Imtiaz Ali is one of the wonderful filmmakers we have in the industry. Many among you will disagree and you have all the rights and reasons to do so. The top reason to not accept Imtiaz as one of the competitive filmmakers in Bollywood is the Box Office performance of his films. In his whole career, apart from Jab We Met and Highway, he hasn’t given any success. And in any industry even Bollywood, if your product/project doesn’t make profits it’s not considered good.
But the fact remains, Imtiaz Ali has a considerable amount of loyal fan following who not just love his films but also the style of his storytelling. The intensity, honesty, bravery and sheer passion that his stories and storytelling carries is a quality to adore and that’s the reason a lot of people feel a personal bond to his films.
In this topic, I am going to make things simple for Imtiaz as a filmmaker, his fans, Bollywood fans in general and those who invest their money on films.
Imtiaz, here’s a simple and humble suggestion, please consider making web shows now and here are the reasons why I say this-
1) There’s a major FOMO before, while and after watching your films. Your films are more than what we can cater in two and a half-hour or so. I say this because apart from dialogues and music, everything in your film has something to say. Even dialogues are much more than what we understand while watching the film once or even twice. To be precise, it’s not possible to understand everything about your films while we watch it in theaters. But if you release your stories as web series on OTT channels, we’ll have an option to watch your films multiple times or even “pause” it for a bit to let that thought sink in before we switch on to the next scene.
2) A lot of your films especially the recent one Love Aaj Kal suffered from hurried writing. A story like this with great depth and intensity need to be told in a very detailed way. For example, the whole Himalaya part which you finished in one song gave me a very incomplete kind of feel. I wanted to watch more of it, I wanted to watch more about what happened with Veer while he worked there and what was his lifelike. Even about the locations, I wanted to see more about them. If you made it in a web series format, you would’ve made at least 1 or 2 episodes about it.
3) When your films release in theater, one has to watch them along with the public. And most of the people in theaters don’t even understand, “How and why to watch an Imtiaz Ali film?” They laugh out loud on emotional scenes because they don’t relate to them and this disturbs us like hell and is annoying AF.
4) When you release your films on OTT channels you won’t have to worry about earnings. Today, OTT channels in India have highly developed revenue models and a lot of films/web series get targetted audiences. I feel if you opt for the digital world, it will remove the Box Office pressure from your mind.
5) Last but not the least, you know this is a world of social media. Everyone has their smartphones in hands while watching films. People are ready to share their opinions on social media much before they absorb your content. In case of a theatrical release, people don’t even get the time to understand your films and they have to give reactions. In the case of digital release, there’ll be high chances of content penetration among the audience.
Also, I am not saying you should stop making films. Of course, we’ll love it if you make films for a larger section of the audience. Do it when your heart tells you to do it. But when your heart wants to make artistic pieces, do know – “Yaha Se Paas Mein Hi, Sahi Aur Galat Ke Paar, Ek Digital World Hai, Main Wahaan Milunga Tujhe”.