As cinemas remain shut amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Shoojit Sircar has decided to take the digital route to release his Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Gulabo Sitabo.
The Bollywood director says he has an experience of his movie remaining unreleased, and believes it is better to release it as soon it is ready. Gulabo Sitabo will be released digitally on June 12.
"We had made the film and it was supposed to release in April. Normally when my film is ready, I have a very bad habit -- I have to serve it to the audience right then. So that was there and then this crisis (COVID-19 pandemic) came upon us," Sircar explained his decision to take the film directly to OTT.
"Ronnie (Ronnie Lahiri) discussed with me that if this (digital release) happens, 'what's your view?'. And my view was very clear. I wanted to reach out as much and he told me this will simultaneously be released in some 200 countries. I never had this kind of release. And this is a platform where I have never experimented," he added.
Advance mein aapko book kar rahe hai! Gulabo Sitabo premieres this June 12 only on @PrimeVideoIN aa jaana fir, first day, first stream karne#GiboSiboOnPrime #WorldPremiereOnPrime @SrBachchan @ShoojitSircar @ronnielahiri #SheelKumar #JuhiChaturvedi @filmsrisingsun @Kinoworksllp pic.twitter.com/OdkWRkCPsC — Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) May 14, 2020
Reflecting upon his decision to release digitally, Sircar said: "I thought that since the film is ready -- and I don't know when cinemas will open -- it was a very (apt decision). Digital is going to be co-existing with cinema. It is already the future."
"I had seen few films, especially 'Roma', which hit me. I was anyway quite excited about the platform. I am going to experiment with the platform with this film," added the director, who has often found success at the box office by narrating realistic stories of human interest.
In the past, Sircar has picked up his camera to capture gritty political drama in Yahaan and Madras Cafe, and has explored the slice-of-life canvas with Vicky Donor and Piku. Now, he is ready to narrate a realistic dramedy with Big B and Ayushmann with Gulabo Sitabo.
Asked how Big B and Ayushmann had reacted to the decision to release the film digitally, Sircar said: "They are very positive about it."
"We discussed things -- the pros and cons -- and how we would move in. I think more or less it was the reach because the film is finally going to be presented. Nowadays, the technical quality of the digital platform is also very good. It was a mutual decision, and we are here."
"Me and Bachchan Sahab already have an experience of our film 'Shoebite', which didn't release. So, it is better to release the film as soon as it is done, and that's what we wanted to do," he added.
The film will release on Amazon Prime Video on June 12. Gulabo Sitabo is being described as a "quirky tale of two slimy scheming foxes in a game of one-upmanship, each one attracting other members to their clan and each one with an agenda of his own".
A Rising Sun Films production, Gulabo Sitabo is produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar.
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