While coming Friday would reveal the collections in Black & White and give the actual status of the three releases of last Friday, audience has already given their verdict loud and clear about much hyped RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG, zilch hyped VICTORIA NO. 203 and surprisingly under publicized DHOKHA.
While DHOKHA has been given a Thumbs-up by those who watched the flick over the opening weekend, AAG has water all over it as it has been completely rejected. VICTORIA NO. 203 is not faring too well for itself and is currently struggling to pave way for itself through a bumpy ride.
It was always expected that RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG would come under fire from media but some out and out hostile reactions of audience, especially in cities like Mumbai and Delhi, have been disheartening to say the least and caught everyone unaware.
Says Nitin Sharma, an IT professional and an avid Bachchan fan who was large hearted enough to see him play Babban, "I was willing to ignore SHOLAY while watching AAG by taking it into my stride that this was another film with a different vision and style by Ram Gopal Varma. Half way into the film and I had no other option but to walk out. It pained me to see Bachchan in a cariacaturish role."
There are others though who are willing to give the living legend a benefit of doubt. "What could he do", questions an actress on condition of anonymity, "The film's packaging was such that he or any other actor could have hardly saved it. If remaking a SHOLAY wasn't a bad enough idea, here a three hours thirty minutes film was compressed into two and a half hours. How can you expect the essence of SHOLAY to remain same in such a scenario?"
VICTORIA NO. 203 hasn't seen much going in its favor too with the pace, lack of production values and bumps in the film's narrative being questioned the most.
Defends a film maker who is gearing up for the release of his thriller in a few weeks from now, "I don't think 'Victoria' has met with such reactions due to its narrative being patchy. 70s was a different era while in the 21st century, audience taste is anyways unpredictable."
Instead he chose to challenge the very sanctity of remakes in today's times, "I believe it may not be a good idea after all to take a popular script and characters from the past and expect an audience to lap it up today. I guess more than anything else, we need to do some soul searching and look at the very basic idea of remakes."
Film's director Ananth Mahadevan differs though. He says, "The film may have seen the kind of start that we had been hoping for but it has picked up with word of mouth. I have been getting reports from various metros that the film is showing houseful boards. People are coming out of theatres laughing."
So what turns out to be the best watch for a film lover this weekend?
"Clearly it is DHOKHA and that too by leaps and bounds", says a trade analyst who caught each of the three movies on a trot, "The film may not be everyone's idea of entertainment but it is topical and extremely well handled by Pooja Bhatt. It is clearly her finest effort till date."
He goes on to say excitedly, "Muzammil, the film's lead, has done a tremendous job in his very first outing while Tulip has played her small, but effective role, quite well. DHOKHA is a crisp two hour story that never looses it's plot even for a moment. It may have started slow but eventually has in it to be yet another success for Vishesh Films. Moreover, it will add on to the list of one of their most prestigious projects ever."