Monday, January 30, 2023

Makers of Bengali films unhappy with the overwhelming booking of ‘Pathan’, what is the reason?

Less than 24 hours are left for the release of ‘Pathan’. Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback film is fast moving towards filling the theaters with the public across the country. The figures of advance booking of the film are making records. The controversies that started over the song ‘Besharam Rang’ from ‘Pathan’ have started to subside and even those opposing the film on social media have calmed down.

The atmosphere created about ‘Pathan’ is indicating that the film’s earnings are going to be strong in the first weekend itself. There is a complete hint that after the release, the bank balance of the distributor and producer of the film is going to increase at a considerable speed. But some filmmakers of Kolkata are not at all happy with this big film of Shahrukh.

Damage to Bengali films due to ‘Pathan’
Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer ‘Pathan’ will surely make every possible effort to get a big release. In foreign countries, ‘Pathan’ is going to be released on more than 2500 screens. Efforts will be made to increase its screen count in India as well. In such a situation, the model of distribution of ‘Pathan’ has become a cause of difficulty for some filmmakers of Kolkata.

According to a report in ETimes, last week three Bengali films ‘Kaberi Anthardhyan’, ‘Dilkhush’ and ‘Doctor Bakshi’ have been released. All the three films have received good response from the critics. But now to give place to ‘Pathan’, their shows will be reduced, due to which all the three films will suffer a lot.

Rule of showing ‘Pathan’ for single screen
It has been told in the report that the distributors of ‘Pathan’ have kept a rule for single screen. If single screen theaters have to show ‘Pathan’ then they will have to give all the shows of the day to Shahrukh’s film. Kaushik Ganguly, who made ‘Kaberi Antardhyaan’, said that he understands the pressure on the owners of single screen theaters, so there is no complaint with them. But this type of business policy needs to be changed.

Ganguly said, ‘We need a proper film policy in West Bengal. I know that ‘Kaberi Antardhyan’ will travel like other Bengali films. Single screen owners have been told that if they have to run ‘Pathan’, no other film can run. The Bengali industry remained silent on this issue for years but now we have to take a stand. If a Bengali film, which is doing good business in 40-50 halls, is facing such bad treatment in its own state, then we have to admit that there is some problem. He further said that Bengali films should get at least 50 percent shows on prime time and the government should intervene if needed.

The distribution house of ‘Pathan’ says that this business model for Hindi films is not new and has been going on for years. While Bengali filmmakers also say that this is a business decision and it is not that the distributors of Hindi films do this to harm Bengali cinema.

Meanwhile, there are many single screens like Navina, Saar Theater and Ashoka which have decided to run Bengali films instead of ‘Pathan’. Ashoka’s owner Prabir Roy said, ‘Yes, I wanted to run Shah Rukh Khan’s film. But they (distributors of Pathan) are not ready to negotiate with other Bengali films. That’s why I refused them.

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