With summer temperatures reaching record levels, Bollywood is heating up for new releases and the award season which kicked off with the International Indian Film Academy Awards, better known as IIFA has got fans pumped…
By Rodrigues C
MUMBAI is on fire these days. With temperatures reaching unprecedented levels, many of the movie stars have left the city for cooler shores abroad.
The airport, which has photographers stationed day and night, is witness to the rise in star traffic. As for the citizens. here, it’s a different story, people are facing the brunt of the heatwave all over India.
Bollywood is in the midst of the awards season.
And one of the most glamorous awards of the season, IIFA, were held during the weekend in Abu Dhabi for the second year in a row.
IIFA is held annually at some of the most famous locations the world over. Previous destinations included Dubai, Bangkok, New York, Colombo, Amsterdam, Madrid, Florida, Kuala Lumpur and Macau.
The organisers of the event always manage to get the dates of the creme of Bollywood, considering these shows are held outside India.
Salman Khan headed a star list that included Rajkummar Rao, AR Rahman, Farah Khan, Kamal Haasan, Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Genelia D’Souza, Tiger Shroff, Jubin Nautiyal, Fardeen Khan, Chunky Panday, Rakul Preet Singh, Nora Fatehi, Vicky Kaushal, Badshah, Sunidhi Chauhan, Esha Gupta, Bebil Khan, Kriti Sanon, Mouni Roy, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Urvasji Rautela, Krystle D’Souza, Varun Dhawan, Suniel Shetty, Honey Singh, Anurag Basu, Pankaj Tripathi, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sara Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shantanu Maheshwari, Maniesh Paul and Dia Mirza.
‘Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva‘ won most of the trophies including Best Playback Singer for Shreya Ghoshal (Female) and Arijit Singh (Male), Best Supporting Actor (Female) for Mouni Roy.
Other winners included ‘Drishyam 2‘ (Best Film), R Madhavan for ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect‘ (Best Director), Alia Bhatt for ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi‘ (Best Actor in a Leading Role Female), Hrithik Roshan for ‘Vikram Vedha‘ (Best Actor in a Leading Role Male) and Anil Kapoor for ‘Jugjugg Jeeyo‘ (Best Actor in a Supporting Role Male).
A couple of months back, film industry watchers believed that May would be bad for Bollywood due to the lack of big releases. But a completely unknown film, ‘The Kerala Story‘, which has been making waves in India, proved them wrong.
Released on May 5, the controversial film has so far raked in £20 million. The £2m budgeted film follows the story of a Hindu woman (Adah Sharma) from Kerala, who is brainwashed into embracing Islam and then sent to Syria to fight for Daesh (ISIS).
The film’s storyline, which claims that 32,000 women in Kerala were recruited for Daesh, has created a political storm of sorts in India.
While state governments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh made the film tax free, West Bengal banned it outright. Later, the Supreme Court of India overturned the ban and allowed the screening of the movie with a disclaimer that it is a “fictionalised version”.
Many in Bollywood have supported or spoken out against the Sudipto Sen directed and Vipul Amrutlal Shah produced film.
In fact, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the film in one of his election rallies in Karnataka. ‘The Kerala Story‘ is reminiscent of last year’s ‘The Kashmir Files‘, another low budget film that went to create massive controversies as well as huge box office numbers.
Many of you will be familiar with the Shamima Begum tale (the 15-year-old and two other friends left Britain to join Deash and only Begum has survived and is trying to come back but the British government has stripped of her citizenship and says, more or less, that she can remain in a camp Syria). The Kerala Story covers a similar fate – though the main character is not a minor – and India too has not permitted the return of those who joined Daesh. The heart of the argument is about the numbers of actual people who left Kerala to join Daesh; it is common knowledge that the highest number of people left this state to join the hard-line fundamentalists.
Moving on, the June 2 release of Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jawan‘ was first rescheduled to August 25 but has been now shifted to September 7. It is believed SRK changed the release date, because the only other big release in September is Prabhas’s ‘Salaar‘, which releases on September 28. This gives ‘Jawan‘ enough time to rake in big money. But SRK’s quest to make more money has affected the releases of several films as no one wants to compete with SRK, who has given a massive hit ‘Pathaan‘ recently. Soon after, it was announced that Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan’s ‘Luka Chuppi 2‘ would hit theatres on June 2. Ayushmann Khurrana’s ‘Dream Girl 2‘, which was first rescheduled from July 7 to August 25, will now have a new date. Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan and Paresh Rawal’s ‘Start Up‘, was scheduled for a September release initially but will now hit theatres on a revised date. Producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani have rescheduled ‘Fukrey 3‘ to November from the earlier September 7.
June will see big releases such as Prabhas’s ‘Adipurush‘ and Ajay Devgn’s delayed football drama ‘Maidaan‘.
The month also marks the start of India’s monsoon, when many prefer being at home during weekends. Interestingly, most of a movie’s box office collections are made during weekends.
So, for producers, monsoon releases are a bigger gamble. But of course, most businesses are a gamble. Till then… see you in the rain.