By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The much-vaunted Grand Indian Premiere of the worldwide hit David O’ Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook (SLP) where our own Anupam Kher stars alongside the formidable Robert de Niro, has been cancelled.
Apparently, the premiere’s Indian sponsors decided to back out at the last minute since SLP, a worldwide blockbuster expected to garner several Oscars next week, is not seen to be of much interest to Indian audiences.
A source informs, “If you notice American films never get a premiere, grand or otherwise, even if they star an Indian actor. It was different with Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi and Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children which were properly premiered in Mumbai because they were deeply connected to India and Indian culture. But Silver Linings Playbook is a film on the American suburbia, and therefore of as much curious interest to Indian audiences as other Oscar nominees like Argo and Lincoln. And so what if Anupam Kher plays a major role in the film?”
The other reason why SLP didn’t finally merit an Indian premiere was the competition offered to the film.
Says the source, “Diehard 5 is releasing on the same day as SLP in Mumbai. That’s bad strategy. More so because SLP was released in America and other parts of the world many weeks ago and its pirated DVDs are easily available in India whereas Diehard 5 is just a week-old worldwide.”
Whatever the logistics being proffered about the premiere cancellation, the fact remains Anupam was looking forward to playing the Indian host to this celebrated American at a premiere in Mumbai. He had even invited his new friend Robert de Niro to be at the premiere and he intended to show his short film I Went Shopping For Robert de Niro to himo during the ‘premiere’ visit.
Now one hears that Anupam is flying out of Mumbai to Los Angeles when SLP releases in Mumbai, to show de Nero the film.
Says Anupam, “Yes I am off to LA on Thursday night . I will be showing my film to de Niro. But I am going mainly for the Oscars.”
When asked about the cancelled Mumbai premiere of SLP, Anupam admitted candidly, “Yes ,the premiere is not happening for various reasons that I don’t want to go into. Though Silver Linings Playbook is a worldwide blockbuster, it is not a popular franchise like Mission Impossible or James Bond. More than that I am not at liberty to say.”