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Does Adipurush Signal A Turnaround For The Bollywood Box Office?

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Adipurush is a film that has been embroiled in all sorts of trouble from the time they released its trailer last year on October 2. Now, with the release of the film last week, a new criticism of the film took over like wildfire on social media- its dialogues.

Sample the ones in question:

“Jo humari behno ko haath lagaayenge, unki lanka laga denge”

“Teri bua ka bageecha hai jo hawa khane aa gaya?”

“Jali na teri? Ab aur jalegi.”

The epic fantasy is a retelling of the Ramayana, directed by Om Raut, and stars Prabhas as Raghav (Rama), Kriti Sanon as Janaki (Sita) and Saif Ali Khan as Lankesh (Ravana).

Twitter, known for being not exactly the kindest platform on social media, tore the dialogues apart, pointing out their cringe worthiness and disrespect to the Ramayana, on which the movie is based. After three days of public discourse trolling the film, the makers have now announced that they shall be removing certain dialogues that have caused anger. Dialogue writer Manoj Muntashir Shukla said in a tweet, that although he wrote over 4000 lines in Adipurush, ‘sentiments were hurt because of five lines.’

“I can give countless arguments in favour of my dialogues, but this will not reduce your pain. Me and the producer-director of the film have decided that some of the dialogues which are hurting you, we’ll revise them, and they’ll be added to the film this week. May Shri Ram bless you all!” Raut wrote.

Another aspect of the film being called out are its VFX, being compared with King Kong, Harry Potter and what not. But the box office figures have a completely different story to tell, with the movie earning a staggering INR 340 crore in its opening weekend, crossing the record set by SRK’s Pathaan, which earned INR 313 crore on its opening weekend. Producer T-Series announced in a tweet, “Adipurush continues to captivate audiences across generations, crossing an astounding ₹340 crores on the opening weekend at the box office! Jai Shri Ram.”

In short, one cannot trust social media reviews to be the barometer for a film’s success, as Adipurush has clearly shown. With Pathaan crossing 1,000 crores and Adipurush quickly catching up, it may suggest that Bollywood’s fortunes may be changing after its dry run last year.

And mass entertainers aren’t the only ones creating a lot of noise, Anurag Kashyap’s Kennedy, starring Sunny Leone and Rahul Bhat premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May to a seven minute standing ovation. Overall, the film industry seems to growing in its power and influence, with actors picking up more brand endorsements than ever before, even making a mark on the international stage, like Alia Bhatt being named the first Indian global ambassador for Gucci, making her first appearance as Gucci’s latest global ambassador at the Gucci Cruise 2024 show which took place in Seoul. Bhatt had shared on her Instagram, “I’m honored to represent the house of Gucci not only in India but at a global stage. Gucci’s legacy has always inspired and intrigued me and I’m looking forward to the many sartorial milestones we create together.”

Ultimately, as far as movie reviews of Adipurush are concerned, it seems the best way to judge a film is by seeing it yourself, as each person’s review differs from another. For instance, moving away from the traditional metros, Deepinder Singh Kapany, a certified corporate director and senior managament professional saw the movie in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh, and offered a refreshing viewpoint on Facebook, which match the box office collections.

“For a cinema hall with 10 shows a day, I could get tickets only for the late night show. House full. Since in Vijayawada it’s only the Telugu version, all the criticism of dialogues isn’t noticeable if one knows the story. For a film that is 3 hours long, the movie moved reasonably fast. The entire cast has performed well, including Saif Ali Khan as Raavan. However, having seen Dara Singh in the role of Hanuman in TV’s Ramayana, this one looked like a mismatch. Only thing I didn’t like is that it’s too dark including the Sone ki Lanka. Ramayana is too refreshing an epic to be shown in such dark colours,” the ardent film buff said.

In the meantime, in the latest update, producer T Series has issued a statement in response to the major backlash that the film released, stating, “Team Adipurush in respect of Public Opinion, Revamps Dialogues for a Unifying Film Experience valuing the input of the public and the audience. The dialogues are being modified in consultation & advice of CBFC.”

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