Is Bollywood on the verge of doing away with the grand and glamorous premieres? Yashraj Films who lead the production parade have shown the way. No premieres for their films.
Last week another biggie Vipul Shah's Namastey London opened without a premiere. And if The Namesake premiere on Wednesday was a starry affair it was only because father and son Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan came down especially from Karjat where they were shooting the 'Mehbooba o Mehbooba' song for Sholay, just for a few hours for the premiere, although both had seen The Namesake earlier.
The stars from the film namely Tabu and Irrfan Khan showed up. But Kal Penn who plays the title role couldn't make the effort to be there.
"That's because Bachchan Saab is generous enough to attend other people's premieres. Of course he's in Mira's next film. But he'd would have come otherwise, I'm sure of that. But Abhishek's presence was a surprise, considering he and Mira had parted ways acrimoniously after Abhishek had said no to Kal Penn's role in The Namesake. Having said that I must add, premieres are passÉ now. They're gradually becoming an exercise in futility," says a young director whose film premiered on the day of the release with his cast and crew in attendance.
There's a bigger reason why premieres are falling out of favour. "On Thursday night itself negative comments are spread by vested interests, thereby endangering the film's release," says Vipul Shah. He continues "Premieres are becoming things of the past. Nobody from the industry is magnanimous enough to come for other people's premieres and I'm not big enough to ask. So I decided to release my new film Namaste London without a premiere. It's the Friday that decides a film's fate, not the Thursday. I could've asked Mr Bachchan to attend my premiere and then the expenses involved for the premiere would've been worth it. But it seemed cruel to ask him to come all the way from Karjat just to attend a premiere. Since Mr Bachchan doesn't say no, people take advantage. I didn't want to be one of them. "
Interestingly Mira Nair came only for the first forty minutes of The Namesake premiere. "I had some serious editing work to do," she explains.
Are premieres becoming defunct? "They serve no purpose. The responses are as meaningless as the empty kisses that the guests blow at each other," says Karan Johar who released his latest film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna without a premiere.
Imaad not interest in acting
When Vipul was paid Rs.35 per show...