Of all the causalities inflected by the Corona virus, Bollywood is the most underrated one.
24th March 2020 was supposed to be the date when cinemas in hometown of Bollywood (Mumbai) were going 24/7 after a much sought after amendments in the rule. Much awaited flick Sooryavanshi was to open on this date and create new records on the box-office with round the clock shows. But alas, the sun didn’t shine and the dark cloud of Corona engulfed not only Sooryavanshi but entire Bollywood. It has been 50 days since then – all the cinema halls are shut down, shoots are halted, sets are dismantled or destroyed, stars are locked up in their homes, tv channels have run out of new content & showing old shows, paparazzi is scouting the social media feed of stars for gossip and thousands of junior artists, technicians and the on-ground staff are deprived of their earnings.
And so are we the audience, of the magic of the movies. There might be a new found interest and speculation around digital/OTT being the new medium of movies – but can a mobile/laptop/TV screen really replace the big screen? No, it just cannot.
There is nothing like watching your dreams and fantasies come alive on the big screen, with the dark auditorium being lit up by the stars on screen and a group of enthusiastic fans relishing each and every moment and the larger-than-life visuals that give us the bang-for-our-bucks. The magic of the movies combined with the popcorn, the cozied and cocooned environment of the auditorium cannot even be remotely compared to Netflix-and-chill, where the focus is more often than not on the chill part.
Bollywood is not a religion of the minorities in this country, it cannot be caged in the idiot box. The experience of cinema on the big screen cannot be replaced, and whatever it takes, the sun will shine again and Sooryavanshi will illuminate the silver screen and dazzle all of us. The show must (and it will) go on!