OTT platforms have not just changed the rules of the entertainment market, they have given, literally, a second life to Bollywood stars who had faded away from the public eye for quite some time. Of late, a number of senior actors, who had virtually retired from the industry or had limited theatrical releases, are now being reinvented and getting a hugely positive response to their work, courtesy of streaming platforms.
Here’s a list of nine actors who are back in the reckoning in their second innings because of OTT:
The actor made his debut with the 2008 release “Love Story 2050”, directed by his father Harry Baweja, and charmed the audience with his dancing skills (and little else!), but he was dismissed by all as the poor man’s Hrithik Roshan.
Hansal Mehta’s streaming series “Scoop”, which sees a no-longer-chocolate-boy Harman back in action as Joint Commissioner of Police Harshvardhan Shroff (modelled after the late Mumbai top cop Himanshu Roy), has got rave reviews for his performance. The actor shines through in the series with his stellar performance and has certainly left the audience asking for more.
The senior actor who is known for his memorable roles in films such as “Gol Maal” and “Chhoti Si Baat”, made quite an impression with the Prime Video series ‘Farzi’, where Shahid Kapoor plays the lead role. The show tells the story of an artist disillusioned by the income inequality in India after failing to keep his grandfather’s revolutionary printing press in business. He decides to team up with his best friend to make counterfeit money. Palekar played the role of Shahid’s grandfather in the series.
People may remember Tejaswini from films such as “Paanch” and “Ugly”, and those who had forgotten about her, woke up to her presence with “Scoop”, where she essays the role of Chhaya Gadha a.k.a. Rambha Maa, who gets arrested because of show lead Jagruti Pathak’s investigative journalism. And when Pathak gets arrested, she unleashes all kinds of trouble for her in jail.
Arun played Lord Ram in the 1987-88 TV serial “Ramayana” and made his comeback with the period drama “Jubilee” on OTT. The actor plays the role of the owner of a theatre company in Karachi who bears the brunt of Partition and has to come to Bombay as a refugee. The actor received much appreciation for his work in the fictional series which followed the evolution of Hindi cinema in parallel with India gaining independence from colonial rule.
Raveena made her webseries debut with the Netflix show “Aranyak”, in which she essayed the role of a small-town cop who goes on to solve a murder case. The actress who ruled the 1990s was praised for her work in the series, which also starred Parambrata Chatterjee and Ashutosh Rana. Her fans are now eagerly waiting for the actress to take up another streaming project.
Madhuri Dixit Nene
The dhak-dhak star of the 1980s, who had been quite active on television, entered the streaming world with her show “The Fame Game” in which she played a female superstar. Madhuri received positive response from all over for her work in the show and for bringing out the themes of domestic abuse, familial conflicts, and dealing with teen sexuality.
The 1994 Miss Universe who had a good run in Bollywood in the late 1990s and early 2000s made her web debut with “Aarya” in which she plays the titular character of a smart woman who avenges the death of her husbands plotted by drug lords. The actress sent shockwaves owing to her terrific performance in the show. She has battled quite a few health issues, including the recent episode where she suffered a heart attack, there’s no stopping her, for she has just wrapped up filming for the third season.
The 1984 Miss India who had a dream run from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, especially opposite the then upcoming Shah Rukh Khan, has returned to the streaming medium and her fans can’t thank her enough. After playing a jolly Punjabi widow in “Sharmaji Namkeen”, the comedy drama headlined by Rishi Kapoor, Juhi made quite an impression with the web series ‘Hush Hush’ on Prime Video. The show presents how the lives of five women intersect in unexpected ways and what happens when their facade unravels.
Like Juhi Chawla, Ayesha too reigned in the 1990s, being seen in films such as “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” and “Chachi 420”. She was seen alongside Juhi in “Hush Hush” and garnered a great response from the audience for her performance.
He was loved by the critics in the Neeraj Pandey directorial “A Wednesday!” in which he essayed the part of a cop and he also appeared as the younger brother of Shah Rukh Khan’s character in “My Name is Khan”. Thereafter, he was barely seen, “Haidar” and “Peepli Live” being the notable exceptions, but Aamir came back on the screen, albeit the small one, with “Sacred Games”, “Gurgaon”, “Inside Edge Season 2” and now in “School of Lies”, which also stars Nimrat Kaur. The show has Bashir playing Dean Samuel Singh and follows the events set in motion after a girl student goes missing from a prestigious residential school.
As much as he has been loved on the big screen, Arshad has made the audience discover his talent all over again with his work on OTT. The actor has been getting rave reviews for his performance in the recently released second season of the streaming show “Asur”. He clearly rules the series with his impeccable portrayal of a CBI officer in hot pursuit of a serial killer.