FLASHBACK | 18 February, 2022
(From our issue dated 22nd February, 1997)


Puja Films’ Hero No. 1 is a comedy film inspired from Bawarchi. A boy and girl fall in love in a foreign land and while the strict father of the boy agrees to their marriage, the ultra-strict guardian (grandfather) of the girl objects to the alliance for a flimsy reason. The boy then decides to win the hearts of the grandfather and other family members of the girl before re-proposing for marriage, rather than eloping with her. Towards this end, he disguises himself as a servant and takes up a job in the girl’s house as nobody, except the girl and her helpful aunt, has seen him before this. The boy succeeds in his mission but not before a bit of tension and drama and plenty of comic incidents.

The film’s first half is enjoyable and has some truly original punches. But after interval, its comic content is less. Further, the climax looks flat in the absence of any negative character in the drama. All the same, a fast screenplay and some witty dialogues do make the drama entertaining and even hilarious at times. In particular, the interval scene; the war of words in the first encounter between the boy’s father and the girl’s grandpa; the interaction of the boy with the grandpa, are all excellent.

Govinda does a marvellous job yet again and proves what a versatile performer he is. His sense of timing is remarkable and the effortless ease with which he carries off the comedy scenes is truly praiseworthy. Karisma Kapoor is brilliant. She looks gorgeous (her costumes are beautiful), acts excellently and dances as gracefully as Govinda. Paresh Rawal deserves distinction marks for enacting the role of the grandpa with such enthusiasm and sincerity. Kader Khan is very effective; his emotional scenes with Govinda touch the heart. Shakti Kapoor evokes laughter in a brief special appearance. Rakesh Bedi is immensely likeable. Satish Shah acts ably but his comedy tends to become class-appealing. Himani Shivpuri is cute. Tiku Talsania, Anil Dhawan, Reeta Bhaduri, Shagufta Ali, Shashi Kiran, Prachi, master Omkar Kapoor and Harish (special appearance) lend very good support.

David Dhawan is in good from and does a find job in direction. He is greatly assisted by his writer (Rumi Jafri) and his cast. Anand Milind’s music score is good; the title song and ‘Tere baap ke darr se’ are mass-appealing songs but an overall consistent music score would have made a difference. The other songs (besides the above two) are, comparatively speaking, not as entertaining. K.S. Prakash Rao’s camerawork is very eye-filling. The foreign locations are heavenly and they’ve been captured on celluloid beautifully. Editing is crisp. Production values are grand.

On the whole, Hero No. 1 is a good family entertainer and will keep the family of distributors happy, with exciting returns. Business should be the best in Bombay and South.

Released on 21-2-’97 at Novelty and 27 other cinemas of Bombay by Puja Films thru Mahalakshmi Film Distributors. Publicity: extraordinary. Opening: very good. …….Also released all over. Opening was extraordinary in Rajasthan but below the mark in some stations of C.P. Berar, C.I. and Nizam.


The below-expectations opening of HERO NO. 1 at some main stations of different circuits, in spite of extraordinary publicity, has shocked the entire trade.

Chupp is disastrous. 1st week Bombay 4,69,861 (37.24%) from 8 cinemas (3 on F.H.); Indore 75,000 (2 on F.H.); Hyderabad 1,72,276 from 4 cinemas (2 in noon).

Judwaa has maintained exceptionally well in 2nd week and has done fantastic business. Is superb in 1st week in Nizam. 2nd week Bombay 31,11,974 (88.88%) from 12 cinemas (7 on F.H.); Ahmedabad 6,91,218 from 6 cinemas (4 unrecd.), Bharuch (gross, last) 2,57,361, Rajkot 1,82,900 from 2 cinemas (1 in matinee), Bhuj 2,09,653, Jamnagar (matinee) 14,224; Pune 7,60,682 from 4 cinemas (1 in matinee), Kolhapur 1,27,770, Solapur 81,826; Belgaum 97,814; Delhi 30,03,082 from 10 cinemaas (1 unrecd., 2 on F.H.); Kanpur 3,89,654 from 2 cinemas, Lucknow 2,30,236, Agra 2,15,354, 1st week Allahabad 1,90,000, 2nd week Bareilly 95,938 (52.61%), Dehradun 1,10,000 (60.77%), Gorakhpur 84,000; Calcutta 15,64,082 from 14 cinemas; Nagpur 2,73,632 from 3 cinemas, Jabalpur (6 days) 1,19,766 (1st 2,07,090), Amravati (6 days) 78,298, Akola 82,463, total 1,84,268, Dhule 63,698, total 1,71,130, Raipur 1,30,574, theatre record, Bhilai (6 days) 84,209, Jalgaon 66,319, Gondia 49,642 (1st 68,361), Yavatmal 32,288; Bhopal 2,79,086 from 2 cinemas (1 on F.H.); Jaipur 6,82,822 from 3 cinemas, Bikaner 1,63,767; 1st week Hyderabad 40,70,615 from 19 cinemas, share (including MGs) 18,62,000.

Yeshwant is doing very well in Maharashtra and several stations of other circuits. 2nd week Bombay 28,02,733 (78.58%) from 13 cinemas (10 on F.H.); Ahmedabad 5,63,291 from 4 cinemas (3 unrecd.), Baroda 1,66,955, Padra 1,09,975, Jamnagar 1,19,585, total 2,55,344; Pune 8,83,150 from 6 cinemas (1 in matinee), Solapur 1,72,705 from 2 cinemas (1 in matinee); Hubli 2,04,624, Belgaum 79,274; Delhi 16,57,862 from 10 cinemas (4 on F.H.); Kanpur 2,01,136 from 2 cinemas, Lucknow 1,67,376, Allahabad 1,14,000, Bareilly 72,618 (40.56%), Dehradun 98,776 (1st 1,35,000), Gorakhpur 1,16,000 (78.30%), theatre record; Calcutta 17,46,884 from 17 cinemas; Nagpur 3,56,797 from 4 cinemas, Jabalpur 1,47,879, total 3,37,287, Amravati 1,60,822, total 3,41,543, Akola 1,40,318, total 3,35,170, Dhule 90,463, total 1,91,000, Bhilai 81,300, Durg 92,206, Jalgaon 1,22,906, Bilaspur 1,27,435, record; Indore 1,60,060 (1 on F.H.), Bhopal 1,97,821 from 2 cinemas; Jaipur 2,95,986 from 2 cinemas, Bikaner 1,78,000; Hyderabad 6,78,022 from 3 cinemas (1 in noon), share 2,60,000.

Raja Hindustani 10th week Bombay 21,61,174 (84.09%) from 8 cinemas (5 on F.H.); 14th week Ahmedabad 3,62,790 from 3 cinemas (1 unrecd.), 4th Idar 1,01,970, 2nd Kadi 97,669; 11th Pune 5,32,257 from 5 cinemas (1 in matinee), 10th Solapur 1,42,975 from 2 cinemas (1 in matinee); 14th Delhi 10,59,506 from 6 cinemas (1 on F.H.); 15th week Kanpur 2,07,700 from 2 cinemas, 14th Lucknow 1,83,042, Agra 1,31,890, 15th Allahabad 80,000, Meerut 1,55,484, 14th Bareilly 70,056 (37.63%), Dehradun 56,000, 15th Gorakhpur 61,000; 14th week Calcutta 1,69,082; 11th Nagpur 1,33,645 from 2 cinemas, 12th Jabalpur 1,61,668, total 22,80,645, 10th Amravati 83,673, Akola 71,967, 15th Bhilai 30,602, 10th Wardha 40,918, Yavatmal (last) 25,289; 14th Indore 2,01,850, 13th week Bhopal 1,42,224; 14th Jaipur 2,16,891, Jodhpur 1,03,052, 13th Bikaner 56,513; 14th Hyderabad 4,77,390 from 4 cinemas (2 in noon).


Most of the cinemas in Bombay city and suburbs have hiked admission rates to cover the increase in entertainment tax. The new rates have been fixed in such a way that the nett capacities of the cinemas have remained at the level at which they were before 1st January, ’97 when the entertainment tax rate was 50% in place of the current 100%.

But there are some cinemas, like Metro, which have increased their nett capacities too. The weekly nett capacity of Metro (for 21 shows) has been increased from Rs. 7,20,846 then to Rs. 8,08,636.50 now. The balcony and dress circle classes in the cinema have been merged and the admission rate of both is now Rs. 76 (earlier rate was Rs. 76 for dress circle, and Rs. 61 for balcony). The new rate for stall is Rs. 40 in place of Rs. 37. The admission rates for matinee are Rs. 60 (dress circle), Rs. 40 (balcony) and Rs. 20 (stall).

Cinemas of Solapur, too, have raised admission rates as in Bombay city and suburbs.

The enhanced admission rates, it may be added here, are telling upon audience attendance in cinemas.


The Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) organised an open forum on Copyright on 21st February at Films Division. Sanjay Tandon (general manager of IPRS), Ameen Sayani, Shirrin Bharucha (eminent contract lawyer) and Shama Habibullah (senior documentary filmmaker) spoke on the topic.


Bappi Lahiri’s Bengali film, Lal Darja, directed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta, has been entered for screening in Cannes film festival.


Following an out-of-court settlement between STAR TV and Kewal Suri, the case earlier filed by Kewal Suri in Bombay city civil court against STAR and Zee TV has been withdrawn. STAR and Zee gave an undertaking in the court not to broadcast the films of Subodh Mukerji on their satellite channels. But following the settlement, the films will now be shown on their channels.


Justice Mrs. K.K. Baam of the Bombay high court on 14th February dismissed the notice of motion in suit no. 403 of 1997, filed by Dharmesh Darshan, director of Raja Hindustani, claiming sole and absolute ownership of the copyrights in the story of the film produced by Karim Morani, Bunty Soorma, Aly Morani and Cineyug. Dharmesh claimed that Raja Hindustani was his original artistic work, and the producers had no copyrights therein, save and except a licence to make a film in Hindi on the basis of the said literary work.

The producers have dubbed the film in Telugu. It was the case of plaintiff Dharmesh Darshan that he being the author of the literary work, the copyrights in the work vested in him, and the producers had no right to produce the film in any other language as there was an understanding between him and the producers that the film would be produced in Hindi only.

It was the case of the defendants (producers of the film) that in view of the fact that the film had been produced, under the Copyright Act, the copyrights in it vested in the defendants so far as the cinematographic film was concerned. What the defendants were trying to achieve was a change in sound track.

After hearing both the sides, the court held that there was no written agreement between the plaintiff and the defendants to the effect that the latter were directed to produce the film in Hindi language only. It also held that in view of the fact that the copyrights of the cinematographic film on its completion vest in the producers, as per the provisions of section 14(c)(iv), the producers had the right to dub the film.

The court also held that the plaintiff’s rights as author are restricted to the extent of literary work i.e. story writing which rights can be used by him for publishing his story, but the story having been processed in a cinematograph film and in the absence of specific agreement in writing to the effect that the film was to be produced in Hindi only, the plaintiff was not entitled to any relief.

In the meantime, writer Brij Katyal was planning to sue Dharmesh Darshan for Rs. one crore for his alleged piracy of the former’s script of Jab Jab Phool Khile in Raja Hindustani. Dharmesh’s father, Darshan Sabarwal, intervened and prevailed upon Katyal to refrain from going to court.


Well-known Marathi film music director Ram Kadam passed away in Pune on 19th February after a brief illness. He was 81.

Ram Kadam had scored the music in more than 200 Marathi films, two Hindi films and one Telugu film. He had given break to chorus singer Vishnu Waghmare and late Arun Sarnaik.

Ram Kadam died in virtual penury at a private nursing home at 3.30 a.m. following health complications leading to pneumonia. He is reported to have not even had enough money for his hospital bills and treatment.

A disciple of Abdul Karim Khan of Kirana gharana, Ramchandra Vasudeo Kadam started off as a peon and rose to become a clarinet player at the Prabhat Film Company. His first music score as an independent music director was in Pativrata (Marathi), but he shot to fame after he provided music for one of the songs of the Marathi super-hit, Sangte Aika. Ram Kadam lent respectability to Marathi folk art music in films. His memorable score was in Shantaram’s Pinjra.


Well-known writer, producer and director of Punjabi films, Jagjit, passed away on 15th February due to a heart attack. He had returned to Delhi from the USA and was on his way to his home town, Chandigarh, when he suffered the attack and died at Murthal, near Delhi.

Among the many Punjabi films made by Jagjit were Mahi Munda, Putt Jattan De, Patola, Gabroo Punjab Da, Chhora Haryane Ka etc. He was making Lalkara at the time of his death.

The Punjabi Film Producers Association held a condolence meeting on 17th February in Bombay to mourn his death.


Well-known writer Rumi Jafri was engaged to Hanan on 17th February at Radio Club, Colaba, Bombay. Among those who attended the engagement ceremony were Rishi Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Aishwarya Rai, Rahul Rawail, David Dhawan, Ketan Desai, Tutu Sharma, Kirit Trivedi, Kaleem, Manmohan Singh, Vashu Bhagnani, Ramesh Taurani and Mansoor Ahmed Siddiqui.


Salim, son of Madhubhai Khoza, partner in Vaishali cinema, Vapi, will get married to Shamsha on 27th February at Vapi.


Tips Films P. Ltd.’s Auzaar was given C.C. No. CIL/2/2/97 (UA) dt. 14-2-’97; length 4215.53 metres in 16 reels (cuts: 130.11 metres).

A.G. Films (P.) Ltd.’s Lahoo Ke Do Rang has been passed for adults, with cuts.

Art Films’ Allah Meharban Gadha Pehelwan (length 4299 metres in 16 reels), applied on 17th, was seen on 18th.

Super Cassettes Industries Ltd.’s Surya Putra Shanidev (length 4039.11 metres in 15 reels), applied on 18th, was seen on 19th.


Cineyug’s Prema Bandham (Telugu, dubbed version of Raja Hindustani), seen on 19th, has been issued C.C. No. CIL/1/7/97 (U) dt. 21-2-’97; length 5033.77 metres in 18 reels (no cut).



The title Judwaa seems to have inspired black-marketeers at Liberty cinema, Bombay. For, they’ve made judwaa — that is duplicate — tickets of the film and sell them to gullible cinegoers, passing the fate tickets as genuine ones. The poor guys who buy the fake tickets at inflated ‘black’ rates get the shock of their lives when they are turned out by the cinema management.


Salman Khan Releases ‘Mahaanta’ Music

Salman Khan released the music cassettes of Ayesha Films’ Mahaanta on 20th February at a function at Holiday Inn. The cassettes are being marketed by Zee Music. Anand Bakshi’s lyrics are set to tune by Laxmikant Pyarelal. The film is directed by Afzal Khan. The film’s lead players, Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit, attended the cassette release function. A screening of the songs of the film was also held. ‘Tapka re tapka’ and ‘Chhoo le chhoo le’ are well-tuned as also well-picturised songs.


* After scoring music in films in 11 different languages, Bappi Lahiri has now scored music in a Punjabi film — MUQADDAR — for the first time. He recorded four songs for the film between February 17 and 20 at B.L. Temptation in the voices of Daler Mehndi, Baba Sehgal and others.

* HERO NO. 1 has created a city record by collecting 45,190/- on the first day at Anand, Raipur.

* YESHWANT has created a theatre record by collecting 1,16,000/- in 2nd week at United, Gorakhpur, against a capacity of 1,48,147/-.

* YESHWANT has created a record by collecting 1,27,435/- in 2nd week at Gangashree, Bilaspur.

* YESHWANT has created a theatre record by collecting 1,40,318/- in 2nd week at Rajkamal, Akola.

* YESHWANT has created a theatre record by collecting 1,22,906/- in 2nd week at Natraj, Jalgaon.

* JUDWAA has created a record by collecting 74,481/- in 2nd week at Khatoon Mahal, Calcutta. All 42 shows in the first 2 weeks were full.

* JUDWAA has created a theatre record by collecting 1,30,574/- in 2nd week at Prabhat, Raipur.

*RAJA HIDUSTANI has created another city record in Meerut by collecting 1,55,484/- in 15th week at Apsara.

* RAJA HINDUSTANI has created history by collecting 91,322/- in 1st week at Menka, Rai Bareilly.

* RAJA HINDUSTANI has created a new city record by collecting a total of 22,80,645/- in 12 weeks at Jyoti, Jabalpur. 12th week’s collection was 1,61,668/-. It has surpassed the distributor’s share of all films in just 12 weeks.

* RAJA HINDUSTANI has created history by collecting 2,19,644/- in 1st week at Priyadarshini, Rewa (C.I.), in spite of communal riots.


Is an overdose of pre-release publicity good or bad for the film?

– If the film lives up to the expectations created by the publicity hype, the excess publicity can prove to be a boon, but if it falls short of expectations, the overdose can be a bane.

How much fall in audience attendance is there likely to be in cinemas in Maharashtra (Bombay, in particular) which have hiked admission rates to cover the increase in entertainment tax?

– About 20 to 25%. And this fall will be more pronounced and noticeable in the case of smaller and unsuccessful films.

Why do stars generally have two sets of prices — one (higher) for smaller producers, and the other (lower) for big producers and directors?

– If they don’t charge a lower price in the case of big producers and directors, they (big producers and directors) won’t be interested in even touching them. It is the stars who need big banners and directors, and not vice versa.


Why Blame The Government Then?

Video piracy is one of the biggest menaces the film industry is fighting today. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it is fighting a losing battle as the government has hardly provided any assistance to the film people to combat the rampant piracy. But is the industry itself doing enough to get rid of this malady? It wouldn’t seem so if what the experience of the National Productivity Council has been is any indication. The National Productivity Council is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Industry. It is currently carrying out a study on piracy in India, trying to estimate the copyright violation with respect to cinema (video piracy, cable piracy etc.). Naturally, therefore, the National Productivity Council should have been the industry’s best friend because it is, perhaps, the first study of its kind which is being carried out by the NPC. But the industry people don’t seem to think so. For, A.K. Burman, deputy director (research) of the NPC, had sought help from the Film Federation of India and the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association but “without any result”. And what did Mr. Burman want? Such simple details as a list of Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films released during 1996 and till date during 1997 alongwith the names of their producers so that they could cross-check with the concerned producers whether they had given video rights, cable rights etc. to anybody and the extent to which the rights had been violated. Isn’t it sad that neither the FFI nor the IMPPA could provide the Council such simple information? And then the industry blames the government for not helping it. Rightly is it said: Even God doesn’t help those who cannot help themselves!

Too Late The Hero!

Till a week before its release, Hero No. 1 was open for Orissa. A distributor offered to buy it just about four days before its release, for Orissa at an astronomical price of 18. The producer asked for the payment in one stroke, to which the distributor readily agreed.

But, as they say, there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip. Before the distributor could clinch the deal, Padmavati Enterprises clinched the deal at the same price. The previous distributor proved to be too late the hero!

Some Style, This!

That the marriage of Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter, Shweta, and late Raj Kapoor’s grandson, Nikhil Nanda, was a quiet affair in the sense that only family members and very close associates were invited is common knowledge. But not many know that the Bachchans sent extremely tasteful cards to their acquaintances, informing them of the marriage and seeking their blessings and good wishes. The card extraordinaire says: ‘Nikhil and Shweta have expressed a desire for a quiet and simple wedding. We hope that you will respect their sentiments.’