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Fanaa lives up to its name

Caught between boycotts in Gujarat and Mumbai over different reasons, the movie is in a lot of hot water.

May 25, 2006

Fanaa, meaning destroyed, is surely in grave trouble. The movie is going to be released this friday but it will not be screened in cinemas in Gujarat. Political parties who were annoyed with Aamir Khan's comments on the Narmada dam issue had sworn that they would not allow Aamir's movies to be screened in Gujarat. Associations of cinemas and multiplexes have decided not to screen the film.

The trouble started last month when Aamir Khan expressed solidarity with the Narmada Bachao Aandolan and also criticised the Narendra Modi government over communal riots. Then, BJP and Congress workers had stopped the screening of Aamir's Rang de Basanti and burnt his effigies and movie posters. The Gujarat unit of the Bhratiya Janata Yuva Morcha has aid that they will not allow any movie of Aamir Khan's to be released in Gujarat unless he apologises. 

Multiplex owners decided not to screen the movie to prevent rioting and damage to the halls. While the boycott is spearheaded by the Gujarat youth wing of the BJP, the central leadership itself says it does not support the boycott. 

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, multiplexes are locked in a battle with Yashraj Films over revenue. Yashraj Films has asked for a higher share of the profits which the multiplexes are in no mood to oblige. According to sources, producers usually get 50 per cent of the profits but Yashraj Flims is asking for 60 percent. 

The multiplexes have a problem because Yashraj has the distribution rights over four big releases this year, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Krrish, Dhoom 2 and Kabul Express. 

Meanwhile, the Film and Television Producers Guild of India have condemned the boycott. Amit Khanna, Guild president, said “This uncalled for action is against the spirit of free enterprise and amounts to cartelisation.” But, as the day of the release draws nearer it is certain that both groups would want the issue to be settled amicably. Too much is riding on this movie and the other movies that are yet to be released by Yashraj Films.

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