Actor Naseeruddin Shah has compared the upheaval that the Indian film industry is currently witnessing to the implosion of the Hollywood studio system. He wondered in a roundtable interview hosted by journalist Rajeev Masand if fans of Salman Khan would still enjoy masala entertainers in a non-theatre environment.
"It will be interesting to see what will be the reaction of the audience to a Salman Khan film, the audience that whistles and claps and throws coins at the screen and dances in the aisles... What'll be their reaction when the watch a movie like that at home, alone, or with their children? Will they behave in the same way? I doubt it."
The actor said that he's interested in seeing what kind of films will be announced because of this, adding that he has a feeling that "the small movie will gain." He added, "This lockdown has inspired so many young filmmakers to attempt interesting, novel subjects without worrying about a producer sitting on their heads asking 'hero kaun hai' or 'gaana daal do' or do all this crap. I'm optimistic about the future, and really glad that the monstrous Rs 500 crore budget might be a thing of the past."
Naseer recently appeared in the Amazon Prime Video series Bandish Bandits, and will next be seen in the Zee5 film Mee Raqsam. Salman, meanwhile, was supposed to release his film Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai around Eid, but the film has been delayed due to the coronavirus lockdown, with some portions of filming still incomplete.
Recent years have indicated an audience fatigue when it comes to films starring the three Khans of Bollywood -- Salman's Bharat and Dabangg 3 underperformed, while Shah Rukh Khan has had a series of subpar releases, and Aamir Khan suffered one of the biggest box office disappointments of his career with Thugs of Hindostan.