Mithun vs Mithun

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By KUSHALI NAG
  • Published 11.10.07
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From a small-time goon to an MLA and a home minister, Fatakesto’s careergraph soared with MLA Fatakesto and its sequel Minister Fatakesto. But not so for Mithun Chakraborty. Tollywood’s much-hyped first sequel with Mithun in the lead is limping at the box office.

Producer Shree Venkatesh Films had pulled out all the stops to ensure that Minister Fatakesto outshone its original MLA Fatakesto, which crowned Mithun as the most bankable male star in Tollywood last year.

Minister had a bigger budget, slick sets, smart fight scenes and Mithun after a makeover — he even raps for an item number with a bunch of girls on a psychedelic set.

And Minister did have a good opening — unlike MLA Fatakesto. Going by the results of the first week, the producers were hopeful of a huge box-office hit. But the footfalls started dipping substantially from second week onwards.

“It’s disappointing that Minister didn’t do as expected. After the 50-day run, we managed to recover Rs 2 crore. Probably Tollywood needs time to accept sequels,” says Mahendra Soni of Shree Venkatesh Films.

The problem point is that Minister fared poorly even in the suburbs, the core business area for regional films. “Though it has done less than 50 per cent business than MLA, Minister is still in the halls. We hope it will pick up in the suburbs during the Pujas,” adds Soni.

fact file

MLA Fatakesto

Budget: Rs 2 crore

Ran for: More than 75 days in the city

Value for money: Recovered over Rs 2.5 crore in a month

Prints: 61

Minister Fatakesto

Budget: Rs 2.5 crore

Running for: 50 days and more

Value for money: Recovered Rs 2 crore

Prints: 50

Little progression in the storyline, no punch in the dialogues and Mithun’s funky look — the charges are flying thick and fast.

N.K. Salil, who wrote the script and dialogues for both the films, feels the character of Fatakesto failed to meet the audience’s expectations in the sequel. “Maybe people expected something like Lage Raho Munna Bhai, where the main character is completely different from Munna Bhai MBBS. Minister begins where MLA ends. There was perhaps a communication gap between the makers and the audience,” says Salil.

Also, Mithun’s dialogues in Minister failed to match up to the ceetee-taali-provoking stuff of MLA — the sequel retained MLA’s trademark lines Marbo ekhane, laash porbe shoshane. Marbo ekhane is Fatakesto’s signature dialogue, so we kept it,” reasons Salil, whose additions, like “Fatakesto khobor dekhe na, khobor pore na, khobor toiri kore”, cut no ice.

Main man Mithun, however, feels two films can never be the same in terms of success. “MLA was phenomenal. But as long Minister is running and recovers its cost, I am fine. I have done my best and I liked the film,” says Mithun.

His producers haven’t lost heart yet. “Plans are on to make a sequel of Minister Fatakesto!” reveals Soni.