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Sunday, April 18, 2021

OTT releases of big budget Bollywood films a boon or a bane?

For the longest time now, we have all been waiting for films to move to the theatre. However, one might often wonder are OTT releases of these films better than otherwise? Over the last couple of months, ever since the lockdown kicked in, we have been rendered inside our homes. However, there has been a constant dose of entertainment in the form of films as well as shows. And if nothing, those have made all of this easier.

While we are all longing for things to go back to normal, is the new normal good for Bollywood films? For a recent release like Laxmii, it has released on Hotstar in India. However, some countries have, in fact, seen it get a theatrical release. But was it worth it? Would a film that hasn’t received anything close to rave reviews do better in the theatres? Since the makers are assured a certain sum of money when they decide upon a film’s release online, the equivalent might have been not so huge.

However, OTT releases don’t always work in favour of the movies. A film like Angrezi Medium had to suffer at the box office due to the pandemic. None the less, it later released on Hotstar and managed to find more takers. While some films that wouldn’t have worked otherwise, hit home, the opposite is just as true. At a time when we don’t have too many sources of entertainment, movies and shows seem an easy way out.

Interestingly, Dil Bechara, which happened to be Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film, received a lot of love. However, many question if the response would have been the same in the theatres, and well, it is worth a thought.

With more and more films heading for OTT releases, those who are holding on until theatres open might find lesser takers. Over the last few months, we have all become too habituated to staying in and watching cinema, but are we ready to step out yet? On the other hand, one thing that is also thought-provoking is how will our choices now change. After understanding content better, not everyone might herd to theatres for every film release ever, but become selective.

While the question about OTT releases being a boon or a bane remains unanswered, there is more to it. The audiences have now become smart and instead of watching everything that is shown to us, they have now become the deciders instead.

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