Last year, director Govind Menon and Mallika Sherawat revived the [dormant] trend of adult themes with KHWAHISH. Bollywood producers suddenly woke up to films that counted on liberal doses of skin show. Mallika Sherawat became the cynosure of all [male] eyes and her attention-grabbing [brash?] statements made her an overnight sensation.
Then came MURDER, with Mallika stealing the show from under her co-star's noses. Of course, the success of MURDER shouldn't be attributed to Mallika alone. The rocking music, the stylish direction, a gripping story, the sex-laden sequences, the catchy promos cum aggressive promotion, besides a catchy title, all contributed to its success.
By then, a record number of dipped-in-sleaze films had taken off and with MURDER emerging a blockbuster [it's the biggest hit of 2004 so far], packed-with-skin show movies were being churned out like never before.
HAWAS, GIRL FRIEND, JULIE and the recent TAUBA TAUBA worked in luring moviegoers to cinema halls. HAWAS has done remarkable business in North, GIRL FRIEND got a boost thanks to the mileage, JULIE took a 95% to 100% start almost everywhere and TAUBA TAUBA is raking in big moolah, faring well at smaller centres.
Clearly, this trend - of peddling sex via movies - had come to stay.
So, when Govind Menon and Mallika Sherawat got together for KIS KIS KI KISMAT, everyone expected it to be another milestone in their careers, besides consolidating the trend that had been revived by the duo. But that was not to be!
Low on hype and much lower on substance, KIS KIS KI KISMAT came without a bang and left without a whimper. The verdict was loud and clear on Day 1 itself: KIS KIS KI KISMAT had flopped big time.
The dismal opening of KIS KIS KI KISMAT came as a jolt to many an industry person who expected the film to take a flying start, also because of the festive season [Dashehra] and the subsequent holidays. But the weekend collections were less than 40% at several screens. Sad, but true!
That set me thinking. Sex-laden films had worked in a big way this year, so why didn't KIS KIS KI KISMAT excite the hoi polloi? One of the prime reasons could be that everything you set your eyes on these days - from dance shows on television, to music videos, to item-girl hunts, to even refrigerator/car ads in newspapers/channels - there's an abundant display of flesh, with skimpily-clad girls parading up and down.
The Indian viewer has suddenly been subjected to women shedding their clothes at the drop of a hat. But anything in excess can turn you off.
Not that KIS KIS KI KISMAT suffered thanks to the overkill. Frankly, KIS KIS KI KISMAT rates amongst the weakest films to hit the marquee this year. So it doesn't come as a surprise that the film has been rejected outright.
KIS KIS KI KISMAT has not only disheartened its makers and distributors, but also those who are all set to start sleazy fares. The disastrous response to KIS KIS KI KISMAT doesn't signal the end of sex-laden movies, but yes, the distributors will now think twice before blindly clinching the deals for sleazy fares.
'VAASTU SHASTRA': MARKETING OVERPOWERS CONTENT!
Ramgopal Varma's efforts need to be lauded!
COMPANY, BHOOT, EK HASINA THI, MAIN MADHURI DIXIT BANNA CHAHTI HOON, DARNA MANA HAI, AB TAK 56, GAYAB and VAASTU SHASTRA. Yes, RGV has attempted daringly different stuff in each of his films. He's had the guts and the conviction to swim against the tide.
Frankly, you couldn't take your eyes off when Tusshar did a disappearing act or Sushmita Sen had a terrified expression on her face, every time the promo came on air. But, of late, the marketing seems to have had an upper hand.
When you make claims like 'If BHOOT scared you, VAASTU SHASTRA will kill you', the audience expectations from the movie rises manifold that very minute.
BHOOT was [and continues to be] one of the spookiest fares attempted by an Indian film-maker. The film defied the norms set by makers of commercial cinema, but that didn't stop moviegoers from thronging the cinema halls screening this eerie flick. It promised [in its promos] and it delivered [on screen].
VAASTU SHASTRA, the latest offering from RGV, is not a patch on the film-maker's BHOOT. Of course, RGV may graciously accept that Sourabh Usha Narang has made a better film than BHOOT and a few critics [in awe of big makers and giving glowing reviews to all and sundry] may give an extra star rating to this film, but VAASTU SHASTRA is nowhere close to the business of BHOOT.
VAASTU SHASTRA is an honest effort by Narang and a few sequences do send a chill down the spine, but the film doesn't have the sustaining power [and repeat value] like BHOOT.
At the ticket window, the film opened to an ordinary response almost all over [the opening should've been in the range of 90% +, due to aggressive promotion and the holiday period] and did reasonably well on Saturday and Sunday.
But Monday onwards, VAASTU SHASTRA has shown a decline in b.o. collections, even in metros. The collections at some multiplexes are steady, but a long run is clearly ruled out.