Mumbai: The 84-year-old freedom fighter Gour Hari Das, on whose life the Bollywood movie "Gour Hari Dastaan" is based, has expressed his displeasure over the "cold response" to the film and said today's generation only likes "masala" films with item songs.
The film was only in 112 cinema halls across the country on August 14.
"Today's generation runs after masala films with item songs. Their sense of appreciating art films has not been developed and I think this is the reason why people are not coming to theatres to watch this film," Das told PTI.
"Earlier, I heard that commercial cinema has more appeal and impact on people's mind than serious films, and now I have witnessed it," he said.
Das, who lives in suburban Dahisar along with his family, had to fight a silent battle that lasted for 32 years, against the government just to prove that he was a freedom fighter.
Based on his real life struggle, actor-director Anant Mahadevan made the biopic.
The film stars Vinay Pathak in the title role, along with Konkona Sen Sharma, Ranvir Shorey, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and others.
Gour said he has donated most of the Rs one lakh amount that he got after signing the deal for the biopic.
Film trade analysts say although the film has earned accolades at the national and international platform, it lacked proper marketing and casting.
"Better casting and marketing could have really done a bit well for this critically-acclaimed film. At the same time, we should not forget that the film "Mangal Pandey" could not do well, despite having all the ingredients of a masala film," Narendra Gupta, a known film critic of the industry, said.
"Be it a film made with a budget of Rs 5 crore or Rs 200 crore, all the films screened in cinema halls and multiplexes have same ticket prices, then why wouldn't people rather watch "Bajrangi Bhaijan" with Salman and Karina in the lead roles?" Gupta asked.
When contacted, director of "Gour Hari Dastaan", Anant Mahadeva, said he considers it the "most acclaimed" film made by him so far.
"Before making the film, I was sure about its target audience and this is why we did not compromise with the story," Mahadevan said.
He also said that he was very much confident to recover the budget of the film.
"Though we are yet to calculate the amount recovered so far, we are getting the offers for overseas, Internet, satellite and home video release," Mahadevan said adding that he has got a very good feedback on the social networking sites.