Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's Sadak 2 is at the centre of a controversy, and it hasn't even released yet. The trailer for the film, his first collaboration with younger daughter Alia Bhatt, was released on Wednesday, and has quickly become the most-disliked video on YouTube, less than 24 hours later.
The trailer has received 4.5 million 'dislikes' on the video sharing platform, with a massively unfavourable 'like-dislike' ratio. With more than 15 million views, only 2,55,000 people have 'liked' the trailer.
A campaign to make it the most disliked trailer on YouTube was initiated in the days leading up to its unveiling, by fans of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who died by suicide in June. Sushant's fans have been propagating the conspiracy theory that the actor was ostracised by the film industry, most notably by 'insiders', which drove him to suicide.
Mahesh Bhatt, a few days before the trailer's release, had shared a message for fans via his elder daughter Pooja Bhatt, who also stars in the film. "Today as we begin the last leg of our journey.I feel unshackled! I carry no burden, no weight. No reputation to hold on to. No mission to accomplish. Nothing to prove to anyone. If the film works it belongs to all of you. If it does not, it's mine," he said.
Sadak 2, a sequel to his 1991 film starring Sanjay Dutt and Pooja, will be released on Disney+ Hotstar on August 28. The film was intended for a theatrical release, but producer Mukesh Bhatt said that they were forced to take the streaming route after the coronavirus pandemic shut down several industries, including film.
The recent Netflix film, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, has also been trolled for similar reasons, with its IMDb rating being attacked.