Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bollywood Nixing Big Premieres

I've read this news story four or five times now, and I still can't make much sense of it. According to DND India, Gala Premieres are falling out of favour in Mumbai. The reason why? I'm not sure, really... see if you can help me out...

Is Bollywood on the verge of doing away with the grand and glamourous film premieres? Yash Raj Films, who lead the production parade, have shown the way. No premieres for their films.

Vipul Shah’s Namastey London too, opened without a premiere. Shah says there’s a bigger reason why premieres are falling out of favour. “On Thursday night itself negative comments are spread by vested interests, thereby endangering the film’s fate,” Shah said.

And if the premiere for Mira Nair’s The Namesake was a starry affair it was only because father-and-son duo Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan came down from Karjat, though they had seen the film earlier.

Tabu and Irffan Khan, stars of The Namesake, were there but Kal Penn, who plays the lead role, didn’t make the effort.

“It’s just that Amitabh is generous enough to attend other people’s premieres. Of course, he’s in Nair’s next film. But he’d have come otherwise too,” said a young director.

“Premieres are gradually becoming an exercise in futility,” he added.

Interestingly, Nair herself came only for the first 40 minutes of her film’s premiere. “I had some serious editing work to do,” she said.

Shah agrees that premieres are becoming a thing of the past. “Nobody from the industry is magnanimous enough to come for other people’s premieres and I’m not big enough to ask. So I decided to release my new film without a premiere. It’s the Friday that decides a film’s fate, not the Thursday.

Are premieres becoming defunct? “They serve no purpose. The responses are as meaningless as the empty kisses that the guests blow at each other,” said Karan Johar, who released his last film, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna without a premiere.

So, following the same logic, any premiere in the world is equally as pointless?

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