In its quest to make different cinema alongside mainstream cinema, UTV is going terribly wrong. In Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish, released late last year, UTV backed a subject which was quite alien to the Indian audience. Mercy-killing, as a concept, is not too well-known in India, at least among the general masses. For a populace which believes that our sufferings in life are a result of our bad deeds committed in the previous life, and that we must suffer in silence to atone the mistakes of our previous life, a terminally ill Hrithik Roshan asking the court permission to end his life as he did not want to suffer anymore, was nothing short of nonsense. Little wonder then that the film bombed at the box-office.
Again this year, Vishal Bhardwaj’s 7 Khoon Maaf, produced by UTV, showed Priyanka Chopra marrying seven times and killing her husbands one after the other. In the view of the orthodox Indian audience, girls who marry more than once aren’t the ‘right’ kind of girls. And so, the question of the public’s sympathy going to Priyanka in the film is out of question. The entire drama rests on the premise that Priyanka is in search of marital bliss and she keeps murdering her errant husbands and looks for newer ones in that quest. But because the Indian audience could not empathise with Priyanka’s character, the film was rejected.
UTV had better be careful about the films it backs so that the projects don’t backfire on the company!