Malayalam actor Prithviraj's latest movie Cold Case is slated to premiere on a popular OTT platform on Wednesday (June 30), which has garnered a fair deal of attention. A section of the audience, however, is a bit disappointed as it feels the flick deserved a theatrical run. Here is a closer look at the issue.
A loss for the box office?
This opposition stems from the fact that Prithviraj is a pretty bankable star, who has previously acted in commercially successful films such as Ennu Ninte Moideen, Koode and Ayyappanum Koshiyum. Moreover, it features him as a cop, a role he has previously played in movies such as Mumbai Police and Memories. Given the hype, Cold Case would have opened to a good response at the box office even under the 'new normal', giving the industry a much-needed shot in the arm.
Made for a theatre experience
There is a perception that horror thrillers can be enjoyed only in theatres. This is one of the big reasons Mammootty's The Priest--a film about a mysterious 'Father' with a past-- emerged as a commercial success despite Covid-19 restrictions. The trailer of Cold Case suggests that it is a bit similar to the Jofin Chacko-helmed flick. Its spooky sound design and dark plot, which revolves around a 'homicide' investigation, might have left a stronger impact in theatres.
That said, an 'OTT-only' release has its advantages. Mohanlal's Drishyam 2 released digitally in January, receiving rave reviews from most movie buffs. CU Soon, starring Fahadh, too reached a wider audience as it was released on a streaming platform. There is a distinct possibility of Cold Case finding wide patronage, which may establish Prithviraj as a pan-India star.
OTT's time is now
The Covid-19 situation has established OTT platforms as viable alternatives to theatres. Films such as Laxmii, the Suriya-starrer Soorarai Pottru, Jagame Thandhiram and even Salman Khan's Radhe released digitally. Moreover, biggies such as Malik, Bhuj and Bhoot Police are slated to premiere on OTT, which suggests that a 'web only' release might become the norm if things don't improve in the coming months.
A film's fate ultimately depends on its ability to deliver what it had promised. Radhe, for example, is percieved to be a success as it satisfied the target audience--'Bhai' fans. Similarly, a relatively smaller film like Joji too enjoys a dedicated following as it catered to those fond of realistic cinema. Cold Case is no exception. It will be regarded as a memorable release for all intents and purposes if it manages to keep the audience hooked, the hallmark of a good thriller.