What’s streaming now? Not just big, Bollywood potboilers!
Amidst all the big Bollywood potboilers, OTT platforms have, of late, also added a number of unreleased and old movies to their librariesUpdated: Jul 14, 2020 01:26 IST
The Covid-19 crisis has dealt a heavy blow to the theatre business, and as a result of this, a number of new, topline Hindi films have opted for OTT releases. But it’s interesting to note that besides the big Bollywood potboilers, OTT platforms have also added a number of unreleased, old movies to their libraries.
In the latest instance, Rajkummar Rao-starrer Omerta (2017) will start streaming later this month. Not just that, a number of other films, including Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Bhonsle, Rajat Kapoor’s dark comedy Kadakh, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Ghoomketu and Prakash Jha’s Pareeksha -The Final Test have also been picked up by various streaming platforms.
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To put things in perspective, Bhonsle had done quite an extensive round of festival circuit in 2018, while Kadakh and Pareeksha did the same in a limited manner. Ghoomketu, also starring filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, apparently didn’t have distributors/buyers for about two years.
“I am very happy that my film can now be watched by a large number of people at home, and as per their choice of time,” says Omerta director Hansal Mehta. “I, for one, was always keen that it should be (released) on an OTT platform. Personally, I believe that a film like Omerta can be a great fit for online streaming platforms. At the time of the film’s release, there was only one such platform. But now, it is great that options are aplenty,” he says.
For actors, what’s most heartening is the fact that “people can watch their labour of love”, regardless of the platform. “In the current situation, OTT is the only way where people are able to consume films. Also, personally, I don’t think it really matters to actors. And honestly speaking, they shouldn’t be bothered about whether their films release on an OTT platform or in theatres. The fact that our films are able to release is, in itself, a big thing,” opines Siddiqui.
Experts, on their part, feel it could be “due to a combination of commerce and the constant need for fresh content.” “Now, every OTT platform needs a continuous supply of fresh movies/shows, but the supply isn’t able to meet the demand. That’s why they are turning to interesting content from the past. Also, these films aren’t going to burn a hole in their pockets, unlike the new biggies,” says a trade insider who doesn’t wish to be named.
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Old TV shows struck gold initially in the lockdown, but old Hindi films too have many takers. Shahid Kapoor-Amrita Rao starrer Vivah (2006) was trending on the top spot on an OTT platform from the day it was streamed. Films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Hum Aapke Hain Koun are also popular. Many of these are streaming on more than one platform, a rare phenomenon.