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Monday, July 16, 2018

Latecomers

Dressed in a flaming red dress,the blond Kareena Kapoor embraces a rather pink-lipped,boyish Shahid Kapoor as Himesh Reshammiya croons in the background.

Written by Dipti Nagpaul D'souza | Published: June 28, 2010 3:44:18 am

Why the films that release after a considerable delay are often doomed for failure

Dressed in a flaming red dress,the blond Kareena Kapoor embraces a rather pink-lipped,boyish Shahid Kapoor as Himesh Reshammiya croons in the background. The two—lead pair of Satish Kaushik’s film Milenge Milenge,which was stuck in post-production stages after the actors broke up in real life—are a far cry in the promo from their current,rather glamourous avatars. Though the movie will finally hit theatres in July after a two-year delay,one wonders if it will be able to rekindle the audience’s interest in the lead pair and the movie,which unfortunately now bears a rather dated look.

The challenges that producer Boney Kapoor is faced with are not unique to this film. Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra has had it equally tough. While Tera Kya Hoga Johnny was completed nearly a year ago,he still awaits the release. The film suffered further when the pirated version of the Neil Nitin Mukesh and Soha Ali Khan-starrer became available online. “What can one do if a film has travelled through so many hands? Piracy is inevitable,” laments Mishra. He says that recession is to be blamed for the delay in release. “The financiers backed out and then the production house Medient and Pixion Entertainment chose to release its big budget films. While everyone else on the film has moved on,I have to endure the wait only because my film didn’t have big stars,” he adds.

However,the presence of stars doesn’t assure a timely release. While John Abraham signs on other projects,his Aashayein with Nagesh Kukunoor and Hook Ya Crook with David Dhawan are in cold storage. Industry buzz has it that HYC producer UTV is reworking portions of the film,and Aashayein,after having been stuck without a distributor for a year,will be released by Reliance Big Pictures in August. Even as Kukunoor remains anxious,the producer Percept Motion Pictures is surprisingly unperturbed. “We sold off the finished product to Big months ago. It is stuck in their pipeline now,” says Abhishek Nayyar,head of marketing at Percept Motion Pictures.

On the other hand,Niyati Shah,the producer of Mumbai Cutting—a collection of 11 short films by reputed filmmakers like Ketan Mehta and Rahul Dholakia-is heartbroken by her movie’s delay. “At times a film reflects the current happenings in a society,which may become outdated if the release is postponed,” she rues. The distributors Sahara One Motion Pictures will now release the film this July nine months after completion. “The cast,crew and the unique format had created a media buzz,which has died down. I have no expectations from the film. What is worse is that many careers hinged on it,like music director Jeet Ganguly’s who was making his debut after parting ways with Pritam. Now those dreams are shattered.”

However,there can be times when a delayed release can instead do damage to a career. Mahie Gill’s Pal Pal Dil Ke Saath followed her successful Dev.D during the producers’ strike last year. The film looked dated and tacky and could not recover even ten per cent of investments. Gill remarks,“The final product was different from the script I was offered. I don’t know how the makers completed the film and when they decided to release it.”

In such cases,where the artistes too have distanced themselves from the project,one wonders why the makers even bother to release the film. Kapoor explains that often it is for the sheer love of the project. “And one might as well recover whatever money is possible.” Filmmaker Neeraj Pathak cites another reason. “My film Right Yaaa

Wrong didn’t work at the box office but was critically acclaimed. This helped me bag films in future.”

Mishra,on a note similar to Pathak’s,is hoping to see his film release in August but says that it will be important for the film to be timed well so that it doesn’t clash with a big project. Marketing strategy too,has to be reworked,Kapoor adds. “Shahid and Kareena don’t have the dates to promote Milenge Milenge. We have hence launched a campaign called ‘Season for Forgiveness’ and the marketing events will all revolve around this.”

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