There’s a lot brewing on your favorite streaming platforms—from the Emraan Hashmi- and Sobhita Dhulipala-starrer, Bard of Blood on Netflix to Kalki Koechlin’s next web series on Zee 5
The advent of streaming platforms has blown the entertainment business wide open; content, today, is truly kind and audiences are actively seeking out riveting storytelling, driven by unconventional narrative tools. The culture of binge-watching is fueling the growth of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and homegrown OTT channels like AltBalaji and Zee5, who are continuously adding to their repository of content.
Not just international series, Indian originals are also being conceptualised, produced and released on a larger scale than ever before (think Sacred Games or Ghoul), bringing viewers to stories about people who dress like us, look like us and dream like us. On that note, here’s a look at some of the new Indian web series lined up for streaming on various OTT platforms.
While Mission Mangal, the film starring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan continues to rake up the moolah on the box office, a web series about Mangalyaan is also on the way. This fictional adaptation takes a look at the real-life heroes at ISRO, who worked on Mangalyaan and played pivotal roles in making the mission a success against all odds. It follows the lives of four female scientists (played by Sakshi Tanwar, Mona Singh, Nidhi Singh and Palomi Ghosh) who help the Indian Space Agency overcome the obstacles the face while mounting the mission to Mars. In the process, they conquer their own personal imperfections, making it an inspirational story to watch.
This eight-episode psychological horror/thriller sees Kalki Koechlin playing the protagonist, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traverses all kinds of extremes (paranormal, mythical, psychological) to unearth a long-forgotten truth. Directed by Sangeeth Sivan, the series also stars Sanjay Suri, Bhumika Chawla and Chandan Roy Sanyal, among others. The haunting teaser has already garnered a lot of eyeballs. Koechlin’s wide-eyed fear and the eerie venues showcased in this series are the perfect combination for those looking for some chills and thrills.
Manoj Bajpayee makes his debut on the internet as Srikant Tiwari, a regular middle class man and government employee, who well, isn’t all he seems to be. In fact, he works for a special cell of the National Intelligence Agency, which is saddled with the responsibility of protecting the nation from terror threats. The trailer unveiled by the OTT platform shows the main character trying to balance his highly-demanding and secretive job with his simple, domestic life. Directors Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru, known for infusing their brand of humor into the content they create, try their hand at a spy series with Bajpayee leading the pack. The cast also consists of Sharib Hashmi, Gul Panag, Priyamani and Dalip Tahil, among others.
When Shah Rukh Khan puts his might behind a project, one can’t help but take notice. The promotions for the Emraan Hashmi-starrer Bard of Blood have started, with SRK himself interrogating Hashmi as part of the promotional strategy. Based on a book by Bilal Siddiqi by the same name, it’s a political spy thriller based in Balochistan. The trailer has given us a glimpse of the numerous action sequences and the stunning locations. Also starring Sobhita Dhulipala and Vineet Kumar, this is Hashmi’s debut in the digital space.
Eyeing the regional pie, MX Player’s marquee Tamil web series, Queen, will release in Hindi, Telugu and Bengali as well. The story of a political icon who ruled with both benevolence and an iron hand is brought to life by Ramya Krishnan, who portrayed the unflappable Sivagami in the latest serving by SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali franchise. The series has been written by Reshma Ghatala, who won the Filmfare Award for Best Film Tamil (Thanga Meengal) in 2014. It is directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, whose Vaaranam Aayiram (2008) and Thanga Meengal (2013) bagged the National Awards for Best Feature Film in Tamil, and Prasath Murugesan, of Kidaari (2016) fame.
Also read our blog on some trending Indian Web Series of 2019 here