What is it about the phrase “most expensive film ever made” that makes producers, PR agents, and the press go a bit nuts? How is the production cost a serious way to promote your film, to connect with the audience?
See me! I’m expensive!!!.
Yes I’m looking at you – Blue, Saawariya, Kites, Kambakht Ishq and (drum roll) Love Story 2050 as examples wherein everyone concerned ended up looking pretty stupid. On the other hand, expensive films that did well at the box office generally didn’t dwell much on their budget during marketing – think Aamir Khan or Karan Johar films. Perhaps that says something about having enough content in your film to fill the marketing campaign.
This train of thought jumps to mind because I read today about another “most expensive film ever”. No, not Endhiran the about-to-release-Rajnikant-starrer, for which a google search for – "most expensive film" Endhiran – turns up 43,000 results.
Nope, I’m talking about the upcoming film on Jesus Christ, produced by Aditya Productions and directed by South Indian Singeetham Srinivasa Rao. To be filmed in the Middle East, and to be released in English, Hindi, Telegu, and Malayalam, the stated budget is 120 Cr.
Yep, that’s right – a 120Cr south Indian production of the Jesus story.
As far as I know, this would be one of the first ‘Christian’ films made in India. The US already has a small but successful industry making Christian themed films, however they are typically very small budget and use ticket presales through church groups to help with distribution.
I’m curious about whether this film will be able to add anything to the existing Jesus films by Scorsese, Mel Gibson, and (the masters) Monty Python. It will also be interesting to see how it eventually performs (assuming it does actually get made) considering that few people here outside of the Christian community know anything about the Jesus story.