A big bowl of chocolate cake. That was the “special something” that Upasruti Biswas, Ahana Sinha and Urja Priyadarshini Choudhury brought to Fame (South City) on Friday evening to share with fellow Directioners at the release of One Direction: This Is Us on band member Niall Horan’s 20th birthday.
“To think that This Is Us has actually released in Calcutta on Niall’s birthday is enough to give us goosebumps! We wanted to do something special to celebrate this day,” chorused teenagers Upasruti, Ahana and Urja as they went around sharing the cake at the first day-first show.
The 92-minute docu-drama on the smash-hit British boy band — a rage with teenage female fans worldwide — gave Calcutta the miss on Friday the 6th till howls of protest from Directioners, voiced through t2, prompted Sony Pictures (the film’s producers) and Fame (South City) to first arrange for a special screening for t2 readers and then a deferred release from the 13th. And with the number of sellout shows jumping from one to two (5.35pm and 5.40pm) “owing to public demand”, the plex was teeming with One Direction fans (in picture by Anindya Shankar Ray) a good hour prior to the shows. “I can’t tell you what it feels like to finally have the chance to watch This Is Us in Calcutta. It’s a dream come true and an experience I will cherish forever,” smiled Afreen Zaki, a Class VIII student of La Martiniere for Girls.
In the middle of deafening 1D roars, group hugs, impromptu jigs and high-fives, t2 was the other talking point. “It was t2 that took our voices to Sony Pictures and made This Is Us release in Calcutta. We can’t thank you enough,” said buddies Nandita Khanna and Akshita Dhariwal.
“My daughter has learnt to read newspapers after t2’s coverage of One Direction! She has made a scrapbook out of every 1D story that has come out in t2,” added Sharmila Choudhury, directioner Urja’s indulgent mother.
Screaming girls dressed in 1D tees and shoes and sporting 1D bags and tattoos cheered every moment on screen and sang along with their heart-throbs. Harshita Anand and Arshi Alam of La Martiniere for Girls were back to watch This Is Us after “screaming their lungs out” at the t2 screening last Saturday. “We wanted to come out once more and watch it with the other Directioners, especially when today happens to be Niall’s birthday,” smiled Harshita.
Before the screenings, Directioners stood in the plex lobby to sing “Happy Birthday” for Niall. At the end of the film, they ran down to the space in front of the screen to sing Best Song Ever with the famous five.
“Just the experience of watching, laughing, sharing and dancing with other One Direction fans was special. I will come back a few more times for this,” smiled Directioner Stuti Saraogi even as Fame (South City) confirmed that This Is Us would run to houseful shows through the weekend.