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Five new movies to watch this week on Indian OTT platforms

Still from the Telugu film Jathi Ratnalu
A still from the Telugu film Jathi Ratnalu (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)
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Even as the Covid-19 virus resurges in many places across India, and resultantly States are ordering restrictions to cinema halls, the release of new movies, especially in the South, does not show any sign of abating. This week, we have big releases in theatres in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. On the OTT platforms, too, things are exciting. In our weekly recommendations we have five big movies that have released or about to be released.

There is Mandela, a political satire in Tamil, that is already released. There are two from Hindi, The Big Bull and Hello Charlie. In Kannada, there is Yuvarathnaa, which had a theatrical release just a week back. We round up our list with the Telugu superhit comedy Jathi Ratnalu that'll make it to the streaming platform in two days.

Yuvarathnaa

Direction: Santhosh Ananddram

Cast: Puneeth Rajkumar, Sayyeshaa, Prakash Raj, Dhananjay

Synopsis: A film, starring Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar making it to the OTT circuit just a week after its release in cinema halls is in itself a big news. It again underscores the power of this emerging medium.

Though it is out and out commercial entertainer, it takes up an important social subject. Yuvarathnaa talks about the need to revive government-aided colleges to protect the right to education of children from underprivileged backgrounds. In the film, a government-aided college is at risk, what with private institutions out to tarnish the image of it and poaches its bright students. There is a mix of action, sentiments, comedy and even a dash of romance in this potboiler.

Language: Kannada

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Release date: April 9, 2021.

Mandela

Direction: Madonne Ashwin

Cast: Yogi Babu, Sheela Rajkumar

Synopsis: The election season has just ended in Tamil Nadu. And this Tamil political satire had arrived just on time. The cash for votes is a big menace in the the electoral process across the country. But it is particularly notorious in Tamil Nadu. The State's politics is also known for freebies and cash in the run-up to the polls. Mandela essentially throws light on what happens when electors fail to grasp the significance and full power of their right to vote, and get seduced by such freebies.

But the whole thing is told through a story that is filled with humour and sardonic wit. 

After a long time, we have a genuine political satire that doesn't hurt any one political party or real-life leader. The film asks an earnest question to the people and tells them the importance of their votes.

Language: Tamil

Platform: Netflix India

Release date: April 5, 2021.

The Big Bull

Direction: Kookie Gulati

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Sohum Shah, Saurabh Shukla, Ram Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Nikita Dutt

Synopsis: To make a film out of story that has been just made into one of the most successful series on Indian OTT platforms is a tall order. The Big Bull, as a story on stock market operator and scamster Harshad Mehta, follows the series 'Scam 1992', which won rave reviews.

The Big Bull doesn't name Harshad Mehta directly. It is the story of  Hemant Shah, and the news publication tracking his every move is 'India Times', and the cement company he bets big on is'NCC'. These are, of course, poetic licences. You can understand the director's compulsion.

Abhishek Bachchan who had previously played another Gujarati corporate legende Dhirubhai Ambani, plays the complex Harshad Mehta, oops sorry, Hemant Shah with rare conviction.

Language: Hindi

Platform: Disney+ Hotstar

Release date: April 9, 2021.

Hello Charlie

Direction: Pankaj Saraswat

Cast: Jackie Shroff, Aadar Jain, Shlokka Pandit

Synopsis: This is a comedy story centered on a dreamy sport of young man. The eponymous Charlie is a simpleton, a pizza delivery boy, who finds himself driving his uncle’s truck, Girnaar Express, to deliver a gorilla. The story is an intriguing one. Charlie is unaware that the gorilla is disguised a business tycoon on the run after committing a multi crore scam. It is a mad road journey that ends up making a hero out of a nondescript youngster. Adventure comedy film, as a genre, is a bit rare in Hindi. Hello Charlie may make a good case for having more of it.

Language: Hindi

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Release date: April 9, 2021.

Jathi Ratnalu

Direction: Anudeep KV

Cast: Naveen Polishetty, Priyadarshi, Rahul Ramakrishna, Faria Abdullah, Murali Sharma, Brahmanandam

Synopsis: This mad-cap comedy revolves around the lives of three friends who head from Jogipet to Hyderabad in pursuit of city life. However, things take a drastic turn as they tumble into a series of dangerous events in the city. The accent is on humour, which was inevitable considering Naveen Polishetty, who is also a well-known standup comic in India, leads the cast. His previous Telugu outing Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya was another fun-filled exercise. Jathi Ratnalu released theatrically last month, and was a massive hit. The movie's real charm lies in the lead characters, their effortless and innocent humour; and how they manage to wriggle out of weird situations. The story is apparently based on some events that the film's director had experienced in his life.

Language: Telugu

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Release date: April 11, 2021.

With the popular IPL 2021 also starting this week, you weekend viewing will be doubtless doubly wholesome.

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Balakumar K
Balakumar K

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.