Mustard fields...soft music...an actress running with reckless abandon...a chiffon dupatta flying in the wind. Sounds like a Yashraj romance, doesn't it? For me, the picture reminds me of DDLJ, the epitome of the Indian romantic saga. Of course, the Indian audience has enjoyed their share of great romantic films before and post DDLJ as well.
However, in the past few years, there has been a definite dearth of good romantic films. And sounds like Karan Johar agrees. Because for him, the romances are dead in Bollywood at this point. He declared the end of romantic films in the Indian cinema while announcing five new titles with Netflix. He is now eyeing the recent shift to OTT.
“Today if you notice in Hindi cinema, the love stories are dead. We don’t make love stories anymore, they’re few. The 90s thrived on romances, starting from Hum Aapke Hai Koun! going right up to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. It was dictated by love stories,” Karan said during a Netflix event earlier this week.
During the event, he also talked about how OTT is the next big thing and has already replaced cinemas in terms of performance and audience reception. In fact, he is so convinced here that his film Meenakshi Sundareshwar which was originally meant for a theatrical release has now been shifted to Netflix.
Karan explains, “That story came to me as a theatrical film. When Srishti (Behl Arya, Director- International Original Film, Netflix India) heard it and said let’s do this for the platform, I did some data and academic thought on it and realised this can be done. There’s data that supports certain genres which aren’t working on cinema halls anymore but have a wide audience on streaming platforms."
In the past year, KJo has been pretty impressed with the growth of OTT and feels that the divide between big screens and these online streaming platforms is fast blurring. "I believe that these divides and lines are blurring, a lot of films that you would imagine would be in cinema halls are now being produced by platforms of power and are doing a spectacular job," he says.
He further adds, "So would I make a Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? As a filmmaker, a scream inside says 'no'." Well, as much as we'd like to watch a Yashraj romance from the comforts of our home, the thought is also making us a little sad. Feels like the end of an era, really!
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