There’s a storm brewing in the panicked world of big-scale capitalism. The pandemic has turned greed into a bleeding-heart battle of businesses.
Here’s this week’s irony-killed-itself chain of Indian events: The new Shoojit Sircar film Gulabo Sitabo, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, announced its direct-to-OTT release in June on the streaming platform Amazon Prime Video. This was followed by similar announcements by 7 movies across 5 languages – including Vidya Balan’s biopic on Shakuntala Devi. Immediately, an all-caps tweet depicting uncle-level rage was put out by INOX, one of the leading multiplex chains of the country. It called the producers “fair-weathered friends” and threatened retroactive measures. Given that most multiplex chains overcharge for everything – from the popcorn we buy to the air we breathe – this felt like a sad but rich statement to us popcorn-eating spectators on the sidelines.
Here’s their angry-bird statement:
In turn, the producers’ guild used this rare chance to play adult hero with an impressive amount of grace:
They do have a point. It’s only May, and expect many more desperate producers to (rightly) announce release dates on streaming platforms like Amazon. Because Netflix and Hotstar are operating in their own universe way behind the curve.
The war is on. Who will blink last?