Celebs breaking through OTT 2020 was a gamechanger for many celebs! The degree to which OTT platforms made hay while a lockdown-weary audience hustled for a ray of sunshine, these streaming platforms received the ultimate shot in the arm: hungry superstars who were obstinate about entertaining their fandom regardless of the medium. It saw a barrage of movies and web series being released that turned out to be trendsetters of the year! Now, of those movies and web series, there were some that marked their digital debut. Hello Vizag lists the most successful OTT debuts of actors in 2020, take a look!
The actor enjoys a strong fan base due to his impressive roles and a powerful screen presence with his intelligent selection of roles, the latest being a property-owner of an airline in the most talked-about film Soorarai Pottaru on Amazon Prime. Suriya had starred in quite some blockbusters but he proved that his digital debut too, is a force to be reckoned with. The audience is today spoilt for choices on OTT and no longer captive to the closed doors of a cinema hall or are to suffer through a terrible film just because the ticket and popcorn have been paid for. Nonetheless, his debut was a welcoming change for other stars as well, who were apprehensive of working for an online platform being A-listers. Everyone started slow but now one and all are on the top of their OTT game!
Once theatres were shut, viewers lapped up web series and films across languages and genres on digital streaming platforms. Smaller screens at home were no match for the theatrical experience but home-viewing turned out to be a great leveler as everyone could get a taste of the first-day first-show experience. Among them, Nani was the Telugu superstar who made an impression with his V which turned out to be one of the biggest Telugu films, so far, to opt for a direct digital release. Nani admitted that it was a tough decision to make for the team as they always looked forward to witnessing the first-day, first-show reactions of fans in a cinema hall. And everyone sincerely felt that V would have been a great watch in a cinema hall but getting a direct release on an OTT was a unique experience too.
OTT allowed the audience to view not just diverse content from around the world but also experience new genres! It also allowed for a lot more experimentation and most of the Indian original content getting greenlit seemed to be based around the crime, thriller and horror genres such as Anushka Shetty’s Nishabhdham. Having to make her digital debut with a psychological thriller, the actress was too good with her performance, especially when it came to pulling off a subtle role of a deaf and mute artist, her character development throughout the movie that was definitely worth watching the lead actress on our smartphones. So, right from the first major Tollywood film V that came on OTT and the list of films that followed, we knew the entertainment game was changing fast and how!
Unable to go the theatres to watch films, we welcomed film personalities into our homes. It felt as if content came directly from Ramoji Film City to our living room’s couch! And while the hope is that cinema experience will ultimately prevail, it was still a case of ‘when’. So an A-lister like Nithya Menon made her OTT debut with the web series Breathe: Into the Shadows that dropped on an OTT platform in early July. She said that the format was right up her alley because it was the kind of project she had always aspired to do, regardless of any medium. She also considered it to be her best performance till date and that OTT was another tool in enhancing her act.
It is worth mentioning that the OTT phenomenon has only just begun. With the digital revolution, the platform is bound to grow by breakthroughs! With an OTT platform, it’s entertaining that smartphone users who wish to devour content in their confined and happy space, they can now. With that, they witnessed Satyadev making his digital debut with the comedy-drama film Uma Maheshwara Ugraroopasya. Gone are the days when branding was most important, now what matters is a talented actor in the Telugu cinema streaming on an OTT platform and he made the most of it by giving a phenomenal performance as someone who can do drama and comedy with equal finesse.
OTT platforms are witnessing more acceptance and growing popularity. Notably, creators too, are offering a lot of content in regional languages and there is no shortage of takers, one of them being Keerthy Suresh. She made her digital debut with Eashvar Karthic’s Penguin. The actress was widely praised for her performance in it. No doubt, OTT platforms are offering shows and movies that are more radical, relatable and thought-provoking to the current generation.
Movies being made for OTT is common now that digital platforms are where they eventually end up. Actor Sudhir Babu of Prema Katha Chitram and Sammohanam fame also recently made his OTT debut with Mohan Krishna Indraganti’s V. The time for OTT to take over the way movies are consumed is here and film-makers and audiences alike will have to evolve along with the new changes.
Five years ago, someone who stated they had a subscription for Netflix or Amazon Video, it would have come as a surprise. However, the scenario is now reversed. That’s the growth of the OTT platform in the country. Vijay Devarakonda’s brother, Anand, inspired by his brother’s success, made his OTT debut with the film Middle Class Melodies. After taking all sorts of feedback into his stride, Anand decided to go for a contemporary subject as his second film. What Anand has achieved through OTT is to get even the older generations hooked on to these platforms. He sure was able to widen his fan base.
This year, a lot of movies made for the big screens were pushed to be digitally released on OTT platforms. Orey Bujjiga, in which Raj Tarun plays the main lead, was all set to be released theatrically in March but the pandemic made them reconfigure their plans as they released it on Aha in October. The young Telugu actor enjoys his own fan base which received the romanticcomedy with open arms. The movie itself did not reach the heights it was meant to, but the OTT platform Aha steadily gained increasing viewership with the addition of such titles.
After Guntur Talkies in 2017, actor-screenwriter Sidhu Jonnalagadda made a reappearance in films like Krishna And His Leela, a romantic drama that was released on Netflix and Aha. Breaking barriers of language and location, OTT platforms provide content to all their subscribers. Which is how Krishna And His Leela and subsequently Maa Vintha Gadha Vinuma was enjoyed by people all over. The refreshing story shows relationships realistically, and the movies were wellloved and appreciated for their honesty.
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