Padmaavat - Where Does The CREDIT Go
Monday 29 January 2018 15.00 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
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Padmaavat has come and scored in a big way and whether the huge numbers come or not the fact is the industry knows its a big grosser due to the film not getting a proper release. So when a film becomes such a big grosser in the industry eyes it becomes about where the credit goes especially when its not a superstar film.



This becomes more important when the main protagonists have well defined roles which leads to the stars to get the PR working hard with the usual feeders of information in the trade and media to get the information out to make a fool out of the public. But with social media and awareness today its not easy as a major chunk public knows about the carriers. As usual the ground realities are a bit different than what the picture is made out to be.



There are two points usually for credit, one is initial and the other is appreciation. If we go by the first point which is initial then its not really a credit to any of the stars. The 18 crore nett number is good and if we take the real value number of 26 crore nett then its very good. But this 26 crore nett number is coming because of the huge hype caused by the controversy which was national news for months. 



So now if this film is going to pull 26 crore nett with this huge controversy and hype what would it have done if it got a non controversial all India release like any other film. A fair estimate would be around 19-20 crore nett or even lower. Then when a film which has budget of 215 crore inclusive of everything that enables it to get the production values needed and the huge scale opens at under 20 crore nett then the producers will actually have nightmares and discredit the stars. Basically what have the stars done, as on a budget like this the producer is actually relying on word of mouth. Here the word of mouth came as the director got it right but if it did not come then it would be unimaginable losses 



The second point is appreciation as who has won this battle and here it is mainly between the two heroes. Deepika Padukone remains the top heroine of the country though be it before Padmaavat or after its a bit by default as Alia Bhatt is the most popular heroine in most metros and mini metroes today but the girl cant really be paired with the Khans or Akshay Kumar as a romantic interest due to the age gap and its with these guys you can increase the reach and become a known and popular face in across India.



Then the big battle is between the two heroes and there is a winner as far as the audience is concerned. The trade and media is giving the points to Ranveer Singh but at the end of the day he is the villain and this is not a Baazigar / Darr scenario like it was with Shahrukh Khan as the public was with Shahrukh Khan's character in these films and the sympathy went to him which made him a major star. Here the public is not with the character of Ranveer Singh as he is the villian.



The reviewers and writers see the performance and it may be good or even great but the audience sees likeabilty and if with this likelabily comes sympathy then the battle is won as that is what Shahid Kapoor is getting. The sympathy is crucial and that is where the points are won with the audience. All these reviewers writer types want out of the box and actors doing something different which Ranveer Singh probably has done so they see that as a performance but the Indian audience is conservative and a villian can never become a hero. 



Two of the biggest stars of all time Dharmendra and Salman Khan (this is not to compare them with Shahid Kapoor as its ridiculous but point out the difference between what is said and how the audience works) played or are playing the regular hero of the good guy film in and film out. We have just seen Tiger Zinda Hai and nothing good is said about the acting of Salman Khan but from the audience point of view he is the best actor of the year as they are looking at it from a likability point of view and if you have paid money and you like what someone is doing that is good acting. If you pay money and dont like what someone is doing on screen that is bad acting as per the audience no matter what the press is saying.



Sholay is the biggest blockbuster of Indian cinema and Dharmendra who played the main lead is probably the least praised out of the main performers because his was the regular hero role. But if Sholay is being remade today the leading stars of the day be it the Khans or Akshay Kumar will go the role of Dharmendra and lets say Akshay Kumar is doing the role of Dharmendra its pretty much certain none of the Khans will agree to do any other role despite the other roles generally being praised more. This is because they know who is the hero and who got the most audience appreciation irrespective of what is said.



This is not to say Shahid Kapoor has become a bigger star than Ranveer Singh because the damage has been done with films like Haider and Udta Punjab which have no likability whatsoever from the core Hindi film audience be it for the films or acting. Here it was Shahid Kapoor basically doing what Ranveer Singh has done in Padmaavat trying to be different and out of the box but with a lower budget and with bad films and thats how the audience begins to disregard you. It might get reviews and awards but these are worth nothing. In fact at awards they should give certificates instead of trophies because then the recipient of the award can at least go home and use it as toilet paper and say its not worthless and did come in use but only once. The big numbers come from the family audience and this is a conservative audience and to get them on side you will have to be the conventional hero. Yes if the audience changes and starts liking what the talkers and writers like then you can play villain, gay or the hero can even play the heroine but until then it will be the conventional hero which will come out on top.



Also just like the media and trade is saying one thing, we have a different view but both is SAID and not FACT. But the results will come out soon as both actors will have a next film. Shahid Kapoor has a small film called Batti Gul Meter Down while Ranveer Singh has a bigger film Gully Boy with the huge bonus of Alia Bhatt and most will be expecting a big gap between the opening of these films but that gap could be less than most think as with Padmaavat it is Shahid Kapoor among the main three actors who has improved his standing with the paying audience.  



The real shocker would be Batti Gul Meter Down opening better which is simply unthinkable but it will be known soon that has Ranveer Singh committed professional harakiri by playing the villain so early in his career and do the openings go above a Befikre or come down. The real winner from this film is Sanjay Leela Bhansali who with this cast has delivered a grosser and its his best by a distance and it probably puts him on top position as far as directors go in the Hindi film industry at the moment.



In conclusion if the credit has to be given for the initial number which is 18 crore nett with the third of the market missing then it should go to this Karni Sena and other anti social fringe groups. Then for appreciation which is the main reason it has worked at the box office the credit will go to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Then finally it will be Shahid Kapoor who will have improved his standing as compared before and after this film. For Deepika and Ranveer its a status quo and about holding their positions.




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