So I watched Titli
at the end of the second week of its release. I thought of turning into its biggest evangelist, imploring everyone I know to not miss it, and the next thing I know it’s not being shown at a single theatre in Mumbai; a city that has a floating population of a staggering 20 million, and is, in Pahlaj Nihalani’s immortal words, “the hub of Bollywood”. Anyway, the asteroid that decided to spoil the very well deserving party of Titli is Salman Khan’s latest magnum crapus Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
(PRDP). So greedy were the multiplex owners to cash in on the long Diwali weekend that they let Titli
go under the bus.
I would love to know what sort of “economies of scale” these multiplex owners are aiming at by having this snooze fest of a movie called PRDP
running every 20 minutes. Each of the big multiplexes in the city had no less than a staggering 21 shows every day. That’s like five out of every six screens at a multiplex are reserved for a movie that is not even dumb fun and is just a painful slog for nearly 180 minutes. The solitary show at most of these theatres was reserved for another monument for vacuity: Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2
It pains me to see that such a powerful and utterly gorgeous movie like Titli
is no longer around just because PRDP
had to break the existing record of being the biggest weekend opener. This is a very sorry state of affairs and probably an indication that alternative culture can thrive in India as long as it doesn’t remotely impinge on the supposed territory of the mainstream arts. This incident makes me think of all sorts of conspiracy theories: Yash Raj is the co-produer of Titli
and, considering its financial might, it could have let the movie run at at least a ridiculous ratio of one show for every 300 shows of PRDP
. And I have been told that the movie was running at minimum 60 per cent occupancy ratio, a very heartwarming fact. But because Salman Khan’s next movie (Sultan
) is a Yash Raj Production they didn’t want to draw his ire in any which way and thus let Titli
get asphyxiated. I might be grossly mistaken but, either way, this is daylight robbery.
Thanks to the A-rating, the movie will not find any takers for satellite purposes either.
PVR, which just had a brilliant second quarter (a whopping four-fold growth in net profit), is rapidly turning into the monolith of cinemas in the country. Maybe it should consider showing movies like Titli
as part of its corporate social responsibility. That might be the most depressing thought that came to my mind lately but something’s gotta give.
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