Ekta blocks Fright day the 13th!


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, Feb. 24 -- Raginni MMS, Ekta Kapoor's paranormal thriller that was wrapped up in just 17 days, is readying for a May release. Both the Hindi and Telugu versions will open on May 13. "Friday the 13th is the day astrologers research past life and Tarot experts like Sunita Menon do paranormal readings.

It was too good an opportunity to pass over," says Kapoor, who is planning spine-chilling promotional activities leading up to a midnight premiere. "Since I don't have big names to draw in the crowds, I have to build on the hype."

Raginni MMS starts off with a couple going to a bungalow seeking privacy, and getting sucked into a surreal, paranormal world where those who are living are more dangerous than those who are dead. Kapoor admits that the film is 30 per cent fact and 70 per cent fiction but is quick to add that it has not been inspired by the Delhi Public School MMS scandal as reported: "I've purchased the rights from the lady it happened to. She will see the film this week, and depending on her reaction and ability to handle media attention, we will decide whether to reveal her identity or not."

When the soap queen was dabbling with supernatural shows on TV like Mano Yaa Na Mano and more recently, Koi Aane Ko Hai, she was careful not to get too close to the victims or the perpetrators. But this time, she was drawn into the girl's real life trauma and to her horror, discovered that strange things were happening on her sets.

Her lead actor, Kainaaz Motivala, was once speaking on the phone when suddenly she screamed and fainted. On another occasion, during a strangulation scene, she passed out, giving the team some anxious moments. Her co-star, Raj Yadav, took director Pawan Kriplani's brand new car for a spin, had a blackout, and banged into a tree. He was unhurt but the car was damaged. And the caretaker of the bungalow, where the unit shot in Dahanu, died during the making of the film.

"It gave me the shivers," says Kapoor who had a havan in the temple in the Balaji compound at Andheri. "I've consulted some astrologers after that, and have been assured that now that the shooting is over, the danger has passed. But I still have my fingers crossed."

Kapoor is undaunted by the challenge posed by the fourth season of IPL which will be on at the time. She reasons that she released Love Sex Aur Dhoka during the last season of the IPL, and the film still found plenty of takers. "Not everyone watches cricket, and even those who do, don't do so all day, everyday," she reasons.