Theatres belong to paise-wallahs: Nawazuddin Siddiqui
The actor, who feels 70mm screen will always have a ‘charm of it’s own’, says small films get ‘stepmotherly treatment’ in the industry, and that’s why OTT has turned out to be a “blessing”.Updated: Sep 16, 2020 13:54 IST
Movie theatres have been shut since the lockdown first came into force (around mid-March). As a result, the OTT space has spread it’s reach at a breakneck speed in India. And although theatre owners have incurred heavy losses, many feel the rise of OTT platforms is great news for content creators, at large. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, too, believes that streaming sites have “proved to be a blessing for smaller films.”
“At the outset, I must admit that big screen has always had, and will forever have it’s own special charm. Wahaan ek alag hi mahaul hota hai,” says Siddiqui, adding: “OTT platforms, on the other hand, have a special, unique set of advantages. For instance, lockdown ke time mein bhi, kitne log meri films dekh paa rahein hain. Plus, the streaming sites are available worldwide to everyone.” During the lockdown, he has seen digital releases of his films such as Ghoomketu and Raat Akeli Hai.
The Sacred Games actor also feels film theatres don’t lend itself to creating a level-playing field for everyone. “Theatres have become superstars’ personal fiefdom of sorts; it’s as if 5,000 screens pe unka raj kaabij ho chuka hai. But OTTs have come as a blessing for smaller films. With no investors, producers, backers or proper release strategy, chhoti films ke saath bahut sautela vyavhaar hota hai,” he says.
Siddiqui further rues the lack of same set of opportunities for every filmmaker. “Aaj ki date mein theatres sirf paise-waalon ka ho gaya hai; unki monopoly ho gayi hai. OTT platforms, though, have brought in a democratic culture (vis-a-vis showcasing films). Now, our films also get picked up and showcased as prominently. Otherwise, chhoti filmon ka bahut bura hashr hota hai. Also, we are getting some fantastic talent — including great actors and directors — due to the OTT space,” he says.
The Kick actor, who recently travelled to Dehradun from his village (Budhana in Uttar Pradesh) — during the ongoing lockdown — is happy to “spend quality time with his niece, nephews and brother”. “It depends on person-to-person. Mujhe koi shikaayat nahi hai about the lockdown. In fact, I look at it as a fortunate time wherein I am getting to watch great cinema, and also works of some fantastic actors,” says Siddiqui, who will next be seen in projects such as Bole Chudiyan, Roam Rome Mein and Serious Men among others.