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Aamir cheques in, movies checked out

NOW SHOWING: moviegoers giving a thumbs down to ban-seekers. Fanaa and The Da Vinci Code -- two films riddled with controversies for different reasons -- released to full houses on Friday, indicating that all is well with the dress circle.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 14:09 IST

NOW SHOWING: moviegoers giving a thumbs down to ban-seekers. Fanaa and The Da Vinci Code -- two films riddled with controversies for different reasons -- released to full houses on Friday, indicating that all is well with the dress circle.

Except in Gujarat, Nagaland, Goa and Punjab. (While an unofficial ban by the BJP blacked out Fanaa from Gujarat's screens, the other three states have banned the Code.)

In Mumbai, the hero was in action. Actor Aamir Khan walked the talk, signing cheques worth Rs 5 lakh each to the chief minister's relief funds in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. He said it was the first step towards helping the displaced people. "I am not against Gujarat. I hope the cheques prove that I am not against the dam, but for rehabilitation," Khan told HT. 

But one person's hero is another's villain. In Gujarat, Amit Thaker, leader of the BJP's youth wing, said people should ban even the products endorsed by Khan while VHP's Pravin Togadia went a step further and asked Gujaratis to boycott all Kashmiri products. If you are wondering about the connection, it may be a reference to Khan’s character in the movie, a Kashmiri youth.

Elsewhere the last words were the audience’s. “I give the Code 4 out of 10,” said a moviegoer outside a hall in the Capital. “It is not as fast-paced as the book.” The Code has been booked for this weekend and the next in most theatres while some say Fanaa has all the makings of a blockbuster.

In Mumbai the protests took a backseat except for the Catholic Secular Forum murmuring that it was a black day for secular India. Both the Code and Fanaa got mixed reviews from those who walked out of the halls, some frowning at Tom Hanks’ acting and others calling the YashRaj movie’s plot improbable. But they were not about religion or rehabilitation. And importantly, they got to see them in 70 mm.

‘Fanaa’ suspended
Screening of Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Fanaa’ was suspended at a theatre in Jabalpur on Friday following protests by BJP workers, police said.

Film buffs queue up at a theatre in Bhopal where ‘Fanaa’ was screened on Friday.