Who will lift the filmy 'World Cup' this festive season?

MUMBAI: Four films release this Friday, 26 October. No Smoking directed by Anurag Kashyap, Jab We Met by Imtiaz Ali, Mumbai Salsa by Manoj Tyagi and Bal Ganesh. And that‘s going to be a tough one for audiences. How does one make the right choice? Will it be John Vs Shahid? Or Kareena Vs Ayesha? Will it be Anurag Vs Imtiaz? did a swot analysis to try and come up with some answers. What three of the films have in common is that new-age directors are helming them. Though of course, Anurag leads the pack, already having proved his talent with a film like Black Friday.

No Smoking is touted as a progressive film whereas Jab We Met is a romantic comedy and Mumbai Salsa offers a funny look at dysfunctional relationships in young corporate India.

But what weighs in favour of Jab We Met is the lead pair in a romantic film. The festive season is on and people are in the mood for feel-good cinema. Also the curiosity surrounding the lead pair‘s personal relationship may get audiences to the theatres.

Yet another commonality being that though all of them have been made with modest budgets, they have been very cleverly marketed. No Smoking remains in the news for its share of contests and what with John Abraham‘s appearances at all the related events, interest level in the film is sustained.

As for Jab We Met, Shahid‘s recent train ride has been splashed across all media properties. The lead pair‘s appearances on television musical shows has also worked in the film‘s favour.

Mumbai Salsa in this respect is lagging behind but word has it that the film will get its share of the pie as the story of the film is well-etched out. But the biggest downer could be the absolutely raw talent in the form of eight newcomers who make their appearance in the film. The only exception being Indraneil Sengupta, the television hottie who plays a vital role in the film.

And as these three films vie for a lion‘s share, an animated Bal Ganesh (directed by Pankaj Sharma) too, decides to release on the same day. What with the Diwali holidays on, this film may well manage to lure young kids to theatres.

And as the battle hots up one still doesn‘t know who will lift the box office ‘World Cup‘. With two blockbusters (Saawariya and Om Shanti Om) set to steamroll their way into theatres on 9 November, the end of the year could prove to be an indicator of times to come.

Will the biggies leave everything, including turnstile records, in their wake? Or will it be a filmy equivalent of a Zimbabwe or Bangladesh that walks away with the box office spoils this festive season? There‘s at least one film lovers‘ blog that has put its money on the minnows.

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