Wednesday, July 04, 2007
He is the irrepressible rebel who isn't afraid to speak his mind in one form or the other. Be it his films like Zakhm, Saransh or Arth as a director, or his unconditional support to film fraternity in its war against underworld, or his earnest plea for the improvement in cross border relations between India and Pakistan, Mahesh Bhatt says what he feels is right. Now, he expresses his views on the three big films in Apne, Awarapan (his own production) and Aap Ka Suroor that were released simultaneously. Here is what he says :-
In this time of bluff and bluster, where it's become impossible to separate the truth from the lie, there is a sea of people out there who are thirsting for a real story, be it in the world of politics, business or entertainment. Bollywood has been like a fortress. It allows very few to penetrate into its inner sanctum, where the real action takes place or where the real truth lies buried.
Let me try and give you an inner view of what has happened and is happening to me and my folks in Vishesh Films since the release of our latest film, Awarapan. This may leave you with a taste of the kind of high stress life we film makers are forced to live.
We film people are most vulnerable at the time of the release of our films. The state of our being is like that of a student waiting for his or her final results of a life changing exam. Except that this doesn't happen once in a life time but every time we have a release! At such moments, most of us, barring a few like me, who do not believe in the efficacy of prayer, prostrate ourselves in front of any available deity, in order to seek his divine intervention to ensure a great opening weekend. World over, the opening weekend for filmmakers has become a nightmare that they dread but cannot escape from. A Hollywood film producer says 'sell your mother, shoot your girlfriend, do what you want, but make sure that you get bums on seats when the picture opens in the cinema hall on opening weekend.'
My brother Mukesh and my nephew Mohit Suri who are devotees of Lord Ganesha began their day with a pre-dawn visit to the world famous Siddhivinayak shrine. I, who have seen more than fifty releases, felt like an old war-horse, ready for the unexpected to descend at any moment. If my life has taught me one thing about this business it is that in the film business you just never know....
And of course, the unexpected did happen. Contrary to the projections and predictions made by all the exhibitors and distributors and trade analysts, Aap Ka Suroor opened to mind blowing houses. "Compared to Apne which has also opened this week, our film Awarapan is slightly better in some territories, but there is no getting away from this discomforting fact that Himesh has got a head start," said my brother Mukesh who is my ears and my eyes to all inside trade information. I amplified this news to my director and to Emraan Hashmi, who too was waiting to hear how his film had opened. In spite of all the posturing of being calm and tranquil, I knew that for him, a lot depended on how Awarapan performs at the box office.
The mood darkened. All the euphoria which the pre-release shows had whipped up receded in a trice. And then the wait began, to hear what were the reports of all the films, at the end of the first show.