It’s been a mixed bag for Srijit Mukherji this festive season. There have been brickbats and bouquets — if not in equal measure — after the release of his Zulfiqarin the Puja weekend. But then, Srijit, who has gone unapologetically mainstream, can be consciously careless about the negative feedback. Firstly, for every negative response, he can post 50 positive reviews on social media.
And finally, the film has done roaring business at the opening, and the box office, feels Srijit, never lies. Sitting down for the interview at the CT office after a morning nashta of tea and biscuits, he tells us, “I am being fattened for the slaughter, so take out the knives” — perhaps remembering the TOI review. We bring out the daggers. Excerpts:
Was it Brand Srijit that brought the audience to the theatres during Puja?
Friday, Saturday, yes… Sunday onwards, it was the film. It’s a fortnight now and the film broke even on the eighth day and closed in at `3.5 crore on the 11th day. If you divide the amount by the average ticket price, then a huge number of people have watched Zulfiqar. Given that it got greatly polarised reviews, the film has done well. It’s an unapologetically massy, populist film. There are four kinds of audiences who reacted to it. First, people who liked it and those who didn’t. Among those who liked it, there are two kinds — an absolutely new audience that had not seen a Srijit Mukherji film before, since they thought my films were niche and aantel.