MSG: The Messenger

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MSG: The Messenger
MSG The Messenger of God Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Jeetu Arora
Written by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Starring Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Daniel Kaleb
Flora Saini
Jayshree Soni
Olexandra Semen
Gaurav Gera
Jay Singh Rajpoot
Raju Pandit
Music by Amar Mohile
Cinematography Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Vineet Sapru
Mangal
Edited by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Sanjay Kumar Singh
Production
company
Hakikat Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Distributed by Hakikat Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Release date
  • 13 February 2015 (2015-02-13)
Running time
197 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 300 million[1]
Box office Disputed[2][1][3][4]

MSG: The Messenger (also known as MSG: The Messenger of God) is a 2015 Indian faith-based film written by and starring religious leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is also credited as co-director, co-cinematographer, co-editor, songwriter, and stuntman, in his film debut.[5][1] The film was released worldwide on February 13, 2015.[6][7] It follows a spiritual leader, played by Singh and largely based on himself, on a quest to eradicate drugs and gender-related issues.

MSG: The Messenger received mostly negative reviews from critics, who accused it of being a propaganda film promoting Singh's teachings, while also severely criticizing its quality.[8] It was also controversial for being allegedly insultive towards Sikhs.[9][10][11] Box office estimates indicated that the film grossed approximately 16.65 crore (US$2.3 million) on a budget of 30 crore (US$4.2 million), although the film's producers claimed that it had grossed 126 crore (US$18 million)[12][3] It was followed the same year by a direct sequel, MSG-2 The Messenger, and later by two other films, The Warrior Lion Heart and Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab, with Singh similarly involved in all of them.

Synopsis[edit]

Guruji (Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh) is a spiritual leader who has a huge follower base. He has accepted the challenge of eradicating social evils including drugs and gender-related issues that have been prevailing in the society. Those with vested interests and apathetic towards the welfare of the society are now disturbed as there's someone who has taken control of the situation. They conspire to kill him.[13]

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was shot at various locations of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. The movie also features 1 million, three hundred-thousand extras. The film was completed in 67 days. The cast had almost no training in film or acting. For the song 'Never Ever' about 125,000 performers continued their shot for three days, and on a count of three, 70 thousand candles were lit within 45 seconds.[14] Singh held a three-day concert at the Shah Satnam Ji Stadium in Sirsa, Haryana, from 16 August, which is part of the movie.

Certification[edit]

The film was denied a release certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification and was sent to a revising committee. The members of the Central Board of Film Certification objected to the portrayal of Singh as a God in the movie.[15] On 15 January 2015 the film was cleared for screening by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. Singh denied that he had called himself God in the film (at the time the film was titled, MSG: Messenger of God). He further added that there was nothing objectionable in his film and that the Central Board of Film Certification had muted just two words.[16] Punjab and Haryana High Court also allowed the release of the film.[17] The film was fully cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification with a U Certificate and released on 13 February 2015.[18]

Promotion[edit]

The trailer of the film was released on 19 December 2014 and crossed over 1 million views on YouTube within 24 hours.[19] On 16 January 2015, MSG: The Messenger premiered at Leisure Valley ground, a large park in Gurgaon city used for exhibitions and conventions. A team from Asia Book and India Book of Records recorded the official number of people gathered as 157,231 for the promotion.[20]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mostly negative reviews.[8] Criticism focused on the self-aggrandizing nature of the film. Raja Sen, writing for Rediff, refused to rate the movie. "This is not a movie," he said. He described the film as a "propaganda piece" for "self-styled spiritual leader" Singh, and stated that the film "might be a theatrical release, but this can, by no means, be called a piece of cinema."[21] The Indian Express described the film as "excruciatingly awful only for non believers."[22] DNA called the film "three hours of torture so painful that you start laughing at yourself".[23]

Rohit Vats reviewing for Hindustan Times urged readers to "watch it only if your survival depended on it".[24] Bollywood Hungama stated that the film "can be watched once... purely for the dynamics and the histrionics of the endearing Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan".[25] Times of India rated it one out of five stars, commenting that "the one star is strictly for Babaji's intriguing choice of outfits. A multi-coloured crochet two-piece (tight tees and knee-length pants) takes the cake."[26]

Box office[edit]

The box office gross of the movie has been contested. Bollywood Hungama, Box Office India, and other industry sources reported figures as low as 10 crore (US$1.4 million), while sources associated with the film reported results as high as 120 crore (US$17 million).[1][3][27][4]

A report by the Business Standard gave tentative opening day figures of 2.5 crore (US$350,000), citing the limited appeal to non-believers, distribution to less expensive theatres, and competition from Roy as reasons for the relatively weak opening. The 2015 Cricket World Cup, which kicked off the following day, was also expected to detract from later ticket sales.[28]

Protests[edit]

Various Sikh groups protested the release of the movie and demanded that it be banned on the basis that it was offensive to Sikhs.[9][29][30] However, a Dera Sacha Sauda spokesperson responded, "There is nothing against which the protests need to be done."[9]

Soundtrack[edit]

MSG: The Messenger
Soundtrack album to MSG The Messenger by
Released 7 January 2015 (2015-01-07)[31]
Genre Feature Film Soundtrack
Length 32:16
Label Sony Music India
Producer Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

The music was composed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, and a sequence of the movie takes place as a live concert. The soundtrack album consists of 7 songs, all written and sung by Singh, himself.[32][33]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1 Desh[34] Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh 3:35
2 "Daru Ko Goli Maro" Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh 6:34
3 "Papa The Great" Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh & Amarpreet Insan 4:50
4 "Never Ever" Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh 4:48
5 Never Ever remix[35] Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh 3:39
6 Rataan Bataan[36] Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh 4:24
7 Ram Ram[37] Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh 4:27

Sequel[edit]

A sequel, MSG-2 The Messenger, was released on 18 September 2015.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "MSG: The Messenger - Movie - Worldwide Gross". Box Office India. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Mehta, Ankita (21 February 2015). "Box Office Collection: 'MSG: The Messenger' ?100 Crore Earning is Fake?". International Business Times. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "MSG THE MESSENGER GROSS COLLECTION 126 CRORE BY THE END OF SECOND WEEK". msgthefilm.com. Retrieved 11 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "MSG: The Messenger makes Rs 10.91 crore in three weeks". Times of India. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "A Bollywood entertainer that attempts to spread the message of God". The Times of India. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim makes big-screen debut with Messenger of God on January 16". 
  7. ^ "Shooting of MSG The Messenger Completed in a record 67 days". Dera Sacha Sauda. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "MSG Messenger of God: Indian critics pan guru film". BBC News. 
  9. ^ a b c "Now, Baljit Singh Daduwal too demands ban on 'Messenger of God'". The Times of India. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Furious Sikh Groups Demand Ban on the Dera Chief's Messenger of God Film Stunt". New India Express. 28 December 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "They came for their hero's movie, didn't matter it wasn't shown". The Indian Express. 17 January 2015. 
  12. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20151118172801/http://boxofficeindia.com/Movies/movie_detail/msg__the_messenger_of_god#.VuNJtvkrKUk
  13. ^ "MSG: बॉलीवुड के नए सुपरहीरो बाबा राम रहीम". 
  14. ^ "'MSG The Messenger' to hit screens on February 13". 
  15. ^ "Dera Sacha Sauda chief's film 'The Messenger of God' denied certification". The Times of India. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "I have not called myself God in 'MSG - Messenger of God', says Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim". IBN-Live. CNN-IBN. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Punjab and Haryana High Court Refuses to Stay Release of Controversial Film 'MSG' Starring Dera Chief". 
  18. ^ "MSG gets a Friday the 13th release". 
  19. ^ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/five-reasons-why-censor-board-should-clear-msg-the-messenger-of-god/1/413388.html
  20. ^ "MSG The Messenger Premier Set Milestone in Asia Book and India Book of Records". 
  21. ^ "Review: MSG The Messenger is not a movie". Rediff. 13 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "'MSG' review – The 'film' is excruciatingly awful only for non-believers". The Indian Express. 13 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "MSG review: Three hours of torture so painful that you start laughing at yourself!". dna. 
  24. ^ Rohit Vats (14 February 2015). "MSG review: Watch this only if your survival depends on it". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  25. ^ Bollywood Hungama. "MSG The Messenger". bollywoodhungama.com. 
  26. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/movie-review/MSG-The-Messenger/movie-review/46233425.cms
  27. ^ "MSG-The Messenger collects Rs 100 cr, really?". India TV News. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  28. ^ Urvi Malvania (14 February 2015). "Gurmeet Ram Rahim's MSG off to slow start at the box office". Business Standard. Mumbai. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  29. ^ "Furious Sikh Groups Demand Ban on the Dera Chief's Messenger of God Film Stunt". New India Express. 28 December 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "They came for their hero's movie, didn't matter it wasn't shown". The Indian Express. 17 January 2015. 
  31. ^ "MSG – The Messenger of God's music album launched". The Indian Express. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  32. ^ "Messenger Of God music aims to connect with today's youth". 
  33. ^ "Raatan Baatan: Guru ji kills goons by playing a mouth organ!". 
  34. ^ Desh Video Song MSG: The Messenger, 2014-12-25, retrieved 2016-11-07 
  35. ^ Never Ever (Remix) Full Video Song MSG: The Messenger, 2014-12-28, retrieved 2016-11-07 
  36. ^ Raatan Baatan Video Song MSG: The Messenger, 2015-01-05, retrieved 2016-11-07 
  37. ^ RAM RAM Video Song MSG: The Messenger, 2015-01-09, retrieved 2016-11-07 
  38. ^ "Punjab theatre owners give MSG-2 a miss". Hindustan Times. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 

External links[edit]