Salman springs back to action
Well begun is half done. In filmi parlance, a great opening is half the battle won. Last week's Tere Naam underscores this better than any other film in recent times. On the sheer strength of a fantastic initial, the Salman starrer has proven to be a commission earner for most of its distributors. Collections dropped after the flying start but the initial business of the moderately-priced film was so huge that distributors didn't need to panic.
The Tamil hit Sethu, of which Tere Naam is a remake, was to have been made by different producers at different times and with different heroes. The remaking rights were acquired by Boney Kapoor who intended to make it in Hindi with Aamir Khan who even saw the film.
But the celebrated actor declined. Kapoor then decided to remake it with his youngest brother, Sanjay Kapoor. He even decided to assign the direction to Ramgopal Varma. But that project never got started.
Months later, Kapoor sold the remaking rights to producer Nitin Manmohan who has made a couple of films in partnership with Ramgopal Varma. Varma convinced Manmohan to rope in E. Niwas to direct it, with Vivek Oberoi in the lead. When that proposal also remained only on paper, Manmohan resold the rights to ad films producer Sunil Manchanda.
The latter thought, this would be the ideal film for him to enter the film industry and he signed Satish Kaushik to call the shots and Salman Khan to play the hero. Sold at less than Rs. 1.5 crore per major territory (except Bombay for which the distributors paid Rs. 1.85 crore), the tragedy film would keep its distributors at least smiling if not laughing all the way to the bank, after the earth-shattering start, perhaps, the best in the last 10 years.