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Bollywood delayed releases

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By: Praveen Lance Fernandes, IndiaFM

Monday, August 07, 2006

Salman Khan's 4-year delayed Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar released this Friday. In the months to come, you just might see a huge spate of many more delayed films hitting the big screen. Everybody features in this list of long forgotten or non-taken films right from Govinda to Priyanka Chopra to Amitabh Bachchan. A film can get delayed for various reasons like lack of takers, not enough funds to release the film, etc. Some try, some try harder and some just call it quits.

We begin our journey with a long delayed film called Zamaanat starring the great Amitabh Bachchan, Karisma Kapoor and Arshad Warsi. The film which is slated to release this August was in the cans for 10 long years. The bond between Amitabh and director S Raamanathan goes way back to the early 70s when Bachchan acted in his comedy-thriller Bombay To Goa. That marked the start of a friendship that led to various other projects like Mahaan and Giraftaar. Raamanathan was asked by some distributors to remove Arshad Warsi out of the star cast as his career was on a low phase at that point of time. However, Raamanathan stuck to his guns and went ahead with Warsi. This basically led to the delay of the film. In 2003, they had resumed shooting for the film and we saw Karisma Kapoor for the first time alongside Amitabh after her marriage. But again it met with problems. "I don't analyze. If we analyze then we will never reach our goals. Let me thank God that the film is finally being released.", these were the words of S Raamanathan.

Director K.S. Adhiyaman must be cursing his ghastly luck. His first Hindi film Hum Tumhare Hai Sanam having huge stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit took 6 years to hit the screens and to make matters worse it released alongside Spiderman which did phenomenal business in India. Despite having a huge star cast, the film failed at the box-office. Adhiyaman is still in the loop of his cursed fate as his Salman Khan - Shilpa Shetty starrer Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar released this Friday after a 4-year wait and Salman make an honest comment, "I see very bleak future for this film." The promos of the 2002 film had started in mid 2004, then the release got delayed to November and again got stalled.

Another film which just might see light of day can be Jane Hoga Kya. Though slated to release in September this year, this film was ready almost 2 ' years ago. The film starring Aftab Shivdasani, Bipasha Basu and Preeti Jhangiani was based on the theme of human cloning which was a happening issue that time and was actually a remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer The 6th Day. Producer Alok Srivastav was arrested on charges of getting his servant murdered and his film got delayed. Promos of the film are currently on air but Bipasha has refused to promote the movie. Bipasha was a newcomer when she started the film but now has gained a celeb status for herself. Obviously she doesn't want to associate herself with a film whose prospects don't look promising after all the delay. Makes us wonder, is film ka Jane Hoga Kya?

Another couple of recent films that got delayed include Sohail Khan's Aryan and the Sanjay Kapoor starrer Unns... The reason for Aryan being delayed is that Reliance had acquired the world wide release rights of the film and wanted time to market the film well. However so far there isn't a concrete date set for its release. Bhupendra Gupta, the producer of Unns said a few months ago, "What is challenging these days is the marketing of the film, to ensure that the film gets a good opening." Well, certainly his strategy somewhere failed to create any hype and the film is now postponed till September.

An actor's salability at the box-office can also determine its line of distributors. Govinda perhaps has the maximum number of delayed films including Dil Laga Ke Dekho with Manisha Koirala, Mastana with Mahima Choudhary and Yahhuu with Saif Ali Khan and Juhi Chawla to name a few. In fact some of them are even shelved. After the low phase in his career in around 2002 and his subsequent shift to politics, a lot of his films were stuck. His 2002 film Hum Do Hamara Ek (now re-titled as Sandwich) directed by Aneez Bazmee (of No Entry fame) is still struggling to see light of day. However, news had just come in that his film with Priyanka Chopra titled Ek Hasina Ek Diwana might just release with a new title Bekasoor. Govinda has signed on a few good films now and hopefully his value at the box-office might improve to help his older films out.

However, the opposite can also happen that if a one time non-saleable star's popularity rises immensely then a delayed film is promoted on his reputation. This was the case of Yeh Pyar Hi Toh Hai (earlier titled Sambandh); a film starring Saif Ali Khan and Pooja Bhatt. At one point of time none of these stars could carry a film on their shoulders but Saif's career got a new lease of life after Farhan Akthar's Dil Chata Hai. The producers of Yeh Pyar Hi Toh Hai tried to capitalize on this sudden success and started some old trailers of the film but again the film could not get released, probably the film has an old look.

At times, even if the star's popularity may be good at the time of release of the delayed film, the look of the film is so outdated that it just doesn't appeal to the audiences. One example can be of Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke starring Shahrukh Khan and Raveen Tandon. The film which released after almost 9 years in 2005 had Shahrukh in the Baazigar look with the scuffled hair. Just doesn't interest the audience anymore!

Apart from the look, at times the theme of the film can be completely outdated. Sanjay Dutt's Sarhad Paar is a classic example of this case. This film based on the Indo-Pak relations died before its birth since the trends and audience liking changed over the period of time. The film was in making when Pak bashing in Indian films was an ongoing trend (Gadar, Qayamat). But subsequently the ties between the two countries improved, at least in the world of entertainment. Anti-Pak films were no more acceptable to the audiences in India and the makers didn't dare to go against the viewer preference. To adapt the film to the changing trends, the makers even opted to change the climax and anti-Pak elements in the script. They even roped in a Pakistani actor for a small role to appeal to the Pakistani audiences. However things still don't seem to have improved and the movie is still in the cans.

Jeetenge Hum too had an old look. The Arbaaz Khan - Arshad Warsi starrer went through a bad patch for about 6 years and one fine day the producer and director revived the movie by shooting for the climax with 200 cars on an airport runway. This scene was hyped but again there is no news on the film now. This was an ideal case where filmmakers try to add some meat in their film after an initial delay.

Everyone knows about the movie Paanch and how it was stuck at the censors. Well, to put the record straight, the film had been cleared over 2 years back and no one knows why the producer is not releasing it. Sad story for director Anurag Kashyap whose subsequent film Black Friday got a court stay order.

Another director who can curse his luck is Anees Bazmee. Apart from his Sandwich, his other delayed films include Radheshyam Seetharam (Aishwarya Rai, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal) and Dil Dhadke Baar Baar (Karan Nath, Amisha Patel, Gracy).

Then there are those direct-to-television films. This was the case of Tanuja Chandra's Film Star having Mahima Choudhary and Priyanshu Chatterjee in the lead. The film was initially made for a theatrical release but it was then aired on television. Tanuja showed her disapproval. "I worked very hard in Film Star and I wish Sahara had recognized it. If I knew that my film would be treated in this manner, I would never have cast mainstream actors like Mahima and Priyanshu", said she in an interview.

At times a delayed film can be revived as a new film itself retaining some original elements. The Sunny Deol - Priyanka Chopra starrer Deodhar Gandhi was started and a portion of the film was shot. However, the film subsequently got shelved. Recently director Guddu Dhanoa decided to revive the film. Since the star remunerations were already paid, he retained the principal cast of Sunny and Priyanka (with the added advantage of Priyanka's current popularity) but entirely changed the subject of the film. The new film is now rechristened as Son of Seetadevi.

One sad equation for all these films - rarely has a delayed film ever worked at the box-office. Slow and steady wins the race. But you can't afford to be lethargic and sluggish.

Some more stuck/delayed films

Movie Starcast Director
Gahraee Isha Koppikar, Rakhi Sawant Jagdish A Sharma
Team - The Force Sohail Khan Amrita Arora, Aarti Chhabria Ajay Chandok
Love You Hamesha Akshaye Khanna, Sonali Bendre, Riya Sen Kailash Surendranath
Zinda Dil Abbas, Ashima Bhalla Mohan Baggad
Chess A Game Plan Anupam Kher, Mahima Choudhary, Sonu Sood Manoj Bhatnagar
Deewana Tere Naam Ka Akshaye Khanna, Karisma Kapoor Rajat Rawail
Dost My Best Friend Sanjay Dutt, Aftab Shivdasani, Rimi Sen Veena Bakshi
Ek Hindustaani Sunil Shetty, Raveena Tandon Tinu Anand
Kabhi Socha Bhi Na Tha Madhoo, Sandhya Shetty Kallol Sen
Nehle Pe Dehla Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu, Kim Sharma Ajay Chandok
Amavas Konkona Sen Sharma, Tara Sharma, Victor Banerjee, Mahesh Manjrekar Siddharth Srinivasan
Anjaan Mahek Chhal, Kapil Gupta, Aamir Ali Malik Hansal Mehta
Gumnaam - The Unknown Dino Morea, Mahima Choudhary Neeraj Pathak
Mohabbat Ho Gayi Hai Tumse Sanjay Dutt, Chandrachur Singh, Shamita Shetty Rishi Talwar

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