Bollywood’s spell at the box office, first due to the pandemic and then due to the cancel culture, seems to have finally broken after the release of Brahmastra Part One: Shiva. The Ayan Mukerji directorial boycott calls and managed to be a huge crowd puller. Observing this, popular Bengali actor Gaurav Chakrabarty says that Brahmastra is the biggest proof that the boycott culture has no real-life impact.
In an exclusive byte to News18, the Byomkesh actor said, “I don’t think this boycott thing really works. If the film is good, if the content is good then people will go watch it and the biggest proof of it is Brahmastra. People called for a boycott of this film but that was not successful. Audiences were waiting to watch a film made of this scale with this type of graphics in Hindi cinema and India. And the team pulled it off to an extent, which is why people are going to the theatres to watch it."
“In this age of social media, we come across a lot of opinions. But I cannot boycott someone’s film just because their opinions don’t match mine. For instance, a lot of people consider The Kashmir Files to be a propaganda film, but those who wanted to watch it, did and the film became a hit. So I don’t think this boycott culture is something that will work. If we make good films, they will always work," he added.
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The son of ace Bengali actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Gaurav was attending an event in Kolkata celebrating five years of the popular Bengali OTT platform, Hoichoi. With a diverse lineup of series and films, the platform has taken Bengali content to not only national but international audiences. Talking about the impact of OTT, Gaurav agreed that the digital space has helped erase the line between what we consider national and regional.
“Nowadays, South Indian films are gaining so much popularity because the pandemic exposed people to that cinema. This was possible due to OTT platforms. Now we do not divide films based on whether they are Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, or Telugu. It is all Indian films now. OTT platforms have brought everyone to a level playing field," he said.
Asked whether he would like to work in Hindi, Tamil, or Telugu films, Gaurav excitedly said yes. “If I get a chance to work in a Hindi film, I will be really excited because I can speak the language. In the case of any Tamil, Telugu or Malayalam film I don’t know how excited I will be or how much I will be able to do justice to that particular role as I can’t speak the language. I definitely wish to do Hindi films but before that, I want to make more good Bengali films," he said.
Gaurav Chakrabarty was last seen in the Bengali film Ajker Shortcut, which also stars Parambrata Chatterjee and Chandan Sen among others.
Talking of Hoichoi, the OTT streaming service has stepped into its sixth year and has added several original titles to its lineup.