Back to the Best: Here’s a list of some OTT releases that deserves an applause
Some of the best surprises are lying in the stack of previously released content.
OTT has been belting out releases one after the other. It’s kept people entertained in grim times when little else was possible. While you keep your eyes fixed on the next big gripping drama, edge-of-the-seat thriller, or an inspiring documentary, some of the best surprises are lying in the stack of previously released content. So here we are, bringing you a curated list of recommendations from the exhaustive titles out there, that you must watch if you haven’t already. Take your pick.
Bad Boys For Life
As Indians, we love our masala films and a Hollywood equivalent that ticks all the right boxes is Bad Boys for Life. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence team up once again, but this time, unlike in the first two iterations, there are no racist undertones, no homophobic comments, no mindless violence... This recent sequel is easily the best of the franchise.
Selah and the Spades
Coming-of-age films are dime-a-dozen in Hollywood. What separates Selah and the Spades from other such films in the genre is that it doesn’t succumb to the clichés. The premise itself—of Selah trying to find a worthy person to take over as her faction’s head—is brilliant, and the way this idea is executed is enterprising. It’s a story that is a healthy mix of familiarity and surprises.
This film is a bolt from the blue for those who have only seen Adam Sandler in humorous roles. Uncut Gems is a crime thriller that follows the story of a Jewish-American diamond jeweller whose life spirals around his gambling addiction. The fact that the film makes you root for such an emotional train wreck says volumes about how good it is.
This list’s first documentary, Miss Americana, follows American singer Taylor Swift over the course of several years of her career. We see her in different avatars—from home videos that were recorded on cellphones to interviews, studio footage, and, of course, concert recordings. The documentary is special in how it shows the various dimensions of Swift’s life unapologetically. There is a lot of insight into her personal life as well, in this film that is one of the most earnest portrayals of a celebrity.
It’s often believed that adapting a book is easier than coming up with an original script. But Little Women, which received six Academy Award nominations, shows how adaptation is an art unto itself. A literary classic, the story had been translated into cinema seven times before Greta Gerwig’s adaptation came out. Despite sticking to the essentials of its source material, the latest iteration captures the essence of how Victorian beliefs controlled feminity. It’s smart, sensitive, has a stellar cast, and even has the courage to look at the climax in a new light.
The Half of It
The Half of It is the second coming-of-age film on this list. This dramedy is everything you would expect of a film in this genre—an underdog, a pretty girl, a guy who is horrible at making the first move, bullying... What sets it apart is how the writing bursts with sensitivity and how well the characters are etched.
The Vast of Night
Ask any sci-fi fan and they would have volumes to say about how many films over the last few years have over-complicated the genre. The Vast of Night shows that an elegantly made simple sci-fi film is all the genre needs sometimes. Despite the premise bearing similarities with yesteryear classics such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, the execution is fresh. If you love sci-fi, this is a must-watch!
A Secret Love
This film is not just one of the best documentaries you will see in recent times, but also an important and relevant exploration of a topic still considered taboo. This coming-out tale of two octogenarians tells the story of how they battled prejudiced laws, sexism, homophobia, family feuds, and more. It is a tribute to a lifetime of choices and sacrifices made in the name of love.