‘Theatrical business is limited to very few people’

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Director Raja Krishna Menon, who is now gearing up for the world television premiere of his film Chef, says that just like Netflix and Amazon, short or feature length content/films should be created for television too

Saif Ali Khan starrer-Chef is set to make its world television premiere on Sony Max on February 16. Directed by Raja Krishna Menon, the film released last year and also starred Svar Kamble, Radha Menon and Chandan Roy Sanyal. 

Raja says that he is confident that the film will do well on television because it talks about family. “People can sit at home and watch the film with their family. Chef is also about wonderful food and places so it’s an enjoyable film.”

An official remake of the Hollywood film Chef (directed by Jon Favreau, who also starred in the title role), the Raja directorial did not do well at the box office. The director shares his disappointment, “I think we didn’t read the audience correctly.

But I am very excited about how it worked on Amazon. The fact is that people can’t afford to watch every film in theatre, so they pick big action films which they want to experience on the big screen. When it comes to films about relationships and softer stories, they prefer to watch those on television. It’s a learning for us but I stand rock solid with the project,” says the director, who earlier made Airlift.  

So how much does he get affected by the success or failure of his films? “Everyone gets affected — you start questioning your thoughts. We make movies for people to enjoy and also to put forward a point. I am less worried about the financial success but people should enjoy the film,” says the filmmaker. 

Ask him if TV premieres are giving a new lease of life to films, which are otherwise unable to do well at the box-office and Raja replies, “What happens is that the theatrical business is limited to very few people because it’s an expensive affair. How many families can go out and spend that kind of money and watch every movie in theatre? So it’s wonderful that you can watch these films on TV. In the future, we are going to see more and more such segregation happening where people are going to watch very few films in the theatre. They will get to watch the rest of the films on television.” 

He adds that at the end of the day, as filmmakers, they want people to watch their films and TV gives that platform where a large number of people can watch a film. The director also believes that just like makers are creating content exclusively for Netflix and Amazon Prime, they should start creating either short or feature length content/films for television. 

“I am having more conversation about this with many people from the TV industry. We used to do this in the past, specially in the ‘90s and I think we are going back to that. People will want to watch it,” says the director who has finished writing his next project.     

ST Reader Service 
Catch Chef on February 16 on Sony Max, 8 pm

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