'Zeher' declared official hit!

By Manisha Deshpande, IANS

imageMumbai, (IANS) With "Zeher" being seen as a hit in Bollywood, director Mohit Suri is on cloud nine.

"It's a cause for celebration no doubt. The film has been ranked as the third successful film in recent times in the category of 'Page 3' and 'Black'," Bollywood Trade quoted Suri as saying.

The first week distributors' share for "Zeher" in Mumbai is said to be Rs.7.1 million (with the net collections in Mumbai at Rs.14 million). The film has got an encouraging response in some areas in north India also.

So how much have the titillating scenes contributed to its success?

"I don't deny that the sex factor and the perception about it being a film with hot scenes got me the first three days initial. But after that it was the sheer merit of the film that made the difference.

"If sex alone was enough to generate business, why did 'Fun' go unnoticed? Or for that matter, why does a film like 'Laila' have no takers?"

Zeher also features the superhit song 'Woh Lamhe Woh Baatein'

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With April 22 fixed as the release date for "Waqt-Race Against Time", exhibitors are vying with each other for acquiring the film. The brochures with Amitabh Bachchan's personal notes are said to have come in for much appreciation among exhibitors, reports Bollywood Trade.

Akshay Kumar Films, the new distribution concern, tied up with Shringar for the Mumbai release of the film. The Shringar people are reportedly impressed with the film.

"It is an extraordinary film by all means, one that is likely to appeal to every section of the masses," said Balkrishna Shroff of Shringar, which is closely working out the release strategy with producer-director Vipul Shah.

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Actor-turned-politician Govinda has denied reports that the release of his home-production "Sukh" has been held up due to lack of buyers.

"The price that was being offered for the film was not in keeping with my expectations," Govinda has said, reports Bollywood Trade.

He said he decided to release the film through his distribution office, Govinda Yashodhan No. 1 Distributors. Govinda is now in London to finalise the overseas release of the film.

According to the actor's business manager Shashi Prabhu, "Sukh" will be the fifth release from Govinda's Mumbai distribution office. He plans to follow it up with "Jahan Jayega..." produced by Lakhan Sinha.

"He also has another film lined up for production, which will begin soon after the release of 'Sukh'," Prabhu said.

One of Govinda's long-pending films, due for release shortly, is Tutu Sharma's "Khullam Khulla Pyar Karenge". Govinda is paired opposite Preity Zinta in the film.

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Actor-producer Anupam Kher's next production after "Bariwali" is a film titled, "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara", reports Bollywood Trade.

The film, directed by National award-winning Assamese filmmaker Jahnu Barua, is being shot during a start-to-finish schedule from April 3 to May 23.

It is not known whether the film looks into the reasons that led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse, since Kher has been maintaining a discreet silence over the film's subject.

Kher is said to have taken the decision of producing the film after the National Film Development Corp (NFDC) backed out of it.

He agreed to play the main role when Barua approached him with it in mind.

According to reports, Kher has shaved off his moustache for the role. The film stars Urmila Matondkar, Pravin Dabbas, Rajat Kapur, Boman Irani, Anu Kapoor, Dolly Thakore and Vishwas Pandya. The screenplay and dialogue have been written by Sanjay Chauhan.

IANS