Adil Hussain on his independent film’s struggle to release in the pandemic era
Independent films, before Covid struck, were anyway competing with bigger, commercial films for theatre screens. And post Covid, the quest to get a proper release continues. Adil Hussain’s award-winning film Raahgir is one example.
He says that the makers are yet to decide on a release strategy, as things are very different in today’s time. “They are trying to release it in cinemas, which are not having proper occupancy. And people are apprehensive too. It would probably take some more time to bring it to people,” he says.
The 58-year-old adds that the director of the film, Goutam Ghose, is known since he is a National Award winner, so the film will benefit from it. “He is famous in Bengal, so the producers would probably try to first release it there, though it is not a Bengali film. But the director’s name is going to play a very important role. Probably I also have some sort of popularity there, I have done a few Bengali films too. That could be a possibility. And after that, or maybe simultaneously, there could be a deal with an OTT platform to release it there,” says Hussain.
Big films like Belbottom, which starred him in a pivotal role, though managed a theatrical release barring Maharashtra earlier, then OTT and then re-release again in Maharashtra. How has Hussain managed to strike a balance between doing these potboilers and yet, at the same time, take up projects like Raahgir?
“I have no idea how. I just feel that I am an actor who acts in commercial and also am in the role of an actor who plays roles in independent films. We are always playing roles as sincerely we can. I think I am pretty much happy and interested in playing roles without having any unnecessary judgements that ‘oh it is a role in BellBottom’ or ‘oh a role like the one in Raahgir’. It is never about if it is a commercial film or independent one,” he says.