Author Archives: Kathy

Streaming Video News: May 15, 2020

Amazon’s announcement yesterday of a June 12 straight-to-streaming release for the Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Gulabo Sitabo was just a teaser. Today, they announced a whole slate of Indian movies that will skip cinemas and release straight to Prime, including Vidya Balan’s biopic Shakuntala Devi. (Bollywood Hungama reports that Ludo and Jhund may soon follow suit.) Here’s the full list of Indian movies premiering on Amazon Prime, with release dates listed, if announced:

  • Ponmagal Vandhal (Tamil) — May 29
  • Gulabo Sitabo (Hindi) — June 12
  • Penguin (Telugu and Tamil) — June 19
  • Law (Kannada) — June 26
  • French Biryani (Kannada) — July 24
  • Soofiyum Sujathayum (Malayalam) — TBA
  • Shakuntala Devi (Hindi) — TBA

If you are not already a Prime subscriber, you can get a free 30-day trial with my affiliate link (earning me a commission in the process!). Here’s a link to my list of all the Indian films currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Streaming Video News: May 14, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s addition of the 2020 Hindi thriller Malang, starring Anil Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, and Disha Patani.

I also updated list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s addition of the new Amazon Original Hindi crime series Paatal Lok (also in 4K UHD), starring Jaideep Ahlawat.

Amazon made the big announcement that director Shoojit Sircar’s comedy-drama Gulabo Sitabo — starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana — will not wait for theaters to reopen, but will instead debut worldwide on Amazon Prime on June 12.

If you’re interested in what the future may hold for theatrical releases, I recommend this episode of The Boxoffice Podcast. The discussion centers around American theaters and titles, but the same concerns apply to studios and cinemas globally.

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: May 8, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the addition of about a dozen Indian titles in the last several days, including the 2020 pictures Valayam (Telugu) and Dhauli (Hindi) and Praveen Kumar’s new Tamil stand-up comedy special Mr. Family Man. Amazon also released the trailer for its new Hindi crime series Paatal Lok, which debuts May 15.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the trailer for the short-run Hindi horror series Betaal, which debuts on May 24. It’s directed by Patrick Graham, who previously directed the horror series Ghoul for Netflix (as is obvious from the look and vibe of the trailer):

In other news, it looks like the two big releases originally set to face-off in theaters on May 22 will now be heading straight to streaming video. Bollywood Hungama reports a likely June release of Akshay Kumar’s Laxxmi Bomb on Hotstar. The makers of that weekend’s other big flick — Salman Khan’s Radhe — are also considering a streaming release, but they’re asking in the neighborhood of $30 million for the streaming rights (per Bollywood Hungama). The Abhishek Bachchan-Aditya Roy Kapur film Ludo may also head to streaming after missing its April release date. All of these decisions are predicated on the current prevailing industry sentiment that theaters won’t reopen until September at the earliest.

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Movie Review: Bhangra Paa Le (2020)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Watch Bhangra Paa Le on Netflix

Though bhangra features in plenty of Hindi movies, it’s rarely the only dance style performed. Not so in Bhangra Paa Le (“Let’s Do the Bhangra“), director Sneha Taurani’s debut film, which is all bhangra, all the time.

This is established early on. As college stud Jaggi (Sunny Kaushal) fills out his university’s dance team, he rejects any dancer whose performance is too influenced by hip-hop or other Western dance styles. If you’re going to win a bhangra competition where top prize is a trip to compete in London, you need bhangra specialists.

While at a wedding, Jaggi spots an ideal candidate to fill the female-lead role on his team. He and Simi (Rukshar Dhillon) hit it off, but before he can ask her to join his squad, she asks him to join her university team. Realizing that they are rivals, they part ways — not on bad terms, but each determined to take the top prize.

Each has their own reason for wanting to win. By performing in London, Simi hopes to prove to her father (who abandoned her for a new life in the UK) that she’s doing just fine without him. Jaggi wants to honor his grandfather, Kaptaan, a bhangra legend in his hometown. Kaushal plays Kaptaan in flashbacks to grandpa’s days romancing a beauty named Nimmo (Shriya Pilgaonkar) before leaving to fight in World War II.

It’s a stretch to equate the struggles of a combat veteran with those of a college dancer, the way that Jaggi does. Yet, given Jaggi’s young age and comparatively limited life experience, it makes sense that he might make that connection. The characters in Bhangra Paa Le behave in authentic, age-appropriate ways. It’s one of the strongest aspects of the film.

It’s also a treat to watch both of the main characters evolve, even if Jaggi gets more of the narrative focus. While they have their ups and downs, there’s nothing mean-spirited about either Jaggi or Simi, so the drama never feels overblown. They’re two nice young people who deserve to succeed, even if they can’t both be victorious.

The film’s supporting characters don’t get the same kind of development as the leads, appearing and disappearing as the story requires. The story itself feels a bit disjointed, not because of the World War II flashbacks, but because Jaggi returns home in the second half–abruptly shifting the tone of the film from a modern youth picture to a rural family drama.

Of course, the main reason for anyone to watch Bhangra Paa Le is the dancing, which is overall really good. The movie does a nice job showcasing the dance form’s ability to express a range of emotions, using songs with different tempos and sentiments as a base for a varied choreography palette. Viewers who are only interested in the dancing will not be disappointed.

Links

Streaming Video News: May 4, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with two Hindi films added over the weekend: the 2019 crime thriller One Day: Justice Delivered and the March 2020 drama Kaamyaab, starring Sanjay Mishra. I also found a number of titles that will expire on May 10:

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the additions of the Hindi film Chor: The Bicycle and the Telugu title Egise Taarajuvvalu, aka “The Wings of Fire”.

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: May 1, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the additions of the 2020 Tamil film Psycho and the new Netflix Original Hindi flick Mrs. Serial Killer, starring Jacqueline Fernandez and Manoj Bajpayee. The 2019 Hindi movie One Day: Justice Delivered hits Netflix on May 3.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with five Indian titles added since yesterday.

Bollywood Buff put together a helpful post listing all of the yet-to-be released Hindi films that have already inked streaming video deals — a move that opens the door for them to release straight to streaming if they decide not to wait for theaters to reopen. Akshay Kumar is reportedly considering releasing Laxmmi Bomb — which was set to debut in theaters on May 22 — on Hotstar once post-production is finished, possibly in June.

According to Bollywood Buff, a number of movies have already ruled out a straight-to-digital release, including Sooryavanshi, 83, Radhe, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, and Bunty Aur Babli 2. We’ll have to wait and see if all the other titles on the list are as resolute.

Streaming Video News: April 30, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s additions of Amitabh Bachchan’s 2020 Marathi film AB Aani CD and Taapsee Pannu’s Hindi drama Thappad (also available in 4K UHD).

Thappad is the last major Hindi theatrical release of 2020 scheduled to join Amazon Prime for the foreseeable future. There’s a chance some smaller releases from this year may make their way to Prime, and some already completed pictures may skip theaters altogether and release straight to streaming. Of course Amazon has a bunch of its own Indian Originals in the works as well. But until theaters reopen and studios start releasing new movies into cinemas — which may depend not just on conditions in India but across the globe — we’re facing a bit of a new-content drought on Prime.

Another of the last remaining Hindi theatrical releases of 2020 — Baaghi 3 — is now streaming on Hotstar. The original Baaghi was bad in a fun way, but Baaghi 3 is just bad.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of the 2019 Tamil film R.K.Nagar. I also added May 7 expiration dates for Andaz Apna Apna, Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid, and Action Replayy (which is not good).

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: April 28, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of two 2020 releases: the remake of Love Aaj Kal and the English-language film The Lift Boy. Also new is Mindy Kailing’s comedy series Never Have I Ever, about an Indian-American teen’s quest for high school popularity.

Please check out my latest post for What’s on NetflixNew Indian Movies & TV Series on Netflix: April 2020. Also, check out What’s on Netflix’s Most Popular TV & Movies on Netflix page for daily updates from a dozen countries. The hottest movie in India (and the US) today is Extraction, while Money Heist is India’s most popular show.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the a bunch of Marathi titles that used to be on Netflix as well as the 2020 Malayalam film Gauthamante Radham. The Hindi film Margarita with a Straw is also now streaming on Prime. It’s worth a watch.

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: April 23, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with dozens of Indian films added in the last week, including the 2020 Tamil releases God Father and Sandimuni and the Vicky Kaushal horror flick Bhoot: Part 1 — The Haunted Ship. The Taapsee Pannu social issue drama Thappad is now coming to Prime on May 1.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of Dulquer Salmaan’s 2020 Malayalam release Varane Avashyamund, the 2019 Tamil film Kolaiyuthir Kaalam, and the new stand-up comedy special Yours Sincerely, Kanan Gill. I also included Chris Hemsworth’s new action flick Extraction in the list because it features Bollywood actors Randeep Hooda, Pankaj Tripathi, and Priyanshu Painyuli.

More than 30 Indian movies will expire from Netflix on May 1, so catch these while you can:

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: April 17, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime because the February romantic comedy Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is now available for streaming (also in 4K UHD). Also new is Season 2 of the Amazon Original series Four More Shots Please! (also in 4K UHD). Amazon Prime Video India made a Season 1 recap video, if you need a refresher.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the debut of the Netflix Original dark comedy series Hasmukh, starring Vir Das and Ranvir Shorey. Netflix also released the trailer for its Original film Mrs. Serial Killer, which premieres May 1.

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]