Corona virus-infected Bollywood film industry forced to rely on small screen



It is an unusual summer in India. The reason is the Corona virus epidemic in the country, which has caused millions of spectators who turn to the cinema to watch Indian films, unable to do so this time around because cinemas across the country have been closed since March due to the epidemic.

But streaming services are becoming a source of entertainment for these people.

There are many films in the country that have not waited for the cinema to open and have turned to streaming service instead. Apart from this, well-known rural actors of the country are also turning to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus Hot Star etc. instead of movies.

But while the closure of cinemas is increasing the uneasiness of their owners, a major change has accelerated and that is the reduction of distances between the small screen and the big screen.

Film journalist Asim Chhabra says the result is that "Bollywood has to change its behavior and compromise on many things."

In June, a film called Gulabo Stabu was released on Netflix in which well-known actor Amitabh Bachchan showed the essence of acting.

This was followed by the release of a film based on the life of India's leading mathematician Shakuntala Devi and then a film based on the life of India's first female pilot, Ganjan Saxena. For the makers of these films, these streaming services have become a boon for cinema.

Films that are targeted by the Indian censor board for their content are more likely to turn to streaming services, and another reason is that India's young and large city-dwelling population is old-fashioned in Bollywood. Are tired of watching movies with stories and songs.


Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have the largest market share. Netflix has released 18 new dramas and movies this year alone, while Amazon has announced that it will release 14 dramas and movies this year.

According to the Disney Plus Hot Star, they will be releasing seven movies that were to be released in cinemas this year.

Asim Chhabra says the gap between TV and cinema in India is narrowing due to the streaming service.

On the other hand, this is not usually the case in India. Artists come here only in the first films but since the streaming service started, many actors have started moving here as it is known that in Bollywood only those who get acquainted get a chance.

But with the popularity of streaming service, it is now clear that Bollywood actors are also turning to them.

The small screen became the big screen

Recently, Akshay Kumar, one of the highest paid actors in Bollywood, announced that his film Lakshmi Bomb will be released on Disney Plus Hot Star. He will then take part in another series next year on the same platform. And this is not a trivial matter. Akshay Kumar is very popular in India and his fame is in both cities and villages.

Asim Chhabra says that working in Akshay Kumar's streaming service was impossible a few years ago.

Vikram Malhotra, head of Abudantia Entertainment, says the change is "surprising" and that when his company started making content for the streaming service, people were very skeptical and worried.

But his confidence proved to be right and his company is credited with two major releases for the online service, one of which is Abhishek Bachchan's film.

Speaking to the BBC, Abhishek Bachchan, son of Amitabh Bachchan, said, "As an actor, you have to see where the next job will come from. And you find stories that need to be told. And I think it's a great platform and it's not going anywhere. "

Similarly, many actors who showed their essence in films are now working in streaming service dramas.

Recently, Anil Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and even Kajol and Karisma Kapoor have worked for the streaming service.

"In the coming months, you will see many actors working for this streaming service," says Apoorva Mehta, head of Dharma Productions, one of India's largest studios.

But while the future of streaming service looks bright, the future of cinemas is uncertain.

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