There's a lull before the storm. That's precisely what the film industry witnessed one week before the keenly anticipated MANGAL PANDEY hit the screens.
A 'dry week' this year was unimaginable, considering the heavy flow of film releases week after week. On an average, the film industry has witnessed the release of three/four films per week since the start of this year and the trend is likely to continue till the year comes to a close. Hence, the release of just one film, in limited shows at four multiplexes of Mumbai, did come as a surprise. The film, SHWET - WHITE RAINBOW, was released with as good as nil publicity and its disastrous outcome, therefore, doesn't come as a surprise.
There's no specific reason why no big film was released last Friday. Perhaps, the heavy downpour rang the bell of caution. Or, perhaps, the producers of the forthcoming releases preferred to steer clear of MANGAL PANDEY.
The general perception within the industry is that an open week benefits the past releases. It's wishful thinking, in my opinion. If the film is carrying superb reports and there's tremendous excitement to watch it, only then will an open week work as sone pe suhaaga. But it didn't benefit 7 ½ PHERE, SEHAR and …YAHAAN in any way.
One of the reasons could be that most moviegoers had set their eyes on MANGAL PANDEY. Aamir Khan's first release after almost four years, there's a lot riding on this film. The stakes are high and the hype is tremendous. Will the film shatter old records and set new ones at the ticket window, we'll know in a few days from now.
If Aamir is waiting with bated breath for the audience response to MANGAL PANDEY, Bobby Deol is not far behind. The subsequent week witnesses the release of BARSAAT, which, many say, is likely to resurrect Bobby's shaky career. The young Deol's career is going through a turbulent phase and the affable actor needs a hit badly.
If Aamir and Bobby are anxious, so are Anil Kapoor, Salman and Fardeen Khan, who team up in NO ENTRY. Ditto for producer Boney Kapoor, who hasn't tasted success for some time now. Another actor who must be keeping her fingers crossed is Bipasha Basu, who's looking forward to BARSAAT and NO ENTRY both.
Crucial days ahead!