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Home»News»KGF 2, The Kashmir Files, and the OTT factor: The half-year that was and what's in store...»

KGF 2, The Kashmir Files, and the OTT factor: The half-year that was and what's in store...

While we saw a few bona fide blockbusters hog the entire limelight and the period also threw in a bunch of surprises along the way, the rest of it has been genuinely alarming and disappointing.

  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 07.05 AM, Jul 30, 2022

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KGF 2, The Kashmir Files, and the OTT factor: The half-year that was and what's in store...
The half-year that was

The monsoons are upon us which would mean that the first half of the year is well and truly reckoned with. The period of January to June of 2022 has been an interesting one, to say the least, for the Indian film box office with films of myriad kinds making the news for right and wrong reasons. It’s been a half-year of genuine extremes: while we saw a few bona fide blockbusters hog the entire limelight and the period also threw in a bunch of surprises along the way, the rest of it has been genuinely alarming and disappointing.

But would it be safe to surmise that 2022 would end up being a true reflection of the post-pandemic outlook? Well, to a great extent, yes.

Southern stars shine bright!

To highlight the positives, south Indian mega vehicles such as RRR and K.G.F: Chapter 2 are the clear and distinct silver linings so far with both films faring phenomenally at the global box office. Despite the considerable delays in their respective theatrical releases and the looming threat of the pandemic, both RRR and KGF 2 managed to lure massive crowds and put many speculations to rest. The dubbed versions of the films too showed tremendous promise and revealed an interesting trend about the evolving perspectives of the Indian film audience: does a film of every kind and niche hold the chance to succeed at the box office? Perhaps, not anymore.

While the southern film industries received all the plaudits, the criticism (unwarranted, in many ways) was mostly directed toward the Hindi Film Industry. Many regarded the lack of conviction, and the lack of trust on the audience’s part, as the main reason for the ongoing lull and despite all the valiant attempts, a vast majority of the films ended up as box office disasters.

Anubhav Sinha’s Anek, the Nushrratt Bharuccha starrer Janhit Mein Jaari, Shamshera, and Jersey would be the prime examples in this regard.

Not a complete sombre affair

The void, however, was filled by the likes of The Kashmir Files, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, and Gangubai Kathiawadi: not only did the Vivek Agnihotri film extend its realm into the world of politics but it also leveraged the hysteria to a great effect. On the other hand, Karthik Aaryan once again proved to be the dark horse as he garnered a massive commercial success through Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 while Alia Bhatt justified her position as the top-billed with the Sanjay Leela Bhansali period film.

The Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani starrer Jugjugg Jeeyo (also starring Anil Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor) managed to put on a credible show in urban centers but couldn’t gain equal traction elsewhere. According to Box Office India, the film can be adjudged ‘Average’ on the whole.

The same Box Office India report asserts that KGF 2 is the only true “all-time” blockbuster of the year so far with The Kashmir Files achieving the Super Blockbuster status by virtue of its box office exploits. RRR and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 are ranked as Blockbusters with Hollywood releases such Dr Strange - In the Multiverse of Madness and Thor - Love and Thunder receiving honorary mentions.

OTT proves its might yet again

And yet, a majority of Hindi content found ample breathing space on the OTT and made the best use of the ecosystem’s democratic process. With films Gehraiyaan, featuring top ranked actors like Deepika Padukone, premiering straight on streaming platforms and acknowledging the strengths of the process, the digital space has surely lent a new lease of life to the Hindi Film Industry.

Ajay Devgn’s Rudra: The Edge of Darkness has been declared the most viewed web series with more than 35 million views to its name with the season 3 of Aashram (starring Bobby Deol) coming a close second with 34.4 million views.

Shreyas Talpade returned to his cricketing roots with the biographical drama Kaun Pravin Tambe? And found success by scoring over 20 million views to date. Yami Gautam too shined in the OTT light with her thriller A Thursday topping the chart of feature films that release between January and June of 2022.

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