If Last Minute Drama Hadn't Happened, Modi Biopic Would Have Reached More People: Vivek Oberoi
The release of the Modi biopic, which was scheduled to hit theatres on April 11, was postponed by the Election Commission for the duration of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which began on April 11 and lasted for about six weeks.
Vivek Anand Oberoi in a still from 'PM Narendra Modi'.
Actor Vivek Anand Oberoi has opened up about the box office performance of his ambitious project PM Narendra Modi, which was plagued hugely by concerns that it would "disturb the level playing field during the elections" because of its source material.
The release of the Modi biopic, which was scheduled to hit theatres on April 11, was postponed by the Election Commission for the duration of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which began on April 11 and lasted for about six weeks. In its statement, the election body said that any material disturbing the level playing field in favour of any political party or individual should not be displayed.
"The film could have done better if it wasn't for the last minute chaos," Oberoi told us while recalling his brush-off with the Election Commission.
"Financially, it was a success. The film definitely made money. But a night before the film was going to release, the election commission pulled it off. Then I went to the Supreme Court and fought that battle there. They said there's no precedent, so probably if all that drama hadn't happened we would have reached more people,” said Oberoi.
"But I'm satisfied. I got a lot of good press and bad press. A lot of Modi haters hated on the film but a lot of ‘bhakts’ absolutely loved it. So in hindsight, if it wasn't for the institutional issue which I couldn't have anticipated, the film would have done better. It happened for the first time in India that the election commission decided to come down on a film but despite that it did well," the actor added.
PM Narendra Modi, in which Oberoi plays the title character, depicts Modi’s rise to fame, including him selling tea as a child, his two-year spiritual stint in the Himalayas and leading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha polls of 2014.
Oberoi has been more expressive about his political views than ever before and has no qualms in acknowledging which political party he supports. When asked whether that has any kind of impact on his personal or working relationships, the actor said, "Riteish (Deshmukh) is like a darling brother of mine and we both are of opposing ideologies. I have so many friends in the Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena or Samajwadi Party. I don't think even politicians themselves are opposed to each other. I believe ideologies change and evolve.
I think what's strongest to my core is that I'm a strong nationalist. I'm a patriot nationalist and my nation comes first for me. And I try to express it by physically doing things that contribute to it and not just talking and going on Twitter and saying, 'Jai Hind!' I try to live Jai Hind. I try to go out there and create opportunities for underprivileged kids to get educated and find a better life and that's 'Jai Hind' for me. There's no sense of moral high ground or pride around it. I barely even speak about it."
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