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Saawariya no match for Om Shanti Om?

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Shilpa Shetty's publicist believes that Shahrukh Khan, the star his client began her career with, is unbeatable. And he had mentioned in his column, last week, that to pit a film against the superstar is nothing short of suicide. He had added, "I hope it is not a case of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's overconfidence versus Shahrukh Khan's star power. Because such a game, if lost, can give a jolt to the industry."

According to the publicist, "PRs build perceptions, but perception-building is not the only aspect required for a film. It seems Sanjay Leela Bhansali not only over-rated his product, but miscalculated its overall acceptance." He wonders why Bhansali did not see it coming.

Just a week later, his predictions seem to be coming true. Dale had feared that such unjustified competition between a debutante and a megastar could result in mega shocks. Decidedly, Om Shanti Om is now said to be a much stronger product, while Saawariya is already facing criticism on the directorial front, after its premiere last night.

It can be noted here that Bhansali has always made films with very big stars. While Khamoshi starred Salman Khan and Manisha Koirala, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam had Salman, Ajay Devgan and Aishwarya Rai in the lead. The makers' Devdas went one step ahead to have a kind of a casting coup with Shahrukh Khan pairing up with Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya, while Black had the inimitable Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee leading the cast. This is the first time Bhansali took up the mantle of being a star-maker, by launching new faces Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, along with Salman and Rani in special roles.

Bhagwagar also said that if the release of Saawariya were to be postponed to another week, it would have fared better

"If Saawariya was postponed to another week, it could have stood a better chance. I wonder why its makers couldn't see the crisis coming," says Dale, and explains, "PRs build perceptions, but perception-building is not the only aspect required for a film. The hype for Saawarya has been tremendous, but it seems Sanjay Leela Bhansali not only over-rated his product but miscalculated its overall acceptance."

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