By Vedita S Pratap
India is once again witnessing the surge in Corona cases in the early second wave of the pandemic. Amidst the rising Corona cases, Maharashtra has become the hotbed for rising Corona. Mumbai, the city of dreams where Bollywood hails, has now become the hotspot for rising corona cases. As Covid cases rises, the fear of lockdown looms again specially in Maharashtra. Bollywood Industry which is struggling over a year due to pandemic is highly impacted due to this surge in Coronavirus cases.
Last year, theatres were closed due to the Covid 19 lockdown which resulted in postpone of many big films releases and shoots. The pandemic is still impacting the industry to its worst as the second wave spikes. With the spike in Cases, many Bollywood stars like Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Aamir Khan, Vicky Kaushaul , Bhumi Pednekar, Kartik Aryan, Fatima Sana Sheikh have been detected Corona positive. Several are home quarantined while others are hospitalised. Due to this, the ongoing shooting of many big films are halted.
Reportedly trade analyst Taran Adarsh said, “Producers had started announcing their release dates, and now there’s this spike. It is a very depressing scenario. The first quarter has not been great for the Hindi film industry. There are financial implications as well. Shoots come to a halt, Akshay Kumar had so many projects, and now Ram Sethu has stopped. For that matter, any actor coming down with it, has its repercussions.”
The year 2021 started with a glimpse of hope as Janhvi Kapoor’s ‘Roohi’ managed to bring audience back to theater. Even John Abraham’s Mumbai Saga did witness theater release this year. Filmmakers of upcoming films like Sooryavanshi, Chehre, Banti Aur Babli 2, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai and Satyamev Jayate 2 had announced the release dates of the film.
However a big blow came to Bollywood recently as Maharashtra government announced that it is shutting down theatres and multiplexes, again, to restrain the spread of the virus in the second wave. As a result of this, many filmmakers postponed the releases of the film. The releases of the films like Hathi Mere Saathi, Bunty and Babli 2, Chehre and others have been postponded. The makers of Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starrer film Sooryavanshi announced the postponed of film’s release date due to the rise in cases.
Due to the rise in Corona virus and the lockdown, multiplex like PVR reported loss of approximately Rs.49 crore approximately in the first wave. The second wave also has witnessed immense loss. With theatres closed and shooting delayed, Bollywood is under huge loss of 1000’s of crore.
The industry workers and side artist are also witnessing severe impact as they loss their work due to industry shutdown Artist and industry workers are under depression phase as they witness work loss and financial despair.
However, the pandemic has given a boom in online digital platforms. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Disney hot star are highly profited due to lockdown. These OTT platforms have emerged as rising entertainment platform for people staying at home due to lockdown. Many big films like Coolie No 1, Laxxmi Bomb, Gulabo Sitabo and other have been released on OTT platform. Along with films, many web series are also booming on OTT platform. Thus shutting down of cinema halls has profited these online platforms. Several new projects are lined up for digital releases.
Bollywood being highly impacted by the shutdown due to Corona virus, filmmakers are under immense loses. In this dark time, the wait is still continued for everything to become normal. We can only hope now for soon recovery of the industry and the restrain in virus cases.