There is little competition for the Iranian magician Majid Majidi’s Mumbai saga Beyond The Clouds at the box office this week. Sources close to Zee Studios who have co-produced the film feel the film will have a safe run at the Indian box office as the other releases this week are not the stuff mass entertainment is made of.
So what kind of box office figures is Zee expecting? Says Sujay Kutty, Business Head Zee Studios, “I wouldn’t want to put a number to such a beautiful movie. The expectation is to open such windows to do make in India movies and Zee studios would take the lead in making such movies every year.” While the other releases this week like Hansal Mehta’s Omerta, Sudhir Mishra’s Daas Dev and the Abhay Deol-Patralekha ghost-comedy Nanu Ki Janu clearly do not aim for a mass release, the Majid Majidi drama hopes to crack a large audience with its Mumbai-based saga of the hardships of siblings from a chawl (played by debutant Ishaan Khattar and Malavika Mohanan).
It is a classic saga propelled to global attention by the direction of Asia’s finest Majid Majidi .This is his first film in a non-Iranian language. Says trade analyst Atul Mohan, “I am really excited for this one! Want to witness what magic internationally renowned filmmaker Majid Majidi is going to create. I think history will be recreated just like what we witnessed during Slumdog Millionaire almost a decade back.”
The comparison to Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire is relevant since the Beyond The Clouds is set in Mumbai and will present an outsider’s perspective on the squalor of the chawl life.