Mumbai: Tension has been brewing between Raj Thackeray and the Bachchans since last week over a statement made by Jaya Bachchan at the audio launch of Drona. To this, Thackeray demanded public apology from Jaya Bachchan, even if it be on television.
On 10 September, after an act of vandalism that broke in PVR Cinemas at Juhu, wherein a plasma screen was broken and also a PVR official was injured, the producers of Amitabh Bachchan starrer The Last Lear, cancelled the film’s premiere. The premiere of the film will now be held in Delhi instead on 11 September.
Also, publicity materials such as posters and standees of The Last Lear and Abhishek Bachchan starrer Drona have been pulled out from all multiplexes in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra.
Other multiplexes in Mumbai and rest of Maharshtra, which had opened the advance bookings of the film today, have been given instructions to close the advance bookings until a final decision on the release of the film is arrived at. It is learnt that even for the few hours the advance booking was open, the response was very poor or almost nil.
Distributor of The Last Lear- PVR Cinemas Film Cell CEO Ashish Saksena said, "We are waiting for a response from the producers end after the press conference."
At the press conference organized on 10 September evening, producer of the film and Planman Motion Picture’s director Arindam Chaudhuri said, "We will release the film as per schedule. The matter is very trivial and we hope it will not carry on beyond Friday."
He further added, "There are no precautions that we can take. For us it is a big business risk. This is not working as publicity for my movie, and I hope no producer goes through this."
At the press conference, Amitabh Bachchan apologized. "Even if one person is sentimentally hurt by what Jaya said, we would like to apologize. No malice was intended in her words, but if someone’s sentiments are hurt we take it upon us. The matter is now with the State, Government and Administration, so I will do as they ask me to. Legally whatever is expected we will go through it, even if that means going to jail. Mr R R Patil is also investigating the words spoken by Jaya," Bachchan said.
Although Amitabh Bahchcan has apologized publicly on behalf of Jaya Bachchan, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) spokesperson Shishir Shinde said that they expected a public apology from Jaya. So a definite decision on this issue is yet to be arrived at. Earlier they also rejected the apology by Jaya Bachchna in an interview published in a newspaper.
Plans are to release The Last Lear all across India with 100 prints out of which 20 prints have been kept aside for Maharashtra.