Bhumi Pednekar: Really want theatres to reopen but not at the cost of the safety of our audiences
In love with the big screen experience, Bhumi Pednekar is all for the theatres to reopen soon. With discussion around the future of cinema gathering storm, countries all over the world have been working towards finding a solution. Closer home, the announcement by West Bengal government to open cinemas in limited form October onwards, has raised hope. Though in support, Pednekar feels that the steps taken in opening big screens should be “thoughtful” given the virus scare still looming large.
“I completely miss the big screen experience. It has been a regular exercise and I have many memories of watching films in theatres with family. Being one in the audience, I’ve always enjoyed the universal emotion towards something that’s happening on screen. Nothing can really match that experience. So, I really hope for theatres to open soon but not at the cost of the safety of our audiences,” she says.
Given that a lot of livelihoods depend on theatre business, there has been constant discussions between the fraternity and the government to find a way forward. Pednekar is hopeful that these talks would resolve this issue soon.
“I’m not an expert, so I don’t really know the right way of doing it. These are difficult times. Many livelihoods have been affected in every sector. Since theatre experience is so dear to me, I also hope we reach a solution soon. While I’m sentimental about it, I know I’ve to be practical as well. Though mortality rates are low, we must remember that the virus is still spreading. India is among the top affected countries in the world, so we must support government’s decision on this,” adds the Saand Ki Aankh (2019) actor.
The actor urges people who are capable, to financially help stakeholders in showbiz sector, in dire need. “A lot of us who’re in a position of privilege should come forward and contribute. We need to address the suffering of daily wage workers in every way possible,” says Pednekar, whose latest film Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare took the OTT route given the theatre shutdown.
This shifting of platform has also been the talking point. While some are fine with the arrangement given the absence of box office pressure, many feel otherwise especially when it comes to releasing bigger films on OTT.
Expressing her thoughts, Pednekar tells us, “You can’t really compare both these experiences. Watching a film in a theatre will always be special. But I feel that Dolly Kitty… got the kind of audience it deserved on OTT. The film had travelled a lot internationally and garnered love. So, this arrangement worked in its favour as it got the deserved global release.”
Having enjoyed the new format of release, the actor explains the way things work out in OTT and how is it different from theatres.
“Unlike the city to city promotions that would go on for weeks, this got wrapped up in a week. Marketing and the assets you put out is also different. Everything happened via zoom calls. While we can still look forward to what the critics and audience have to say but there is no number pressure now. Yet, I really enjoy the pressure and the adrenaline rush the box office brings and I’m looking forward to that,” she concludes.
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ