To filmmaker Anurag Basu, Bollywood, at least right now, looks a lot like his popular Netflix movie “Ludo”. He says, “Bollywood is a very small fraternity, and everyone is somehow connected to the other person in this industry. Just like my movie, ‘Ludo’.
The eccentric analogy of the 51-year-old filmmaker is mainly due to the fact that he is waiting for his project to be implemented, but the ongoing pandemic does not make it easy for him. “Everyone is connected to Bollywood. I’m just waiting for my project to be set up, but everyone is stuck with their respective projects, because of this pandemic. So, I’m just waiting, ”he says and extends his analogy further. “My story hasn’t started yet,” he laughs.
But despite the current uncertainty, Basu is optimistic and believes that the combination of the emergence of OTT platforms and the pandemic has made the public ready to watch all kinds of stories.
“I think the public has become more literate in cinema now. They’re ready to watch all kinds of stories now, and they’re more open to different ideas now. This is great news for any filmmaker or storyteller. I think not now, but in 10-15 years you will see the golden age of Indian cinema, because of everything that has happened in the last two years, ”he says.
OTT platforms, Basu says, have had a huge role to play in helping “writers and storytellers” not to worry about things like “whether this story will work or not.”
“I can move on and there is more freedom and more for the storytellers now. There is no ifs or buts and whether it will work or now. Filmmakers who used to wait five to six years to take a break now have a chance with OTT and are doing some really good things. That’s why I’m saying it will take time, but we’ll see some great films and some great filmmakers in the next 10-15 years, who will make films not only for OTT but also for theaters, ”he says.
Basu’s optimism is not based on rhetoric. His latest film, ‘Ludo’ was due to hit theaters, but the pandemic forced him to release it on a streaming platform. A decision, which even Basu claims, turned out to be a better one for his film.
“I think its shelf life has increased and it has reached more people. So it was a blessing in disguise for me from that perspective, ”said Basu who won the Best Director award for the same film at the 2021 MElborune Indian Film Festival.
“It was great to win an award like that because not only am I a huge fan of the other films that were nominated with him, but also great considering that there was no another award ceremony due to the pandemic, ”he adds. .
The film, an original dramatic comedy, also starred Basu as the film’s narrator. This decision too, Basu reveals, was due to the pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, we just had to film those portions (the narrator’s portions. When we started filming after the first lockdown, there were a lot of restrictions. There were only 15 people allowed. on set. So I just didn’t want to take any chances or put anyone else in danger, so I decided to play the part myself, ”he chuckled and signed.