‘Pathaan Has Injected a Fresh Lease of Life Into Bollywood’
Priyanka Gupta, a socialite and social worker from Lucknow, says the Shahrukh Khan-starrer ticks all the boxes to qualify as a super-duper entertainer
I am very choosy about the movies to be watched in a theatre. Therefore, before buying tickets for Pathaan, I checked its reviews in the media, sought responses of my friends and the occupancy in the cinema halls before placing my buck on it. I am happy to say that the ticket-money was well spent; the film just blew my mind.
Though I am not a die-hard fan of Shahrukh Khan, from the terrific response of the audience in the cinema halls, I can tell you that the Hindi audience was long waiting for an entertainer like Pathaan. This SRK-entertainer has lived up to the expectations and the hype created before the release. Be it the star power, action sequences, choreography, twist & turns, or the high pitch of Rashtravad (nationalism), the movie ticks all the boxes to qualify as a paisa-wasool blockbuster.
The movie’s never-before kind of success came as a big relief for the cinema hall owners, who had been reeling under financial hardships since Covid times. Even after the theatres had reopened, most of the movies were run of the mill and could not book adequate profit. Not just theatre owners, it has also brought much-needed succour for the struggling Bollywood. Many critics had begun to write off Bollywood studios in favour of the South Indian cinema.
Looking into the gloom that prevailed for the past couple of years, Pathaan comes as a breath of fresh air. I think the negative campaign by various outfits against Shahrukh Khan may have also worked in its favour. The audience is not a fool. If the movie gives us the bang for our buck, we shall watch it. I am glad that wisdom prevailed over negativity. All those Boycott Bollywood, saffron bikini, body-shaming messages finally fell flat on their face.
Deepika Padukone is not the only star who has worn a bhagwa color outfit in a song. I can count any number of songs on fingertips where heroines had put on clothes of similar colour in far more ‘outrageous’ settings with bawdy lyrics. But Team Shahrukh has to face bigger scrutiny for reasons that I would not like to discuss or elaborate here.
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The story line is entertaining, so is the background music, action sequences (however unbelievable) and a fast pace. Watching it on a large screen was an engrossing experience. I particularly found the Salman Khan’s cameo as one of the movie’s finest moments; Sallu’s entry set the audience on fire. But overall, it was a collective fare. Shahrukh Khan, Deepika, John Abraham, along with other co-stars, delivered a complete massala hit that Bollywood is known for.
The bottom line is audience will decide for themselves which movie to watch and which movie to abandon. Those who are trying to set an agenda in the field of entertainment will not succeed. To quote a cinematic line for the occasion, Indian audience only wants three things from a movie: Entertainment, entertainment and… entertainment.
As told to Rajat Rai
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