Just the other evening, while having a conversation with a non-film friend, the talk veered towards serious films and how a majority of serious fares have gone unnoticed at the BO. The friend reiterated what the film industry is accustomed to hearing since the past few monsoons: "After a hard day's work, we look for movies that relax and rejuvenate us. We need to forget our worries and sorrows in those 2 hours." A sentiment many a spectator echoes these days. But does it mean we need to make movies that offer entertainment, entertainment and entertainment only? How will we grow as an industry if we don't think different? The mindset needs to change... or is it changing, albeit slowly?
Well, the reason for starting the column on a sombre note is courtesy the disastrous response to the well-made and well-intentioned ANKUR ARORA MURDER CASE. It seemed like not many were interested in watching the film, despite all-round appreciation in the preview screenings and lofty praises showered by the media. Could there be another reason: Too many films in the fray? What if ANKUR ARORA MURDER CASE was a solo release? Would it attract ample footfalls in such a scenario? Vikram Bhatt is often accused of repeating himself as far as film genres are concerned. This time, when he did make a genuine attempt to offer the spectator hatke stuff, the audience was just not interested. So why shouldn't he repeat the formula that gives him name, fame, money and success? Let's not blame him then!
On the other hand, FUKREY climbed the ladder slowly and steadily. The growth over the weekend and the steady business on weekdays is proof that the audience has embraced the film. Agree, the numbers should've been better, but in the current scenario, with YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI dominating the marketplace and MAN OF STEEL proving a tough opponent in the initial days, thereby robbing a chunk of the movie-going audience, FUKREY seems to have fared fairly well, especially in certain pockets [North India].
FUKREY cost Rs 8 cr to make, while the makers spent another Rs 8.50 cr for P&A, taking the total cost to around Rs 16.50 cr. For a film starring relative newcomers, yes, that's a big investment to recover, especially in today's times when there's a barrage of film releases week after week. But Ritesh and Farhan, the producers of FUKREY, got saved by the revenue the film generated from its Satellite and Music Rights prior to its release. The recovery, I am told, is close to Rs 12 cr, which means that the producers have to recover less than Rs 5 cr from India and Overseas theatrical, which, frankly, shouldn't be a problem.
But the bottomline is, established film-makers like Ritesh, Farhan and Vikram are thinking out of the box, pushing the envelope, coming up with films that may not boast of A-list stars, but giving the audience a choice. And that, in my opinion, deserves the shabaashi!