In what can only be seen as a slap on the face of traditional economics, good taste, and common sense, the makers of MSG: The Messenger (previously MSG: Messenger Of God) have announced that its sequel, MSG - 2: The Messenger will be released on September 18.
The poster for the upcoming 'MSG -2: The Messenger'
The film series is a vehicle for the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda leader Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh 'Insaan', who has previously been accused of rape, forced castration, and murder.
According to a press release, the poster for the film was unveiled by Singh himself at one of his massive concerts held on Friday at the Shah SatnamJi International Cricket Stadium in Sirsa, Haryana (where the Dera operates out of). The release claims that "a whopping 2,78,820 crazed fans" were present at the venue and "a hushed silence" took over "as everyone waited with bated breaths, and Guruji ignited their curiosity by making a slow and stylish announcement".
The plot of the sequel, which will also feature the 'Guruji' in virtually every department of the film (lead role, direction, music, costumes etc), has been described as follows:
The Film portrays the Tribals and their extreme animal like lives and with empathy, perseverance and belief in human life, MSG succeeds in turning them around, changing their destinies. The Movie lays parallel between their lives and modern day lives, forcing us to think about present day lifestyles, being armed with all the tools, we still tend to give up easily. The Movie is an inspirational tale for everybody but delivers the punch admixed with a high dose of action, adventure and wholesome entertainment.
The first film, MSG: The Messenger, had released worldwide in mid-February to widespread critical disdain (read our review) and tremendous controversy. It may be recalled that, in January, 12 senior members of the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC, commonly referred to as the 'Censor Board') incuding ex-chairperson Leela Samson had walked out in protest, citing interference from the government. The board had earlier refused to clear the film, saying that it portrayed Singh as a 'godman' and could hurt "religious sentiments".
Moreover, numerous claims by the makers that the film was a box-office success that earned more than Rs 162 crore have been generally met with skepticism. According to Box Office India, the film was a 'disaster' and only managed to earn Rs 12.92 crore from all its versions.
Despite this, no doubt owing to the Dera's numerous followers and generous benefactors, a sequel is now ready for release.