Diwali releases in Bollywood
follow a set pattern. They often rely on noise to be heard above the
din of fireworks. The film industry, that often talks of how it is one
big happy family, suddenly forgets the bonhomie and fights it out — for a
larger share of the box-office pie.
Films that are high
on concept rough it out with those that are low on content, under the
guise of family entertainers. And like in the jungle, might is always
right. So, the big guy invariably takes on the smaller one. Looking back
at the record
of the last five years, you will see how films have used the media
blitzkrieg to help them make that initial killing. When two films are
released around Diwali, their makers stoop to terrible depths, just to
grab more eyeballs than their rival.
Trade consultant Amod
Mehra says, "There's enough room for two movies to release comfortably
on Diwali. But filmmakers coming together on the same day have resorted
to controversy, hoping that they will get the lion's share of the
business on the opening weekend."
This year, of course, we have witnessed the mother of all Diwali
fights. Ajay Devgn and his Son of Sardaar
has launched an attack against Aditya Chopra
, Shah Rukh Khan
and their film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Ajay has made accusations of malpractice and matters have taken a legal
course. The actor maintains, "It's a producer fighting another producer
for monopolistic practices. It's nothing personal between SRK and me."
SRK jokes, "May Ajay's film do well and my film do better." If you read
between the lines, you may be able to see through their 'magnanimity'.
Another fallout of the tussle is that Ajay's wife Kajol
, who is close to SRK and Adi, may have to sacrifice her friendship, because her husband and her close friends
are at loggerheads.
Talking about Diwali catfights, here's looking back at the past five years: 2011
Shah Rukh Khan booked 95 per cent of the screens for his most ambitious film, RA.One,
leaving 5 per cent for Hema Malini's directorial venture Tell Me O Kkhuda
, a film that was meant to be her daughter Esha Deol's relaunch pad. RA.One
made money, but it damaged SRK's pride because of the criticism that came his way. Tell Me O Kkhuda
was buried under the debris. RA.One:
Won Tell Me O Kkhuda:
Vipul Shah's Action Replayy, starring Akshay Kumar
and Aishwarya Rai
, clashed with Rohit Shetty's Golmaal 3.
were attempts to create a war between Ash-Kareena and Ajay-Akshay.
Rohit and Ajay bragged about how they are an 'unbeatable combination' on
Diwali. Vipul lost the battle, because Action Replayy
and its retro theme found few takers. Ironically, G3
was also termed a no-brainer, but went on to cross the '100-cr figure. Action Replayy:
Lost Golmaal 3:
Akshay Kumar's high-sea adventure Blue
and Ajay Devgn's slapstick comedy All The Best
started well at the ticket windows. It took All The Best
three days to catch up with Blue
and eventually overtake it. Akshay and Ajay indulged in some small-time gossip about each other. But the situation
didn't turn ugly, because Blue was such a pathetic film that it sank without a trace. Blue:
Lost All The Best:
The war between Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion
and Rohit Shetty's Golmaal Returns
was more civil. Here, there was a clear division, with the critics rooting for Fashion
. The Priyanka Chopra-Kangana Ranaut film sailed through at the box office. But it was Golmaal Returns,
a film that the thinking public panned, which made a killing at the ticket counters. Fashion:
Won Golmaal Returns:
Won 2007 Farah Khan
and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
— were friends who turned foes —when they went on to make personal remarks against each other while promoting Om Shanti Om
(OSO) and Saawariya
, respectively. OSO
with SRK and Deepika Padukone
won the bout. Saawariya,
which introduced Ranbir Kapoor
and Sonam Kapoor
flopped. It took three years after this for Sanjay and Farah to return
to being friends. Now, they laugh off their fight as childish. Om Shanti Om:
The Times of India