'Jism' continues to attract, appeal, allure...
AT A time when there are few takers for Bollywood, there is no dearth of takers of "Jism". Like "Raaz" last year, "Jism" continues to confound critics and connoisseurs alike.
And the film which initially made news for all the wrong reasons, it is doing just fine. Having pipped the much-hyped "Dil Ka Rishta" in the box office sweepstakes, "Jism" has added to the bulge of its distributors in Delhi. The film has netted in more than three times the amount it was sold for in the region. And they are still counting nearly two months after the Bipasha Basu-John Abraham starrer hit the silver screen. No wonder, Raj Chopra sent in Rs 10 lakh overflow cheque to Mahesh Bhatt.
Says Raj Chopra, the film's distributor in Delhi, "We got this film for Rs 50 lakhs with 23 prints. But in the first seven weeks the film has done business of one and a half crore.
It is the only film this year to have done so well at the box office. As a token of appreciation we sent an overflow cheque of Rs 10 lakhs to Mahesh Bhatt."
With no great star cast and a debutant hero, wasn't "Jism" a high-risk venture? "Not really. I did not see a single shot of the film before buying it. But I have been associated with earlier films of Mahesh Bhatt, so I knew what to expect. I have distributed `Arth', `Naam', `Kaash' and `Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke'. All of them with the exception of `Kaash' did very good business and I would like to be there for his forthcoming `Saaya' as well."
However, didn't "Jism" get a decent initial for indecent reasons? "I agree that initially some people came for wrong reasons. They read too much into the name.
But gradually the gentry came over, they liked the film. The message of the film is clear, the music grows while you watch the film, the script is bold and performances quite fantastic. There is no vulgarity at all. As the class audience have liked the film, it has done better in Delhi than some smaller places in Uttar Pradesh."
ZIYA US SALAM
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