Several new south Indian releases have come to OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime in August. The online streaming giants appear to be keen to expand their content in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, and as a result, more and more films are finding new audiences in legal ways.
While last month saw the release of critically acclaimed films like Super Deluxe and Kumbalangi Nights, August too has some interesting choices.
Some of these releases had a short theatrical run but are critically acclaimed. If you could not catch them in theatres or wish to watch the film again, here's your chance.
Aadai (Amazon Prime): Directed by Rathnakumar, the film has Amala Paul in the lead and is about a woman who wakes up naked in an empty office building. While Amala was appreciated for her bold move of acting in the nude, the film drew flak for conforming to traditional ideas of "honour" that it initially appeared to be challenging.
Ratchasi (Amazon Prime): With Jyotika in the lead, this film is about a teacher who tries to reform a government school, and was directed by Sy Gowthamraj. The film saw Jyotika perform stunts even as she went about cleaning up the system. However, the preachy tone ended up disappointing critics who also pointed out that Jyotika was getting stuck in a rut doing such roles.
90ML (Netflix): This adult comedy with Bigg Boss favourite Oviya in the lead was highly controversial at the time of its release. Director Anita Udeep faced criticism for "spoiling" culture by showing women drinking and talking openly about their sex lives. However, several people also pointed out the hypocrisy in such criticism which never arises for adult films with male leads. Although the filmmaking lacks finesse, 90ML still manages to be entertaining because of the sheer novelty of its theme.
Game Over (Netflix): Directed by Ashwin Saravanan, Game Over also released in Telugu and Hindi with the same title. The film has Taapsee Pannu playing a young game developer who has to confront her PTSD and conquer her inner demons. Vinodhini Vaidyanathan also plays a pivotal role in this gripping thriller. Though the film received positive reviews, it had a lukewarm run at the box-office.
Kadaram Kondan (Amazon Prime): This thriller, directed by Rajesh Selva and produced by Kamal Haasan, released to high expectations. Vikram plays a double agent in Malaysia in the film. Akshara Haasan and Abi Hassan also play important roles. However, the film failed to live up to the hype mainly because of a barely sketched plot and underdeveloped characters.
Uyare (Netflix): Parvathy's critically acclaimed film on an acid attack survivor enjoyed a dream-run at the box-office. Directed by Manu Ashokan, the film also starred Asif Ali, playing a possessive boyfriend who forces Parvathy's character Pallavi into staying in a toxic relationship. Though the film takes a fairytale-like turn in the second half, Parvathy's riveting performance ensured that the audience was with her character all through.
18aam Padi (Amazon Prime): Directed by Shankar Ramakrishnan, this film is about school gang wars between an international school and a government one. Although it boasts of cameos by Mammootty and Prithviraj, the film failed to impress the audience and critics alike.
Unda (Amazon Prime): The Khalid Rahman directorial saw Mammootty playing an ordinary cop, starkly different from his usual superman roles in recent times. The film is about a group of policemen from Kerala who go to Chhattisgarh on election duty. It offered a sensitive commentary on Naxalism as well as the prevalence of caste discrimination within the police force.
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya (Amazon Prime): Directed by Swaroop RSJ, this detective film starring Naveen Polishetty and Shruti Sharma has equal parts intrigue and comedy. The film is about unidentified dead bodies which turn up on railway tracks and a little-known detective's quest to solve the case. The film was hailed as one of the best homegrown detective films to come out in recent times and is all set to become a franchise.
Brochevaruevarura (Amazon Prime): Directed by Vivek Athreya, this critically acclaimed comedy has Priyadarshi, Rahul Ramakrishna, Sri Vishnu, Nivetha Pethuraj and Nivetha Thomas in lead roles. This kidnap drama was described by critics as a rib tickling dark comedy which has an engaging narrative.
Rustum (Amazon Prime): This Shivarajkumar film released on the OTT platform towards the end of July. Directed by Ravi Varma, the cop flick has a lot to please Shivanna fans but the predictable plot with a flashback quite similar to several other films we've seen in the past, did not quite please the critics.