Last weekend announced its arrival with the emergence of Peepli [Live] as a heart winner. Its counterpart, the Bobby Deol – Mugdha Godse starrer Help more or less disappointed. So, a few vital questions were awaiting answers. Would Peepli [Live] build on the favorable public opinion? Would the critical acclaim translate into some hard cash? Would something from the kitty if the supernatural powers be able to revive the sinking boat of Help? Apart from these queries, another very engrossing prospect was to be unveiled on the 20th of August, Pradeep Sarkar’s Lafangey Parindey. The D- Day is past, and we have the keys to the answers, if not the comprehensive answer booklet.
Peepli Live has safely dodged the few volleys thrown at it and has done immense favors to its producers. It took 6 crore to make the entire movie and the recovery was a neat act. There were a few apprehensions regarding the fate of the movie at single screens and the absence of any BIG Bollywood names in the cast. Few even thought that the rural setting would hinder the progress of the movie at big city multiplexes. However, all the doubts have been thrown out of the window and the cash ledgers of the producers are glittering. The satellite rights have fetched Rs 8 crore to the producers and music rights add another handsome Rs. 2 crore. The overseas market has been like a gold mine for Peepli Live. Considering the numbers that are pouring in, the makers do not even have to worry about the fact that the movie did not release in the lucrative U.K. market. The 64 prints released in U.S. have fetched a whopping $364000. To add to it is the $175000 made by the 18 prints released in the Middle East. Merely a week, and the small scale movie has amassed a fortune worth more than 25 crore, which possibly makes Peepli [Live] the BIGGEST ever small movie!
The story takes a dismal turn as we turn up to Help. The producers and distributors would be cursing their stars. But they are themselves to be blamed. A week’s delay or advancement could have lessened the worries of the stakeholders of the movie. Competing with Aamir driven Peepli [Live] was like fighting a lost battle. And BAD spiraled to WORST as the movie failed to impress the audiences one bit. A bland script and lackluster performances by leads and support cast alike spelt doomsday for the movie. As the second weekend draws to a closure, the cash register shows a paltry 1.83 crore as collections for Help. It is anybody’s guess now. Help needs some help, and it better come quickly.
The Friday marked the release of the much awaited Lafangey Parindey, starring Neil Nitin Mukesh and Deepika Padukone. The film promised to take the viewers on a ride through the teeming streets of Mumbai, where each individual faces the odds of life with a smile. The lively characters of Nandu and Pinki were pretty inviting for the audiences. Just the first day faring is a bit too little to derive a conclusion from. However, the signs are promising. Sarkar’s shift of genre and style has been appreciated and he would be hoping that this appreciation reflects onto the cash counters. The Raksha Bandhan holiday on Tuesday might just be the extra lubrication that Lafangey Parindey’s bandwagon ay need. Let us wait and watch.