One of the most significant and also the strangest controversies is that involving Bala and Ujda Chaman. Both films are about protagonists that are struggling with premature balding. Initially, Ujda Chaman, starring Sunny Singh and directed by Abhishek Pathak, was to release on November 8. Meanwhile, Bala, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam and Bhumi Pednekar and directed by Stree director Amar Kaushik, was to hit screens a week later, on November 15. But then the problems began as Bala got preponed by a week. Its producers, in fact, decided to arrive with the film on Thursday, November 7, a day before Ujda Chaman hit screens. This prompted Ujda Chaman producers to further prepone their film by a week and release it on November 1.
Bollywood Hungama last week had reported that Bala might also follow suit and arrive with Ujda Chaman. And it has now come to light that the clash is indeed happening! “Bala will in fact release on Thursday October 31, a day before Ujda Chaman,” says a source and further adds, “The producers of Bala are having a race against time to ensure that their film makes it on October 31, even if that means minimal time for promotions.”
The question is – how will Bala manage to get adequate screens? Just day before yesterday, three films released – Housefull 4, Saand Ki Aankh and Made In China, with the last one also produced by Bala‘s producers. At this, the source explains, “Housefull 4 is the biggest film of the week with an extensive release and looking at the response, it’s bound to fall from Tuesday or Wednesday onwards. Hence the exhibitors won’t have any issue in giving away shows to Bala and also to Ujda Chaman.”
There were already speculations last week that Bala may get preponed to clash with Ujda Chaman. The industry got even more confident when Neil Nitin Mukesh’s production, Bypass Road, postponed its release from November 1 to November 8 while Sooraj Pancholi starrer Satellite Shankar that was to arrive on November 15 was similarly preponed to November 8. “Since a big film like Bala made the November 8 slot vacant, it made sense to arrive on this said date for both the films,” tells the source.
The only roadblock faced by Bala is the legal proceedings. Two parties have filed separate cases against the Ayushmann Khurrana starrer. One is by Ujda Chaman producers, who have officially adapted a Kannada movie Ondu Motteya Kathe and claim that Bala is an unofficial copy of the original film. The other case is filed by aspiring filmmaker Kamal Kant Chandra who claims Bala is similar to his venture, titled Wig. The hearing for both cases is on November 4. The source adds, “It remains to be seen if Bala can release on October 31, 5 days before the scheduled hearing. However, since there’s no stay order on the release, the producers of Bala are confident and hence they are going ahead with bringing their film a day before Ujda Chaman.”
Before signing off, the source informs, “The official announcement will be made by Sunday, October 27 or Monday October 28. They’ll also throw open the advance booking of Bala as soon as they announce its new release date.”
However, a press release by the production house states that the movie will release on November 7, as planned earlier. On this auspicious day of Diwali, Jio Studios and Dinesh Vijan’s Maddock Films have decided that we will release our film Bala starring Ayushmann Khurrana in the title role on our original release date of 7th November, putting an end to much speculation.
Jyoti Deshpande President of the RIL Media & Entertainment business said ” Ours is the one and only original Bala and in the best interest of business of theatre owners, our fellow producers and audience convenience we will do select preview of our film as planned on 7th November and release it widely across nationwide cinemas on Friday the 8th of November. Diwali is an auspicious occasion to show grace and positivity and that’s exactly what we believe in. We have made a film that audiences are going to love and this decision comes from that confidence and conviction”.
Also Read: Bala: Sonam Bajwa to appear in a song with Ayushmann Khurrana