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Rajlokhi O Srikanto release pushed back to 27 September

The reason for the delay is because the filmmaker was not allotted a single theatre in Kolkata this week.

Roushni Sarkar

The release of Pradipta Bhattacharya’s Rajlokhi O Srikanto has been postponed at the last minute to 27 September. The film was earlier slated for release this week.

The directorial venture of the National award-winning filmmaker did not get a single theatre in Kolkata. Overall, Rajlokhi O Srikanto got just about half a dozen theatres in the entire state.

Therefore, Bhattacharya and his team spoke to the distributors this afternoon and the latter assured that they would get all the major multiplexes and single screens from 27 September onwards.

"However, there is a condition," Bhattacharya stated. "If the film fails to draw less than 50% audience in the first four days, it will be withdrawn from all the theatres since many Hindi as well as Bengali films are scheduled for release in the coming weeks."

As for not allotting halls this weekend, the distributors said there has been a surge in films lined up for release. This was corroborated by a senior official of a leading multiplex chain who said the 20 September weekend was overcrowded.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said Rajlokhi O Srikanto's release date was announced without proper discussion. “Generally distributors and producers have a discussion before fixing a date and take into account the other films that are being released on the same day,” the official said, adding that if the film's team had approached them earlier, they would have advised them to advance or postpone the release.

The official said that while the chain makes all efforts to support Bengali cinema, it has to also look at other national and regional releases and prepare schedules that would help its business.

“As soon as I learnt that the issue has gone viral on social media, I called them and requested them to shift the film for a week,” said the official. “They will get halls of Inox, PVR and Cinepolis and prime-time shows. I think they also realized that if they wanted to release the film on the 20th, there would have been confusion regarding show times and they would have to make compromises.”

According to this official, the best show timings for Bengali films are between 3 pm and 7 pm and the exhibitors would try to accommodate Rajlokhi O Srikanto within this period next week to generate maximum footfalls.

Bhattacharya expressed gratitude to the audience waiting for the film and his fellow film fraternity members for raising awareness within a short span of time over social media platforms, which prompted the distributors to take the initiative to resolve the issue.

The film, starring Ritwick Chakraborty, Jyotika Jyoti, Rahul Banerjee and Aparajita Ghosh Das, will be released in INOX South City, PVR Avani and various other multiplexes and single screen theatres on 27 September.

However, speaking of the turn of events, Bhattacharya remarked, "The future of Bengali cinema is not quite bright."