2 Best Movies to Watch by Aditya Srivastava

Staff & contributors

, 2023

COVID-19 raised concerns about sanitation and cleanliness, but in a society that just banned discrimination against “impure” castes seventy years ago, these concerns feel reminiscent of previous caste prejudice. Writer-director Anubhav Sinha presents this social inequity through Bheed, a black-and-white drama set in a fictional checkpoint as the lockdown restricted travel between different Indian states. As the people in the checkpoint wait for the updated government regulations, tensions rise between the officers and the travelers, as the stuck migrants worry about hunger, thirst, and infection. While it’s definitely a heavy film to watch, this film doesn’t exploit the pandemic as fodder for drama. Instead, Bheed realistically portrays how a crisis like COVID-19 exacerbates existing social inequity.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Aditya Srivastava, Ashutosh Rana, Bhumi Pednekar, Dia Mirza, Kritika Kamra, Omkar Das Manikpuri, Pankaj Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Veerendra Saxena

Director: Anubhav Sinha

With an urgent subject and plenty of that trademark Netflix polish, Bhakshak is nothing if not watchable and consistently engaging. However, for all of its motivated performances and high production values, there actually doesn't seem to be much that happens in the film by way of investigation or character development. Much of the plot seems to progress solely on inertia, or through conversations that only ever repeat the film's themes. And with every new, intense scene of young girls being threatened or hurt at the hands of abusive men, it becomes harder to understand what these scenes are trying to tell us, especially when they keep the victims as voiceless as they are from the beginning.

Genre: Crime, Drama

Actor: Aditya Srivastava, Bhumi Pednekar, Chittaranjan Tripathy, Murari Kumar, Pubali Sanyal, Sai Tamhankar, Sanjay Mishra, Surya Sharma, Tanisha Mehta, Umesh Shukla, Vibha Chibber

Director: Pulkit

Rating: R