Tuesday, 10 May 2016
If you want to watch English movies on the Internet, there is a huge list of content providers that you can log in to right now, with some being free and ad-supported, and others being fully paid. Apps such as Netflix, Hooq, and Hotstar are all well-made, easy to use, and have huge libraries on offer.
If you want just regional content though, then you might prefer to turn to a specialised provider - that's where Fast Filmz comes in. The app currently has a small library of over 150 Tamil movies, with plans to add Telugu films soon while growing the Tamil catalogue through 2016, and adding more regional languages over time. The app itself has a simple, easy to use interface that puts a lot of focus on the "superstars" of cinema. It's a paid app, but the charges are quite low; you don't have to commit to an entire month's subscription, and you're paying a mere Re. 1 per day, with support for carrier billing.
Users can subscribe to a monthly plan of Rs. 30, or they can choose to get a Rs. 10 for 10-days pack. There's no cap on the number of films you can download or stream in this time, so you could stock up on all your favourite films for just Rs. 10. The service is truly unlimited, with no advertisements. Another feature that's really useful is that you can pay for the subscription directly via your carrier - Fast Film has tied up with Aircel, Vodafone, Airtel, and Idea, covering most of the major providers.
The app itself is divided into six sections - Stars, Scenes, New Arrivals, Showcase, Explore, and My Downloads. The Stars section is, well, the star here, and showcases large posters with pictures of the actors, listing their movies, along with a link to the Scenes section which includes clips of the actors, and a 'crackers' rating, which is actually used for a leaderboard - so you can give crackers to your favourite actors to make them the top rated stars in Fast Filmz.
The catch is that the library is still quite small - for example, in the stars section, you've got famous stars such as Rajinikanth, Jayam Ravi, Vijay, Trisha, and many more, but tap on Rajinikanth and you see only seven movies right now. The most recent of these was Kuselan which released in 2008.
On tapping on the film, you will see the synopsis, and you can then choose the video quality for downloading or streaming, and the app also shows you the size of the file, so you can decide depending on your data connectivity. You can download the files to your device to watch when offline, or if space is a problem, stream the movies when you're online.
Surprisingly, the audio and video quality on the mobile screen remained pretty reasonable even on a 2G network - it took some time to buffer an, but at the medium setting (176MB for a full movie) it was able to play smoothly after the initial loading time, and the quality was quite acceptable.
The ease of use and the ability to stream reasonable quality on even poor connections makes the app appealing, but the library definitely needs to improve. Fast Filmz says it's working on this right now, and hopefully a future update will also add the option for subtitles in different languages, so that people who don't speak Tamil (for example) but want to watch well known movies from the region, can also use the app.
The Fast Filmz Android app is free to download, and an iOS version is being developed, according to the company's website.