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  Entertainment   Bollywood  02 May 2017  When films tank who is to blame?

When films tank who is to blame?

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANISHAA R
Published : May 2, 2017, 12:13 am IST
Updated : May 2, 2017, 12:13 am IST

Many questioned if investing in a woman-centric film was a wise move.

Despite  an impressive star cast movies such as Rangoon, Ok Jaanu, Baar Baar Dekho, Naam Shabana, Noor and Begum Jaan have flopped.
 Despite an impressive star cast movies such as Rangoon, Ok Jaanu, Baar Baar Dekho, Naam Shabana, Noor and Begum Jaan have flopped.

A week ago, when Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Noor tanked miserably at the box office, trade skeptics were quick to point fingers at the actress’ ‘poor’ bankability. Many questioned if investing in a woman-centric film was a wise move. This happened despite Sonakshi leaving no stone unturned during the promotions of the film. And Noor wasn’t the only film that went unnoticed. The much-talked about Vidya Balan-starrer Begum Jaan too failed to catch the attention of the audiences. Based on the celebrated film Rajkahini, this movie came with high expectations. Distributors and Vidya detractors were quick to question her marketability as a star.

Should stars be held responsible for the success or failure of a film? According to veteran ad-filmmaker and script writer Kamlesh Pandey, who has written notable films like Rang De Basanti, “For me, the writer is the first star of a film. Let’s not forget that it was a writer like Karunanidhi who made M.G. Ramchandran the star he became.”

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There is another thought that the real problem arises when stars fall prey to seemingly promising subjects and make the wrong choices. Like it happened in the case of the Siddharth-Katrina starrer, Baar Baar Dekho, which failed miserably at the box-office. Siddharth later said, “When I heard the script of Baar Baar Dekho, it was one of the most exciting ideas I had come across. It was a lovely thought. Maybe we failed but at least we tried something new,” he said.  

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Most stars also look at roles as opportunities to extend their creative boundaries in acting, irrespective of the box-office ratings. Kajal Aggarwal whose Hindi film, Do Lafzon Ki Kahani, met with a moderate response at the box-office says, “I saw the original film Do Lafzon Ki Kahani and that is why I wanted exactly to do this film. I had put my heart and soul and I wanted it to do well but then there are certain films which do well and some which don’t. I was very happy with the way my character shaped up and the hard work I put in. I don’t regret anything,” she said.

For Sonakshi, the journey of a film is way more important than its fate. “You never know what the audiences like and dislike until the last moment. The priority is the experience and the lessons I learnt from the role.”

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Publicist and trade analyst-turned-filmmaker Rajeev Chaudhary, however, has a different take, “It is not the film that flops, it is the “irresponsible price” of a star that actually flops, since that forms the major chunk of the film’s cost.  Whether it is Sonakshi Sinha who charges Rs 3 crores or Vidya Balan who charges Rs 2 crores, the real question is how far the presence of a star makes it saleable. If stars feel that they deserve the steep prices they charge, they should take equal responsibility for the failure of their films,” Chaudhary reveals.

He recalls the example of his Sunny Leone-starrer Beimaan Love, which had little impact at the box office, “Sunny’s remunereation is Rs 2 crore and her make-up and hair-dresser charge Rs 50,000 a day. Producers should first see if it is worth paying a star such a huge price,” he says, adding that the only star who ensures that all his films are profitable propositions is Akshay Kumar. “He partners his projects and takes responsibility for their outcome. Moreover, he also completes his films in a record period of time. He believes in keeping a check on budgets and makes sure that the subjects have a box-office viability.”

Leading exhibitor and Executive Director, Manoj Desai of the G-7 mutiplex, says, “Stars are no doubt important, but it is the script, story-telling and finally the direction that are responsible for the big verdict. Look at Baahubali which has beaten all existing records. Prabhas, Rana Dagubatti and Anushka Shetty are not familiar stars to Hindi audience, but the film has been hailed pan-India so much so that no film will be able compete against it. That shows the genius and conviction of the filmmaker.”

Tags: sonakshi sinha, noor, begum jaan