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Last Updated 18.10.2019 | 10:31 PM IST



Fan debacle – An eye opener about Hollywood’s invasion in Bollywood?

The Jungle Book, which has gone past Airlift over the weekend, is now the biggest grosser of 2016 when it comes to films released in India. Fan, which was

expected to be the biggest film of April, is struggling to even come close to the 100 crore mark.

Varun Dhawan is already a part of Captain America: Civil War as the voice of the superhero.

Deepika Padukone is the leading lady of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

Priyanka Chopra is the negative lead for Baywatch.

As the adage goes, if you can’t beat them, you join them! The voice has only gained further momentum with Fan turning out to be the biggest disappointment for Shah Rukh Khan, Yash Raj Films

and Bollywood in general, ever since one can remember. The question being asked is – ‘Did YRF and Shah Rukh underestimate the power of The Jungle Book?’ For that matter, when it comes to the

larger debate, ‘Should Bollywood be wary of Hollywood?’

Well, here is the perspective. Let’s not press the panic button. At least, as yet. Oh yes, there is competition for sure, a huge one for that. Why just Hollywood, it could be even in-house. Last

year, Bahubali stopped Bajrangi Bhaijaan from turning out to be the Biggest Bollywood grosser ever. This year when Sardaar Gabbar Singh saw the much hyped dubbed version, it

failed to even take a start. The difference between two dubbed films? Well, one was good, another was bad.

Good. Bad!

That has always differentiated the outcome of two films. The Jungle Book did very well because it was well made. Fan has done bad, because it is faulty on number on counts. How can

you take a film seriously when it has prosthetics changing in every scene as per the whims and fancies of the narrative, has a weird script where sympathy neither goes to the hero or the anti-hero,

suffers from loopholes as huge as a ‘world’s biggest superstar running by himself on the streets globally chasing his nemesis and wants audience to feel for that so-called fan when there is the

core connect missing – the list is endless.

Let’s not say that audience felt cheated by the absence of ‘Jabra Fan‘. Even The Jungle Book blasted ‘Jungle Jungle Baat‘ all over and woosh, it was nowhere to be seen in the

film theatrically. No one complained. The film entered the 100 crore club with ease. It is set to cross 150 crore milestone. It is set to be an All Time Blockbuster.

Which brings us back to the point – Is The Jungle Book an eye opener around Hollywood’s invasion in Bollywood?

This wouldn’t have the point of debate had the superstar in the arena being someone lesser. It was THE Shah Rukh Khan out there. The man, who in a recent interview, had proudly mentioned that it is

too soon to think of Hollywood as the competition as they ‘don’t have six songs yet’ while Bollywood has ‘stardom’ as its strength. Does that mean he needs to eat his words? Naah, guess that would

be too harsh for the man who knows a thing or two about making movies, after being around for a quarter of a century.

Put any other superstar in there, Fan would still have flopped. Make a claim that The Jungle Book is an Indian film from an Indian production house and no one would bat an eyelid.

Why? Because the film is set in India, has animal characters with ‘desi’ names to them, and most importantly there is this huge decades-long connect that has already been established with the


One may argue that other Hollywood films have scored in India as well. Oh yes, they have. Let’s call them out. Fast and Furious 7, Avengers – Age of the Ultron, Jurassic World, 2012 – What

do they have in common? Each one of those is an action affair. And let’s admit it, these are all visual affairs which means ‘dialogue kam, dhoom dhaam zyaada’. To put it crudely, none of them need

an audience to apply ‘intelligence’ of some sorts in order to grab the plotline or concentrate much on the dialogue.

Aao, popcorn khao, tamasha dekho, ghar jaayo!

Bring on a plotline where a film steps into the drama zone without much of an action and you have Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Spectre, huge franchises globally, struggling

to go past the Rs. 50 crore mark in India. Star Wars The Force Awakens ki toh opening bhi nahi lagi, baaki ki baatein choro!

Will there be takers for Hollywood cinema? Why not? After all, big chains like PVR and Inox are earning substantial moolah through Hollywood films. There are 8-10 big ticket Hollywood films that

are set for release this year. Will they succeed? Yes, the action films will, and provided they are good. Is that the entire world for India and Indian audience? No. This part of the world is still

obsessed with Bollywood, and that would continue to be the case. However, when you make a movie which is bad, even superstardom would take you through a distance.

Fan may sound like a wakeup call to stay away from Hollywood but one close look and it is crystal clear that it is not about Hollywood, Bollywood or Tollywood. It is about THE movie and if

that is bad, it will get rejected.

It has happened before, it will happen again!

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