News Round-Up: Siddhant Chaturvedi is on the Rise, Streaming is on the Fall, and LATAJI!!!!

Quick little news post, I’m trying to write this in the hotel room before we hit the road. But hopefully it will give you all something to talk about as a crawl through a blizzard.

Yaaaay, Siddhant Chaturvedi!!!!

Remember Siddhant from Gully Boy? The actor who effortlessly stole the film from Ranveer to the point that you kind of thought he actually was a rapper just playing himself and then were stunned to learn he is an actor who disappeared into the role?

Anyway, there are two separate Siddhant rumors today! Which either means he is in high demand and signed for two films, or it means that he has a good PR firm and his name makes headlines, which is another sign of career success.

Anyhoo, one film is a Dharma movie with Deepika directed by Shakun Batra (Kapoor & Sons dude). I would be interested to see what Shakun does with Siddhant, I would like to see Deepika return to another mainstream/off-beat role like in Piku or Cocktail, and I would be very interested to see Dips opposite a raw brilliant talent.

Other movie is a horror-comedy from Excel also featuring Katrina Kaif and Ishaan Khattar. This makes me all kinds of nervous! I don’t know if Kat can do comedy like that, I don’t know if Ishaan can do anything, and I don’t like the genre.

No Streaming Clause in Contracts

Now this is a FASCINATING story! Rumor has it, actors and directors are going to start adding a “no streaming” clause to their contracts. This confirms what I have long thought, that streaming hurts the film industry. Which is also why I don’t review streaming movies here. I don’t want to encourage folks overseas, our readers, to rely on them.

The thing is, a theatrical release brings with it so much more real world impact, especially in India, than streaming ever could. Streaming feels like it is powerful when you are in the echo chamber of the internet, but the raw number of eyeballs watching a streaming product is not even close to the number of people who see a film in theaters.

If I am an actor and my film releases in theaters, even if it is a flop, I get a big boost to my career. I get to give interviews, my face is on posters, and my performance will be reviewed and discussed in the media. I took this role in this film partly taking that into consideration, that it would change my image, let me stretch my talents and be appreciated for them, all those good things. The same is true, but in a more industry specific way, for a director. My face isn’t on posters, but the film is reviewed and discussed within the industry with my name attached to it. My work is seen and appreciated, and it gives me a leg up for future jobs even if the movie is a flop. And none of that is true with streaming. When a movie hits streaming, it is locked into a tiny tiny world. As an actor, your name and fame does not get a lift. And your work as an artist does not receive serious consideration. Netflix is trying to change that in America, to get their American productions considered for Emmy’s and Oscars, to train reviewers to pay attention to them. But that is NOT what is happening with the Indian products. How could it? Many people in India don’t have internet. Why should the country as a whole engage in a conversation about streaming artwork that cannot be seen by the large parts of the population?

Anyway, here is the article about it, it’s worth clicking the link: https://www.bollywoodhungama.com/news/bollywood/actors-directors-soon-add-no-digital-release-clause-contracts/

Lataji is in Hospital!

Shortness of breath. I am very worried.

24 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Siddhant Chaturvedi is on the Rise, Streaming is on the Fall, and LATAJI!!!!

    • Me too! It wasn’t there for the Ted Talks, but that was filmed earlier, so I still have hope that the beard is back for a while at least.

      On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 11:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. I read the article about “no streaming” clause, and I was thinking how they want to do this. I mean, at least till now, nobody was doing movies to sell them directly to streaming platforms but it happened. You never know what can happen with your film and sometimes, in my opinion, sending it directly to Netflix, Prime or others is a good decision. E.g Lootcase. People don’t give chances to those little movies nowadays. I’m sure it would disappear from theathers in 2 days. I checked youtube and the interviews with the actors (uploaded before the movie has been canceled) have max 301 views.
    Other example is Laila-Majnu: Imitaz Ali wrote this film (and many people love his movies), the actors were new but very talented and it’s a very well made movie, visually stunning. And nobody watched it! Only months later when it was on Zee5 (and without subs – stupid Zee5!) some people started commenting how good it was and how they wish they watched it in cinemas). In my opinion if it was released in grand style on Netflix or Prime, using Imitaz Ali’s name and adding subtitles, it would have much much more viewers and publicity.

    One of the less known actors I like, but I don’t remember who exactly, said that talent is not important anymore because the producers want only Insta-famous actors in their movies now. And it’s true! People who don’t have internet don’t have any importance anymore. The movies are not made for them, maybe only the biggest Salman’s or Akshay’s films, but others no.

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    • I think the contract issue might still work since it wouldn’t be across the board. If a film is going to be a real film with real actors, like Drive, than those actors would have the pull to put in a no internet clause. But if it is something like Lootcase, I assume none of those actors would have the pull to put something like that in the contract. It’s one thing to make a movie for streaming release all along, it’s something else to plan your career around something that ends up being dumped in streaming. Or for a producer to plan a major film (the kind that would have decent actors in it) and then play a bait and switch on the artists and online.

      On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 1:17 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • But Lootcase is a real film with real actors, and it had the real release date. And I don’t think that if there is a real chance of profit in theaters the producers would sell it to streaming directly.
        We don’t know if the article isn’t fake, but my first thought was how those middle-famous actors like SSR can impose conditions to producers? They don’t have fan-base big enough to entrench at least a good opening so how they can decide where the movie will go.

        Drive is an interesting case because who knows, maybe if Karan didn’t have an opportunity to sell it to Netflix he would fix the movie. But maybe he would just decide to leave it unreleased?
        Netflix made a good deal , because yes, the movie is bad and has bad reviews but a lot of people saw it, I’m sure much much more than will watch House Arrest.

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        • What the article is arguing (and yes, it’s BH, so it’s totally unreliable but might still accidentally have a grain of truth) is that even if there is a chance of theatrical profits, producers leap to streaming because it is easy (no need for sales or promotion). So, for example, Bazaar which did end up turning a modest profit in theaters was almost sold to streaming instead just because they didn’t have faith in it.

          On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 8:26 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Ronnie Screwvala justified his decision of sending Love Per Square Foot directly to Netflix by saying that Virtual Print Fee (VPF) costs would have doubled the film’s budget due to which recovery would have been a near impossible. What do you think about it? Is it possible this fee is so high? Or it’s just an excuse?

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          • That’s really weird. Maybe it is high, or maybe it is higher depending on the number of prints? This used to be the reason films got such small releases, the cost of the actual film on which the movie was printed, and the import/export restrictions on that. I had no idea it was still so expensive even for digital.

            On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 8:54 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • What I keep noticing with these kinds of things is how different it is for Indian film. Indian film is dying, like all film, but at a much slower rate. So something like those movie ticket clubs don’t work for Indian film because people will buy the tickets, and pay extra, and a theater is losing money if they do the club system. Scorcese can’t find funding for The Irishmen, but Rajamouli can find funding for whatever it is he wants. Sure smaller starting out directors struggle, but they would always struggle. Netflix in India isn’t pumping new blood into a dying industry, it is sucking blood out of a healthy industry. Drive was probably a terrible film, but Jacqueline and SSR are rising talents, and their time and fame and all that being wasted on a streaming release is really bad for Hindi films in general. the article I linked to also mentioned Bazaar, which the producers wanted to dump on Netflix because they had a hard time selling it, but Saif held firm. And it released in theaters and made a profit. These movies are getting funding, being made, and making money when they release in theaters. It’s just that it is easier for the producers to make Netflix money and they don’t care about the longterm health of the industry.

      On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 2:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I think the “No streaming clause” is a good thing. In India, Netflix and other streaming platforms are becoming a dumping ground for producers who want to find an easy way out with their bad content. It will also get the actors to up their game because if they don’t, their movies would end up on streaming and they’d not be movie stars (Arjun Kapoor/Parineeti Chopra – I’m looking at you)

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    • From a very minor personal perspective, it also bothers me because it means when White People are browsing on Netflix for Indian film, they land on this whole mixture of content and some of it is good but a lot of it is really bad. I don’t want someone who is interested in Indian film to land on Lootcase or Drive instead of Chennai Express or Dhoom 3 just because they are equally available on Netflix.

      On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 5:14 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I hate streaming because it has completely eaten up the genre I loved most – RomComs. I recently watched Modern Love and it was like Love Actually part 2 (just not as good).
        Also there’re just too many platforms now – soon we’ll need a provider to combine these different streaming platforms and we’ll be back in the 80s.

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        • Exactly! Instead of getting a better quality higher budget version of these things that make a modest profit, we get a lower budget less good version that streaming services can crank out.

          On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 5:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I’m really interested in the Deepika movie with Shakun Batra because Deepika referred to it as a dark romance when talking about it during an interview. It’ll be cool to see Siddhant Chaturvedi with her.

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  4. The discussion about straight to streaming releases – here and in the article – is interesting, but I wonder if the no streaming contract clause is a real thing. It feels like people are alarmed by what happened with Drive and wanted to talk about it, but that wasn’t enough of a hook for the article so they invented the news item of this new demand that important actors and directors will now be making. Or, alternatively, that the single, unnamed source for this news has an interest in it becoming news – maybe an agent (or actor or director) who doesn’t want to be the only one making new demands and is trying to make a new industry standard via gossip press.

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    • Oh yeah, BollywoodHungama is a terrible terrible source. But the flipside of that is, they would only put out an article (especially such a lengthy one) if some PR firm somewhere is feeding it to them. I bet you are right, I bet there is one agent who wants to start making the demand and needs to lay the groundwork.

      On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 10:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • For the producers, yes, but that really messed things up for the artists involved. Plus, what’s the incentive to make good movies if you know bad movies can still make a profit by being dumped on Netflix? Or what about good movies that you just don’t want the hassle of promoting because it is easier to just go to Netflix. It’s kind of a safety net that may lead to people not trying as hard.

        On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 7:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Andadhun is releasing in Japan on November 15! So excited! I’m hope it makes it to my small city and I hope it’s not right when I’m home for the holidays.

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    • I’m so happy for you! It’s SUCH a good movie, you should enjoy it even beyond just seeing a Hindi film in theaters.

      On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 5:21 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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