Dubai: A technical glitch at a Sharjah theatre deprived cine-goers from enjoying the Mashallah chartbuster in Bollywood blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger. Bizarrely, the glitch occured not once. XPRESS can reveal it happened at least thrice in one week - each time just moments before the song. Indian sales executive Muzakkir, 25, who attended the 4.15pm show on screen 2 on August 20 with friends said he “felt dismayed” and went to the Grand Riveira with his family the same night to re-watch the movie so that he could enjoy the song.
Andy Fordham, Technical and Digital Cinemas Project Director, Grand Cinemas, attributes the fault to bulb failure.
“It’s a one-in-a-million chance for something like that to happen. If it was just once, I could explain that it’s a technical issue because the bulb failed. That’s not unusual and it happens more frequently than most people are aware of. But three screenings with the same outcome, that’s very odd and peculiar. I mean, these shows were at different times, in different theatres, with different projectors, different bulbs… I don’t understand it,” Fordham said.
Bulbs have a life-span of 400 hours, after which they start to deteriorate, he explained.
But Sadaf, a 30-year-old housewife, said the technical failures weren’t her problem. The mother of two had taken her daughters, aged 10 and four, to the cinema on August 21 to watch the 8.15pm show on screen 1. “I was so disappointed when the video of the song didn’t play towards the end. All we had was the audio, on a blank screen. It’s a shame because my daughters were looking forward to watching the song on the big screen. They refused to leave the cinema. I had a tough time consoling them,” she says.
Ratika, 27, who also watched the 8.15 pm show said she felt the song was not shown deliberately. “Perhaps the management didn’t want us to linger. They probably wanted us to empty the theatre so they can prepare for the next screening,” she said.
Sunil Kumar, who watched the movie on Screen 3 at 10.30pm on August 16, says, “I felt cheated. I had learnt beforehand that the song came at the end, and with the film turning out thoroughly enjoyable I was looking forward to the icing on the cake — the Mashallah song. I had seen the song’s clip several times on TV as a teaser but when I was ready for the real deal it was not to be. It never happened. To me, that’s cheating.” The Mashallah song featuring Katrina Kaif’s belly dance had become a rage long before the movie was released. In the movie, the song appears towards the end when the credits roll on the screen.
Fordham rubbished the suggestions that the Arabic-influenced song had been censored.
“We get a digital file that we push and play. It goes on till the movie stops. We’ve no control over it. I don’t know how this happened. It’s just a coincidence because other shows had no problems.”