The film industry is gradually limping back to normalcy. With ISHQ VISHK faring well [at big centres mainly] and ANDAAZ opening to an excellent start all over, people within the film industry have started smiling again.
Coming to the point, what actually helped ANDAAZ take a flying start at the ticket window? Three reasons, in my opinion –
[i] The curiosity to see the two title holders – Miss Universe Lara Dutta and Miss World Priyanka Chopra – perform in a movie.
[ii] Nadeem-Shravan's popular soundtrack.
[iii] The striking promos and an aggressive publicity campaign of the film.
It has been observed over the years that a fresh cast does excite the audience who are being subjected to watching 40 plus heroes still playing college students and 30 plus heroines still behaving like 16-year-olds.
That explains why the success stories of this year have youth as the common factor – TUJHE MERI KASAM, JISM, ISHQ VISHK and now ANDAAZ.
ANDAAZ may not boast of a commendable story, but credit must go to director Raj Kanwar who delivers what the Hindi film audience expects from a film like this. The film has several interesting moments in the second half, notable among them being Lara's re-emergence on the scene, and a clapworthy climax [reminded me so much of Raj Kapoor's PREM ROG].
From the reports pouring in from across the country, ANDAAZ looks like a winner all over, spelling the end of the dry run for the world's largest film factory.
The film is faring exceedinly well everywhere [its best business should be in the Hindi belt] and after a long time, the theatrewalas are displaying the 'House Full' boards outside their theatres.
STOP THE PROPAGANDA
The other day, while in conversation with a well-known producer, the topic drifted to the hottest territory today – Overseas. Although some distributors in Mumbai continue to propagate that the business of Hindi films is down in the dumps in the Overseas territory, the facts are to the contrary.
Overseas is the first territory that gets sold when a producer announces a film. If the business of Hindi films across the globe was on the decline, why do distributors line up to acquire the Overseas rights of films as soon as they are announced? Also, why do a majority of Hindi films continue to show 'closed' status for the Overseas territory and 'open' status for most Indian territories?
Take the U.K. box-office, for instance. In the current week [weekend ending May 25, 2003], the list shows two Hindi films in its Top 15 list – ANDAAZ is at No. 12 position, while ARMAAN is at No. 15 position.
The weekend screen average of ANDAAZ is 3,172 Pounds, which is next to THE MATRIX: RELOADED in the Top 15 list, while the weekend screen average of ANDAAZ [second weekend] is 2,054 Pounds, which is No. 4 on the list. What does it indicate?
For that matter, the weekend screen average of these two Hindi films is better than a majority of English films playing in U.K.
Agreed, a majority of films haven't fared well this year, but Overseas continues to be a hot territory for most producers, with distributors showing eagerness to acquire the rights of most films. It's high time some distributors stopped the false propaganda!