With the world outside our houses coming to a stagnation this year, owing to the raging pandemic, it was in the mini-screens that we found our solace and sanity. The OTT (Over the Top) platforms — like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLIV and others — boomed, unlike anything in these times.
Big-time stars too realised the plethora of possibilities on the digital platforms and jumped on the bandwagon. The year saw a lot of massive names making their debut on digital.
Hindi Film Stars
1. Abhishek Bachchan (Breathe: Into The Shadows)
Directed by Mayank Sharma, Abhishek Bachchan made his OTT debut with the Amazon Prime Original ‘Breathe: into the Shadows’.
An out-and-out psychological thriller, Bachchan played the role of a father whose daughter has been kidnapped and the series explored the heights ordinary people can achieve when thrown into extraordinary circumstances.
The series is available on Amazon Prime Video.
2. Jacqueline Fernandez (Mrs. Serial Killer)
Joining the OTT party was Jacqueline Fernadez with her Netflix film ‘Mrs. Serial Killer’.
Directed by Shirish Kunder and produced by his filmmaker wife Farah Khan, this Netflix thriller is about a wife (Jacqueline) whose husband has been framed and imprisoned for serial murders and her fight to her prove his innocence.
The film didn’t garner the best of reception owing to a plotline that tied itself in a knot.
3. Naseeruddin Shah (Bandish Bandits)
Immensely talented and veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah too made his entry into the digital space this year with the musical drama ‘Bandish Bandits’.
Ornamented by the mesmerizing music by the trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy, the series amassed rave reviews.
‘Bandish Bandits’ is availavable on Amazon Prime Video.
4. Sushmita Sen (Aarya)
Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen made her comeback to acting after almost a decade with her digital debut ‘Aarya’.
In the critically acclaimed show on Disney+Hotstar, Sen played the lead role of a wife and mother who takes charge of her family’s pharmaceutical firm which was also an opium plantation drug warehouse after her husband is killed.
Sushmita Sen’s performance received high praise from critics.
5. Karisma Kapoor (Mentalhood)
The next actor who joined the list of debutants on OTT this year is Karisma Kapoor. The 46-year-old actor made a comeback with this ALTBalaji original named Mentalhood. In the series, she played the role of an overworked mother from a small town. With a brilliant set of actors and their heartfelt performances, the show managed to impress critics and audiences.
Hollywood Film Stars
1. Chris Evans (Defending Jacob)
Our very own Captain America Chris Evans made his digital debut on Apple TV+ with crime drama ‘Defending Jacob’, based on William Landay’s 2012 novel of the same name.
In the miniseries, the actor essayed the role of Andy Barber, a Massachusetts assistant district attorney whose 14-year-old son Jacob is accused of killing a fellow classmate.
2. Chris Hemsworth (Extraction)
Another Avenger on our list, Chris Hemsworth too scripted his introduction into the digital platform with action-packed thriller ‘Extraction’.
Hemsworth stars as a ruthless mercenary, whose mission to save a drug lord’s son turns into a game of survival and left the audience wanting for more.
Despite being criticized for a weak plot, the film was showered with praises for its high-octane action sequences.
3. Mark Ruffalo (I Know This Much Is True)
Written and directed by Derek Cianfrance, starring Mark Ruffalo as Dominick Birdsey, the American drama miniseries is based on the bestselling novel by Wally Lamb.
The Disney+Hotstar miniseries, which marked Mark Ruffalo’s debut on the digital platform, follows the parallel lives of identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in a story of betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness.
4. Charlize Theron (The Old Guard)
Netflix thriller ‘The Old Guards’ marked the OTT debut of actor Charlize Theron as Andy, a warrior who leads a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries who are old-century immortals — a fact not revealed and one which they must protect to maintain their freedom.
The film is based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Greg Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.