Top 10 Underrated OTT Movies To Watch In 2023
With new films and shows being released on a daily basis, there is a plethora of high-quality work that does not receive the recognition and recognition it deserves. While it boasts brilliant performances and writing, all culminating in powerful pieces of storytelling, it falls under the radar among the latest and upcoming.
Bad Trip (2021)
Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, and the incomparable Tiffany Haddish star in this admirably risky blend of scripted comedy and hidden-camera pranks à la Jackass about two friends on a road trip to New York. Bad Trip was originally scheduled for a spring 2020 release but was delayed, accidentally released, and pirated online before being acquired by Netflix. It has amassed a sizable fan base and received positive critical acclaim since its turbulent release window.
The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)
Michael Rianda's animated sci-fi comedy about a road-tripping family who must defend each other and all of Earth from uprising technology was a breakout critical and commercial hit of the pandemic era. At the 94th Academy Awards, The Mitchells vs. the Machines was nominated for Best Animated Feature. The film has received praise for its inclusion of the relatable and inspirational LGBTQ character Katie (voiced by Abbi Jacobson).
This Netflix original, directed by Daniel Goldhaber, is about an adult webcam performer who discovers a sinister presence has taken her place on the internet. Cam has some truly terrifying moments, and it examines the subject of sex work with due care and consideration. Most notably, it features a stunning lead performance by The Handmaid's Tale's Madeline Brewer, who frequently plays multiple characters on-screen at the same time. Cam is frequently an examination of fractured identity, thanks to a perceptive script by real-life former cam girl Isa Mazzei, which is not limited to the world of adult entertainment. Cam stumbles a little at the end, but it's full of provocative ideas, and Brewer just takes your breath away.
The film is set in Varanasi and tells two stories that eventually intersect. The first involves Devi Pathak (Richa Chadda), who is caught having extramarital sex in a hotel by a corrupt police officer. People avoid her as word spreads, and the inspector demands a bribe to let the case go. This is followed by the story of Deepak Kumar (Vicky Kaushal), a young boy who burns funeral pyres in the cremation grounds as part of his family's occupation. He aspires to escape the profession that society has assigned to him and ends up falling in love with a girl from a different background.
Omertà is a biographical film based on the life of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (Rajkummar Rao), a British-Pakistani terrorist who kidnapped foreigners in India in 1994. He was also charged in the 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl. The plot depicts events such as Sheikh's imprisonment in India and his release following the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight by terrorists in 1999.
His House (2020)
Remi Weekes' acclaimed supernatural horror debut follows a group of South Sudanese refugees as they adjust to life in small-town Europe. This is horror as dramatic art, similar to The Babadook or Under the Shadow, rather than a series of things that jump out and go boo. The real-life subject matter is twisted and devastating, and leads Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu deliver outstanding performances.
Peepli Live (2010)
Natha and Budhiya are two poor farmer brothers from Peepli. Their struggles are never-ending as they try to find a way to protect their land, which they face losing due to an unpaid loan. When they visit a local politician, he advises them to commit suicide in order to benefit from a government programme for the families of farmers who have died. As the two discuss this, a journalist overhears them and causes havoc in the village by escalating the situation with media presence. The question is whether Natha will commit suicide. The film is a satirical depiction of farmers' lives in rural India.
Berlin Syndrome (2017)
Though Cate Shortland's adaptation of Melanie Joosten's novel, about a tourist imprisoned by a handsome teacher after a passionate one-night stand, is a thriller (at times heart-pounding), and much of the woman's mistreatment is extremely difficult to watch, this highly absorbing psychological drama stands out because it's all about the characters and what's going on in their heads.
The film depicts the most difficult four years of Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto's (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) life in two cities. It depicts a disparity in acceptance, as his work is widely consumed in Mumbai (then, Bombay), but unforeseen circumstances force him to relocate to Lahore. The geographical shift is a major setback for him, and his writings are not well received. As he tries to make sense of the world, he turns to alcohol, but he continues to write his thoughts.
Under the Shadow (2016)
Writer/director Babak Anvari's feature debut, an exquisitely crafted and thoroughly unsettling chiller, blurs the line between supernatural terror and the horrors of the real world like few films you'll ever see. Set in 1980s Tehran during The War of the Cities—the backdrop of Anvari's own fear-filled childhood—Narges Rashidi stars as Shideh, a medical student who is barred from continuing her studies due to her involvement in revolutionary politics. Shideh is tasked with protecting her husband's young daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) as the fighting and bombings escalate around them. When Shideh and Dorsa are haunted by an evil genie, it appears that things cannot get any worse.
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