| Moviegoers come out of Regent after the 10.30am show of Satyagraha on Friday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Prakash Jha has outperformed himself though Satyagraha failed to bring in the audiences on the first day.
His latest release has fared better than his earlier movies in Patna. Satyagraha raked in Rs 6.8 lakh on Friday compared to Chakravyuh (Rs 4.2 lakh), Aarakshan (Rs 5.5 lakh) and Raajneeti (Rs 5.8 lakh). His last two films — Aarakshan and Chakravyuh — too, had a bad opening.
Despite a dream cast comprising Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee and Kareena Kapoor Khan, the film did not win favour with the crowd and went flat in terms of monetary collection. Based on the theme of corruption in the political system, the 2.20-hour film failed to impress. At the 8am show at Regent, more than half of the total number of seats were empty.
Jha has repeatedly denied any connection to social activist Anna Hazare’s campaign in the movie but the audience repeatedly made observations during the film and criticised the director for dishing out such a fare.
The film has slotted 21 shows in Patna — 11 at Cinepolis, five at Mona and an equal number of screenings at Regent.
On the poor response to Satyagraha, film critic and adviser of Cine Society, Patna, R.N. Das told The Telegraph: “He is providing the same stuff to the public again and again. Rajkumar Kohli’s Nagin (1976) was appreciated by everyone. He started a trend of making movies based on snakes but the later films flopped except few like Nagina starring Sridevi.”
He added: “After J.P. Dutta’s Border was declared a blockbuster, similar films based on India-Pakistan war were made but none could match its success. The same has happened with Prakash Jha. He has made excellent films like Damul and later Gangaajal and Apaharan, which were appreciated. But, if the director tries to repeat the same formula all the time, the audience will simply not take it.”
The audience blamed the poor script and a repetitive storyline for the debacle. “I am a big fan of Jha’s films. I thought this time he must have come up with some interesting subject. After sitting through the movie, I feel I have wasted my money and time. He has tried to make a serious film but it is fictitious and does not relate to reality. I was shocked to see Kareena as a TV journalist, who was shown smiling while covering the protest. I have never seen reporters do so while covering serious news,” said Ranjay Kumar, a resident of Bakarganj at Regent.
Even the theatre management feels the film will not perform well owing to its monotonous topic.
Mona cinema manager Sharad Gupta said: “The occupancy may be good during the weekend. But I have doubts of its run after that. Jha’s last film Aarakshan did not do well. The audience’s taste has changed and they do not want to watch such films anymore.”