Don't think OTT will dismantle cinema viewing habit, they can happily co-exist: Sharman Joshi

Mumbai, May 7 (PTI) Actor Sharman Joshi says audiences might be watching more content on the digital platform due to the countrywide lockdown but they still have a strong appetite for experiencing movies on the big screen.

With the country still in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a resurgence of the theatrical vs streaming debate.

Cinema houses across all over the country have been shut to enforce social distancing and that has given a rise in the viewership of content on the digital platforms.

Sharman believes people have a strong desire to watch movies in theatres and this will ensure the survival of cinema houses.

'The desire of people under lockdown at home, including me, is to step outside, go for dinner, meet some friends or watch a movie. These are the things you usually do when you step out.  'Cinema is a wholesome experience, this big screen spectacle and the excitement it offers to people. Cinema, OTT platforms and TV will continue having their own spaces,' Sharman told PTI.

The actor believes theatrical films, streaming sites and TV will keep coming out with content that is suitable for their platform.  'They will co-exist happily. It's a great time for people to get plenty of entertainment of various kinds and likewise for us in the industry where we get to offer different kinds of entertainment,' he added.  The 41-year-old actor said content varies from platform to platform and there shouldn't be any comparison between them.

'TV, films and digital are platforms you go for entertainment. The kind of content they offer are quite different, where time plays the crucial factor. Theatrical films offer storytelling in shorter length form, where there's a lot to say in two hours. But TV and OTT platforms give luxury of time.' Sharman currently stars in the second season of ALTBalaji and ZEE5's 'Baarish'. The romantic-drama pairs him opposite Asha Negi and chronicles the story of a modern day couple.  The actor believes a show like 'Baarish' is a rarity today with streaming platforms mostly going for 'dark' and edgy thrillers.  ''Baarish' is a story of a couple's dilemma, struggle and life and it was a common subject earlier. A lot of work was done around (this theme) in films and shows but now they have become obsolete, with a few here and there. Specially with the OTT platform, it has been take over by dark, drama and thriller.  'This is a pleasant breeze in the form of a light romantic drama where you address the challenge any couple would face in today's times,' he added.

The show also features veteran actor Jeetendra in a special appearance and Sharman said it was his honour to share screen space with the him.

'He is a professional and what a superstar. All of us were so excited for the shoot and when he came on set, he was so keen and interested in getting on with the job.

'He shared such special anecdotes from his personal and professional life. He kept the atmosphere on set so delightful, happy,' he added. PTI JUR RB RB