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Terror hits Bollywood in big way

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | December 01, 2008 16:23 IST

A scene from Khalbali

Bollywood has suffered heavily post the terror attack in Mumbai last week. Last Friday's two releases, Sorry Bhai and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! saw poor colllections at the box office, despite good reviews. Audiences seemed to keep away from theatres due to fear.

"The film business has suffered badly last weekend," says Komal Nahta trade analyst. "The openings at the box office for both the films were poor."

Taking a cue from the poor box office fate, this week's release Khalbali has been postponed indefinitely.

"We have postponed the film due to the current situation in Mumbai," says Riaz Haider, project head of the film. "Our film is an entertainer and we don't think this is the right time to release it. We will surely lose out, if we go ahead with the release on December 5."

Mumbai has suffered many times due to terror attacks in the past but this is the first time the entertainment business has been hit in such a big way. The serial train blasts had created much terror in 2006 but Ajay Devgan's [Images] Golmaal -- that released three days after the blasts -- still did good business.

"We were watching the terror act live for 62 hours on television," Nahta explains. "Obviously, it will impact the minds of people. They will not move out of their homes in such a situation."

To add to their woes, rumours about another firing in CST station on Friday made most people drop their plans of venturing out. According to trade analyst Vinod Mirani, quite a few shows of Sorry Bhai and Oye Lucky had to be cancelled due to lack of audiences.

"I planned on going out for dinner and to watch Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! but soon gave up the idea. You never know when the next attack will come from. The situation in the city is very tense. It is better to stay at home rather than venture out," said Sameer Desai, a banker.

"Life comes before any business," says Dibakar Banerjee, director of Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!. "My film has suffered. Why would people watch a film when their loved ones and fellow countrymen are trapped in hotels taken over by terrorists?

"The film industry is in safer hands and it will bounce back. But what about the state of our country, which is in the hands of these politicians?" he adds. "Today, these politicians are resigning. They will go back to their posh bungalows behind Z plus security. But what about the common man? They pay taxes, and yet don't feel safe anymore in this country."

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