R.Balki: Moving PAD MAN for PADMAAVAT was least we could do
When Sanjay Leela Bhansali approached the PAD MAN team requesting to shift their release date to give a clear release window to his PADMAAVAT, he looked shaken and troubled, says director R. Balki.
Balki, who has directed PAD MAN, said agreeing to Bhansali's request was the least they could have done for a fellow fraternity member, who has gone through a tumultous time to release his movie.
PAD MAN actor Akshay Kumar held a press conference last week with Bhansali, announcing the decision to move PAD MAN for a February 9 release rather than a January 25 clash with PADMAAVAT.
"It was a decision taken almost instantaneously by all of us in the PAD MAN team when Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom 18, the producers of PADMAAVAT, approached us with the request that we move. It didn't take us a minute to agree to their request.
"It's the least we could do for a project that has gone through so much. PADMAAVAT needs the Republic Day slot more than us. We don't mind moving ahead by two weeks because we know whenever we come, we have a winning project on hand," Balki said.
He added: "Sanjay Bhansali looked so shaken and troubled. My heart reached out to him. Isn't it about time we in the film industry stopped projecting an impression of a house divided? At the end of the day, all of us filmmakers belong to same fraternity.
"Of course, we have to be selfish about our own film. But not at the expense of someone else's film. We can't say, ‘Usski film gayi bhaad mein (to hell with their film)". Because if someone else's film gets into trouble, we must remind ourself that the trouble could befall our film also."
Balki is confident about his film's release date.
"PAD MAN is meant to start a debate on menstrual hygiene. Akshay Kumar's last release TOILET: EK PREM KATHA had carried forward an important debate on toilet amenities. But in our case, the debate on menstrual hygiene will be started with PAD MAN. No one talks about menstrual matters.
"We didn't want that debate to be caught in the crossfire of controversies. We would rather come a little later than clash with a film which desperately needs to be released."
"'PADMAAVAT' was destined come solo. I hope it stands tall and I wish it glorious success."
[By Subhash K Jha]