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Shoojit Sircar defends release of Sardar Udham on Amazon Prime: ‘Destiny for every film…’

Shoojit Sircar has said that releasing Sardar Udham on an OTT platform instead of theatres ‘is not a compromise on the cinematic narrative'.

The Vicky Kaushal-starrer Sardar Udham has chosen the streaming route and will release on Amazon Prime Video on October 16. The announcement came a few days before the Maharashtra government declared that cinema halls will reopen from October 22.

Today, at the trailer launch of Sardar Udham, director Shoojit Sircar was asked why he did not wait to release the film in theatres, despite the fact that the film was made for the big screen. Shoojit said, “It’s a tricky question. There’s a destiny for every film and ‘Sardar Udham’ landed with Amazon Prime. When I shot the film, this wasn’t the situation. We shot the film for cinemas. However, I do not feel guilty that it’s releasing on (Amazon Prime Video).”

“We decided that this will go on the digital platform. I didn’t feel that this was a mistake I was making,” he added.

Shoojit was one of the first filmmakers to release his Gulabo Sitabo (2020), starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, on an OTT platform when Covid-19 lockdown was announced in India last year. The lockdown had brought theatres and cinema business to an abrupt halt at the time. The filmmaker had, however, received flak for his decision then.

Addressing this, he said, “When Gulabo Sitabo happened, there was a lot of talk about why I released that film (on OTT). I gave my clarification; the situation was such that we could not hold on to the film. I’m also quite impatient in nature when a film is done. I just want to quickly reach out to people.”

Explaining further, he said, “What I experienced after ‘Gulabo’ was the reach the film received. I thought this film also needs a huge global platform, apart from our Indian territories. That was also a good reason for me to go ahead. Yes the cinematic experience of a theatre will surely be missed, but it is not a compromise on the cinematic narrative that I have done. It’s as cinematic on a big screen as it is on a small screen.”

Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Sardar Udham will stream on Amazon Prime Video from October 16. Vicky Kaushal plays the title role.

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