2020 has been a great year if we think and thank for being privileged enough to be able to sustain the mess we have been thrown into. Besides the serene walks on the beaches and gulping the spicy street food, I tremendously missed watching movies in theaters. My movie counts in 2020 in theaters is very less and those I found exceptional are 1917 and Kannum Kannum Kollayadithaal.
The OTT platforms were not that appealing to experience the movie, especially to an IMAX lover in me, but Soorarai Pottru, released on Amazon Prime kept me engaging and brought back the experience of how it feels watching an incredibly good movie.
I must confess that I am a hardcore movie buff, ready to shell out as much as I can afford for a better movie watching experience. This is one of the reasons why I haven’t watched Tenet in my hometown yet, but instead I am waiting to catch the action only in IMAX whenever I get a chance to visit metros, hoping Tenet would still be there.
I was utterly disappointed when I read the news of many movies being postponed, and worst they being transferred to OTT. I was counting days to watch No Time to Die, Dune, Top Gun, WW 1984, Tenet and Master before this pandemic had struck.
Now, theaters are gradually opening up with restrictions, still it keeps me skeptical about how the viewers are going to navigate the movie watching platforms.
Let’s talk about business.
Everything drills down to business and money, and movie production and theater screening is not exempted from this. Although OTTs are providing a vast content with affordable prices, they are no good in terms of a memorable hangout with family or friends in a theatre.
Change is inevitable, and the pace of change that’s happening today in any business sector is disrupting many of the established age old practices. The basic concept of demand and supply would easily drive the business of movies more towards OTT. However, theaters wouldn’t cease to exist, instead very few of them will continue to flourish, supported by the likes of the greats like Nolan.
Technically, there are movies produced on huge budgets with special emphasis on realistic action sequences, CGIs and many more only to make them more engaging to watch on a big screen. If OTTs and small screens are the future, the focus might shift to produce more content at the cost of quality of movies. We can easily notice the difference in the quality in popular TV shows and movies. The best example is Game of Thrones, which became popular because of its story and engaging screenplay but not because of its quality movie making. On this note, OTTs are the best platforms for budding movie makers to showcase their content made on small budgets provided their content is strong enough to pull the audience.
Take the examples of Dunkirk and 1917, which I consider the epitome of quality. Having watched them twice on IMAX screens, I could strongly argue that such an experience and bliss wouldn’t been there if I had watched them on a 4K Smart LED TV with Dolby Surround Speakers.
Even if theaters offer better movie experience, it finally comes down to what audience prefer. If they choose OTT and lean towards it, then future of cinema radically changes its direction.
I was a fan of Windows Phone, and owned Nokia Lumia for three years. I felt Lumia was more stylish and a better performer than their counterparts back then in 2013. But, audience leaned more towards iOS and Android, pushing Windows Phone into oblivion sooner than expected. I am afraid it might happen with theaters as well in a decade.
For many reasons, I am strictly not OK with Working from Home as well as Watching from Home.
Image by HKfotopoint, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons