Will OTT’s Kill Stardom – Here Is A Proof

Dil Bechara - Laxmmi Bomb-

The debate regarding OTT versus stardom surfaced when Disney Plus Announced their Disney Plus Hotstar Multiplex initiative. Genuine biggies from stars, which could have been massive grossers, theatrically, were part of the deal.

The argument was that OTT streaming of big star movies could prove costly to the stars and their stardom.

In the weekend that has gone by, the most talked about and hyped OTT event has happened. Late Sushant Singh Rajput’s last release Dil Bechara hit the streaming platform Disney Plus Hotstar on Friday, July 24th.

The weekend has passed, and we are onto the first weekday. And yet, like any streaming platform watch, there is no clarity on Dil Bechara’s commercial fate. The buzz regarding the first day streaming numbers suggest a massive launch, but what about afterwards. It is here that star and stardom aspect comes into play. It has to be seen with a critical angle.

A film, featuring star posts massive numbers irrespective of the way the critics receive it. Dil Bechara did not get unanimous positive acclaim. One could see many noted critics want to be critical, but stayed silent or toned it down out of respect of the late actor.

If we mix, the critical acclaim and the publicised viewing numbers, we get a perception regarding the fate of Dil Bechara. It is a success, undoubtedly, but how big, still eludes us?

Now imagine, if it was a star-studded vehicle like Laxmmi Bomb or Bhuj – The Pride Of India, in its place. The former, especially never find favour with critics. If the same were to happen on its digital premiere and no numbers are revealed. The perception would be that of a failure.

It is a problem with no quantifiable numbers as the critical perception will become ultimate. And the critical discourse is always anti-stardom or commercial attempts. It is more so in the Indian film industry.

If more star-studded entertainers opt for OTT route, there is bound to be repercussions stardom wise. The trend could lead to the downsizing of stardom. It will be a death blow to mainstream, large scale entertainers if that is the case.

The big star entertainers are meant for the theatrical watch. It is why people flock to certain movies irrespective of critical reception. It adds to the stardom. Now, when watching ‘individually,’ the perception of a flop (critical response) overwhelms. In comparison, the collective theatrical experience could make it (a critically drubbed biggie) a passable affair.

It is this uniqueness related to stardom and theatrical experience that is at stake with OTTs. And Dil Bechara showcases why OTTs could prove to be detrimental to stardom.

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