What is happening to Upendras Kabzaa? Promo events fizzle out

What is happening to Upendra's Kabzaa? Promo events fizzle out

Kannada star Upendra’s upcoming film Kabzaa was supposedly the next big pan-India movie after KGF, Vikrant Rona and Kantara. The release is just a fortnight away but it is yet to create a buzz in Karnataka, let alone the rest of the country.

Kabzaa starring Upendra and Shriya Saran is one of the most expensive films to be made in the Kannada film industry.

As per reports, the makers have spent nearly ₹80 crore on the film over the last three and half years. Directed by R Chandru, Kabzaa is based on the underworld and a few incidents that took place between 1942 and 1986.

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Kabzaa is slated for a pan-India release on March 17, but there is hardly any buzz around the film, say critics and fans. The makers had organised three events to release the film’s songs. While the first event was held in Hyderabad, the second was in Chennai and the third was in Sidlaghatta near Bengaluru. However, neither the events nor the songs managed to catch the attention of the audience.

The Federal spoke to one of the PRs in Hyderabad about the pulse among the audience about the film. She wished not to be named, and said, “Upendra has a bit of a market in Telugu films. The films he directed in Kannada were dubbed in Telugu and his role in S/O Sathyamurthy with Allu Arjun had worked well with the audience. However, there’s not much news about Kabzaa. The audiences don’t even know when the film is releasing. I wonder why the makers are not promoting the film as much as they should, given that the film is releasing in a couple of weeks.”

The Federal spoke to industry insiders who said that they are also not sure why the makers are falling short of promoting the film. One of them who didn’t want to be named said, “I don’t know what their strategy is. They might start promoting just two weeks before the film’s release. Their trailer release is also delayed. Maybe they have recovered their investment and hence are taking it easy.”

The trailer of Kabzaa will release on Saturday (March 4). In fact, the trailer release was supposed to be released in Mumbai last week and was scheduled keeping in mind Kichcha Sudeep’s availability as the actor is busy with his sporting commitment with Kannada Chalanachithra Cup (KCC) and Celebrity Cricket League (CCL). However, the Mumbai event was cancelled.

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As per reports, the trailer launch was supposed to happen in Bengaluru, but that too did not happen. The trailer will be released on Saturday without any on-ground event.

The makers on Friday announced that Shiva Rajkumar is playing a cameo in the film. This has disappointed Shiva Rajkumar and Upendra fans.

A well-known Kannada film marketing expert shared his opinion on condition of anonymity. He said, “Shiva Rajkumar’s cameo in the film was little known until now to the majority of the audience. The makers could have announced the news with a grand event or at least kept it a secret till the film’s release. I don’t think that Shiva Rajkumar’s photo used in the poster actually belongs to this film. It looks like it’s all been done in the last minute with haste.”

The film had created a lot of buzz during the shoot for its grandeur and showed Upendra in a never-before-seen avatar. The makers roped in Sudeep to play a pivotal role in the film and hoped that it would help them reach a wider audience across the country.

When the teaser of Kabzaa was released, many compared it to KGF and accused the filmmaker of trying to copy Prashanth Neel’s style of filmmaking. Upendra and director Chandru had taken the negative comments in their stride and said that they are happy that the audiences are comparing the film to KGF which made such an impact on the Indian film industry.

If reports are to believed, then the makers of Kabzaa are planning to have pre-release events in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru just before the release of the film.

However, every Kannada film with a pan-India release in recent times had promoted their film a lot more than Kabzaa.

It needs to be seen if the filmmaker would change gears once the trailer of the film is out.

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