The Hindi film industry is still following the usual formula leading to a number of flops, says actor Abhay Deol, who ventures into streaming with Netflix movie ‘Chopsticks’.
Asked if content on digital platforms can overshadow cinema culture, Deol has a theory.
“If you see what happened in Hollywood, their drama became so good on TV that now you only see superhero films releasing as cinema has become all about a spectacle. People want to see something grand and large scale, and superhero films are hard to beat in that sense. But if you want to watch good drama, then you watch it on HBO or Netflix,” Deol says.
“Whereas over here [in India], what’s interesting that I am finding is that I guess because films have never actually gone beyond the formula... Now, what is happening is that our drama will improve, no doubt...like ‘Delhi Crime’ is a huge achievement for Indian shows, but I also think there are expectations for Bollywood to match up,” he adds.
“Now, when you see the Bollywood films, the trend is for them to flop, really,” added the 43-year-old actor, who was himself a part of Shah Rukh Khan-led ‘Zero’, which fell flat at the box office.
Deol, who has starred in a number of alternative cinema movies such as ‘Dev D’, ‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’, ‘Manorama Six Feet Under’ and ‘Road, Movie’ said the audience is done with larger that life stories.
“It’s because... people are watching actors performing roles that are heroic but you believe them as they look like you, act like you and act real... Now, suddenly they are spoiled as they are like, ‘Okay, I want to watch that in films now’... The larger-than-life candy floss is far too diabetic for me. That’s what I think is happening,” the actor adds.
What is different about the digital space?
“They come from a space of encouraging artists to be original. They have thrown in diversity into... when there was very little of it. They have already done that. It’s a formula for them just as much as the formula for a lot of producers and studios in our country’s Bollywood.”
Deol asserted that the digital platform’s formula is “about diversity, being provocative, original and so for any artist that matter it’s an opportunity and God-sent”.
“It saves a lot of people and will also throw in diversity in our own industry. Something that we desperately need or else we will continue making the three films we have been making for the past 70 years.”
In Sachin Yardi-directed ‘Chopsticks’, Deol will be seen playing a con man alongside actress Mithila Palkar. They have a third co-star: A goat.
This is not the first time Deol will be seen playing a con man. It is a role he memorably played in ‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’.
“This character is far more suave and urban from the ‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’ character. And for him, stealing is something he does with a passion. It’s something he’s good at,” he said.
Don’t miss it!
‘Chopsticks’ is now streaming on Netflix.