Subhash Ghai is agitated! Agitated, because he feels that the film fraternity is gratuitously targeting his latest flick YAADEIN. "I had told my friends to expect a negative feedback from the industry, but it seems like everyone wants to pull me down," Ghai tells me, sounding a bit disturbed. He is currently in U.K. in connection with the premiere of the film. "The film is doing fantastic here. It's on the seventh position in the U.K. top ten, despite stiff opposition from JURASSIC PARK III and DR. DOLLITLE 2," he divulges, adding, "In the U.S., the film has collected $ 646,880 in the first weekend, which is much better than TAAL, which had collected 575,000 in the opening weekend." Back home, the film has met with a mixed response, with the audience feeling that the film focuses more on Jackie Shroff, than Hrithik Roshan. "Yes, the film starts with Jackie and ends with Jackie. So what's wrong with that? My script was penned that way. I'd signed Hrithik much before KAHO NAA PYAAR HAI had released and I didn't want to change my script midway, just because he became a phenomenon in the intervening period," Ghai defends his decision. YAADEIN has also come in for a lot of flak for the Coke and Pass-Pass endorsements, which look forced in the goings-on. "Why, don't television channels or dotcoms hanker after the media? Aren't they trying to woo the advertisers always? So what if Subhash Ghai does it? Why make an issue out of it?" pat comes the answer. After a pause, he continues, "All through the making of the film, I kept getting offers from so many corporate houses. Had I been greedy, I would've grabbed all the offers that came my way. But I didn't. In any case, I don't think the Coke and Pass-Pass endorsements look forced. Don't Hollywood flicks also rely on endorsements or surrogate publicity?" But there has been open talk that Ghai had let the businessman in him overpower the director. Which is precisely why he had been making films targeting the NRI/Overseas audience in mind. "So what's wrong with it? Don't we all know that Overseas and Mumbai are the biggest territories today? But YAADEIN is all about a family and emotions. It does not cater to a particular strata or a section of audience. It holds universal appeal." Confident that YAADEIN will remain steady in the coming days, despite big oppositions in the coming weeks, Ghai states, "HERO picked up and consolidated its position after 4 weeks. Ditto for PARDES, which was pronounced a hit after 3 weeks. Wait for 4 weeks and the same people will sing a different tune." At the moment, Ghai is monitoring the box-office figures all over the world and is elated that the box-office collections will signify that the film is a profitable venture for its investors. Ghai too, as a producer, has made a packet as a producer, making a huge profit before the release itself. "Yes, I've made a good profit. But I haven't calculated how much. I'm distributing the film myself in Mumbai and Overseas territories and once I return to Mumbai (on Wednesday), I'll have a clearer picture," he laughs. So what's next? There are talks that he is contemplating signing SRK and Hrithik for his next venture. "Yes, that's a deadly combo. Though I'd suggest, you wait and watch! Nothing is finalised as of now. But all I can say is, my next venture will be an out-and-out mass appealing film," he states. He concludes on a confident note: "I'm proud of YAADEIN. I've made it with my heart and soul. Despite all the criticism that's pouring in right now, YAADEIN will emerge victorious eventually. All my detractors will be forced to chew back their words." That, only time will tell!
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