A few weeks ago, I recall reading somewhere that 'Black' was the color of the season. I disagree!
If the ratio of flops rose to an all-time high in the first month of 2005, the first week of February [BLACK, SHABD] hasn't really reversed the trend.
The opening day/weekend figures of a majority of films are pathetic [read red], the business of most films is dismal [read red], the economics of the film industry has gone haywire [read red]…
Red, in my opinion, is the color of the moment.
Let's start with BLACK first. Never in the recent past have I witnessed such tremendous curiosity for a film. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has carved a niche for himself and his latest outing, starring the biggest star of the country, only added to the euphoria.
However, the tremendous curiosity didn't translate into a grand opening at the ticket window. Ideally, a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film should've ensured a 100% response for the first three days in advance booking itself. But the opening was dismal - it ranged from 30% to 50% at several cinema halls. The multiplexes were generating better business, as expected.
The collections of the film showed an upward trend at multiplexes on Saturday and Sunday. Even on Monday, it was steady at several multiplexes of metros. But that's not the case at several single screen cinemas.
For any film to break even and make money at the end of the day, you don't require the support from the multiplex crowd only. You need to have the active participation of the aam janta to make any film a success.
As per the initial indications, BLACK is holding on well at multiplexes of big cities, but at smaller centres, it faces an uphill task.
As for SHABD, I have a question to ask Sanjay Dutt and Aishwarya Rai. And that goes for Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgan [INSAN]. As also Suniel Shetty [PADMASHREE LALOO PRASAD YADAV].
These hi-profile names don't sign a film till they've had innumerable sittings over the script. A pertinent question comes to my mind: What was so special about the script of SHABD that excited Sanju and Ash in the first place? And what kind of cinema was debutante writer-director Leena Yadav trying to serve us, is the next question I'd like to pose.
It's very, very important to keep the mindset of the Indian audiences in mind when you attempt a film today. Also, where most debutante directors really falter is when they compensate a cohesive script with brilliant visuals. Who cares if the visuals are great or not? At the end of the day, a moviegoer wants to witness an engrossing story, not a bizarre theme.