Bollywood producers have discovered a new way of protecting their films from being ravaged by unkind critics before release.
No media screenings until Friday when the film releases to the public. In this way it is hoped that the audience would not get influenced by unfavourable reviews and boycott films from Day 1.
In the last three weeks two major films have adapted a conspiracy of secretiveness to combat unfavourable press. Anurag Basu’s JaggaJasoos three weeks ago and now Imtiaz Ali’s Jab Harry met Sejal this week were not shown to the critics until the morning of the film’s release.
Not that the cloak of secrecy helped the films find a wider audience.
Now Akshay Kumar and the producers of Toilet Ek Prem Katha have taken a collective decision to refrain from screening the film to media persons until Friday morning.
“It is the new trend, rapidly catching on in Bollywood, and we are all for it. The decision to not screen Toilet Ek Prem Katha for critics untilFriday was taken by Akshay and we concurred happily, In fact some production houses like Fox Star and Yash Raj have followed the no-press –screenings-until-Friday policy for years. Now other production houses are following the same pattern, ” says a producer of the film on condition of anonymity.
In fact the secrecy is a sure sign of insecurity on the filmmakers’ part. If you don’t have the confidence to let critics watch a film in advance then your film is probably on shaky grounds.
Says film critic Raja Sen, “What’s the point of making films if you’re scared of showing them? This contraband-like treatment for cinema is happening all over the world now, and it’s shameful.”