The tremors are being felt. Till sometime back, the film industry pretended it wasn't affected by the global meltdown and crash of financial markets. Whenever a calamity strikes, we often think, it's happening to others, not us. The sensex has come tumbling down from 20,000 mark to 10,000 and the listed companies must be feeling the heat.
While in conversation with the personnel of four different corporate houses earlier this week, I could sense that the mood is anything but upbeat. Till a few weeks ago, the optimism was more than evident. Today, from what I've analysed, the corporates have adopted a wait-n-watch stance. A lot would depend on how GHAJINI, RAB NE BANA DI JODI and CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA fare at the box-office.
The artificial prices -- of film projects, of actors' fees -- have to come down. They must! There will be a correction, sooner or later. There are murmurs that people are thinking twice before committing on the inflated deals. Several projects, which were being eyed with enthusiasm till a month ago, aren't being discussed anymore. Even corporates aren't in a mood to sign actors or start fresh projects for some time at least.
Till a few months ago, reading about multiple deals -- with actors, directors, producers -- had become a habit. Wait and watch, you'll soon hear of monetary refunds in the coming weeks. Like I said, things will only stabilize when films work and right now, the all-round negative sentiment is affecting movie business hard. People aren't in a mood to spend.
That brings me to KARZZZZ. Pre-Diwali weeks are always considered dull businesswise, with theatrical business taking a beating, year after year. Did that affect KARZZZZ? A couple of distributors I spoke to feel that Himesh is a terrific entertainer, but he's yet to find a foothold as an actor. The masses love him, the classes [multiplex junta] don't. That explains the great divide between plexes and single screens. Incidentally, Monday onwards, there has been a decline at single screens as well.
Big Pictures, the distributors of KARZZZZ, will lose heavily on the film. This is the second big setback for this corporate entity, after LOVE STORY 2050. The poor response to KARZZZZ will also affect Himesh's forthcoming films. After all, in Bollywood, you're as good or bad as your last Friday.
The other two films -- SHOOT ON SIGHT and CHEENTI CHEENTI BANG BANG -- also went unnoticed. SHOOT ON SIGHT was a well-made, well-intentioned film and deserved a better release. Here, I would give full credit to UTV, who supported low-cost films like AAMIR, A WEDNESDAY and WELCOME TO SAJJANPUR.
Anyways, let's not lose hope. Let's pray that the Diwali week spreads light in our lives and rejuvenate the industry, like before.