It had to happen. But it has happened sooner than expected. Exhibitors, who had paid fat MGs (minimum guarantees) to Big Reliance Pictures, the worldwide distributors of Kites, were bound to feel cheated about being given an English film instead of a Hindi film as mentioned in their agreement. And they are feeling exactly that after releasing the much-hyped film of Rakesh Roshan. Not only was Kites promoted as a Hindi film with ‘a bit of Spanish dialogues’ but the fact that it is an English film was kept under wraps.

But what has emerged is that Hrithik Roshan speaks in English in the film while Barbara Mori uses Spanish as her language of communication. Other than the Hindi songs, there is very little use of Hindi in the film. Many exhibitors, especially of small centres where English is not understood by the public, are contemplating sending legal notices to Reliance Big Pictures for “cheating” them by passing off a predominantly English film as a Hindi one. The office of Film Information was inundated with telephone calls from harried exhibitors on Friday (21st May), angry on being kept in the dark about Kites being an English film. Seems, Reliance Big Pictures is in for some legal hassles ahead.

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The exhibition sector has got a high-voltage shock from the opening response to Kites this week. No doubt, the film opened very well in many ‘A’ class centres but collections in ‘B’ and ‘C’ class centres were far lower than expected of a Hrithik Roshan starrer produced by his father, Rakesh Roshan. “Whom do we trust now?” cried an exhibitor of C.I., wishing to remain anonymous. Another exhibitor of Rajasthan commented, “Exhibitors will now think twice before giving MGs and advances for the next big film, Raajneeti, even though that film has nothing to do with Kites. Unfortunately for the distributors of Raajneeti, many exhibitors will not be in a frame of mind to consider booking it on the terms they would’ve booked it had Kites opened to a bumper response.”

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