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Bollywood to do away with movie premieres?

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
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Namastey London Movie PosterIs Bollywood on the verge of doing away with the grand and glamorous film premieres? Yash Raj Films, who lead the production parade, have shown the way. No premieres for their films.

Last week another biggie, Vipul Shah's 'Namastey London', opened without a premiere. He 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 told IANS.

And if the premiere for Mira Nair's 'The Namesake' was a starry affair it was only because father and son Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan came down for a short while especially from Karjat where they were shooting the 'Mehbooba o mehbooba' song for 'Sholay', though they had seen the film earlier.

The stars from 'The Namesake', Tabu and Irffan Khan, were there but Kal Penn, who plays the title 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 - I'm sure of that. But Abhishek's presence was a surprise, considering he and Nair had parted ways acrimoniously after Abhishek had said no to Kal Penn's role in 'The Namesake',' said a young director.

'Having said that, I must add that 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 explained.

View The Namesake Movie StillsShah 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.

'I could've asked Amitabh to attend my premiere and then the expenses involved for the premiere would've been worth it. But it seemed cruel to ask him to come all the way from Karjat just to attend a premiere. Since Amitabh doesn't say no people take advantage. I didn't want to be one of them.'

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



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