This truly has turned out to be the most ‘interesting boring’ times of our lives. We have always wanted to do so much more, watch so much more but never had the time. Suddenly we have been given so much time that we are scrounging through mediocre content, while some of the best content is hidden behind the main title pages of all platforms. So here’s a list of my recommendations that should enrich your self-isolation time.
A few days back Netflix announced that they have acquired all the titles of the famous Japan-based Studio Ghibli films. In the 80s and 90s, Studio Ghibli, led by the legendary animator filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, created some of the best animation films for children as well as adults. My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Only Yesterday, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, Castle In The Sky and the most important one - Spirited Away (one of the first Animation films to win The Best Foreign Language film Oscar. It is also the highest grossing film in the history of Japan). These films are sincere, honest, entertaining and have a magical world with absolutely gorgeous landscapes, something that the world is in desperate need of.
If you are into series and binge watching then one of the most underrated fun series on Hotstar is Barry. Barry is about a mean contract killer who suddenly discovers that acting is his passion and he falls so much in love with his acting course that he wants to leave contract killing! If you are into non-fiction then two of my favourite series are on Amazon Prime. First, The Test, is about the 2018 Australian cricket scandal and the return of Smith and Warner. What is particularly very interesting to see is how the other teams view India and especially Virat Kohli, who is almost shown as a gangster that everyone fears. Second, The Looming Tower, a fantastically made series about tracing Bin Laden during the 90s and what exactly went wrong between CIA and FBI in the USA.
A film that I highly recommend on Amazon Prime is Searching. It is an investigative film that is made entirely on the laptop. Would you believe that? There is no camera used to make this film. A father is searching for his daughter via news videos, CCTV footages, her laptop folders and what not. It’s the kind of film that you would have never seen before.
Repeat after me, some of the best films in India are made in Malayalam! Their films are entertaining, endearing and most importantly are in touch with the current societal trends unlike some of our bollywood films. Follow the list along with the platforms they are available in:
Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum (absolute favourite, its on Hotstar)
Sudani From Nigeria (Netflix)
Kumbalagini Nights (Amazon Prime)
Android Kunjappam Ver 5.25 (Amazon Prime)
Premam (Amazon Prime)
Angamalay Diaries (Netflix)
MUBI India has recently started operations in India and they have films of two most important filmmakers to come out of Hindi cinema, Hrishikesh Mukherji and Basu Chatterjee. If the millennials today haven't seen their films or heard about them, then they SHOULD and right now you have the time, if one can stay off social media for sometime. It is important to know how entertaining the original Golmaal was and how much today’s filmmakers borrow from their plots and stories, but don’t borrow the sentiment and earthiness in their storytelling. My recommendations are: Guddi, Chupke Chupke, Golmaal, Anand, Khoobsoorat, Bawarchi, Khatta Meetha, Baaton Baaton Mein.
On a self plug-in note: MUBI India also has my film Amdavad Ma Famous online this month!
Text Hardik Mehta