What you see, is definitely not what you get, as far as Bollywood is concerned. Sample this: all the buzz about a rather sensuous lip-lock between actors Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was on everyone’s lips prior to the release. The audience, however, were in for a rude shock when this much-hyped kiss turned out to be one lasting for less than a minute, sans any chemistry and being anything but sensual.
It was also the case with the latest Harry Potter installment, as the much-talked about kiss between actors Rupert Grint and Emma Watson was hardly there. Time and again, the audiences have felt cheated for the promised goods not being delivered on the big screen.
When the audience walked in for Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap, many came out complaining about actor Raveena Tandon’s over-hyped item song not being in the film at all. Though Emraan Hashmi’s recent release Murder 2 has already been declared a hit, critics all across have panned the chemistry between Emraan and actress Jacqueline Fernandes. Many who were expecting actor Salman Khan to make an appearance in his recent production Chillar Party, as the promos led one to believe, too were disappointed. Even the Ranbir Kapoor item song came post the credits rolled.
Trade analysts and industry observers are not surprised by these promotional tactics. “Sex sells and item numbers, special appearances, intimate scenes, kisses between their leads have always been tools for publicity, so they have been overused by filmmakers to create a hype about their films,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh, adding that in several cases like that of Ranbir and Raveena, “it won’t be surprising to know that the actors felt likewise”.
Trade analyst Komal Nahta explains, “By the time the audience realises that they’ve been cheated, there are other elements in the movie that manage to grab their attention. But yes, the audience, who fall for such publicity promos are definitely taken for a ride by these filmmakers.”
But they also don’t rule out the risks of a film flopping if the audience doesn’t find the film living up to the hype. “Kites, Hissss… are such examples of over-hyped films that lost mainly because they failed to live up to the hype,” says a leading distributor. “Once the bar of expectations is raised, and the filmmakers do not deliver, the audience is bound to be disappointed. But it’s about time that they didn’t fall for such tactics at all,” opines Nahta.