The regional romantic comedy film ‘Love Ni Bhavai’ becomes this year’s most successful Gujarati film after consistently running for 25 weeks in the box office. This makes it it the first Gujarati film to complete the Silver Jubilee mark after a decade.
In 1996, Gujarati cinema saw its first milestone when the blockbuster Desh Re Joya Dada Pardesh Joya collected over Rs 22 Crores and ran for approximately 50 weeks in the theatre. After a long gap of two decades, Gujarati cinema was once again energised by the release of Chhello Divas in 2015, which earned Rs 18 Crores at the box office and much praise. The last movie to have ran continuously for 25 weeks was the 2006 release Ek Vaar Piyu Ne Malva Aavje, but last week, Sandeep Patel’s Love Ni Bhavai made it to the history books of Silver Jubilee Gujarati films by becoming the first film in the past decade to complete more than 25 weeks in theatres.
‘Love Ni Bhavai’ is a quirky love triangle between entrepreneur Aaditya Shah (Pratik Gandhi), a much-loved Radio Jockey of Ahmedabad RJ Antara (Aarohi Patel) and the hilarious Sagar (Malhar Thakar). The movie was released to positive responses from audiences as well as critics on November 17, 2017. But the rom-com film’s success became truly perceptible when it ran for over 25 weeks in PVR Cinemas in Ahmedabad and in Carnival Cinemas in Goregaon, Mumbai, where it still continues to be screened in what seems to be an unstoppable momentum.
According to professor Kartikey Bhatt, who undertook his doctoral study on Economic Problems of Regional Film Industries: A Case Study of Gujarati Film Industry, “Out of the overall population, only 10-12% people are regular moviegoers, and Gujarati cinema only entertains 1% of these movie buffs. Most of the audiences in theatres fall within the age group of 17-25. Love Ni Bhavai’s young-at-heart team and fresh content has been a catalyst for its success in this era of the multiplex in which, every week, a marathon of films is unleashed for audiences.”
During a conference in Ahmedabad held to mark the Silver Jubilee of the film, screenwriters Mitai Shukla and Nehal Bakshi shared that the unornamented sentences and conversational dialogues in the film may have easily connected with audiences. Filmmaker Sandeep Patel and producer Aarti Patel, who have no plans for an LNB sequel, told the media, “The culmination of semester-end exams and an out-of-the-blue postponement of big banner films like Padmavat played an important role in making this movie a sensation. But the core credit goes to the cast, crew, audience’s love and music of the film.” The conference was followed by a brunch at a cosy restaurant in Ahmedabad.
The charm of Love Ni Bhavai has already earned the banner more than Rs 9 Crores at the box-office. The authorities are now planning on making it an internet sensation by commercially releasing the film on online media streaming portals like Netflix. While an extensive slew of flop films had led to immense criticism of the Gujarati film fraternity in the recent past, the success of Love Ni Bhavai has proved that audiences will always support and recognise cinema with potential.
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