The pandemic has changed the way businesses operate. What was considered impossible has been accepted and accommodated by the public, celebs, bureaucrats, business tycoons and many others. Zeroing in on the film industry, there used to be multiple challenges, especially for the small budget films aiming for a theater release. The rampant lobbying, bullying by the banners of big-budgeted films, difficulty in finding theaters, show times, etc. were a few of the many challenges. But, the pandemic showed the mirror even to the top banners on how vulnerable they are and how money-power cannot buy everything. Even the top stars lined up to get a slot for a direct OTT release- the new normal in the film industry.
But, looking back, are the OTT platforms picking worthy films for direct streaming? Most of the films that carried a huge hype ended up as a dud-both critically and commercially, a scenario which gave a jolt to the streaming giants Amazon Prime, Disney Hotstar and Netflix. We are sure that they would have regretted signing films like Bollywood films Sadak 2, Coolie No 1, Telugu film V, Nishabdam, etc. Despite top names, they did not taste success. Whereas there were some good films like Mollywood film The Great Indian Kitchen that faced out-right rejection by Amazon Prime and Netflix ( for reasons known only to them) for a direct OTT release. And they are again sure to have regretted this decision. The film got a streaming on a relatively new platform (Neestream) and has been getting amazing reviews.
However, films like Dil Bechara, Mookuthi Amman, Soorarai Pottru, Uma Maheshwara Ugra Roopasya proved to be a jackpot, both for the makers and for the OTT giants. Well, just as there is uncertainty in the result of a direct theater release, there is uncertainty in the final result of OTT releases too. Let us accept that!