After a dullish January, February is heating up on both OTT and in cinemas. Gehraiyaan — the romantic drama led by Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ananya Panday — sweeps onto the shores of Amazon Prime Video February 11. On the same day, Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar-starrer LGBTQ+ comedy Badhaai Do reaches cinemas across India. A week prior to that, we have three more OTT releases. Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin lead the thriller Looop Lapeta out February 4 on Netflix. Over on SonyLIV, Rocket Boys gives us the story and rivalry of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (Ishwak Singh) and Dr. Homi J. Bhabha (Jim Sarbh). And Disney+ Hotstar presents The Great Indian Murder — led by Pratik Gandhi and Richa Chadha as two detectives.
Hold on, there’s more. Madhuri Dixit Nene makes her streaming debut on Netflix with The Fame Game (previously Finding Anamika) — available February 25 — about a Bollywood star who goes missing. On the same day over in cinemas, Alia Bhatt plays a brothel madame and a mafia don in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next movie, Gangubai Kathiawadi. That leaves Bestseller, with Shruti Haasan and Mithun Chakraborty premiering February 18 on Amazon Prime Video. We’re also expecting 83, the Ranveer Singh movie about India’s 1983 World Cup success, on Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar in mid or late February following an eight-week theatrical window.
We’re not done. Internationally, Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg jump into the world of the acclaimed PlayStation video game franchise Uncharted. The Uncharted movie drops February 18 in Indian cinemas in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Holland’s Spider-Man: No Way Home makes its way to our homes — available for digital purchase or rent via video-on-demand — February 28 in the US; there’s no India date as yet though. In the world of streaming, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returns with its fourth season February 18 on Prime Video. The same day on Mubi, the excellent French movie Petite Maman releases for Indian audiences. And a week later on February 25, the world of Vikings expands with Vikings: Valhalla on Netflix.
There’s a lot more in February 2022 that isn’t detailed below. If you’re looking for new series, Murderville has Annie Murphy, Conan O’Brien, Kumail Nanjiani, and Sharon Stone playing detective partners to Will Arnett — except they weren’t given a script. It’s all improv. Murderville is out February 3 on Netflix. Amazon is rebooting Jack Reacher for TV with a guy who’s a better match for the character’s height in the books. Reacher premieres February 4 on Prime Video. Uma Thurman leads the thriller Suspicion, starting February 4 on Apple TV+.
Shonda Rhimes delivers her first Netflix series February 11 with Inventing Anna, the true story of a fake woman. Apple TV+ also has the Adam Scott-led thriller Severance on February 18, where work-life balance is achieved in a sci-fi fashion. Fans of animation and the Cuphead game should seek out The Cuphead Show!, also out February 18 but over on Netflix. And that leaves Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, where Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the highly-controversial former Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. Super Pumped begins February 28 on Voot Select.
If it’s returning series you’re after, the Steve Carell-led Space Force is back for season 2 February 18 on Netflix. The superhero series Raising Dion is also back for its second season February 1 on Netflix. And the ‘80s Los Angeles crack epidemic drama Snowfall returns for its fifth season, beginning February 24 on Disney+ Hotstar.
For those who want more movies, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson lead the rom-com Marry Me — timed for Valentine’s Day — releasing February 11 in cinemas. Marry Me is also streaming the same day, but only on Peacock in the US. (Yes, Peacock is a streaming service. No, I’m not making it up.) On the same day February 11, Prime Video has its own rom-com in I Want You Back, led by Charlie Day and Jenny Slate.
The Great Indian Murder
When: February 4
Where: Disney+ Hotstar (India) / Hulu (USA)
After the playboy son (Jatin Goswami) of an influential politician is murdered at the party he’s throwing to celebrate his acquittal in a murder case, his enraged father (Ashutosh Rana) calls for a CBI enquiry that pulls in detectives Suraj Yadav (Pratik Gandhi) and Sudha Bharadwaj (Richa Chadha). They dig deep into six main suspects, who were either invited or not invited to the aforementioned party.
The Great Indian Murder is based on the 2016 novel Six Suspects, penned by the retired Indian Foreign Service officer Vikas Swarup, best known for the book that was made into the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. Swarup based Vicky’s character on Manu Sharma, the murderer of Jessica Lal. Tigmanshu Dhulia directs all episodes, Ajay Devgn is among the producers.
All episodes of The Great Indian Murder will release at once on Hulu and Disney+ Hotstar.
When: February 4
Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin (Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein) lead this Bollywood remake of Tom Tykwer’s 1998 German cult classic Run Lola Run that follows Savi (Pannu) who needs Rs. 50 lakhs in 50 minutes to save her loser gambler boyfriend Satya (Tahir Raj Bhasin) from a mobster. The cash was his. After Savi fails, she discovers she’s stuck in a time looop. (That’s a deliberate misspelling, see movie title.)
Looop Lapeta marks the directorial feature debut of Aakash Bhatia, who adapted Run Lola Run screenplay with Dr. Vinay Chhawal, Ketan Pedgaonkar, and Arnav Vepa Nanduri. Shreya Dhanwanthary, Rajendra Chawla, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, K.C. Shankar, Manik Papneja, Raghav Raj Kakker, Sameer Kevin Roy, and Bhupesh Bandekar also star.
When: February 4
Centred on the respective fathers of India’s space and nuclear programmes, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (Ishwak Singh) and Dr. Homi J. Bhabha (Jim Sarbh), this biopic drama charts their personal and professional lives, and how they clashed on the use of atomic energy, especially in the wake of the 1962 Sino-India War. The Rocket Boys trailer hints at the inclusion of a young A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (Arjun Radhakrishnan), who served as President of India in the 2000s.
Regina Cassandra and Saba Azad play Sarabhai and Bhabha’s respective love interests, while Rajit Kapoor plays then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Namit Das, and K.C. Shankar also have roles. Rocket Boys has been created by Nikkhil Advani (Batla House), and written and directed by debutant Abhay Pannu who previously served as associate director on Mumbai Diaries 26/11.
All Rocket Boys episodes will release at once on SonyLIV.
When: February 11
Rajkumar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar lead this spiritual sequel to the National Award-winner Badhaai Ho in which gay cop Shardul Thakur (Rao) and lesbian PT teacher Suman Singh (Pednekar) opt for a lavender marriage to smooth things with their families who are pressuring them to get married. Naturally, it only leads to more mayhem.
Seema Pahwa, Sheeba Chaddha, Loveleen Mishra, Nitesh Pandey, Shashi Bhushan, Chum Darang, and Deepak Arora also star. Harshavardhan Kulkarni (Hunterrr) directs Badhaai Do off a script he co-wrote with Bengali documentarian Suman Adhikary and Badhaai Ho writer Akshat Ghildial. Swapnil Sonawane (Sacred Games) is behind the camera.
When: February 11
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Nearly six years on from his last feature film, Kapoor & Sons writer-director Shakun Batra returns with a romantic drama that follows cousins Alisha Khanna (Deepika Padukone) and Tia Khanna (Ananya Panday), and their respective beaus, husband Karan Arora (Dhairya Karwa) and fiancé Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi).
Unhappy with Karan and the course her life has taken, and possibly jealous of Tia’s professional success, Alisha starts hooking up with Zain. Why is he doing it? The Gehraiyaan trailer doesn’t hint at it hard enough, except to reveal that Zain bonds with Alisha over their trouble pasts. And he wants to be his own man, having gone up the corporate ladder much quicker after he started seeing Tia.
Naseeruddin Shah plays Alisha’s father, and Rajat Kapoor is Zain’s father. Batra wrote Gehraiyaan with Sumit Roy (Zubaan), Ayesha DeVitre (Kapoor & Sons), and composer Yash Sahai (Bogda). Karan Johar is among the producers. Despite boasting big Bollywood names, Gehraiyaan is going straight to streaming.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
When: February 18
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Over two years after it was last on air — 26 months and 12 days, to be precise — Amazon’s Emmy-winning comedy-drama returns for its fourth season. The clock has moved on a year inside the show too, bringing with it a new decade: 1960. Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) is adamant that she will take back what was hers, having been thrown out of her last tour, and lands a gig that gives her total creative freedom.
But that commitment to her craft naturally sends ripples across her family and friends, all of whom are dealing with major changes. Her parents Abe (Tony Shalhoub) and Rose (Marin Hinkle) now live with her in a fancy Upper West Side (New York) house she bought, after the financial worries of season 3. (Abe is now a theatre critic.) Meanwhile, Susie (Alex Borstein) harbours big plans for her new agency.
Kayli Carter has a recurring role on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 4, while Kelly Bishop, Milo Ventimiglia, Reid Scott, Jason Ralph, John Waters, and Jason Alexander have guest roles. Amazon is switching up the release format too to a weekly rollout, having had success with The Boys. Two episodes will premiere each Friday, for four weeks.
When: February 18
Struggling with the death of her maternal grandmother, eight-year-old Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) moves into her mother’s childhood home until they clear it of the grandmother’s belongings, and makes a new friend (Gabrielle Sanz) of her age who has a lot in common with Nelly’s mother (Nina Meurisse). That kickstarts a (lo-fi) sci-fi fantasy journey, one where the past and future are interlinked.
Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) writes and directs what was one of my favourite films from last year. Petite Maman available now on streaming in India (via Mubi) following a premiere at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival, and theatrical release internationally.
When: February 18
From comics to games. Spider-Man star Tom Holland is stepping into the boots of young fortune hunter Nathan Drake in this long-in-the-works adaptation of the PlayStation video game series of the same name. It was stuck in development hell for so long that co-star Mark Wahlberg has aged out of the role — and is now playing Drake’s mentor and father-figure Sully.
Holland’s age has changed the movie too. Rather than follow Drake from the first game, Uncharted follows a Nathan before the first game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, while borrowing elements from the fourth game Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (that recently got a remastered release in time for the film’s release).
Sophia Ali plays fellow fortune hunter and Drake’s love interest Chloe Frazer, who was the protagonist of the India-set spin-off game Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. This also means should Uncharted turn out to be a successful series for Sony Pictures, we might be in for a spin-off movie at some point. Antonio Banderas plays the villain.
Ruben Fleischer (Venom, Zombieland) directs Uncharted, off a screenplay by The Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins, and Men in Black: International writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. Chung Chung-hoon (The Handmaiden) lends his cinematographical talents. Composer Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones) adapts Greg Edmonson and Henry Jackman’s Uncharted score.
Uncharted available in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and English in Indian cinemas.
The Fame Game
When: February 25
Madhuri Dixit Nene stars in this suspenseful family drama about a global superstar, wife, and mom who vanishes without a trace. As police and loved ones search for answers to her disappearance, her perfectly crafted facade is stripped away, revealing hidden truths and painful lies in the life of an iconic actress.
Sanjay Kapoor, Manav Kaul, Lakshvir Saran, Suhasini Muley, and Muskkaan Jaferi also star. Previously known as Finding Anamika, The Fame Game comes from Baar Baar Dekho writer Sri Rao. Karan Johar is among the producers, his second project in February following Gehraiyaan. Bejoy Nambiar (Taish) and Karishma Kohli (Mentalhood) direct.
All episodes of The Fame Game will release at once on Netflix.
When: February 25
The latest film from Sanjay Leela Bhansali is his first since 2013 to not be set prior to the 19th century. Though even this one is set in the 1960s, it does still mean a different century. Oh well. In it, Alia Bhatt plays the titular young girl who rose from her humble Kathiawad origins — that’s in Gujarat — to become a brothel madame and mafia don in Bombay’s red-light district Kamathipura after she was sold into prostitution.
Adapted from a chapter of the 2011 non-fiction Mafia Queens of Mumbai, penned by veteran crime author S. Hussain Zaidi (whose earlier books have been turned into the Anurag Kashyap film Black Friday, the Netflix thriller Class of ’83, series Bard of Blood, and the John Abraham-led Shootout at Wadala). Shantanu Maheshwari, Vijay Raaz, Seema Pahwa, Indira Tiwari, and Varun Kapoor also star. Ajay Devgn, Huma Qureshi, and Emraan Hashmi have cameos.
Delayed several times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gangubai Kathiawadi now set for a late February release in cinemas. Premieres at Berlinale Special Gala as part of the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival.
When: February 25
Having seen much success with Canadian channel History’s original series, Netflix has decided to dive back into the world of Vikings with this sequel that is set a century after the events of Vikings‘ sixth and final season. It will follow the English, Danish, and Norwegian queen Emma of Normandy (Laura Berlin), Norse explorer Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), his sister Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson), and Norway king Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter).
Bradley Freegard (as King Canute “the Great”), Caroline Henderson (as Jarl Haakon), Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson (as Olaf “the Holy” Haraldsson), David Oakes (as Earl Godwin), Pollyanna McIntosh (as Queen Ælfgifu of Denmark), Louis Davison (as Prince Edmund), and Bosco Hogan (as Æthelred the Unready) are part of the Vikings: Valhalla ensemble. Vikings creator Michael Hirst, and Die Hard writer Jeb Stuart are behind the sequel series.
Directors on Vikings: Valhalla include BAFTA-winning Danish director Niels Arden Oplev (2009’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Vikings veteran Steve Saint Leger, and Hannah Quinn (Fate: The Winx Saga). Netflix is locked in for a 24-episode commitment, which should guarantee at least a two-season run.
All episodes of Vikings: Valhalla season 1 to drop together on Netflix.