October: Varun Dhawan starrer to be released by topmost distribution house in India

By Manishaa R

He is the new superstar on the horizon, says Shreyans Hirawat of NH Studioz, which is releasing October in India

While films starring the three Khans are considered a hot bet in the distribution market, it is Varun Dhawan’s immense box-office potential that has now drawn the attention of distribution houses. In what appears to be an index of Varun’s immense box-office appeal, one of the most distinguished distribution offices in Bollywood NH Studioz, spearheaded by the father-son team of Narendra and Shreyans Hirawat, is all set to release the Varun Dhawan starrer October all over India, “This is the first time we have acquired a Varun Dhawan film. He is already a superstar in his own right. He is versatile and has always delivered in all his films but this film will even make the few non-Varun fans follow and love him,” Shreyans Hirawat reveals.

“This is the first time we have acquired a Varun Dhawan film. He is already a superstar in his own right”- Shreyans Hirawat

However he adds that the film is backed by substance and a promising director who has never let down his audiences, “Let’s not forget that October is directed by Shoojit Sircar, who has to his credit films like Piku and Pink. Our previous association with him in Pink was a great success and Shoojit and his team have become more like family to us. We have a lot of faith in his work,” Shreyans avers, adding that they are confident about the prospects of the film at the box-office, “The film has been made with a lot of heart and loyalty and I am sure it will reflect in its box-office success” he says.

There is also a perception that the Hirawats have become wary of investing in heavily priced films starring the Khans, after the huge investment and subsequent losses they incurred in Tubelight and Harry Met Sejal, though both Salman and Shah Rukh Khan were generous to partially compensate them for the losses. Shreyans confirms that they are in no mood to take the risk despite the fact that stars like Shah Rukh and Salman share an indomitable following among the masses, “Obviously two bad experiences cannot tarnish the decade long built star values but yes we have definitely become more cautious in terms of what and where we are investing. Having said that, we are definitely open to proposals with good substance,” he avers.

The new change of perception is also an indicator that the Hirawats are now looking at substance more than star value when it comes to investing in films, “We have looked for substance in our earlier acquisitions too but now we are doubly sure about the films we are acquiring. I guess distributors are realising it too,” Shreyans argues.

He cites the example of the recently released Luv Ranjan directed film, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, which got a phenomenal response at the box-office and crossed the Rs 100 cr mark, despite the absence of top rung stars, “It has proved that the success and appeal for any film has a lot to do with its plot and story-line, besides the cast. I hope the industry makes more such films to revive the interest of the audiences in great story-telling,” he quips.


Rajnikanth’s charisma is timeless, says his close friend and Kabali distributor, Rockline Venkatesh

By Manishaa R

It is Rajnikanth’s 67th birthday today and the internet is flooded with birthday wishes from millions of his ardent fans, who worship him, an indication of his immense popularity among his fans. According to the superstar’s close friend, producer, distributor and exhibitor, Rockline Venkatesh, Rajnikanth’s charisma will never die, irrespective of his age, “His charisma is timeless. His superstardom has only grown over the years. Every movie he does takes him to another level. Age will never be a barrier for him,” Rockline asserts.

According to the eminent businessman, who had last distributed and released Rajnikanth’s Kabali in Karnataka, the cult following and the popularity commanded by the legendary actor, has a lot to with his ability to relate to the masses, “When he acts, he has a larger than life aura on screen and when he is off screen, people love his simplicity and humility. The best quality about him is that he never gets carried away by his superstardom. He is extremely good at heart, remembers his friends and well-wishers and values relationships. Above all, he is a selfless man,” he points out.

There was a time not so long ago when the superstar was all set to enter the political arena but later kept his plans on hold. Is it time Rajnikanth seriously looked at stepping into politics? Rockline feels that the legendary actor can make for a great politician considering his popularity quotient and the genuine concern he has for the people of his state, “I know for a fact that he cares for the people in Tamil Nadu. He does so much for charity but never speaks about it. He is full of great and revolutionary ideas and if he decides to firmly step into politics, he can put the state on a prominent level on the political map of India. Also his followers and fans value every word that he utters,” Rockline avers.

However like all successful people, Rajnikanth too has had his share of detractors who tried to pull his down once upon a time. Rockline admits that he has been a witness to the challenges faced by the superstar, when he produced Lingaa with him, “There were people with a vested agenda who tried to pull him down at that time by circulating misleading box-office reports about the film but the distributors who released the film know very well that it was a success. Rajni never gets affected by anything. He puts his heart and soul in every film he does and comes out invariably in flying colours,” Rockline insists.

I know for a fact that Rajnikanth cares for the people in Tamil Nadu. He is full of great and revolutionary ideas and if he decides to firmly step into politics, he can put the state on a prominent level on the political map of India-  Rockline Venkatesh, Rajnikanth’s friend and producer-distributor

The producer-distributor, who is all set to acquire Rajnikanth’s next film, 2.0 for the Karnataka territory, treasures the moments he spends with Rajnikanth, personally and professionally, “Given an opportunity, I would love to produce every movie with him. He is a professional to the core. On the other hand, as a friend, I cherish every moment I spend with him. What is truly adorable about him is that he never throws his weight around,” he says.

He recalls a recent meeting he had with the superstar in Bangalore, while he was on his way to Mantralayam, “Rajnikanth makes it a point to call me whenever he is in Bangalore and it was great catching up with him once again. This meeting too was truly special like always. He later went to Mantralayam, where he took the blessings of his guru, Raghavendra Swamy.” he reveals.

Few people are aware that Rajnikanth also caught up with a movie in a theatre on his way to Mantralayam, “He does that every time he visits Bangalore and Mantralayam. Like every time, he drove down this time too in an ordinary car and stopped mid-way to check out a movie in a small town theatre in the second show. The audiences there were completely oblivious of his presence. Thereafter he proceeded to the temple,” Rockline smiles adding that “there can be only one Rajnikanth in the history of filmmaking No one can beat his popularity. I wish him all the very best and I pray to God to give him a long life and peace of mind,” he quips.