Ponmagal Vandhal is your production, and the team took a call to go the OTT route. In future, do you think actors have to create a demarcation in their minds while listening to scripts? Will they factor in if a script is meant for an OTT release or a theatrical release?
Right now, as this is our first release, we’re learning a lot. We can see that Amazon Prime is taking the film somewhere. We don’t have a reach among the masses for a women-centric film, and we don’t have as many multiplexes in Tamil Nadu as in other States. So, I think OTT seems a great option for something in this genre. Theatres are a celebration and we miss going there even now. So, I won’t call this an issue of choice but one of co-existence. Both sides are great, and I wonder why a film can’t release on OTT first, and if it is liked, released in theatres for a larger audience? We can have it both ways, right? I think we’re all on the same side of the coin. I don’t see theatres and OTTs as opposing forces.
At least in the future, when you’re saying OTTs are more conducive to women-centric films, do you think we’ll go back to that old separation where theatres remain a space for macho hero films catering to men while the TV and the digital space will be allocated for women-oriented and experimental smaller films?
Maybe, for smaller films and women-centric films, OTTs will be a better platform, because we’re reaching out to a larger audience. Ponmagal is releasing in 200 countries, so we’re really reaching out. For such films, in theatres, we will only have a small crowd going in. So, it really opens doors for us.
When you look back a couple of years, have there been films you had to say no to or you couldn’t do because of this whole A, B, C centre model in film distribution? Do OTTs give you the freedom to take up such films without compromising on content?
Basically, I’ve taken up everything good out of what was offered to me. Theatres have also been taking any kind of content. The only thing is we had to package it with aspects like comedy or songs, and that can be avoided now. We can also write more freely and say exactly what we want to. We have a little more freedom, and that’s a very big advantage when you’re doing a film just for OTT.