Prakash Jha has a lot to be answerable for. If Ajay Devgn was unable to give time for publicity of London Dreams, it’s because the dates that Ajay had allotted to promote London Dreams were used to shoot the climax of Jha’s Rajneeti in Bhopal.
“We knew we didn’t have the stars until the 20th of October. Unfortunately there was a big problem with the climax of Rajneeti,” Vipul admits.
Frantic with worry when Ajay couldn’t show up for the London Dreams publicity as promised, Vipul rang up Prakash. “I had a long conversation. Prakash explained the crisis he was going through. If I had insisted on taking Ajay away Prakash’s climax would’ve suffered very badly. Prakash was in deep sh*t. And I couldn’t let him suffer for my film’s publicity. Ajay is in any way never keen on publicizing a film. He went out of his way to promote All The Best because that was his own home film. But that was it.”
As for Salman, Vipul explains, “We had to send him to Dubai and London because he wasn’t seen much in the international market. In India I thought I’d hold fort with Ajay. With Prakash needing Ajay in Bhopal I was helpless.”
On Sunday evening, Vipul met his principal cast of Ajay Devgn, Salman Khan and Asin to plan some emergency promotional strategy for London Dreams.
Vipul admits the stars haven’t made themselves available for ample marketing events for his films. “I planned so many things with the stars because the director alone doesn’t amount to much eyeballs on television or live events. I planned concerts with Salman, Ajay and Asin. They didn’t have the time. Even my music composer -singer Shankar Mahadevan was in the US.”
Though he doesn’t say it out loud, Vipul blames the lack of initial on his helpless dependence on supposedly saleable stars and their inability to promote the film. “But what do we do? We need stars to come and see our films.”
Regarding the unanimous panning of the music on London Dreams, Vipul offers his defense. “The music got submerged in a whole lot of other music scores. 20 music albums got released within a month. None of the music has worked. My music didn’t get a chance. But if you look at the scores of A R Rahman, they’re invariably written off and then go on to be cult successes.”
Vipul is confident the music of London Dreams is destined for greatness. “The last song ‘Khwab‘ has the audience watching till the very end. I’ve been also criticized for showing foreigners cheering the Indian performances. But the audience is a mixture of Indians and foreigners at any such concert in Britain. If you go to any underground club in London all the goras are dancing to Indian songs. When we got a crowd of 8,000 concert watchers, there were 125 white junior artistes. How come only these 125 gora are being noticed?”
Vipul has also been criticized for editing his material in a way where Salman’s behaviour appears unexplained in the second-half. “Kaminey had so many editing inconsistencies. Why didn’t people notice it? Why is there so much resistance against my work? Why do my films get written off in the first two weeks? First day we opened moderately. On the second, day we got better. But there was the India-Australia cricket match. By the third day our collections were steady.”
Vipul admits London Dreams got below-expectation opening. “That’s because both Ajay and Salman had a release fifteen days earlier. They were busy promoting their home productions All The Best and Main Aur Mrs Khanna, respectively. When I got my release dates those films were not scheduled on those dates. Audiences can’t go to see three Salman Khan films and two Ajay Devgn films in six weeks’ time.”