In a huge shock for both the left liberal intelligentsia as well as the trade analysts, Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Tashkent Files’ has emerged as a sleeper hit at the box office. Based on the mysterious death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s second Prime Minister, who died mysteriously after signing the Tashkent agreement on 11 January 1966, the movie, made on a shoe string budget of 4 crores, has earned a total of Rs. 15.35 crores approximately in terms of domestic collections.
Starring an ensemble cast of Shweta Basu Prasad, Mithun Chakraborty, Naseeruddin Shah, Pallavi Joshi, Pankaj Tripathi, Rajesh Sharma etc, ‘The Tashkent Files’ is one of the first films to focus clearly on the mysterious death of Lal Bahadur Shastri. Told from the eyes of a rookie journalist investigating into the same, the movie, despite its creative flaws, was a gut wrenching take on the issue with a shocking climax. Right from the start, the movie, despite its bold approach, was at the receiving end of the left liberals. Most of the so called critics, especially the likes of Raja Sen, Anupama Chopra, Rajeev Masand etc even refused to see the film. Others downgraded the movie, just because Vivek Agnihotri happens to be an unequivocal supporter of BJP.
However, despite the full fledged negative campaign launched against BJP, the Tashkent Files has emerged to be a resounding ‘Super Hit’ at the domestic box office. Interestingly, the profit margin of this movie, if calculated, is much better than even some of the other hits of 2019, like Gully Boy, Kesari, Luka Chuppi etc. Following is an estimate of the wonders that this movie has achieved at the box office:-
Besides, achieving this status is not a cakewalk for ‘The Tashkent Files’. The movie had to face stiff resistance from big budget releases like ‘Kalank’, ‘Avengers : Endgame’ and ‘Student of the Year 2’. However, overcoming all these challenges, ‘The Tashkent Files’ has emerged as a deserved box office success. On a light note, the left liberals have another reason to mourn after ‘Uri – The Surgical Strike’ succeeded despite their humongous campaign against the same.