By: Murtuza Nullwala
Emraan Hashmi starrer Mumbai Saga released in theatres in March this year. It was one of the few big Bollywood films that had hit the big screens after the pandemic. The film didn’t receive a great response at the box office, but Hashmi’s performance was appreciated.
In April this year, the theatres in India were once again shut due to the second wave of Covid-19 in the country. But now, once again things are getting better, and theatres in a few states have reopened.
So, Emraan is now gearing up for the release of Chehre which will be his second theatrical release during this pandemic.
While talking to PTI, Emraan said, “I am happy that theatres are opening up after a long gap. I am the only actor who has had two releases in this pandemic. Some might see it as a bold move others might see it as a stupid move. But the obsession with the box office of our industry should not be the case anymore, at least not right now. The rules have changed, the game has changed.”
“With box office, you never felt in control even before the pandemic, but it has become a bigger question mark with the situation today. A film might look entertaining but when you weigh your and your family’s health, you might give it a pass because of the fear. So now no one really knows how it will pan out. Regulations are still there, Maharashtra has still not opened,” the actor added.
Akshay Kumar starrer BellBottom became the first Bollywood film to release in theatres in India after the second wave of Covid-19.
While talking about it, Emraan said, “We should stop worrying and sweating about opening numbers, box office collections. Someone has to make a start, it has to be done in that spirit. Kudos to Akshay, the producers of Bell Bottom, for taking that initiative. Same goes for films like Roohi, Mumbai Saga. It was very important for these films to do that.”
The actor also feels that the film industry and theatres are co-dependent. He said, “No one really knows how many people will come to the theatre but it has to be done with certain solidarity with theatre owners. There is synergy and dependency on them and vice versa. Film industry and theatres are both co-dependent.”
“OTT (over-the-top or digital platform) is always an option but the order of the day is that producers should understand there are thousands of livelihoods of not just theatre owners but distributors, their families as well. Doors should be opened,” he added.
Directed by Rumy Jafry, Chehre also stars Amitabh Bachchan, Annu Kapoor, Krystle D’Souza, Drithiman Chakroborthy, Raghubir Yadav, Siddhanth Kapoor, and Rhea Chakraborty.