Rakeysh Mehra on ‘Toofaan’ OTT release: Film will reach 86mn households

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has settled for an OTT release for his new film, “Toofaan”, starring Farhan Akhtar. While the filmmaker agrees that the experience of watching a film in a theatre is different, he also feels fortunate that it will cross borders to a larger audience on same day thanks to the digital premiere.

The sports drama co-starring Mrunal Thakur is themed around boxing.

“We are extremely fortunate to get a world release on the day and date. Normally when an Indian film is released, it goes around the world, we release it in 500 to 600 prints if it’s a big film. Here, it is going to 200 countries to 240 territories. It will be seen in 86 million households. They will have to choose to see it but there is a possibility of your work crossing the border,” says the filmmaker.

Mehra, whose earlier films have always had theatrical release, believes that the film has the capability to engage the audience.

“In terms of the experience, yes, it will be a completely different experience. When you see it in the theatre, it’s a captive audience, but when you are at home and watching it with your family, the remote is always in your hand. You can pause or skip the channel. It becomes very important that you grab the audience in a way that they become captive even if they watch it on a smaller screen,” he says.

Mehra adds: “I hope this will happen. Whatever little screenings we have had in a limited way, people have not moved out of their seats for even a glass of water. Besides the experience of watching it, I don’t think there is any other difference.”

The film’s trailer was out recently and Mehra doesn’t wish to focus on expectations.

“You can’t tie yourself up in knots thinking about the expectations. You have to prepare hard. You have to understand the story you are telling and then become like the vehicle to tell that story through all characters and all other departments. All of us have come together to tell that story and it should feel like that in terms of acting style, shooting style, action, drama, all department — whether it is makeup or wardrobe. They should not stand out like a sore thumb and at the same time they should not become like any other film because each individual is different and each person is unique,” he says.

Talking about the challenges in making of the film, which will release he says: “The most challenging thing was that everyone stays in character and there is never a false note, and as far as possible the wish was that they become their characters and not play them. Deep down the requirement of this story is that when the audience watches it, they should see Ananya (Mrunal) , to see themselves in Ajju (Farhan) and Nana Prabhu (Paresh Rawal). The film is very high on dramatic portions, the idea of romance and sone pe suhaga there is boxing,” he sums up about his film, which drops on Amazon Prime Video.