Writer Duo Siddharth-Garima On How OTT Content Has Affected The Star-System In Bollywood

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Cinema is probably seeing its darkest days since it lost Robin William to suicide. The novel Coronavirus is to be blamed mostly, but nothing can change the fact that it is also partly because of mediocrity. Especially in Bollywood, which incidentally is also riddled with the whole ‘Outsider Vs Insider’ debate, as you read this. But this is not one of those; this is about hopes of a post-pandemic world and the kind of cinema it should/must usher in. While we are at it, it is imperative to note that the theatres are not the only source of watching movies. Yes, it was the same even before Covid-19 took the streets, but the pandemic has only bolstered the presence of OTT platforms and for all the right reasons.

SEE ALSO: Writer Duo Siddharth-Garima On Cinema During COVID-19: “Do-At-Home Projects Are Temporary”

Be it the plethora of good content out there or the diversity in cast, language and premise; there’s no dearth of quality stuff for viewers to enjoy. But is that a bad thing for the box-office? Recently, we caught up with Bollywood writer duo Siddharth and Garima to address this burning question. When probed about OTT changing the game and if filmmakers will have to step up theirs to stand out or even match, the Jodi–who has written films like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela – Ramleela and lyrics/dialogues for Shahid Kapoor starrer Kabir Singh, told Mashable India the aspects that have altered and what it means for the movies.

Siddharth, while asserting the need to re-invent, highlighted that the goof-ups are not easily forgotten or forgiven these days. “Pandemic or no pandemic, that is always a challenge. (But) Viewers are now open to all kinds of cinema from over the world. Woh jo hamari industry main hota tha plagiarism, ‘inspiration; ab thoda difficult hai because of OTT stepping up the game. But that’s the natural process of evolvement, I think. So, the audience knows now ‘arey yeh toh udhar se uthaya. Arey yeh toh Notebook main tha yeh scene.”

“It’s become very accessible. Pre-pandemic, we’d like to believe that, there were different things that were working and that is a beautiful thing. But now, people are not ready to take just anything. I mean, don’t want to name but there are some big stars whose films are not working at the box-office anymore because people are refusing to take that kind of content,” explained Garima who was probably referring to the recent string of flops by the ever-dependable Khans of the showbiz world.

But hey, there is something called loyalty and the writer duo still place it with the good old movies for obvious reasons. So, when asked if theatres are replaceable, Garima added, “Cinema is here to stay! Cinema has its own cinematic qualities. There are some things that people still love about going to a theater and watching a film; OTT has a very limited access. Even now, it’s not like we’ve penetrated the entire country. When you say satellite, yes, a large number of people have access to TV but with the internet and everything, we are still very limited. I think as filmmakers all we need to do is to step up our game in terms of the kind of content we are providing to them, irrespective of OTT.”

“When TV came in people said newspapers will be gone, “ chided Siddharth and it is one of those rare things one has heard a number times but that is also true each time.

Cover Image: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India


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