By Faridoon Shahryar, Bollywood Hungama News Network
“We are very confident of Jodhaa Akbar and looking forward to people's reactions from Friday onwards,” says Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Distribution and Syndication, UTV. “I am very upbeat about the film and think that people should go and see it,” he adds, dousing the fire of controversies and the rumours that have afflicted the film off late.
The epic love story of Rajput Princess Jodhaa Bai and one of India's greatest rulers ever Akbar deserves a grand premiere. And that's exactly what is slated to happen at IMAX Adlabs in Mumbai where exotic Rajasthani ambience is being created by genius Art Director Nitin Desai. Confirming the news, Kapoor said, “Nitin Desai is working on it and like everything else, he is planning everything to perfection.” Could you elaborate as to what all one can see at the premiere? “It is best that people see it for themselves.”
There have been reports that the deal with the multiplexes is yet to be struck. Will the film release there at all? “We are talking to all the multiplex partners and will reach a fair and reasonable solution for both the parties by the time the film releases,” Kapoor says. Considering there have been protests in Rajasthan, will Jodhaa Akbar be releasing there? “We are releasing in Rajasthan.” Is there any specific area in Rajasthan where the film may not release? “We are releasing at all places.”
On the hindsight, what are your thoughts on the controversies that have dogged Jodhaa Akbar? “I would want people to watch the film and then reach a conclusion,” Siddharth says. In an era of shorter attention spans, don't you think, at 3 hours 20 minutes, Jodhaa Akbar is a bit too long? “Frankly, if a film holds then it holds for the entire duration. If it doesn't then it doesn't even for a two hour film.”
Alright point taken, what about the Tamil and Telugu versions of the film, are they releasing too? “Yes Jodhaa Akbar is being released in Tamil and Telugu as well.” How many prints? “Close to 100 prints collectively.” With the film releasing a day later Valentine's Day, would you call it that it befits the amorous air all around? “At the heart of the film, it's a love story. It's quiet an apt movie for Valentine's Day,” Siddharth Roy Kapoor signs off.
Jodhaa Akbar is the labour of love. In an era of rapid fire moviemaking, one man dared to put up an unbelievable canvas and paint a picture out of the colours of blood and sweat. This Friday, the fate of the movie will be sealed and if first impressions are to be believed, it's an eye opening riveting tale. Whatever may be the end result, but one thing is for sure, the Herculean efforts of the entire team of Jodhaa Akbar ought to be applauded. Let the curtains lift…let the show begin…