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Lal Singh Chadha - A Case study of Global Failure in the Indian Bollywood Industry

Opinion by NRI Herald Australia, 12 August 2022

Lal Singh Chaddha
Picture source: Social Media

Aamir Khan’s latest film ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ has shown a very poor performance at the box office on its opening day, 11th August 2022. As a result of a low turnout and cancelled shows on the first day, the exhibitors have decided to reduce 1300 shows of the film on Friday 12th August 2022 when the actual weekend starts.

It is notable that Aamir Khan’s film was released on the occasion of the Hindu festival Raksha Bandhan and the release date followed a long weekend as independence day falls on Monday this year. But rather than getting any advantage of the long weekend at the box office, the exhibitors are forced to reduce the number of shows of ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ right when the weekend begins. Akshay Kumar’s film ‘Raksha Bandhan’ was also released on the same day. But it has also performed equally bad.

Give Indians some break, Aamir

Due to the dismal performance at the box office, the theatre operators have proactively decreased the screenings of both ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ and ‘Raksha Bandhan’. A trade source said, “Both the films were released with around 10,000 shows across the country and neither of them warranted this sort of showcasing. Even on the opening day, the occupancy was as low as 10 to 12 people in maximum shows. Seeing the no-show, the exhibitors decided to reduce the showcasing of both the films on the second day to save up on the overheads and increase occupancy in the limited shows.”

It is notable here that boycott calls against Aamir Khan’s Lal Singh Chaddha have mired the promotion of the big-budget movie that is the official remake of Tom Hanks’s classic Forrest Gump. Aamir Khan’s anti-India statements in the past, his negative and derogatory portrayal of Hindu Gods in his movie PK and his overtly political statements of the past have all been adding to the prevailing sentiments of rejection among the audience of Hindi cinema. Even Kareena Kapoor’s past statements of mocking the audience and participating in politically motivated campaigns have stirred negative sentiments against the movie.

It’s doubtless a case of a trailer gone wrong, which played a role in reducing the audience’s interest in the film. It’s difficult to predict the opening day figure of Laal Singh Chaddha at the moment, but it is poised to be below even the conservative expectations of the industry, until and unless there is a miraculous turnaround from the spot booking audience.

While Laal Singh Chaddha has a mainstay in the national chain, the small movie theatre complex is seeing Raksha Bandhan in the lead. So well, it’s waiting and waiting for now as a lot is contingent on how the spectators obtain the two films.

I am not going to spend my money on this peice of Sh**t

Forrest Gump is a masterwork, and the actors acted naturally. In Laal Singh Chaddha, Aamir resembles a cartoon character who is trying too hard, more specifically the revised character from the PK film.

With Laal Singh Chaddha making a crash landing on its opening day, troubles for the Mumbai film industry, aka Bollywood, have only intensified. Usually, festival releases register mammoth bookings, have a lot of hype around them since the leading production houses and companies back them, and rely on word-of-mouth to sustain the momentum to the following week to ensure an entry into the Rs. 300 Crore club. However, Aamir Khan’s Lal Singh Chaddha fails on all three fronts.

The writing was on the wall. Given it was an official remake of Tom Hanks’ Forrest Gump, released in 1994 and winner of six Academy Awards (back then, they meant something), the movie was making news even during the pre-production stage.

However, what derailed its run was the lack of buzz after the trailer and music release, a relatively disappointing music album, and the political elephant in the room that returned to trample over Aamir Khan’s aspirations. It was a double-whammy for one of the biggest Indian movie stars.

For Bollywood, this spells trouble in many ways. One, the pressure from regional releases will only increase from here. The success of KGF:2, Pushpa, and RRR in the Hindi belt has left the producers confused about the market mood.

I couldn't connect because Forrest Gump was based on a real-life scenario in America. The LSC trailer appears to be a carbon copy of the FG trailer.

Indian girls can be drug addicts, but from an Indian perspective, I can't connect Jenny's character with Kareena. Kareena has mastered the art of Sub-Par acting as well as her arrogance. She might surprise you.

Overall, I'm not going to spend my money to see LSC in a theatre for two reasons: I'm familiar with Forrest Gump's story, and it's one of my favourites. I might watch it at home if I have time, just to see how Aamir, Mona, and Kareena act.

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