Actor Prateik has ruffled many feathers by attributing the debacle of his first solo film, My Friend Pinto (October 2011), to producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s disinterest.
The actor had recently said that Bhansali hardly came on the sets and didn’t promote the film well. “He would come on the sets only when the songs were shot. Never for the scenes. And eventually he had stopped coming,” said the actor whose film Ekk Deewana Tha opened to a tepid response last week.
The allegation has predictably lead to a debate in the industry—Should producers be held responsible for a film’s debacle?
“I don’t think a producer needs to be on the sets 24x7. Moreover, there might be ego clashes. But when it comes to promotions, the producer should take the reigns as he has put in his money and knows the best way to recover it,” says filmmaker Kumar Taurani.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “ I know so many producers including Karan Johar who never go to the sets of their films as they trust their directors. Even if My Friend Pinto was promoted well, it would have tanked as the script was not strong.”
While Bhansali remained unavailable for comment, his spokesperson says that the actor is making baseless allegations. “What is Prateik talking about? Since when did producers start visiting sets frequently? He has not even once visited the sets of Rowdy Rathore and Shirin Farhad Ki Nikal Padi that are currently under production.”
Prateik says, “I was only voicing what I felt about a film that was close to my heart. I just wish that the film had been better placed.” The actor has however found some support. Filmmaker Pooja Bhatt says, “If a producer can make time to be on the sets of the film, then he should be there.”
Filmmaker Pritish Nandy adds, “Rangita (his wife) and I work as a team and one of us is always there on the set.”