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Exclusive! Basil Joseph on Minnal Murali’s OTT release: You learn to accept it once you come to terms with it

The much-awaited superhero film, which has Tovino Thomas in the lead, is set to drop directly on Netflix on December 24, 2021

Sanjith Sidhardhan
Nov 16, 2021
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Basil Joseph and Tovino Thomas

Tovino Thomas’ Minnal Murali release has been hugely awaited by the Malayalam film industry as well as the audience ever since it was announced that the movie would be Mollywood’s first-ever superhero film. While the hype is still unabated, the movie’s direct-to-OTT release on Netflix this December means that the audience won’t be able to enjoy the heroics in the entertainer on the big screen. 

OTTplay recently caught up with the film’s director Basil Joseph to know his reaction about releasing the movie on a global streaming service like Netflix instead of the theatres. 

Last year, the argument by many filmmakers was that big films would be screened in theatres and that OTTs would be reserved for smaller movies with more focused content. But with movies Minnal Murali releasing directly on OTTs, which do provide larger reach, has that stance changed? 

“There are positives for both,” says Basil. “Theatres will always provide the most satisfying watching experience for any viewer. To watch a movie in its entirety with a group of people in a closed cinema hall is what the cinematic experience is all about. On the other side, when you release a movie on a global OTT platform, it reaches 190-200 countries at the same time, thereby guaranteeing international exposure. The boundaries and language barriers disappear. So, the number of people watching a movie at a particular time on OTTs will be bigger than those watching it in theatres in a particular region.”

Ask him about Minnal Murali’s production scale and the decision to release in on OTTs and he says, “A series like Game of Thrones too had huge production value but technically we watched it on OTT and nobody underappreciated it because of the platform. If we had watched it in theatres, it would have provided an altogether different experience. So, we have to change according to the favourable circumstances. When a movie conceived for theatres goes to OTTs, it’s disappointing. To come in terms with reality is difficult, but once you are in that space, you accept it.”

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