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Gracious in Defeat

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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Gracious in Defeat | Futile Effort

There’s a reason Aamir Khan stands taller than most other superstars, and he demonstrated it earlier this week when he said he was taking ‘complete responsibility’ for the failure of his latest film, Thugs of Hindostan. The actor said he was aware that most of his fans and the audience at large had not enjoyed the film, and while he made it a point to add that the team had worked hard to make a movie they hoped would be loved, he acknowledged that they had clearly failed. “There are people who have liked the film, and we are thankful to them. But they are in a minority. Most people didn’t like our film,” he accepted.

After bowing to a record Rs 50 crore opening day, Thugs crashed at the box-office pretty much instantly, and has netted less than Rs 140 crore at the end of three weeks in movie theatres. Produced at a reported budget of Rs 300 crore, the film has proven both a critical and commercial washout. It hasn’t fared considerably better in overseas markets either, but it’s still to open in China, where Aamir’s previous films Dangal, Secret Superstar and PK have been blockbusters.

The actor has been lauded on social media for facing up to failure graciously. It’s a refreshing change, since most actors seldom acknowledge failure, much less take responsibility for it. The biggest stars have been known to blame everyone and everything but themselves when their movies don’t perform as well as expected. Many will not even accept that the film didn’t work, insisting that it was made so cheap that the producer didn’t lose money. Others will blame critics for ‘killing’ the movie.

Salman Khan threw numbers in the face of reporters when they asked him about the failure of his film, Race 3. The actor smugly pointed out that the film had made Rs 150 crore, and if that was considered a failure, then he didn’t have much to say. The truth is that despite those collections, Race 3 was indeed a flop because it cost more to make and market.

Finale with Karan

The tabloids are saying Priyanka Chopra will be the guest on the season finale of Koffee with Karan, but the big question is whether husband-to-be Nick Jonas will appear on the show with her. If he does, it will be the first TV interview they do together. The original plan for the finale was to have Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor appear together. But insiders say that RK is too busy; he has to finish Brahmastra and then dive into Shamshera, while he is also emotionally preoccupied with ensuring that his father Rishi Kapoor gets the best available medical care in New York. Save for an appearance at the Prithvi Festival, organised by his uncle Kunal Kapoor, Ranbir has skipped most public events since he returned from the Big Apple, focusing instead on wrapping his shoots.

Futile Effort

A senior movie star is said to be especially upset about the failure of his recent film because— among other things—the movie had taken a serious toll on his health. Sources say the actor’s costumes were uncomfortable, and the film’s many physical sequences were hard to perform at his age. Looking back, he feels the discomfort endured and sacrifices made were in vain. Insiders also reveal that the actor was not particularly keen to do the movie in the first place, but was persuaded by the makers who were relentless in their requests for him to take the role. He is said to be disappointed in the makers for failing to spot the problems in the script and deliver a compelling film.

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