Remember the ‘I Am Hindustan, I Am Ashamed’ placard campaign, led by the star cast of ‘Veere di Wedding’? They left no stone unturned in order to defame an entire religion just to garner enough audience for their so called feminist flick, with actors like Sonam Kapoor and Swara Bhasker being at the forefront. Though the movie was a bore to be honest, it unfortunately succeeded at the box office, earning more than Rs. 135 crores worldwide.
In the classic Bollywood style, where every new trend is plagiarized to death, actress Taapsee Pannu thought to milk the opportunity to her own advantage. Nobody would be averse to the excessively Hinduphobic promotional campaign that the crew of her following movie, ‘Mulk’ had run in the route to the silver screens.
Both the lead actress and her director for the movie Anubhav Sinha left no stone unturned in order to stoke controversy, be it raking up the hoax of Hindu terrorism, or painting Hindus as intolerant through obnoxious tweets. However, despite all the hullabaloo, the public was much more aware, and better prepared, which is why Mulk could only manage to recover costs, earning a total of merely Rs. 25 crores overall on a budget of Rs. 18 crores.
Though down, Taapsee Pannu wasn’t clearly out. In order to prove herself second time lucky, Taapsee Pannu tried the same antics in her following film ‘Manmarziyan’, where she essayed the role of Rumi, a confused feminist who thinks having illicit relations outside marriage along with a good puff is a sign of being progressive.
However, despite all her theatrics, the movie tanked at the box office, failing to even recover its costs in the first week itself. Probably that was one major reason why Taapsee Pannu went on a rant and tried to justify the provocative scenes that insulted the Sikh community, which were thankfully removed from the final cut in a sensible move from the producers.
To be honest, the Indian film industry, especially Bollywood, is undergoing a major transformation. The audience is now just not satisfied with the masala potboilers, they want something different, especially in terms of refreshing content.
Except for the examples of ‘Sanju’ and ‘Veere Di Wedding’, the audience gave a thumbs up to all the films that had a spark and kept the audience engaged throughout, be it ‘Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety’, or ‘Raazi’, or the legendary ‘Parmanu’, which succeeded despite negative reviews from biased critics, or even the likes of ‘Stree’, which has upset all the trade equations associated with Bollywood.
The box office performance of movies like ‘Mulk’, ‘Fanney Khan’, ‘Laila Majnu’ and now ‘Manmarziyan’ clearly define that over the top clichés will not be tolerated. However, it seems that Taapsee Pannu has not learnt her lesson yet. We hope she does it soon!
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