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Another week, another controversy in Kannada films

Last updated on: June 23, 2011 11:31 IST

Another week, another controversy in Kannada films

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Shruti Indira Lakshminarayana in Bangalore

Prem is going to have back to back releases and this should have made the actor happy. Instead, he's rather miffed because the producers of one of the Kannada films, Dhan Dhana Dhan, have refused to postpone its release.

"I had requested that the film be released after two or three weeks as my I Am Sorry Mathe Banni Preetsona released just last week. The film has been receiving good reviews and we want time for the response to pick up. But the producers of Dhan Dhana Dhan refused to oblige," he says.

Prem has retaliated by refusing to be a part of the publicity campaign of the film. "I will not promote the film as they disregarded my request. But I still say that the film is a good family entertainer and is based on the Hindi film Hum Kissise Kum Nahi."

It may be recalled that Prem added more than his share to the publicity of I am Sorry what with reports of a passionate kissing scene and a nude scene repeatedly making the headlines. He dismisses the subject saying, "They were just publicity gimmicks."

Post-release, too, producer-cum-director Ravindra has managed to make headlines due to controversies. He now says that he will remove the film from theatres as it has failed to generate an opening profit sufficient even to meet the theatre rent that he has to pay. The film will be lifted from theatres once it completes a week. Will this make Dhan Dhana Dhan's producers more sympathetic?

Wasim, the producer of Dhan Dhana Dhan, says in his defence:  "I Am Sorry has zero collections and that's why they are removing it from the theatres. They are just making my film the scapegoat. Please tell me who will stop the screening if the film is doing well? Our film will be released in 70 theatres, 30 in Bangalore alone."

But hasn't this decision stopped Prem from promoting the film? "A hero's promotion contributes to just about ten percent of the film's success. I am very confident of the script. And it's not that we didn't plan a gap between the two releases. In fact Prem was informed of the release plans on June 3 itself. We have been giving newspaper advertisements since then. And we had waited for quite some time. But they chose to release I Am Sorry just a week prior to our film's release date."


Image: A still from Dhan Dhana Dhan

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Further expressing displeasure over Prem's behaviour, Wasim says, "He refuses to take my calls now. Is this how a producer should be treated? Even during the shoot, he was trying to hurry up citing date problems."

Wasim also clears the air about his tug of war with the heroine of the film, Sharmila Mandre. "She had not only gone to the press saying that I had not yet cleared her dues, but also refused to promote the film. Yes, I had not paid her as she was unprofessional. From day one she created trouble. She even stopped the shoot for 15 days saying she had to complete the shoot of her Tamil film. So I did not want to give her the remaining amount. But senior actor Ambareesh struck a compromise between us and as promised I have given her the remaining Rs 1.70 lakh. She is currently away in Canada shooting for her Tamil film. From Monday next, she will join our team on theatre visits and other promotional activities."

Remind him that actor Ravishankar has also refused to promote the film and he shoots back, "But he wanted me to project him also like a hero. How can I do that? Prem is the hero; Ravishankar is just a part of the supporting cast. Still, he wanted me to put up hoardings with him being highlighted. I want to know if he has the same demand for the Jogayya team of which he is a part. I see only Shivarajkumar on the posters!"


Image: A scene from Dhan Dhana Dhan

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The list of controversies doesn't end here and we do a flashback and remind Wasim of the one involving Parvathi Menon. Wasn't she selected as the leading lady? "Yes, she had read the script and it was only after she gave her consent that we published her face in the publicity material. But she claimed that we did it without her knowledge. She even said that we pressurised her to sign on the dotted line! Why would we do that when she doesn't have that big a market here? She finally didn't do the film as it wasn't a heroine-oriented script, and that's about it!"   

 And why did Ramnath replace Victory Vasu as the director? "Vasu showed very little interest in the script and the planning of the film. Even on the mahurat day he came like a guest. He also had problems with the choice of cameraman and music director. He seemed negative about the whole project and so we decided to let go of him."

Wasim all the same wants to put all the controversies to rest as he has complete faith in the film. "It's the first time you'll see Prem in a comic role. Efforts have been made to give him an action hero image as well. We have shot a song in CG and will release it just a day before the release." He also says that it will be a lot different from Hum Kissise Kum Nahi. The Hindi film starred Ajay Devgan and Aishwarya Rai.

Coming back to Dhan Dhana Dhan and I am Sorry . the films have a common hero and a common distributor, so the matter of the release could surely have been amicably settled.


Image: A still from I Am Sorry Mathe Banni Preetsona

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