Riteish Deshmukh: Marathi films are still audience's second option
Backing another regional fare, Riteish Deshmukh draws comparisons with South market that supports homegrown movies
As his third production Mauli is on the threshold of release, Riteish Deshmukh says he is actively trying to promote the growth of Marathi cinema. The actor-producer doesn't mince words as he admits that regional fares suffer from the audience's innate bias towards Hindi cinema.
"Even in Maharashtra, Marathi film is the audience's second option. When a Marathi film is releasing alongside a Hindi counterpart, the latter will be the audience's first choice. The situation is different in the South where viewers give preference to regional films. Hindi films collect marginal amounts there."
It is easy to see that these factors came into play when Deshmukh decided to advance the release of the Saiyami Kher-starrer to December 14 - the actioner was to initially clash with Shah Rukh Khan's Zero on December 21.
"Shah Rukh is a dear friend. Zero is his production house's biggest film. Similarly, Mauli is the biggest film under my banner. When Total Dhamaal was postponed, I realised that we had a window to advance the release of Mauli; it would work in favour of both films as the screen count would no longer be divided and we would get a clear run of one week. We are happy to move our film."
His upcoming release is an actioner, a genre that hasn't been fully explored in Marathi cinema. He reasons, "2.0 was made on a budget of over Rs 500 crore, but no one would have imagined this kind of an investment, few years back. Similarly, a Marathi film is made on a particular budget, and this genre is an expensive affair. But, things are looking promising."
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