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Madras Cafe: Do controversies enhance the viewers' interest?

Updated: August 21, 2013, 1:01 PM IST
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Madras Cafe: Do controversies enhance the viewers' interest?
We asked the movie buffs if they think controversy is a reliable method to create a stir.

New Delhi: Bollywood is no stranger to controversies. And the latest film to court controversy is Shoojit Sircar's 'Madras Cafe'. From members of Tamil activist group Naam Tamizhar prohibiting the film's release in Tamil Nadu to politico Karunanidhi urging the government to unearth the truth behind the charges leveled against the film, John Abraham's political thriller has earned huge publicity for the so-called controversial content before its release.

For the uninitiated, the film, which is set in the late 80s and early 90s, revolves around the political and military histories of Sri Lanka, the Research and Analysis Wing and Lankan rebel group LTTE's activities.

With the number of instances wherein films make headlines for facing legal hassles seeing a spurt, we asked the movie buffs if they believe controversies and the ensuing public outrage is the most reliable method to create enough stir.

While many think controversy is the proverbial double-edged sword, there are those who believe celebrities don't mind creating a brand which is only built on well-planned disputes.

Madhur Bhandarkar's 'Heroine' exposed the truth

It is shocking to believe that PILs are filed in the week in which a movie is supposed to release. Aren't the promos released a month or two in advance before the official release? So how is it possible that the viewers, who don't object till then, are irked by the film's content, especially when the release date advances? Doesn't this prove the obvious? I'm sure Madhur Bhandarkar had taken a leaf from real life when he decided to incorporate this truth in his film 'Heroine' wherein Kareena as a last resort leaks her own sex video to promote her film. That's how desperate filmmakers can get. - Peden Doma Bhutia, a mediaperson

Resort to controversies to expand fan base

Any publicity is good publicity for the filmmakers. Why else do you think the filmmakers don't mind being slammed for their projects? It is the easiest way to expand one's following. - Priyanka Kaul, a marketing professional

Controversies outweigh their benefits

Agreed, dispute plays a key role in keeping the discussion around the film interesting. However, we have had several instances wherein controversies didn't help movies make much business. Remember 'The Hate Story'? It was a fizzle. The film may have grabbed everyone's attention for its explicit content and poster. But the movie couldn't live up to the expectations of the viewers. - Soniya Sikand, MBA aspirant

I don't think it's just about the publicity on the makers' part. In fact, most of the times the outfits that object the content of a film are very lesser known or completely unknown, so this gives them a lot of publicity. And, controversies are not always useful because it has the potential of hampering the film's business as well. - Akshat Oberoi, an entrepreneur

Filmmakers will never try and jeopardize the release of their own film as they have millions of bucks at stake. Controversies are never welcome. At a time when they need to concentrate on promoting their films, why would they choose to get involved in a legal quagmire? - Snigdha Chowdhury, HR professional

Filmmakers can't dupe the viewers

If filmmakers think controversy is the most reliable tool to earn huge revenue, they are wrong. Negative publicity might help the filmmakers earn free press, but they can't dupe their viewers repeatedly. Shweta Kapoor, DU student

(Names have been changed on request.)

First Published: August 21, 2013, 1:01 PM IST
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