The digital plunge
As Ajay Devgn prepares for his digital debut – with banner Ajay Devgn Ffilms partnering with Netflix for Tribhanga – the actor-director-producer talks about this new plunge after so many successful years on the silver screen
Ajay Devgn Ffilms is making its digital debut. What was the thought behind venturing into this space?
The digital platform has lent entertainment a new direction. Makers now have the freedom to tell stories in the most authentic way. Not only that, but it also gives us as filmmakers and content creators the ability to take those stories to an audience who may not necessarily be just in India. The digital medium is the future and truly represents endless possibilities. We are excited to explore them with Netflix.
What was it about the film Tribhanga that made it the right project to take the first step?
Tribhanga is a story of three women who live in the same household but belong to different generations. Given the universal nature of the story, we wanted to tell it as a film. When my team and co-producer Banijay Asia got on board with Netflix, we were excited that we could tell this story in a much more nuanced manner and with the highest production standards possible and reach a wider audience.
Kajol is part of the project. How creatively involved are you as a producer and she as an actor?
Kajol would be best placed to answer about her role in the film but I can say that she is absolutely devoted to bringing alive her character on screen as she does with all roles she takes up. I am creatively vested in the film and all of us at Ajay Devgn Ffilms are excited to make it.
Your movies are doing well at the box office. Would you take up an acting project in the digital space at this point in your career?
As an actor, it's the story, and the ability to take those stories to the audience is what matters to me. There is nothing in the pipeline with regards to the digital space as yet but as they say, never say never!
The digital space is considered as the big thing today. Do you look at this medium as a competition to cinema?
No, not at all. Both streaming and cinema can happily co-exist. Each year, we see the box office collections going up and at the same time, we see more and more people choosing to stream content directly in their homes. It's ultimately what the viewers want and when they want it. And we know that they want both. What the entry of streaming services has done, and rightly so, is that they have made the story the central hero. If the story is engaging and entertaining, people will continue to watch.
Do you think the web medium lets you push the envelope and engage in more nuanced storytelling, maybe with subjects like Tribhanga, for instance?
Absolutely, and this is because this medium is not inhibited by factors that traditional media have to face and workaround. We are free to tell a story in a way that it can be best told and that is what the creative community is excited about.
Since Netflix has a reach across 190 countries, was there thought to give Tribhanga a more universal appeal?
The story of Tribhanga itself has a universal appeal. It's about three women, all from different generations who live together. This inherently is an Indian tradition or a practice, where we live with our parents and grandparents. We are looking forward to taking this story to millions of Netflix members around the world.
How would you describe your association with Netflix and how do you look at the future?
Netflix is an amazing partner. What they have done to democratise content or stories worldwide is wonderful. We are excited to work with them on Tribhanga.
With services such as Netflix that are reinventing storytelling, breaking all barriers of language, geography and a lot more, it is definitely an exciting time to be a creator or a filmmaker or an actor. I'd personally be open to all opportunities that come my way.