Deshdrohi was banned in Maharashtra and yesterday Kamal R Khan, the producer and the lead actor of the film, filed an appeal against the ban in the Bombay High Court. KRK, as he has been hence named, is optimistic that the court will rule in his favour on Monday.
“I’d anticipated a controversy but not a ban. The Censor Tribunal in Delhi had cleared it. Then the politicians got into the act and stopped its screening. If the government is the supreme authority in such matters, why have the Censor Board and the law courts?” he asks angrily.
KRK rubbishes allegations that showing the film to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena wasn’t a publicity gimmick. “If that was true, why were they calling for days asking to see the movie?” he counters.
According to him, in Patna the film is running in 15 cinema halls. If it didn’t pack in a full house on Friday, it’s only because of the first India-England one-day cricket match. “But all shows will register 100 per cent collections over the weekend, across UP, Bihar and MP,” he says confidently.
According to Shaarminder Malik, a trade analyst in Ghaziabad, business is far from encouraging. He says that it’s showing in only one multiplex, MMX, and of the three shows, the night shows are the worst hit. Ditto for Noida where it’s playing only in Spice.
Malik attributes the fall in collection despite all the hype and controversy, to the misleading promos. “What you see in the promos is not there in the film and Kamal Khan’s acting too is disappointing. Even in Saharanpur, Alipur and Aligarh, there are just about 20-30 people in the theatres,” he states.