Considering it spans more than 70 years of storytelling, would Salman’s Eid release Bharat be the lengthiest film of his career? Apparently not. Director Ali Abbas Zafar informs me that that the film’s run time is approximately 2 hours 35 minutes. This is relatively shorter than Salman’s Sultan which was 2 hours and 50 minutes long and Bajrangi Bhaijaan which clocked at 2 hours 43 minutes.
A concerted effort has been made to keep the length in check this time. Trade insiders say lengthy films stand a greater risk of being rejected. Says Bihar exhibitor Kishan Damani, “Audiences don’t have the patience to sit through a film which is three hours long. No matter how much story there is to tell, it has to be condensed to keep audiences’ attention. Some of Salman’s recent films were long. It’s good that Bharat is not that lengthy. It means more shows in every theatre this Eid.”
Every Eid release of Salman Khan from 2008 onwards has been a major hit, except Tubelight in Eid 2017 and Race 3 in 2018 which bombed. It’s therefore imperative for Salman to score a hit with Bharat and reclaim his Eid slot as his own. A hat-trick of Eid flops would spell trouble for his career.