Have we all played into the hands of a master-publicist? 6 months ago, there was a perfectly executed publicity stunt to promote a film. There was enough written about that little incident. I, too, got conned into writing about it, though there were some people even then who suspected that this was nothing but a means of promoting the film. Now, on a much grander scale, we see the master-puppeteer at work again. It is my opinion that he has timed this controversy brilliantly, and we – the citizens, the state, the media – all have trampled over ourselves to ensure unprecedented publicity for the film.

Hats off to the man. Not only has he come out of this smelling good, he’ll also end up with some additional millions of our money. Money that we’ll spend watching a film where the lead character seems to have been written keeping our patriotic friend’s histrionic style and abilities in mind.

It’s another matter entirely that his role in the film has been dwarfed by two Oscar-worthy performances in real life.

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Having said that, I must admit that this whole tamasha over the last few days has been paisa-vasool, and the film will find it difficult to match the entertainment quotient that this spectacle provided.

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