Mahesh Narayanan: Creating intrigue in films for OTTs is challenging
 
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Mahesh Narayanan: Creating intrigue in films for OTTs is challenging

The Malayalam filmmaker’s next movie Malik, which has Fahadh Faasil in the lead, will drop on Amazon Prime Video on July 15

Sanjith Sidhardhan
Jul 07, 2021
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Director Mahesh Narayanan is now all set for his second direct-to-OTT release, Malik, which again has Fahadh Faasil in the lead. While C U Soon last year was made exclusively for the digital platform, Malik, which is a big budget feature, was made for theatres.

Ask him if he enjoys the freedom that OTT platforms provide in terms of not forcing filmmakers to insert commercial elements, Mahesh tells us, “I actually think it’s more difficult to make movies for the digital platform. People who are watching films on OTTs aren’t dedicating their entire time for that. They might be doing some other tasks too.”

The filmmaker points out an instance where a US-based family was assembling a table while C U Soon was playing on their TV. “But after some time, they were so engrossed by the movie that they watched the film till the end and then returned to the table. I liked that aspect. People now have an interactive tool in their hands, using which they can skip or go back,” he says.

When we point out the instance of Sanu John Varghese’s Aarkkariyam that focused more on the details than hurrying the pace, Mahesh says, “I never thought Aarkkariyam was a slow movie; there was information in every scene and people were curious about what’s going to happen next. Today, it’s the toughest to create that level of intrigue.”

Meanwhile, on the team of Malik opting for a theatrical release, Mahesh says, “Kerala was among the only few states that maintained a 50% occupancy when theatres reopened earlier this year. All other states had increased it to at least 90% by then. We agree with the concern of the Kerala government because cinema is not an essential service. In such a case, when so much money is invested and you don’t have a certain date to aim at, what Amazon Prime Video has offered – in terms of value and visibility – is a great advantage. The producer’s expenses have been covered and when we include all the other rights, there’s a small profit too. It was a collective decision; if we wanted to opt for OTTs, we could have chosen that path earlier.”

Malik, which is a political thriller, will release on Amazon Prime Video on July 15. 

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