Paying the price
Sujatha Narayanan discusses the implications of the increased movie ticket prices apart from the impact on the purse
So it has happened. The ticket prices have gone up. What are the implications apart from the impact on your purse? For starters, you and I are going to look for alternative cheaper platforms for entertainment. I mean Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, and SunNxt, and not just for a recap of our favourite films but also for new releases. The Telugu super hit, Arjun Reddy, is all set to release on Amazon on October 13. I'm quite excited as I couldn't catch the film when it was running in the theatres here and --I'm thinking aloud here-- if the price of a ticket is close to Rs. 200, I may as well watch it on my iPad?
A movie is best watched inside a movie hall. But what are the odds that you will get a ticket before you're bombarded with social media updates that go in the name of a 'review'? A film, like any other product, goes through several processes before it reaches the big screen and there is a price to pay for each of those processes, the quality of which justifies the budget of the film. Well, ideally, it should.
In the current situation, there is increased focus on producing good content. If the audience has to pay so much on a film, then it better be worth their money. So what decides whether a film is worth my money or not? A simple thumb rule is to see if the film stays true to its premise, to its genre, and is not 'pre-sold' in such a way that it's impossible to manage expectations.
There was a time when all a film had in the name of promotion were a few paper ads and trailers released only in key theatres. As much as the Hindi film industry deserves credit for taking huge strides in innovative promotional methods to register a film amid the clutter, it also is to be blamed for this 'over-sell', as a result of the mandatory participation of the cast and crew in TV shows, radio-shows and even on-ground events. Thanks to this, it makes it so difficult to decipher what all the fuss is about. It all means that when you step into a theatre, the expectation arising from all that you've seen and heard, weighs you down. Unless the film turns out to be superlative.
Discerning use of social media platforms, good use of television space and apt use of theatrical slots is enough to let me know about the film, its cast, and release date. The songs are an added attraction. Films can use a unique idea as a one-off on-ground event with the cast, which can reflect the concept of the film. Actors need not bare their minds in interview after interview which just increases fatigue, theirs and ours.
And as for the media, the word 'exclusive' can finally come to mean something, right? More importantly, an actor's supposed allegiance to one brand needn't result in another brand going ballistic. There has to be a synergy which works to take the film to its audience.
The more 'contained' the content, the better it will seem to us, the viewers.