11 years back, when Salman Khan and Karisma Kapoor starrer Biwi No. 1 was released right during World Cup Cricket 1999, the decision taken by producer Vashu Bhagnani had shocked the industry. After all when it comes to entertainment, cricket and Bollywood have been rivals since time immemorial and a film to be arriving in the midst of the biggest sporting event in the world of cricket, especially when the tournament was held in India itself, was termed foolhardy by most. However, Vashu stuck to his guns and ultimately had the last laugh when the David Dhawan directed affair turned into a super hit at the box office.
Circa 2011 and Vashu is all set to apply the same formula all over again, something that he terms as a 'well thought out' call rather than a decision which comes with an 'element of risk'. His next production F.A.L.T.U., which can well be termed as a re-launch of his son Jackky Bhagnani, would be releasing on 1st April, the day when no other producer is currently daring to release his film. Reason being that the final match of World Cup takes place on the very next day i.e. 2nd April.
"And trust me, yet again we will reap the benefits out of this schedule", says Vashu in his characteristic confident tone, "We have done the math. There is just one match over the entire weekend. That too is Day & Night. That doesn't sound scary at all."
Detailing his reasoning, he adds, "I totally agree that there would be quite some attention that the match would be garnering. But then I also know that people would be in mood of celebration. We always say that cricket is like a religion. So when there is the biggest festivity round the corner in the form of cricket, people would be in mood to enhance the celebrations further and watch a film as well."
Three World Cups since the release of Biwi No. 1, Vashu can't help but smile at the sense of deja vu as well as the questions coming to him are just the repeat of what happened earlier on in 1999.
"Even then majority of industry folks and trade people advised me to bring on Biwi No. 1 at a later date. Everyone said, 'Arrey aapki picture cricket ke time mein kaun dekhega?' However, I had actually done all the calculations and showed that to exhibitors and distributors as well. I knew what I was talking as I had made an estimate of collections on a show by show, theatre by theatre basis, right there for all to see. Then too the film had released right in the middle of World Cup and the world is aware about how well it had done", he smiles.
Today when F.A.L.T.U. is being planned for 1st April release, he is super-confident about his film gaining the right eyeballs.
He continues, "One should have confidence in their product. If a film is good and the release timing is perfect, there can't be any stopping for it to do well. We are going full steam with the making of the film. Just one schedule in Mumbai has to be completed and then we would be into post production and promotion. We have good time ahead of us to turn F.A.L.T.U. into the most happening film during the cricket season."
And no, the makers are not trying to April-fool the audience, despite the film's release date of 1st April.