Box Office Report: Jagga Jasoos Lays an Ostrich Sized Egg

I miss Tubelight!  There are no good Jagga Jasoos puns.  I had to full back on jokes related to actual content.  Blech!  At least if Munna Michael fails next week I have that whole rich thread of Michael Jackson song titles to play with.  Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, that’s going to be just the best week!  (as always, figures courtesy of rentrack by way of bollywoodhungama)

(for background in how/why I do box office analysis, check out this long and detailed post)

Jagga Jasoos didn’t actually do that bad.  $2,221 per screen in America on 187 screens.  That’s respectable for a non-major star release.  Not great, by any standards, but not a massive disaster.

But it’s a massive disaster for Jagga Jasoos.  Referring back to my massive post yesterday, where I talked about budgeting and promotions and stuff, the problem is that Jagga want so insanely over budget, and over promotions, that “respectable” is a massive disaster for it.

And for Ranbir Kapoor.  Ranbir can’t have a flop this high profile.  I keep seeing stuff about how Katrina is the real downside to this film, Katrina did a bad job, Katrina’s career is in trouble, blah blah blah.  Which is just about the most mean-spirited spin doctor thing I have ever heard!

Katrina’s career isn’t in trouble!  That’s crazy!  Has everyone forgotten about a little thing called TIGER ZINDA HAI?  And the Aanand L. Rai movie with Shahrukh?  She’s got two MASSIVE films lined up.  Tiger Zinda Hai will almost certainly be another record breaker, and her Shahrukh movie should combine to give her a little bit of critical cred (Aanand L. Rai after all), along with another Khan box office boost.

Plus, why in the WORLD would anyone blame the failure of Jagga Jasoos on Katrina?  She isn’t the lead, she isn’t the producer, she isn’t the one with the performance everyone is talking about, she isn’t the one who’s face is plastered all over the posters, and, oh yes, who plays the title character.

Image result for jagga jasoos poster ranbir

(right, it’s the woman in back, holding on and following, she’s the one who ruined the movie)

This isn’t even me being mean to Ranbir (at least it isn’t meant to be), this is just me pointing out the ridiculousness of trying to shift responsibility onto Katrina.  Although, again, it just means she has to survive some nasty articles, her career is fiiii-iiiiiine.  Ranbir’s career, that I would worry about.  He’s got the Sanjay biopic and that film with Alia that seems to have gotten lost somewhere.  The Sanjay biopic will probably be fine box office and critics-wise, but I don’t know what he has after that if people start getting spooked away from him, both audiences and producers.

Anyway, right!  Back to box office!  Jagga Jasoos did terribly everywhere.  Worst in the UK, where the audience seems to be closest to the Indian office.  And then varying degrees of bad from Canada to Australia.  The equivalent of $2,000 per screen at the US box office.  What would be okay for some low budget sex farce type thing to break even, but what is really bad for a high profile very very expensive release.

It did okay in India.  The (unreliable, don’t trust them, not rentrack) Indian figures have 8.5 crore Friday, 11.5 crore Saturday, and 12 on Sunday.  Which looks like growth, but really isn’t.  There is always a slight bump Friday-Saturday-Sunday.  It’s just because more people have the whole day off.  The total is 33 crore.  The budget is 110 crore (without promotions).  There is still a ways to go.

Let’s see, what else is interesting this week?  Oh!  Here’s a thing!  Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum released on 22 screens in the US!  Which is really really big for a Malayalam film!  Don’t know if that means the distributors had a lot of faith in it, or just that the Malayalam market is slowly expanding here.  It also made about $2,000 per screen just like Jagga (Oh! Is there a Jabba the Hut pun there?  Somewhere?).  But see, for a Malayalam film, that isn’t bad!  Especially on a larger number of screens that usual, which means it’s trying to break into new markets that may not be used to it.

Ninnu Kori, isn’t doing that great.  After the really good opening week (well, good for a film without a major-major star), it has dropped off quite a bit.  Which is too bad.  I didn’t like it as much as I could have (review going up today), but I appreciated the high quality in which it was made, great performances, and different kind of plot.  And I really appreciated how very very good all 3 leads were, especially Nani.

 

Oh, and here’s another fun thing!  A little laugh for us all.  Tubelight just opened on one screen in Germany, and it made 47 Euros.  For the entire weekend.  Oh!  One more pun!  Tubelight auszuschalten! (“turn off Tubelight” in German.  Have I mentioned before that I minored in German?  And now, 10 years later, it is finally coming in handy)

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45 thoughts on “Box Office Report: Jagga Jasoos Lays an Ostrich Sized Egg

  1. Don’t forget that Katrina also has a part in Thugs of Hindostan as well.

    I think Ranbir was supposed to do a biopic of Kishore Kumar with Anurag Basu but I don’t know if that plan will change based on the result of Jagga Jasoos.

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    • Right, Thugs! So she’s got all 3 Khans lined up, and two Yash Raj films. All of which are already filming or close to it so they won’t be dropping her. The most recent article I read said something about how she is so desperate for a hit, that is why she swallowed her pride and agreed to the promotions. But it really feels like if anyone was swallowing pride and desperate it would be the other way around, right?

      And I really really hope that the Kishoreda film isn’t made! I find Basu offensive enough in his twee version of history when it is made up stories, I would hate to see him take on real people whose families are still around and turn them into caricatures.

      On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 10:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I mean you could say that Katrina’s star power has declined but I doubt that she’s desperate for a hit. Also have you stopped doing Star Birthday posts? Because I think Katrina’s was a few days ago and Priyanka’s is like soon.

        I also wanted to ask you if you saw the trailer or Qaidi Band? It’s the new YRF movie with Aadar Jain and Anya Singh. It looks quite interesting and it’s actually clashing with A Gentlman.

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        • I do the Star Birthday posts when I have time, I saw I just missed Katrina and Priyanka, but Himesh Reshammiya is coming up so I was able to dust off last years post and update it, so he gets one!

          I like to do one big and two little posts a day, and now all my “big” posts are already scheduled! So it’s hard to squeeze in time for a one off birthday post. Unless there is really nothing else to talk about (notice I was doing a lot of them during Ramadan when the news was a little light).

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      • Lol don’t worry Ranbir says in the just released AIB Podcast that KK biopic is shelved because one of the prime character’s family refused permission.

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        • Good for her/him! I wonder if it was his 3rd or 4th wife? Or, alternatively, if one of them gave permission and the other one refused it. Or maybe Mithunda?

          On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 11:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • No idea hardly know anything about KK, dad is a big fan though which is the sole reason I at least am familiar with some of his melodies.

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          • His 3rd wife left him for Mithun Chakraborta, big scandal, Kishoreda refused to sing for Mithun again. She’s still with Mithunda, looks like a very happy marriage by all accounts.

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          • Haha ok now I see what you meant when you said you picked up on a lot of gossip from your desi friends at college.

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          • Oh, that is from the golden year when I had a FilmFare AND CineBlitz subscription! And then they ran out and I couldn’t renew, so I am really really good on gossip that came up during that one year.

            But yeah, my college friends were all about this kind of story. Except modern day and way less substantiated (told many times as gospel truth that Rani Mukherjee and Govinda had an affair and he bought her a house. I just can’t believe it!)

            On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • And apparently 2017 gossip seems to be called blind items which Ranbir mentions in that AIB podcast about how almost all of those heavily implied snippets make people think it is him lol.

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  2. What do you feel is the reason for the bad overseas showing for jagga? I don’t have the numbers but word of mouth from friends living abroad is that they feel like they’re wasting money on “Indian” films now that they know we can do a bahubali they can’t brag about to their local friends. It may be a case of a really strong bias from them since they already know I love the film so they talk to me about these things. But then again, they all know I like films in general and they talk to me about that too. Does the Bahubali theory have any legs?

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    • My theory is that the overseas audience is sick of Indian films that imitate Hollywood films because they can just watch Hollywood films. There has been a steady growth in the non-Hindi box office globally just since I started tracking it week by week (about 2 years ago). More and more the overseas audience is choosing to see a Telugu film (if they speak Telugu) rather than a Hindi. The same thing is happening in India, the Hindi audience is getting siffoned (sp?) away by the non-Hindi films.

      From the common sense side of things, it seems like if you are educated enough to be fluent in Hindi and enjoy those films, even though you live somewhere where the “street” language is something else besides Hindi, you are probably also educated enough to be fluent in English. India and America, it is the same problem, this segment of the audience used to have just two options. Only, in India, the options were Hindi or local. And now English is in the mix, and they would rather do local or English than Hindi. And in America the options used to be English or Hindi, and now local is in the mix, and they would still rather do local or English than Hindi.

      It just seems like,chasing that global market, Hindi films have ended up being a watered down combo of English and Indian, but not quite as good as either.

      On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 10:47 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • What I absolutely hate about the “hindi” industry is that they have virtually stopped the use of Hindi proper in the last 20-25 years. I’ve lived in Himachal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and I know for a fact that the “hindi” they speak in Punjab and himachal is quite similar to what would be the “English” spoken by the average middle income person anywhere in India. Sure the english helps you have a conversation with the cabbie but would you watch a whole film in that language? That’s how painful the “hindi” of the Hindi industry really had become. If you’ve watched hindi films from the 50s and 60s, you’d be able to tell the difference in the language very easily. The Hindi film industry has effectively ruined hindi as a language.

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        • I read a fascinating article about this a few years back. The early dialogue writers tended to be Urdu poets, that’s why the whole profession of “dialogue writer” came up. Anybody who spoke the sort of mixed Hindustani of Bombay would be able to come up with a script idea. But then you would bring in a Sahir Ludhianvi or someone like him to put together the actual dialogue. Now, they still have the “dialogue” job, but it is being given to whoever wrote a clever ad copy or can make you laugh at the canteen, not to an expert in Hindi-Urdu.

          And this is just the most visible result of the change in how Indian films are made. Now that everything is getting more and more “corporate”, the workers on these films are increasingly upper middle class Bombay types who can’t relate to Hindi dialogue just like they can’t relate to the struggles of a poor policeman, or a maidservant, or any of those other things that we used to see in Hindi films and don’t any more.

          And this all comes back to box office and multiplex and global money. The Hindi films are chasing the overseas and multiplex market because the ticket prices are so much higher. The vast majority of the Hindi audience is being ignored, the people who actually speak Hindi. Thus the flourishing Punjabi film industry that has suddenly sprung into being in the past 20 years. Even Pakistani films are beginning to do better, both in Pakistan and overseas, because the Hindi-Urdu-Punjabi audience from/in Pakistan that used to just bootleg Indian films, is now looking for something that uses their language.

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          • I totally agree. I was absolutely blown away by the undiluted simplicity of the urdu used in Pakistani dramas they broadcast in India. A few months into them and mom and I could actually feel the improvement in our own daily language usage too. And we’re the kind of people that use hindi proper conversationally too.

            Somebody needs to tell our film writers how melodious words like “kashtprad” (inconvenient or painful) and “avashyakta” (necessity) sound when pronounced perfectly. Like any language, hindi is very lyrical and even hindustani was to an extent. Everybody somehow ends up sounding punjabi these days.

            Sidenote: Amir Khan’s version of the village dialect is super insulting to bhojpuri speakers. Also, why is the bhojpuri adjacent dialect supposed to be the standard village language in hindi films? 😕

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          • I loved listening to the dialogue on Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai (if you feel the need to kill time today, check out my incredibly detailed three part summary of Humsafar)! Just the sound of it was so beautiful. In a way I could only relate back to watching a Salim-Javed film, the dialogue in those wasn’t just impactful, it was lovely in the sound of it, the enunciation.

            I feel like Amitabh and Shahrukh are the actors working today with the most stage training and if you give them lovely language, they can really knock it out of the part. But too many of today’s actresses (even Alia Bhatt, who I adore), just kind of skipped that step in training. Great at conveying the emotion of the words, not so good at conveying just the pure beauty of them on their own.

            On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 11:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m not really a fan of SRK’s diction though. At all. He has a very affected way of speaking which is annoying. The “umm” he adds to every second dialogue sounds patronising.

            Amitabh has really worked on his diction and modulation so much. Sometimes if feels like silk rolling down my ears.

            While I loved Humsafar and I love Fawad Khan in general, I don’t like his accent. I hate it in fact. It’s so trynabe uppur middul khlaas and it seeps into their urdu.

            Of all the urdu speakers I’ve heard in entertainment, the smoothest so far is Raza Murad. Even Javed Akhtar’s urdu has gotten so diluted now.

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          • I love listening to/watching videos of Amitabh reciting his father’s poetry, I don’t even need to know what the words mean, the sound is so beautiful.

            I totally get what you mean about Shahrukh! I hate that too. He uses all these sort of mouth sounds for emphasis and it bugs the heck out of me. But when he is given a poem to recite or a long dramatic speech, he can really knock it out of the park. But then we get back to most dialogue just being about Hinglish and emotion now instead of the sounds of the words.

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          • I never got that with SRK. Sorry. 😁

            I’m trying to think of another proper hindi speaker in the industry. Shabana Azmi maybe? I don’t remember any leading ladies from today who have a particularly pleasant hindi diction. Or even hinglish diction. Priyanka is too western, deepika and anushka do the overemphasised T’s and R’s and everyone else seems to be doing a lot of umms and uhhs.. And then there are the hurried speakers. Still trying to think of a nice proper hindi speaking actress from today

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          • Boo! Boo to the SRK hater! Burn her! No, I can see that. I don’t notice it most of the time, it’s only in stuff like some of his dialogue in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, or the Jab Tak Hain Jaan poem that I really notice it.

            For actresses, how is Madhuri? I know she isn’t from today, but she did those poems in Devdas, didn’t she? Were they good or was a missing something?

            On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:01 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Her modulation is good. She had a what I’d call a very studied way if speaking. Like a convent school girl. Or a nun. It’s prop-ah. But that’s about it. It isn’t melodious or particularly expressive.

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          • Madhuri should totally play a nun! The spunky nun who runs a convent school and encourages all her female students to pursue their dreams and find happiness and be strong and stuff! And also teaches classical dance? Would that be a thing, a nun who teaches classical dance?

            Oh oh! Please please please say we could do a Sister Act remake in Indian film! Madhuri is an aging club dancer type with classical training who has to hide in a convent school because she witnessed a murder. And then she can teach all the convent students to dance, and help them elope, and apply to law school instead of being married, and all that good stuff.

            On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:16 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Madhuri is too miss goody two shoes for Sister Act. That role needs sass. It would have worked with Madhuri in the 90s. You’d need a Kalki for it to work today.

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          • comeback movie for Rani? No One Killed Jessica style?

            On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Heck, today! Helen is adorable. And Rekha can still play the bad girl siren type (Parineeta)

            On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I sent out Halloween cards a few years back using a close-up of Helen from the Om Shanti Om appearance. It was terrifying.

            On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:51 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I think the “purity” of Hindi/Urdu used and spoken by Hindi film characters these days is directly dictated by the setting of the plot (urban or rural or period etc, Bahubali had pure Hindi). So Jab Harry will of course have Hinglish for instance whereas Raees on the other hand was purer.

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          • What is interesting is that they are making fewer and fewer films in general, or at least big budget films, with a non-Hinglish speaking kind of setting. Dum Laga Ke Haisha is the last rom-com I can think of that had more of a village sort of feel to it.

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          • Not true. The Hindi medium crowd living in the actual hindi states (UP ans bihar) still speaks a purer form of Hindi in their daily lives than what’s been served in the “hindi” industry. Conversational hindi is dead and heavily diluted only in the entertainment industry. That’s probably because the people working there need to project an image of coolness and speaking with a proper hindi vocabulary isn’t “cool” for them. Nobody wants to sound desi.

            The desiest form of Hindi I saw in a hindi film recently was in Wasseypore.

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  3. I saw an interview with Mr. Bachchan where the interviewer asked him what has changed most in films since he started. The interviewer clearly wanted something salacious about more skin, more sex, whatever, but Amitabh was resolute that the biggest change has been in the dialogue style and language. He said it used to be very beautiful and deliberate, people took their time to make a point but you didn’t mind because it was so pretty. If I recall he didn’t say too much about regional usage/accents or Hinglish. No surprise, he was quite eloquent about it.

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    • I think the last time I remember dialogue really leaping out and grabbing me was in a Vishal Bhardwaj film.

      On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 11:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. 1. How can you refer to a film starring Ranbir Kapoor as a “non major star release”? Haven’t we been told for the last ten years (since Saawariya, in fact) that he’s the next superstar, heck that already is a superstar? So you have to judge the box office of JJ in those terms.

    2. Re changes in Hindi. I’m not a native speaker, but even I can immediately tell the difference in enunciation between not only older films and today’s, but also older actors and today’s. When I saw Munnabhai MBBS, the first thing that struck me when Sunil Dutt started speaking was how elegant he sounded than everyone else, and not just because Sanjay’s character was supposed to be a gangster. It was quite startling.

    But the more important factors, to my mind, are that both audience and actors no longer speak correct language, never mind “pure.” This is not a problem limited to Hindi. I notice it a lot in Telugu films, too, and read similar complaints about Tamil films. One of the reasons given why they stopped making puranic films in Telugu after the 1980’s is that the younger actors can no longer speak that kind of language (kind of like asking today’s American actors to do Shakespeare). Even Bahubali, which was inspired by and modeled on puranic and folkloric Telugu films from 30 years ago, didn’t use the same kind of language as those older films. It actually used very simple Telugu. The only difference is that it didn’t have any English words, unlike most Telugu films set in contemporary time.

    Sorry for the digression. Getting back to Hindi, most of the actors grew up speaking English, as do most of the audience. This doesn’t mean that they are fluent in English. Just that they can no longer be fluent in Hindi. I’ll mention three examples that really highlight this language problem. One of the highlights of Mughal-E-Azam, which is always spoken of when the film is mentioned, is its beautiful Urdu dialogues. When they released the colorized version in theaters, it flopped very badly, much to the shock of the producers. Many young people said they couldn’t understand the dialogues. Similarly, when Jodha Akbar released, many young people also complained that the dialogues were too hard to understand, while older Urdu experts criticized both Aishwarya, but especially Hrithik, for their bad Urdu pronunciation (Aishwarya was criticized for this in Umrao Jaan, too, while Rekha was praised for her Urdu when she did the film).

    Now the third example is really interesting to me. When Kites released in India, there were many complaints from exhibitors that they had been promised a Hindi movie, and instead got an “English” one. They couldn’t tell the difference English and Spanish. The film was released in some theaters with no subtitles for the Spanish portions, in some with Hindi subtitles, and in some with English subtitles. The comments I saw online were quite interesting. The people who knew English complained about having to read subtitles. Others complained that they couldn’t read Hindi (though they could understand and speak it), so the Hindi subtitles were of no use to them. So really, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of language that today’s audience can comprehend, except Hinglish, no matter what the subject of the film.

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    • Don’t know about Telugu but in both Tamil and Hindi the difference between the pure/formal versions and what goes around locally is very different indeed with a lot of slang thrown in from various influences. Bahubali in both languages and both parts has the pure version from what I saw.

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    • 1. Not sure if this was sarcastic or not, I certainly feel sarcastic when I think about how Ranbir was anoted as the next big star almost before his first film came out! Anyway, a “major star” here means someone like Ajay, Akshay, the Khans, who have decades of box office history and so on. Ranbir isn’t there yet, and won’t be there for another 5-6 years at least.

      2. What I keep coming back to is how Jhaankaar Beats was such a big deal because it was in “Hinglish” just about 15 years ago, and now you watch it and it has more Hindi specific jokes and so on than a regular “Hindi” film today.

      On Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 12:11 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • We do have an aversion to proper English too. 😁 pronouncing ‘d’ as ड़, ‘t’ as a hard ट, ‘r’ as र्र just makes my blood boil. I hate how most of our young stars including alia, anushka and deepika do this. Their use of आई for ‘i’ makes me wanna stab myself. I haven’t seen any of them speak a full sentence in hindi ever. So disappointing. Priyanka still can speak it. I like her english and Hindi. I wish she speaks urdu at some point. She has the voice for it.

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    • I agree about Aishwarya and Hrithik. I intensely dislike both as actors.

      I agree with you about how actors today do not grow up using hindi as a primary language. I don’t think the writers today do either.

      But I find it interesting that most hindi speaking audience was able to understand Pakistani shows with their colloidal urdu so very easily even when the dialogue wasn’t littered with English words.

      If we can pick up urdu so easily, can’t we pick up a purer form of Hindi just as easily too? Not an affected filmy version of it, just something that contains the melodiousness of the language.

      I’m on the pro-diversity side of the current hindi imperialism debate happening in the south right now. What I find hilarious is that even the pro-hindi crowd doesn’t use hindi proper in their average daily communication.

      I really find Vinod Dua and Ravish Kumar’s use of what is essentially actual conversational hindi admirable. Makes me wonder why can’t a similar level of purity be seen in the Hindi entertainment segment.

      Sidenote: Farah Khan and Karan Johar’s “all-y’all” phase was the most disgusting IBCD moment from big names from the industry.

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