Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha’s latest film Anek, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, could not manage to draw in a large number of people at the cinemas but the film is now streaming on Netflix, and will probably find a wider audience. Sinha, in a recent interview, said that he realised that the film will not do well just one day after the release and the box office failure of Anek “depressed” him.
Sinha, who found a new voice with Mulk, told ETimes that the reactions he has received for Anek have been polarising. “There are only 2 reactions that I have got – mind blowing, brilliant or ‘bhai upar se gayi’ (I didn’t get it). So I always said this before the release of the film that the more you see this film, the more you will get it.” Sinha mentioned that when people, who are more politically aware watched the film, they got what he was trying to say. “It’s too political for any casual watch. You have to be alert, you must be a political man if you like Anek,” he said.
The Thappad director spoke about the many layers of the film and said that the idea to draw parallels with Kashmir, the representation of the entire North-East as one state was probably too much for some viewers and “maybe that’s a fatal flaw of the film but people who get it don’t say so.”
Speaking about the failure at the box office, Sinha recalled that he has seen many flops (Ra One, Cash), but this failure hurt him more. “I’ve seen flops before and much worse but I was never in love with any of those films, this one I am proud of, I am possessive of, I love it so that throws you off,” he said.
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Sinha was also asked to reflect on the recent pan-Indian successes and if that meant that Bollywood was going to go through a reboot. The Article 15 director said, “There is something very peculiar going on at the Indian box office in general, especially Hindi box office. There is no pattern so no matter how disappointed I was with the performance of my film at the box office, the exhibition sector wasn’t.” Sinha noted that cinegoers chose to skip films starring Ajay Devgn, Ranveer Singh, Tiger Shroff too. Sinha concluded that the only pattern that is evident is that the audience is going for entertaining films, and not intense films but the sample size to make conclusive statements was too small at the moment.
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