With theatres shut down for most of 2020, people turned to OTT for entertainment and so did filmmakers. After the lockdown was announced in March 2020, the filmmakers had to make a choice to either wait for theatrical releases or to opt for digital releases. Some big-screen films like Gulabo Sitabo, and Dil Bechara made an impact on how OTT will be perceived in the coming years. Meanwhile, it also brought more attention to other releases like Bulbbul, Raat Akeli Hai, and Ludo which were meant for OTT releases.
With the year coming to an end, here are some of the best digital film releases in 2020, from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming platforms in India.
Gulabo Sitabo starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana was one of the very first digital releases of the year. Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the film was highly praised for the direction and performances by the amazing stars. The film set in Lucknow, follows two slimy scheming foxes- a landlord and tenant in a game of upmanship.
Gunjan Saxena The Kargil Girl
Based on the life of Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena, the film made headlines even after release due to some of its content. However, fans loved Janhvi Kapoor’s performance in her first biopic as an Air Force Officer. The film follows ambitious Gunjan Saxena, who is drawn by the idea of a life in a cockpit. Despite facing reservations, she fulfils her dream and serves the country in the Kargil War.
Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s final film was one of the most-watched films of 2020. Based on John Green’s young adult romance book titled The Fault in Our Stars, the film also starred newcomer Sanjana Sanghi in the lead role. Dil Bechara released on Disney+ Hotstar in July, a month after the actor’s death and was also made accessible to non-subscribers in honour of SSR. The film is an emotional rollercoaster as two teenagers battling cancer fall in love and try to find meaning in life.
Bulbbul starring Tripti Dimri, is one of the underappreciated films of the year. The Hindi-language horror directed by Anvita Dutt has been highly praised for its visual experience of moonlight nights and cinematography with the symbolic red tint. Bulbbul comments on women’s position in society and how they have been perceived as bad omen for centuries. The story follows a child bride and her journey from innocence to strength.
Anurag Basu’s dark comedy Ludo is a multi-starrer that gave the audience everything they could – thriller, comedy, romance, drama and Pankaj Tripathi. The film also stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Sanya Malhotra, and Pearle Maaney, among others. Ludo follows a group of people whose fate intertwine as they try to rid themselves of their problems like a resurfaced sex tape, a rogue suitcase of money, kidnapped kids and more with the help of a criminal mastermind.
Lootcase directed by Rajesh Krishnan was a much needed comic break in 2020. The film follows Nandan Kumar played by Kunal Kemmu, as he comes across a suitcase full of cash. He knows nothing about it and has to decide whether to take it or leave it. Nandan is happy with his fate until he becomes the target of two different gangs and a corrupt police officer.
Some other noteworthy releases of the year are Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Raat Akeli Hai, Bhumi Pednekar’s Durgamati, Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi, and more.