Random musings about Bollywood’s Rs 500 crore club

nature-3047449_1280Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion in Hindi made Rs 511 crores at the box office in 2017 thereby creating the Rs 500 crore club. But it was a Tollywood movie. Bollywood had to wait till 2023 to enter the Club and it did it with style with 4 movies in a year: Pathaan, Gadar 2, Jawan and Animal.

Some random musings about these…

Shah Rukh Khan got 2 movies in this Club: Pathaan and Jawan.
The Deol brothers (Sunny and Bobby) got 2 too: Gadar 2 and Animal.
Manish Wadhwa had two releases this year, both where he played an evil Pakistani General villain and both made it to the Club: Pathaan and Gadar 2.

Three films had an on screen father and son angle:
Jawan: Shah Rukh Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.
Animal: Anil Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor.
Gadar 2: Sunny Deol and Utkarsh Sharma.
(Incidentally Utkarsh’s father Anil Sharma is the director and this all is a repeat from the original Gadar).

When it comes to the global gross, the Top 2 movies are:
Dangal (2016): Rs 2024 crores.
Jawan: Rs 1148 crores.
The common factor to both these movies is Sanya Malhotra.

Shah Rukh Khan superhit pairing used to be Kajol:
Karan Arjun, Baazigar, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, My Name is Khan, Dilwale.
But now all his movies with Deepika Padukone are blockbusters:
Om Shanti Om, Chennai Express, Happy New Year, Pathaan.

Also listen to…




The Dark Side of Bollywood

The Dark Side of BollywoodI am in the process of compiling all my columns and converting them into eBooks based on their themes. I wrote regularly for Sify.com and India Today’s DailyO.in on a wide variety of topics.

Bollywood is not all happy romance, song and dance. There is a dark side to it and there are many reasons why it doesn’t stand up to the rest of the cinema in the world, especially with regards to its content. From columns like How Amitabh Bachchan ruined Bollywood for good to Why Salman Khan is our most pathetic superstar to 5 ways how Bollywood promotes misogyny are all featured here…



Bollywood: Khan, Khaner and Khanest!

converse-1935024_640Box office…
SRK Big. Salman Bigger. Aamir Biggest.

Fan power…
Aamir Big. SRK Bigger. Salman Biggest.

Scope of heroine in the film…
Aamir Small. SRK Smaller. Salman Smallest.

Lack of logic in films…
Aamir Big. SRK Bigger. Salman Biggest.

Hype of the three Khans…
Aamir Big. SRK Bigger. Salman Biggest.

Age of the hero…
SRK Young. Aamir Younger. Salman Youngest.

© Sunil Rajguru

Dangal Baahubali musings…

film-2233656_6402017 beginning, zero Indian movies in Global 1000 box office list.
Now both Baahubali 2 and Dangal in Top 500.

Dangal made Rs 1000 crore in China.
Baahubali 2 is planning a big China launch.
Tubelight heroine is the Chinese Zhu Zhu.
2017 Bollywood’s year of “Hindi Chini” bhai bhai?

All time blockbuster Indian movie.
Hindi: Baahubali 2.
India: Baahubali 2.
US: Baahubali 2.
China: Dangal.
Worldwide: Dangal (Till Baahubali 2 is released in China).

Dangal joins the ¥1 Billion Club in China.
(That’s in the region of Rs 1000 crore)
P.S. Baahubali 2 releasing soon in China.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

The A to Z of Shah Rukh Khan controversies

shahrukh-khan-2380411_640A for Amitabh Bachchan

One is the Shahenshah and one is the Badshaah. And of course, it’s impossible for them to get along. Or so the grapevine would have us believe. There’s a cold war that keeps brewing and we keep getting the details. One such was when Jaya Bachchan called Happy New Year a nonsensical film and that got SRK mad and Amitabh had to apologize.

barber-2165745_640B for Billu

This one defied logic. If the hero of a movie is called Billu and is a barber, then what else can one call the movie? But barbers of the world (or rather India) found it derogatory and the film had to be renamed to Billu.

C for Chalte Chalte

It was reported that due to a fracas between Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan on the sets of the film, the former was sacked from the movie and replaced with Rani Mukerji. Years later SRK wasn’t invited to the marriage of Aishwarya at the Amitabh household.

D for Dilwale

This comes straight after I for Intolerance. SRK got into the whole #AwardWapsi controversy and Twitter started trending #BoycottDilwale. SRK pleaded T for Tolerance before the movie but the damage was done. People protested with banners and continued the campaign. One trade analyst said the film made losses to the tune of Rs 50-60 crores for distributors and hence could be called his biggest flop ever.

That set SRK back, but the flop of Fan hurt him even more. Thanks to all this, the release of Raees was pushed from Eid 2016 to Republic Day 2017. With Raees having Pakistani Mahira Khan, it could still release to a major controversy.

Shah Rukh Khan’s career is now officially over

How SRK and Dilwale got punished for Aamir over intolerance

Why SRK’s Fan and Raees will suffer like Dilwale

Does Shah Rukh Khan want Bollywood to boycott him?

D is also for Deepa Sahi. Remember Maya Memsaab in 1993? That had generated a lot of controversy over the sexually explicit content. The censor board cut some scenes, which made their way to YouTube years later.

E for the Eyes of Amar Singh

At an awards show, SRK joked that he saw “darindagi” (evil) in erstwhile Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh’s eyes. Amitabh was miffed and SP partymen agitated in front of SRK’s home.

F for Farah Khan

When Farah decided to do her 3rd movie without SRK, all manner of reports came of a split between the two. The superstar later clarified that it was a date problem and nothing else. Since then SRK and Farah Khan have patched up and made Happy New Year. However then Jaya called the film nonsensical.

F is also for foetal test. A report appeared that SRK and Gauri went in for a foetal sex test during pregnancy and there was even a probe into those allegations!

G for Gay

The SRK-Saif Ali Khan gay act in Kal Ho Na Ho was a big hit and the acting continued well into award shows. That led some people to spread rumours that he was gay in the first place. To be fair, the duo sportingly carried on this theme while hosting a film award show.

H for Hosting film award shows

When the King Khan hosts a film award, then it can’t be normal. At the Filmfare awards, he and Saif took potshots at everyone: critics, the film industry, themselves… Not everyone was amused though.

H is also for Pakistani terrorist Pakistani Hafiz who invited SRK to Pakistan after a controversial write-up in Outlook magazine. Declared SRK: I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India. I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country.

I for IPL

After failing to get Mumbai, SRK landed with Kolkata in his kitty. Since then it was been trouble with Dada Sourav Ganguly, coach John Buchanan, irate fans, bottom of the table performances, Pak players controversy and initially they didn’t even reach the semis. G is also for (Sunil) Gavaskar. This is what the cricketing legend had to say about Buchanan: A failed former cricketer making a living telling international players to do what he couldn’t do. Needless to say SRK wasn’t amused. Since then KKR has won the IPL twice, though winning captain Gautam Gambhir soon found himself out of the national team.

J for Junk Food Actors

burger-2167270_640In the 1990s, he once made certain remarks about “junk food actors” which allegedly referred to action stars Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty. The comments were subsequently totally denied and everything was fine between the three.

K for Khan Wars

It is impossible for the Three Big Khans to get along. Bollywood is simply too small for Salman, Aamir and SRK. Either they are not on talking terms or are cold to each other at parties and meets. Aamir even once got into the mood and questioned SRK’s No. 1 status followed by the below-the-belt comment on his blog that a dog called Shah Rukh was licking his legs. The love-hate relationship between the three Khans continues. There was that famous SRK-Salman hug though.

Then there’s the Chalte Chalte controversy as mentioned above and there was also supposed to be another confrontation between the two at Katrina Kaif’s birthday party.

K is also for Kunder as it was alleged that SRK slapped Farah Khan’s husband Shirish Kunder at a Bollywood party. Kunder even Tweeted making fun of the fortunes of Ra.One saying, “I just heard a 150 cr firework fizzle”. Since then after a lot of apologies, SRK and Farah got together for Happy New Year.

L for Lux Cozi

Lux Cozi sponsored Kolkata Knight Riders. Lux Cozi promoter was charged with the abetment of suicide of Rizwanur Rahman. And the deal got promptly frozen, even though the ads kept coming on TV long after the press conference where the announcement was made.

M for My Name is Khan

One of the biggest controversies in recent times. The Shiv Sena. The MNS. The Maharashtra government. Everyone seemed to have got involved. The film got released amidst unprecedented security and SRK is still clueless on what exactly happened and why it happened. (The Thackerays said they were protesting SRK batting for Pakistani players in the IPL.) What the Shiv Sena did for MNIK, the MNS is hoping to do for Raees.

N for Newark Airport

newark-2021159_640SRK was detained Newark Airport in the US for more than an hour “Because His Name Was Khan”. While SRK kicked up a racket, his detractors found the plot too eerily similar to the movie he was shooting for.

O for Om Shanti Om

While this movie opened to bumper full house without any problems, thespian Manoj Kumar made a big fuss about how his character was portrayed negatively and wanted an apology plus the scenes being cut.

P for Priyanka Chopra

priyanka-chopra-1748203_640SRK has a great personal life and usually stays out of the news for the wrong reasons, but he was once linked to Piggy Chops and the Bollywood grapevine had a gala time. P for is also for parties. There’s something always happening at Bollywood parties.

Q for Quiz Shows

Why did SRK take up Kaun Banega Crorepati? To prove a point to Amitabh? Was Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain a washout? Why did SRK host a college quiz?

R for Ra.One

No SRK movie has come in for so much flak over its story line and penchant for offending a whole host of communities. Panned by the critics, this movie raked in the moolah for SRK but still wasn’t the blockbuster it was made out to be.

An Open Letter to Shahrukh Khan regarding Ra.One

R for is also for Rab Ne Banadi Jodi. During the shooting of this movie, it is alleged that SRK smoked on the premises of a “No Smoking” Sikh college in Amritsar. SRK was also caught smoking in the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur during an IPL match and a case was filed against him.

S for Scanner

baggage-hall-775540_640Heathrow airport proudly introduced body scanners that would tighten security. However people claimed to have saved and distributed images of SRK’s body, leading to an outcry by privacy groups.

T for Trimurti

This was one of the major box office debacles of the mid-nineties and director Mukul Anand and producer Subash Ghai traded barbs on who was responsible. Fingers were also pointed at the performances of Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff and this was one of the few controversies SRK quietly walked away from.

U for United Producers and Distributors Association Forum

Being a producer himself, SRK was thick in the middle of the 2009 Bollywood producers’ strike. Initially the TV channels just focused on rivals SRK and Aamir coming on one platform.

V for Voice of SRK

Mukesh was known as the Voice of Raj Kapoor, Mahendra Kapoor that of Manoj Kumar and Kishore Kumar that of Rajesh Khanna. That way though Sonu Nigam is considered the Voice of SRK, another great fit was Abhijeet before they had a falling out. Abhijeet once declared that he wouldn’t sing for SRK ever again as he didn’t get enough respect from him. You could say that Abhijeet’s playback career got cut short after that. He only came back in the limelight when he became a strong supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.

W for Whiteness Creams

While stars and cricketers have got flak for endorsing any and every product they can get their hands on, SRK got maximum flak for selling a skin whitening cream—and that too for men!

7 reasons Indians are the most racist in the world

W is also for Wankhede Stadium. A grand fracas after a match (that KKR won!) led to SRK being banned from the stadium.

The badshaah of Bollywood extends his domain

X for Xerox

printer-29111_640A Xerox of Dilip Kumar. A copy of Amitabh. That’s how his acting was described when he started out his career. Then there was that hamming label. That way, he has come a long way with his performances in Swades, Chak De India and MNIK.

Y for Yale University

yale-university-1604157_640On his way to give a speech in Yale, SRK was again detained by airport security yet again in 2012. Then it was third time unlucky in Los Angeles in 2016.

His name is Shah Rukh Khan and US won’t (ever) stop detaining him

Y for is also for Yash Chopra. While SRK and the Chopras have shared an excellent relationship, the very first movie Darr had Sunny Deol crying foul over the way his role was cut to size and the ending was shot and edited without him being taken into confidence. The media reported that they didn’t talk for years after that.

Z for Zaara, the Pakistani girl

When Veer-Zaara was released, Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf was very upset with the negative portrayal of Pakistan. Luckily, that did not escalate into anything nasty.

© Sunil Rajguru

(First version posted on February 24, 2010 and has been updated multiple times)

Also read…

Five reasons why SRK looks totally finished

King Khan: A king for debut directors, too!

Shah Rukh Khan’s career through trilogies…

Major Shahrukh Khan versus ACP Pradyuman

Neither Big B nor SRK: Can Incredible India think beyond film stars?

5 ways how Bollywood promotes misogyny

nature-3047449_1280Recently Bollywood superstar Salman Khan said that he felt like a raped woman during the shooting of his upcoming film Sultan. While this created quite an outrage, why are we surprised? Bollywood has been misogynistic in nature for decades and it has only got worse in multiplex age.

A look at how all this plays out…

1. Glorification of eve teasing: India is a strange country. First of all, the name “eve teasing” sounds so harmless and actually fun. The truth is that it should be called outright harassment or molestation. And eve teasing is glorified in Bollywood.

How many times has the hero indulged in eve teasing with a group of friends against the heroine and her group of friends? Then they get together and it’s all supposed to be OK. But what if they didn’t get together? Wouldn’t it be plain harassment?

Bollywood morality shows that it is OK to eve tease someone whom you intend to marry and it’s all supposed to be part of the wooing process. What the heroine thinks it totally irrelevant.

Another problem is that the hero also physically touches the heroine in inappropriate places during the wooing process and she’s just supposed to get angry and storm off instead of reporting the harasser/molester… sorry eve teaser to the police.

2. Saying that stalking for love is OK: Stalking is considered a serious crime in the West. It was a joke in Bollywood and India and it took only the horrific Nirbhaya rape case and the 2012 national anti-rape outrage to bring about a change in the laws.

The 2013 amendment saw stalking being a crime with a prison sentence of 1-3 years. What if we indulged in an imaginary exercise and applied this law retrospectively to Bollywood films down the ages?

How many Bollywood plots would go awry because the hero ended up in jail for stalking?

Take a recent music video sang by Bollywood singer Yo Yo Honey Singh featuring Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Sonam. In the video the two don’t know each other that well but they keep bumping into each other all the time.

In one scene Sonam enters his room and finds it full of her photographs clicked secretly over a period of time at many locations. In the video she is shown as quite thrilled but in the real world I suspect an average woman would find it creepy and freak out.

3. Really retrograde lyrics: The Bollywood eve teaser’s anthem should be “Tu Mere Agal Bagal” from the movie Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (2013). Sample some of its lyrics…

Khaali peeli khaali peeli rokne ka nahin,

Tera peechha karoon toh tokne ka nahin,

Haan tujhpe right mera,

Tu hai delight mera,

Tera raasta jo rokoon,

Chaukne ka nahin,

Tere doggy ko mujhpe bhaukne ka nahin,

Tera peechha karoon toh rokne ka nahin.

The song continues like this and to cut a long story short, the synopsis is that the hero says that he has a right (and even “delight”) to stalk and eve tease the heroine and she is not even supposed to protest it. She should in fact accept the stalking and teasing in full.

It is picturised on A-lister Shahid Kapoor and made by A-list director Rajkumar Santoshi who has been in the movie business for more than 30 years.

Even a superstar like fourth generation Bollywood dynast Kareena Kapoor did an item number with the lyrics…

Main to tandoori main to tandoori murgi hoon yaar,

Gatkale saiyan alcohol se oh yeah.

(I am a just a tandoori chicken in a tandoor yaar, just swallow me dear lover with alcohol oh yeah!)

The movie was Salman’s Dabangg 2 (2012).

The changing of Mandana Karimi’s lyrics from “Oh boy, oh boy, I’m your soft toy” to “Oh boy, oh boy, you’re my soft toy” by producer Ekta Kapoor was considered revolutionary by Bollywood standards.

The movie was Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 (2013).

I wouldn’t be surprised if the song “Dhoop main nikla na karo roop ki rani” would have been sung a million times in the last 30 years by random guys when they saw random girls on the road all across the country since the movie Geraftaar was released in 1985.

That movie had Amitabh Bachchan singing the lyrics and also featured Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. Talking of Rajinikanth there is also a scene in Enthiran (2010) where Aishwarya Rai is almost molested by a coconut seller and later the hero and heroine just laugh it off and subsequently sing and dance. Crimes against Indian women are generally not taken that seriously by the Indian film industries.

4. Showcasing the alpha male vis-à-vis the heroine: World cinema has gone ahead, but most of our movies still show that the hero has to be an alpha male and he has to strut around wooing the heroine. We are yet to get out of the formula of romantic musicals.

Even if you keep churning out romantic musicals and show the hero and heroine on equal footing, it is OK. But even in 2016 it appears that it is the hero who has to woo the heroine and keep her away from harm and she just can’t take care of herself.

5. Trophy heroine for blockbusters in the multiplex age: This is a continuation of the above and the latest rage is the blockbuster where the Bollywood masala has been supersized with the prime example being Dabangg (2010). Most of the blockbusters are made keeping the hero in mind and the heroine is just a fill in the blanks kind of thing and anyone can be taken.

The heroine just has to look good with the hero. Like we have the concept of the “trophy wife”, you could say that Bollywood has mastered the art of the “trophy heroine”.

Taken all this together, you could say that Bollywood has a serious problem with the way it treats its women on the screen.

(This article appeared in Sify.com)