Is '83' headed the OTT way? Kabir Khan speaks up
After months of waiting, Kabir Khan's sports drama 83 finally premiered in theaters late last month. But despite positive reception from the audience and critics alike, the Ranveer Singh-starrer isn't likely to finish a successful run in the cinema halls. And, the reason is the soaring COVID-19 numbers and re-imposed curbs. What's the road ahead for 83? This is what Khan had to say.
- The theater industry alongside the distributors/exhibitors here, like everywhere else, suffered greatly for the past two years.
- Thus, a lot of hope was pinned on 83, which starred a big name like Singh and was based on a historic event—India's maiden Cricket World Cup win.
- Makers also stayed adamant about a theatrical release.
- Naturally, COVID-19 restrictions are a major blow at this point.
Speaking to Mid-Day, the director confirmed they will have to take 83 to the digital medium if cinema halls across the country get closed down in the coming days. "This film was ready with us 18 months ago. We wanted people to see it on the big screen, because that is how it was designed. But, such are the times that we live in."
He recounted its unfortunate run. "We tried hard to acquire a safe spot for the film, but the day of its release, there was a spike in cases. By day four, Delhi theatres had shut down." "If further restrictions are imposed, we will release the film on the web, soon," he noted, adding he still wished people would go and watch it in halls.
During this, Kapil Dev, who is played by Singh in the movie, offered Khan a positive outlook. "He said, 'When we won the World Cup in 1983, we didn't get money. We got respect. You made this film [to get] respect, and you're getting that.'" Although 83's future is uncertain, Khan revealed earlier he was planning to collaborate with Singh again, so there's hope.
On Monday, India reported over 33,000 COVID-19 cases with the Omicron variant tally reaching 1,700. Bollywood is also not untouched from this emerging wave with actors Mrunal Thakur, John Abraham, and his wife Priya Runchal becoming the latest celebrities to test positive for COVID-19.