Koimoi.com Editor Komal Nahta clears the air around the controversy over the postponement of Mausam’s release.
As mentioned on 12th September (Monday), Eros International and Sheetal Talwar’s Mausam could not be released this week and will now come on 23rd September. Although it was evident on 12th September that Pankaj Kapur’s maiden directorial venture would not be able to make it to the screens on 16th, as scheduled, the producers made a formal announcement to this effect only late in the evening on 13th, adding to the confusion in the minds of the film’s distributors and exhibitors as talks of the postponement had spread like wild fire. Your favourite website, Koimoi.com, was the first to report the news of the postponement on 12th around 8 p.m. Although Eros and Talwar did not deny the news, they were tight-lipped till around 24 hours after that.
There were some readers who sent us hate messages on reading our story of the postponement of release of Mausam as they felt, we were jumping the gun in the absence of confirmation from the producers. But, of course, they must now be eating humble pie.
The postponement was necessitated because of the delay in getting the No Objection Certificate from the Indian Air Force which wanted Pankaj Kapur to delete some shots from the film. Both, Pankaj Kapur and Sheetal Talwar were confident, they’d be able to secure the NOC without effecting the cuts but the IAF authorities were clear that they would not part with the NOC till the cuts were carried out. Meanwhile, the CBFC saw the film late on 12th September and even okayed it but the physical copy of the censor certificate was obtained only on 13th evening. The 24-hour delay in receiving the censor certificate was because the CBFC asked the producers to put a disclaimer in the film to the effect thet the IAF aeroplane fights were fictional. Meanwhile, Talwar and Kapur tried their best to make the IAF authorities see their point of view. Ultimately, Pankaj Kapur had to effect the cuts after which the NOC was obtained from the IAF on 13th afternoon.
However, it was too late to catch the release date of 16th September as the prints couldn’t have possibly reached the Overseas destinations for release on Thursday/Friday.
At a hurriedly-called press conference on 14th, Pankaj Kapur announced the postponement and praised the IAF for extending all co-operation to him and the unit while the film was being shot. Shahid Kapoor plays an IAF pilot in the film.
Interestingly, Sheetal Talwar went underground from 13th once it was clear that the film would not be able to hit the screens on 16th. He remained incommunicado till 15th. He did not even attend the press conference on 14th.
Even while all the tension over the IAF NOC and the censor certificate was going on, a producer moved the court to seek a stay on the release of Mausam but failed. The case is an old one involving producer Nawman Malik who claimed that the title was allotted to him before it was given to Sheetal Talwar. The case had been dismissed by the Bombay high court earlier but Malik has appealed against the order. The bench dismissed the appeal on 13th.
Bad ‘Mausam’ For ‘Hum Tum Shabana’
The postponement of release of Mausam to 23rd September was bound to have a chain reaction. The first reaction came in the form of postponement of Hum Tum Shabana. The film has been pushed from 23rd to 30th September. According to Subhash Dawar, producer of Hum Tum Shabana, he postponed his film by a week to avoid clashing with Mausam. “There were other reasons too for the postponement,” he clarified. “I was never happy about my earlier release date as it fell in the Shradh period when Hindus don’t generally start anything new or auspicious. By postponing the film by a week, I have been able to avoid the Shradh days. Also, I’ll get an additional week to promote my film,”explained Dawar.