Mumbai, Oct 25 (IANS): The cinemas have been closed for over seven month now. There was no new leisure on tv both for a very long time. How lengthy may you see repeat telecasts on the tv? And we had been all quarantined. The primary few months had been powerful. Relying on the place you lived, you had entry to nothing. No transport, no eating places, no on-line orders.
The one stuff accessible was milk, medicines and a few every day requirements. Even for that your motion was restricted and so had been the timings for the distributors!
Worst of all, there was no alcoholic drinks accessible. One couldn’t see the logic behind this transfer by any authorities. Alcohol would have really helped preserve individuals away from the streets and at residence.
India doesn’t have the tradition of looking for redressal from psychiatrists for a few causes — religion in faith and household help. Within the age of nuclear households, there was little of the final one.
The one different for the pressured home arrest had been the assorted OTT streaming platforms. You might not enterprise out and courageous the coronavirus. Not that any leisure was accessible.
The OTT streaming platforms bought an ideal alternative to ship leisure proper into individuals’s drawing rooms. OTT as an idea was not all that new to India. YouTube has been round for years, however was not but recognized as OTT. The platform gives nearly each form of leisure, common information, political content material, films, music, information content material, meals and journey, Identify it and it was and is all accessible right here.
Sadly, YouTube was recognized to individuals just for music movies. No person actually cared for the opposite content material accessible. For one factor, the channel was free and a motive why few actually explored it absolutely. The opposite and principal motive being, individuals sought outings and that meant taking in a film and eating out.
The corona lockdown made individuals realise that life may be lived with out a number of issues they thought-about as a lifestyle and took without any consideration. Within the metros, constructing societies forbade entry of outsiders in addition to the residents’ actions round city. No provides, not even newspapers. Cinema-going was not even a risk.
The individuals learnt to go to rest room with out newspapers, survive with out a number of issues they took without any consideration, particularly the weekly outings. Be it cinema, drama, consuming out or no matter they did over the weekend.
That’s when the run for the OTT platforms began with extra frenzy than the nice American Gold Rush.
The OTT streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon, which had been round for some time in India, stuffed in for the outside leisure. Many extra adopted. These platforms thought it essential to have a wholesome repertoire of films, as a result of Indians had been hooked on films somewhat than episodic programmes.
However, sadly, what these streaming platforms ended up shopping for was merchandise few individuals would need to watch; most of them had no face worth and some that did, lacked in content material and remedy. “Gulabo Sitabo”, for instance, was not appreciated regardless of having Amitabh Bachchan and the youth favorite, Ayushmann Khurrana!
The oldsters, beneath a pressured lockdown, explored different content material in addition to films. What one observed was they had been extra into content material from different nations than India. In India, the OTT subscribers’ initiation was somewhat in opposition to their tastes and beliefs.
Some makers blindly imitated the international approach of constructing programmes and stuffed them up with gore, violence, intercourse, pure and unnatural, and dialogue with filthiest grammar. “Sacred Video games” is an instance. Another makers took to telling UP-Bihar Bahubali tales, which had been completely rejected on the massive display screen. “Mirzapur”, “Paatal Lok”, “The Household Man” and some extra, for instance, thought that is what sells. Motion could be extra justified in a programme like “Particular Ops”. It makes extra sense.
The straightforward reality is that OTT is to be watched at residence, with household and such Bahubali tales do not serve the aim.
Social media mirrors individuals’s tastes and preferences aptly. In contrast to movies, the social media platforms are completely impartial of events. There are neither the maker’s PR equipment nor the paid military commenting. With movies, every actor and maker has a military to create camps and promote their star, whereas additionally demoting the others.
In the case of OTT content material, the opinions on social media teams are kosher. No vested pursuits, no exterior affect.
What is gloomy about these dialogue teams is that, they often focus on international content material. That’s as a result of solely on occasion there comes an Indian programme that catches the creativeness of the OTT viewers.
It’s only when a programme like “Particular Ops”, “Arya” or “Rip-off: 1992” is streamed that Indian content material is broadly mentioned, praised and beneficial. Such programmes additionally herald new subscribers to an OTT platform regardless of one realising that there’s little else price watching on that specific platform!
For instance, SonyLIV mounted its annual subscription at Rs 999 with no choices for weekly or month-to-month subscription to decide on. Lots of people paid simply to look at “Rip-off: 1992”. However what else is price that cash?
Please do not make OTT binging as pricey as multiplex admission charges. For, individuals can afford to subscribe to solely a few platforms, and there are quite a few vying for desire. In spite of everything, India is the place the place doing enterprise by quantity ought to be the goal.
And, with regards to movies that the OTT platforms have acquired by the handfuls in latest instances, much less stated the higher.
After all, it began with “Angrezi Medium”, which was a sufferer of the corona lockdown and needed to be discontinued from the cinemas. The makers did clever to take it to Prime Video with out losing time, because the movie was using excessive on the sympathy wave for Irrfan after his demise. The Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer, “Dil Bechara”, was one other movie to be in public glare due to the actor’s unlucky demise.
However, what in regards to the different movie content material that these OTT platforms are including to their repertoire? Beginning with “Gulabo Sitabo”, which was the primary main attraction as a premiere launch on OTT, what has adopted has been grossly mediocre stuff with movies that may not final a day on the cinema halls. Movies like “Shakauntala Devi”, “Raat Akeli Hai”, “Sadak 2”, “Gunjan Saxena”, “Loot Case”, “Khuda Hafiz”, “Ghumketu”, “Yaara”, “Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare”, “Bamfaad”, “Khaali Peeli”, “Ginny Weds Sunny” and “Virgin Bhanupriya”, if you want, are the points of interest that these OTT platforms supply. Generally, the movie’s title is sufficient to put a viewer off.
For the makers, this may occasionally have been a gold rush however in return, they’ve solely ended up utilizing the streaming platforms as their dumping grounds.
(Vinod Mirani is a veteran movie author and field workplace knowledgeable. The views expressed are private)