Small budget, big ideas

Published: Dec 24, 2013, 08:41 IST | Shameem Khan and Nilesh Rao |

The year 2013 saw some films that lacked big budgets, star power or huge publicity but managed to leave an impact on audiences nonetheless. Here's a dekko.

Nothing sells like sex. The steamy promos featuring Shilpa Shukla and Shadab Kamal attracted the audience that was surprised by the strong and moving storyline. The film collected around Rs 4.35 crore net in its opening weekend at the box office. Made on a low budget, B.A.Pass recovered its cost from the theatricals itself.

The public found watching Fukrey that means worthless, a worthwhile experience indeed. With actors like Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh and Richa Chaddha in lead roles, the film was declared a hit despite a poor opening. The total collections of the film were around Rs 37-38 crore net. Pulkit’s performance and Richa’s Bholi Punjaban act had the audience in splits. Director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s career too got a boost with the film’s success.

The 3D film directed by Remo D'Souza featured Prabhu Deva and a string of young dancers, many of whom were former reality show participants. Made at a modest budget of Rs 12 crore, it was released on a total of 750 screens, which included 400 3D screens and 350 2D screens in India. ABCD collected around Rs 19.5 crores net at the domestic box-office in the first weekend. By the end of its first week, the film grossed over Rs 31.2 crores net.

Table no.21
The year 2013 got its first surprise hit with Table No.21 that had Rajeev Khandelwal, Tena Desae and Paresh Rawal. It was made on a modest budget and lacked star power. However, the film made around Rs 9.5 crore in the first week, which was quite encouraging. Shot largely in the Fiji Islands, it was a thriller film that addressed the issue of ragging. Rawal and Khandelwal stole the show with their performances. There was no publicity or hype surrounding the film except for the song which had Tena wearing a bikini.

Trivia time 
>> The scene in Hansal Mehta’s Shahid where Raj Kumar gets assaulted is based on Mehta’s real life experience when workers from a political party after his film, Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar.
>> Director Ajay Bahl had first thought of casting Richa Chaddha in the role of Sarika played by Shilpa Shukla. However, Richa got the chance to work in Gangs of Wasseypur and Ajay advised her to forget B.A.Pass and do Anurag Kashyap’s film.
>> Actor Rajeev Khandelwal was not comfortable with the idea of kissing co-actor Tena Desae in Table No.21 but eventually complied. Rajeev who’s an atheist in real life was pretty good in the scene where he’s asked about his belief in God.
>> Fukrey got a re-release in October when it was back on a Delhi theatre due to popular demand. It ran alongwith films like The Lunchbox and Grand Masti.
>> Choreographer-actor-director Prabhu Deva signed ABCD without even reading the script as he’s close to Remo D’Souza. The film did not release with Akshay Kumar’s Special Chabbis as he did not want to compete with Akki.

A small film made with a lot of heart, Shahid started slowly at the box-office. However, word-of-mouth publicity helped the film immensely and it made a decent collection of  Rs 3.20 crores at the end of its first week. The biopic based on the life of human rights lawyer Shahid Azmi enthralled the critics and a section of the masses. Kudos to filmmaker Hansal Mehta and actor Raj Kumar who did complete justice to Sameer Gautam Singh’s script by portraying the dilemma of the lead protagonist to perfection. The film was made at a budget of Rs 1 crore.  

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