Broken Horses is a crime thriller directed, produced and co-written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, a wealthy and successful big-wheel filmmaker who’s based in India. The odd thing about the trailer is that it includes footage of the influential James Cameron praising Broken Horses to the heavens. A similar glowing quote from Cameron as well as one from Alfonso Cuaron are posted atop Chopra’s website. Broken Horses may indeed be an exceptional knockout, but it hasn’t played at any festivals, and it was shot over two years ago at a cost of $11 million, and it’s being more or less self-distributed by “Fox Star Studios,” which seems to be a Chopra-related concern of some kind.
It struck me as odd that these highly respected filmmakers would go to bat for a film no one has heard jack about, even though it costars Anton Yelchin, Chris Marquette, Vincent D’Onofrio, Thomas Jane, AMaría Valverde and Sean Patrick Flanery. I don’t know anything but here are my questions:
(1) The Wiki page says that Broken Horses began shooting on 10.29.12. Chopra presumably finished in late ’12 or early ’13, and the movie was apparently in post-production for two full years. All through ’13 and ’14. It’s a crime film, a thriller. Not a big FX film. Why does it take two years to edit a crime thriller and then wrangle a distributor and figure out the marketing and lock down a release date? A year would be more like it.
(2) Last year Broken Horses was apparently announced on Chopra’s site as a January 2015 release. That didn’t happen and now it’s coming out on Friday, April 10th. As noted, Broken Horses is apparently being self-distributed by Chopra through Fox Star Studios, an India-based distributor with ties to Reliance Entertainment, another India-based concern, and Vinod Chopra Films.
(3) If Broken Horses is so great, why hasn’t it played at a festival or two or three? Maybe it has played at a festival but if so, I can’t find a record of it. Did any of the usual distributors look at it? It just seems strange that none of the usual suspects (Magnolia, IFC Films, TWC/Radius, Drafthouse, Sony Classics, et. al.) are involved.
(4) How do Cameron and Cuaron know Chopra? How did they see the film? When did they see it? Why haven’t any p.r. people been offering to screen it for journalists in my realm? (A friend who sees absolutely everything told me today he hasn’t heard even heard of Broken Horses.) The film opens in less than a month (i.e, three and two-thirds weeks from now) and no invitations, no buzz, no nothing. Update: Los Angeles publicist Marina Bailey has invited me to a screening happening tomorrow.
Earlier today I asked a friend in a position to know some answers but no reply so far.
Broken Horses has been described as a crime noir about estranged brothers, one a violinist (Yelchin) and the other a none-too-bright (Marquette) who works for a dangerous gangster (D’Onofrio).