh Bachchan‘s Chehre announced their decision to release their movies in theatres, films like Netrikann, Shershaah and Kuruthi ditched cinemas last week and went the OTT way.
Silverscreen India brings to you, a summary of critic and audience reviews of the major releases from last week.
Shershaah (August 12 – Amazon Prime Video)
Shershaah, starring actors Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani, has garnered mixed reviews with the audience largely lauding the adaptation of the life of Captain Vikram Batra, who was killed during the Kargil War of 1999 and posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra.
Silverscreen India’s Aswathy Gopalakrishnan, however, wrote that Shershaah faithfully follows Bollywood’s recipe for every new biopic on national heroes and refuses to look at “Batra as an ordinary human being.” She further added, “Post his death, a national hero can only become a motivational story about selfless courage and determination.”
Anupama Chopra of Film Companion blamed the “clunky structure” for making the film less than gripping and also called out the shallow portrayal of Batra and his girlfriend’s relationship. Meanwhile, Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV, wrote that “a little more cinematic firepower and flint might have taken Shershaah much higher – and further – as a war drama.”
Despite the lukewarm reviews from critics, Shershaah has clocked an average IMDb user rating of 8.8.
Kuruthi (August 11 – Amazon Prime Video)
Kuruthi is a Malayalam-language invasion-thriller that relies heavily on conversations. It stars actors Prithviraj Sukumaran, Roshan Mathew, Srindaa, Shine Tom Chacko, Mamukkoya, and Murali Gopy.
While the audience celebrated the film as another feather in the cap of Malayalam cinema, it left critics divided.
Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India called the film “uninspiring” despite a stunning performance from Mamukkoya. “In a ship sinking into the depth of faux seriousness and wobbly urgency, Mamukkoya brings some self-styled mirth. When irrational hatred is staring on the face, perhaps it is wiser to use the shield of cynicism than wear nobility on the sleeves,” she wrote.
For Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion, Kuruthi “redefines the concept of the home invasion thriller,” by transcending beyond one’s physical concept of home. But Anna MM Vettikad, writing for Firstpost, said that the film “undermines its own lofty messaging on Hindu-Muslim ties.”
The film has an average user rating of 7.9 on IMDb.
Netrikann (August 13 – Disney+ Hotstar)
Netrikann, the Tamil-language thriller featuring Nayanthara in the lead role, garnered mixed reviews from the audience as well as the critics.
A remake of the Korean film Blind, Netrikann follows Durga, a CBI officer who loses her eyesight and her brother in an accident, and later crosses path with a psychopath.
“This premise would have been enough, really, to carry home a thriller of certain heft, but as always, the compulsive need for more ultimately runs the script down. We can still buy the motive of the assaulter but not the forced themes of abortion and morality that are thrust into the film,” wrote Sinndhuja for Silverscreen India.
While Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion lauded director Milind Rau and cinematographer RD Rajasekhar for the camera work, he found the dialogues “very ordinary and worse, super-explanatory.” Nandini Ramnath of Scroll.in felt that Nayanthara, Manikandan and Sacchin Nachiappan delivered efficient performances, while Ajmal Ameer hammed far too much. M Suganth of the Times of India, meanwhile, pointed out that the backstory for the antagonist’s sadomasochistic behaviour might “send the wrong signals about people with a particular medical condition.”
The film has an average user rating of 6.1 on IMDb.
Apart from these films, Bhuj: The Pride of India, headlined by Ajay Devgn, and The Kissing Booth 3 also premiered digitally last week.
Devgn’s Bhuj, which revolves around the story of 300 Gujarati women who helped the Indian Air Force during the Indo-Bangladesh war of 1971, fell flat for both critics and the viewers. The film has been criticised for its “hyper-nationalism” and logical fallacies, and currently has an IMDb rating of 5.3. It is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Joey King-starrer The Kissing Booth 3, that released on Netflix, could not live up to the franchise’s name either. Ananya Shankar of Silverscreen India called it a film with a “non-existent plot” and a “painful reminder that not every film needs a sequel.”