Amazon Prime Video: Best web series, originals and movies on offer in India
With the release of Amazon Prime in India comes a large platter of TV shows and films to choose from. From the award-winning show Transparent to the honestly told story of F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, here are our picks of the best original series and content.
The Man in the High Castle
This show is Amazon's most watched since they began putting out original content. Set in a dystopian world, it is an imagination of an alternate history of the world that would exist had Germany, Japan and Italy won World War II. In it, America is divided into two parts. The lives of the characters in the show are intertwined because of watching propaganda films, whose content is vastly different from their own lives.
It is almost haunting to see the Nazi symbol on the American flag instead of the stars, and in a surreal but humourous moment two Nazi officials are seen getting angry at Japanese officials who complained that the furniture did not have chi.
Billy Bob Thornton, who was last seen in a menacing avatar in Fargo, plays a washed-up lawyer in this series, where a man on trial he defended went on to murder an entire family. It has some really chilling visuals, especially in the scene where a ship is reduced to smithereens.
Thornton looks like a shadow of himself with his beard, frail body and exhausted face; a complete antithesis of the beach city he lives in. The show has some cleverly written lines, such as, "I've had the shit beat out of me a lot of times. I just replenish with more shit."
Z: The Beginning of Everything
This series tells the lesser-known story of Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the writer of The Great Gatsby. You see her husband and his work through her eyes; she talks about the tragedy in his writing.
The sense of melancholy in her personality comes through because of lines like, "Things are sweeter when they're lost." Christina Ricci, who plays the protagonist has a sweet Alabama accent and brings out Zelda's vivacious, spontaneous nature in scenes, such as the one where she strips and jumps into a pond.
Mozart in the Jungle
Mozart in the Jungle is about what goes on behind the curtains, when a symphony is not playing. Right from the speech given by the conductor in the first scene, we are given a glimpse of what the relationships are like between the musicians who play in the symphony.
The new conductor is introduced to the viewer in a manner that looks more like sensory overload, which tells us much about his character. If you enjoyed Whiplash, you will like this series, which has classical music playing in the background in most scenes.
Transparent is the only series produced by a streaming service to ever win a Golden Globe award. If you are a fan of Arrested Development, you will be amazed by just how different Jeffrey Tambor's character is in this series. We are not introduced to his character until a good 10 minutes into the first episode, but once he comes on, he captures the screen with his gentle, slightly effeminate personality.
The family dynamics are natural, especially in the scene where they are having dinner and all of them have food smeared across their faces in the same way.
The Grand Tour
It has been called the British answer to Top Gear, and it is filled with shot of cars being driven in beautiful locations. Automobile enthusiasts will like this series, and because of the running gags in it, people who are not too fond of cars will enjoy it too. For example, in a segment called 'Celebrity Car Crash', famous personalities are "killed" on their way to a tent.
Sneaky Pete follows the life of an ex-convict who assumes the identity of his cell mate after being released from prison. Marius' intentions become evident during "I have people skills," Marius says to Pete, who replies with "You're a con man!" He actually assumes Pete's persona by constantly asking him questions about his family and childhood.
It seems almost unbelievable when he manages to convince Pete's grandparents that he is their grandson. Watch this series to know how he pulls off con after con.
A subscription of this live streaming service will allow you to watch classics like Forrest Gump, The Godfather and Into the Wild, but we recommend that you focus instead on the regional movie section to explore Bengali films like Rajkahini and Marathi movies like Devrai.
Amazon Prime provides a selection of some very good shows, such as Mad Men and Seinfeld, but we recommend that you watch The Night Manager and Mr. Robot. While the former stars Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddlestone in a story about a former soldier who is a luxury hotel manager and how he is recruited by an intelligence agency, the latter is about a cyber security engineer and hacker who suffers from social anxiety and depression.
There is a variety of documentaries to choose from, of which Museum Secrets and Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse are promising.