He has been nominated at the 2021 International Emmy Award in the Best Performance by an Actor category for Sudhir Mishra’s Netflix film Serious Men, but Nawazuddin Siddiqui isn’t very hopeful of the future of OTT in India.
The actor, who rode the initial OTT wave with his stupendous performance in Sacred Games, feels that streaming platforms are no longer coming up with engaging content, “OTT started off really well and opened new avenues for filmmakers and actors in India. The content on streaming platforms was different from what we see in cinemas and had its own unique style. But now I feel it is losing its novelty. There is a lot of content coming out but quality ekdum kharab ho chuki hai (quality has been ruined). Ek dum cliched ho chuka hai (OTT has become cliched). You can compare it to television series where you keep on stretching and making series after series."
Siddiqui, who has worked on projects like Serious Men, Raat Akeli Hai and Ghoomketu that were released on OTT platforms, complains that streaming platforms have turned into a business, “The big production houses have made multi-million deals with streaming platforms. In the name of content, these production houses just come up with run-of-the-mill content. We have a habit of turning art into business and OTT bhi ek dhanda ban gaya hai aur production houses sirf paisa kama raha hai (OTT has become a money-making business for production houses)."
The actor adds that there are many talented people who need to be given a chance, “There are so many passionate filmmakers who deserve to showcase their talent. But they don’t get a chance. And the audience also wants to watch good content but the big production houses are churning out mediocre and bad content. There was a time when OTT had no monopoly but now everything is changing for the worse."
Siddiqui, who is currently in London shooting for Heropanti 2 feels sad with the overload of content on streaming platforms, “There is no doubt that OTT platform gave me a global presence. After Sacred Games, whenever I would travel abroad, many people would recognise me and even call me Ganesh Gaitonde (his character in Sacred Games). But sadly, today the quality of content has deteriorated. People are now bored of watching the same thing and that is why we hardly see any web series or films which have been widely praised in recent times."
The actor reveals that he is also staying away from OTT for the time being and also refutes rumours of working with Bangladeshi actress Jaya Ahsan in a web series, “I am not doing any web series. These are all rumours and I haven’t signed anything. I am not interested in doing anything on OTT unless something that really excites me comes up."