For Madhur Bhandarkar, it was not just a professional jolt but also an emotional setback when Ashutosh Gowariker publicly challenged Priyanka Chopra's win as the Best Female Actor at IIFA. That's because people in question were those who have been his friends over the years.
"Ashu has been my friend for such a long time that I don't even remember since when. We have been like a family. On the other hand, Priyanka too is not just a professional acquaintance after Fashion. We are good friends and I have to stand by her first as a friend and then as a professional. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth when someone challenges the entire honour that she is getting internationally", reacts Madhur, though in a guarded tone as he is busy accumulating accolades in Moscow, a place where Hindi movies used to be a regular a few decades back.
"Well, response to Fashion at the Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) should have us filmmakers rethink about considering this to be a major territory for Bollywood films", says Madhur from Moscow, "A 250 strong audience loved the film when it was screened at October multiplex. It was a full house and people were willing to sit on aisles. Comprising of 'aam junta' and some film critics, audiences were in awe of the clothes being worn."
Madhur also comments that language was not an issue since the auditorium also had the facility of an interpreter who explained the scenes as they moved in their native language.
Coming back to Priyanka Chopra, being the darling of the crowds once again after the film's screening, Madhur quips, "I guess with Moscow people also warming up to Priyanka, Ashu will realize that she is actually enticing an international audience. Moreover, with a dozen odd awards already in her kitty since the beginning of the year for her performance in Fashion, I think 'aam junta', film followers as well as jury have taken their call. I am surprised Ashu made that statement in the first place."
He goes on to conclude, "I don't see any reason why I should be the voice coming out in support when the world is acknowledging her performance and the looks. Ashu should only be happy as an acclaimed actress like her features in his What's Your Raashee? "
While the release date of What's Your Raashee? has been set as 25th September, Priyanka Chopra's much-in-news Kaminey is all geared up to arrive on 14th August. Meanwhile, Madhur's next film Jail would not be seeing a release before December in light of a huge pile up of releases that would see a priority release.