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Home / Entertainment / Alia Bhatt to Kartik Aaryan: 8 Bollywood stars who experimented with direct-to-digital films in 2022

Alia Bhatt to Kartik Aaryan: 8 Bollywood stars who experimented with direct-to-digital films in 2022

Deepika Padukone, Vicky Kaushal, Rajkummar Rao and Madhuri Dixit starred in original feature films for Netflix, Amazon and Disney+Hotstar
(L-R) Alia Bhatt in Darlings; Kartik Aaryan in Freddy
(L-R) Alia Bhatt in Darlings; Kartik Aaryan in Freddy
IMDb

Agnivo Niyogi   |   Calcutta   |   Published 28.12.22, 01:31 PM

With OTT gaining popularity following the pandemic, several Bollywood stars banked on direct-to-digital feature films this year. While many attempted genres they never tried before, a few went on to produce films exclusively for the digital entertainment space. As the year comes to an end, we take a look at eight Bollywood stars and their OTT projects of 2022.   

Alia Bhatt in Darlings

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The dark comedy Darlings marked Alia Bhatt’s OTT  debut not only as an actor but also as a producer. Alia’s Eternal Sunshine Productions, named after one of her favourite films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, produced this dark comedy in partnership with Shah Rukh Khan-and-Gauri Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment. 

Alia’s portrayal of Badru, a submissive homemaker who plots revenge on her abusive husband Hamza Shaikh (Vijay Varma), fetched rave reviews and was lapped up by viewers. For her OTT foray, Alia trusted a debutante director, Jasmeet K. Reen, whose sensitive handling of the subject and the characters made Darlings a topic of conversation for many days.

Watch it on: Netflix

Kartik Aaryan in Freddy

In a year when big Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar incurred box-office losses, young gun Kartik Aaryan tasted success with horror comedy Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. The Anees Bazmee film, which was the second Bollywood hit of 2022, also generated a lot of interest in Kartik’s second feature film of the year, Freddy — released on OTT —  where he stepped out of his familiar zone of frothy romcoms to play an obsessive lover. Kartik put on 14kg and picked up dentistry skills to transform into the shy and reserved Dr Freddy Ginwala in this psychological thriller directed by Shashanka Ghosh, also starring Alaya F.

Watch it on: Disney+ Hotstar

Madhuri Dixit Nene in Maja Ma

She had made her much-hyped OTT debut with Bejoy Nambiar’s Fame Game earlier in 2022, but it is with Anand Tiwari’s Maja Ma — India’s first Amazon Prime Video Original — that Madhuri Dixit Nene made her fans sit up and take notice of how far she had come as an actress. 

In Maja Ma, Madhuri played a closeted homosexual woman whose various roles as wife, companion, mother, dancer and neighbour are questioned when the truth comes to the fore. The 55-year-old delivered a nuanced performance that made the character, Pallavi, relatable for many women in her situation with no freedom of expression. 

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video

Vicky Kaushal in Govinda Naam Mera

Known and praised for his serious, intense performances, Vicky Kaushal did a complete U-turn and unleashed his wacky comedic side in his OTT debut — Govinda Naam Mera, co-starring Kiara Advani and Bhumi Pednekar. 

Written and directed by Shashank Khaitan, Govinda Naam Mera stars Vicky as a struggling Bollywood background dancer who is sandwiched between his dominating wife Gauri (Bhumi) and his dance partner-cum-girlfriend Suku (Kiara). The film mirrors David Dhawan’s slapstick comedies of the 1990s and Vicky is delightfully over-the-top with his infectious energy and comic timing. 

Watch it on: Disney+ Hotstar

Rajkummar Rao in Monica, O My Darling

Even though Rajkummar Rao had his first OTT outing in Anurag Basu’s Ludo in 2020, Monica, O My Darling was his breakout performance this year. The Netflix Original movie, directed by Vasan Bala, is a neo-noir thriller in which Rajkummar plays an unscrupulous employee at a robotics company. Rajkummar’s Jayant would go to any lengths to realise his ambition, and soon pays for his unbridled greed. Rajkummar’s crackling chemistry with co-star Huma Qureshi made it an even more fun watch.

Watch it on: Netflix

Deepika Padukone in Gehraiyaan

Shakun Batra’s Gehraiyaan is an unusual choice for a top Bollywood star to make her OTT debut with, and credit goes to Deepika Padukone for taking the plunge with a character with many shades of grey. In this romantic drama, Deepika is Aisha, a yoga instructor who is having an affair with her cousin’s fiance Zain (Siddhanth Chaturvedi). Her steamy scenes with Siddhanth may have been one of the highlights of Gehraiyaan, but it is the complexity of Aisha — her unhappy relationship, guilt of cheating on her partner, the desperation to launch her app — that Deepika portrays that stands out.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video

Abhishek Bachchan in Dasvi

He has earlier impressed us as a serial killer in the Amazon Prime Video web series Breathe: Into The Shadows. Director Tushar Jalota, however, utilised Abhishek Bachchan’s flair for comedy in the Netflix Original Dasvi. As Ganga Ram Chaudhary, an uneducated politician who goes to jail on charges of corruption, Abhishek nails the Haryanvi accent and turns in a convincing performance. His Ganga Ram, who learns the importance of education and decides to pass the 10th grade examination, ends up being an inspirational character in this entertaining watch that sends out a strong social message.

Watch it on: Netflix

Akshay Kumar in Cuttputlli

Ranjit Tewari’s Cuttputlli is a remake of the 2018 Tamil film Ratsasan, written and directed by Ram Kumar. Akshay, one of the busiest actors of Bollywood, plays a cop in this thriller that premiered on Disney+ Hotstar. In his zeal to churn out half-a-dozen films a year, Akshay delivered a forgettable performance. He is unconvincing and indistinguishable from the other roles he has played in 2022. Watch it on: Disney+ Hotstar



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