Why Kannada cinema failed to ride the OTT bandwagon

Unlike Malayalam, Tamil and even Telugu cinema, a starstruck Kannada film industry struggles to find space on OTT platforms. Image: Eunice Dhivya

Ikkat (Dilemma), the Kannada language film set in the backdrop of the first wave of the coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown, makes the audience laugh amid the gloom that surrounds all of us. The movie, with a fictionalised plot, takes a lighter approach to the lockdown that forced many of us to stay indoors and made things go awry.

The main characters--Vasu (played by Nagabhushana NS)and Jhanvi (Bhoomi Shetty)--the husband and wife duo who are poles apart, try to tolerate each other during the 21-day lockdown. And a ‘superimposed’ irritable character called Dude Maga, a tik-tok star played by Rj Vikki, becomes part of the narrative till the end and weaves the story together.

Ikkat, which was released directly on OTT platform Amazon Prime in mid-July, stands out among the usual fare rolled out by the Kannada film industry. Shot inside a house with limited characters, including a spider and a cockroach, the independent movie (with all newcomers) does justice to the subject with its humour and a brilliant background score.

From Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the first nationwide lockdown to the paranoia created by news channels over the spread of COVID-19 and the banging of plates to shoo away the virus, the movie beautifully captures the nuances of the lockdown.

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