One of the best teenage love stories for years could have just been made. But unfortunately people in the UK might never know. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na is not being released here because not enough big names are attached to it. DEVANSH PATEL looks at the merits of the film and laments how audiences outside of India are missing potentially great films
THIS new college romance is produced by the most successful actor of the Indian film industry, Aamir Khan, along with Mansoor Khan, who directed Aamir way back in 1988 in his first film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.
Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na marks the debut of Imran Khan, Aamir Khan's nephew. It is also Abbas Tyrewala's first directorial venture, who happens to be the dialogue writer of films like Munnabhai MBBS, Salaam Namaste and Welcome and the one who scripted films like Main Hoon Na and Darna Mana Hai.
And last but not the least, music maestro A R Rahman has composed the music for the film.
Aamir Khan has also taken up the task of promoting and marketing the film with his own 'out of the box ideas', which have always worked if the success of films such as Lagaan - nominated at the Academy Awards in 2002 - and Rang De Basanti, nominated at the Bafta's in 2007, are anything to go by.
Just last week, Aamir and Imran visited the xxxse of Bollywood's veteran actor Shammi Kapoor to take his blessings and release the film's soundtrack.
Aamir started his film career with this Bollywood giant's blessings and carries on doing so, calling Shammi Kapoor his lucky mascot. It is hoped some of this luck will rub off on his nephew in his first film too.
What Imran now needs to show is whether he can draw the crowds at the multiplexes with his acting prowess in the same way Aamir did with his first big blockbuster Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.
The music is already climbing up the charts with the track Kabhi Kabhi Aditi being the favourite.
But sadly, Imran is unlikely to get the chance to test his metal in this country because, in these times of economic uncertainty, film distributors are playing it safe and only taking on films that they think will sell.
In the past couple of years, there have been quite a few good quality films which weren't released overseas for several reasons - some of them just absurd. Distributors see a debutant actor or new director as a risk, and will avoid the thriller genre as it rarely works overseas.
Take for example Johnny Gaddaar, starring the new kid on the block Neil Nitin Mukesh. Being a thriller genre and directed by Sriram Raghavan, who earlier had only one film behind him (Ek Hasina Thi), the distributors did not want to take a risk on a film which they txxxght no one would go and watch for a newcomer.
But people fail to remember that all the current super stars of Bollywood were once newcomers. You have to have the faith in new directors and give newcomers a chance or two - because they are only going to get better with experience.
Neil Nitin Mukesh has at least half a dozen films under his belt after his debut Johnny Gaddaar. That tells you all. Some of the other super-hit films which weren't released in the overseas market in the last couple of years - such as Woh Lamhe starring Shiney Ahuja and Kangana Ranaut, the critically-acclaimed Dor starring
Shreyas Talpade and Ayesha Takia, and Manorama Six Feet Under with Abhay Deol - were all well appreciated in India.
The other thing to point out is films which are heavily publicised and come from big names don't always sell - including Tashan, to give a recent example.
There was a time when you'd judge a film by its clippings and trailers on the television. But not any more.
The promos look all glossy but some lose their shine when the films hit the big screen. You feel like calling the producers for a refund of your valuable time and money.
Another problem is distributors are often puppets in the hand of producers. Producers ignore the years of experience a marketing and distribution centre might have and its knowledge of the overseas market.
They have been known to push poor small banner films with mediocre stars. One example I can give you is that of the Arjun Rampal-produced film I See You. It came, it went and it failed to conquer hearts and minds, or the box office.
But coming back to the film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, we all know that Aamir Khan has produced films that have been appreciated by txxxsands of fans in the UK.
With such talent behind it, it would be interesting to know if this film will be any different from other well-known Bollywood college capers, such as Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti and many more.
But before anyone in this country can find out, it needs to be released overseas. Will anyone hear my plea?