Hindi OTT 2023: Half Yearly Report Card

From the fun film Mrs Undercover to intense and socially-responsible Dahaad, we have witnessed quite a few important films and shows that also turned out to be brilliant. Half of 2023 has gone by. Here is a look at some of the best of films and web series over the past six months.


Manoj Bajpayee worked with veteran actor Sharmila Tagore for the first time in the film directed by Rahul Chittella that is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. The film revolves around a family that gears up to move out of their 34-year-old family home, thanks to some drastic decision by the matriarchal head of the family.

Tagore plays the matriarch while Bajpayee plays his son in this warm tale of independence being infringed upon, in the name of family values. All the actors, especially Bajpayee and Tagore, make the characters completely relatable The restrained drama in the family adds thre gravity of the issues that Chittella raises.


Yami Gauatam showcases some of her finest talents in this ZEE5 original. It is said to be inspired by true events, and traces the story of a young crime reporter working on a story of a young theatre activist’s disappearance. Gautam plays the reporter and director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, and his writers ensure that the audience does not simply see the dry and plain professional side of the reporter. The aspects of her personality that make her very humane – emotional, fallible and even vulnerable – are portrayed with much credence.

Mrs Undercover

Anushree Mehta’s comic spy film for ZEE5 places a housewife as an undercover spy in an otherwise typical middle-class family. Apart from brilliant performances by lead actor Radhika Apte, and Rajesh Sharma, Mrs Undercover also boasts of perfect comic timings. The film is about a trained spy who got too comfortable in her cover as a housewife and finds it tough to get back to the field because of the responsibilities of a typical midddle-class Indian mother and wife.

There are quite a few misgivings in the narrative that may make one question the logic altogether. Noone, (except our protaginist of course) could notice a mark on the villain’s arm; despite the protagonist using several high-tech gadgets that can track and trace people down, they are unable to do so. The film is rampant with many such flaws – but it still is one of the enjoyable and fun rides in Hindi cinema premiering online that we came across this year.


Directed by Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi, Prime Video original Dahaad is one of the most shocking, yet important projects of 2023. Featuring Sonakshi Sinha, Gulshan Devaiah and Vijay Varma in lead roles, the web series chases an investigation into serial killing of young and financially vulnerable girls in a small town of western India. It is loosely based on Cyanide Mohan who functioned in India’s Mangalore in the 2000s.

What makes Kagti’s Dahaad important is not just the case in front of use but the various layers with which she laces her narrative. From the toxic culture of treating women and girls as a burden on families, to the biased treatment meted out to them by the society, Dahaad uses it all to drill patriarchy. It also uses Devaiah’s character of a sensitive cop to convey the important message that women alone are not the victims of patriarchy, neither are all men the propogators of the system.


Filmmakers Raj and DK returned with a new fun and quirky project and Shahid Kapoor, Vijay Sethupathi and veteran actor Amol Palekar joined the party with Farzi landing on Prime Video earlier this year. A fun and quirky take on the rampant corruption in various agencies and systems in the Indian administrations, Farzi also appears delightful simply for the presence and excellence of actors such as Palekar and Kay Kay Menon.

Viewership Report (In India, courtesy Ormax Media)

  1. Farzi: 37.1 million
  2. The Night Manager: 28.6 million
  3. Taza Khabar: 23.5 million
  4. Asur S2: 19.3 million
  5. Bloody Daddy: 16.6 milliom
  6. Gulmohar: 16.3 million
  7. Dahaad: 15.9 million
  8. City of Dreams S3: 14.2 million
  9. Gaslight: 12.5 million
  10. Tiku Weds Sheru: 11.1 million

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