Actress Mreenal Deshraj, who was last seen in the show Naagin 3, says that this is a great time to be part of showbiz. Especially where films are concerned, OTT has really changed the game, says the actress.
“The landscape of the industry is changing but the old school rule of grabbing audiences is still the only principle leading the change. This is prevalent right from the way movies are being made to how they are being released with OTT platforms being fail-safe options to even primary markets for some movies - it is all about capturing audiences,” she says.
Bollywood is going through quite a rough phase where the footfall is in theatres. However, OTT provides a safety net. “Many years ago, filmmakers felt that they had just one shot when they released a movie. Now you know that even if you are wrong (worst case scenario) about your release: OTT platforms will give you a shot at success. That is why you have many movies that get a theatrical release, have an unsatisfactory opening, get released on OTT platforms and immediately gain traction. It happens all the time and this type of safety net and extended reach is wonderful,” she says.
Some industry Pandits are blaming the content and some are blaming the lack of star value in films for them not to work on the big screen. However, there are many more options today which have changed a lot of things, says Mreenal, adding, “This age of information technology has provided many options, don't you think? What you're asking is one type of perception, the other side of the coin is to realise there are many options for new stars to grow. Competition always creates the best value for audiences and in turn forces us actors to polish our skill sets across verticals from social media to the way we emote. It gives producers many options to choose from and audiences get the best of the best in terms of entertainment. There is a win-win situation for everyone,” she adds.
However, the theatres will soon flourish, she says, “I think it is a cyclical effect - the monsoons are here and covid, monkeypox, etc. is being talked about - people want to be at home and safe with their families. Things will change with the change in seasons and new movies will release and organically the theatres will be bustling centres like they used to be just a short while ago,” she says.
Talking about the film she saw last, the actress says, “We saw Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 most recently which was a blast and I am looking forward to Brahmastra. As far as star value goes, Bollywood has gradually shifted from relying solely on star power to an amalgamation of star power and riveting stories. You cannot argue that Bhool Bhulaiyaan 2, Kashmir Files and Gangubai had zero star power - but all 3 movies had entertainment in its best form. There is no "one" feature that will win audiences - they are demanding more and entertainment providers are stepping up the plate and delivering that.”