Interesting developments! Still no word from the Cinema Owners association on their decision, which is the real make or break part of it, but some news from other groups.
Bollywoodhungama is saying this is bad news, but it actually sounds like good news to me. The IMPPA, the same group which announced the possibly temporary ban on Pakistani artists working in India, has now clarified their position on Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees through a tweet from their president:
IMPPA very strongly feels the makers & investors of films are Indians and hence should not be at loss.Pakis hv made money & gone.
Good for you, IMPPA!!! That’s a remarkably reasonable and practical attitude. I don’t know about using “Paki”, but maybe that’s only a low key slur in England. And, it is twitter, and “Pakistani” takes a lot of letters.
More importantly, they have also officially met with the leaders of the MNS and asked them to remove the boycott threat. Which is very good news, making the MNS look like they are all on their own out there, and the reasonable industry people like the IMPPA are against them.
Of course, the MNS has refused to budge. That’s what Bollywoodhungama says is the bad news. But I don’t know if I really expected anything different, they need some kind of concession to their power before they will back off, and a meeting with an industry group politely asking them to drop the protest just isn’t it. Poor Karan and Shahrukh are going to have to issue a public statement apologizing for whatever it is they are supposed to be apologizing for, that would do it.
Or, maybe everyone can just ignore the MNS? How about that? Say that this is a reactionary local political party and it is worth it to stand up to their petty power politics even if it means taking a hit at the box office? Because at this point, that’s what we’re talking about, just a box office hit and that’s all.
If the IMPPA is behind Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees, and more importantly is publicizing that attitude, that means the industry in general is behind these films, and (the IMPPA thinks) the public is too. So let the movies come out, let the audience see the movie they want to watch, and prove that the industry won’t buckle down to this kind of pressure. (By the way, first full Raees trailer announced to come out for Shahrukh’s birthday! So we can stop watching the teaser over and over and over again)
Of course, it’s easy for the producers (well, easier) and audience to ignore this group, it’s the theater owners who really suffer. And they have yet to issue their decision, whether they are going to risk the safety of their buildings and their persons on this film, or if they are going to decide it’s not worth it and declare their own ban.