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Movie Review: Aarakshan gets decent response

Aug 13, 2011

AARAKSHAN Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar, Manoj Bajpai
Director: Prakash Jha

Rating: 3/5

Decent response

Amid ban in three states and minor protests in some other places, Prakash Jha's controversial Aarakshan released today to a decent response in the metropolises.
Multiplex chains and theatre owners said that the audience response was favourable in cities like Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata and Chennai, despite the ongoing politics surrounding the movie.

Amidst high security at cinema houses in Mumbai, the film, which deals with the issue of reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, received a good opening in the metropolis.

"At PVR cinemas in Mumbai the opening was decent at the rate of 62-65 per cent. It seems the agitation has had some impact on the footfall at cinema houses," Kamal Gianchandani, President, PVR Pictures, said.

An official from multiplex chain Big Cinemas said, "The opening was good in the city. Since there was heavy security people came in to see the movie. There have been no cancellation of shows in Mumbai."

"The heavy police bandobast meant people were not afraid to come and watch the movie. We have witnessed 55-70 per cent occupancy at the opening. We expect full houses on weekends," Manoj Desai, owner of Gaiety and Maratha cinema, said.

Comparatively, the response has not been so good up north with the film being banned in UP and Punjab. The occupancy rate has been 20-45 per cent at the opening, said Rahul Singh, VP Marketing, PVR.

AP, Punjab to lift ban

Prakash Jha's Aarakshan may hit cinema halls in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab on Saturday with both the state governments have agreed to lift ban. Suresh Babu president of Andhra Pradesh film producers council told TOI that a committee watched the film on Friday evening and cleared it. They objected to one dialogue of Saif Ali Khan which the producer has agreed to cut it out.

The Punjab government, which had imposed the ban on the movie on Thursday, decided to allow the release after the report of a seven-member committee, which was constituted to review the film. The committee has recommended certain cuts.

The committee, which had a preview of the movie last night, has objected to the dialogue by Saif Ali Khan regarding hard work done by Dalits. A background couplet being played criticizing the reservation policy cleared by the Supreme Court needs to be removed too.

"While weaving the story, there are certain objectionable words/dialogues which are against the norms of decency and provide a potential cause for the raising the tempers of certain communities. This may prove to be a disturbing factor in the society especially in Punjab where more than 31 per cent of the 2.77 crore population of Punjab belong to the weaker sections including the Scheduled Castes," the committee said in its report.

"Since the overall message of the movie is positive, the committee feels that the movie may be released in the state of Punjab after making the amendments as suggested above," the committee added.