Kathmandu, Even as India’s ultra-right party, the Shiv Sena, went on a rampage in Indian film capital Mumbai, attacking the cinema halls offering advance booking for the upcoming Shah Rukh Khan starrer “My Name Is Khan”, the Nepal distributor of the film said he fears no such trouble in the Himalayan republic.
“The Shiv Sena protest in India is not about the film. It’s about cricket. The Nepal screenings will not be affected,” the film’s Nepal distributor Nakim Uddin told IANS.
Directed by Karan Johar, “My Name Is Khan”, that has Kajol in the female lead, is scheduled to be screened in four multiplexes in Kathmandu along with smaller theatres in nearly a dozen towns outside Kathmandu valley from Friday when it releases worldwide.
However, unlike in India, where the Shiv Sena has trained its sights on the film due to Shah Rukh Khan defending Pakistan’s cricket players, in Nepal, the Sena’s sister organisation, the Nepal Shiv Sena, is unlikely to go on the warpath.
For Nakim Uddin, who incurred a loss with the Ram Gopal Varma directed and Bollywood titan Amitabh Bachchan-starrer “Rann” as well as Salman Khan starrer “Veer”, “My Name Is Khan” could be a profit-making venture.
The furore surrounding it in India may whet the theatregoer’s interest further.
Karan Johar’s earlier film “Kal Ho Naa Ho” did fairly well in Nepal, though his marital drama “Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna” bombed.
Nakim Uddin, who owns Jai Nepal and Kumari, the two best multiplexes in the capital, and a third in Bhaktapur with a fourth coming up, feels the review of the film by Bollywood Hungama – that has given the film a good rating – will push up viewership.
“It’s a film meant for the upper classes and will do well in the metropolis,” he predicts.
Besides Kathmandu, “My Name Is Khan” will also be screened at Pokhara, Birtamod, Damak, Biratnagar, Dharan, Raj Biraj, Birgunj, Narayanghat, Butwal and Nepalgunj.
Many of these towns are close to the Indian border and have a large percentage of Indian expatriates as well as visitors from India.
The new Bollywood blockbuster with Aamir Khan, “3 Idiots”, has been Nakim Uddin’s biggest profitable venture so far and is still being screened in his cinema halls.