In my post about all the new movies hitting streaming, I picked this one out as one that was always planned for Netflix. And now I’ve seen it, and it really really feels like a movie that was always planned for Netflix.
It’s 90 minutes, all first time actors except for the lead, and cheap simple filming style. The overall feel is something that is perfectly pleasant to watch streaming, but not worth the price of a movie ticket. Perfect! The perfect content to make straight for Netflix, cheap enough that the Netflix sale can still give you a profit, and low quality enough that you don’t feel like you are wasting what could be a theatrical release on streaming.
There are three kinds of products on Netflix. First, the stuff they produced themselves (like, Sacred Games). They spend a lot of money on those productions because they are pure profit for them, and because they are the flagship products that will bring in new viewers. Second, the stuff other people produce and sell to Netflix. Netflix isn’t going to spend that much for these products, they are out for a bargain, and the people making the product know the price they are looking at and won’t go that big (like, this movie). And third, the stuff initial made for theatrical release, or broadcast, or some other medium, and picked up by Netflix second hand. This stuff is really good and Netflix will pay the same amount for it second run that they would for the first run of the lower budget stuff (like, the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai). Right now, with COVID, Netflix is getting the third category stuff first run, very expensive high quality products with a lot of promotion behind them that they are picking up for a song. Class of ’83 is a reminder of the quality that you usually get with an outside production released straight to Netflix.
Anyway, the movie itself! It’s a solid police thriller. It’s based on a novel, which makes sense, there is a well-defined plot, setting, conflict, all those novel type elements. Oh, and a central moral quandary issue as well, the simple version of the world we see at the beginning becomes complex and troubled by the end.
I didn’t love it, but that’s because I don’t love police thrillers. It’s not good enough to overcome my general disinterest in the genre, but still plenty good for folks who do like the genre. Part of that is I am also not good at the genre. That is, I had a hard time keeping track of things like which postings and which ranks people had, how time was passing, who each “bad guy” was and stuff. If it was a romance, I would have easily been able to follow who was the disapproving father, and how the couple first met, and those things, due to my familiarity with the genre.
For me, it was an okay film that was a little confusing but fine. If you like the police genre, it would be a good film that intrigued you with the complexities of the plot and was presented in a nice solid way.