Best Netflix Release of 2020: Axone, AK vs AK, Bulbbul, Raat Akeli Hai, Ludo, Cargo, Something Else?

Wow, this is going to be surprisingly hard! I started just thinking about AK vs AK, and then I started to remember all the others.

Feel free to do write in nominations! These are just the movies I have seen/reviewed.

Also, let us define “best Netflix release”!!!! It can mean “best movie”, but it can also mean “best film to release specifically on this platform”. A topic that is very narrowcasting, and yet at the same time good for a global audience to see.

Axone

A story about Northeasterners in Delhi. A community with issues that the wider global audience has no idea about, and a kind of funny movie that would never have found a wide release but can have more people watching it from India and around the world through Netflix than it could through film festivals etc.

Axone (2019) - IMDb

AK vs AK

This is probably the best made film as a film on this whole list. And it certainly would have gotten a theatrical release. But it never would have been a big hit. Releasing into the vacuum of lockdown on streaming probably gave it more buzz and attention than if it had released in theaters with competition from the other big Christmas movies.

AK vs AK: A thrilling surprise at every turn

Bulbbul

Always planned for a Netflix release, short and poetic and strange, with a strong subtle social argument. And just a remarkable unusual amazing movie.

Bulbbul Movie Review: The Anushka Sharma production is an uncomfortable yet  almost intoxicating watch - Binge Watch News

Raat Akeli Hai

I should say, this is not my favorite, but it is a very good movie so I feel like I should include it. Nawazuddin doing a different sort of police role, Radhike Apte doing a great femme fatale, it’s all good.

RAAT AKELI HAI' | 31 July, 2020 – Film Information

Ludo

This is another one that should have released in theaters but, if it had, it would have been overshadowed. Releasing in the streaming vacuum gave it some attention. Great cast, great story, really interesting and happy. And Abhishek! Definitely best star cast of all of these.

Ludo First Look: Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao collaborate with Anurag  Basu for their next film; Read Deets | PINKVILLA

Cargo

Technically released before 2020, but only played at film festivals and stuff. It was Netflix streaming that gave it a solid platform and let all of us who knew about it but hadn’t been able to see it a change. Original, strange, beautiful, everything good.

Cargo Review (No Spoilers): A Small Experience of Timeless Peace |  dontcallitbollywood

Other Stuff

There’s loads of other movies released on Netflix that I’m not thinking about, feel free to do a write in vote! Also, if you are looking for stuff to watch, ALL of these are really really good, so you should watch ALL of them.

What’s the one you think is best?

I am having a REALLY HARD TIME with this! It’s definitely, for me, AK vs AK or Axone or Bulbbul but it’s super hard to pick. I guess I am going with Bulbbul?

16 thoughts on “Best Netflix Release of 2020: Axone, AK vs AK, Bulbbul, Raat Akeli Hai, Ludo, Cargo, Something Else?

  1. There’s Yeh Ballet, which I liked probably more than Cargo. Truly excellent performance by Julian Sands and very charming teenage ballet dancers.

    I thought Cargo was fine but it was too much like MST3K and just made me think about how great that is. On the other hand, Vikrant Massey in his underwear was good.

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    • Wow, another Yeh Ballet vote! You are making me think maybe I should watch it.

      On Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 1:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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  2. Axone,because it is a major leap in the right direction.Ak vs Ak and Ludo were great in terms of technique,while Cargo would work only for a personal viewing with a hot cup of cocoa.
    Raat Akeli Hai was surprisingly good,even though I despise noirs.I loved the concept of Bulbbul,but feel that it could have been more tightly scripted with a few more minutes of world building instead of the ‘and so,it happened’ approach.

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  3. My personal favourite is Cargo. I don’t know if it’s the best movie, probably not, but I really liked it and without Netflix I’m sure I would never watch it.
    Not my favourite but the movie that was perfect for Netflix – Bulbbul.

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  4. My top 3 would be Yeh Ballet, Bulbbul, and AK vs. AK, all totally different films – which seems promising. Bulbbul surprises me, it’s not usually my genre, and I didn’t love the ending, but it was just so beautiful to look at. The other two are more my usual jam and I thoroughly enjoyed them both, not perfect but really good. I also liked Axone, it’s just a little too sad to be at the top for me, but I’m glad it exists and I’m glad I watched it.

    I didn’t see Cargo, forgot about it. Now I have one to look forward to.

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    • Wow, I had no idea Yeh Ballet was that good! And yes, you should watch Cargo. It’s a real thinker.

      On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 11:13 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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  5. P.S. what did you all think of the white guy in Yeh Ballet? At first he bugged me a lot, then I thought he wasn’t so bad and kind of endearing but I still liked all the other actors much better, he kind of stuck out.

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  6. So I have to watch Yeh Ballet too, now. As to all the others, I’m in the minority choosing Raat Akeli Hai. Nowaz right up there with the greats, Radhike a close second. Some weak spots but not for want of trying. The mother/son interaction is priceless.

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  7. AK vs AK by far. It had me screaming with laughter and shouting at my TV. The most fun I’ve had watching a film since War. I loved Axone but then was saddened by a lot of the criticism I saw online from Northeastern Indians. I don’t know enough about the community or issues to understand the controversy very well but it definitely threw a shadow over the film. I couldn’t watch Bulbuul because of the rapes. I was warned away from Yeh Ballet but maybe I’ll give it a go based on what I’m seeing here. Ludo was a swing and a miss for me, the editing kept yanking me out of the different narratives and it just didn’t gel.

    Like

    • Oh good, I was beginning to feel like the only person here who hadn’t seen Yeh Ballet.

      On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 12:52 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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