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Bollywood asianculturevulture vibes: ‘Pathaan’ continues global conquest; excitement over ‘RRR’ at Oscars; and mostly no to Akshay Kumar’s ‘Selfie’ (review as well)

Bollywood asianculturevulture vibes: ‘Pathaan’ continues global conquest; excitement over ‘RRR’ at Oscars; and mostly no to Akshay Kumar’s ‘Selfie’ (review as well)

As the Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone film continues its box office joyride and the ‘RRR’ team head to the Dolby Theatre, here’s a peek at what’s left…

By Rodrigues C

HELLO UK! The ‘Pathaan’ juggernaut has completely taken over Bollywood.

So far, the blockbuster has raked £100 million at the worldwide box office.

Its overall collection at the Indian box office now stands at £52m.

Pathaan‘ (Shah Rukh Khan)

Despite being in its fifth week, the spy thriller is still making money, last week’s figure stands at £500,000 plus.

Taran Adarsh, who is the country’s top most film trade analyst, has said that the film generated sizeable returns from major cinema chains such as Inox, PVR and Cinepolis in India, during the February 24-26 weekend, an impossible feat considering it’s been 35 days since the film’s release.

Pathaan’ has now become the first Hindi film to collect more than ₹500 Crore (£50M). Currently, the Hindi version of ‘Baahubali 2’ is the highest grossing Hindi film at ₹511 crore (£51.1m).

The Shah Rukh Khan runaway hit is also the first film to sell 30 million cinema hall tickets in the last 13 years. Its Tamil and Telugu dubbed versions have sold about 1.5 million tickets.

Before ‘Pathaan’s’ release, it was widely believed that SRK’s screen career was over but now movie experts have been speaking in a different tone.

Several single screens in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Goa, which were shut after the pandemic reopened for ‘Pathaan’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned it in the Indian Parliament saying shows of the movie were running “houseful after decades” in Srinagar.

Emraan Hashmi and Akshay Kumar in ‘Selfie

The South Indian film industry is also believed to be rethinking its marketing strategy after the success of ‘Pathaan’. It’s done very well in the South as well.

Moving on, Akshay Kumar’s newest offering ‘Selfie’ which hit theatres on February 24, has had a poor opening. A remake of the 2019 Malayalam film, ‘Driving Licence’, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Suraj Venjaramoodu, it made just over £1m during the opening weekend.

This is Aki’s lowest opening in a decade and his fifth flop in a row. His 2022 projects such as ‘Ram Setu’, ‘Raksha Bandhan’, ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ and ‘Bachchhan Paandey’ bombed at the box office.

Kartik Aaryan in ‘Shehzada

Recently, speaking to a news channel, the actor took responsibility for the box office disasters. A while back, he had revealed that he opted for Canadian citizenship on the advice of his friend because of his 15 flops in a row.

Aki, who’s been the butt of jokes in India due to his Canadian citizenship, revealed on the show that he has now applied for a change of passport.

Just a few days ago, his New Jersey concert was cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao Jnr sing Naatu Naatu in RRR

Another film, ‘Shehzada’, staring Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon, which released two weeks after ‘Pathaan’ on February 17, has also bombed at the box office with a collection of just about £2.7m.

All eyes in India are now on the Oscars and the stars of ‘RRR’.

The film’s song ‘Naatu Naatu’ — which has already won the Best Original Song award at the 80th Golden Globe Awards and Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards – has been nominated in the Best Original Song category.

The 95th Academy Awards will be held on March 12. ‘RRR’ director SS Rajamouli, actor Ram Charan, music director MM Keeravaani and lyricist Chandrabose are already in the US.

Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

A screening of ‘RRR’ is scheduled for March 1, at The Theatre, Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.
Titled Fan CelebRRRation Live, this will be held ahead of the movie’s re-release in over 200 theaters in the US from March 3.

Recently, Charan appeared on ‘The Good Morning Show’ there. A new trailer for ‘RRR’, featuring James Cameron and Steven Spielberg praising the film, has also been released.

The success of ‘Pathaan’ was a huge relief to Bollywood. But no one knows is sure if the thriller will change the course of Bollywood; two films have already bombed since its release.

Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor’s ‘Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar’ is next in line for a release on March 8 and its fate hangs in the balance. Till then, cheers to ‘Pathaan’.

Selfie Review

THIS ISN’T a terrible Bollywood film by any means, but it was slightly high risk in that it is a film about making films and features Akshay Kumar as a film star who then upsets the public by getting into a very public spat with a humble police officer (Emraan Hashmi).
There’s a veritable cast of characters that you might expect from such a comedy movie – a jealous rival who started out at the same time and even shared a room with Kumar’s character before he became famous and a shady soothsayer deployed to perform black magic on the star.
It isn’t a film that Aki’s fans can really get behind as his character in this film isn’t wholly without suspicion on some things – though the film tries to clear it all up and make sure he is seen as only benign. It even includes an argument about the real hashtag ‘Boycott Bollywood’.
The success of ‘Pathaan’ perhaps shows that it is better to play it straight and do the essentials really well and let the stars do what they are good at doing – don’t present them ‘cleverly’ or in more critical theory speak, in a post modern ironic way, most fans don’t care and if you want to comment on such issues make a film worthy of exploring that sensitively and seriously – not as some comedy which no one will remember.
ACV rating ** (out of five)

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture