Even Sanju Baba could not save 'Prasthanam' from collapsing
The business of Indian cinema has its own strange rules and patterns
The business of Indian cinema has its own strange rules and patterns. Its practitioners swear by a set of formulae, a few tactics and trends which have been by and large successful and time-tested. Never mind, the law of averages often catches up when one least expects it. Despite knowing its possibility, the film moghuls keep on trying, deluding themselves into thinking that it will not happen to their venture and there would be someone else more unfortunate who would fall victim to the declining ratio of returns.
Our film for this week in this column is one such release ' Prasthanam', which was originally made in 2010. It had a normal star cast, clearly devoid of star value as it rode the shoulders of young heroes like Sharwanand, Sandeep Kishen and the likes. Yet, it was critically acclaimed and went on to be dubbed in Tamil and Hindi and remade in Bengali. So far, so good.
Nine years later, it resurfaced in Bollywood with the same title of the Telugu version and featured stars like Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, Manisha Koirala and young actors like Ali Fazal and Amyra Dastur etc. The director of Telugu original, Deva Katta was retained for the Hindi version also by Sanjay Dutt who produced the film under his home banner. The shooting coincided with many anniversary days – of Sanju Baba's mother, Nargis, as it was launched and father, Sunil Dutt, as it was completed. Later a teaser trailer was released in July 2019, two months prior to the film's release, to coincide with the hero and producer's 60th birthday.
The movie, as Wikipedia describes dealt with politics at grass root levels that occur in villages of India, corrupt political system and the nexus between businessmen and politicians. On the other hand, it also touched themes like greed, ambition and devotion which are driving forces of the lead characters.
Made on a budget of Rs 40 crore, it did cover costs and went on to bag a total collection of Rs 60 crore. Yet it was not listed among the successful films of Sanjay Dutt, who also faced a protest from Shemaroo Entertainment Limited who accused the director of not having the remake rights. This film also, hence, became an exception to the rule that remakes are safe bets as they have been successful once and it can be repeated again.