Tag Archives: Bollywood Movies on Amazon Prime

Streaming Video News: November 4, 2022

I updated my list of Bollywood movies streaming on Hulu with today’s addition of Brahmāstra, Part 1: Shiva (sometimes called Shiva No. 1). The superhero flick has Hindi and English dialogue options.

Also new today is the straight-to-streaming film Tadka on Zee5. This Hindi remake of the Malayalam film Salt N’ Pepper stars Nana Patekar, Taapsee Pannu, and Ali Fazal. (Update: if you’re trying to watch Tadka via the Zee5 app on Apple TV and use subtitles, the subtitles will appear at the top of the screen, obscuring the picture. See the photo below for an example.)

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime yesterday with the streaming debut of Ponniyin Selvan: 1. Mani Ratnam’s latest has Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada audio options.

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a few new additions this week: the Tamil-dubbed films David and Uyire and the 2022 Telugu action flick The Ghost (also available in Tamil and Hindi). If you missed any of the Indian films added to Netflix in October, check out my monthly roundup for What’s on Netflix.

[Disclaimer: 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: October 21, 2022

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with yesterday’s addition of the Tamil family film Senior Super Heroes. Look for the Telugu movie Krishna Vrinda Vihari to become available for streaming some time tomorrow afternoon. And just a reminder that tons of Hindi flicks are set to leave Netflix on November 1, so plan your weekend viewing accordingly.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with yesterday’s additions of the Marathi film Boyz 3 and a third season of Four More Shots Please!.

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with the addition of the 2012 flick Filmistaan, which I really enjoyed.

One note about Hulu is that it seems like they’re the streaming service with the most disparate regional restrictions on marquee content. With some regularity, stuff that they promote on their social media channels is ultimately available in India, but not in the United States. For example, Liger is now streaming in Hindi in India, but not here. [Update: Liger in Hindi was added to Hulu over the weekend. I guess the other lesson is: stuff isn’t added to Hulu as quickly as it’s added to Disney+Hotstar.]

Plenty of titles are available on Amazon Prime in India that aren’t free with Prime in the US, but they aren’t usually titles that are promoted in advance. All this is just to say that, while I try to be accurate in the “Coming Soon” section on each of my three streaming pages, don’t be surprised if some titles mentioned on the Hulu page never make their way to the USA.

[Disclaimer: 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: Maja Ma (2022)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Watch Maja Ma on Amazon Prime

Who we are is a complicated question because so much of our identity is relational. Descriptors like wife, mother, sister, friend, or co-worker all depend on there being at least one specific person on the other side of the equation. Navigating all those identities is tricky enough before we introduce individual identities that can be broader yet also more personal: artist, woman, gay, or straight. Maja Ma follows the members of the Patel family as a rumor makes them examine their own identities and their relationships with each other.

Tejas Patel (Ritwik Bhowmik) is trying to convince the wealthy parents of his Indian-American girlfriend Esha Hansraj (Barkha Singh) to allow him to marry their daughter. Tejas already passed a lie detector test required by Texans Bob (Rajit Kapoor) and Pam Hansraj (Sheeba Chaddha) to ensure that he isn’t just after the family’s money. The real challenge is a meeting between the families in India to prove that the Patels embody Bob’s idea of true Indian values. Bob believes anything less might harm Bob’s future campaign to become mayor of Houston.

The Patel family is pretty typical — dad Manohar (Gajraj Rao), mom Pallavi (Madhuri Dixit), Tejas, and his sister Tara (Srishti Shrivastava) — but Tara is the wildcard. She’s working on her PhD in gender studies, and she’s a vocal supporter of LGBTQIA+ rights. She’s so vocal that even the advocacy group she volunteers for asks her to tone down her fiery rhetoric to spare them the negative press.

Pallavi is supportive of her daughter, but she’s not keen on discussing sexuality with her. During an argument in which Tara presses her mom to admit whether she would have accepted Tara if she was gay (she’s not), Pallavi blurts out that she herself is a lesbian. It’s an effective way to end the argument, but Tara suspects that maybe there’s some truth behind her mom’s words.

When the Hansraj family arrives in town, the Patels do their best to tolerate their insufferable future in-laws for Tejas’s sake. Bob leers at Pallavi and says things like, “Exotic,” during her welcome ritual. When Tara serves snacks, Pam asks her if she’s menstruating (she’s not) since Bob won’t eat any food prepared by a woman who is.

At a festival that night, the host shows a video recorded by one of the nosy neighborhood kids that includes secretly recorded footage of Pallavi’s confession during her argument with Tara, sending the whole town into an uproar. Women exclude Pallavi from their activities, Manohar’s manhood is mocked, and Bob and Pam threaten to call off the engagement — unless Pallavi can pass a lie detector test.

Whether Pallavi’s confession is actually true is immaterial in the sense that everyone in her life changes the way they treat her anyway. Manohar’s concerns are the most understandable since Pallavi being a lesbian alters the foundations of their marriage. Tejas is willing to haul his mom off to conversion therapy if it means he can still marry Esha. Tara is thrilled at the prospect of having a lesbian mother, as it would give her more credibility in her gay rights organization.

One of the counselors in Tara’s organization emphasizes that it’s entirely up to Pallavi whether she decides to publicly embrace being a lesbian. The reactions by her family, the Hansrajs, and everyone else in the neighborhood show that doing so would not come without a cost. In addition to being a lesbian, Pallavi is a mother and a wife — two roles she’s let define her knowing that other options were not available to her when she was of marriageable age.

As far as the audience knows, Pallavi loves being a mom and being part of her community, and she and Manohar have an amicable relationship. Is making a public declaration worth risking damage to the other parts of her life she’s spent decades building? Director Anand Tiwari and writer Sumit Batheja compassionately provide context for a heart-wrenching decision people are still forced to make in places where it is not safe to come out.

Maja Ma also thoughtfully depicts the changing family dynamics as adult children finally realize that their parents are more than just “Mom” and “Dad.” Likewise, Manohar’s attempts to rekindle the physical romance in his marriage are handled with grace and good humor. This is a movie that is very fond of the main family at its core.

Conversely, Bob and Pam are shown to be buffoons who get away with awful behavior because they have money. One curious point is that the movie gives Esha a pass for tolerating her parents’ rude, bigoted behavior. Her unconditional love of them is painted as a good thing, but that doesn’t mean she should condone their abuse. Far less emotional growth is demanded of her than the other adult children in the film, and it seems like a missed opportunity.

Still, Tiwari’s and Batheja’s attempts to address as the many complications that would arise from Pallavi’s confession is worth applauding, as are the performances by Maja Ma‘s terrific cast.

Links

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Streaming Video News: October 3, 2022

I just updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with yet another massive list of films that will soon expire from Netflix. Following the big purge of UTV titles on October 1, most of the rest of the UTV catalog will expire on November 1. Because of the ways that films are co-produced by multiple studios, I suspect a lot of this activity is due to a realignment of streaming video contracts. Many of these titles may wind up on Netflix again, although some will likely make their way other streamers (such as Disney+/Hotstar/Hulu in the case of movies produced by Disney India, like ABCD 2 or Zokkomon.)

Here are all of the movies leaving Netflix on November 1, with titles I’ve reviewed at the top followed by other titles in alphabetical order:

In other streaming news, the mass exodus of Yash Rash Films content from Amazon Prime that I wrote about last week turns out to have been more of a housekeeping matter. Previously, every YRF title had two separate catalog IDs: one from the initial time they were added to the Amazon Prime catalog and then when the movies were added again (for some reason). All of the original YRF catalog entries were wiped out on October 1, but the newer catalog IDs remain. So for now, the vast majority of YRF movies are still available on Amazon Prime. You can find all of them on my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime.

YRF Movies Leaving Amazon Prime in 2022

[October 3, 2022 update: At least for now, this appears to be a catalog cleanup rather than a mass expiration. Previously, all Yash Raj Films movies were listed in the Amazon Prime catalog twice, with two distinct catalog ID numbers for each title. The older of the two catalog IDs for each film has expired, but the newer one remains. For now, YRF movies are still available on Prime.]

It’s last call at Amazon Prime for the majority of movies in the Yash Raj Films catalog. 65 titles are set to expire from Prime on September 30, 2022.

This removal may be temporary, but there’s also a chance that the departures presage the launch of the independent streaming service YRF announced it was working on last year. The company already assigned a December 2 release date to its first streaming series The Railway Men, and the show needs a home, so the timing seems right. A handful of YRF films from 2016 — including Fan and Sultan — are currently unavailable for streaming anywhere, presumably waiting for the debut of the YRF Entertainment streaming service.

All eleven of the YRF movies released since August, 2017 will remain on Amazon Prime for the time being (check my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime for links). The company’s four most recent films — Bunty Aur Babli 2, Prithviraj, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, and Prithviraj — have their own separate streaming contract with Amazon Prime and will likely be last to leave the service.

Here are all the titles leaving Amazon Prime on September 30, 2022, organized first in descending order of my star-ranking, then alphabetically:

[Disclaimer: 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: August 11, 2022

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s addition of the Taapsee Pannu sports biopic Shabaash Mithu. Yesterday marked the debut of Indian Matchmaking Season 2 and the return of Season 1 villain Aparna. A new season of Never Have I Ever drops on Friday, followed by the Hindi action movie Nikamma on Saturday.

Netflix India announced the details on their slate of non-fiction content set to debut before the end of 2022, including release dates for two of the titles. Season 2 of The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives launches on September 2, and the second entry in the Indian Predator series — The Diary of a Serial Killer — comes out September 7.  Other titles mentioned in the reveal video (embedded below) include the previously announced series Social Currency, the new series IRL: In Real Love, and two new documentaries — Mumbai Mafia: Police vs The Underworld and Nayanthara: Beyond the Fairytale.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s debut of Mind the Malhotras Season 2. Other new additions this week include Malayankunju (Malayalam) and Thank You (Telugu).

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with today’s premiere of the Tamil film Cadaver (also available in Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, and Telugu). Another new addition to Hulu this week is the Telugu movie The Warriorr.

Bonus: Aditya Roy Kapur’s action flick Rashtra Kavach Om is now streaming on Zee5.

[Disclaimer: 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: July 21, 2022

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s addition of the 2019 Tamil film Magamuni and yesterday’s debut of the Netflix Original true crime series Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi. The 2022 Telugu movie F3: Fun and Frustration becomes available for streaming on the 22nd, followed by Gulshan Devaiah’s thriller Foot Fairy on the 24th (in both Hindi and Marathi).

Netflix is set to lose a bunch of popular Hindi movies on August 1. Here’s a list of what’s on the way out, ordered from best to worst (click on the star-rating to ready my review):

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with a new season of the Telugu series Parampara.

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s addition of the Hindi film JugJugg Jeeyo, which released in theaters June 24. Look for the Punjabi film Sher Bagga to arrive on Prime on the 24th and R. Madhavan’s directorial debut Rocketry: The Nambi Effect on the 25th.

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Streaming Video News: June 2, 2022

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s streaming debut of the blockbuster K.G.F: Chapter 2. It’s available in its original Kannada, as well as dubbed versions in  Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with the premiere of the Hotstar Specials series 9 Hours. In addition to the original Telugu, the series is also available in Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, and Tamil.

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with yesterday’s addition of the Malayalam film Jana Gana Mana. The Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu versions of Jana Gana Mana are all titled Jana 2022 in the Netflix catalog.

This was a surprisingly busy week for news about Netflix Original projects in production. Filming wrapped on the series Rana Naidu (an official remake of Ray Donovan). The movie based on The Devotion of Suspect X finished its Darjeeling schedule. Filming began on Anushka Sharma’s Jhulan Goswami biopic Chakda ‘Xpress. And the Sanjay Leela Bhansali series Heeramandi got a new director. Not sure how many of these we’ll get in 2022, but I wrote about most of them in my 2022 preview for What’s on Netflix.

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Streaming Video News: May 20, 2022

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with two big additions to the catalog: Shahid Kapoor’s Hindi remake of Jersey and the Hindi-dubbed version of RRR, which was preponed from its previously announced June 2 streaming release date. The original Telugu version of RRR is streaming now on Zee5, along with dubbed versions in Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam.

Netflix just announced that Season 2 of the crime drama She will release on June 17. And this is the last week to watch Raees (which I sort of liked) on Netflix before it expires May 26.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the Telugu action flick Acharya (which has Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil audio options as well). Earlier in the week, Amazon debuted Season 2 of its original Hindi series Panchayat.

Finally, I added the 2022 films 12th Man (Malayalam) and Bhala Thandhanana (Telugu) to my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu. The new Hindi series Escaype Live debuted on Disney+ Hotstar in India yesterday, but it looks like we might not get it on Hulu in the United States.

[Disclaimer: 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 9, 2022

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with upcoming expiration dates for a bunch of films from Shah Rukh Khan’s production house, Red Chillies Entertainment:

Other titles like Dear Zindagi have also expired in recent weeks, but I don’t think this necessarily means that Netflix’s deal with Red Chillies is done for good and that the films are headed to another streaming service. Chennai Express returned to Netflix in August 2021, and Yodha and two other titles returned in January of this year. This could just be a reset before the start of a new streaming contract. However, there’s no guarantee that the above titles will return to Netflix, or that they will return quickly if they do, so prioritize watching them if you’re so inclined.

Last week, Netflix added a pair of Hindi movies, including Radhe Shyam and the Original film Thar, which is really good. The Tamil action flick Beast — starring Vijay and Pooja Hegde — debuts on Netflix May 10 (in the afternoon in the US). And Netflix recently moved Masaba Masaba into the “Worth the Wait” row on their New & Popular page, joining She. No Season 2 release dates for either series yet, though.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a bunch of additions in the last week:

The Amazon Original anthology series Modern Love: Mumbai premieres in the afternoon on Thursday, May 12.

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with the debut of the Hotstar Special Hindi series Home Shanti, which is also available in Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.

[Disclaimer: 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!]