Soon after the release of MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI [much after its box-office verdict had been pronounced], I was involved in some serious conversation with the undisputed badshaah of masala films, David Dhawan. After a series of insignificant and ignore-it-completely flicks, Dhawan had bounced back with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.
One of the reasons Dhawan had attributed for the super-success of MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI continued to stay with me much after the conversation got over. Dhawan had confessed that he was upset by the failures of his last few films, but he had decided to introspect as to where he went wrong.
Dhawan started thinking afresh, opted for a new team of technicians, thought of novel ideas to package the cinema he knew best, discussed movies with his teenage sons to get a feel of what the youth looks for in a film today and presto, a new Dhawan was ready to explode on the screen.
Why am I starting my column with Dhawan when the fact is that I should be discussing Subhash Ghai and the box-office prospects of KISNA, did you ask? Well, that's because Ghai, as a film-maker, has stagnated of late.
Compare the milestones of his career, films like KALICHARAN, KARZ, HERO, VIDHAATA, RAM LAKHAN, KARMA, MERI JUNG, KHAL-NAYAK, SAUDAGAR and PARDES, with KISNA and you'll know what I mean.
His latest outing, KISNA, is by far his weakest product. Ghai has always worked hard on his scripts and I am sure, along with the three co-writers of KISNA, he must've worked doubly hard to ensure that he comes up with a fascinating product. Ghai had to prove his detractors wrong and bounce back with a vengeance.
But KISNA has nothing new to say. To me it comes across as a frantic attempt to touch the hearts and souls of the Indian diaspora as well as catch international attention. Besides an incoherent script, which comes to a screeching halt soon after it has had a great start, the other area where the film faltered in is the casting.
Vivek Oberoi worked well in films like COMPANY and also SAATHIYA because there was no conscious effort to play a super-hero. In KISNA, the role required him to portray the role of a super-hero and a larger-than-life character and he does make an attempt to play one, but it misfires badly. You just cannot connect with his performance!
I've always felt that the media loves to hype certain stars even though the ground realities are different. And it has been proved yet again that Vivek cannot draw the audiences as a solo hero. Be it ROAD, SAATHIYA, DUM, KYUN! HO GAYA NA… and KISNA, every solo Vivek starrer has had a dull start at the ticket window.
The failure of KISNA proves yet again that what the industry may find red-hot, may not necessarily be considered red-hot by the paying public!
So expecting KISNA to open big or take-off on a historic note [I read somewhere that it's India's answer to TITANIC] was really asking for too much. In fact, KISNA has had the weakest opening for a Subhash Ghai film ever [a few ill-informed sources continue to maintain that the film had a great advance booking!].
Despite Friday being a holiday [Idd], the opening day collections were average to below average at most places. Yes, I do agree that a Subhash Ghai film should ensure a cent per cent opening on Day 1 at least, irrespective of the star cast of the film, but KISNA is a case in study. The viewers didn't seem excited at all!
As things stand today, KISNA has emerged as a setback for the film industry that is already reeling under a severe crisis. It was meant to bail the industry out of the crisis, but…
The second release of the week, PAGE 3, is a multiplex fare and it is enjoying a good run at multiplexes of metros.