Nikhil Advani’s Salaam-e-Ishq challenges norms

MUMBAI: Nikhil Advani’s Salaam-e-Ishq, slated to release on 25 January 2007, is definitely not a run of-the-mill film, nor is Advani a producer-director who follows standard patterns.

He has proved it by incorporating six stories in one film, by insisting that the film release on a Thursday instead of a Friday, and now, by letting the film run for over three hours.

“The length is three and a half hours. Isn’t it good if you get so much more for your money? There are six stories in the film, so if you do the mathematics, you get to see only 35 minutes of each couple. I wish I could make a four or four and a half hour film because I have so much material to put in the film. But we have pared it down to three and a half hours, and it’s a good and strong film,” justifies Advani, who is just one day away from the final completion of the film.

He adds, “If it’s a good film, why would it become difficult to sit through it for three and a half hours? If the film is bad, it becomes difficult to sit through it even for one and a half hours.”

When quizzed if he has calculated the revenue the film will garner in one day by releasing it on a Thursday, he says, “Nothing in this film has been calculated. That is precisely the reason why Salaam-e-Ishq is so long. If I had calculated, I would cut it to three hours. Also, I would have kept only three or one love story, in place of six. I have made this film from my heart, because these are the stories I have wanted to tell.”

Rohini Bhandari

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