Chhapaak Makes Less Than 20 Crores While Tanhaji Surges Ahead. Is Deepika Paying The Price Of Her Politics?
It is the way Bollywood works. First, an announcement about a movie being made, creating curiosity and hype around it, from the time it is just being shot. Soon after, as the shoot wraps up, the promotions start and after weeks spent in rigorous touring around the country and outside it to spread a word, the movie is finally released on the silver screen. And despite everything else or because of it, the buzz is about the movie. But this doesn’t translate to hard cash. What matters at the end of the day, are the box office collections which don’t just decide the fate of the movie in terms of how much it has earned, but is also reflective of the kind of content that the population is willing to consume. And while hitting a 100 crore hasn’t seemed like a big deal in a long time, guess we may have been too enthusiastic in expecting the same for Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak.
Also Read : Smriti Irani Tries To Bring Down Deepika Padukone In A Very Bizarre Manner And We’re Confused
The movie released on 10th January, clashing with the release of Ajay Devgn and Kajol’s recent film, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. Chhapaak is based on the real life story of Laxmi Agarwal, the acid attack survivor, Chhapaak was more than just another movie, it was a way to educate and spread awareness on an issue that has already affected too many lives. But things seldom do go as planned, for even with the heavy promotions for the Deepika Padukone starrer, an issue that was supposed to be social, turned political. And the box office collections that have been lukewarm have us thinking that there is a bigger game at play.
The movie that a lot of us had set our hopes on, for opening the right kind of dialogue, opened with a disappointing 4.77 crores on box office, where as the Ajay Devgn period drama opened at a whopping 15.10 crores. One one hand, where the entire weekend collection for Chhapaak couldn’t cross even 20 crores and ended at a 19.02 crore business, we saw Tanhaji raking up about 61.75 on its first weekend. And that just sucks.
Two days prior to the release, when the Chhapaak actress decided to visit JNU and stand with the protesters in solidarity, against the recent mob attacks, Deepika received a lot of flak for her bold stand. While some went on to hail her as the only one in Bollywood with a spine, others reprimanded for picking a side, to the point that the hashtag #BoycottChhapaak started trending on twitter. With fake news about the names of the perpetrators being changed in the film went viral and a lot was done to try and sabotage the movie and along with it, Deepika. And now that we think about it, it could seem that they succeeded after all.
Now, it is a fact that a period drama or a blockbuster would always rank higher in terms of ratings and response on box office as compared to a social drama, but the fact that people would still continue to pick entertainment over standing face to face with the hard hitting reality, is painful to see. I mean, if movies like Kabir Singh, that was a manifestation of all the misogyny in the society combined, can open at 20 crores and make 71 crores just on its first weekend, the fact that Chhapaak couldn’t even get halfway means that the audience is unwilling to lend a ear to women’s issues. And that even Deepika Padukone can’t change that.
It is hard to believe that her political stand on the matter, which technically was only against violence, hasn’t contributed to the collateral damage to the movie and its cause. In a time, when the story of Laxmi Agarwal needed to be shouted from top of the rooftops, we have political agendas running, trying to steal all and any attention it so rightfully deserved. Even then, we hope to see the numbers pick, because the last thing we want is for the country and its people to lose their objectivity over the matter and do a disservice to a cause as important as this.