Are Our Mainstream Films Falling Behind In A World Of Amazing Web Shows & OTT Releases?

The rise of OTT in India can be seen in tandem with the decline of mainstream movies. Not only in terms of the number of commercial films released in the previous year, but also in terms of offering the type of material that draws people to the theatre. Is it possible to trace this shift solely to the pandemic? Is it possible that there are other, stronger forces at work behind this phenomenon?

1. The necessity of obtaining certification approval

The certification procedure for films slated for the theatrical release can be difficult for any producer to manage. Even if the picture has progressive themes, it is still possible that it will be denied a ‘U' (universal) certification or no certification at all.

There is always a propensity to veer towards conventional themes like apolitical or conventional rom-com and fantasies when conservative forces are in charge of decisions that surround the film industry. Sanjay Leela Bhansali's epic opus Padmaavat is one of the most recent instances.

2. When compared to cinema, OTT has unrivalled freedom.

With OTT releases tied to personal subscriptions, consumers may choose how they want to view the material. The kind of storylines told on OTT platforms are significantly more diverse than those featured in mainstream films. Consider sequences from shows like Paatal Lok, which portray graphic details of assault without apology on film. Alternatively, the type of brutality depicted in Family Man 2. Even if the information is graphic, you have the option of telling a more complex story. The same can be stated for the representation of other communities.

3. We've been gifted with a slew of new web series.

Web shows have become the hot new subculture that everyone wants to be a part of as internet connection has progressively become a standard of upper-class urban living. Long-form content allows for further character development. One of the most significant advantages of web shows is this. Exploring such depth in a 2-hour film necessitates a level of expertise and knowledge that most Hindi cinema directors are either unwilling to learn or do not value highly enough. As a result, we get paper-thin plotlines and clichéd characters that we've all seen before.

Today, watching a new web show generates new conversation topics and exposes viewers to a variety of cultures. Shows are no longer controlled or edited for younger audiences; anyone with a smartphone, a membership, and internet access may watch whatever they want.

4. And finally, the pandemic

OTT services have seen a large increase in viewing as the globe has become increasingly devoid of social contacts. Between January and March 2021, Netflix added 4 million new subscribers. These metrics show the public's desire for new, quick content. Gone are the days when video entertainment was limited to theatrical releases. The new OTT age has arrived, and it's here to stay for at least a few more seasons.