It is all happening for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Irrfan’s Jazbaa. While one waits to see the kind of thrilling substance that filmmaker Sanjay Gupta has in the offering, those in charge for the film’s release (Zee Studios) are making sure that the film arrives with style. While it was pretty much a given that the film would see a wide release in India, what has caught trade’s attention is the international spread that Jazbaa is getting.
For starters, the film is being released across 40 countries. While that is notable by all means, what is special is the fact that it isn’t a token release across 4-5 screens, something that is typically the case for many films that announce a global arrival. Instead, it is a major mainstream release that is being planned.
“That’s correct,” says Akash Chawla of Zee Studios, “It is as grand a release as it can get. We have the hugest release in US where we are arriving on 100 screens. In UAE, we arrive on 50 screens. Ditto for Pakistan as well. This isn’t all as we are also bringing the film in smaller countries like Switzerland, Botswana and Austria, amongst others.”
In fact other than the Hindi version, there is also an Arabic version that has been put into place for the same day release.
“As a studio, we have a definite clout internationally. We are harnessing it to the fullest with Jazbaa,” says Girish Johar of Zee Studios, “We have the perfect combination of subject, content, starcast, genre and production values that cater nationally as well as internationally. There was no reason for us to keep anything low key for Jazbaa. When we have the substance, resources and the means, we have to go full throttle.”
This isn’t a major surprise though, considering the fact that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a global icon for years while Irrfan is the busiest Indian actor in the international arena today. With the kind of popularity and visibility that the two enjoy overseas, Jazbaa had to be huge.
Says Sanjay Gupta, “Exactly. Jazbaa has a universal appeal. It isn’t a film that had to be restricted to a particular milieu, stage or set up. This is my biggest international release and I am proud that it is for Jazbaa.”