He is the king of bling in Andhra Pradesh. Feisty, flamboyant and frightfully popular Pawan Kalyan who has made Telugu cinema his own is all set to make a somewhat tentative debut in Hindi cinema this Friday...tentative, because Sardaar Gabbar Singh is only a dubbed Hindi version of the Telugu original.
It also appears to be a rip off of the Salman Khan starrer Dabangg. The similarity has not gone unnoticed by the Dabangg producer Arbaaz Khan who has sent a legal notice to Pawan Kalyan for arbitrarily lifting Dabanng. So far Pawan Kalyan has ignored the legal notice.
A source close to Pawam claims he has received no legal notice from Arbaaz.
Pawan Kalyan is unfazed as he prepares to release Sardaar Gabbar Singh in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil this week.
Trade pundit Taran Adarsh is gung-ho about Pawan's Hindi debut. "It will be interesting to see Pawan Kalyan's Sardaar Gabbar Singh in Hindi. He's a huge star in the South and enjoys an incredibly impressive fan following. For me, as a viewer, I'd love to see him deliver lines in Hindi. Also, for an actor, it's very important to broaden his horizons. With a Hindi release, you cater to an all-India audience at one go."
Taran feels Baahubali broke the barriers of language between Hindi and its regional counterparts. "The phenomenal success of Bahubali has proved that the Hindi movie going audience loves to watch interesting movies and from the looks of it, after having watched the trailers, Sardaar Gabbar Singh (SGS) does look like a film that should find patronage with lovers of entertaining cinema. Pawan Kalyan is a fantastic actor and I genuinely hope that he rules hearts and also wins over the box office with this film."
Adds trade insider Atul Mohan, "No harm in riding the tide. South stars like Dhanush, Prabhas have tasted the blood of success here. Eros is a big studio and their expertise will give good boost to SGS. Also this week is open. No major Hindi releases."
However senior film historian Bharathi S Pradhan is not too sure if Sardaar Gabbar Singh can do the trick for Pawan in Bollywood, "It's a dubbed film. It won't amount to a debut. It's like Prabhas didn't 'debut' in Hindi films despite the success of Bahubali." Trade analyst Amod Mehra too dismisses Sardaar Gabbar Singh as much idli about nothing. "This particular film does not seem the best film for him to make his Bollywood debut. There are many reasons for this First of all, the title is typically the kind we associate with dub films e.g. It has Sardar added to Gabbar. 2. We have already had one Akshay film titled Gabbar 3. There is very little awareness of the film. And funnily it has a major opposition this week from another dub film The Jungle Book."