A star since the 90s, Kajol is famously known for her candidness about the dubious goings-on in Bollywood. During a recent appearance to celebrate 25 years of her hit film Gupt‘s release, the actor spoke about how the importance of physical appearance is waning in the wake of OTT playing a bigger part in shining a light on good actors. She applauded the OTT platforms for encouraging new talents and even took a dig at those who judge stars based on their looks and body structure.
Kajol on OTT landscape
Kajol, who made her OTT debut last year with the OTT film Tribhanga said, “You have people who are genuinely fabulous actors getting a stage and being able to show exactly what they are capable of, and becoming stars in their own right despite the fact that they don’t have a 24 inches waistline and a 36 inches chest or a 46 inches chest.”
Her statement holds relevance with OTT trying hard to reinvent its storylines and bring fresher perspectives each day.
The platforms are not shying away from experimenting with content, and also regularly aligning with consumer preferences. Stories and characters are your everyday people, with relatability being an utmost preference for most artists.
Feel Good is the real good
The platforms are also relentlessly delivering personalised content, with back-to-your-roots shows like Panchayat, Gullak, Nirmal Pathak ki Ghar Wapsi, and Home Shanti. The old-school dramas and sitcoms have led to the hunger for fresh content and OTT grabbed this opportunity in no time. From rich storylines staged in the heartland that capitalise on our hunger for nostalgia, these shows shed light on several important yet often neglected topics too.
The fight led by people from different sections of the society to be well-represented on screen has been a long one. The journey to be vocal about one’s identity, across the entertainment industry, has been quite tough. However, the digital world has paved a way for diversification, acting as a catalyst for better representation. From addressing adulting issues to unconventional family dynamics, from projecting imperfect love to sensitising social issues, from mental health to acceptance of reality, OTT has it all. Breaking out of Bollywood’s long held hestitation to broach political conversations, it has strived to project the raw representation of every community present. Take for instance Neeraj Ghaywan’s short in Ajeeb Dastaans, Geeli Puchhi, which stands out as a nuanced depiction of caste, patriarchy, and queerness with an honest narrative of a complex society.
In pursuit of bringing forth different perspectives, the OTT has definitely been a boon for new talents. The need to justify revamped and bold content, and the attempt to present newer scripts and angles to the role have several performing artists finding their space within the entertainment industry. The variety of consumable content formats dotting the OTT platforms has opened up several new avenues to explore. You don’t need to look a certain way to fit in, all you need is the hunger to perform and justify the script. After all, at the end of the day, isn’t an actor’s job is to just act and focus on their craft?
Hence, while Kajol’s statement may sound contradictory in the world of Kim Kardashian who details the measures she took for her weight loss journey in order to fit in her Met Gala dress, it somewhat rings true to the OTT culture that respects creativity and is striving hard to relook set standards and redefine content.