The mood within the industry is buoyant, with the much-awaited August biggies living up to the audience expectations. While CHENNAI EXPRESS has created history, setting new benchmarks, MADRAS CAFÃ‰ has worked with its target audience -- the multiplex junta. Prakash Jha's SATYAGRAHA too sprung a surprise by opening to double digits on Friday [Rs 11.21 cr] and maintaining the pace over the weekend [Rs 39.12 cr]. The sole hiccup in this sanguine scenario was the tepid response to ONCE UPON AY TIME IN MUMBAI DOBAARA!, which did not live up to the gargantuan expectations.
A film based on politics, generally, has its limitations, since the genre caters to that segment of audience that's politically inclined, those who don't mind watching realistic fares on screen. One also needs to keep in mind the fact that youngsters and families don't really go ga-ga over these films. After attempting films like GANGAAJAL, APAHARAN, RAAJNEETI, AARAKSHAN and CHAKRAVYUH, the viewer has come to expect realistic, hard-hitting fares from Prakash Jha. Besides, Jha is known to extract wonderful performances from his actors, which is an added bonus for spectators. SATYAGRAHA has been lauded for its content and performances, although a segment of viewers are comparing it to Jha's earlier accomplished work RAAJNEETI. Sure, RAAJNEETI and SATYAGRAHA deal with politics, but the two films are dissimilar in terms of content. The comparisons, therefore, are unfitting.
Armed with rave reviews and strong word of mouth, SATYAGRAHA grew steadily over the weekend, but it remains to be seen if it can perform well on weekdays too. With two significant films [ZANJEER, SHUDDH DESI ROMANCE] hitting the marquee next Friday, there's not much breathing space for SATYAGRAHA, but that's something every film-maker/Studio will have to learn to live with. Meanwhile, Jha and UTV can raise a toast, since a solid weekend = winning half the battle.