Have you seen Shoebite, by Shoojit Sircar?
The plot is simple: On The Times of India, I found this very short summary! “Shoebite” traces the life of John Pereira, a man in his early 60s who sets out on a journey of self-discovery and penance that leads him to rediscover his love for his wife in the fag end of their marriage.”
I must admit that these only few words as well as the presence of Amitabh-ji in that film were enough to made me thrill with excitement! A road-movie for love! Life is a route scattered with bumps, holes, bends and obstacles. Shoebite…lovebite… I was already dreaming of Great Bachchan walking on the difficult path of existentialism! Indian landscapes… Lonely adventures…
But it would be too good to be true!
The film was shot in 2008 and has never released!
This is due to a sad story of rights. Once the film was made, UTV Motion Pictures – the Indian production company – realized that the film couldn’t go out because the 20th Century Fox had opposed:
“Fox says the rights are with them, and they wish to make the film with Denzel Washington, but much before that we had already completed the film on the assurance that the rights were cleared.”
(Amitabh Bachchan explains in his blog/ quoted on Gomolo.com )
Actually, the original script, untitled Labor of Love, was written by director Manoj Night Shyamalan in 1993 and sold to the Fox in 2001! Can you imagine? Mister Shyamalan! The Sixth-sense-guy, the UFO of Hollywood, this accursed genius whose movies always twist smartly between the blockbuster masterpiece and the art-house film failure – or between the blockbuster failure and the art-house masterpiece… !
Unfortunately, at that time, Fox didn’t want the young American director to achieve this project. Thus, 13 years later, the situation is more or less stuck, an Indian film has been shot with an Indian superstar, Sircar and UTV will be allowed to release Shoebite only once the Hollywood movie is out!
Despair and anger:
You can easily imagine Shoojit Sircar’s despair and anger!
“Our film is like our child and I feel even production house should treat them the same way. For me, ‘Shoebite’ not getting release is like a miscarriage. I had cried a lot and I was very upset about it,” he said on The Times of India.com
Sircar and Bachchan on the shooting of Shoebite
And you can imagine my own despair!
Because, you see, I’m part of these women who swoon as soon as they see the brushy chest of the Angry Young Man or the pepper-and-salt beard of Big B.! I was so overwhelmed by Black,- the real masterpiece of Sanjay Leela Bhansali in which Mr Bachchan plays the role of a man suffering from Alzheimer disease– that I felt extremely frustrated when I realized I would not see Shoebite before I become the heroine of a Karan Johar film!
Film Black with Rani Mukherjee
A glimmer of hope:
Currently, a glimmer of hope seems to be rising in the sky of the Indian cinema. Rumours say that Shyamalan would be working on his script… but I am a little doubtful…
“(…) a spokesperson from the Hollywood studio says, “We don’t have the film on our official slate this year but if Shyamalan is working on it, it would be great!” (Mid-Day.com) I’m sorry but that’s the kind of statement which means everything and nothing!
In the meanwhile you can go and read more information about Shyamalan’s story where many details are given. (eg. Scriptshadow) In the American version, the main character is called Maurice and he walks through the USA of course, to show how much he loves his wife, whereas she actually died in a car crash.
So now, what we can only do is to keep on hoping and say: Show Must go On!
What about watching Shyamalan’s After Earth starring Will Smith?
Sircar’s Madras Café is going out on the 23rd of August. It seems to be a marvel! I find John Abraham better and better!
A. Bachchan in Shoebite