Maharashtra emerged as one of the major hotspots of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state government and other organizations have struggled a lot to bring down the numbers and break the chain. Currently, the active cases in Maharashtra are low and the numbers are under control. Maharashtra government gave some relaxations amid decline in COVID-19 cases. It had allowed opening of shopping malls, yoga centres, spas, salons and gyms. The outlets were open under new guidelines which included a ban on the use of air conditioners. The order also stated that only 50% capacity was allowed. Although malls are open, multiplexes, cinema halls and theaters are not allowed to operate.
In the past year and a half, various films (including big budget films) have released on the OTT platform. But the film industry is waiting for the theaters to reopen. On August 19, actor Varun Dhawan expressed his dismay at the Maharashtra government’s order directing cinema halls to remain shut. Sharing a video, which showed a busy road in Mumbai’s Bandra area, Varun said – “Everything is open but theaters are closed?”
Videos showed cars, auto-rickshaws and other vehicles stuck in traffic jams. A large crowd was also seen in the market for shopping.
Akshay Kumar’s Bellbottom on August 19 became the first Hindi film to release in theatres, following the second wave of the COVID pandemic in April-May this year. Chehre starring Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi is also set to hit the theaters on August 27.
On the work front, Varun’s last outing was as Coolie No 1 opposite Sara Ali Khan. The film was expected to release in theaters but was aired on Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, the film did not receive a great response from the audience. The actor has films like Bhediya and Jag Jag Jio in the pipeline. Bhediya is Dinesh Vijan’s third horror-comedy film after Stree and Roohi.