There are reasons behind why my movie reviews end up on this blog months after a movie's theatrical release. One is sheer laziness, but the other is lack of accessibility to new Bollywood films. I do have it better here in the U.S. than most other folks, but it's still difficult. There are movie theaters that will play Bollywood films, but only the big blockbusters and only for a very limited amount of time. I'm also completely against piracy, and will refuse to watch pirated DVDs.
So I simply have to wait for original DVDs or hope that some day a certain movie will end up on Netflix Instant. Clearly not the ideal way for a Bollyfanatic to live.
Thankfully, others are realizing this conundrum and things are being done to help remedy it. The recently introduced entertainment service Mela just launched a new initiative called First Day First Show which will release new movies on their platforms simultaneously with their theatrical releases in India.
Mela's current distribution platforms include the Roku streaming player, the iPad, and Mela's set-top box. Their movie streaming service is available for only $4.99. Unfortunately, I don't own any of the mentioned products that are compatible with Mela but the development in and of itself is a big one. Plus as Mela continues to grow, so could their platform selection.
The first movie Mela will be featuring in its new FDFS initiative is Chaurahen, starring Soha Ali Khan and directed by Rajshree Ojha (Aisha). Though the movie was completed in 2007 and was featured in various film festivals, its official Indian theatrical release is March 16, which is when it will also be available on Mela.
As Bollywood makes an effort to cater to a global audience through its content, it's only logical that those movies then be easily accessible worldwide. Netflix and Youtube have already made some headway with the Bollywood movies they've made available to viewers. Mela furthers the efforts by offering newer content. While the platform and movie selection may be low for now, we can hope the choices will continue to grow or, at the very least, that a new trend in Hindi film availability has begun.