The end of cinemas is nigh.
Whilst theatres were once the final destination for those looking for a well-rounded cinematic experience, streaming services are at the forefront of new-age entertainment.
Perhaps, in a non-pandemic world, cinemas would have managed to maintain the public’s interest.
Web series would continue to harbour indie gems and unorthodox storylines, but cinema would be the go-to for the latest releases.
Cinema halls across the globe were forced to close their doors amid the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing film buffs to turn to new sources for entertainment.
Since then, cinemas have worked tirelessly to entice a Netflix-worshipping audience.
Streaming services are the shiny new toy claiming even the fussiest of film fans.
With genres to satiate every niche, glossy production values and original creations, the end of cinemas is nigh.
Streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar are household names.
In comparison, can cinemas compete with them? Have audiences moved on from theatre seating and popcorn in a bucket?
Whilst cinema chains have been blindsided by the bypass of theatrical releases, many filmmakers remain committed to the big screen.
Karan Johar was reported to have declined interest in handing over the Alia Bhatt-starring Brahmastra trilogy for a digital release.
Bollywood star-fronted projects are the latest trend.
Saif Ali Khan was among the first mainstream Bollywood celebrities to approve a streaming service as the home for the crime thriller series Sacred Games.
Since then, shows such as Indian Matchmaking and Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives have been renewed for additional seasons, taking advantage of their huge viewership.
Following in the footsteps of her husband, Kareena Kapoor recently confirmed her streaming debut with Netflix’s The Devotion of Suspect X.
The announcement comes after a long line of Bollywood stars have transitioned over to streaming platforms, most recently Shah Rukh Khan with his SRK+ app.
Spilling the beans on the anticipated motion picture, Kareena stated:
“The film is a screen adaptation of a work which was a global bestseller.
“It has so many aspects to it… murder, mystery, thrill and much more, which put in the hands of our inimitable director Ghosh is something I am eager to start work on.”
The film is a screen adaptation of Keigo Higashino’s Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X and will also feature Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma as the lead.
Kareena Kapoor is ecstatic at the prospect of working with a stellar cast and crew, as are the producers who collectively reported:
“Kareena has always been a star performer across every one of her roles regardless of the format, shade or genre.
“Her digital debut is going to be an exciting project for us all.
“And of course, Jaideep and Vijay are spectacular actors and will definitely bring their own skillset to the table.
“We are excited to collaborate with Netflix for this project.”
“The storyline of the book is gripping and we are looking forward to the film adaptation to go on floors.”
The Bollywood actress has seemingly provided definitive proof that streaming services are no longer the second option to theatrical releases.
The question remains – is the cinema truly dead?
Whilst ardent cinemagoers may have begun to retreat, cinemas are working on bouncing back and there is no telling the limit of box office figures.
When the dust from the pandemic settles, the humble cinema may well be left standing, ready to reclaim its former glory.