Abhishek Bachchan: Mainstream cinema is not going anywhere
By Anjuri Nayar Singh
Mumbai: The audience seems to prefer realistic content on OTT platforms lately, but actor Abhishek Bachchan feels the importance that mainstream cinema enjoys will never fade.
“The kind of storytelling, songs, dance will not go. You will get a different aspect of it because of the various platforms available. You will see a variant of it but mainstream cinema is not going anywhere. Are protagonists going to be superhuman? That is something that will change,” he said.
The actor says there is a certain trend that thrives in the industry but it goes away in a few years.
“In the ’70s and the ’80s rebellious love was a big theme — non-acceptance from the girl’s or boy’s side. But that changed in the ’90s, where, in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Shah Rukh Khan said I will not run away. I will win the family over. So you cannot generalize. Storytelling will adapt as per the wishes of the audience,” he says.
He adds that the protagonists of films today cannot be compared to those of older films.
“I think the audience’s tastes change every seven to 10 years. That’s because a new generation of cinema viewers comes in and with them they bring in their choices, likes and dislikes. You cannot compare the protagonist from 1940 to 2010. It’s always changed. That’s how organically cinema grows,” he says.
Meanwhile, the actor, who will soon be seen in the film “The Big Bull”, says that the film was expected to have a theatrical release but the pandemic forced them to go for a digital premiere instead.
“The film was thought of, envisaged and dreamt of as a big screen spectacle. If you see the trailer, the songs, as well as everything else, is larger than life. It has been shot keeping the big screen in mind. We intended this for the cinemas,” he says.
He adds: “Being a film actor, from a film family and having grown up in movie theatres, there is no happier place for me than inside the movie theatre with popcorn, samosa and a cold drink. You want to get back to the theatres but the silver lining is that the audience will get to see your work (if you release digitally).”
In fact, while they had finished shooting “The Big Bull”, many members from the team were infected with Covid during the post-production.
“We had finished shooting the film before lockdown. The film was slated for an October release. Then, lockdown happened and we decided to release it digitally. There was no clarity as to what would happen to cinemas. (The film’s producer) Ajay (Devgn) spoke to me in April and said that we should release the film digitally. We didn’t know if theatres open and if people would come. So we thought, why not release it digitally since we know people will watch. We had some tweaks left which we had to shoot. We did this when I recovered from Covid. Then (director) Kookie (Gulati) got Covid, one of the co-producers got infected. Thankfully, everyone is safe now. Most of the shoot was finished before Covid struck our country,” he says.