An opening weekend that was bountiful enough with over 15 crores coming in. Now this is a huge number considering the fact that barring Lagaan (with Aamir Khan again), no film with a rural backdrop has done such business in the modern day Bollywood. Yes, films in the 1950s and 60s used to do huge business then but it was mainly due to the socio-economic state of the country. With modernisation setting in, multiplexes ruling the roost and gloss being the selling factor, it is impossible to imagine a film like Peepli Live to be actually doing well.
This is where the wizardry of Aamir Khan came in handy as the man ensured that he gives Peepli Live as much impetus as he gave to his other production Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa which was aimed at multiplex crowds. He and his brother-in-arms, Natha, were all over and together they ensured that Peepli Live was the most talked about film over the week gone by.
Still, is it the best film of the year so far, as claimed by a few film followers? Not necessarily, given the fact that with all the hype surrounding the film with the word 'great" being used alongside in the same breath, one could well have expected something which was path breaking. For a film that promised the moon, it didn"t take one all the way there but still was a wonderful ride via the aerial route for sure.
On the other hand Help wasn"t even noticed with all the euphoria around Peepli Live. The film didn"t arrive with any hype, had poor promotional backup, a male lead who didn"t seem interested (Bobby Deol), music which was non-happening and the show timings that were oddly placed – all in all a situation when nothing really works. Result? A mere 25%-30% opening which was further marred by barely average reviews.
Now that"s a pity because the film was not a bad watch at all. If presented in a more polished manner, this horror flick could have managed some eyeballs. However, with Mugdha Godse alone trying to fight a losing cause, both on and off the screen, Help was doomed. Since it has been made in a low cost, Help may end up being a recovery affair with all revenues (satellite, home video rights) combined together. However theatrically, it can"t expect much life beyond a week.
Peepli Live has done better than expected. While it was predicted that the film would take a 40%-50% start on Friday, the fact is that it surpassed 50% comfortably and at places did even better. The curiosity to watch the film grew by leaps and bounds before the first show opened. While a few critic reviews were already out by then, rest was taken care by the word of mouth which ranged from good to excellent.