We all know director Kabir Khan for his Salman Khan starrer movies like ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ and ‘Tubelight’. He’s surprised us this time by giving us something completely new.
He’s officially entered the OTT platform world with ‘Roar of the Lion’, a docudrama that talks about the match-fixing controversy that made Chennai Super Kings the talk of the town few years ago.
Available now on Hotstar Specials, It’s definitely a new addition to the current cricket fever. Kabir Khan shed light on the series and the story behind it to Anila Kurian.
What’s it like entering the world of OTT platform?
As a filmmaker, it is exciting as I feel that OTT platforms are the future. They are becoming bigger and bigger. As storytellers, I feel that the story decides which platform we should narrate our story on, and for me, it’s exciting that ‘Roar of the Lion’ is on a platform like this.
What were some of the things that you had to unlearn during this process?
Honestly, I didn’t need to unlearn much as I felt like I was going back to my origins. I started off as a documentary filmmaker where it was mostly working on unscripted formats. So this came naturally to me. I understood the grammar of the format and the way you see the certain narrative style for this. It was interesting and a lot of fun.
Tell us about the docudrama.
I wouldn’t want to call it a docudrama as I feel the definitions are passé. The treatment, whether scripted or unscripted ultimately draws the audience. And within five minutes, depending on how well-made it is, people forget what it was originally called and go with the character or the story that’s unfolding on screen.
Having said that, ‘Roar of the Lion’ is a fascinating story that we all know about but don’t know all the details. It shows what the characters were going through. And for the first time, we get to see and understand what MS Dhoni went through, his emotions and how things were on a personal level when the drama was taking place.
Do you think the world of cinema is going to move to the digital platform, especially with Netflix making their own movies?
I don’t think that will happen. In Hollywood, cinema is still thriving. In fact, there are powerful OTT platforms but what is happening there is that certain kind of story goes to those platforms. A medium-driven story is picked for OTT. That will happen here as well.
What’s your thought on OTT content also given an award show like mainstream movies?
Yes, like the issue that was brought up during The Oscars. Well, I think they had very hard points on both sides. I understand the stand Steven Spielberg made that there are certain cinemas that require community viewing. Christopher Nolan also said that smaller screens take away the impact for movies that need to be seen on a large screen like the filmmaker is not given enough respect. However, OTT platforms have a large community, especially in India. Internet penetration is higher than theatre right now. It’s sort of a bridge between the two worlds. So there’s some element of truth in both arguments.