A source close to Sippy says the veteran director of Sholay is mighty miffed about the development.
While the news of producers RSVP’s colourful musical extravaganza Bhangra Paa Le going straight to streaming platforms has been dispelled as false — it will release across the nation on January 3, another talked-about film will not be quite so lucky that Friday.
Unbeknownst to anyone associated with the film, producers Viacom 18 have decided to release Shimla Mirchi, Ramesh Sippy’s first directorial venture in 24 years, directly on Netflix. A source close to Sippy says the veteran director of Sholay is mighty miffed about the development.
“Viacom 18 has taken the decision on its own, Rameshji had no say in the matter. He made the film in 2014 at a meagre budget of 16-17 crores. It was meant to be a small, sweet, romantic film set in Shimla, which Rameshji handed over to the producers in 2015. Why they sat on it for four years and why they’ve decided not to give it a theatrical release is not explained. It isn’t as if small-town romances don’t work in theatres. Viacom themselves have released several such films. Recent films like Lukka Chuppi and Pati Patni Aur Woh have done well. Then why this stepmotherly treatment to Shimla Mirchi?” the source muses.
A true gentleman, Sippy has decided to stay quiet on the matter. All he will say is, “I am very proud of Shimla Mirchi and I’m glad it’s finally being released. The platform and format of release is the producers’ decision.”