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    One Year Of Lockdown: Films that deserved the big screen experience

    From Lootcase to Drishyam 2, there are certain films that deserved a packed cinema hall, but unfortunately had to settle for an OTT release.

    Picture Courtesy: Mid-day Archives

    The Coronavirus pandemic was largely a bane for the Hindi film industry and cinema aficionados. We may have discovered what we call as web-series, hidden gems and great characters, the charm of a packed cinema was equally missed. The films that directly premiered on the digital platform were largely dissed, some shone and surprised.

    Here are some films that deserved the big screen experience:

    1. Gulabo Sitabo

    Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo was the first Hindi film to take the digital route. Nobody ever expected that they would get to witness a star as magnanimous as Amitabh Bachchan on their television screens and mobile phones on the first day of his film’s release. The world had to adjust and adapt to what came to be known as the new normal. This comedy was about the bickering of a landlord and a tenant, both hot-headed, both helpless. The final twist was a stroke of genius that established the fact hell hath no fury than a woman scorned. Sircar made a film on a woman’s wants and desires without even being pretentious about it. This was a film fans of Bachchan and Khurrana would have enjoyed, despite the polarising response. 

    2. Lootcase

    Another film about the helplessness of a middle-class man was Lootcase, which benefited immensely from an ingenious ensemble. Refusing to rely on banal gags, Rajesh Krishnan’s comedy gave us moments of situational humour and wit. And just like Gulabo Sitabo, Lootcase asked us pertinent questions about how far would one go to grab what he aspires for and how to choose between two evils. This was one of the biggest surprises of 2020 that could have brought a lot of moolah for the makers. Kunal Kemmu’s obsession with bucks would know better! 

    3. Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

    The biggest triumph of this heartwarming story was the remarkable restraint in the narrative that otherwise screams for jingoistic treatment. Not much was known about Gunjan Saxena, not much was written about Janhvi Kapoor’s ability to perform, the casting of the leading lady was quite an interesting one. And Kapoor brought both fragility and ferociousness to a fearless character. In the days of nationalism and patriotism, this drama could have flown high, especially coming out on the eve of the nation’s Independence. 

    4. Dil Bechara

    It’s always chocking to say goodbye, especially if it’s forever. The legacy of the late Sushant Singh Rajput will always live on, and Dil Bechara was a perfect swan song to the buoyancy he displayed in his illustrious career. It was impossible for the makers to tweak the end since it was inspired by The Fault In Our Stars. It was ironic that Rajput wasn’t there to see a film where his character succumbs to a terminal illness. The last shot was a heartbreaking one, because we will never meet him and his Manny ever again. Fans wanted this to have a theatrical release, and it could have had a historic run, but it seemed destiny had some other plans. 

    5. Drishyam 2

    Mohanlal and his family are not exactly living happily ever after. The events that changed their lives forever in 2013 are back to haunt them in 2019. A secret that he buried inside him may have to be disclosed and discovered. Drishyam was a chilling thriller about two families that stand on the opposite sides of the law and battling for their children. Again, there are two evils but we root for Mohanlal since the story is seen through his view. In the sequel, Jeetu Joseph digs deeper and throws some implausible but ingenious twists that we are bound to applaud. Since when was cinema about reality? And why didn’t the makers bring this fitting sequel to the cinemas? 

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