Sanjay Kapoor in a still from The Gone Game
Sanjay Kapoor in a still from The Gone Game

Home Stories (Hindi Film)

Platform: Netflix, YouTube

Wrap up 2020: Tales that emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown

Home Stories (as one of the earliest releases) presents four short films put together with thoughtful open endings. It has stories about a young man getting obsessed with his fear of stepping out; a boy unwillingly getting stuck in his girlfriend’s home, living in her clothes, working from her laptop; the personal experiences of a delivery boy who is also filming his trips while being on the job; and then a young couple getting married online, organising all the usual functions with relatives and friends through social network meetings.

A Viral Wedding / Metro Park – Quarantine Edition (web series)

Platform: Eros Now

Wrap up 2020: Tales that emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown

A similar online marriage confusingly opted by a couple, along with their family and friends, is also there in the eight-episode mini-comedy-series A Viral Wedding mostly shot by the performers themselves. The portal has also released a five-episode mini quarantine edition of their earlier family comedy web series, Metro Park.

C U Soon (Malayalam Film)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Wrap up 2020: Tales that emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown

Among the highly recommended ones, we have the Malayalam suspense thriller movie C U Soon, promoted as a computer screen film shot through mobile phones. Presenting the story of investigations about a girl though social network screens and online communication, the film is an engaging watch, though missing the depth required by its theme around human trafficking, privacy breach, hacking and flesh trade.

The Gone Game (web series)

Platform: Voot

Wrap up 2020: Tales that emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown

This lesser talked about series has a similar ambience of C U Soon, but a much more exciting Hitchcock kind of story progression and mystery. Here, a key character catches the virus and dies but there is no trace of him in any kind of hospital records, resulting in a highly relatable as well as troublesome suspense series.

Unpaused (Hindi Film)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Wrap up 2020: Tales that emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown

Unpaused is a positive anthology presenting five stories starting with a futuristic take on love and relationships being discovered through online set-ups. It focuses on suicidal tendencies arising out of loneliness, thinking about the past in the second story and then has a lighter take on chemistry between an elderly lady and a young girl living together in the lockdown. The fourth tale reminds the viewer about the poor migrants who had nowhere to live and no money to return to their native states in this period. The last one is about emotional conversations between a lady senior citizen and an auto-driver during their lockdown travels.

Putham Pudhu Kaalai (Tamil Film)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Wrap up 2020: Tales that emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown

Surpassing the above as an anthology, this is a brilliant Tamil film (with its title meaning A New Dawn), which is one of the best in terms of story-telling, emotions and cinematic execution on screen. It has stories about middle-age love, newly-found relationship between a young lady and her grandfather, an emotional take on the sweet and sour bonding between three self-made daughters and their mother lying in coma, a story about an infected young doctor and his school-time crush spending the lockdown days with his mother and a satirical tale of two petty criminals trying to loot the money stocked by others. The direction works, also because of the way it incorporates music in its stories making an instant connect.

Wakaalat From Home (web series)

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Wrap up 2020: Tales that emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown

This hilarious series truly scores above all because of its comic vision, writing, entertaining one-liners and innovative execution aptly titled Wakaalat From Home. It is a mini-series with only five characters on screen conversing through their individual boxes. Two of them are a husband and his wife who have filed for a divorce and the other two are their male and female lawyers virtually representing the case, later joined by the honourable judge. The series scores above all as it makes you smile and laugh instead of making you think and contemplate on the uncertain and worrying times.

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