After hit films like Dabangg (2010), Dabangg 2 (2012), Ek Tha Tiger (2012) and Kick (2014), now Salman Khan’s new release, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, is also witnessing a great run at the box office.
As a matter of fact, the performance of Bajrangi Bhaijaan has apparently surpassed that of all his previous successes. According to trade experts, the film has broken all the records held by his movies so far, with a box-office collection of Rs 250.02 crore in just 11 days.
Trade analyst Komal Nahta feels it was the catchy name of the film that worked for the audience. “Just the title was worth Rs 100 crore. The word Bajrangi appealed to the Hindus, and Bhaijaan appealed to the Muslims. Even if it was a bad film, it would have made Rs 100 crore only on the basis of its name,” says Nahta, adding, “How the story was built was great too. The way a micro level story of an Indian man and a Pakistani girl was turned into a macro level story about India and Pakistan’s issue has been dealt with very well.”
Bajrangi Bhaijaan revolves around the journey of a Pakistani girl named Munni (Harshaali Malhotra), who gets stranded in India. She goes on to meet Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi (Salman), who swears to take her back home.
Directed by Kabir Khan, the film also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Kareena Kapoor Khan in pivotal roles. Director-producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who helmed Kick, which is known to be Salman’s biggest hit till date, feels the audience connected with the lead character. “I had watched the film over a month before it released. It was an emotional experience,” says Nadiadwala, adding, “Also, Salman’s character is close to how he lives his own life in principle. When you portray on the big screen what you do off screen, then it is bound to affect and connect with the audience. As for Kabir, given his background as a documentary film-maker, he has made the film from his heart, and stayed away from the commercial ingredients.”
Akshaye Rathi, a Bollywood exhibitor, says that it was the universal appeal of the movie that helped it cut across all barriers. “The film is being watched not only by Salman’s fans, but also by families. It is being enjoyed in single screen theatres as well as multiplexes. People across religions like it. There are very few films that appeal to every strata of society, and Bajrangi Bhaijaan is one such film,” says the exhibitor, adding that this movie has also managed to break the stereotypical image of Salman, and has taken him back to the audience that loved him in films like Saajan (1991) and Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), among others.