And didn't that click? "Precisely," avers producers Madhu Mantena who also co-produced the superhit Tamil version of ghajini with Allu Arvind. "It's not the length. It's the performance. You could have a really boring two-hour film. On the other hand, you could've a really gripping film that's three hours long."
ghajini would have been lengthier by at least 5 minutes. "We were thinking of adding theatrical trailers to the feature. That would've added 5 minutes extra to the playing- time and good 30 minutes lost during the day at the multiplexes," explains Madhu and refutes the charge that the film is ultra-violent. "It's not a tale of violence. It's a tale of retribution. And at the moment after 26/11 everyone wants answers. Films about retribution are always liked."
As for the charge that ghajini is a remake of Christopher Nolan's Memento, Madhu says, "There are other Hollywood films on same theme of short-term memory loss like Finding Nemo and 50 First Dates. So why single out Memento?"
Ah, fool proof method of avoiding copyright litigation.
The big Christmas release ghajini has a longer story to tell than is considered healthy for the multiplexes. The film's playing time of 3 hours makes it the second-longest film of 2008 after Ashutosh Gowarikar's Jodhaa Akbar.