Delhi to host premiere of ‘The Last Lear’

September 11th, 2008 - 3:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Amitabh BachchanNew Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) The Mumbai premiere of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer “The Last Lear” was cancelled, but Big B and the entire film crew are upbeat about the red carpet start the English film is scheduled to get here later Thursday.The premiere at the Select City PVR Multiplex here will be a glittering affair and will be attended by producer Arindam Chaudhuri, director Rituparno Ghosh and Amitabh and rest of the cast except Preity Zinta.

“Delhi premiere is not the last minute decision. We had planned three premieres of the film - Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. Mr. Bachchan is excited about the Delhi premiere of ‘The Last Lear’,” Amit Saxena, president strategy team Planman Motion Pictures, told IANS.

The Mumbai premiere of “The Last Lear” was cancelled after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) attacked the cinema hall where the film was to be screened.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray had called for a ban on the screening of films starring any of the Bachchan family as a protest against actress and MP Jaya Bachchan’s alleged “anti-Marathi” remarks at the music release function of “Drona”.

Saxena says that the incident hasn’t disrupted the publicity or the screening plans.

“There is hardly any change in the publicity campaign or the release schedule. Unexpected things came up and we had to deal with it. Anyway, Raj Thackeray has accepted Mr. Bachchan’s apology so that the controversy is over,” said Saxena.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, “The Last Lear” is based on Utpal Dutt’s play “Aajker Shahjahan”. It is shot in theatrical style and Amitabh will be seen as a whimsical Shakespearean actor who is drawn into the world of movies. It also stars Arjun Rampal and Preity Zinta in pivotal roles.

Made at a budget of about Rs.80 million, this is Amitabh’s first English film and also, for the first time he plays an actor in a movie. Also, he went to Kolkata after 20 years for the shooting of the film.

“The Delhi premiere was always on the agenda. It has to happen with the whole star cast. Also Raj Thackeray has accepted the apologies made by Amitbah Bachchan, so PVR has no problems playing the movie,” said a reliable source from PVR.

Saxena added: “The film will have all India release with 120 prints. The shooting of the film was completed in record time of two month. As per our plan, we first travelled to various film festivals before releasing it India.”

Arindam Chaudhuri, managing director of the film, had earlier said that he may suffer losses of about most Rs.70 million if the MNS carried out its threat to prevent the screening of films starring the superstar or his family members.

Chaudhuri said that even a slight delay in the film’s release would disturb his investment plans.

“The release can’t be delayed! My Mumbai collections will suffer greatly. Since it is a multiplex release, Mumbai and Delhi are my main markets. In fact, my profits will be affected as 40 percent of the collections come from Mumbai alone,” he had said.

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