One Direction fanatic Arshi Alam, 16, has been waiting desperately for This Is Us. On Monday, the Pratt Memorial School student was “devastated” when Metro warned her that the 3D concert film on her favourite boy band would possibly not release in Calcutta this Friday.
“I feel my heart is lying on the highway and a truck just ran over it. It’s that painful,” said Arshi, who describes herself as a “die-hard 1D fan”.
Arshi’s anguish mirrors that of thousands of One Direction fans in the city — a majority of them teenage girls — desperate to know if Calcutta will be denied a date with ID on Friday the 6th.
“As of now, we are not releasing This Is Us in Calcutta on Friday. However, we are reconsidering the option of releasing in Calcutta on the basis of aggressive demand from the city’s One Direction fans,” was the word from Sony Pictures, the producers of This Is Us. Their reason for bypassing Calcutta? The limited number of prints made available to India, prompting a release in only 25 screens across the country. And that would mean Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, besides Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Not Holly-shy Calcutta.
For those who still don’t know, One Direction is the biggest boy band in years — worth over 25 million pounds — with Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson sparking a rare craze around the world and their film This Is Us already a rage in the UK and US.
Calcutta Directioners (a One Direction fan, silly!) like Arshi will not give up without a fight. “Sony Pictures had asked us to submit a petition with 100 signatures of 1D Calcutta fans if we wanted the film to release here. We sent them 190 signatures, but are still waiting to hear from them. We are determined to pursue this.”
This Is Us, directed by Morgan Spurlock and produced by Simon Cowell (who had spotted the boys in The X-Factor), is all about the five British boys who are now a global phenomenon. “The film talks about our personal lives, ups and downs. It also shows our tours and the preparation that goes into it. It has everything that has ever happened to us till now,” the 1D boys had told t2 last month.
The film opened at number 1 in the US, with Directioners Sasha and Malia Obama even managing to get an advance copy of the DVD delivered to the White House.
The London premiere at Leicester Square saw girls queuing up from the night before, prompting The Times to write: “Comparisons with The Beatles were unfair, mainly because most of the ‘Directioners’ had no idea who The Beatles were.”
Shinjinee Das does know The Beatles but for now her life revolves around 1D. “If I am asked what will be my last wish before I see the world crumbling to pieces, it would be to watch This Is Us,” said the first-year student of Asutosh College.
ONE DIRECTION DOSSIER
WHO: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson
WHAT: Rock-infused pop
HITS: What Makes You Beautiful, One Thing, Gotta Be You, Live While We’re Young, Little Things, Kiss You, Best Song Ever
HOW BIG ARE THEY?
■ The youngest UK
act to simultaneously reach number one on album and singles charts.
■ First British band to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200, with debut album Up All Night
■ Worth over 25 million pounds
■ Sasha and Malia Obama are such big fans that they got an advance copy of the This Is Us DVD delivered to the White House
■ Thousands of teenage girls around
the world call themselves Directioners