Posted on July 25, 2023 at 5:13 am

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Mrinal Navell: Cinema has always been synonymous with watching movies in a theatre

No matter how many OTT platforms come up, theatres will never lose their charm, says Kundali Bhagya actress Mrinal Navell. She adds that, however, high ticket prices, makes this theatre experience not feasible for many.


Photo Courtesy Mrinal Navell Team
Photo Courtesy Mrinal Navell Team


“I don’t have much knowledge about OTT funding and related matters, but the experience of watching a movie in a theatre is completely different from watching it on OTT platforms through mobiles, televisions, or laptops. Cinema has always been synonymous with watching movies in a theatre, and that is its true essence. Therefore, I don’t believe that the popularity of going to theatres to watch movies has decreased because of OTT platforms. However, one contributing factor could be the high cost associated with theatre visits, with ticket prices ranging from 500-600 per person. This expense becomes a deterrent for some individuals, particularly those from the lower-middle class, who prefer to wait for the movie to be available on OTT platforms after a month. Although some people refrain from going to theatres due to this reason, I firmly believe that the experience of watching a movie in a theatre cannot be replicated on mobile phones or laptops in any way,” she says.

She adds,

“Indeed, OTT platforms have provided a means to save money. However, I strongly believe that cinema possesses its own unique allure, and that cannot be diminished by any other medium or technology. That’s why I think movie ticket prices should be reduced to make them accessible to a wider audience. How can one afford to spend a hefty sum of 1100 rupees per person for a movie? Just imagine, they earn around 5000 to 6000 rupees per month. It’s simply not feasible for them to allocate 1000 rupees for a single movie ticket. Therefore, if we want cinema to be accessible to everyone, the ticket prices should be lowered, even if not to the point where they cover all the costs, but at least to some extent. I believe that cinema should be made available to everyone.”

Ask her what all she managed to watch in the theatre recently, she says,

“I have actually watched a few films myself, maybe around three or four. Unfortunately, I don’t get much free time. However, whenever I do go to the theatre to watch a movie, it is to uplift my mood and have a great time with my friends. The larger-than-life experience, the mesmerising stars, and the stunning visuals on the big screen create a wholesome experience for me. That’s why I choose to watch movies in theatres. I appreciate the collective efforts put in by various departments involved in filmmaking. Just because one department may not have performed well doesn’t necessarily make the entire film a failure. I believe in focusing on specific aspects rather than labelling a movie as a flop based on one aspect alone,” she says.

She says that there are some theatre lovers who will always go to the cinema halls to watch films, while others might want to wait for OTT.

“There are two categories of people who frequent movie theatres. Firstly, there are those who prioritise saving money and look for ways to be economical in their choices. They may not be avid cinema enthusiasts but still enjoy the experience of going to the movies occasionally. On the other hand, there are passionate moviegoers who love cinema so much that they are willing to watch movies repeatedly, even if it means working within their budget constraints. This is particularly true for fans of popular stars like Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, and Akshay Kumar. Regardless of their financial situation, these fans are dedicated and will make the effort to watch movies featuring their favourite actors, regardless of the circumstances,” she says.

However, theatres will always remain special for her.

“The thrill and excitement that we experience when watching a movie on the big screen is incomparable. Despite the availability of OTT platforms, I still have a profound love for the theatre-going experience. In fact, I find watching flop movies, especially, to be incredibly enjoyable. The charm of cinema remains intact, and I firmly believe that OTT has not taken away from that. While OTT platforms have made films more accessible to the general public, I do not believe that it has completely overshadowed the theatre experience. However, to make movies accessible to a wider audience, it would be beneficial to lower ticket prices and ensure that they are available to everyone at affordable rates,” she says.


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