Badla Trailer: Red Chillies Commits to Thrillers

I wouldn’t bother with this trailer if it were just another Amitabh revenge thriller type thing, but it’s produced by Red Chillies, which adds on another layer of interest.

Red Chillies has had some painful growing pains. Back when it was called “Dreamz Unlimited”, it put everything into Asoka, the kind of historic epic that would sell now but back in 2000 was a flop. And then it tried Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, a social comedy wrapped in a romance, which also failed. Before finally trying Chalte Chalte, straight sugary romance and getting a hit. And then changing their name to Red Chillies and rebranding and relaunching with Main Hoon Na, another hit. Om Shanti Om, another one. Trying to produce a non-SRK movie with Always Kabhi Kabhi, unnoticed flop (but at least not a big money losing flop like Asoka). Moving more and more into the VFX realm, quietly gaining contracts with outside studios and getting bigger and bigger, and also co-producing all of Shahrukh’s films. That last era is confusing, because merely a co-producer credit is kind of standard for major stars, lets them have more creative control and a cut of the box office. But how much did Red Chillies REALLY have to do with movies like Dear Zindagi and Raees? Are those actual movies from the banner, or just courtesy credits for Shahrukh, the head of the company?

And then came Ittefaq. Shahrukh is not in the movie, he found the script and decided he wanted to produce but not star in it. And it was a nice tidy little success. Not big and fancy, not something that loudly announces “our studio has ARRIVED”, but small and solid and smart.

And now here comes Badla. Ittefaq was co-produced by Dharma and a resurrected BR Chopra films. It wasn’t Red Chillies out on their own. And it had a good cast, but none of them were known as picky big name stars, easy to produce with them. Badla is the same kind of movie in genre, another thriller. That’s a good sign, whoever is picking scripts at Red Chillies is being cautious and sticking with what they know works for them. But the cast and creative and co-producers are something else entirely from Ittefaq.

Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, who did my beloved Jhankaar Beats, and also Kahaani. He is a name to reckon with, you need to be a bit of a gutsy producer to take him on. No big name co-producer, just “Azure Productions”, Ghosh’s own banner. Red Chillies is all alone here in providing the money, the marketing, the everything. And starring Amitabh Bachchan. That immediately moves this film to a higher level of expectations and attention than Ittefaq or Always Kabhi Kabhi. This is like real grown-up studio producing, find a talented director with a good story, bring in a big name star, put up the money for it, supervise the filming, create the marketing campaign, the whole deal. Just like UTV does or Reliance or Dharma or YRF. This is a big leap for Red Chillies, out of the awkward growth period and into maturity. And also into being more than just a vanity studio for a single star, but something that can grow and support the industry as a separate entity (and support the star himself if he chooses to stop working).

As for the trailer itself, yet another Amitabh older smart guy revenge drama. He does these roles very very well and I am not tired of them yet, but isn’t it funny how MANY of them he is doing lately? I’m excited for Taapsee too, I like seeing her play off these older actors and do it well and she and Amitabh have established chemistry from Pink. Plus, I’m excited she is getting steady work, she works more than almost any other actress I can think of besides Shraddha Kapoor. Oh, and the look of it is really cool. At least, for a trailer. In the film itself I may get sick of the slanted angles and cold grey tones

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28 thoughts on “Badla Trailer: Red Chillies Commits to Thrillers

  1. SRK should have starred in it in Amitabh’s role and then I would be more interested in it. This won’t be popular, but Amitabh doesn’t have too many layers to his acting. This will be Pink, Wazir, etc redux. At least with SRK there would be the appropriate age role drastically different from his recent flops. Taapsee is great generally, but she doesn’t impress me in this trailer. I may just be grumpy this morning!

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    • You sound grumpy!

      The nice thing with a thriller like this, is that it is cheap. Looks like only two name roles, probably an easy quick shoot (mostly two people in a room together). And there is also an almost guaranteed box office return, thrillers are pretty reliable. Purely in terms of the Red Chillies business strategy, it is a great choice.

      On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 10:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I’m with Filmilibrarian. This is the kind of role SRK should have played to break out of the rut of big,fancy films without a female lead in love with him. And I’m bored of Amitabh Bachan mouthing barely audible lines that are supposed to be pearls of wisdom.He has played such roles umpteen times.

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      • You are winning me over with your argument! Shahrukh talked about turning down the Akshaye role in Ittefaq because it would have overshadowed the movie. But this movie is already about just two actors, so there isn’t really anyone for Shahrukh to overshadow. Plus, let’s be real, his stardom has dimmed considerably since the time he was offered the Ittefaq part just two years ago (not just the flop movies, but fewer public appearances and online interactions and general presence).

        Oh well, if this is Red Chillies business plan, low budget well-made thrillers, Shahrukh can just take a part in the next one.

        On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 11:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Naaaaa, this is too small a movie for SRK to do. It would automatically make expectations rise too much in terms of how much it needs to make at the box office. Movies like this need to remain more low key.

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          • If the movie makes enough money to make it a profitable venture and gives room for the actors to explore their creative sides,that’s a win situation for all concerned.But the number game, expectations and fans wanting the actor do big stuff ends up in movies like Zero.No wonder SRK is at a crossroad of sorts , wondering which way to move forward.

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          • Maybe Procrastinatrix has the answer after all, move into the limited series space, keep acting but get out of the movie game entirely. Or else somehow recreate the magic of Dear Zindagi, I don’t know what worked with that movie, but he was able to do a smaller role in a small movie without getting insane expectations around it.

            On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 12:10 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Limited or not,acting as opposed to hosting in small screens is considered a step down for the stars.So the makers try to overcompensate for that and creates a series that panders to the larger than life image of the star and it hasn’t worked till now. Amitabh Bachan,Sridevi,Karishma Kapoor have all burnt their fingers acting in TV series where the show was created in the visage of the star and everything else was fitted in like after tthought.Big or small screen,if the star is willing to let the actor take lead-as in Saif’s case,it may work. Let’s see how Abhishek Bachan fares in Breathe2.
            Do you think if SRK can use his massive PR machinery to create a narrative of him experimenting,taking risk, reinventing the actor etc and set the expectations beforehand on the kind of movie that is being made,the fans wont celebrate it?

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          • He predominently worked with women in DZ which centered around women done by women…a fine movie where he could retreat as a male star in reality.

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          • MKP, do you really think people would listen??? They didn’t listen all the long ShahRukh and Aanand talked about Zero (were there had been talk about exactly what you proposed). And then, it is obvious since years that there are forces behind the scenes (or even not behind) who want to undermine his (powerful) position in the Hindi filmindustry.

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          • I haven’t seen Zero but reading the review here and hearing from people who saw it,the USP of the movie was on SRK becoming a short person and showcasing the VFX capabilities right? Also with co-stars like Anushka and Katrina(including one of Katrina’s staple dance numbers),the movie was sold as a big, colorful fantasy movie. I don’t know how many will actually sit and listen to the movie promo talks but for most people,the trailers and songs are what sets the tone of the movie. Not saying that he should not do big movies. But mixing up big and small, colorful and sombre,romance and thrills may kind of help him ease the weight of all that fan frenzy built over the wait period between his big films.

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  3. I would love to see Shah Rukh in some “normal” film, where he could be only an actor and not a star, but I think Badla is not a movie for him. It looks too small. I liked the trailer, it’s interesting, I want to know if Tapsee is guilty but don’t see SRK in it.
    I agree with filmilibranian – Taapsee doesn’t impress here. Maybe because we expect the best , and here she looks only ok.

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    • I don’t think that a movie like Badla would be too small, but I think, Amitji is perfect for the role (if what I think about the story is correct). In addition, the more fatherly equation, Tapsee can have with Amitji is crucious for the movie…I think an equation that could be interpreted as romantic (even if not shown in the movie – like in DearZindagi) wouldn’t fit to the intention of the movie.

      In addition, it could be Amitji’s contribution to ShahRukh’s production venture as he knows from hard reality how dangerous financial losses can become and how important it is to not have to worry about money when you’re doing a movie.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wasn’t dreams unlimited with juhi shelves after Asoka and red chillies created as an independent venture later.
    I never find juhis name coming in red chillies except for the IPL team.
    Am I missing something ?

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    • I can’t figure it out fully myself. I know Dreamz Unlimited was a striaghtforward banner with Juhi and Shahrukh and Aziz Mirza all together. And Red Chillies is something else entirely, an entertainment company in multiple spaces. But until his illness, Juhi’s brother was the CEO of Red Chillies, and Juhi still co-owns the team. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dreamz partnership somehow folded into a limited partnership in Red Chillies.

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      • No, Juhi has no part in Red Chillies.It is owned only by SRK and Gauri. They have been endlessly investigated by the IT dept. so RC finances and structure is pretty open by now.
        Juhi has herself said that Dreamz was destroying their friendship so the decision was taken to part ways when it comes to business and keep the friendship instead. She’s also mentioned that the cricket team is really her husband’s thing, not hers. So the cricket partnership now is really between SRK and Jay Mehta.

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      • No, Red Chillies is owned only by SRK and Gauri. There have been endless investigations by the ED department so their finances and structure are pretty open by now.
        From what I understand, Dreamz was dissolved because SRK and Juhi had fundamental disagreements about what movies should be made and who should star in them. For example, Juhi wanted to play the lead and was upset that she couldn’t star in Chalte Chalte. She talked about it herself that the company was destroying their friendship so the decision was made to end the partnership and keep the friendship instead.
        The cricket team is more Jay Mehta’s thing, not Juhi’s, which she’s also said. After all the investigations, it seems KKR is owned 55% by Red Chillies and 45% by an offshore company called Sea Island Limited, which belongs to Jay.

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  5. Thanks for the analysis. I wish them well with this! Otherwise Shah Rukh’s going to be dancing at a lot of weddings before he can do another big experiment like Zero.

    Chalte Chalte starts off sweet but then comes with a tart surprising center.

    I hope the trend of movie stars getting to do different, great work in streaming network series continues to grow in India as it has in the US. I would so love to see Shah Rukh in a Broadchurch, or George Gently, or Inspector Morse kind of role. Even a limited series like Fargo. Something that would give him scope to really dig into a character over time. What a treat that would be, and it would be a different sort of acting than he’s done for a while. Oops, I got a bit off topic. Sorry!

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    • Ooh ooh, he could be like Inspector Rebus from Ian Rankin’s books. Rebus was in the special forces, is still tough as nails, but getting out of shape from too much drinking and smoking, too much cynicism, and too much disappointment. But his past gives him the chance to do cool action stuff as well as investigating crimes.

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      • ShahRukh likes Ian Rankin (and I have read all of Rebus’ cases :-). Does there already a TV serie exist?

        I would have liked the Artemis Fowl books made into a serie by him (he playing Butler), but I got to know that Disney already had this idea… *sigh again*

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        • There have been 2 Rebus series. The first one really not good because Rebus was miscast (John Hannah–I like him as an actor but he didn’t have the physicality or chops to do Rebus justice). The second was better and I enjoyed it.

          But I’d love to see Shah Rukh’s version in India anyway, set in a city which could have some similar aspects to Edinburgh, the whole Scottish/English tension, the University town which also is full of power brokers, etc. I also like the way the Rebus series spans decades, from the early 80s (I think?) to the present. Would be cool to do that in a series, to make it a period piece reflecting different events, styles, technologies that shaped lives at the time of each case.

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          • So doing a serie on Mumbai with a detective like Rebus (very gray character) spanning – maybe – the decades ShahRukh knows from his own living and made in Hindi Cinema style…wow, that could be a treat!

            Artemis is a bit for those who also like Harry Potter…only that Artemis isn’t such a nice guy as Harry Potter 😀

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          • When AF first came out I remember being a bit grumpy thinking this author was riding on Harry’s/JK’s coattails. But the series has had it’s own longevity now, so I should catch up. 🙂

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          • I love Artemis Fowl. It’s definitely different from Harry Potter, it’s a lot funnier and more about puns and set pieces and stuff than a grand epic. It’s also super light and entertaining, if you need something to cheeer you up and distract you.

            On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 6:10 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Amitabh’s done a couple of limited TV serieses, so the potential is there. It still makes me nervous, just because the more streaming grows the more movies die. Red Chillies is also producing that series for Netflix with Emraan Hashmi, so the company is interested in it which might mean Shahrukh is too. He’s certainly spent time hanging out with the Netflix CEO.

      Liked by 1 person

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