It was a foregone conclusion that Milenge Milenge won"t have much going for it as far as critics were concerned. When even new age love stories find quite some criticism coming their way, it was impossible for Milenge Milenge to go unscathed, more so because it was a film completed half a decade back and secondly, had its reference points in Serendipity. With the lead pair (Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor) also choosing to go mum about the film, it was all left to destiny, something which augured well with the theme of the film.
As it happened, destiny did ensure eventually that the film wasn"t really a washout as many would have expected (and perhaps). Believe it or not, the film took a far better opening than Kareena Kapoor"s Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna with Salman Khan and Shahid Kapoor"s own Chance Pe Dance. Of course, this doesn"t mean that there is a hit in the offing here. But still, for a film to make a reasonably decent impression at the box office sans any support system does make for a good argument that Bollywood is indeed as unpredictable as it gets.
Reason for a decent opening is also due to the fact that large number of prints was circulated in the market which means that occupancy wasn"t quite a problem here. Quick money is the need of the hour and as it appears to be the case now, possibility of a 10 crore first week cannot be ruled out. Of course, you do expect much more from a Shahid-Kareena film but then one has to look at economics here. For producer Boney Kapoor the film would have cost lot lesser when he made it in 2005. Now that he has sold the movie for a pittance for theatrical distribution and has got a major sum for satellite rights, Milenge Milenge could well turn out to be a surprise plus of the season.
As for Red Alert – The War Within, it was badly impacted by zero effort that went into the film"s marketing and promotion. Truly speaking, most of the people I spoke to on the Friday release were not even aware if this was a Hindi or an English film, let alone the fact that it starred some of the best actors in the business. No wonder, this showed in the collections as the film opened to largely empty houses. However, as expected, majority of critics gave thumbs up to the film and also singled out Suniel Shetty for his performance.
The road ahead is less than rosy for the film though. There is tough challenge ahead because this week there are three new releases while next week Akshay Kumar would be unleashing his Khatta Meetha. One waits to see if exhibitors will show confidence in Red Alert to stay on for some weeks at the least because this is the kind of film that requires a larger window to perform rather than being a quick win opening weekend phenomenon.