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August 29, 2001

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Sarita Tanwar

The wait is over.

Anil Kapoor's Nayak will finally hit the screens on September 7.

Even as the trade is heaving a huge sigh of relief, there are innumerable theories as to why this much-awaited film was delayed endlessly over a month. Sometime back, there were reports that the real problem was that the producer of the film had hiked up the price just before the release. And the distributors simply refused as they believed it was too high a price for a solo Anil Kapoor-starrer.

Anil Kapoor in Nayak But the hero himself denied these rumours and insisted that the delay was mainly because of some post-production problems.

"We have a lot of special effects in the film and Shanker, the director, is an absolute perfectionist. He wanted to redo certain portions. Thatís why we had to extend the release for a while," insisted Kapoor.

Meanwhile, there was also talk that the overseas (which is now the major market) distributor Kishore Lulla had refused the price hike outright and Boney Kapoor had specially flown down to London to negotiate the deal.

Now that the film is set for release, it seems that all has been settled between the producer and his set of distributors.

Boney Kapoor, who has been overseeing the production and business matters of Nayak, admitted that there was indeed a certain amount of pressure from the distributors.

"The real issue was, of course, that some post-production work was taking more time than we expected. But also, after the failure of Yaadein, most of the distributors have become wary of big-budget projects," he said. "Already, Nayak had gone over-budget in its making. So they were having a tough time agreeing on even the original price of the film."

Boney claimed that a lot of money had been spent in the making of Nayak and it showed. "The timing is bad because distributors are having a tough time recovering their investments. So when you talk of a huge price, there is bound to be some resistance."

Boney and Anil Kapoor Boney also denied reports that he had negotiated with Kishore Lulla over the overseas rights of the film. "All these are baseless reports. It never happened."

Meanwhile, the 'real' hero Anil Kapoor believes that the delay is the best thing to have happened to Nayak.

"In Bombay, it seems that the timing is just right. But we had to publicise the film aware in the interiors as well. And that takes a while. Nayak is about the common man so we had to be sure that the film is projected correctly, even in the small centres across India," the actor said. "Because of the delay, we got a chance to concentrate more on the publicity of the film."

Incidentally, Anil will not be in the country when Nayak is released. He is flying to the United States for his series of stage shows along with Aamir Khan and the Lagaan team.

"I'm doing 19 shows in all, starting with Boston and then proceeding to New York," said the star, on the eve of his departure.

For Anil, Nayak is indeed a crucial film. Whether it will pay off the dividends, only time will tell.

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