Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, well known for his powerful performances in digital shows such as ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘McMafia’, has announced his departure from digital platforms. During an interview, the actor discussed the topic, claiming that OTT platforms have become a "dhanda” (racket) for huge production firms.
Siddiqui, who was just nominated for Best Actor at the International Emmy Awards for his part in Netflix's ‘Serious Men’, says that he has left the streaming services. He also got a thunderous response to his film ‘No Land’s Man’ at the Busan Film Festival.
Speaking about whether OTT platforms have given actors, who were probably not getting due, Siddiqui said, “Yes, of course, the good actors are getting their due. Their work and skill get the limelight because of the OTT platforms. It has been very good for the actors. However, it was during the lockdown, and now the main concern is that how many actors are able to sustain it. There are many good actors who will be able to sustain it also. Although the best part is that various new talented actors were introduced in the industry.”
But does he feel that OTT platforms are no longer that high on content and it is filled with masala films? “I don't feel that it is a hard and fast rule that the masala films are meant for theatre only. I personally think that a film can either be good and bad. Moreover, even content-driven films have masala in them. Any film that engages the attention of the audience must have something special about it that engages the attention of the audience. I feel that anything that engages the mind of the audience is the masala of the film and not just the songs, dances or action sequences. It all depends on the liking and disliking of the content by the audience and also on the capability and sensibility of the audience to understand the content. This does not depend on the education or qualification of the person. It all depends on what the audience wants to watch. When I used to do workshops and train actors, the first thing that I would ask them was about which actor they liked the most, based on which all the training would proceed,” said Siddiqui.
In another recent interview with Bollywood Hungama, Siddiqui revealed that he was quitting OTT platforms. He said, “The platform has become a dumping ground for redundant shows. We either have shows that don’t deserve to be seen in the first place or sequels to shows that have nothing more to say. When I did ‘Sacred Games’ for Netflix there was an excitement and challenge around the digital medium. New talent was being given a chance Now that freshness is gone. It’s become dhanda (racket) for big production houses and actors who are now so-called stars on the OTT platform. Major film producers in Bollywood have cut lucrative deals with all the big players in the OTT field. Producers get whopping amounts to create unlimited content. Quantity has killed quality. When I can’t bear to watch them how can I bear to be in them? Yeh star system bade parde ko kha gaya (this star system killed the big screen). Now we have so-called stars on OTT claiming big money and throwing tantrums like Bollywood A-listers. They forget content is king. Woh zamana chala gaya when stars ruled (The era of stars ruling the screens has gone). Before this lockdown and the digital domination, A-listers would release their films in 3,000 theatres across the country. People had no choice but to see them. Now they have unlimited choices.”
On the work front, Siddiqui will soon be seen in ‘Adbhut’. The film also stars actress Diana Penty, actor Rohan Mehra and actress Shreya Dhanwanthary in lead roles.