Nawazuddin Siddiqui: I see below-average work on OTT platforms
As Ghoomketu opens to mixed response on ZEE5, Nawazuddin Siddiqui laments that quality of Indian web offerings is dipping; praises Anurag Kashyap for raising the bar with his outings
Among the first to dabble in digital entertainment in India, Nawazuddin Siddiqui was pleased when his long-delayed film Ghoomketu was acquired for a direct-to-web release. Even as the comedy received a mixed response, the actor is glad that it reached a wide audience owing to its release on Zee5. "I have only chased interesting stories, and Ghoomketu was one of them. It doesn't matter whether the story is being told on an OTT platform, television or on the big screen," he says.
Siddiqui placed his faith in digital entertainment early on as he headlined Sacred Games, arguably among India's finest web offerings. Happy as he is that OTT platforms are steadily rising to give theatres a run for their money, he notes that the quality of offerings has dipped. "If you study the [OTT] market, there are all kinds of work on offer. While there are brilliant films and shows, I also unfortunately see some below-average work from India on these platforms. The [streaming] services have a wide reach and must be respected."
The actor, however, is confident that the medium will flourish as long as filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap raise the bar with their offerings. "It was Sacred Games that put us on the map. Even if I stand on the streets of New York, people recognise me as a Sacred Games actor. People don't give him enough credit, but Anurag Kashyap has played a big role in changing Indian cinema. He encouraged directors to stay true to their roots and tell stories of the heartland. That's when stories set in Meerut and Kanpur started making their way [to the silver screen]."
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