While the aftermath of Mumbai terror attack is yet to be ascertained, Bollywood has seen its first casualty in the form of The President Is Coming. A Rohan Sippy production which has been directed by first timer Kunaal Roy Kapur and stars Konkona Sen Sharma in the lead, this English language comedy was supposed to be released on 28th November but in the wake of the terror attack, it's arrival at theatres has been postponed.
At the time of this report being filed, there wasn't clarity around the arrival of Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Sorry Bhai, the two films which were also confirmed for this Friday's release, but The President Is Coming delay has been confirmed by it's producer.
"In light of the horrific tragedy in Mumbai, we have decided to postpone our film's release all over India. At this point, all we are concerned with is acknowledging the great loss that has been suffered by so many. Also, we are hoping for the well being of others who have been at risk", states Rohan Sippy who is also bringing his Chandni Chowk To China on 16th January 2009.
While Rohan Sippy has gone ahead and taken a stance, it is still unclear if Sorry Bhai and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! would stick on to their release plan. In a way, it would be impractical to actually go ahead with the release and reasons are manifold. a) Theatres were in any case closed on Thursday and it is highly unlikely that they would be opened on Friday again, b) Public sentiments make it highly improbable for the film to perform well over the opening weekend at least, especially in Mumbai which has been shook up by the incident and c) Print dispatch to various parts of the country may be hampered too due to the disturbance in the country.
While an official word is still awaited on the release of the two mentioned films, it may be worth a wait to bring them on a week later. Of course, it would mean a clash with 6 other films (Dil Kabaddi, Khallballi - Fun Unlimited, Maharathi, Meerabai Not Out, Oh, My God, Wafaa)which are all set to arrive on 5th December but that's a situation which would have to be dealt by the producers, exhibitors and distributors of the respective films. In the time of such grim situation, it would be worth an idea for all filmmakers to unite and aim at coming up with a win-win solution.