New Indian Movies on Netflix: January 2021
Hello Brother (1999)
Runtime: 126 Minutes
Director: Sohail Khan
Cast: Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Rani Mukerji
Genre: Romantic Comedy | Added to Netflix: January 3
Hello Brother is a fitting title for this romantic comedy. Salman Khan plays Hero, a murdered man whose heart is transplanted into a wounded police officer, played by Salman’s younger brother Arbaaz. Hero’s ghost refuses to leave his heart’s new owner until his killer is brought to justice, but things get tricky when the cop falls the for the woman Hero once loved. The youngest Khan brother, Sohail, wrote and directed the film.
Is Love Enough? Sir (2018)
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Director: Rohena Gera
Cast: Tillotama Shome, Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni
Genre: Romantic Drama| Added to Netflix: January 8
A young widow moves to Mumbai to pursue her dreams of being a fashion designer. She takes a job as a maid to support herself, only to develop a mutual attraction with her boss, a wealthy architect. Can love bridge their class divide? Is Love Enough? Sir (also known simply as Sir) won a number of film festival awards, including the Critics’ Week Grand Prize at Cannes in 2018.
Delhi Belly (2011)
Languages: Hindi and English
Runtime: 101 Minutes
Director: Abhinay Deo
Cast: Imran Khan, Vir Das, Kunaal Roy Kapur
Genre: Comedy | Added to Netflix: January 10
Three loser friends find themselves in hot water when they mix up a couple of packages, accidentally delivering stolen diamonds to a doctor and a stool sample to a dangerous gangster. Bollywood doesn’t make scatological comedies (this might be the only one), but Delhi Belly is hilarious. Aamir Khan’s cameo in the disco song “I Hate You (Like I Love You)” is a hoot.
Dhobi Ghat (2011)
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Director: Kiran Rao
Cast: Aamir Khan, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra
Genre: Drama | Added to Netflix: January 10
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is the only feature film Kiran Rao — Aamir Khan’s wife — wrote and directed, but it is remarkable. Her story follows four Mumbaikars with tenuous links to one another, struggling to connect in a crowded city that nevertheless feels lonely. Rao’s use of ambient sounds, home video recordings, and her refusal to give her characters’ arcs tidy endings makes Dhobi Ghat feel almost more like a documentary than a fictional movie.
Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008)
Runtime: 146 Minutes
Director: Abbas Tyrewala
Cast: Imran Khan, Genelia D’Souza, Manjari Fadnis
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Coming of Age | Added to Netflix: January 10
Imran Khan (in his film debut) and Genelia D’Souza play college best friends who complement one another perfectly, his polite demeanor balancing out her aggressive nature and vice versa. Only when they start dating other people, do the pals realize what their friends and families have known all along: they are meant to be together. The soundtrack is by A.R. Rahman.
Runtime: 223 Minutes
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Cast: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley
Genre: Period Piece, Sports Drama | Added to Netflix: January 10
Lagaan is significant for a couple of reasons. It is one of only three Indian movies to ever be nominated for a Best International Feature Film Oscar, and it is also an excellent cricket tutorial. A group of impoverished farmers fed up with exorbitant taxes levied by the ruling British colonialists make a daring bet: the Brits agree to wave their taxes if the villagers can beat them in a game of cricket — a sport none of the farmers have played before.
Madness in the Desert (2004)
Runtime: 141 Minutes
Director: Satyajit Bhatkal
Cast: Aamir Khan, Ashutosh Gowariker
Genre: Documentary | Added to Netflix: January 10
Madness in the Desert — alternatively known as Chale Chalo: The Lunacy of Film Making — is a documentary about the making of Lagaan. The film is directed by Satyajit Bhatkal, who worked on Lagaan as a production assistant. The documentary uses video footage as well as Bhatkal’s own letters home to his wife to capture the difficulties of filming the Indian cinema classic.
Peepli Live (2010)
Runtime: 109 Minutes
Directors: Anusha Rizvi, Mahmood Farooqui
Cast: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghuvir Yadav, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Genre: Satire, Social Issue Drama | Added to Netflix: January 10
A reporter overhears a poor farmer contemplating suicide so that his family can receive a government subsidy and pay off their debts. When the reporter publishes the man’s story, news agencies and politicians descend upon the farmer’s village to capitalize on his misery. His town is turned into a literal circus in this satire of the lip service paid to rural poverty in India.
Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Runtime: 162 Minutes
Director: Aamir Khan
Cast: Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary, Tanay Chheda
Genre: Social Issue Drama | Added to Netflix: January 10
Taare Zameen Par (“Like Stars on Earth“) puts the spotlight the Indian education system’s failure to help students with the dyslexia. 8-year-old Ishaan excels in art but struggles in reading until a perceptive teacher (played by Aamir Khan, who also directs the film) finds a way to improve the boy’s school environment and help Ishaan’s parents understand their son’s learning disorder.
Tribhanga: Tedhi Medhi Crazy (2021) N
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Director: Renuka Shahane
Cast: Kajol, Tanvi Azmi, Mithila Palkar
Genre: Family Drama | Added to Netflix: January 15
When path-breaking feminist author Nayan Apte falls into a coma, her infamous actress daughter Anu must deal with her hatred for her mother and examine how that relationship influenced her own parenting style. Terrific performances by Tanvi Azmi, Kajol, and Mithila Palkar — as mother, daughter, and granddaughter, respectively — enliven this nuanced portrayal of complicated family dynamics.
The White Tiger (2021) N
Runtime: 125 Minutes
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Cast: Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Genre: Social Issue Drama | Added to Netflix: January 22
Based on the best-selling novel by Arvind Adiga, The White Tiger follows an ambitious young man’s climb out of poverty to success, by whatever means necessary. The depiction of the master-servant dynamic and how it limits the parameters of what is possible for low-status workers is compelling. If you’re only familiar with Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ work on the series Quantico, check this out. Her performance is terrific in The White Tiger (which she co-produced).
Kilometers and Kilometers (2020)
Runtime: 127 Minutes
Director: Jeo Baby
Cast: Tovino Thomas, India Jarvis, Joju George
Genre: Comedy Drama, Road Movie | Added to Netflix: January 27
Tovino Thomas produced and stars in Kilometers and Kilometers. He plays a down-on-his-luck handyman who reluctantly agrees to take an American woman on a sightseeing tour of India on the back of his motorcycle. Troubles on the road force this unlikely duo to work together, forging a bond that spans continents and cultural differences.
New Indian TV Series on Netflix: January 2021
Mighty Little Bheem: Kite Festival (2021) N
Language: No Dialogue
Cast: Sumruddhi Shukla, Aranya Kaur, Nishka
Genre: Animated | Added to Netflix: January 8
Bheem and his pals celebrate spring with a kite festival. Little Bheem tries his hand at cooking, kite flying, and helps a friendly calf compete in a contest of strength between the local bulls.
Which of the newly added Bollywood/Indian Movies will you be watching? Let us know in the comments section below!