Barely two days after vocalizing an ostensibly immovable determination to release their film this Friday and hardly hours after the newspapers announced September 24 as the release date, the Anjaana Anjaani team has done an about-turn on the release date.
On Monday afternoon it was decided that the film would now be released a week ahead of schedule on October 1. A huge setback for the film as it now has to compete for eyeballs with two other biggies Priyadarshan's Aakrosh and Shankar's Robot.
Director Siddharth Anand who had earlier stated that neither the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid verdict nor the Dabangg factor would prevent Anjaana Anjaani from releasing this Friday now has this to say about the postponement: "There are too many reasons for the postponement. The court verdict seems too much of a risk and danger to the release."
What about the additional burden of keeping the marketing and promotion going for an extra week? Says Siddharth, "We've given two years of our lives to Anjaana Anjaani. What is one extra week? And the verdict (on the temple-mosque issue) is an important day for the entire country."
The real reason for the postponement, says a source, is that neither Dabangg's popularity nor the nation's security bandobast (ref: the terrorist attack in Delhi on the two Taiwanese tourists) seems conducive to a favourable release of Anjaana Anjaani this Friday when the honourable court makes a historical decision.
In the meanwhile, Priyadarshan's hard-hitting socio-political drama Aakrosh which was supposed to come on October 1 has now voluntarily been shifted by its producer Kumar Mangat by a week to October 8.
Says Mangat, "Neither the producer Sajid Nadiadwala nor the director Siddharth Anand of Anjaana Anjaani asked me to move forward. I chose to do so although it means an added burden of Rs. 1 crore to my marketing and promotion budget. But these compromises are essential in the entertainment industry. I've been a distributor and producer long enough to realize we all need to work in unity."
Mangat has in fact distributed the current blockbuster Dabangg in Mumbai and is understandably upbeat about the box-office. "The decision to move Anjaana Anjaani was correct. And we couldn't have three big films (Anjaana Anajaani, Aakrosh and Robot) on one Friday. We will now come with Mohit Suri's Crook on October 8. Two big films on the same Friday is okay."
Commenting on the need for producers to co-operate among themselves Kumar Mangat says, "When my comedy Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge was to release, I got to know two other big films Teen Patti and Kartik Calling Kartik were releasing the day. I requested one of them to move forward. When they didn't oblige, I moved my film. Chalta hai. We need to support one another's films."