SRK became a soft target, says Pathaan director about boycott campaignstext_fields
Pathaan's director Siddharth Anand is having a good week since the film is powering through box office records. The spy thriller starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and John Abraham is being praised for bringing Bollywood back to life.
In a recent conversation with Deadline, he spoke up about the protests and boycott campaigns surrounding the film. He said if you are going to boycott or raise your voice against something, there has to be some merit in that and substantiated with facts and reality. "What they were trying to do with Pathaan was just ridiculous and the audience has given its verdict."
Some right-wing outfits even threatened theatre owners with destruction and violence if the movie was screened. The song Besharam Rang was forced into controversy for Deepika Padukone's orange swimsuit claiming it offended religious sentiments.
He added that Shah Rukh Khan has become a soft target in recent years and the support of the audience and outpouring of love worked in Pathaan's favour. "That’s why the film has done such big numbers. They (the audience) came in wanting to like the film and not to judge it."
He said in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the collection was a little slow in the beginning because people were afraid of protests. But, that was only on the first day and by the evening, the numbers started increasing. The theatres in South India are also doing well and not just the Tamil and Telugu dubbed versions. "They’re also coming for the original Hindi version because they want to hear Shah Rukh speaking in his original voice."
When asked about SRK's return to the big screen after four years, Anand said Shah Rukh Khan never went away but some of the films he was doing before did not justify his stardom.
Comparing SRK to Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, the filmmaker said everybody knows that Cruise can act but he chooses to play a version of himself on the big screen because that’s what audiences want to see. "That was why Shah Rukh chose to do Pathaan. We played around with that, we gave him songs, we gave him scale, we gave him action. And that’s what the audience wanted to see."
"They’re coming because this is a film with big stars in a popular genre and the songs are a big success. Recently we’ve had stars trying to do things that are a bit different. But stars should choose films as stars and not as actors," he added. He further said that John as the antagonist also worked with the audience and Deepika has also been a huge factor in bringing in a larger audience.
In just a week after its release, Pathaan has made over Rs 300 crores in India and Rs 600 crores worldwide. It has broken over 75 box office records across the globe.