Shah Rukh Khan's 'Fan' Unfairly Branded A Disappointing Flop

When a Hindi film earns 71.50 crore ($10.5 million) in India and $7.7 million in the rest of the world in its first week, chances are that would be hailed by local media and the Bollywood industry at large as a pretty decent result.

Not so for Shah Rukh Khan, who is held, unfairly, to a rather higher standard in a stellar 22-year career which has generated nine movies that each grossed more than $10 million internationally and now 11 that have surpassed $10 million in India.

True, the expectations were higher for Fan, the Maneesh Sharma- directed thriller in which he plays a movie star and his 25-year-old look-alike fan. Even so, the opening week was the second biggest for a Hindi release in its home market  this year trailing Raja Menon’s Airlift’s 83.5 crore ($12.5 million). Produced by Yash Raj Films, the film has taken 76.5 crore ($11.5 million) in nine days and is already the ninth biggest of the superstar’s career in India, overtaking Chak De! India (2007) and My Name Is Khan (2010).

Yet there is carping from sections of the Indian media.’s  Joginder Tuteja branded the Indian business a “commercial disappointment as the film continued to go down during the weekdays after a weekend that had stayed flat”–  as well as disheartening for all in the industry who were looking forward to “yet another quality product and a money spinner from Shah Rukh Khan and Yash Raj Films.”

Arguably SRK’s expectations were more realistic than those of his fans and some commentators. Last week he told PTI the thriller is not “a film that heartland audience will like. But we took a chance thinking hopefully they (audience) will like it, but they need song and dance.

“Language is a barrier, not everyone watches English, Spanish film. So, when you make a film like this, you know the film is not going to be universal; the heartland people are not going to understand. I don’t think anyone is hypocrite in this.”

The film has raked in $2.1 million after its second weekend in the U.S. and is yet to play in China, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and Korea so there is plenty of upside. In a video post on Twitter TWTR -1.60%, the 50-year-old actor thanked his fans worldwide for their supporting, stating, “We are extremely thankful that you liked it so much because it’s a very different film. We never expected it to be embraced so lovingly and so universally. Thank you so much all around the world for liking it.”

Fan faced minimal competition from the launch of Hindi crime caper Santa Banta Pvt. Ltd, which took an estimated 3 crore ($450,000) on Friday and Saturday after arousing the ire of some Sikhs who said the trailer and poster were offensive and defamed the Sikh community. Cinemas in Chembur, Sion, Mulund, Dadar, Juhu and Andheri were forced to halt screenings on Friday after protests led by Congressman Charan Singh Sapra, who had unsuccessfully petitioned the Bombay High Court to try to delay the release.

Co-produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Cinetek Telefilms, the comedy directed by Akashdeep Sabir stars Boman Irani and Vir Das as detectives named Santa and Banta who are sent to rescue the kidnapped Indian High Commissioner in Fiji, with disastrous results.  The co-stars include Neha Dhupia as Santa’s love interest, Lisa Haydon, Johnny Lever, Ram Kapoor, Vijay Raaz and Sanjay Mishra.

Withering reviews may have deterred some cinemagoers. The Hindustan Times’ Rohit Vats declared: “This film is accused of hurting a certain community’s sentiments, and one wonders why. I’ll tell you why: Because it’s so lethargic and unfunny that the audience cannot wait for it to end…To call it slapstick would be an insult to the audience’s sensibilities because the jokes are stale and the situations humorless. The real outrage here is how can someone make a story with Santa-Banta, the epitome of two-liners, such a lackluster affair?”

The Times of India’s Mohar Basu poured on the scorn, opining, “This film gives annoying a new meaning. It takes special kind of talent to make something as boring, ridiculous, vain and unfunny as this. It will be blasphemous to call it a comedy. And the fact that it stars the funny guy Vir Das and the witty Boman Irani is a shame.”

Source: forbes

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