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Nihalani Loses  8 Crores On Julie 2, But Has  No Regrets

Pahlaj Nilhalani

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.

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