Like I pointed out two weeks ago, 2013 is turning out to be the most lucrative and rewarding year for films that swim against the tide. Movies like TABLE NO. 21, ABCD - ANY BODY CAN DANCE, KAI PO CHE, MERE DAD KI MARUTI, JOLLY LLB, CHASHME BADDOOR, AASHIQUI-2, FUKREY, RAANJHANAA, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG, B.A. PASS and MADRAS CAFÃ‰ won ample acclaim and admiration from the paying public. Now SHUDDH DESI ROMANCE joins this illustrious list, proving for the nth time that thereâ€™s no stopping good content from leaving a mark.
Letâ€™s decode SHUDDH DESI ROMANCE first. A film that targets the youth, is made within a controlled budget, boasts of decent music, flouts the rules of the game [conventional masala], is garnished with light moments and marketed correctly can yield rich dividends. In fact, all these factors put together resulted in an impressive start for SHUDDH DESI ROMANCE in the domestic market. The word of mouth was super-strong, which resulted in the business growing steadfastly over the weekend.
Kudos to Aditya Chopra for backing the film and also to writer Jaideep Sahni and director Maneesh Sharma for pushing the envelope. This one's all set to be a universal success.
On the other hand, ZANJEER failed to take off, despite aggressive promotions and a formidable cast to lure the spectators. The question that crossed my mind several times over the weekend was, why was it a non-starter at the ticket window? How does one explain the viewersâ€™ indifference to this biggie? If, for instance, we claim that the audience isnâ€™t comfortable with the idea of remaking an Amitabh Bachchan film, how do we explain the phenomenal success of DON and AGNEEPATH, both Bachchan starrers?
While contemplating the above hypothesis, there is yet another claim that says while DON and AGNEEPATH featured bigger stars, ZANJEER features an actor [Ram Charan] who isnâ€™t well known in the Hindi belt. Almost 23 years ago , Ram Charanâ€™s father Chiranjeevi made his debut in Hindi films with PRATIBANDH, which featured him in the role of a cop. That film, I distinctly recall, took a flying start at the BO and emerged a success. More recently, RAANJHANAA, which featured Dhanush, worked big time at the box-office, with the audience taking a big liking for the actor. Considering these facts, the claim of Ram Charan not being known in Bollywood and hence, ZANJEER not working well with the audience stands debunked. The failure of the Hindi version remains a mystery, frankly.
However, ZANJEER did attract a fair share of audience at single screens initially, but, overall, the performance remains disheartening. This one's an epic failure!