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3-min read

'Pihu' Sent for Guinness Book Even As Makers Receive Flak for Promotional 'Distress Calls' Imitating a Child

The film is now being considered for the Guiness World Records for being the only full length feature film starring a lone character, played by a 2-years-old- child actor.

Rakhi Bose | News18.com@theotherbose

Updated:October 29, 2018, 5:52 PM IST
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'Pihu' Sent for Guinness Book Even As Makers Receive Flak for Promotional 'Distress Calls' Imitating a Child
Myra Vishwakarma in a scene from Pihu.

National Award winning filmmaker Vinod Kapri’s upcoming film 'Pihu' has already generated chills in the box office.

The viral and controversial trailer featured a seemingly two or three-years-old girl, alone inside a high-rise apartment while her mother seems to be drugged or dead inside the house. The chilling, 125-seconds-long trailer traces the child's dangerous antics inside the house, keeping the audience guessing what her fate holds. Many have referred to the trailer as a parent's worst nightmare and many even called it out for being too disturbing.

In fact, the success of the trailer seems to have encouraged makers Vinod Kapri and Ronny Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur, who are apparently in talks with Guinness World Records for nominating Pihu. The film has just one character, a 2-year-old child actor.

However, while reactions to the trailer itself have been largely on the positive side with many claiming they can't wait to watch the film, set for a November 16 release, the makers have since been receiving a lot of flak on social media for a particular viral marketing stunt that seems to have backfired for the film. While the trailer was promising, what followed next has left many disturbed. As part of the film publicity gimmicks, many cell phone users got an anonymous call from a child allegedly in trouble.

Once the user answered the call, a child's voice spoke on the phone and asked for help, and then promptly hung up. Genuinely concerned by the call, many users tried calling back on the number to get in touch with the distressed child - only to get a text message in return containing a link to the Pihu trailer.

The gimmick was widely criticised after some people put the incident on Twitter. Many claimed that they felt 'disturbed' after getting the call, others blamed the makers of using a child's distress to play audience emotions just for publicity. Even others claimed that the gimmick was, in fact, an invasion of privacy. Check out some of the reactions on  Twitter:

Many blasted the move as 'sick' and referred to it as marketing gone wrong. No statements have yet been made by the film's makers.

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