Thursday 21 February 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 52

It is about anguish not stunts
21.2.2013, Mumbai

Over the years the controversies have multiplied and filmmakers now more exposed are better equipped to face challenges. Having a big banner behind them in such troubled times is certainly an asset. 

Mani Ratnam was fortunate to have AB Corp fighting for the release of Bombay based on communal riots and Yash Raj Films ironing out political differences against their hero Aamir Khan during Fanaa in Gujarat and resolving an objection to a line in a song in Madhuri Dixit’s Aaja Nachle.

Not all were as fortunate. Some had to fight lonely battles and they did with courage and conviction. Shekhar Kapoor spoke extensively to garner support for the release of Bandit Queen.

Anurag Kashyap motivated the media to create hype for Black Friday based on the bomb blasts which in a way silenced his detractors.

Rahul Dholakia and Nandita Das mobilised support from activists, NGOs and evolved individuals to create awareness for Parzania on communal riots in Mumbai and Firaaq on what happened in Godhra.

When Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan was under fire the filmmaker was accused of deliberately courting controversy to gain attention! This is absolutely ridiculous! Why would any sane person indulge in negative publicity, also it isn’t as if Johar has never been in the spotlight that he needs to resort to gimmicks.

It is unfortunate that every time a film is opposed, the first accusation always hurled at the artiste/filmmaker in question is that he is doing it to grab publicity. Let me put this on record for the ignorant that a producer who invests Rs 50 crore in his film can easily spend another few lakhs to buy publicity for him and does not need such stunts!

Bhawana Somaaya/

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