You know what’s common between “The Kerala Story” and “The Kashmir Files”? Both were ‘ripped apart’ by the leftist intelligentsia, both were almost banned, and yet both bulldozed the box office. However, there’s more than what meets the eye.
Now, let’s find out why it is time for Bollywood A-Listers to join the bandwagon, and reap the rich benefits such movies have to offer.
Strong subject, efficient acting: The recipe to success
What many missed was the X factor in both the films. None of them were driven by stars. Both films wore their identity on their sleeves. Just ask yourself, did you see Adah Sharma or the likes of Darshan Kumaar driving a film to success all by their own before this? If there was any star in the movie, it was actually the content. Probably that’s why the return on investment from both the films was super high.
Let’s start with The Kashmir Files. After insurmountable troubles during the making, the film was scheduled to release on 11 March, and struggled to get even a decent screen count. To make matters worse, Prabhas starrer “Radhe Shyam” was all set to release on the same date as “The Kashmir Files”.
However, on 11 March, the reverse happened. To everyone’s surprise, “The Kashmir Files” made everyone rush to their nearest theaters, and the terrible script of “Radhe Shyam” only inspired them to call for an increase in the number of screens. In barely a week, a movie, which received a mere 400 screens for release, got a humongous collection of 97 crores. Now that’s something you see don’t every day, eh?
Now the question arises, does having a big star in such films make any difference? May be, and maybe not. If there is a script and setup like “Emperor Prithviraj”, then these questions may seem ridiculous, but if the script is attentive, and it can provide huge collections even in limited resources, then why not?
Take “Uri: The Surgical Strike”. Looking at the way the Uri attacks and the subsequent response were portrayed, who would say that the film was made in just 25 crores? Come on, the depiction of themes like Nathuram Godse, Direct Action Day etc may be controversial for some. But the depiction of Maratha pride or Indian revolutionaries, will that be controversial as well? We’ve heard that Ajay Devgn and Neeraj Pandey had almost locked the script of Chanakya. If they haven’t abandoned it, they should rather revive it. Just imagine a bald, clean shaved Ajay Devgn, with his bloodshot eyes, taking the oath of not tying his shikha until the destruction of the Nanda Empire. Every record known shall be demolished within days, and that’s a promise.
In fact, Ajay Devgn has proved that people like him are very well capable of such projects. Okay, let’s consider that folks like Deepika Padukone, the Khans etc. won’t be interested. But why not Ajay Devgn? In a country, where historical projects take nothing less than 200 crores, Ajay relived the glorious days of the Maratha Empire with “Tanhaji : The Unsung Warrior”. The state-of-the-art VFX, power packed dialogues, you name it and the film had it, all in the budget of 125 crores. What’s stopping the others.
It’s not that there’s nothing to cover as such. Just try a film on Durga Bhabhi, with zero agenda, and pure, honest writing. Take someone like Kiara Advani, or even Yami Gautam in the titular role. Given the way “The Kerala Story” has worked, people would themselves make sure that such a project, based on an unsung but iconic freedom fighter, hits the jackpot.
Even better, why not attempt a trilogy on the iconic heroes who prevented Islamic invasions for almost 3 centuries, like Bappa Rawal, Lalitaditya Muktapida, Nagabhatta. Take heroes, ranging from Ajay Devgn, to someone like of sunnyu Deol for that matter. Stick to the basics, i.e., content, and see the magic. Or even better, just bring someone like Vidyut Jamwal to relive the iconic life of Maharana Pratap. I doubt if the film doesn’t earn more than 100 crores in the opening week. It’s all about taking that one risk.
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