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October 27, 2001

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Indian strikes down Asoka

Bharati Dubey

Shah Rukh in Asoka The public has already passed its verdict on the two big films that hit the silver screen on October 26.

Not that Asoka and Indian have anything in common -- they hardly hold any kind of competition with each other.

Even still, people prefer Sunny Deol's Indian, while Shah Rukh Khan's Asoka is being panned.

Reason? Indian is 'massy', while Asoka is 'classy'.

Outside Metro Cinema theatre (where Asoka is playing), a young lad came out saying that the film was 'bakwas' (nonsense). "Asoka did not provide any entertainment. We want our money to be refunded."

Another person at the Gaeity theatre says, "Indian is total timepass. Sunny Deol's action is superb."

Seems like Sunny has an edge over the versatile Khan, who had once mentioned in one of his interviews that if Asoka did not work at the box office, he would pack his bags and go."

Taran Adarsh, editor of Trade Guide says, "Indian is ahead of Asoka because of its mass appeal. Even the urban masses are titling in favour of the latter.

Sunny Deol in Indian "Both have opened up at 100 per cent collection in Bombay. But the fact cannot be ruled out that Indian has an upper hand. Asoka does have its advantages: The film is sold at a very low price -- 50 per cent less of what a Shah Rukh starrer is generally sold for. So Asoka will recover its money, as it has released 200 prints overseas, which has never happened in the industry of Indian cinema.

"But the masses will prefer Indian, and the patriotic flavour will only help the film scale greater heights," Adarsh concludes.

Vinod Mirani of Box office says, "Indian is a massy film but not a Gadar. But it's good enough to pull crowds.

"While Asoka has been made with the overseas market in mind, the film has no soul. And that's where it fails to appeal the audience. The only advantage it has is it has been resaonably priced. Both the films have an open and therefore face no competition in the next two weeks."

It is also learnt that although Khan has sold the film at a lower price, the distributors have given it to the exhibitors at higher price. They now want Khan to return their money.

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