With Durgamati and Torbaaz scraping the bottom of the creative barrel at year-end, questions are now being raised about the feature films that are sanctioned by Amazon and Netflix in India.
In 2020, the only Hindi feature film from Netflix that got respectable reviews and substantial eyeballs was the Karan Johar produced Gunjan Saxena and Anurag Basu’s Ludo. The rest of the feature films that premiered on Netflix including Ginny Weds Sunny, Raat Akeli Hai, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare and Bulbbul all received below-average responses from home viewers.
Amazon’s lineup of fresh feature films didn’t fare well either with Gulabo Sitabo, Shakuntala Devi and Chhalaang being given the cold shoulder. Zee 5 had one flop after another in 2020, and questions are being raised about the calibre of Hindi films being purchased for premiering.
As for Disney+ Hotstar, Dil Bechara worked but after a poor showing with Laxmmi, they are hoping to make a splash at the end of the year with Coolie No.1.
The picture looks woefully weak at year-end with most of the original feature-film content on the major OTT platforms being sidelined by home viewers in favour of the webseries. Scam 1992 on SonyLIV, Pataal Lok on Amazon Prime Video and Mirzapur 2 on Amazon outdoing all the original feature-film content on the digital platform in 2020.
The question being raised now is, why pay a fortune to buy premiere rights for prestigious feature films which would have most certainly flopped if released in movie theatres, when original web serials can be produced by all the major OTT brands for half the amount, if not much less?
Image source: IMDb
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