By Rizwanaa Shaikh
Fans were cheering up for a very Pakistani Eid this year but their delight was evaporated when Bollywood movie Chennai Express was suddenly released two days before Eid through out the country to surprise all of us.
Before Ramazan, four movies were in line for Eid-ul-Fitr: Waar, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi (MHSA), Ishq Khuda, and Josh. But unluckily, Waar and MHSA pulled out of the race as the producers thought they wouldn’t get good box office returns because of a tough competition.
Chennai Express release is a total violation of rules as no Indian production was scheduled for Eid. The occasion was, first, reserved for home productions only so the film makers and fans were rejoicing with a feeling of own-ness and exclusivity but on Eid day things turned out to be entirely opposite to our imagination. A great number of theatres that were first to display home productions, are now showing Chennai Express which is on top.
Chennai Express is doing business only due to big cast, popular music, modern techniques, and glamorous cinematography. Its story and plot are no more than a mediocre one according to film reviews. Some of the viewers also declared it not at all impressive rather than pathetic, but only due to the inferiority complex that Lollywood can’t compete Bollywood in film making, our cinema owners, exhibitors, and cine-goers welcomed it whole heartedly. It succeeded in effecting Ishq Khuda, and Josh business despite of being a run of the mill production.
On the contrary, Ishq Khuda is on a very different and rare genre, sufi-ism. And Josh is based on the struggle of down trodden people against feudal system. Both the movies have the best cast of our TV and film, quality audio-visual content, and most of all issue oriented stories.
Our censor board is also involved in Chennai Express release as they issued it censor certificate before Eid so the exhibitors and cinema owners found no hindrance in its display. All this is done absolutely under a conspiracy against our industry which was successfully performed with the help of our own people. The same scene was seen on 2011 Eid-ul-Fitr when Reema Khan’s film Love Main Ghum was abruptly removed from theatres to give space to India’s Bodyguard. Moreover, the posters and flexes of Love Main Ghum were also torn apart.
Regarding the postponement of Waar, and MHSA, people have two opinions. One: they better postponed the release as they would have to face the same dilemma that Ishq Khuda and Josh are facing right now. Two: if they also would have released, then our all four films could give a more tough time to Chennai Express and our film makers should never be afraid of competition whether internal or external.
This is not a war of culture or art, it’s a war of nerves and psyche actually. The matter of feeling one’s self inferior to others is a psychological one. We have not only to change the psyche of our people and own self but also to learn how to influence and control the minds, because India has worked on these very lines scientifically with a full-fledge strategy. First, they pulled down the popularity of Pakistani drama in India, and now doing the same with our cinema in our own home. The cheaters among us have paved their way to come and do the damage. India is on driver’s seat now, that can be taken back only through self confidence, coming out of inferiority complex, respect and consideration of our home talent, and the most important eliminating the wolves in sheep skin!