Abhishek Bachchan lauds OTT boom, says ‘The pressure of opening day figure is gone now’
It has been over a year since the Covid-19 crisis hit India, and thus began the rise of online streaming platforms. With theatres shut for most part of the last year, and even now, many films meant for a theatrical release took the OTT route. Abhishek Bachchan had not one, but two of his films — Ludo and The Big Bull — released digitally.
The best thing about such releases, says the actor, is the fact that the hype around numbers doesn’t take place as it is the case with big screen outings.
“Earlier, traditionally, the film’s trailer would come out six to eight weeks before its release; now it’s a shorter window. By the time the film comes out, as an actor, the excitement goes out of the window because of all the nervousness around initial reactions to the film,” he says and quips, “Although I’ve to admit that on a scale of one to hundred, if theatrical was a 100, with films coming out on streaming platforms directly, nervousness level is at 98.”
The 45-year-old notes how in case of theatres, the opening day and weekend collections, and this whole number game at the box-office consumes an actor.
“But in case of the web, they don’t release this kind of info. So, it’s a sustained release. There’s no pressure to watch it first day first show, it’s going to be available. That’s the only thing slightly lesser — the pressure to meet the opening day figure. Rest of it is pretty much still the same,” he explains.
Having spent two decades in the film industry and played a variety of roles on screen, Bachchan admits that even today, he gets anxious before any of his project is about to release.
He reasons, “There are months, and years at times, of hard work and sacrifice that go into making a film, on behalf of hundreds of thousands of people. And suddenly, the product is not going to be yours anymore. You hand it over to the audience. That nervousness will always be there — of how people are going to react — if they’ll enjoy the film and your work.”
Last year, his web debut, Breathe: Into The Shadows and then Ludo, both were received well by the viewers. This year, The Big Bull, too, opened to mixed reviews and Bachchan couldn’t be happier. He directs all the praise towards the film’s co-producer, actor Ajay Devgn.
“He has my best intentions in mind. I have an immense responsibility towards him, as a family member and a friend, to not betray the trust he puts in me. He picked up the phone two years ago for this film and I said it’s already a yes. It was just a matter of formality to meet my director Kookie Gulati. I was so lucky, it was a wonderful script and actors would give an arm and a leg for a role like this,” he concludes.