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Fridays bring with them films of every size, shape and intention. It's a routine that has all come to be part of our lives.
But sometimes, a few of these flicks create a hope beyond hype and generate a level of extraordinary anticipation among us commonfolk.
Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham has created more curiosity and excitement among cine buffs than any film in living memory. But there were others too, which succeeded in making audiences drool in expectation.
Here's a look at 10 pre-release big ones.
Raja Harishchandra (1913): The first Indian motion picture, D G Phalke’s mythological boasted of an all-male starcast. Even the female lead was played by a man since no woman was willing to be part of the cast.
Raja Harishchandra premiered on 21 April 1913 and attracted large crowds of bystanders who knew this was a historic event.
Alam Ara (1931): India’s first talking picture made rich use of song, music and dance. This celebration of sound directed by Ardeshir Irani featured Master Vitthal in the lead as a king with two wives and their rivalry.
The 2 hour-long film released on 14 March 1931 was full of palatial intrigue, opulent songs and dances. Most important the characters spoke! The audiences simply couldn’t get over it.
Kismet (1943): The film gave India its first superstar Ashok Kumar and was also the first film to bring Hollywood slickness into Hindi cinema.
The lost-and-found formula that Manmohan Desai later patented began with Kismet.
The superhit from director Gyan Mukherjee cast Ashok Kumar as the pickpocket Shekhar who eventually discovers he is the film’s villain’s father. Slick and thrilling the film broke records with audiences clamouring to get in. It ran for three years non-stop in a theatre in Kolkata.
Barsaat (1949): For the first time in the history of Hindi cinema Raj Kapoor showed the power of music and song to draw in the crowds.
RK’s quadrangular tale featuring Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Premnath and Nimmi climbed the pinnacles of glory with Shankar-Jaikishan’s songs like Mujhe kissi se pyar ho gaya, Hawaa mein udhta jaye and Jeeya beqaraar hai. The film also marked the birth of another superstar. Her name was Lata Mangeshkar.
Aan (1952): We all know how audiences went wild over Mehboob Khan’s Mother India. But five years earlier Mehboob made Hindi cinema’s first technicolour film featuring Dilip Kumar, Nimmi and Nadira in a clever adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew.
Audiences queued up for miles to get themselves tickets. Though the film wasn’t a great success it did create phenomenal anticipation.
Mughal-e-Azam (1960):There were stampedes outside theatres; people clamoured to catch a glimpse of the poster of Dilip Kumar stroking Madhubala’s face with a feather. K Asif’s pseudo-historical epic which was nine years in the making, was indeed something people were looking forward to.
The sheer opulence and magnitude of the epic, Naushad's magical score, the enduring charm of the Salim-Anarkali story and the star power represented by Dilip Kumar and Madhubala’s real life romance, took Mughal-e-Azam to the peak even before its release.
Haathi Mere Saathi (1971): After Rajesh Khanna was propelled to superstardom with Aradhana came this caper by Chinappa Devar about the bonding between a man and his pet elephant.
Every one from the toddler to his great grandparents wanted to see Khanna and the wonder elephant. The pre-release excitement was almost palpable. The film went on to be a Diamond Jubilee hit.
Bobby (1973): After the debacle of Mera Naam Joker Raj Kapoor at age 49, fashioned India's youngest and still the most vibrant teen romance.
The sensuous young lead pair Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, Laxmikant-Pyarelal's trendy music, Lata Mangeshkar's lilting vocals and Bunny Reuben's publicity created an amazing aura around Bobby.
It couldn't go wrong. It didn't. Though Sholay was a far bigger success, it couldn't match the pre-release hype Bobby generated.
Naseeb (1981): Manmohan Desai's mega-bonanza was the most eagerly awaited Bachchan flick of the decade.
Going by the pre-release rush analysts concluded it would be the Big B’s 'most successful' film. Desai packaged his multi-starrer as a slick spin on Hollywood with the biggest stars (Amitabh, Hema, Shatrughan Sinha, Rishi Kapoor), biggest stunts and songs.
The presentation was spectacular, the icing on the cake being a song sequence John jani janardhan which had the who's who of the film industry troop in for a party sequence.
The crowds flocked to see Naseeb, but the film wasn't as big as Desai's Coolie or Mard.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001): Sure, audiences held their breath for Karan Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Aditya Chopra's Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Sooraj Barjatya's Hum Aapke Hain Koun.
They even waited with bated breath for Aditya's second feature Mohabbatein. But nothing, compares with the magnitude of the expectations raised by this film.
Its mega-starcast could be blamed. Also, the hype generated could be credited to Karan Johar's goodwill in the media.
But beyond all these explanation there's the 'it' factor. Yes, K3G has got it all right.
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