Tag Archives: Desi Movies on Heera

Streaming Video News: November 11, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Heera with one new addition to the catalog. The October, 2017 theatrical release Chef is now available for streaming. It’s a decent one-time watch. Heera also recently added two other 2017 releases: the Marathi family drama Baapjanma and the Telugu thriller Raju Gari Gadhi 2.

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Streaming Video News: October 28, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Heera with the addition of two movies that released in theaters just last month! Bhoomi and Simran — which was kind of disappointing — are both now available for streaming. Heera also added two Tamil films that released theatrically in September, 2017: Hara Hara Mahadevaki and Thupparivaalan.

I posted a list of spooky Bollywood movies on Netflix yesterday, but Heera carries a number of scary flicks as well. Here are some of the Indian horror movies available on Heera.

Streaming Bollywood Movies: Review of Amazon’s Heera Channel

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In March, 2017, Amazon added a new Indian movie channel to its American lineup of add-on subscriptions to Prime Video. The Heera channel boasts hundreds of titles in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, and Telugu. Here’s my take on the service.

Foremost in the minds of many consumers when choosing a streaming provider is the strength of the service’s catalog. With nearly 400 titles in the Hindi collection alone, Heera has a lot to offer fans of Indian cinema. As of the time of this writing (October, 2017), Heera already carries twelve movies released theatrically in 2017. The service has a number of new stand-up comedy specials by Indian comedians, as well as the original TV series Inside Edge starring Richa Chadha and Vivek Oberoi. (Much of the content available with the additional Heera subscription in the States is available with a standard Amazon Prime subscription elsewhere in the world.)

Maybe even more important, Heera has what are arguably the two most desirable Bollywood films for repeat viewing: Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Streaming services have been racing to sign contracts for access to the full catalogs of the most prominent Indian studios and production houses. Netflix has a deal with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, while Amazon/Heera have contracts with Yash Raj Films and Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment. Heera’s recent addition of several films starring or produced by Salman Khan point to a relationship between the star and the streaming service as well. (At the time of this writing, Netflix, Amazon/Heera, and iTunes are all vying for Eros International’s huge catalog.)

Another nice feature of Heera’s collection is a subset of movies produced by the National Film Development Corporation, an organization devoted to financing films of artistic merit that might otherwise struggle within the traditional studio format. Heera also has a number of older titles from the 1970s and earlier.

Heera’s deep, diverse catalog — I haven’t even touched on movies in other languages or Heera’s collection of animated children’s shows — appeals to a wide audience. A multi-generational household will find something for everyone in the family to enjoy, for less than the cost of a movie ticket.

That leads to another key determining factor for streaming subscriptions: price. If you live in one of the estimated 64% of US households that already subscribe to Amazon Prime, paying an additional $4.99 per month for Heera is a no-brainer. It’s cheaper than Netflix’s most basic one screen/standard definition plan for $7.99 per month, and you get access to an extensive collection of Hollywood and international movies available through the basic Prime membership, with includes dozens of Indian films.

Things get more complicated if you’re only subscribing to Heera for the movies and wouldn’t otherwise use Amazon Prime. You can save a little money with a year-long subscription to Prime for $99, bringing the per-month cost of a Heera subscription down to $13.24. (Amazon offers a 30-day free trail of Prime, if you’re unsure about a long-term commitment.) A strictly month-to-month plan costs $14.99 — $10 for Prime plus $4.99 for Heera. That’s three dollars more than the current cost of Netflix’s most expensive four-screens, Ultra-HD plan.

Of course, there are other aspects to consider when choosing a streaming service. One really cool feature available with Amazon/Heera is the ability to change the size and background color of subtitles. There are five text sizes available, as well as three color options: white text/no background, white text/translucent grey background, or yellow text/black background. You can preview a sample of what each style and size subtitles will look like, even if you adjust the settings in the middle of watching a movie. Keep in mind that some titles do not have English subtitles (including my beloved horror flick Khamoshiyan). Heera also allows you to download movies for later viewing, and the video quality is good on an iPad.

The biggest downside for Heera is that — as an Amazon subsidiary — its catalog shares the same abysmal organization that plagues the rest of Amazon’s video catalog. It’s not just that catalog is disorganized; some movies are impossible to find unless you specifically search for them by title. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge isn’t mentioned on any of the twenty-four pages of movies listed under the “Heera Bollywood Movies” section. I only knew to search for it by name because so many other Yash Raj films are available.

It’s also impossible to skip more than one page ahead through Heera’s desktop catalog (okay, you can jump from Page 1 to Page 3). With titles sorted by “Newest Available” — which gives the fullest possible iteration of the Bollywood catalog — it took me 1 minute 45 seconds to scroll all the way to the last title — and that’s on a new computer without stopping to actually read the titles. Woe unto you who forgets the name of a movie listed on Page 24 and has to look for it on a computer with an ancient operating system.

The Heera app available on my smart TV has a few lists — such as “Heera Popular Movies” or “Heera Comedy Specials” — that sort the movies available in that category in order of popularity. That means that you’ll have to scroll through 150 or so titles to find Fanaa under the “Heera Bollywood Movies” section, which only lists about half of the movies available in that category anyway. The “Heera Recently Added Movies” section is a couple of weeks out of date as well. Your best bet is to set aside some time to add the movies you want to see to your Watchlist using the full website. OR you could select movies from this handy list I made of all of the Hindi titles available on Heera. (Tips via PayPal are always appreciated.)

As of right now, Heera is my preferred Bollywood streaming service, over Netflix and Eros Now. The catalog is both current and deep, and the price point for Prime subscribers is hard to beat. Heera’s launch triggered a scramble among service providers, and Hotstar‘s recent foray into the American marketplace could mix things up once again. As great as Heera is, its reign as the best Bollywood streaming service could be brief if Amazon isn’t vigilant.

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Streaming Video News: October 9, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Heera with one new addition to the catalog. Arjun Rampal’s Daddy is now available for streaming, one month after its theatrical release!

I also recently updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of the 2017 Indian-Chinese co-production Kung Fu Yoga, starring Jackie Chan and Sonu Sood. For everything else new on Netflix — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

Streaming Video News: October 2, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Heera with one big new addition to the catalog. Salman Khan’s 2017 release Tubelight is now available for streaming. I enjoyed Tubelight a lot more than I expected to.

I also made two changes to my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix. The Manipuri film Loktak Lairembee is now available for streaming, as is the Gujarati movie Wrong Side Raju. Amazon Prime added the Telugu film The Bells to its streaming catalog. For everything else new to Netflix and Amazon Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

Streaming Video News: September 11, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Heera with an exciting new addition to the catalog. Meri Pyaari Bindu — the first of actor Ayushmann Khurrana’s three romcoms to release this year — is now available for streaming. I really enjoyed the way the film examines perspectives in romantic relationships.

I further updated my Heera list with some titles that I only just discovered were available on the service, thanks to Amazon’s atrocious methods of labeling and categorizing movies. Those films are: Amal, Dil Chahta Hai (★★★★), Kshay, Lakshya, Ready (★★½), and Yuva (★★★★).

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with some recently added animated children’s films, including Mighty Raju Rio Calling and seven titles in the Krish Trish and Baltiboy series. For everything else new on Netflix — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

Streaming Video News: August 18, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon’s Heera channel with five additions to the streaming catalog. 2008’s Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors is the most recent release of the bunch, with also includes Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (2001), Chauraha (1994), and Gardish (1993). I am most excited for 1998’s Hatyara, in which Mithun Chakraborty plays a character who avenges the rape and murder of his loved ones by villains played by Mukesh Rishi and Rami Reddy. If that sounds an awful lot like the plot of my beloved Gunda, get this — Hatyara released in theaters in 1998 just three months before Gunda!

I also made a couple of recent updates to my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime. Admittedly, they aren’t “Bollywood” movies by the strict definition, but rather international productions about desis abroad that might appeal to Bollywood fans, including the American film Quarter Life Crisis (starring Maulik Pancholy and Lisa Ray) and the 2017 Italian movie Babylon Sisters, about an Indian family that opens a dance studio. The 2016 Malayalam film Girls is also now available for streaming.

Finally, my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix is updated to include several new Indian movies: Chocolate (Bengali), Rama Rama Re… (Kannada), Superstar (Gujarati), and the Malayalam films An Off-Day Game and Six Feet High.