Actor Salman Khan’s last release Tubelight did not live up to audience expectations and thus, radically failed at the box office, reports Business of Cinema.
In an interview with Scroll, Salman Khan’s father Salim Khan, talked about Tubelight’s failure and why, in his opinion, the Indian film industry was unable to provide any hits this year.
“Tubelight was a good film, which would have done well if any other actor had starred in it, but to have an action hero like Salman getting constantly beaten up and crying all the time just didn’t work with the audience,” Salim expressed.
He most certainly is a fan of Raj Kapoor’s work: “Someone like Raj Kapoor could do any role, the common man, the lover, the comedian, but Salman doesn’t have that sort of an image. The audience kept expecting him to fight back and when he did retaliate a bit towards the end, the entire audience cheered for him, but it never went beyond a couple of blows.”
He added that the story of Tubelight lacked a love story – another reason the film was a let down. “The price it had been sold at was in expectation of it making Rs 250-300 crore at the box office like most Salman films, which it didn’t. If Tubelight had been sold reasonably, it would have been a hit.”
When asked about other films, such as Jab Harry met Sejal and Jagga Jasoos, failing at the box office, the veteran declared that the reason was pretty simple. “The reason for this is that we have been making bad films.”
He went on to speak on how everyone, including his son, seemed to have forgotten the significance of reading. “The cause is that we just don’t have writers of any calibre and that is because people have forgotten how to read. In my time everyone read books, recommended them to one another. We visited bookshops, read bestsellers as well as books related to the craft. Most people don’t even read the newspapers they subscribe to. Often when I am passing Salman’s door, I knock on the door and ask his staff to take in the papers.”
He further spoke on the absence of creativity within current film-makers. “Let’s talk about today’s filmmakers. What is their inspiration? Invariably it is Mother India, Ganga Jumna, Pyaasa, Salim Javed films, Bimal Roy and BR Chopra films. But they don’t make films of that standard. Their excuse is that they don’t want to make those types of films. But the fact is that they can’t make those films. They have made this out to be a virtue.”
Salim went on to say, “Then there is the fact that they want to make offbeat films but want big actors in it because those are the actors with the draw and the audience and the ones who will get them money. Earlier, the filmmakers who made these films would take good actors and make a small film with a limited budget, which reached its intended audience. But if you take a Shah Rukh or a Ranbir you have to make a film to suit their image, which their story-line doesn’t, and so the film does badly.”
Staying on the topic of the quality of films nowadays, Salim spoke about the ‘evolution’ of songs. “We used to write situations for songs, but today’s songs are more like item numbers to which the actor can perform at shows.”
Nevertheless, he did not fail to appreciate those who … “Having said that, we have some very good lyric writers today like Irshad Kamal, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Prasoon Joshi and many more.”
On another note, the screen-writer had nothing but praise for Akshay Kumar. “I have to say for Akshay Kumar that the way he has improved as an actor is something that no one else has been able to. The journey that he has covered is almost impossible to imagine. Today he is an actor who can tackle every kind of subject.”
“Other actors like Ajay Devgan, Aamir Khan and Salman have also improved over the course of their careers, but none like Akshay,” he added.
Salim Khan seems to have hit many nails on their respective heads when it comes to a discussion on the failure of Indian movies. And we totally agree with everything he said.
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