Streaming services are the heroes of lockdown, transporting us from the solitude of our lives to new worlds and fresh ideas.
Amazon’s bold move to acquire a raft of movies, starting with Gulabo Sitabo starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, to be premiered on June 12, has upset exhibitors but created hope for producers who face a long period of uncertainty. But the core of streaming services remains the long form narrative, the thrill of telling a story deeply. Given that parameter, some of its choices have been impeccable. Top of the list is Paatal Lok, inspired by Tarun Tejpal’s The Story of My Assassins and set in a Delhi that is suffocatingly familiar. The Single Malt-swilling star journalists, the compromised police officers, the defeated underlings, the tony school principal looking down on the Hindi speakers and the WhatsApp forwards dispensing dharmic wisdom. Panchayat, a gentle but subtle story set in rural India was a quiet winner, with the abundant charms of Neena Gupta and Raghuvir Yadav in top form. The second season of Four More Shots Please for me dared to go where no one did, enabling its four flawsome women to live, love, laugh the way they want. From all accounts, the second seasons of The Family Man will be aired by the end of the year while the next seasons of Made in Heaven and Mirzapur have some work pending. Inside Edge and Breathe (its second season is ready) have also established their credentials. Urbane when you want it to be, local when you wish it, and downright rustic when it wants unalloyed fun, what Amazon Prime does next will be interesting to watch.