Rani Mukherji on theatre vs OTT debate: Cinema experience can’t be compared to the boredom of watching it in your home

Apr 18, 2023 11:56 PM IST

Actor Rani Mukherji talks about her belief in big screen world, and why it can’t be compared to the OTT world

Actor Rani Mukherji recently returned to the big screen with her film, Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway, and she enjoyed living through the “excitement, nervousness and anticipation” around release of a film in theatres. While she agrees that OTT is the new word of business, she is quick to add that it can never take the place of watching a story come alive on the silver screen.

Rani Mukherji was recently seen in film, Mrs Chatterjee VS Norway
Rani Mukherji was recently seen in film, Mrs Chatterjee VS Norway

“OTT (space) is a very new concept which has come in the last two- three years. That is when the whole conversation around the OTT content started. It is new to all of us, not only me, but films predominantly are supposed to be watched on the 70mm or 90mm screen,” opines Mukherji.

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The 45-year-old asserts that movie watching is a community experience, just like the time when people go and watch a match or game in a stadium. “The whole feeling is very different from the feeling that we get when we are watching sports on TV. It is the same thing when you watch a film in an audience. Just like how theatre, which is about actors performing live, moved to cinema, where people go and watch the project in a dark room. It is an immersive experience,” adds the actor, stressing that the “immersive feeling” comes only when you are in a movie theatre.

“It doesn’t come when you are sitting at home, distracted by your phone, or by something else. There might be a call coming, or you have to go somewhere. You can pause the film. That experience is unmatched with the experience that we get on the big screen,” shares Mukherji, who is proud that her project Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway has helped people regain trust of taking projects apart from larger than life canvas to the big screen.

After spending over two decades in the industry, Mukherji has made a place for herself with projects such as, Saathiya, Chalte Chalte, Hum Tum, Bunty Aur Babli, Mardaani, Hichki and Bunty Aur Babli 2.

“Being a cinema child, I have always wanted cinema to prevail. Right from the onset of this film, I always believed that this film is for a theatrical watch. It was never in the opinion that we should put it on the viewership on OTT. After a few months of release, it will eventually come on TV. The initial euphoria is actually about the whole movie experience,” says the mother of one.

She goes on to comparing the experience of going to a theatre to that of planning going a picnic. “That’s what is exciting about cinema. Not that you come back home after a hard day’s work, and just scroll what to watch and not watch. Cinema experience can’t be compared to the boredom of watching it in your home. For me, that’s too boring. I like to see films on the big screen to see. That’s the beauty of cinema,” she ends.

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    Delhi-based Sugandha Rawal is a movie buff, and writes on Bollywood, Hollywood, Television, OTT and Music for the daily entertainment and lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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