Mahesh Manjrekar, the director of the upcoming Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma film Antim: The Final Truth, believes the film is suited for a big-screen experience and hopes Maharashtra theatres reopen by October.
Speaking to a news portal, the director reveals he is eyeing a festival release, as he says, “Antim is a film meant for the theatres. If cinemas open in Maharashtra by October — and it’s high time they did — we are planning to release Antim on Diwali. It is a film that [is targeted at the] Maharashtra territory.”
Adaptation of the original the Marathi hit, Mulshi Pattern (2018) had found favor among the single-screen audience and Manjrekar says “Antim too is designed for the masses and they are not thinking of releasing it on OTT platforms right now. The middle-class and lower-middle class audiences make films super hits by going to the theatres and this movie represents them, so he knows it will do well in cinemas.”
However, movie halls have reopened across several states, the Maharashtra government appears to be wary of the move. Speaking about the same, Manjrekar adds “I feel silly when I see crowded trains, buses, and marketplaces. Why are theatres continuing to remain shut? There are so many daily-wage earners whose livelihood depends on cinema, not to mention the staff at the theatres. If this goes on for long, the single-screen cinemas will have to close down,” rues, Manjrekar, before adding emphatically for effect, “I will stage a dharna if theatres are not opened soon.”
The movie, also stars Pragya Jaiswal, marks the director’s first collaboration with Salman Khan. Praising the actors, Manjrekar said that Salman has become the character and Aayush too has done an exceptional job and he is as excited about it as he was when he helmed Vaastav in 1999.