Every Friday excites me. The thought of watching new films week after week keeps me going. I’ve always been a Hindi movie bhakt and even when it was fashionable to mock and run down Hindi movies, I was proud of being a small part of an industry that continues to entertain and enlighten millions of moviegoers the world over.
One of the reasons that keeps my adrenaline flowing is the opportunity to watch multiple genres week after week. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit two diverse worlds. The first had shock-value [NISHABD] and the second shocked me beyond wits [NEHLLE PE DEHLLA]. Believe me, I was nishabd [speechless] after watching these two diametrically opposite films.
I went to NISHABD with an open mind. I guess, most of us knew what the plotline was, but I was keen to know how RGV had interpreted the story. The problem with most RGV films is that the promos are far more impactful than his movies. NISHABD too has its share of problems, the main one being its hard-too-digest theme and the culmination to the story.
One of my favorite pastimes is to visit the multiplex close to my house over the weekend, just to gauge the audience feedback to various films. The moviegoer is the final judge, the final authority and no matter what the critics may feel or the PROs-in-the-garb-of-critics write about NISHABD, the verdict is out in the open: NISHABD has been rejected.
The film had a poor start all over [expected], but what caught everyone by surprise was the fact that the film refused to pick up during the weekend. Saturday was at par with Friday, which is far from complimentary, while Sunday saw the business taking a dip due to the Holi festivities.
It’s a known fact in the industry that pre-Holi is considered a weak phase from the business point of view, but NISHABD would’ve tanked even otherwise. Is the film way ahead of its times? Let’s face it, we’re orthodox and conservative about certain issues and this is one of those.
Businesswise, NISHABD has lived up to its title: The collections have left its distributors speechless!
There wasn’t much excitement for NEHLLE PE DEHLLA before its release and one look at the film and you know where it was headed. If it doesn’t take an Einstein to guess what the film has to offer as the reels unfold, it didn’t take a Nostradamus to predict the fate of the film either.
Despite the towering presence of three A-list stars [Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu], the film was greeted with almost empty halls at several stations. In the making for a long time, NEHLLE PE DEHLLA got affected on Friday at several places since the prints reached late. As a result, a few shows had to be cancelled.
Saturday and Sunday showed no jump in collections, resulting in the film joining the list of ‘also ran’ products of 2007.
THIS WEEK IN 2006
[Weekend: March 3-5, 2006]
They created history with GADAR – EK PREM KATHA. The same pair, Sunny Deol and Amisha Patel, did not create one-tenth of an impact with their new release, TEESRI AANKH – THE HIDDEN CAMERA. The success of GADAR and the failure of TEESRI AANKH reiterates the fact that it’s not the stars, but the script that drives a film to the winning post.
The film opened to poor houses almost everywhere, except North, where the business was slightly better at single screens. TEESRI AANKH made a hole in the pocket of its investors!
THIS WEEK IN 2005
[Weekend: March 4-6, 2005]
Call it a coincidence, two ‘nephews’ made their debut in love stories on Friday. Dharmendra’s nephew Abhay Deol and well-known producer Salim Akhtar’s nephew Samir Aftab made their debut with SOCHA NA THA and CHAND SA ROSHAN CHEHRA, respectively.
SOCHA NA THA, which had been in the making for a while, was released with much fanfare. The talkie promos did create a positive buzz, but, unfortunately, the aggressive and innovative promotion didn’t translate into a decent opening for the film. The opening of the film was way below the mark at many places.
CHAND SA ROSHAN CHEHRA also suffered due to this reason. While SOCHA NA THA had a far more contemporary approach vis-à-vis its plot, CHAND SA ROSHAN CHEHRA relied on the age-old drama of lovers facing parental opposition. But even the tried and tested formulae didn’t appease the paying public.