For R-Day, there are five new movies available on OTT platforms, with Bro Daddy leading the pack

republic supert hit south
For R-Day, there are five new movies available on OTT platforms, with Bro Daddy leading the pack

The country’s national holiday, Republic Day, has provided filmmakers with a window to promote new films on OTT platforms in the middle of the week.

And, if there is a swarm of new releases, you can count on our customary section on what to see and where to see it.

This week’s column features films from South India, including three Malayalam films and one Telugu and Kannada film apiece. Only one of the five is a direct-to-OTT release; the other four have already played in theatres.

Badaga Rascal in Kannada and Arjuna Phalguna in Telugu are the five films we’ve chosen. Aaha, Ellam Sheriyakum, and Bro Daddy, the season’s biggest release, are among the Malayalam films. The hype and anticipation are all focused on the final name. As is the case every week, a few more films may be released without warning or fanfare.

Ellam Sheriyaku

DirectorJibu Jacob
CastAsif Ali, Rajisha Vijayan, Sidhique
LanguageMalayalam
PlatformZee5
Release dateJanuary 26, 2022
Ellam Sheriyaku Details

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Malayalam film industry produced tough and meaty political films. However, the trend began to wane as the country’s politics changed dramatically. It’s tough to create a picture in this genre these days without causing some controversy. Last year, top performer Mammootty starred in the political drama One. However, the film pulled its punches and the political element was underwhelming.

Ellam Sheriyakum is a political drama with an emotional undercurrent. It’s about a powerful politician’s daughter eloping with a young worker from the other party. The film delves into the power struggle between the two men for the same woman’s affection.

The movies of the 1980s were able to create enjoyable drama by combining personal and political elements in appropriate proportions. This film makes an attempt to do the same.

Badava Rascal

DirectorGuru Shankar
CastDhananjay, Amrutha Iyengar, Nagabhushan, Rangayana Raghu
LanguageKannada Platform
PlatformVoot
Release dateJanuary 26, 2022
Badava Rascal Details

Kannada films, which are widely regarded as the poorest of the four film industries in the South, appear to have found their voice thanks to the emergence of OTT platforms. They appear to be lot more self-assured and unafraid to express their regional culture and customs. We last saw Garuda Gamana Vrishaba Vahana two weeks ago.

Even though it expressed a universal emotion, it was quintessentially Kannada in spirit. This film is also about a thuggish group.

This one, though, has a distinct personality. It has a more self-aware tone, which is larky and light.

The plot centers around a middle-class man who is kidnapped by a gang because he is in love with the daughter of a politician.

But the interesting part is that by describing his life narrative of friendship, love, breakups, and family feelings, he compels people to reconsider their choices.

In some ways, it’s a bizarre coming-of-age film. Dhananjay, who we just saw in the Telugu film Pushpa, plays the protagonist in this film, which is a home production for him.

Arjuna Phalguna

DirectorTeja Marni
CastSree Vishnu, Amritha Aiyer
LanguageKannada, Telugu
PlatformAha
Release dateJanuary 26, 2022
Arjuna Phalguna Details

Telugu films having historical titles are nothing new. Arjuna Phalguna is a crime comedy that tries to replicate Brochevarevarura’s fun ride from a few years ago. That picture is the spiritual forerunner of this one. A group of buddies and a bag full of cash are also at the heart of this situation.

The film places a high value on friendship and the accompanying sense of well-being. Although the picture lacks the gravitas of Brochevarevarura, it compensates by being sufficiently accurate to the cultural environment in which it is set. The local lingo spoken by the leads is worth remembering since it is charming and accurate. The film’s heart is in the right place, even if it is a little predictable.

Aaha

DirectorBibin Paul Samuel
CastIndrajith Sukumaran, Amit Chakkalakal, Ashwin Kumar, Manoj K Jayan, Santhy Balachandran
LanguageMalayalam
PlatformZee5
Release dateJanuary 26, 2022
Aaha Details

Vadamvali, which translates to “tug-of-war” in Malayalam, is a popular sport in Kerala. The film is based on the popular tug-of-war team ‘Aaha Neeloor’ from the 1980s and 1990s. The squad was mainly made up of manual laborers from Kerala’s famed rubber fields. Those laborers worked hard in the morning and then tried their hand at this dangerous pastime at night. It was a form of subculture in the western ghats’ higher reaches.

While presenting a short social commentary on the caste gap, hatred against migrants, and other types of social division that curiously nestle in this supposedly open and liberal region, Aaha exploits those motifs for a sporting cinematic drama. The vadam (rope) is a kind of emancipation weapon for the macho sport’s hulky athletes.

Bro Daddy

DirectorBibin Paul Samuel
CastMohanlal, Prithviraj Sukumran, Meena, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Lalu Alex, Murali Gopy, Kaniha, Soubin
LanguageMalayalam
PlatformDisney+ Hotstar
Release dateJanuary 26, 2022
Bro DaddyDetails

A film starring Mohanlal and Prithviraj Sukumaran, two of the industry’s greatest stars, premiering straight on an OTT platform is major news in and of itself. The fact that it is directed by Prithviraj himself adds to the film’s appeal. This is his second film as a filmmaker, following the 2019 film Lucifer, which also starred Mohanlal. But it was a crime thriller, whereas this is a comedy for the whole family. The trailers have always depicted the film as a lighthearted, heartwarming adventure featuring a son and an ageless father. Prithviraj and Mohanlal portray a son-daughter duo, and their natural chemistry appears to be a lot of fun.

After Cold Case, Kurthi, and Brahmam, this is Prithviraj’s fourth consecutive direct OTT release. It’s unlikely that any other Indian superstar has had such a long run of straight OTT releases. Prithviraj should be commended for his unwavering faith in the new medium.

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