Tusharr Kapoor turns producer for the first time with Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani starrer Laxmii (earlier titled Laxmii Bomb), we ask about the debate over if the films should be allowed to release both in theatres and OTT and more. Read on.
Tusharr Kapoor turns producer for the first time with Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani starrer Laxmii (earlier titled Laxmii Bomb). The movie is all set to release on November 9 on Hotstar. The film which was earlier to be released during Eid was pushed because of lockdown. Recently, there was a lot of debate over if the films should be allowed to release both in theatres and OTT platform with the theatres now opening. We ask Tusharr all of it. Excerpts below:
Are you excited or nervous about the film finally releasing?
Excited, I am not nervous, I am happy and confident about the movie. Of course, slight nervousness is healthy.
People are very positive about it. The fact that everyone in the trade is saying that we wish it was releasing at the time when theatres are open and that shows that it is a film that is being viewed as very promising and liked by everyone, not just the niche audience which watches some OTT platform. It’s a very reassuring feeling that the trailer has done well and both the songs have been received well.
Many feel that this movie is meant for the theatres, however difficult situation calls for difficult decisions. Was it a tough choice to opt for a digital release?
Adjustment is always a little difficult. In any case, we are all used to a certain pattern of releasing films, to adjust a new normal and releasing films keeping everything in mind is a little challenging. Though we all understood the circumstances and the fact that there is nothing that can be done about it after lockdown, given all that, we were thoughtful and we took the best opportunity available to us, in the form of Disney Hotstar and which is widely watched platform. It is almost a blessing that even in the pandemic we have been avenues to release our films in a good way.
But what about releasing it simultaneously in theatres?
That is the hybrid pattern of releasing films, it is usually released in one avenue first and then other avenues take over. Like the theatres get the movies first and then the satellite and digital take place. The fact that we had close all the other options because of finalising a deal for a digital release, to change into a hybrid pattern of release is on the shoulder of the OTT platform which ha acquired the film. Only they can take this decision now. I am sure the scenario better than I do as far as the reopening of cinemas is concerned. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the release this Monday because these are things no one could control.
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You turn producer for the first time. How challenging was it to take up the producer’s hat?
Of course, it was difficult, getting rights of a south film and then getting the right cast for it, getting the adapted version in a manner where everyone including the hero of the Hindi version is happy with it, all of that is a lot of work and procedural challenges, and that as producers we have to go through but that only makes the film better is what I believe. Of course, there were many unforeseen challenges as well, by the time we had Akshay sir on board, he had a line up of films, and then by the time we had his dates and started the film, there were weather issues and so many other challenges that really took us a lot of hard work to overcome but eventually it is coming at the right time. Whatever I think doesn’t break you makes you stronger and the film bigger and better.
I feel the film has been making buzz since the time it was announced without any extra effort. Getting the rights, getting Akshay sir, Kiara on board, the title change, the pandemic, I think everything brought a lot of limelight to the film on its own and I am trying to be positive about it.
Was Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani the first choice for the film always?
Having Akshay sit on board for a film, I think everything becomes easier after that. He was always the first choice, though he wanted us to rewrite the film and come back to him which took us a while to do that because it has to appeal to our audience of today, and then when he said yes to the adapted version there was no looking back.
Kiara was always we wanted in the film. When we had Akshay sit on board in 2018, Kiara was still fresh and we were happy she said yes. And then in 2019, things became much better for her too, and that I think worked well for us too.
Recently, the title was changed from Laxmii Bomb to Laxmii. Were you know of the decision?
I was okay because it was a very informed and thoughtful decision taken with the censors’ advice. Diwali ki film hai toh Laxmii as a title is even better I feel. A lot of women are reacting better to this title I think, mom said it is a good title with Diwali just a few days away. So, I think woh bhi accha hua. Not that I felt there was anything wrong with the first title but if there were some people who had grievances have hopefully put the rest any misunderstanding they had with the title.
Akshay will be seen in a very different avatar this time… what are the responses you have been getting on that?
Oh, he is the USP I think, his performance, his get-up, now that the Bhambole song is out, then people can see what he has done. So, given the response we have got, I think people are really excited to see him in this avatar. He has shattered so many different perceptions of the image he has onscreen as a macho hero, comic hero, and has gone on to change the mindset, it is going to be a game-changer I feel. Very few actors have gone so far and experimented so much.
Since the movie is an official adaption of a South film Kanchana. Are you ready for all the comparisons which will follow?
Comparisons are always going to happen but that also means that people will watch it. If people like it then they will compare. If you don’t watch it, there will be no comparisons. So I think I will want to take this positively as well. I want them to start comparisons, so I will know that there is some conversation that is happening. At the end of the day, it is about how good or bad a film is.
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