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Dulquer Salmaan: Films are getting one or two-week window

Updated on: 22 March,2022 07:28 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Uma Ramasubramanian |

After Kerala exhibitors boycott him for taking digital route with Salute, Dulquer says backlog of theatrical releases led to the decision

Dulquer Salmaan: Films are getting one or two-week window

Dulquer Salmaan. Pic/Instagram

The release of one’s passion project should be a reason to rejoice. But Dulquer Salmaan, whose production Salute dropped on SonyLIV over the weekend, finds himself in a quandary. The investigative thriller was initially slated to hit theatres on January 14, but had to be deferred due to the third wave of the pandemic. The actor-producer then decided to take the OTT route — a move that has irked the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK). As a result, the FEUOK has decided to boycott Salmaan’s upcoming movies. 

A still from SaluteA still from Salute

“I understand where they are coming from. These are peculiar times because of the lockdown and COVID-19. Amid this, OTT platforms have become popular,” begins Salmaan. While the actor’s last two releases Kurup (2021) and Hey Sinamika hit the marquee, he reasons that a digital premiere appeared to be a prudent move for Salute. “A large volume of films is awaiting release. Most films are getting a window of one or two weeks before the next movie [hits the marquee]. Right now, it’s a phase of transition before we reach normalcy. So, we will have to choose the films that can go to theatres, and the ones for OTT. Over time, the balance [will be restored]. I only have goodwill towards theatre owners. There is no bigger excitement than releasing a movie in cinema halls.” The decision will reportedly be presented in the FEUOK’s general meeting by the month-end.

Director Rosshan Andrrews’ Malayalam film sees Salmaan as a cop who is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of a case, while being tailed by his colleagues. “I wasn’t seeking a cop role, but when this came my way, I wanted to do it. It felt rooted,” he says. Up next, he has R Balki’s Chup, which sees him return to Hindi cinema after three years. Though happy to juggle Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi films, Salmaan doesn’t take the label of pan-India actor too seriously. “I don’t understand the term. A film travels on its own merit. I don’t know if we should package a film such that it matches the sensibilities of [the audience] across the country. I just go by the script. I want to keep surprising my audience.”

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