This Friday four Bollywood flicks released out of which Halka and Gali Guleiyan although critically appreciated, started with least business. This is because of the limited screens that they occupied. The movies that managed to garner international accolades at major Film Festivals do not seem to cast their magic spell in the Indian movie market. Both the unconventional portrayal of cinematic brilliance could not be promoted and commercially sold.
This is the main reason behind many people being unaware of their release or their rave reviews at global platforms eventually leading to their undeserved, underestimated business. On the other hand, Paltan and Laila Majnu, which are out-and-out commercial dramas, related to war and love respectively, did comparatively well. However, their run was interrupted by the still successfully running Stree which released last week.
Halkaa is a film raising many social issues like open defecation, child labour and basic hygiene besides telling the story of a child’s dreams and imaginations over and above his poor circumstances. The light-hearted yet satirical film had great acting by the Tathastu, Ranvir Shorey and Paoli Dam, but was bit stretchy and preachy at various moments. Various film critics gave low ratings to the movie for claiming it to be tedious except for the actors. Gali Guleiyan is a psychological drama boasting of a very remarkable script and incredible performance by Manoj Bajpayee. The critics also reviewed it well as a compelling tale that should be seen, if not for anything else, for the lead actor getting into the skin of a very interesting character. It is unfortunate that such an art could not reach the wider audiences.
Talking about Paltan and Laila Majnu, the latter received better reviews. Paltan, although a directorial comeback of the respected J.P. Dutta, delivers an unimpressive take on the Sino-India clashes. All in all the critics regarded it as an outdated filmmaking amidst blunt chemistry and dialogues between soldiers, trademark back-stories that have remained half-baked and less impactful screenplay. The climax and some power packed moments are the only positives of the movie. Besides, the multistarrer was inadequately advertised, given the kind of big budget movie it is, which may affect its collections. Laila Majnu, a recreated epic tale surprisingly came out as a pretty good film. The confidence of the newcomers, the sizzling chemistry and their well displayed undying love in times of contemporary fast love stories was quite likeable for the audiences and critics. Both Paltan and Laila Majnu are expected to do an average to good business at the box office.
Another fact is that the opening of all these under-hyped Bollywood movies were overshadowed by the buzz created around the Hollywood Horror flick The Nun which also hit the theatres today. Although the movie received mixed and negative reviews it managed to draw the occupancy since it belonged to the franchise of The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 and Annabelle: Creation that are considered to be the most successful horror tales. The coming weekend will decide which film gets to stay and churn big moola at the box office and which one loses the race.