Katrina Kaif in stills from Chikni Chameli
Katrina Kaif in stills from Chikni Chameli

It has often been debated whether the trend of showing either the entire song of a film or large chunks of it on television channels and on websites like YouTube before the release of that film is sensible marketing or not. If a song is a chartbuster, its popularity, more often than not, ensures that the public would make a beeline to the cinemas for the film when it hits the screens to watch, among other things, that hit song. But if the public has already seen the song, that too day in and day out, before the film actually releases, the question is: wouldn’t they feel less inclined to go to the cinema hall to see the same song over again? In a way, the repeated hammering of the song may have spoilt the charm for the audience because an overkill, after all, is an overkill.

Conversely, those who profess that it is wise to show the song in toto before release, believe that the tempo of the promotion of the film needs to be maintained till the day of release, and a sure way of doing that is to repeat a hit song on television channels. Obviously, their further argument is that there are other highlights in the film, besides the song, which are kept under wraps and which, therefore, would give the audience value for their money when they visit a cinema to watch the film. They also feel, the pleasure of watching a song on the big screen is far greater than of watching it on the TV or computer screen – and this joy can be multiplied if the song has become a rage due to its constant promotion on the audiovisual medium as against on the audio medium only.

But it wouldn’t be wrong to say that there are films nowadays in which the only highlight/s is/are so completely shown on TV and the Internet platforms – and so many times – that there is nothing that remains for the public to enjoy in the cinema hall as they’ve already seen whatever there was to see in the film – and repeatedly! This problem never arose before television became such a popular medium for film promotion. In the good old days, the medium of radio was used to promote films and since that medium did not have the ability to show the song being promoted on it, there was no fear about the public not going to watch the film, because the visual appeal of the hit song could only be enjoyed in the dark of the cinema hall.

In recent times, the Chikni Chameli song from Agneepath has become a chartbuster and it is available for free viewing on almost every platform. Of course, one can very safely assume that Karan Johar’s Agneepath would be watchworthy for more reasons than just Chikni Chameli but still, the question that begs an answer is: should Karan have opened his Chameli card or given only a hint to the audience that its picturisation on Katrina Kaif was another ace up his sleeve just like the music?

Katrina Kaif In Chikni Chameli

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Komal Nahta, the Editor of Koimoi.com, is Bollywood’s most trusted trade analyst & film reviewer. You can follow him on Twitter and check out his Video Blog.

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