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Staff & contributors

This musical drama about a Mumbai street rapper was India’s official submission to the Oscars. It was also produced by U.S. artist Nas.

Murad, who grew up poor and with an abusive father, starts working as a part-time chauffeur, which exposes him to the substantial inequalities that exist in Mumbai.

He incorporates all of this into his lyrics, and hopes to make it as a rapper in a story that sits somewhere between a musical and an adventure movie.

Genre: Drama, Music

Actor: Alia Bhatt, Amruta Subhash, Chaitanya Sharma, Jasleen Kaur Royal, Jyoti Subhash, Kalki Koechlin, Krishna Kaul, Kubbra Sait, Mona Ghosh Shetty, R. Bhakti Klein, Rahul Piske, Raja Kumari, Ranveer Singh, Sheeba Chaddha, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Srishti Shrivastava, Sushant Singh, Svar Kamble, Vijay Maurya, Vijay Raaz, Vijay Varma

Director: Zoya Akhtar

With social media inextricably linked to our lives, the way we navigate relationships is different now. Kho Gaye Hum Kahan is a visually stunning debut that depicts this unique modern anxiety, and its different facets through three childhood friends. Adarsh Gourav, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ananya Panday have the easy, breezy dynamic that grounds the film. This, along with the chill soundtrack and stylish approach of writer-director Arjun Varain Singh took in depicting their issues, definitely match the aesthetic appeal we’re used to from the online world. The film’s conclusion doesn’t fully resolve things– after all, there’s no stopping the interconnectedness between real life and the online world– but Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’s struggles feel relatable, even if it’s as surface-level as the world it wishes to criticize.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Adarsh Gourav, Ananya Panday, Anya Singh, Divya Jagdale, Farhan Akhtar, Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Suchitra Pillai, Vijay Maurya

Director: Arjun Varain Singh

Rating: PG-13

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and it’s the main reason why filmmakers keep cashing in with old media franchises. Archie has been reimagined before, with the bewildering twists and turns of the CW’s Riverdale, but this time, it’s India’s turn with the franchise, and Graphic India and Tiger Baby Films partnered with the original publication to reimagine the town as an Anglo-Indian community in The Archies. The production design is undoubtedly stunning, with the maximalist Bollywood spectacle borrowing from 60’s Americana, and the musical numbers aren't half bad either. However, it’s the story and characterization that falters, as it feels like the leads are just going through the motions of the familiar love triangles. The film is still fun to watch, but ultimately, it feels like The Archies relies on spectacle to make up for its shortcomings.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance

Actor: Agastya Nanda, Alyy Khan, Delnaaz Irani, Dot., Farhan Akhtar, Khushi Kapoor, Koel Purie, Luke Kenny, Mihir Ahuja, Puja Sarup, Satyajit Sharma, Suhana Khan, Tara Sharma, Vedang Raina, Vinay Pathak

Director: Zoya Akhtar