Publicity stunts attract audience

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""Two films that were released simultaneously on November 9th caught the nation?s imagination and frenzy! Mumbai, the house of Bollywood was no stranger to it. Everyone including grand parents ran to watch these two movies, which boasted packed houses for the initial one week. Then came the news that ?Saawariya? was a slow starter and had turned out to be a dud at the box office! The movie wasn?t worth watching twice, let only the first  time.


In comparison ?Om Shanti Om? became the blockbuster which was already predicted by film experts! SRK, the main actor in the movie is the undisputed king of Bollywood. Farah Khan, the choreographer of the movie who was pregnant with triplets still managed to do a commendable job. It is a tribute to the old & new formula king, Manmohan Desai. The movie takes us to the era of the 70s. All their hard work and dedication are seen on the actors therough their long side burns, visible in the movie. Deepika the beautiful daughter of legendary Badminton player – Prakash Padukone, sizzles in the movie. She is hailed as the next Aishwarya by media and critics alike!


SRK has gone ahead and has left no stone unturned to promote the movie. He has been appearing in T20 matches, late-nighters and has also given on-set interviews that have upset the BCCI officials. There is a hot debate going on. King Khan is indeed a show stealer but. The BCCI do not want someone else making millions by doing their job for them!! Then why have the camera men focus on the star guests? Why have Lalit Modi and Rajiv Shukla invite and pamper the stars! The answer rests with the BCCI! The star, the person in question here is King Khan, who will always try to follow the guidance of his publicity manager?s. As we all know the overseas market is totally conquered by Shah Rukh fans. His concerts sell out within minutes, so he has nothing more to yearn for! But, as a producer the ?laalach? to earn extra bucks is always there!


OSO is a movie which does not have anything new in it. It is a revenge saga similar like ?Karz? which talks about reincarnation. The hero is murdered and he is born again, surprisingly recognizing his mother from his old life, as well as his bosom pal. Her brother was more conventional in his ?Hey Baby?! Farah should know her limits but with SRK as the producer, the blame rests equally on his shoulders as well.


However, the Indian audience aren?t quiet interested in all of this their interest instead resting on the movie itself, showing their appreciation for the movie by watching it again and again. The only exception is that Manoj Kumar made a mockery of SRK like no else has, resulting in the threat of defamation suits.


SRK and Farah wisely came on television and offered a public apology. Again, this also contributed to the publicity of the movie. All TV news channels repeatedly telecasted the clippings! SRK had the last laugh. Manoj Kumar not only got silenced but he did not gain even an iota of sympathy from the audience or the general public alike. While, SRK laughed his way to the bank!! OSO will rake in the moolah for SRK and the brigade. It has not only resurrected the ?not happening? career of Arjun Rampal but has created a new star, Deepika! From the success of the movie we can expect a sequel, like other successful movies such as ?Abhi Baaki Hai?, ?Dhoom?, ?Krishh?, etc? 


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Pakistanis love Shah Rukh and his movies, but the country is in shambles as calamity has struck it. The Pakistanis do not know if Musharaf will ever leave his chair at all.  Piyush Pandey can go ahead and make a TV commercial on this for ?Fevicol?!! He will win an ?Abbey?! Mush and Benazir Begums quarrel but are good friends. It reminds us of Devegowda & his sons and Yedyurappa?s love hate relationship.


At the end of the day people suffer because of these politicians and their inflated egos, their opportunistic methods, their ranting in public. Their interviews in the media cause the common man added tension and puts extra pressure on the individual. Pakistan has witnessed the rule of martial law since ages. The populace now wants a democratic rule because they shun dictatorship.


Nawaz with his hair weaved in a Sunny Deol style looks as if he belongs nowhere. The west wants Benazir to rule the country. Musharaf is all set to cling onto the President?s chair.  Now, Nawaz wants to have a political joint venture with PPP. Why on earth will Benazir join hands with Nawaz is the trillion dollar question? When she can win the election on her own steam, why does she need to have collaboration with someone who was exiled to the Saudi? He came back to Karachi, but was bundled back by Pakistani authorities to Saudi. He should take political sanyas. There is no credibility left for him. His PML is not a strong political force anymore.


Imran on the other hand is commanding more respect. He may have been arrested and put behind bars on a terrorism charge but he still has something to offer to the Pakistani populace in terms of a clean government. Most are not aware that Benazir and Imran were batch mates at Oxford in the UK. They were contemporaries during their stint there.


No wonder Benazir was always praising the Khan?s achievements on the field. The charismatic Khan will soon be out of jail. He may figure in the political negotiations and will be a think tank in the policy makings. He has the students support. How can the Pakistanis forget that this is the same Khan who brought them the World Cup in 1992!! It is a pity, today he is labeled as a terrorist!


The movie ?Saawariya? is a loser at the box office. The movie is a sham! However the debutants are a hit; Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor are the toast of the town. Sanjay has taken a lot of cinematic liberties. Salman looks like a gardulla (rag picker) in the movie. In the end the audience felt cheated, as the hero does not get the heroine! Indian audiences want a ?And they happily lived ever after? result. 


""Just compare OSO?.Shah Rukh gets the young heroine also the Bhootni?s love and tears? This works well with the audience. They leave the theatre happily, that they have achieved something. The smiles on their faces exhibit triumphant feelings!! That?s how the movie becomes a winner all the way! Sanjay?s way of thinking is different. If he would have killed Salman in the movie and get Sonam married to Ranbir…then the audience would have been happy.


 The movie would have been a greater hit than OSO!! Sanjay has always been like that. He spent financier?s money to the tune of 50 crores to just show case testimonies, trials and tribulations of a chronic alcoholic?the celebrated Bevda?read Devdas..!! And movie was a hit. But the movie which was made with the money of Bharat Shah?50 crores was the budget to be precise! It grossed 60 crores. Only 10 crores was the profit. It received highly critical acclaim but the profit was less. The movie would have been a hit, if he would have changed the ending. Nobody would have questioned him. I am just presenting the audiences psyche here and their expectations! Their sensibilities!! For me, even if he makes the hero a leper, drug addict?.stone crusher?..bonded laborer?I have no problems. I will watch the movie only once..!! That?s all!!


Sanjay has good shot taking abilities and the lighting on his sets is brilliant!! Ekta Kapoor of ?K? serials fame has gone on record to say that she has emulated the lighting style of Sanjay and her ??Kyonki and other sets always follow the lighting style of Bhanshali. Now, Bhanshali is also in love with Vaibhavi Merchant the ace choreographer. He should get married. So what if he is in his autumn?  Well, better late than never!


This Bhanshali was an assistant to Vidhu Vinod Chopra once?he is the person who directed the songs in ?1942 a love story?. He has a great sense for music. Similar to the late great showman Raj Kapoor!! Today he is one of the top shot directors. Still. He is stubborn. He never understands audience?s sensibilities. He makes films a kin   Hollywood style! He loves to educate the audience. But, Indian audience love ?Mills & Boons?. They love happy endings. The hero should get the heroine in the end. They want to leave the theatre with a smile of accomplishment. They want to sympathize with the lovers. Want them to be together. They want the dream ending! That?s the difference between ?OSO? and ?Saawariya?! And the difference will also be seen in the collections and awards, rewards etc. Some people like Sanjay Leela Bhanshali never learn!! Here?s hoping that after his marriage with the wise cracking Vaibhavi, his movies will have the zing thing?so the great director tastes greater commercial success in terms of mind blowing box office collections!!

Author: Donald DSilva- Mumbai


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