According to a trade expert who wishes to go unnamed, "Seeing John in the rom-com space and RGV in the get-real space is like reliving a nightmare. John's bulky build and athletic image makes him more acceptable as an action hero. He was a hit in Nishikanth Kamat's Force and he will be a hit in Sanjay Gupta's Shootout At Wadala. But John in a rom-com?…Nah. I don't think it works for the audience. It's an image challenger."
RGV's The Attacks Of 26/11 carries a very strong pre-release buzz. Those who have seen it, including Big B say it's the director's comeback to form, his best work since Company in 2002. However, there is a sense of negativity to the film's theme.
Surprisingly, there is a great deal of hope within the film trade for Ramu's film. Says Roshan Singh, a leading distributor of Patna, "The Attacks Of 26/11 may not be a subject that people in Mumbai would relish re-visiting. But it all depends on how the events are treated in the film. Look at Ben Aflleck's Argo! It's so edge-of-the-seat. I am sure the real hostage situation in Iran was not half as exciting."
Ram Gopal Varma sees the film's prospects with a great deal of clarity and humour. He narrates an experience this week with a chauffeur in Delhi who asked Ramu what his film was about.
Says Ramu, "When I told him it was about The Attacks of 26/11, he asked me, 'Hero kaun hai?'. I told him it's Nana Patekar. Then he asked me, 'Heroine kaun hai?' I said there is none. He was shocked, 'Heroine nahin hai? Toh phir picture mein gaana kaun gayega?' I didn't have the heart to tell him my film has no songs."
The other release this week has plenty of songs and music. And an untried pair John Abraham-Chitrangda Singh who look smashing together, with the petite Prachi Desai thrown in for added glamour.
Also, with last week Kai Po Che doing well, the mood at the box-office is upbeat.