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Thank God, Dhaakad producer Deepak Mukut believes controversies harm movie office collections

Thank God

Film producer Deepak Mukut has had a busy year. Four films have been released under his label Soham Rockstar Films in 2022, and a couple more are in the works. But while some have been successful, others have not, and others have even discovered them during conflicts. the director talked openly about managing expectations, the allure of theatrical releases, and the impact of the controversy on films such as Thank God and Dhaakad.

Thank God, starring Ajay Devgn and Sidharth Malhotra, was the most recent film directed by Deepak to be released this year. After Diwali, the film was released in theatres, competing with Akshay Kumar’s Ram Setu. The film debuted to mediocre reviews and below-average box office receipts. In the nine days after its release, the film has grossed just 33 crores in India. Deepak, speaking about expectations for Thank God, explains, “We anticipated the film to make normal to above-average business. I was always aware that this was not a blockbuster, but I thought it was a fine picture, a clean comedy with audience-drawing potential. Therefore, we aimed to attract a family audience.”

Before its debut, several individuals filed lawsuits against the film Thank God, alleging it offended their sensibilities. A portion of the audience found Ajay’s depiction of Chitragupt, the Hindu god of records, to be offensive. Deepak responds, “Cinema is subjective.” What one person may consider their favorite, another may not like at all. So it is like such. People see the world differently. I do not believe there were any issues with the film. I believe we developed a wonderful, clean comedy, but it’s okay if other individuals had different perspectives.”

But do such conflicts influence a film’s box office performance? Would he attribute Thank God’s poor performance to the unfavorable coverage produced by the legal cases? Deepak provides a two-part answer. “In the end, it’s the substance that determines success or failure. That is what is important. Thus, these debates have little impact. Yes, there is some influence since one person’s words affect others who share their beliefs. Then, he explains, these responses might multiply.

But although Thank You performed well, another of Deepak’s films performed far worse. Dhaakad, starring Kangana Ranaut, failed to even cross the 10-crore mark despite a massive budget and promotion. When asked what he has learned from this initiative, Deepak chuckles and says, “After Dhaakad, I no longer worry about anything. We produce a film with no stone left untouched. Occasionally, though, the outcome is not to the audience’s liking. One cannot always be correct. Even the most successful filmmakers produce failures. So that’s acceptable. It taught me to trust my intuition and continue supporting causes in which I believe.”

So far this year, three of his releases have been theatrical, with one more to come. In an age when the majority of filmmakers are heading to OTT, Deepak says he does not intend to follow suit. “I want to preserve the pleasure and experience of viewing a movie in the theatre,” he adds, adding, “I want to produce movies for the cinematic experience. Therefore, unless majboori ho koi (there is some force), I will avoid going overboard. Exceptions exist, but I see film mostly as a theatrical experience.”

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