For the lovers of Bollywood and followers of megastar Amitabh Bachchan, AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY will remain an evergreen cult entertainer. A peep down memory lane tells an amazingly extraordinary story about this Manmohan Desai directed blockbuster that will make you speechless. Find out.
We all are awed by the terrific impact this escapist entertainer has had on our minds since decades after decades, hailed as a unique and extraordinary ode/tribute to secularism and nationalism, this Bollywood lost and found drama helmed by Manmohan Desai in his winning impeccable style has many film historians highlighting this magnum opus for its nationalistic allegory but we are not talking about the well known facts.
AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY AND SHREYANS HIRAWAT
In fact we are talking about an occurrence that occurred a few years back after the release on the film in 1977.
During the early 80’s when Narendra Hirawat from NH Studioz – the largest library of feature film rights acquired the film for its re-release, a special screening was organized at Mumbai’s Ambassador Hotel where 350 guest from the industry and media where invited for its re-release function.
Amazing indeed!!. At times when we have the life of a movie restricted to a weekend, this nostalgia about an iconic blockbuster receiving a bigger fanfare in its re- release just in few years makes you speechless and underlines the power of distribution.
Narendra Hirawat’s son Shreyans Hirawat shares, “ It was a rarest of rare occasion when the fanfare, the amount of money spend in creating the buzz and awareness of AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY was more than what happened during its first release a few years back. When the movie got re-released it ran for 15 weeks constantly in which first three weeks were house full. We earned 100% profit from its re-release”.
When we quipped further on this Shreyans says, “The amount we paid to acquire AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY was at par with making a movie during those times. Manmohan Desai was very stern and was not willing to give us rights but the perseverance of my father for one and a half year paid off and Desai agreed finally to give us the rights.”
The way Manmohan Desai got convinced is also equally interesting, Shreyans Hirawat shares, “ Man ji (Manmohan Desai) was not willing but my father was able to convince him after a struggle of one and half years. My father made Man ji realize that he is a maker and his job is to make films, let people like him do the trade and as a producer you have already minted the maximum during the release, re-run is just an additional and why should a maker like you waste time in bothering about screening license again and again, let people like us take this burden and you continue to churn blockbusters one after another. Man ji got convinced and as they say rest is history”.
Yes its history but more than that it’s a unique rare occurrence when a blockbuster in its repeat run gets a special screening getting organized where 350 people attend and the movie then runs for 15 weeks continuously and again makes the cash registers ringing.
At a time when movies have a life of a weekend and get premiered on Television channels within 3 – 4 months of its release, this trivia about AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY surely makes us speechless in wonder.