It’s official now. Kolkata Municipal Corporation-controlled Star Theatre will not screen the controversial movie Teen Kanya. The controversy however has helped the film to pull more audience to other screens in the city.
“We will not screen Teen Kanya due to its length,” was all Ranjan Gangopadhyay, an official of Star Theatre could say on Sunday.
Teen Kanya, a three-hour movie, would disturb the theatre’s pre-planned schedule, insiders say. But why at all was the movie set to be screened at the theatre and were not the organisers aware of the length of the movie beforehand?
How then did they go about preparing a schedule for an international film fest? Theatre officials are tight-lipped about the matter.
On Sunday morning however, there were rumours that the ban could be lifted. That the decision was not reversed would lead to furtherance of the controversial decision.
“The film has nothing that is anti-government in nature. But the controversy may increase viewership of my film,” said Agnidev Chattopadhyay, director of Teen Kanya, while maintaining that he did not have to bank on controversies for his films to run successfully.
Incidentally, the movie did not receive rave reviews, but the Star Theatre episode might just have provided a fillip to the sagging fortunes of the movie.
“Artage, the company that manages Star Theatre, has the final say over films to be screened in the theatre Sunday onwards. I had allotted Friday and Saturday for plays related to Tagore festival long back. An unnecessary row is being created over screening of Teen Kanya,” said theatre personality Arpita Ghosh, who is also the special advisory board member formed by the state government to ensure smooth functioning of Star Theatre and other KMCrun auditoriums.
On Saturday, after it emerged that Star Theatre would not screen the movie for its alleged reference to the Park Street rape, the city’s film circles and intelligentsia burst into protestmode.
“In a democracy, there should not be any attempt by the government to scuttle creativity; be it movies, plays or literary pieces,” said theatre personality Usha Ganguly.
The present hullabaloo has worked favourably in terms of pulling more crowds on the weekend to city theatres. Teen Kanya is being screened at more than 35 theatres across the city and most of the hall owners are happy at the sudden jump of ticket sales on Sunday.
“We are having a great response today. Ticket sales for noon and matinee show was very good and we are expecting a full house for the evening show,” said manager of Darpana, a north Calcutta theatre.