Rani Mukerji was at Ficci Frames event in Mumbai, where she spoke about how Aditya Chopra did not release his films on OTT after the pandemic, as he had faith in theatrical releases. The actor further mentioned how his films eventually flopped at the box office, leading to the company facing a low moment. The ‘Mardaani’ actor added how the success of Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Pathaan’ success brought things back on track.

Rani said at the event, “During the pandemic, Adi (Aditya Chopra) had these couple of big films that were to be released. They were those commercial potboilers, as we say, which started in the pre-pandemic time. Unfortunately, when the pandemic started, there was a question mark on all the films. And that’s the time when I observed my husband (Aditya Chopra) closely because there were no talks of films releasing.”

She added, “And there is a business point of view where each film needs to be released at a particular time for it to be able to sustain the cost that it has incurred. There was a lot of pressure on filmmakers to release all these films on OTT and a lot of them were doing that. The biggest films were releasing on OTT. And my husband was completely calm and composed. I would use the word ‘conviction’, that my husband had, and he said, ‘These movies were made for theatricals, for the audiences at large to enjoy. I would want to release these films theatrically.’ He was being offered a lot of money to release it on OTT, and it was a complete business call where it would be a win-win situation for the OTT platform and for the producers, where he was making a profit by releasing it on OTT.”

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She further said, “But there I see my husband, taking this brave call and saying, ‘No, I would not release any of these films on OTT because I believe in the power of Indian cinema of what it does theatrically. And in time, when the films came, all of those films flopped because the whole way the audience watched content changed overnight because of OTT. The kind of content they saw globally, everything changed. All these films failed at the box office and it took a complete hit commercially because none of the films did well. It was like complete depression. People were sad in our company and the whole conviction that Adi stood with that his movies would be released theatrically. We thought that there would be some divine intervention and that he would be rewarded for his conviction of releasing films theatrically, and everything kind of didn’t work for us. And then came ‘Pathaan’. It changed the entire thing forward at Yashraj.”

Rani shared, “And it became the highest-grossing film. Jab bhagwan deta hain toh chappar faad ke deta hain (When God provides, he gives it in bounty). So He just tests you and sees how much courage you have. Adi had that courage and I, as a colleague of his, completely salute that because I thought it was commendable”, further adding, “So when you ask me, what are the things that need to change is, filmmakers need to have more faith in the product that they make, and they should believe in what they make and they should stand with each other to make that change. Today, ‘Pathaan’ stood the test of time and opened the floodgates for people going into cinemas.”

The film industry witnessed an all-time low after the pandemic. Theatres were shut for almost two years, halting income and businesses for many. As the world steadily returns to normal, the world of cinemas is again witnessing a boom. 2023 was a great year for Hindi cinema and here’s hoping it continues.

(Input courtesy: Sana Farzeen)

Published By:

Anindita Mukhopadhyay

Published On:

Mar 5, 2024


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