How is Veere Di Wedding get­ting the buzz that An­gry In­dian God­desses didn’t?

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Naina Arora ■ naina.arora@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The up­com­ing film Veere Di Wedding is all about fe­male bond­ing, women be­ing un­in­hib­ited, con­fid­ing in each other, sup­port­ing each other, and so on. Does that make it very sim­i­lar to the 2015 film An­gry In­dian God­desses?

Asked if he feels Veere Di Wedding takes in­spi­ra­tion from his film, An­gry In­dian God­desses di­rec­tor Pan Nalin says, “There’s a whole lobby go­ing on that’s like ‘this film is that one’s copy’. I have an op­po­site re­ac­tion when some­body copies my work. I feel happy that some­body some­where is, may be, in­spired... or, [they] might have not seen my work, maybe it’s pure co­in­ci­dence. It gives me strength that some­body has to go out of their way to copy my work. I’ll be freak­ing out or slip into de­pres­sion if peo­ple stop copy­ing my work.”

The main­stream Bol­ly­wood film, star­ring Ka­reena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar, and Shikha Tal­sa­nia, doesn’t ap­pear to have the edge of Nalin’s drama, star­ring Sarah-Jane Dias, Sand­hya Mridul, Anushka Man­chanda, Tan­nishtha Chat­ter­jee, Amrit Maghera, Pavleen Gu­jral, and Ra­jshri Desh­pande. But there’s a much starker dif­fer­ence. The film with big­ger names is gen­er­at­ing a lot of buzz and will get a wide­spread re­lease, whereas the film with more grit strug­gled to find screens.

“With­out big, pow­er­ful stars, it’s very tough to re­lease a film,” be­lieves Nalin. He was re­cently asked on Twit­ter why movies like An­gry In­dian God­desses “aren’t ex­posed or given their due”. To which he replied: “It’s be­cause In­dia is a star struck coun­try which fails to see amaz­ing tal­ents like [the ac­tors in his film]. They’re prob­a­bly better off with Veere di Wedding (sic).”

Once it re­leased, An­gry In­dian God­desses got rave re­views, but Nalin says that a lot goes into the dy­nam­ics of a film’s re­lease and just “mak­ing a good movie is not enough”. He ex­plains, “We re­alised that there’s a tremen­dous amount of bul­ly­ing by cer­tain pow­er­ful dis­trib­u­tors, the­atre own­ers, and ex­hibitors. We weren’t able to get the shows we wanted. We even paid for the trail­ers, but they weren’t run­ning in the cin­e­mas.” At one the­atre, his film was do­ing better than a ma­jor Bol­ly­wood film, but the cinema still pulled his film out, be­cause the Bol­ly­wood star was the cinema chain’s brand am­bas­sador. Though he laughs about it now, Nalin says that it was “dis­heart­en­ing”.

He adds that “even those films that were good wouldn’t have worked had they not been car­ried on the shoul­ders of Aamir Khan (Se­cret Su­per­star, 2017) and Karan Jo­har (The Lunch­box, 2013)”.

But those who’ve watched An­gry In­dian God­desses still write to him, and that gives Nalin some hap­pi­ness.

Film­maker Pan Nalin; Stills from An­gry In­dian God­desses (top left) and Veere Di Wedding (left)

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