Bollywood parties, watches three rival premieres
Three major movie premieres, a Suneet Varma fashion show and a "Page Three" party coincided on what was one of the busiest nights for Bollywood in the Diwali season.
By Viral Bhayani, IANS
The grand premiere of "Mughal-e-Azam" was held at Eros theatre. Mughal era fashions, red carpets and a host of stars, including Dilip Kumar, Saira Banu, Rekha, Sridevi, Rani, Govinda and Tabu, among others, meant that cops had to be deployed to control the crowd.
Things became chaotic when Aishwarya Rai made her entry. As photographers and journalists headed towards the star of "Bride and Prejudice", cops swung into action to help her enter the theatre.
Aishwarya, gorgeous in a black chiffon sari, said of K. Asif's classic: "It's a beautiful movie and now with colour added, its beauty will be enhanced."
Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor missed the premiere. But Kareena, great granddaughter of Prithviraj Kapoor who starred in the film, told IANS: "'Mughal-e-Azam' is more special to me than my own movie 'Aitraaz'.
"I guess it's my great grandfather that I'm so proud of. I will surely watch the movie, if not the first show."
The response to "Mughal-e-Azam" was fantastic. Glued to the screen, viewers hardly had time for popcorn. But a well-known film critic speculated that the strong Urdu dialogue would be too heavy for the current generation.
Producer Dinesh Gandhi was satisfied with the film's promotional strategy though. "Turn on the TV and mostly you'll see 'Mughal-e-Azam' promos," Gandhi told IANS.
"Mughal-e-Azam" will be released overseas three weeks later. "Maybe we'll plan a separate strategy to promote it there. As of now we are awaiting the response here," added Gandhi.
On the other side of town, "Naach" failed to draw a big crowd. Neither Abhishek Bachchan nor Antara Mali - who star in the film - made it to their film's premiere. The response to Ram Gopal Varma's film was mixed as it appeared too slow and non-formulaic to the average viewer.
The "Aitraaz" premiere also suffered as most of the media was in attendance at Eros. But the celebrity turnout was great. Kareena, Shahid Kapoor, Amrita Arora with boyfriend Upen Patel, superstar Hrithik and wife Suzanne were present.
The response to the Akshay-Kareena-Priyanka starrer was good and all three actors were congratulated for their performances.
To end the Diwali bonanza, Shah Rukh's "Veer Zaara" will premiere at IMAX Vadala Friday.
Following producer Aditya Chopra's decision to boycott the media, his film's publicists have been calling up journalists to announce that the Friday premiere is not for the media.