HATE STORY has just completed 50 days at the box office and despite a hurricane like ROWDY RATHORE and a couple of superhits like ISHAQZAADE and VICKY DONOR (which incidentally released alongside), the film has managed to sustain it’s run and now penetrate into 150 odd theatres in small towns. A profit making venture for director Vivek Agnihotri and director Vikram Bhatt, the debate is still on whether the film worked on the basis of shock value that it created due to its sexually charged theme, promos and the bare back of Paoli Dam.
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“Aah, now if only a bare back could be the sole reason for a film to succeed,” exclaims Vikram, “See, shock value can bring people in theatres on the first weekend but from Monday onwards, the moolah that flows in is the function of a good idea and script. If your film doesn’t have merits then it is bound to fall.”
Vivek goes on to add, “When our promo came out, it was this very bare back that made many self proclaimed ‘pundits’ forecast that our film was doomed. See where it is today. It would be wrong to say that titillation brought audience in. We sold it as an erotic thriller and audience was intelligent enough to grab what we had to offer.”
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However it seems like Vikram is definitely cashing in on the shock value film after film. Even DANGEROUS ISHHQ was perceived as a thriller that would have shocked and RAAZ 3, his next, by its brand and genre itself promises a lot more of that element.
“Do you know that even after HAUNTED became a hit, I had wanted to make a love story? However those putting their money in me asked me if I was mad to move away from the winning formula,” says Vikram in an animated tone, “They said that ‘No no, you give us a 3D movie with ample thrills, drama and action’. I know that fear is an element that people want me to delve into film after film. There is market pressure so one can’t help.”