Not too many of the entertainment industry’s bigwigs believe that Karan Johar could have offered film critic and resident publicity-hound Kamaal R Khan(KRK) Rs 25 lakhs to trash Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay.
Karan Johar doesn’t need it.
While making it clear that he doesn’t want “to get into this mess” a prominent filmmaker opines, “This is not Karan’s style at all. Why would he pay anyone to pull down a rival film when he would rather focus on marketing and publicizing his own film Ae Dil Hai Muskil? Today paid publicity is a legitimate business in most media organizations. You don’t need to bribe individual critics and journalists to write well for you. But you need nerves of steel to approach a big-talking self-styled movie critic to badmouth someone else’s movie. So, no. I don’t think Karan paid Mr Khan any money to talk dirty about Shivaay.”
Some , however, support KRK in this murky boxoffice duel .
“KRK loves to brag. It’s easy to tape and trap him because half the time he talks for effect.For those who are acting holier-than-thou let me point out that producers offering bribes to critics for good reviews and till recently, to the censor board to get their movies cleared out of queue or to even allow censored scenes to be passed, is not new,” says a prominent producer.
Censorboard chief Pahlaj Nihalani admits he has been offered big money to clear films “out of turn and out of guidelines.”
Recalls Nihalani, “I was recently hurt when a producer whom I’ve known for years and have shared my stars’ dates with him when were were producing films simultaneously with the same cast, embarrassed himself by suggesting I clear his film under the table. I’ve repeatedly gone out of my way to help him.And yet when we were recently censoring his film he had the audacity to suggest that I accept a bribe and clear controversial scenes in his film. I threw him out of my office. The point is, those who are acting holier-than-thou about KRK who was just caught on the wrong foot, should look into their own hearts.”
While most trade analysts and film critics are mum on the murky topic Atul Mohan, editor of Complete Cinema feels Karan Johar is the wronged party. “ Why would Karan Johar get into all this? And that too with so much of money which can be utilised in better marketing use. Have you heard of anyone who can openly say that I got so and so money from so and so maker for favours? Only KRK knows why he loves to get into all this and bring a bad name to himself and hamper the prospects of forthcoming films. We all should act like responsible grownups. We all are part of a big family.”
Trade pundit Amod Mehra agrees. “If I was Karan Johar I would sue KRK for defamation.It’s time we expose so-called journalists who are as dangerous as quacks. They doctor the results and declare flops as hits. If all so called films e.g. Bang Bang were hits then why are all the corporates bleeding?”
Critic Raja Sen feels the unsavoury controversy is a part of a planned publicity strategy. “I feel this is just another publicity stunt, this time initiated by all the parties in unison in an attempt to drum up publicity for everyone. It’s all very Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and Taylor Swift, and I leave it to you to decide which is which.”