Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bhansali's Vitriolic Attack on Shah Rukh Khan

Sanjay Leela Bhanshali seems to have stoked a dormant fire by lashing out against his critics after getting hit by box office blues.

It’s a feud that is spiralling out of control. If you thought that the Saawariya-OSO war would die down with the release of both the films, you got it wrong. In fact the fires have been stoked anew with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s vitriolic attack on Shah Rukh Khan in his media interviews post Saawariya.

After SRK announced a few days before Diwali that he would ‘destroy’ the competition, (read ‘Saawariya’), Bhansali has come back with a vengeance, saying SRK had no locus standi to make such comments, and that it was unfair to put down a work of art.

“This is the new era of marketing a film, where even after it has released, the war will continue. Bhansali is obviously hurt by the negative comments that have been made against him and his film and that is why he is coming out in its defence,” says one industry source.

The makers of OSO however do not seem very keen to take this further. When we sms-ed Farah Khan asking for her reaction, she gave us a very tongue-in-cheek reply saying, “I have no reactions whatsoever. Too busy taking congratulatory calls.”

Not everyone is very happy though. Film critic Taran Adarsh, who also found a mention in Bhansali’s tirade is in no mood to sit back and listen.

“I want to tell Bhansali that he should wake up and smell the coffee. If there is a theatre near his house, he should go and count the number of people who are even sitting in the film, let alone liking the film. People have a mind of their own. They don’t need Taran Adarsh to tell them that Saawariya is a bad film and has been rejected by everyone.”

Strong words those. Obviously, we haven’t heard the last of this yet. Its going to be a long drawn out war.

Shilpa Jamkhandikar, DNAindia.com
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Sanjay Leela Bhansali says SRK has no rights to destroy 150 people!

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has come out fighting in defense of his movie Saawariya, and at the top of his target list is… Shah Rukh Khan.

As Om Shanti Om runs away with the top accolades for the Diwali battle, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has gone on record to ask the Bollywood King Shah Rukh Khan some very awkward questions. “Shah Rukh Khan is the king of Bollywood. He can say whatever he likes. But why is he going around saying, ‘I will destroy them?' Where is the dignity of the reigning superstar? Why compare yourself to a film with two newcomers? Who are you to destroy them? Have you created them? Do we eat off your plate? Have we made the film with your money? What gives you the right to say you will destroy 150 people who have invested so much in the film? Let people judge. It's a film with good values, and principles, people should appreciate that,” said an angry Bhansali last night.

He then went on to express his disappointment further, “You feel disappointed. We decided that we'll maintain a certain dignity and not pull each other's films down. But then he started making comments like he will destroy us.”

When asked about the success of Om Shanti Om, Bhansali responded, “I feel that acting is not about six-packs but I've never said it until now. Why ‘destroy' us? It's time for new cinema, cricketers, politicians. Let the newcomers like Ranbir come in. Shah Rukh Khan will remain a king. Just because People love (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, it doesn't mean they will forget Sachin (Tendulkar).”

Maybe positioning Saawariya against Om Shanti Om was not a good strategy, “I've got a big opening. No other filmmaker would've got that against a Shah Rukh Khan film, and it's a big deal. We got the biggest opening for an Indian film with newcomers in the lead. Anyway, why compare two completely different films? My films are about art, and OSO is about commerce. People are walking out of OSO too, so why are we only talking about people not liking Saawariya? There is an agenda to this,” responded Bhansali positively.

When asked about why critics such as Komal Nahta and Taran Adarsh blasted the movie, Bhansali responded, ““Only a handful of critics are trying to influence the audience against the film…Komal and Taran belong to the cinema of the eighties, they are antiquated and I never expected them to understand ‘Saawariya'. Great cinema should be kept away from such reviewers.”

Rajiv Dutta, IndiaTarget.com

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