(Updated: Sunday, 8 July. 2:00 pm)
MUMBAI: The recently released Awarapan has run into troubled waters and is facing the wrath of Muslims. A group of Muslims objected to a few scenes in Vishesh Films’ Awarapan at the Victory theatre in Pune on Saturday (7 July) and the mob even burnt the films’ hoarding.
The ban on the screening of the film in Pune has, which started yesterday, has been effective today (Sunday, 8 July) too.
On Saturday, the group marched to other single screens and multiplexes and asked for the screening to be stalled. For the time being the Pune police too have recommended the theatres to cancel Awarapan screenings and resume only after the tension subsides.
According to information available with Businessofcinema.com, Gold Adlabs in Pune doesn’t have any advance bookings for the tomorrow afternoon show. Additionally, advance bookings for Awarapan have also been stopped by the management. While the 2 pm show at Fame Pune did not face any hinderance, the 7 pm show has been cancelled.
A spokesperson from Inox multiplex in Pune says, “We had to refund close to 100 tickets of the 3 pm show.” The 9 pm show at Inox Pune has been cancelled and is replaced by Die Hard 4.
Commenting on the issue Mahesh Bhatt, presenter and writer of the film says, “My reverence to Islam is far, far, far greater than the people who have created this ruckus. Moreover the co-writer Shagufta Rafique is a Muslim herself, so those people need to pause and ask themselves what they are doing?”
He further adds, “The movie has met with a good response in Hyderabad, UP and Mumbai where Muslim population is concentrated. It even released in Pakistan yesterday and has met with a good response. If a country like Pakistan, which we claim to be as fundamentalist, does not have an issue with Awarapan, then who are these people to raise an objection?”
Awarapan, which released worldwide on 29 June has entered its second week. The movie has had a peaceful screening worldwide. It’s screening at Pune’s Victory theatre started only yesterday (6 July), in the second week. The fury broke out after the matinee show audience walked out and raised objection to a scene and a song.
The scene from the movie that was objected to was when Reema (Shriya Saran) hugs Shivam (Emran Hashmi), after offering her prayers at the fort. Objection was also raised on the lyrics of the song Maula Mere Maula in which the lines go ‘Mendi Masjid Bhi Tu, Menda Mandir Bhi Tu’, because they did not find it appropriate to name mandir and masjid in the same sentence.
Incidentally, this song has been rendered by Muslim singer Mustafa Zahid who after watching the movie has said on Pakistan national television that Awarapan should be seen by every muslim, informs Bhatt.
In Mumbai the initial repurcussions of the hullabaloo were felt only at Fame Dadar Nakshtra. Shringar Cinemas director Aditya Shroff informs, “Shivaji Park chief inspector Rajesh Waghmare has asked us to stall the screening of the film at Fame Nakshatra in Dadar. However, I spoke to Mukesh Bhatt and he informed me that he had spoken to the Mumbai Police Commissioner and assured us that we can go ahead with the Mumbai screenings. Moreover, Nakshatra was the only theatre in Mumbai to receive the call, while in Pune every theatre did, so I had to stop the screening there.”
Meanwhile Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt, are in the process of talking to the people, who created the ruckus and settle the matter. “We’re trying to get the law and order in place and have spoken to the Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil so that things like these do not happen again. We are also trying to give confidence to exhibitors that everything should come under control soon,” says Mahesh Bhatt.
The movie is distributed by Studio 18 in the Bombay circuit.
After Pakistan, Awarapan to hit Morocco