In what could be seen as a radical departure from the norm, producer Sajid Nadiadwala has decided to do away with any press screening of his new summer biggie, Housefull, which releases tomorrow.
His logic for this somewhat historic move is simple. Why allow adverse comments to go out when the film is about to be released?
Admitting that he has aborted press screenings for Housefull, Nadiadwala says, “When my last film, Kambhakkt Ishq, was released the reviews were up one day before, on Thursday. None of them did my film any good. Now we have Twitter where comments are spread faster than viruses on the computer. It may sound arrogant but I’m not holding press shows because my film can’t afford the criticism.”
But why is Nadiadwala so sure the press won’t like the film?
Says the producer, “My film has a monkey slapping Akshay Kumar, a dog, a tiger, and a sleepwalking father who suddenly comes awake to sing, ‘Papa jag jayega’. It isn’t the most logical of films. It’s for the masses. So let the critics watch it with the masses on Friday.”
However, Nadiadwala has been gracious enough to call up every critic in Mumbai personally to explain his position. “I hope they understand. They’re all my friends. In fact, I have made the stars of my next film, Anjaana Anjaani, sign an NDA (a non disclosure agreement) to keep information away from Twitter. If critics are willing to do the same I’d be happy to show them my film in advance. But the habit of tweeting and posting comments on new films on Facebook has to stop. It’s very damaging.”
Adds Housefull director Sajid Khan, “I have no clue why the press screening is not on. I’m not the producer, merely the director.”
The film’s leading man, Akshay Kumar, admits he hasn’t seen Housefull. “None of us have seen it yet. We might watch it on Thursday night. Or on Friday.”
– Subhash K. Jha / Sampurn Wire