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Saaho Has Distributors Nervous, Jittery & Anxious

Saaho Has Distributors Nervous, Jittery & Anxious

The countdown to the release of this year’s most expensive Indian film has begun. Only hours to go before Saaho releases, and distributors/exhibitors are already expressing their muted misgivings on the monstrous expectations of the audience.

The film’s length of nearly three hours is being seen as an obstacle to Saaho’s spectacular performance.

A distributor asks angrily, “Why are filmmakers again making lengthy films like they used to in the last millennium? Uss waqt log phursat mein rehte tthe. Who has the time to see a 3-hour film in today’s day and age? I see a lot of films exceeding the 2-hour limit these days.”

As for Saaho running into nearly three hours, Bihar exhibitor Roshan Singh reasons, “Films like Lagaan, Devdas in the past and Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Bharat in recent times have been lengthy and successful. So size is not about the performance.”

Kishan Damani, a leading distributor of Bihar who is distributing Saaho feels it has all the makings of a blockbuster. 

“It will live up to the expectations. Firstly because it's a high-octane action thriller with action sequences never witnessed in Bollywood. Secondly, Prabhas has developed a nationwide fan-following after Baahubali. Thirdly, it looks promising for both single screen and multiplex audience.”

Trade analyst Atul Mohan is worried about the low advance-booking numbers for the Hindi version of Saaho.

“It has to be a blockbuster. So much is at stake. Prabhas’ next after Baahubali. Expectations are skyhigh. It’s getting the widest release in all languages combined, which is next to Baahubali 2. The advance booking for Saaho in Telugu is very strong for first three days in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The advance-booking in Hindi has to pick up dramatically. So far it's very low. Let's wait and watch.”

Trade insider Girish Johar worries over the burden of Saaho to deliver a blockbuster. 

“The expectations are humongous and the curiosity is at its peak. It will surely have a fantabulous start. Thereafter the word of mouth and audiences’ acceptance of the film will do the trick.”

As far as Prabhas carrying the film on his sturdy shoulders goes Girish Johar quips, “If he could carry that massive shivling on his shoulder in Baahubali, why not this film? Down South he is HUUUGE MEGA STAR and up North he is pretty well-established. Let’s not forget, he is coming back after Baahubali so he’s pretty much in very good and comfortable situation. The boundaries are slowly diminishing for a regional star’s pan-India appeal and Prabhas may well be on an upward trajectory.”

Bihar exhibitor Suman Sinha is confident that the film will ride the hype wave if not sail on its intrinsic merits.

“It will no doubt get a phenomenal initial, on a par with Avengers Endgame. An unprecedented hype has been created on social media. The youth is our primary audience. They love hi-tech action like 2:0. This is a WOW generation. Content or no content. Lots of special effects required. It raises their Adrenaline levels. Also, the fact that there’s no other release this Friday will help.”

Critic Raja Sen has the last word: “I think audiences could do with a big budget action epic, so if Saaho is visually spectacular enough, it should ride high.”

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Tags: Distributers Prabhas Saaho