The much awaited film Radhe – Your Most Wanted Bhai released on Eid, on May 13, and though it got record streams, the audience response was not encouraging. The majority of the critics panned the film. The film starred Salman Khan and at one point, his films were not just big money spinners but also made a section of viewers happy. Today, his films might still be making money but the word of mouth is increasingly becoming negative. Besides Radhe, even Dabangg 3 (2019) and Race 3 (2018) were not well received. Bharat (2019) received mixed response and hence, underperformed.
“If anybody thinks Salman Khan is over, that’s bullsh*t. All he needs is a worthy director and a good team of writers”: Post Radhe’s negative response, Trade suggests what the superstar should do to BOUNCE back – Part 2
We asked trade experts to speak on this issue and we have documented their thoughts in this must-read, two-part series. The first part focused on what is going wrong on the part of the superstar. In this article, we would focus on the course correction and the way forward for him.
How should Salman get back in top form?
So what should be the way forward for him and what course correction is needed at his end? Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “I would love to see him working with filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali or S S Rajamouli. He’s in the most commanding position right now. He can pick up the phone, call the biggest of directors and tell them that ‘I want to work you’. No one would refuse with him. For a filmmaker, it’ll be a godsend opportunity to work with Salman.”
Girish Johar, producer and film business analyst, believes, “Salman completely needs to reinvent himself. He is still stuck 5-6 years behind. Meanwhile, in the pandemic, OTT jo 5 saal mein grow karna tha, woh 2 saal mein kar gaya. Audiences consumed so much of exciting content from around the world that their tastes evolved faster than normal.” He continues, “Salman needs to ensure that he gets smart content in his films. And that will come from smart and good writers and smart and contemporary directors. This will enable him to tap into the young audience which will also throng to the theatres in cities.”
Trade analyst Atul Mohan makes it clear as he says that “Salman Khan should surrender himself to the maker.” Trade expert Komal Nahta meanwhile emphasizes, “If someone says that Salman should start doing different kind of cinema, I don’t think that is the answer. People like him the way he is – cool dude, well dressed, looking handsome, romancing girls etc. He should continue doing all that. But in this kind of setup, he should have something new to offer in every film. For that, he should have a good team of writers and give them a free hand. He should get on board a worthy director. The content is going wrong and these methods can help that. And this is a minor aberration which can be corrected. It’s not like people have begun to hate him. So I don’t think there’s any need to ring alarm bells in the case of Salman’s career.”
Tiger 3: Salman ka stardom zinda hai
Thankfully, Salman Khan has a trump card in the form of Tiger 3. The first two parts were huge blockbusters and hence, the expectations from Part 3 are humongous. Komal Nahta says confidently, “100% he’ll bounce back with Tiger 3. If anybody thinks Salman is over, that’s bullsh*t! He is still looking fantastic and he knows what the audience wants. One correct script and he’ll show the world what he’s capable of.”
Taran Adarsh shares similar views while Girish Johar says, “There’s no doubt Tiger 3 would be something to watch out for. At the end of the day, audiences in India are star savvy. But they also see how content is packaged. It’s not that people don’t want to see Salman. It’s just one trailer that does the trick. And from whatever we have heard of Tiger 3, it looks like a film that has a huge potential. And I said before, Salman is the biggest star that we have.”
As for Atul Mohan, he too feels that Tiger 3 can do wonders for Salman’s career, “Producer Aditya Chopra knows how to do justice to Salman’s stardom. Even with Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali, Salman Khan will know that he’s in safe hands as Sajid Nadiadwala had presented him so well in Kick (2014).”
Trolls might say that the career of Salman Khan is finished but of course, it’s far from truth, say experts. Atul Mohan retorts, “You can’t write off a star like Salman Khan. From the beginning, he has not cared about critics. When he experimented with Tubelight (2017), people gave thumbs down. Aap usko mauka hi nahi de rahe ho. But he can’t risks as well. And it’s not like he’s doing the same roles. He proved his worth in films like Tere Naam (2003) and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Even in Bodyguard (2011), he played the part with innocence. In Kick, he was cunning while he essayed a simpleton in Bajrangi Bhaijaan. And in Tiger films, he’s the one man army.”
He adds, “Uski kharab films bhi Rs. 125 crore ka dhanda karke de deti hai. Dabangg 3, Tubelight and Race 3 also did Rs. 100+ crore. His stardom is unmatched. The job of a star is to get audiences to cinemas. After that, the content has to do the talking. So if his films are opening in Rs. 30-40 crore range, it means that his stardom is intact. Even if he does 1 or 2 films that are massy and yet well-made, it’ll give a lot of boost to his brand.”
Komal Nahta feels one should not take the negativity seriously, “Lot of memes were made on social media on Radhe – Your Most Wanted Bhai. But this is the time when Bollywood is on a slippery wicket; you have to accept ki yeh sab chalta rahega. It’ll take a couple of years to fizzle out. Bollywood stars are the best punching bags. This will go on, whether or not you make a hit film or a flop fare.” Even he’s in awe of how his films open to full houses on Day 1. He exclaims, “Opening mein hi Salman kaccha chaba jaate hai sab ko!”
Taran Adarsh signs off by making a plea to the superstar, “Please listen to the public mandate. Your fans would love you anyway; they would still come and watch your films. But deep down, they must be wondering why he is doing such films when he’s capable of much more.”
More Pages: Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai Box Office Collection , Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai Movie Review
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