Stuck in the Middle: Bollywood’s delayed films

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This past Friday, the Shahid and Kareena starrer Milenge Milenge, finally hit theaters after a six year wait. It is the latest in a long line of films to be seen on screen after an extended delay. It was only down to hard work and persistence from producer Boney Kapoor that this stuck film made it to the final hurdle, way after its scheduled 23 December 2005 release.

Shooting began on Milenge Milenge when the stars were still a couple. Since then, Kareena has of course gone on to become one half of the Saifeena jodi, while Shahid has been linked with Vidya, Priyanka, Genelia and whichever heroine he happens to be co-starring with at the time. And to think Shahid and Kareena’s last film Jab We Met is universally regarded as their best performance, filmed as the couple were heading towards serious splitsville. One of the problems of selling new wine in an old bottle is continuity. Check out Kareena go from not-so-slim to slim to size zero and back again, and watch Shahid as he fluctuates between the boyish chocolate boy of yesteryears to the almost thirty-something he is today.

This is not the first Bollywood film to be stuck. Earlier this year Dulha Mil Gaya was released in January after being held up for a couple of years. In 2007, Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu and Sanjay Dutt starrer Nehlle Pe Dehlla was finally unleashed. Originally titled Jimmy aur Johnny, the comedy was completed in 2002 where it sat collecting dust. Govinda in Naughty @ Forty is another one hit by hard times. Shooting started on the project over two years ago, but the latest is – the producers are out of money. Sushmita Sen again, still no sign of dream project Rani Laxmi Bai.

Then there are the films which fall into the all talk no action category. Take Mallika Sherawat starrer Hisss, long since wrapped, no amount of Cannes appearances or Mallika tweeting brings its release date any closer. What about Preity Zinta-Shiney Ahuja starrer Harr Pal? In light of recent circumstances, my money says this one is never going to see the light of day!

Although most stuck films tend to lay an egg at the box office, there are exceptions. Hindi film epic Mughal-e-Azam was originally planned in 1944, shelved due to political tensions, and had been in production for nine years when it released in 1960, going on to give record collections. It remains to be seen if Milenge Milenge can do a Mughal-e-Azam.

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