This is possibly the worst year in living memory for Bollywood, with the flops piling up like carcasses after a communal carnage. The latest casualty is the Kapil Sharma starrer Firangi which sank without a trace this week.
Last week good Samaritan Pahlaj Nihalani faced severe financial blows when Julie 2, the film that he presented,fared very badly.
“It was a disaster,” admits Nihalani candidly.
A disaster he could have easily avoided since the film was never meant to be his financial liability.
“I stepped in only to help an old friend(director Deepak Shivdasani) who seemed stuck with the film and no sign of its completion,” says Nihalani who not only came forward to rescue the doomed project, he also pumped in his own money , approximately 8 crores, to see it completed. Only to see it collapse in a heap on the morning of its release.
Apparently Nihlani made every effort to persuade Shivdasani to cut the lengthy film down by half an hour. But the director wouldn’t listen.
“There is really no point in pointing accusing fingers at anybody. What’s done is done. No one pointed a gun at my head to back the project.We should be worried about the larger picture. Why have so many films flopped in 2017? We are obviously not giving the audience the films they want. Now all eyes are on Tiger Zinda Hai and Padmavati. Only these two films can rescue the film industry from disaster.Even regional films which were doing great business last year are not doing well this year,” rues Nihalani as he prepares to produce his first full-fledged production since his tenure as the CBFC chairperson ended.
It’s a film on the Babri Masjid chapter of our history. Controversial and provocative. “It’s the need of the hour. If we don’t explore issues that have shaped the country’s history we are doomed as a nation,” sighs Nihalani.