After running housefull in some shows during the first week, the sequel of Assamese cult classic Local Kung Fu faces uncertainty as cinema owners in the region are not supporting the film and are set to take it down this Friday.
While the Assamese film opened to housefull shows in many theaters, the film is set to lose revenue and a lot of fans will be deprived of enjoying the comedy as cinema owners aren’t bullish on the film’s prospects. “We faced a lot of difficulties in getting a Wednesday release for Local Kung Fu 2. While some theaters in Assam supported us, most refused to give more shows to us even though the limited number of shows were doing good business. We are now saddened to learn that our film will be taken down this Friday. Is this the way these cinema hall owners treat local cinema? I am shocked to say the least,”said director and actor Kenny Deori Basumatary at a press conference in Guwahati on Wednesday.
Local Kung Fu 2 opened to a thunderous response across the state on Wednesday, April 19. Based on William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, the film can easily claim the spot for most awaited Assamese film of the year with shows being pre-booked online to nearly housefull capacity at different theatres. Shows at PVR Guwahati, Inox Jorhat, Anuradha Guwahati and various places in Assam were booked to over 80% capacity online and the rest of the seats filled up through counter sales much before the shows actually began.
“We got to see the success of Local Kung Fu 2 with our own eyes from the housefull shows at PVR Guwahati on the first few days. The audience really appreciated the film and we got a standing ovation after the show ended. We also came to know that INOX Jorhat was housefull on the first day itself. That was a really wonderful experience. Some halls were unable to give us good timings as they are controlled from outside Assam. But looking at the success of the film in its first 2 days, we eventually got evening shows in a few halls,” Kenny Deori Basumatary said.
But the joy was short-lived as, like in the past, local cinema owners, allegedly under the pressure of big Bollywood banners, will drop local cinema for Bollywood films. Kenny Basumatary said, “If no one was watching our film, it’s quite obvious that theatre owners would remove it. But it’s doing really well, getting housefuls and tremendous response. So why should an Assamese film be removed from Assam theatres by non-Assamese people sitting in Bangalore and Delhi? Would Telegu/Tamil/Marathi/Bengali films be removed like this in their states? And if we let outsiders control us like this, well, I might as well stop trying to make Assamese movies and focus on my Mumbai career.”
Executive producer Durlov Baruahsaid, “An Assamese film gets around 40 halls, out of which around 20 are not in good condition. So, we have just 20 halls to break even. Even if all shows are housefull, 20 halls cannot give us profitability in a week because unlike Bollywood films, we do not have thousands of opportunities to screen our movies outside Assam. If the film is not doing well, it is understandable to drop it, but inspite of Local Kung Fu 2 doing so well, we are looking at an uncertain future. In one week, we have hardly managed to collect about Rs. 6-6.5 lakhs.”
This is not a case of being emotional for Assamese cinema; rather, the film has proved its caliber. So why not be just and give us a fair chance at earning what we have spent? When a good product is delivered, we have to stand together and protect its rights, be it regional art, regional music or regional cinema. Ironically, they can’t even say they are not getting business this time,” he added.
The comedy film is about two pairs of twins who get separated at birth. One pair of twins stays in Guwahati and the other stays in Tezpur. The pair in Guwahati know martial arts, but the pair in Tezpur don’t. After a series of events, the pair from Guwahati ends up in Tezpur, and that is when the confusion begins.
Kenny Deori Basumatary and Utkal Hazowary are seen playing the key roles in the film. The cast of the film also includes Sarmistha Chakravorty, Eepsita Hazarika, Bonny Deori, Tony Deori Basumatary, Bibhash Singha, Bibhuti Bhushan Hazarika, Yashraj Jadhav, Montu Deori and Amar Singh Deori. The Associate Producers of the film are Advent Films and Marquish Basumatary, while Durlov Baruah is the Executive Producer. The story has been written and directed by Kenny Basumatary, and has been produced jointly by BP Deori and Kenny Basumatary. The cinematography has been done by Suruj Deka, coloured by Dhruva J. Bordoloi, and the music of the film has been prepared by Tony-Derrick-Utkash. The film has 8 songs in various flavours.