By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, March 3 (IANS) In what will decidedly qualify as a first ever experiment in cinema, Nikhil Advani's segmented love saga "Salaam-e-Ishq" will now be divided into six separate stories, with each plot treated as an individual, self-contained film.
This more viewer-friendly version of the episodic film will conclusively illustrate the fact that the fragmented format doesn't work in India.
Commenting on this, Advani told IANS: "I'd have to go with that. Going by the track record for films with different sub-plots including mine, we can assume audiences will like to see one plot within one feature. So many people have told me they'd have liked to see 'Salaam-e-Ishq' as six different films."
Eros Entertainment has come up with what we can call a theatrical cut as opposed to the director's cut. This would be on a DVD and viewers would have the liberty to view each track separately as one self-contained film.
"Salaam-e-Ishq" is the story of six couples starring Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Govinda, Shannon Esra, Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar in the lead roles.
"Those who liked the John-Vidya track can watch that and skip the others. Even while I was writing the film, I knew that somewhere down the line, I'd bring out six plots from my film," said Advani.
He guffaws, "People who have been celebrating my film's fall for its length will get free copies of the DVD. Look, the gloating over my film's failure didn't bother me. I've seen it happening to Karan Johar. Big films are always looked upon with scepticism.
"I do wonder where I went wrong! The one track that I could improve - the Salman-Priyanka one - I think I went wrong with that."
Advani, who is currently busy directing the action-comedy "Chandni Chowk To China" with Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone, shot lots of ads after "Salaam-e-Ishq".
"I've shot 10-12 commercials after 'Salaam-e-Ishq'. It teaches me economy of space. A lot of people think I need lessons in that after the three-and-a-half hour long 'Salaam-e-Ishq'. I've shot ads with John, Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan. Ads give me the financial security to direct the feature films I want to make."