As normalcy begins to return in many industries after the end of the second wave of Covid-19, the only sector that is still faltering is the cinema. People are afraid to venture out of their homes, and with the dominance of OTT platforms, that doesn’t seem to change anytime soon. However, what has happened because of this is that many films, which did not get a good reception when they hit theaters, managed to find a new lease of life when they were released on. OTT platforms.
The most recent example is Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar. Directed by Dibakar Banerjee, the film was released in select theaters earlier this year, but was not very well received commercially. And it wasn’t until after it was released on an OTT platform that it received great reviews and appreciation from the public and critics.
Actor Arjun Kapoor, who stars in Sandeep Aur… declares: “I am happy with the echo the film got when it was re-released on the web. You cannot control or predict this. The film is perfect, the way it reached audiences may have been scattered and shifted across the theater and the OTT, but a love-inspiring film like this one that will be remembered for a long time to come, it will now be selfish of me to say that I wish he had this or that. The film had its own destiny and it reached audiences in one way or another.
Movies that did not have the conventional star or masala value also found plenty of takers in the digital space. Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, led by actress Seema Pahwa, who made her directorial debut with the film, gained a lot of attention when she reached a larger audience via OTT.
Pahwa says the biggest advantage of such platforms is that they don’t have to deal with the box office issue. “You are free to make your own creation. Aapka woh darr khatam ho jaata hai. These are the best platforms for everyone, even if you are making low budget movies. Theaters have their own charm, but OTT platforms have given actors and directors a lot of opportunities. I myself have been able to watch a lot of films in Malayalam and Telugu, which I did not know before where to go to see, ”says the 59-year-old man.
Trade expert Atul Mohan recognizes the potential of such platforms. In fact, he feels that there is a change in the type of stories being told and the way they are told.
“Policymakers are now thinking of stories that can appeal to people around the world and to different diasporas. These platforms offer them this chance to reach out. These films did not get much attention when released in theaters, but made quite a stir when they were released on OTT. It’s power, so people have the option right at home, they take risks, and good content comes first, ”says Mohan.
Speaking of his movie, Mr.Actor Tillotama Shome says seeing their film made independently through a precarious festival circuit to the homes of people in our vast land and the world has been “kind of an explosion.”
She tells us: “I have never met such a diverse and large audience for my work. It silently dropped onto Netflix and then, like that little wave, just grew and got bigger. The OTT platform gave our film huge stature, but audience choice became the tailwind and we suddenly flew. I will always be grateful and humbled by the power of these platforms and my journey has only just begun. “