Today is my Grandpa’s birthday, last year I did a whole survey of his life, so this year I want to do something a little different. I control my Grandpa’s Netflix list, which means sometimes I sneak in Indian movies. Grandpa loves movies and has very clear and firm opinions on them, which he types up and shares with the rest of the family. He just sent his thoughts on Ghajini, which inspired me to track down a few other reviews to share with you all.
Happy Sunday! I put up a Big Big Post yesterday, so today let’s have some fun! This started as a discussion about (once again) the problems with Jab Tak Hain Jaan, which lead to a consideration of whether it might have made more sense if it had been set further in the past. Which lead me to thinking of an alternative (better) version set in the 40s-60s (different from my previous alternate versions). And then to other films that could have been better as period pieces. Huh. All major YRF films. YRF SHOULD HIRE ME TO HEAD A “PERIOD REMAKES” DIVISION!!!!!!
The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month! Very easy to remember, very hard to ignore. That’s when WWI officially ended. Over one million Indian troops served overseas, and 74,187 died. 2 million Americans served, and 116,300 died. Although the majority of those deaths were from the influenza epidemic, not battle. (this is an updated and reposted post from last year)
Happy 3 (or 2?) days until Jab Harry Met Sejal! It’s getting so close! And I really really hope it is even closer, not because I want to watch it 24 hours sooner, but because if it comes out Thursday that means I don’t have to write the review Friday night which means I might actually be able to get some sleep Friday night before I get up at dawn the next day to help my parents host 26 people. Although, I had a similar problem with the last Anushka/Shahrukh release and that turned out to be a MASSIVE disappointment, so maybe I shouldn’t worry so much. But on the other hand, their first movie together I loved. So it’s a mixed bag.
I was hoping I could do this on Yash’s birthday or half birthday or something, like I did for Karan, but there’s no special occasion I could find, and I had this post idea poking around in my head, so heck, I’m just going for it.
My second Anushka movie of the week! This time it is NOT a May-December romance. Or I guess it is a May romance but not a December romance? It’s unrequited is what I am saying. And I have to kind of wonder if there is going to be something similar in Dear Zindagi, if only because, how could Alia NOT fall in love with Shahrukh after spending time talking to him? How can anyone?
These two things have nothing in common, don’t even try to find a connection. But moviemavengal tweeted me about Dulquer’s gift to his Dad, and another commentator pointed out that it was Mammootty’s birthday today and now I feel bad for not acknowledging it at all. Although I did happen to post my Jagratha review today, so that’s cool!
Notice how I put the really exciting picture at the top so we would remember why this really matters?
So, currently, the highest Shahrukh movie on the all time gross list for India is number 5. NUMBER 5!!! The shame of it! Ahead of him is PK, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bahubali, and Dhoom 3. The whole list is here on wikipedia.
Now, you know what all these films have in common? They are all from the past 5 years. And the film at the top is usually from within the past 2 years. In America, we are used to that, the top grossers are always fairly recent, but in India that wasn’t always the case. Mother India set a box office record in 1957 that stayed in place for 3 years until Mughal-E-Azam surpassed it in 1960. Mughal-E-Azam held the record until Sholay beat it in 1975. Sholay held the record until Hum Aapke Hain Koun came along in 1994. Hum Aapke Hain Koun was toppled quickly by DDLJ in 1995. Then DDLJ lost it’s crown to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998. That record held until 2001 when it was beaten by both Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. Gadar held the record until 3 Idiots in 2009, at which point everyone breathed a sigh of release because they could start pretending Gadar never happened (very very problematic messages in that film). And then 3 Idiots held the record for a long time, by a big big margin, until it was finally beaten by Chennai Express in 2013. All Shahrukh fans cheered and celebrated and laughed in the faces of their Aamir-fan friends, or at least that’s what I did. Truly, it was a magical time!
(Shahrukh, take a bow! You earned it!)
And then about 2 months later, Dhoom 3 came out and Aamir was on top again. It stayed up there for a year, until PK came out, and then Aamir had the two top spots. PK is still up there, but Bajrangi Bhaijaan did really well this summer and came close to beating it. And Bahubali, of course, is a huge deal since it is the only non-Hindi film up there (although it was distributed by a Bombay based production house, Dharma, which is very important in terms of overseas awareness and national reach in India).
So, on the micro-level, this just means we all need to buy as many tickets for Dilwale as humanly possible in order to return Shahrukh to his rightful ranking. I don’t care if you are actually seeing Star Wars, you buy your ticket for Dilwale!!!
But on a macro-level, in terms of global trends, economics, and the future of the industry, what does all of this mean and where does it come from?