A still from film Raag
A still from film Raag

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): As theaters were gearing up for new film releases to make up for the business they lost due to lockdown for almost a year, the second wave of Covid pandemic has spoiled all the hopes once again.

Film makers too had taken a big risk of releasing the movies on big screens. Moreover, the movie buffs from the capital city waiting for some big releases were in a shock after district administration issuing order to close down the cinema halls in view of sudden spike in corona positive cases.

Theaters in Bhopal opened from March 11 and were pinning hopes from big releases like biopic based on shuttler Saina Nehwal, Saina, Roohi starring Rajkumar Rao and Janhvi Kappor, said multiplex owner, Aziz Khan.

Corona pandemic has shaken the film industry like others. Besides people related to making of a film, multiplex and single screen owners and their staff too had to suffer because of the pandemic. ‘We are paying electricity bills and property tax without doing any business. Government did not provide any relaxation to us like several other businesses,’ added Aziz.

Cinema hall owners also kept paying their staffers as well, he said. The month of March saw releases of films like Roohi (March 11), Mumbai Saga (March 19), Saina, Haathi Mere Sathi and Paglait (March 26).

Future course of cinema halls will be decided on the basis of release of Amitabh Bachhan starrer Chehre, slated to release on April 9. People had started returning to cinema halls but before the theaters could start business, they have been asked to shut down again.

A shocker for Bhopali film maker

A feature film Raag that was made by Bhopalis slated to release on March 26 too succumbed to closure of cinema halls in view of spreading corona virus cases.

The film was based on Bedni dancers of Madhya Pradesh. It was written by Nazeer Qureshi and directed by Arvind Tripathi. “It was a proud moment for the whole team as the movie was about to release on Friday - cinema halls were ordered shut the same day,” said writer of the movie, Nazeer Qureshi.

It is the last movie in which dance direction was given by legendry Saroj Khan. The star cast includes Sudha Chandran, Rajpal Yadav among others. The movie was extensively shot in and around Bhopal, he added.

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Free Press Journal